Spiritual Awakenings & Veganism as a Spiritual Path
“In the midst of darkness, light persists.” – Mahatma Gandhi
I think most of us can agree that 2020 has been a challenging year on many fronts. But yet, it’s also a time of awakening for many, a time of clearing away old patterns and stale beliefs that no longer work for us. We are being given a chance to change the way we live. We do not have to choose to go back to life as it was before.
If there’s a silver lining to this year it’s that, for many of us, we’ve been forced to actually slow down. To perhaps get more clear about what our true priorities are, to perhaps reset our lives in a new direction, one with more meaning and joy – on an individual level and collectively.
Life is so fleeting and so precious, and yet so many of us have gotten caught up in the incessant demands and expectations of the modern, hurried, materialistic world. Granted we all have to make a living. But maybe we’re realizing that we’ve spent too much time focused on things that don’t feed our souls. And we’re welcoming a change.
Many of us are awakening to new thoughts and ideas, to new ways of being. And some are undergoing a Spiritual Awakening of sorts.
So, what exactly is a Spiritual Awakening and what does it look like, or feel like?
In essence, Spiritual Awakenings are the ‘soul’s cry for freedom’ and a search for more meaning in our lives. To transcend our egos and merge with something greater than ourselves, with the Divine. The yearning to scratch beyond the surface and eschew the mundane aspects of life define these awakenings. We are no longer just interested in material pursuits but rather thirst for freedom of thought, purpose, peace, and the truth.
Tapping into our spiritual selves we wake up to the fact that we are so much more than just this physical reality. We questions old beliefs, habits and social conditioning. We feel the need to align with something larger than ourselves and our own individual needs. We develop a greater sense of wonder…of life, of nature, and the mystical.
We begin asking the big philosophical questions like “Why am I here?” and “What is my purpose?” We begin to feel more connected to everything – to others, to animals, to nature, to the universe. We are yearning to evolve, expand, find our truth, live a more authentic life and reach our full potential.
On a personal level, I experienced a Spiritual Awakening after I made the choice to go vegan.
Veganism and spirituality are intertwined in many ways. While many people choose to go vegan after they experience a Spiritual Awakening, for me it was the opposite. I experienced a Spiritual Awakening after going vegan. My whole outlook on life changed when I made the decision to be vegan. I became much more aware and conscientious as a person. While I was always a nature and animal lover, I was not living in alignment with my truest values. By making the decision to stop eating meat and all animal products, I began making connections to everything in my life and to my place in the universe.
My compassion and empathy for others grew exponentially. I felt an immediate responsibility in doing my part to protect and be a voice for the innocent farm animals and this beautiful planet we call home. I felt the interconnectedness of all of us on this planet and the universe. As time has gone on, I have felt an incredible lightness of being that was never there before….because I’m now living in alignment with what I truly believe. That animals are not ours to eat or use in any way….they are to be loved and cherished like all sentient beings should. I know this in the core of my being.
Living vegan and eating plant based has been so healing for me on every level. I feel great knowing that I’m putting high vibration plant food into my body. The term ‘we are what we eat’ could not be more true. Eating plant food that’s alive affects our energetic beings on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. It literally raises our vibration, as opposed to when we eat the dead flesh of an animal (that did not want to die). On the other side of the coin, eating animals that suffered and died in a violent, traumatic way literally becomes part of us and negatively affects our spirits.
This is why many people who have gone through a Spiritual Awakening choose to no longer eat animals. It does not align with their values or energy any longer. This is why many make the conscious choice to choose a compassionate, plant based way of eating – one that benefits the animals, Mother Earth and their own health!
A ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ sometimes precedes a Spiritual Awakening
Sometimes, we go through what’s called a “Dark Night of the Soul” (a spiritual or existential crisis) before we experience a Spiritual Awakening. People sometimes undergo difficult transitions before they awaken to a deeper awareness and perception of life and their place in the world.
During this time, people can feel lost, sad or hopeless. They may feel alone and despair over the state of the world. They may lose faith and interest in the things they used to love doing. They may even feel like they don’t belong in this world. It is similar to depression but it is more philosophical and other-based in nature. It is essentially a shedding of the ego so that Soul can come forth. When this process is over, life opens up again.
For those that are highly sensitive to the suffering of others, it is possible that they have gone through, or are currently going through a Dark Night of the Soul. I would bet that most ethical vegans have gone through a Dark Night of the Soul.
Do Spiritual Awakenings happen all of a sudden?
Spiritual awakenings can happen at any moment or time in our lives. They can occur out of the blue or be triggered by a major life change such as an illness, divorce, death of a loved one or another major change. Or they can be a more gradual process.
There are many signs that show up when we undergo a spiritual awakening, ranging from emotional to spiritual to physical.
Below are 21 signs that may arise during a Spiritual Awakening –
- Craving more meaning and purpose in our lives
- Questioning what we’ve been taught….seeking the truth
- Feeling alone in the world
- Materialism and success no longer hold the same meaning
- The desire to ‘purge’ and declutter our lives
- Having a deep sense of empathy and compassion for others, including animals
- Craving solitude, being a lone wolf
- Experiencing anxiety and/or depression
- A desire to make the world a better place
- Intuition is heightened
- More synchronicity occurs
- Developing a sense of wonderment and curiosity about the natural world
- Loving unconditionally
- The realization that we are all connected
- Our senses – sights, sounds, smells, etc may become more intensified
- Changing sleep patterns – too much or too little sleep
- Vivid or bizarre dreams
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Gaining or losing weight
- Changing eating habits – a desire to go vegan
- Decrease in energy or immune function, temporarily, and then more energy
We are all interconnected. Our thoughts and beliefs influence reality. We are all fragments of one great Whole – that is, Spirit.
Sending love and blessings to all those who are currently awakening, have already awakened, or who are about to awaken. Stay strong and have faith…. there is so much beauty in this world and endless inspiration to be found.
“The dark night of the soul comes just before revelation. When everything is lost, and all seems darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed.” ~ Joseph Campbell