We just know when something has shifted within us. We feel different. A transformation has begun to take place, but we may be struggling to find the right words to describe what exactly is happening.
When we put energy into our personal development, a path of deeper meaning and greater realization emerges. Perhaps what we once assumed as part of our everyday routine has now become questionable. Maybe the way we approach and solve problems has taken on a new direction. Things that once brought us joy no longer seem fulfilling. We may notice the reactions we receive from friends and family reflects back to us how much we have changed.
Below are 10 signs that you may be spiritually progressing towards living a more truthful life.
1. You start thinking from a higher consciousness.
The path to spiritual progress brings a shift from living in the subconscious mind to living in the superconscious mind. In other words, you notice yourself going from an automatic existence to an intentional & authentic life. Instead of using mental energy to find more instant gratification, you may begin spending more time thinking about how you can do seva (service) in this world. Your personal ambitions may have shifted from gaining material wealth to expanding your spiritual understanding. You may no longer entertain negative thoughts about others, but instead hope they find the lessons they need to in this life. Since all of our actions stem from our thoughts, when we move into a higher realm of thinking, we begin living a more expansive life.
2. Your actions & words are not motivated by ego.
You no longer feel pressured to prove your self-worth. You do not allow yourself to succumb to the competitive game of showing how well liked, intelligent, successful, wealthy, etc. you are, compared to others. Instead, the way you live your life serves as a testament to the values, habits, & priorities you keep. You also realize that differences of opinion and opposing viewpoints are not personal attacks. Having done the inner work, you understand that degrading others, calling them names, and violent speech are all forms of defense against the ego. Instead, you recognize that we are all products of our life experiences and any strong beliefs we hold are a result of everything we have undergone.
3. You know what is good for you and you actually do it.
All of us know the difference between good and bad, healthy and unhealthy, positive and negative. We know we shouldn’t be spending copious amounts of time on the Internet, checking email and social media, but we still do it. We know we shouldn’t be leading sedentary lifestyles, but many of us still don’t include exercise in our daily regimen. When we know things are harmful to us, why do we still do them? When you are spiritually progressing, you don’t allow past behavior, unhealthy habits, or laziness get in the way of any changes you would like to make. You take ownership over any negative choices you may have made in the past and work towards improving your situation. You find ways to replace old, harmful patterns by slowly developing new, healthy habits.
4. You have gained insight into human behavior.
Since you are continually doing the work to know yourself better, you have come to a greater understanding of the universal emotions and behaviors of human beings. Those who are spiritually progressing come to see the world from a different vantage point than most others. You may start to notice how most people live on autopilot, not tapping into their highest potential, and are suffering as a result. You may have begun to notice how we all have similar needs, wants, and desires in life. We all want happiness, to feel appreciated, and be acknowledged. Instead of using this insight to hurt or manipulate others, your sympathy and compassion grows, enabling you to connect with others on deeper levels.
5. You realize your potential.
You don’t limit yourself or put restrictions on your abilities, instead you think big. You realize that we all have the potential to become powerful human beings, if only we allowed ourselves the time and space to tap into the confidence that exists within all of us. You no longer ask yourself the question, ‘can I do it?’ Instead, you ask, ‘how can I do it?’ You are able to envision your path clearly, follow through with goals you have set for yourself, while remaining flexible to any unexpected circumstances. Your inspiration lies in the belief that with hard work, discipline, and perseverance, you are capable of manifesting ideas that may have only once seemed like dreams.
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6. You have better impulse control.
You may start to notice that as you spiritually progress you slowly become less reactive and more responsive. You seem to have more control over your mind, quickly recognizing when you wander off into a chain of negative thoughts and being able to actively bring yourself back in to balance. You also find that you are able to stay focused for longer periods of time, increasing your ability to concentrate on the activity at hand and remain in the flow.
Personally, I have noticed that during meditation when I hear my phone ring/vibrate in the other room, I am able to stay focused, instead of wondering who it may be, if they left a message, and why they may have called. A while ago I wouldn’t have believed that was possible! It is quite amazing! This has started to flow into other parts of my life too. For instance, I able to recognize when anger starts to arise within me and get to the root of it before it becomes full blown.
7. You are more selective of your inner circle.
You have become more particular of the people you choose to become friends with, as well as those you choose to let into your physical space, such as your home. You realize everyone carries different vibes of energy with them, made up of their individual attitudes, dispositions, and experiences, and this energy affects us on the most subtle levels. Remaining mindful that energy is contagious, you invite into your space only those that hold within themselves honest intentions. When it may be difficult to avoid or recognize negative energy in others, you have learned ways to create boundaries, while remaining thoughtful and compassionate to yourself and those around you.
8. You forgive.
Those who are spiritually progressing are constantly working on moving forward and do not allow themselves to get stuck in the past. You begin to recognize that holding onto hurt prevents you from finding peace. You have experienced for yourself how resentment leads to an endless cycle of swaying emotions consisting of feeling happy one moment and then becoming angry the next. Instead, you work through whatever you need to in order to find true mental freedom and release yourself from the chaos in your mind, finally allowing yourself to experience equanimity.
9. Your happiness comes from within.
You may find yourself having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude from everything to running water, to being able to have time for yourself, to enjoying nature. Things that you once took for granted are all of a sudden gifts from the universe and bring you an indescribable joy. Little by little you find that your happiness is no longer dependent on things outside of yourself, such as people or material items. Rather you are beginning to know yourself well, finding confidence within, and remaining committed to this path you have chosen for yourself.
10. Everyday becomes a bit more challenging…in a good way.
A common myth exists that those on the path to a truthful way of living do not experience discomfort, doubt, or uncertainty. Many people believe that those on this journey have found the secret to eternal happiness, spending the rest of their days glowing from the peace that they have found. However, you know that the exact opposite is true! Instead, things become a bit harder.
It takes a great deal of reflection to recognize pain from past relationships and even longer to heal from the hurt. It takes time to break bad habits and adopt healthier ones. It takes asking many questions and years of searching for the answer to know our true selves. However, how many people can say that they are on this path? There is a difference between knowing what we have to do and actually doing it. You are doing it! Any time we decide on self-improvement, it won’t be an easy task. This requires undoing our ingrained patterns and ways of thinking. All we can do is start the process and continue with patience, kindness, and understanding. Be proud of yourself everyday for trying again and again, bringing that positive spirit to each day, and knowing that change can happen in any moment.