10 traits of inner work you need to achieve for spiritual awakening

So you feel like you’re ready to embark on your spiritual awakening?

Truth is, we never know what we’re really in for when we choose to lean further into a spiritual path!

But if you feel like you’re ready to commit to your spirituality more than you have in the past, here are 10 traits of inner work you need to achieve for spiritual awakening…

…Number four is a big one!

1) Becoming present

Many people go through life on autopilot. 

How many times have you heard someone say it’s as though ten years went by in a flash and they don’t know where the time went?

You see, people feel as though life escapes them because they don’t actually exist in the moment.

It’s as though some people spend their lives thinking about the past or future, and they actually miss the present moment.

I’ll be honest: I used to be like this!

I used to spend so much of my time feeling nostalgic for what one was or either fantasizing about the future!

This might sound familiar for you too.

If so, you’re not alone… 

It’s quite common for people to struggle with being in the present moment.

Truth is, it takes work to get to a place where you are more present.

But it’s essential that you put the work in to become more present if you want to experience a spiritual awakening.

Here’s the thing:

You need to be present if you want to achieve your spiritual awakening.

Practicing mindfulness each and every day is a great tool to help you become more present. 

For example, next time you’re out on a walk, ask yourself:

  • What colors can I see?
  • What can I smell?
  • What can I feel?
  • What can I hear?

Simply put, by engaging the senses you’ll become much more aware of your surroundings and grounded in the present moment.

This is the place you need to be at in order to awaken spirituality!

2) Letting go

If you want to achieve a spiritual awakening, you also need to get comfortable with the idea of letting go.

A bit part of your inner work needs to be to practice letting sh*t go.

Like, really go.

Now, I don’t just mean taking a deep breath and letting go of the day (although that is a good place to start!)… 

I mean, you need to really let go of all of your attachments.

It means leaving your labels at the door and realizing that you are not all of these different things!

In other words, you need to take off your armor and expose yourself. 

This is easier said than done:

As we go through life, we pick up labels that help us orient and find our place in the world.

We label ourselves in all sorts of ways in order to better understand ourselves!

For instance:

  • I’m a painter
  • I’m a student of philosophy 
  • I’m vegetarian 
  • I like dogs
  • I am lactose intolerant 
  • I’m not adventurous
  • I’m creative

Now, it’s very natural to attach our identities to these labels; it’s what our egos do to keep us safe. 

We all do this!

What’s more, we might have been given labels that we haven’t asked for and adopted them as part of our personality.

This happens as other people try to understand us and put us in neat boxes.

In my experience, I’ve been labeled as the ‘academic’ one because I continued to pursue my studies while my siblings took different routes…

…And this way of understanding myself became a big part of my personality for many years. In all honesty, it was quite restricting! 

Now, when it came to wanting to achieve my spiritual awakening, I confronted the fact that I was hiding behind these labels and that I needed to let them go.

I realized I was more than just ‘an academic’ type.

What does this mean for you?

The quicker you come to realize that you’re not a series of labels, the quicker you will go through your period of awakening spiritually. 

3) Start observing yourself

Observation is important if you want to achieve a spiritual awakening.

By this, I mean it’s necessary to observe the things you do each and every day…

…And to take note of your patterns and habits.

You see, we can pick up unhelpful and damaging habits without realizing how much of a hold they have on us. 

Smoking, drinking and eating too much red meat are all examples!

Truth is, these things can become a part of our everyday lives without us being really aware that they’ve taken hold.

I’ll be honest:

I’ve been there, and it’s pretty scary when you wake up and realize where you’re actually at.

The problem is that our habits become normalized, and we don’t see how bad they are for us – especially when they bring us ‘joy’ and relief in the moment.

But being unconscious about your habits isn’t where you want to be if you want to achieve a spiritual awakening.

Instead, you need to be consciously observing and reflecting on your patterns!

In other words, you need to be asking yourself why you do certain things and if they’re in alignment with your higher self.

For instance:

  • Do I need another coffee?
  • Am I creating more drama than is necessary?
  • Why do I snooze my alarm every morning?
  • Should I be drinking so much alcohol?

Now, you could write these questions down in a journal to reflect on them, or you could ask yourself these questions while in meditation.

Either way, making the time to inquire into your habits is necessary if you want to achieve a spiritual awakening…

…As you need to be conscious!

4) Having willpower 

You might be wondering what willpower has to do with a spiritual awakening?

The answer is a lot!

You see, it’s very easy to become aware of something we’re doing that isn’t best serving us and to think that we’d like to change.

But actually changing something and taking a positive step is a whole other thing.

Simply put, having awareness is great…

…But taking action is even better!

Truth is, anyone can talk a good talk and say they’re going to do something; however following through and doing it is totally different. 

The difference is discipline and willpower.

Here’s the thing:

Once you bring awareness to the habits that aren’t serving you and keep you stuck in your life, you need to have the willpower to change them!

In my experience, willpower is made all the easier by having a plan and being clear about your reasons for doing something.

Take smoking, for instance:

Going cold turkey is unlikely to end well, so it’s necessary to make a plan to help phase it out of your life. 

Maybe this means writing your plan out on a calendar and sticking it up on your wall, so you can see how you’re going to cut back in an effective way.

What’s more, it’s necessary to connect to your ‘why’, so in this instance, it would be better health and a greater connection with yourself

Personally, I think that if you can stay connected to your reason for doing something, then you’ll stay on the course.

It will give you a lot of willpower. 

5) Practicing gratitude 

People who are on spiritual paths are grateful.

Sure, it’s a sweeping statement to make, but it’s one I believe. 

You see, people who are connected to the idea that there is more than the material world, and that they are more than a physical body, are grateful to be alive. 

I know this from my own journey:

When I used to be rooted in the material world and cared so deeply about ‘things’, I didn’t have the level of gratitude I have now for being alive. 

I used to care more about trivial things and I often got swept up in drama – if I wasn’t starting it myself!

But things changed when I started to walk a more spiritual path.

Simply put, I realized that it was necessary to practice gratitude on a daily basis to achieve a spiritual awakening.

It became apparent to me that I couldn’t connect to my spiritual side if I was not able to be grateful for my life as it was. 

Now, I won’t pretend that it’s easy to truly find gratitude…

…Especially if you’re new to doing it!

But it’s completely necessary for your spiritual awakening.

In other words, you need to be grateful for your life in this present moment and stop searching for something better.

This doesn’t mean you have to give up on your goals and stop striving for things you want in life, but it does mean that you need to recognize that what you already have is good enough.

It means counting your blessings and truly being thankful for what you have in front of you.

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So when it comes to actually practicing gratitude, what should you do?

In my experience, journaling is a great way to help you start feeling more grateful. 

You could start by journaling five or ten things you’re grateful for in the morning to start your day on the right foot. 

For instance:

  • I am grateful for the healthy relationships around me
  • I am grateful for my discipline
  • I am grateful for my hard work ethic
  • I am grateful that I have a fridge full of food
  • I am grateful that I am able-bodied
  • I am grateful that I get to feel the sun on my face
  • I am grateful for my pets

You get the idea!

Just writing those makes me feel warm inside, and this is exactly the feeling you need to be cultivating to help you achieve your spiritual awakening!

6) Quieting the mind

We have a lot of external stimulation in our modern lives.

Just think about the amount of stimulation we receive from one scroll through our social media feeds.

Within a few minutes, our minds are flooded with images of people traveling the world, winning awards for their businesses or looking their best – all complete with a filter!

Truth is, there is a lot we’re bombarded with these days, and it’s hard to escape it! 

Now, this doesn’t create an environment to achieve a spiritual awakening.

Instead, an awakening is only possible if we find stillness and quiet within ourselves.

In my experience, there are a few ways to go about this:

The first begins with not spending so much time on social media.

I won’t lie, I’ve found myself mindlessly opening my social media apps without even thinking at times…

…If it’s like this for you, you’re not alone!

Getting off social media is easier said than done with so many people used to either doom scrolling all day or sharing their lives on there.

Simply put, social media has such a hold on our lives… But you need to ditch it if you want to find more stillness. 

It also pays to spend more time in nature than in urban spaces. 

You see, nature has an amazing way of calming us down, and improving our mental health.

The charity organization Mind says: “Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.”

What’s more, meditating is a great tool to find literal stillness.

There are so many apps dedicated to it these days that you shouldn’t have a problem finding something that works for you!

7) Being open-minded

You’ll need to be open-minded if you want to experience your spiritual awakening.

In a Medium article about spiritual openness, one writer explains:

“Spiritual openness begins with an open mind — a willingness to investigate new ideas and consider alternative ways of thinking and living. Where there is an absence of dogmatism, our minds can run free and explore new horizons. This is what enables us to grow and evolve. Openness lies at the basis of all human progress.”

You see, if you’re closed off to other possibilities outside of your current reality, then you’re never going to awaken to something new. 

In other words, without an open mind, you’ll be limiting yourself to the possibilities that are all around and keeping yourself stuck.

Now, this isn’t the recipe for a spiritual awakening.

It is essential that you’re willing to consider new ways of being if you want to have an awakening. 

So what do you need to have an open mind?

The Medium author adds:

“An open state of mind requires humility and courage — humility to let go of our own certainty, and courage to address new possibilities.”

Simply put, it comes back to the act of letting go that I spoke about earlier.

In my experience, magic (and spiritual awakenings!) happens when you learn to let go.

8) Not having fear

Fear is something we all have…

…If you’re human, you’ll have a sense of fear!

Now, how that shows up for you will be unique to you depending on the experiences you’ve had and the culture you’ve grown up in.

But regardless of what creates fear for you, did you know that it’s something you don’t have to let control your life?

You see, I call fear: 

False evidence appearing real…

…Because that’s what it often is for me!

I find that the things I’m most fearful of are scenarios that don’t happen; you could say that fear is anxiety about the future.

In other words, fear doesn’t really do much good. 

Of course, there will be times when it’s unavoidable to have a sense of inbuilt fear, but when it comes to going through a big shift into a spiritual awakening, you don’t need to cling on to fear.

In fact, you need to kick it to the curb entirely.

What’s more, you’ll be rewarded for doing so!

You see, letting go of the fear of change and of the unknown will allow you to really experience the big spiritual shift that is coming your way!

9) Cultivate a sense of trust

Trusting yourself is so important.

When it comes to breaking through a spiritual shift, it becomes even more important.

You see, there will be many times that your ego tries to tell you stories to keep you where you are. 

Simply put, the ego doesn’t like change!

But you need to trust your spirit, and the path you are being led down, if you want to actually have a spiritual awakening.

This means you don’t need to waste time second-guessing whether you’re on the right path or whether you’re where you need to be.

Now, it’s important to trust yourself even when others seem a little bit dubious.

Truth is, not everyone will be on the path you’re on…

…And the quicker you come to realize this is how it is, the easier it will get for you!

What’s more, it’s important you don’t fall into the trap of judging other people who aren’t in the same place as you.

In this free masterclass, the shaman Rudá Iandé explains how so many of us fall into this trap.

You see, just like I’ve been there, so has he!

Not only is it reassuring to hear that he’s been through the same experiences, but in this video, he explains what spirituality should actually be about.

I came away with the confirmation that it is not about judging others – or oneself!

10) Become more compassionate

Compassion is a core component to making a spiritual awakening possible.

Truth is, we are not our highest versions of ourselves without compassion.

It means to be kind and nurturing…

…And it’s necessary that we’re like this to both ourselves and others.

Think about it: if you’re forever berating yourself and being hard on yourself, you’re going to have a negative relationship with yourself.

I’ve been there, and it’s not nice!

I used to be so hard on myself:

My inner chatter would go between saying I wasn’t good enough for certain things or worthy of certain friends.

It used to be exhausting!

Now, this is not where you should be in order to have a spiritual awakening.

Being grateful for where you’re at and trusting you’re where you need to be should be your default.

Once I came to learn this and I truly embodied it, it’s what allowed me to embark on my spiritual awakening!

Simply put, your spiritual awakening requires a lot of surrender and trust… And it’s worth it!

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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