Rarely does a person have a spiritual awakening without first experiencing spiritual crisis. Unfortunately, the journey through spiritual crisis can be an uncomfortable, painful one. Many of us have an interest in exploring spiritual realms via studying history, world religions, and mythology as well as practicing activities such as meditation and yoga. However, those explorations may not necessarily prepare us for or cushion us against the actual experience of spiritual crisis or bring us to a spiritual awakening. Spiritual crisis and spiritual awakening are more often precipitated by a significant event in a person’s life rather than manufactured through study or practices.
Spiritual crisis involves all parts of ourselves – physical, mental and emotional. Sometimes, it can be really confusing as to what is actually happening, especially because of the physical component. The first step for many people experiencing physical discomfort or pain is to consult with their health care provider. If organic reasons are ruled out, the physical signs and symptoms could point to spiritual crisis. Because of the emotional intensity in spiritual crisis it’s often mistaken for just prolonged emotional upset or sometimes judged as “drama”. It is usually difficult to intellectually articulate spiritual experiences. Sometimes we can come close using emotional language to communicate our spiritual experience to others. While emotions do play a large and often uncomfortable role in bringing us to spiritual awakening they are just one aspect of how to navigate through a complex spiritual experience.
My graduate degree is in counseling psychology with holistic studies emphasis. Holistic studies focuses on inclusion of mind, body, and spirit within counseling psychology. I have many years of experience exploring mind-body-spirit practices such as yoga and meditation. I have worked with the dying and those grieving a death and other types of losses. For many years, I have been familiar with and studying addiction and how spiritual awakening can emerge from the depths of suffering and despair. I have been told that I seem to have a talent for providing a generous, safe environment for those who are navigating through their unknown, hard-to-describe internal territory.