I have been guided to expand on the stages of awakening that were assimilated by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. She was a pioneer in her day exploring the attitudes, attributes, mindsets and philosophies of people that were nearing the end of their physical life. She recognized a pattern that people were experiencing, and I feel that the stages of awakening that she discovered are analogous to where our current understanding of the stages of spiritual awakening are today.
Awakenings come into our path in various situations and opportunities during our journey here on earth. Some awakenings are gradual, like a caterpillar emerging from its cocoon to become a butterfly and some are instantaneous, like in a near death experience or avatar-like transformation. Regardless of how the awakening occurs, it is inevitable that it will occur, either while still physically focused or upon re-emerging back to source into non-physical.
There is no skipping of stages of awareness and awakening, as each one is pertinent and part of your pathway. So regardless of where you may recognize yourself or others to be, trust in the process and stay present and with an open heart. After all, we are all magnificent expressions of infinite awareness!
The first stage is denial – Often times this can be referred to as unconscious incompetence, not knowing that you do not know and rejecting anything that goes counter to general consensus, group-thought thinking or opinions. At this stage it is common to discredit another’s perspective as we dislike the thought at having possibly been misled and it is easier to “diss” than to discuss. Most of us have started at this level at some point in our journey as we were conditioned to believe what we had been taught and encouraged and rewarded for those thoughts. Mind knowledge was emphasized and heart knowing was briefly considered and quickly dismissed. This is most often the stage of disproportionate acquiring, focusing and accumulating material goods, be it clothing, food, properties, gadgets, financial portfolios, cars, vacations, etc. and an overall exaggerated attachment to career achievements, social status or possessions.
The second stage is anger – This is similar to what some people may have experienced when they realized that they were living a lie and living to someone else’s beliefs and standards. Wanting to be accepted was part of the conditioning and when you started to comprehend that you were deceived in your beliefs, you want to strike out. Anger is just a cover for the fact that you experienced being emotionally injured for having allowed yourself to be taken advantage of. A lot of energy is discharged in this stage and it is usually the shortest stage albeit an intense one. Most often there are a lot of tears that are shed in this stage too, which is a good thing as tears help to wash and heal our emotional wounds. There is a grieving process that happens in this stage as well; grieving for the old you, the old relationship, the old career, the old what used to be important and significant, and all the while the new you is slowly beginning to emerge.
The third stage is bargaining – Once you’ve finished discharging your energy, you will calm down, refocus and endeavour to reach out to anyone who will listen to tell them what is happening in your life. In reaching out, you are seeking guidance and comfort in your experience and your path. You journey for authenticity and clarity continues to expand exponentially and detailed thoroughness and profound understanding of your life purpose becomes paramount. People who are still in the first stage will refer to you as being delusional, fanatical, hyper focused or even extremist (if they only knew the journey that is going to unfold for them – smile!).
The fourth stage is depression – This is by far the most challenging and uncomfortable of stages and where many beautiful souls get stuck and often times send out a beacon of pulsing desire to be removed from their experience, yet they must feel their way through and can no longer think their way through. This is where the deep heart activation takes place and it truly is a coming into the proverbial home stretch, the runners last mile, yet it feels like perpetual quicksand! Feeling stuck between worlds is a common sensation as you haven’t completely released the old and yet you are longing for the new. As human beings, we love to be progressing, evolving and advancing yet this one takes time because there is so much to process, review and release, so that the final healing and transformation can take place. I often times refer to this stage as the transitioning; you are not quite where you need to be in order to experience serenity, peacefulness and openness to receiving, but you are almost there – integration of the stages is but a heart beat away!
The fifth stage is acceptance and awareness – Welcome home and welcome to spirit! You will know that you have arrived, as the progression of creating wise choices from your heart centre for yourself, and not for others, will generate substantial positive personal results. Finally you deeply love, honour and accept yourself exactly as you are!! These characteristics and natural way of being, support your behaviour, thoughts and actions, and bring about even more positive transformations in your life. People will start to notice the graceful elegance in your being-ness, the sparkle in your eyes and the gentleness of your heart as your self-confidence and poise returns to a presence that is experienced through the heart. The compassion and appreciation of others that you will exude will become unmistakable and evident. Those that “used to know you” will ask what has happened to you; they will tell you that you’ve changed and that you’re different. And ironically, those that once did not want to hear about your journey (as you were previously stuck somewhere between the second and fourth stages) will be ready to listen.
One of the greatest challenges to becoming totally free, aware and awakened is to be able to think independently from everyone else. The conditioning and cradle to grave programming that we have received has left many stuck in a world of being told what to think but not how to think. And, going a step further, we need to re-member how we feel, because feelings are the language of the soul.
We are all in shift-phases and stages of shedding our proverbial cocoons, our thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve us, and experiencing this awakening on a very profound level. The stages of awakening are in their totality bringing each and every one of us slowly, one step at a time to our path of spiritual growth and lifelong learning. The experience of spiritual knowledge, awareness and awakening is a joyful one.
Be easy about the stages of awakening and most of all, love where you’re at and love everyone for where they’re at – it’s as simple as that.
Leaving you with peace, love, understanding, awareness and wisdom (and of course, big hugs and butterfly kisses).
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” – Rumi
“When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she had always been. But she had wings.” – Dean Jackson
“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” – Lao Tzu