Congratulations! If you are reading this article, you:
- or a loved one has had a spiritually transformative experience and/or
- are open-minded and curious; both are excellent qualities to have
What is a spiritually transformative experience or STE?
It’s a transcendent event that can inspire your beliefs and behavior for the better. Descriptions of it may vary depending upon your religion, culture, etc. but synonymous phrases include:
- awakening to a greater reality
- seeing the Light
- knowing that energy cannot be destroyed, but only change form
- being saved
- realizing the great news that sets you free
- seeing with your inner heart as well as your physical eyes
- activating your upper chakras
- being born again
- seeing with your third/spiritual eye
- becoming enlightened
- realizing there is more to life than meets the eye
- knowing you are one with God/Source Energy/Life right now and always
What causes a spiritually transformative experience?
It can be triggered in different ways; there might be one big cause or a number of smaller ones that culminate in a spiritually transformative experience. Possibilities include:
- near-death experience (NDE)
- after-death contact (ADC)
- out-of-body experience (OBE)
- exposure to violence or catastrophe
- the birth of a loved one
- the death of a loved one—person or pet—especially a child
- an overwhelmingly beautiful nature scene such as sunset, stars, water
- centering practices such as meditation, chanting, sacred dance
- knowing the collective afterlife evidence
- studying enlightening spiritual/religious teachings
- prudent use of entheogens (consciousness-altering plants)
- having loving, intelligent, and aware parents or other caretakers
- being an “old” or advanced soul and never forgetting “the big picture”
In short, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Any experience can be the final piece of the puzzle that helps you awaken to life’s magnificence.
Many benefits can accompany having a spiritually transformative experience. These include:
- Experiencing little fear/grief about your own death and that of your loved ones.
- Greater trust about all the phases of life, even suffering and tragedy
- A deep understanding and peace about life’s existential questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What happens when I die? Why is there suffering? Etc.
- Increased clarity and courage to follow your soul’s purposes and missions
- Peace about life’s inevitable changes such as aging and children growing up
- Feeling closer to and grateful for God/Source Energy/Universe
- Greater appreciation for and care of your body—the temple of your soul
- Resolute knowledge that life is totally safe, purposeful, and forever
- Excitement about an eternity of loving service, adventure, growth and enjoyment
The 12 keys to internalizing your spiritually transformative experience:
These benefits deeply become an integral part of your nature and include:
1. Tell your story, but be selective: You’ve had an inspiring and eye-opening experience . . . don’t keep it a secret! But be wise about to whom you tell. Especially in the early days after your STE, you don’t need judgment or criticism. If you can’t tell any of your friends or family about what happened, that’s a sign that you need to upgrade yourself and/or your support team. An added bonus of telling others: you may be surprised that they too have had a STE, but the topic “just never came up.”
- Realize it’s OK to be different: Some people are worried after a spiritually transformative experience because they don’t want to seem different or weird. For God’s sake! Look around you . . . don’t you think our world needs something different? Embrace your experience! There’s a great chance that your soul chose it, so get your moneys worth.
- Learn the evidence: a vast and varied amount of clinical, scientific, and empirical (based on firsthand experience) evidence clearly shows that everyone is a forever being of consciousness, spirit, awareness, energy. Studying this data can result in a bibliotherapy effect. My book and movie Soul Proof are comprehensive, but easy-to-understand sources of this evidence. Another great resource is Eternea.
- Enjoy time with kindred spirits: Surround yourself with others who have or are awakening to how wonderful and rich life really is. My favorite places to find such folks include enlightened churches (see #6), drum circles, chanting or Kirtan groups, meditation and yoga classes, and holistic/spiritual retreats and conferences.
- Be patient: Becoming a new and improved person usually isn’t an overnight event. It’s a process that takes time and goes through stages. So take it easy on yourself and realize you are like a baby learning to walk. The material world looks very different after a STE so be gentle with yourself as you get used to your new world-view. Also remember that your family and friends didn’t have the same STE so be patient with them. If at all possible, share your insights and transform together versus growing apart.
- Lean on others: No person is an island and now is a great time to ask for help from others. They will be glad to lend it and then, after you regain your balance, you can help others. I’ve found the following to be especially helpful for those who are awakening: Unity, Religious Science, Science of Mind, Buddhism, Native American, Unitarian-Universalist, or other open-minded and heart-centered groups.
- Time in nature: Quiet time surrounded by trees, water, hills, and desert can be immensely healing and instructive. When possible, walk barefooted in sand or grass to release “negative chi” and absorb higher energies. Nature shouts the great news that you are an integral and infinite part of All That Is right now and always. It reminds you that life on Earth is ever-changing but never-ending so you can relax.
- Centering practices: Your brain is an awesome computer but can block your perception of nonphysical realities when it over-analyzes and worries. Centering practices allow you to quiet your mind and remember that life and love are forever. Common methods include meditation, prayer, chanting, drumming, time in nature, gardening, reading, sewing, or playing with pets and children. Regularly enjoy whatever helps you remember that Life flows on within and all around you.
- Holistic health care: When your body is finely-tuned, it can resonate better with your timeless essence. It’s difficult to know and show that you are a forever being when you are chronically ill, depressed, fatigued, or anxious. My book Radiant Wellness shares seven keys to optimal body, mind, and spirit wellness. Use specific chiropractic adjustments, massage, acupuncture, and nutritional healing. (Nutrition Response Testing, Applied Kinesiology, etc.)
- Serve others: Helping those in need is a great way to harness your new energy and understandings. You may have to pace yourself in the beginning, especially if you are recovering from a near-death experience or your child changed worlds. But as soon as you can, look around and see how you can share your greatest gifts and brighten the corner where you are. Everyone involved—especially you—benefits.
- Give thanks: Gratitude—along with love, joy, peace, and enthusiasm—is one of the highest energy emotions. A tendency to focus on lower energy ones—guilt, sadness, anger, bitterness, etc.—is completely understandable after, for example, being very ill or a loved one transitions. But bringing your attention to what you are grateful for is a huge step to mastering this juggling act we call life on Earth.
- Be in the present moment: The more you can stay in the here and now, the more you will remember and feel how firmly you are embedded in a wonderful eternity. At first, it’s a moment-to-moment process: you take a deep breath and enjoy the beauty of a flower or tree. Then you lapse into self-pity because of your unwanted life changes. Then you remember to reach for the highest possible feeling thought and, once again, enjoy a precious moment. Over time, living in the golden present becomes your set-point. And that’s when life becomes really interesting.
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I hope that this article helps you reintegrate optimally after your spiritually transformative experience. As always, feel free to contact me if I can assist your journey to wellness and enlightenment.
Mark Pitstick, MA, DC is an author, master’s clinical psychologist, holistic chiropractic physician, frequent media guest, and workshop facilitator. He can help you know and show that—no matter what is going on around you and even though it may not seem like it at times—this earth-experience is a totally safe, meaningful, and magnificent adventure amidst forever. Visit www.soulproof.com for free articles, newsletters, and radio shows with top consciousness experts. Email Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org with your toughest and most challenging questions about life, death, and afterlife.