Spend any time in the healing/spiritual community, and people will be heard talking about conscious awakenings. Often the exact details of what a conscious awakening is, or how it will unfold in our lives, aren’t discussed—but the life-changing stories of those who have experienced an awakening call to us with promises of a better and happier life.
The reasons for seeking out an awakening are varied, but often revolve around feeling stuck in negative emotions like anxiety or anger, or feeling trapped in old traumatic wounds and behaviors that lead to PTSD, depression and addiction. Or, sometimes the awakening finds us and we are launched into a shift without any premeditated plan.
There is no one path that leads to an awakening, but it usually starts with a desire to heal and an exploration of different types of healing and spiritual practices that take us out of our comfort zone. One thing is for certain: the longer we are consciously engaged in our healing journey, the more likely it is that we will experience one or more awakenings along the way. This is why it is important to get clarity on what exactly a conscious awakening can entail, so we can better partner the process when it happens.
Imagine being shown the joy and miracle of a baby but never being told about the birthing process. How confusing the pain of contractions would be if we had no idea that they are a natural and normal part of the bigger picture. Without understanding, we might try to stop the birth mid-process, adding more confusion and pain. If we are not given the whole picture then we cannot know the connection between the messy, painful, even frightening birthing process and the resulting new life. Similarly in the healing/spiritual community, we too often only hear about the amazing results of a conscious awakening, while not enough is said about the birthing process involved in getting there.
It is important to realize that what an “awakening” means is a rebirth, a shift in paradigms, a change in consciousness. For a rebirth to happen there will inevitably be a death that must occur. Life as we know it will fall away, “truths” must be questioned, friends lost, beliefs shattered, ways of being shifted. We will have to turn in and face ourselves, our feelings, thoughts and behaviors in new ways. We simply cannot have an awakening and stay in the same mental-emotional patterns that have been feeding our traumatized, unhappy, wounded states of being up to this point. In other words, we cannot move into a different consciousness and expect things to stay the same.
This stripping away and breaking down of our old ways can leave us feeling exhausted, raw, broken open and overwhelmed. We find ourselves wondering if we are doing it wrong because the awakening we are experiencing mid-shift is the complete opposite of what we had been hoping for. It is important to know that it is in those moments of utter vulnerability, raw openness and being stripped bare that the foundation of a new way of thinking, feeling and reacting is taking place. The breakthrough we are hoping for is often born through a breakdown.
This bigger picture understanding should not deter us from seeking an awakening, but instead, give us strength and courage to continue when we find ourselves in the long night of our own re-birthing journey. While we cannot know exactly what is unique in store for us, knowing that there can be challenges allows us to find purpose in the temporary discomfort of the work and helps us surrender to the healing process. With more awareness, we can partner instead of fight the releasing of that which no longer serves us—helping us look forward to the new life that is unfolding.Alexcis Lopez, MS, CHt, NLP offers RESET, Ayahuasca retreats, and workshops. Connect at 520-690-6576 or AlexcisLopez.com.