I Woke Up, Now What? Post Awakening Thrive Guide – 9 Steps to Embrace the Path of Light
If you are reading this article, chances are, you are going through an awakening that is possibly rocking your world. Awakening involves the realization that we have been living within perceived and programmed limitations as well as the decision to embody the higher, or the true self – the part of us that is infinite universal consciousness that has the ability to Be, Do and Have anything we can dream of. It is a process of re-identifying who we are as we are slowly tapping into our true essence, the part of us that is beyond the body and mind.
The journey is a highly unique one and I am offering this guide based on my personal awakening experience as well as those whom I have had the honor to assist. The key in any spiritual teaching is that there is no definitive, or right or wrong path; there is only what works for you.
1. The Temptation of Emotional Bypassing
There is a reason why Law of Attraction is probably one of the most popular spiritual teachings that even folks who do not claim to be spiritual coin the term. My own hilarious experience with it began over a decade ago when I was gifted with a book that the gift-er claimed could get me any “stuff” I wanted. I spent months writing affirmations and elaborate paragraphs while waiting for my dreams to arrive at my door like pizza delivery, needless to say, none came.
It is common that initially as some of us begin the awakening journey, we are actually driven by the fears and lacks from unfavorable life circumstances such as a disabling illness, a divorce, a prolonged painful circumstance, a loss of a job or the death of a loved one. Going from that note, it is completely natural of us to expect some sort of tangible outcome that includes better health, more abundance, healthier relationships or some mystical encounter as a result of doing this work. We also live in a society where the idea of instant gratification is so embedded in our collective psyche that until we release that belief, we will always be placing terms and conditions around everything we do.
Conscious manifestation is a crucial component of awakening and there is absolutely no reason to deny ourselves of the dreams we have. After all, this is why we are here, to evolve and create! However, the beginning of the awakening journey always consists of the resurfacing of lifetimes' worth of repressed emotions, trauma and unconscious beliefs waiting to be processed and integrated. It is especially tempting at this stage to bypass the intense emotions and force ourselves to focus on only positive thoughts so we may attract the desirable outcomes into our lives.
Contrary to how rushed we feel, this is the time to slow down, practice presence and allow the emotions to come up and come through. You will get to manifest soon, I promise, but the conscious mind must be in complete harmony with the unconscious mind for any kind of positive thinking or affirmations to work the way they are intended to work. Without having released the unconscious and deep-seated limiting beliefs, the vibration of those beliefs is the invoice we are writing to the universe and we will receive what we put out. The practice of medication or shenpa can be helpful in assisting anchoring us in the present moment.
2. Things May Seem Worse Before They Get Better
Awakening has to do with deconstructing, as well as reconstructing our relationships with the self and the world. Yes, it can be a chaotic process when all the bricks and stones that made up our perceived world suddenly collapse one after another. On some days, it may be a few cracks on the wall whereas on the other days, the entire roof suddenly comes down.
Change can be uncomfortable because it requires us to navigate the unfamiliar, but it is the mind that labels it positive or negative. Without letting go of our judgment and resistance to the chaos, both acts only strengthen what we are trying to release. The chaos takes place because our old world was built on misaligned beliefs and an illusive perception of the self. So in order to build a new world where the true self can expand and spread its wings, the old one must first crumble. Depending on how much we identified with our mind, or ego, the ego may be putting up battles in surrendering its control before it can learn to take on a new role during this transformation - the role of being an instrument to carry out the divine will of the true self.
We are now being shown every illusion we were holding onto, and are asked to begin practicing exercising our power of freewill with the understanding that as the observer of the thoughts, we alone are in charge of the quality of our experiences. Know that there is nothing we need to do but simply be and allow this to take place without forcing it to be one way or another. If things get too overwhelming, focus on the moment to moment decisions we can make to stay fully conscious of what is taking place physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
I like to engage in a meditation of senses where I simply focus on the sensations of one body part before I move onto the next. It can be done anywhere and it allows us to be present with ourselves.
3. Walk Through the Shadows
There is no light without going through the dark night.
Sooner or later, usually sooner, every single belief that held us hostage and made us unconsciously give away our power gets reflected back to us by the most accurate mirror in the universe – life. As the entire old world is being taken down by our shifted vibration, we are standing before the naked truth of how much power we gave away in playing the victim, the rescuer, the survivor, the follower, the abuser, the seductress, the ruler, etc. There is neither anywhere to hide, nor do we want to hide though it may seem to be the easier way out, except the only way out is in, and through.
It can be frightening to process the pain and violation of the misleading beliefs we lived by, and of how much we compromised our own worth in order to be someone we were not so we could be accepted by others. Along with the belief of low self-worth which manifests in every area in life, there are usually beliefs of lack and separation that come up simultaneously. We begin truly seeing the connection between our beliefs and the realities we have created for ourselves.
In examining and processing our beliefs, the energy of fear is also being stirred as everything we have ever denied, repressed, projected, rationalized and disassociated from is now being revealed as we go into the dark psyche within ourselves. That part of the unconscious is the place where we store all the energetic data from past memories that we were too uncomfortable to face, and it is common to experience emotions such as anger, shame/self-loathing, grief and guilt as these layers are being processed. The work done here is referred to as shadow work. Many turn to counselors, healers and spiritual guidance at this time if they have not done so earlier.
In order to emerge out of the shadow land, there must be integration between the conscious and the unconscious. This is a continuous process (and can be a rather long one with many different layers that every time when we feel we are done, another layer emerges) that involves the embracing rather than the fighting of what most frightens us. I cannot emphasize enough on how important it is to allow ourselves to feel each emotion and not rush to feed ourselves with concepts such as “love and light,” “all is well,” “I need to feel positive,” “acceptance and perfection,” "I am here to change the world," etc. These pieces will come later as a genuine byproduct of having done this work and integrated the disconnected parts within ourselves, but there is no use to force anything because it will backfire.
This is the work that we must do because there is no escape from the shadow. Breathwork is a wonderful tool to process and integrate. Some people also turn to energy healing as well as plant medicine. Personally, I believe shadow work teaches us to completely embrace and love every part of ourselves without any pretence, a concept that most of us struggle with.
4. Find a New Tribe
The feeling of loneliness is a common “symptom” of awakening. Suddenly we no longer fit into our old world and even if we are with the same group of people in a familiar place, we feel out of place like a sheep with rainbow colors.
For the first time, we are establishing a sense of Self – not the self that was the innocent child favored by our parents and teachers, the romantic hero who was always on a mission to rescue, the sympathetic soul who never considered her own needs, or the type A control freak who was obsessed with perfection, but the Self of “who am I” that stretches beyond the archetypical roles we took on without questioning. We often feel alienated from, and struggle with personal relationships established prior to our awakening. Suddenly our families, partners and best friends no longer seem to understand who we are since the energy of our realities no longer matches theirs.
It does not necessarily result in the physical separation from our tribes. For the most part, it just means we are no longer investing our energy into the same set of beliefs or trying to fit in while we allow our tribes to be who they are.
If we have not yet completely let go of our disempowering beliefs, some of us may feel the need to compromise ourselves for the sake of pleasing others while others attempt to wake others up by pushing them to engage in the same activities that have helped us awaken. When I was at that stage, I tried to shove “Conversations with God,” a series that helped me tremendously down everyone’s throat.
Note that all of these are still the echoes of the ego since the ego excels in protecting, judging, projecting and controlling. Rather than focusing our energy on changing our old tribes, take this time to examine what kind of programming we internalized from them. Are there elements (ethnical, cultural, religious, etc), traditions and values that we unconsciously agreed to carry that no longer serve our highest good? How attached are we to the tribal mentality, and how much have we questioned the validity of it? How often do we say to ourselves, "What will they think of me?"
Some of us rebel at this stage, but rebellion is merely another form of resistance, or the attachment to something we wish to free ourselves from. Though we are developing our individuality for the first time, we are all social beings who thrive when we can consciously contribute to a group that empowers the individual as well as the collective under a shared vision. So rather than reacting out of fear and anger towards our old tribe, use this energy to find, or build a new tribe that supports our new beliefs.
Being a part of a nourishing tribe is an empowering piece in the journey of awakening as like-minded souls gather and support each other. It is also a beautiful experience when we can let our guards down and share unconditional love with ourselves as well as others.
The easiest way that has worked for me and others while looking for a tribe is to simply put the intention out there and be in full receptive mode. It is a miraculous experience when people literally appear out of nowhere to support our journeys. Some people also find connections through, or create their own online groups, local gatherings and trainings.
Whatever you choose to do, trust me, the universe wants to support you every step of the way, and that agreement has never been broken.
5. Release & Transform the Collective
After awakening, for a period of time, our efforts are solely focused on ridding dense beliefs from our own energy fields. Later on, there will come a time when we notice the impact the collective energy has on us.
For anyone who is unclear on the influence of the collective, just picture walking into a situation where there is intense anger or fear. It usually takes extra focus for us to not get pulled into the drama. I remember reading about the “collective pain body” in Eckhart Tolle’s books years ago and had an intellectual comprehension of what it was. It was not until the later stages in my awakening journey when it caught my attention again. No matter how much self-healing I performed, there were a few stubborn fear patterns that wouldn’t lessen and there have been no incidents in my life that contributed to them.
One day, it struck me to "broaden my search" and look into my family energy patterns. When I did, I was given images and insights on the trauma and persecution experienced by the women that passed long before I was born in my mother’s lineage and how the energy passed down. Furthermore, that energy of victimization in my mother’s line added to the collective “female pain body” as described in Tolle's "The Power of Now.” The more I tuned my consciousness into it, the more expansive the energy became until it revealed a collective energy body from all the women throughout the history of humanity who have experienced victimization and the visions of witch hunt were especially highlighted.
The strand of the “female pain body” then flows into the “collective pain body” that is activated and embodied by all human beings on this planet whenever they perceive themselves to be suffering until they become fully conscious and unplug themselves from it. Every time when we react to our external circumstances and place blame on anything for the quality of our own experiences, we are feeding energy into the collective pain and every time when we disentangle ourselves from the illusion of powerlessness, we are assisting in transforming and raising the collective.
Similar to the other “painful” experiences in our lives, the "collective pain body" is not here to destroy us, but to wake us up. From having communicated with the energy, I can only speculate that prior to birth, each soul has purposefully chosen the gender, a set of ancestral patterns and biological parents along with specific events and experiences to maximize its opportunities to fulfill its mission in that lifetime. However, until full awakening kicks in and the ego is set aside to make room for true self/soul embodiment and the conscious execution of free will, we will always be identifying with, activating and feeding into the collective pain.
I recommend Tolle’s teachings if you wish to explore more about this topic. There are different modalities such as breathwork, visualization, hypnosis and past life regression that can be used to facilitate the releasing from that collective energy and the process feels like a magnified version of the individual shadow work discussed earlier. I find it better to do this work while an experienced coach, healer or shaman is holding the space so the facilitator can tune into this space and assist if needed.
6. Take Care of Yourself Before Taking Care of the World
Many of us, inspired by our own awakening have also awakened our divine mission to spread the light and help others awaken. We become healers and teachers driven by the desire to share our experiences so others can liberate themselves from the old paradigm.
Allowing ourselves to become the vessels to inspire and service humanity is absolutely fulfilling and empowering. However, if we do choose to do so, it is also essential for us to continue our own awakening journeys for the simple reason that our services are always an extension of our own energy, or beliefs.
Every decision and action either stems from fear or love. If we desire to help others because we see them as broken and incapable, that desire comes from fear. If we long to take away others’ pain and feel responsible for altering their external conditions so they can stop suffering, we are still coming from fear. If we come from the place of control and we are seeking to be viewed as powerful or special, it is again fear-based. In all these cases, we have more self-healing to do as it shows our attachment to the misaligned beliefs in which we built our old world on. It also demonstrates a lack of trust in the divine intelligence that orchestrates our lives.
Without having first done the work to integrate light and dark, or “good” and “bad” within ourselves which are duality concepts belonging only to the physical dimension, we can easily become triggered and frustrated when we experience others’ shadows. This can lead to judgment, resentment, fear, lack of self-management, or struggle with holding space for another because our ego still wants to intervene. The minute we do so, we are no longer centered in our own vibration and can easily take on others’ energy which can perpetuate the victimhood cycle and unconsciously magnify the energy of the "collective pain body."
The more awakened we become, the more we are in the position to hold sacred and nonjudgmental space for others in which the role of an awakening teacher or leader, like any role, no longer identifies us. We do the work out of internal love and joy without being attached to a certain result or having to change someone and something. We see the perfection in all beings and conditions at this present moment and understand they are always evolving. We most likely still choose to join causes that resonate with our energy so we can participate in conscious evolution and community building for the planet, but the driving force behind our intention has shifted from fear to love, from wanting to force our beliefs and will onto others to empowering them while respecting their paths and choices, and we can apply ourselves to the tasks with more clarity and light.
This is a very subtle internal shift that may not result in any external change in the roles we decide to take on. We are still actively assisting others and applying ourselves fully, but we are doing so without the participation of our own ego. Being a clear channel or a spiritual alchemist who does not disempower others by taking on their responsibilities requires self-mastery.
If this is where you are, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this work? Am I doing this in order to fix or escape from something? Do I see the world as a broken place? Is my joy or fulfillment dependent on it?” Chances are, if you are completely honest with yourself, you don’t even need to ask to know whether it is from fear, or love.
7. Establish Trust with Universe While Anchoring Between Two Worlds
We embody the dual expressions of the universe – energy and matter. While our physical body is matter which is visible energy with slower frequency, we are also surrounded by a network of subtle light bodies that is invisible energy with much higher frequency. Before awakening, we solely identified with the physical and were not aware of the other aspects of our multidimensional existence. As we are working through our energetic baggage stored in the lower chakras (energy centers) that are responsible for the manifestations in the physical world, at some point, we begin ascending to the upper chakras that transcend this time and space dimension.
It is quite natural to feel ungrounded, or neither here nor there as we are adjusting our vibration and becoming more conscious of the energetic aspects of who we are. Perhaps for the first time in our lives, we truly know and feel the divinity that resides within us and that we are Source, manifested in physical form.
We begin paying more attention to synchronicity and our intuitive knowing. Both have always been there, but for as long as we were holding onto the powerless beliefs in the lower chakras, we either were not aware of them, or could not trust them when they showed up.
It can be tempting to bombard ourselves with all kinds of teachings and channelings, some of us also become obsessed with cleansing the pineal gland and developing intuitive abilities. All these methods are no more or less effective than others with the reminder that all of us are born intuitives; and for many of us, the reason why we either felt we could not access or trust our intuition has less to do with the pineal gland and more to do with the fact that we never performed internal house cleaning. For as long as we identified with only the physical, it was our tendency to need, as well as demand divinity to show up in some spectacular fashion similar to a Vegas light show. That in itself is a belief that can clog up the pipes or simply make us not see divinity in front of us.
As we continue the awakening journey, we begin to realize divinity is not a separate part of us and it shows up every second of every day because we each have an internal divine guidance system. When we can completely surrender ourselves to the belief that nothing can break our intimate and loving bond with infinite consciousness because we are it, we begin to trust completely, and that trust becomes a knowing that we are, always and forever supported by Source.
Relax and ground yourself to earth, you are Source Energy in a human body having a little fun on earth. The more you can be present, the more powerful and clearer of a channel you can become to perform the tasks your true self sets out for you.
8. Step into Your Truth & Self-Responsibility
One of the most painful aspects of living an unawakened life was the lack of authenticity. We never felt comfortable with being who we are and as a result, we not only squeezed ourselves into socially acceptable roles to receive approval, but also forced ourselves to lock up anything uncomfortable in the shadow part of our unconsciousness. Our own powerlessness led us to play the endless blame game that made everyone else responsible for our lives.
After awakening, we are becoming more centered in our own power and learning true self-expression with everything we think, say and do. This is when self-mastery really comes in with the understanding that power does not come from any form of external or internal control, rather, it is about taking 100% responsibility for every experience we create.
Taking responsibility means the complete dismantlement of the victimhood mentality that dominated our lives. We can no longer hold any person, situation, event, past life, or entity from another dimension accountable for the quality of any past, present or future experience because we understand we are the creators of our realities. It does not mean to turn a blind eye on the things that are not aligned with our highest ideals in this world; it only means that nothing outside of ourselves can make us anything unless we have a matching frequency from a limiting belief that allows it to disturb our inner peace.
No one can be a conscious creator and an unconscious victim at the same time, these two roles are mutually exclusive and whichever role we take on is determined by whether we are giving away our power or staying centered in it. The ability to step into our truth includes owning those areas in our lives where we are giving ourselves the permission to be the victim. Once we shine a light on those areas, we can engage our full consciousness and free will to choose a different route, and take back our power. It also involves speaking our truths, and acting from a place of divine knowing that aligns with our true selves without feeling the need to conform or justify.
9. Lighten up
At some point, the heavy lifting shifts into fine-tuning and everything we struggled to be or do becomes second nature. We no longer see the previous steps as painful but they were all part of the journey. Even if we may still be experiencing some of them, we welcome them with open arms knowing we can experience them any way we choose, and they can even be fun and hilarious if we choose to experience them that way! The irony is the more we immerse ourselves in, and surrender to each moment without a battle, the smoother the path becomes. We understand there may be more layers to peel off, but it does not make where we are any less ideal or valuable.
We truly stop seeing the destinations in life; instead, we embrace everything life has to offer. Even when life shows up as less than perfect by our human standards, the divinity that is not bound by physical and mental limitations or time and space in us understands there can only be perfection without having to rationalize, repeat affirmations, write gratitude lists, etc. We simply know that it cannot be any less than perfect, and from there, every thought becomes effortlessly and naturally filled with joy and gratitude in which the state of inner peace that is now synched with universal consciousness is no longer a product of a certain thought or action but rather a source for everything in life. The journey stops becoming a race where we are eager to get from point A to point B, time slows down until past and future cease to exist and the only thing we are left with is an eternal moment of Now where all versions of realities co-exist.
Life becomes a fun game when we live from our immortal and infinite nature with light-heartedness. We stop taking ourselves and the world so seriously. Consequently, we can easily shrug our shoulders to let go of, or find humor in any situation. This is also when we experience the most divine love, grace and complete Oneness with Source.
We finally understand that throughout our lives, our vibration is always mirrored back to us in physical form. We begin intentionally aligning our energy with conscious creation because it is fun and it allows us to fully play with our free will as the powerful creators we are. We also know that we are technically not creating anything as everything that can be imagined by the human mind already exists in the quantum field of infinite possibilities. In the end, all we are doing after we have gotten rid of the false beliefs of “I can’t,” “I am only human,” “there isn’t enough for everyone" and “I am separate from Source” is to lighten up our vibration so it becomes a match to, and retrieves that reality we are looking to create. Our lives become guided purely by inspiration.
We say to ourselves, “What a brilliant agreement we’ve made with Divinity!” By creating a simulated dream field in which each part is self-aware, contains the whole, and can exercise complete free will, we must hold ourselves responsible for walking this Path of Light in order to remember our divine power. But the only way for us to convincingly participate in this agreement is to choose to forget our power at birth and arrange for a series of circumstances to be experienced by us that force us to “fail” and be “victimized” in life so we can remember to take back the creative power that was always ours to reclaim.
None of it is a punishment. It is, and always will be, a gift of knowing Who You Truly Are.
In the end, the journey comes back to the Self since ultimately, Self is Source as declared by all spiritual teachers throughout history in the powerful and ancient statement of “I Am.”
Welcome home, Beloved!
“You are not just a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in the drop.” - Rumi