So you’ve been devoting months, years, or perhaps even decades of your life to your spiritual practice.
But unlike physically tangible pursuits, there’s no easy way to know if you’re ‘making progress’ or not when it comes to your inner spiritual life.
If you’re wondering whether you’re actually growing and evolving and whether spiritual growth is indeed occurring in your life, keep reading.
What is Spiritual Growth?
Spiritual growth is the process of awakening to your true nature, purpose, and potential. When you undergo spiritual growth you experience an expansion in awareness and insight, also known as higher consciousness.
All spiritual growth has one objective: to help you embody your Soul or Higher Self. Once you are able to shift from ego to Soul, there is the potential for you to experience what is understood as spiritual enlightenment, self-realization, “heaven,” Oneness, or moksha in varying degrees.
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Spiritual Growth: 12 Signs You’re Growing and Evolving
Here are the major signs that you’re growing and evolving on a spiritual level:
1. You embrace challenges as lessons and opportunities
Whether your car has just broken down, or someone you love is terribly ill, you sense that there’s an underlying lesson and opportunity in the obstacle before you. Instead of feeling like a victim, you feel like a student of life. In other words, you see that life is not happening to you, it is happening for you.
2. You see through the seduction of the material world
Once upon a time, you might have loved buying expensive things, focusing on enhancing your social status, earning more money, or even indulging in spiritual materialism. But now, you understand that the material world doesn’t ultimately bring you the deep happiness you seek.
3. Your sensitivity has heightened
In the past, you might have been living in a numb state where you were disconnected from your body, heart, mind, and soul. But now, you are a great deal more aware of what is going on inside and around you. As such, you might experience more empathic suffering, which can often feel like both a curse and a gift.
(If you can relate to this spiritual growth sign, see our book: Awakened Empath for more guidance!)
4. You feel more love and compassion (for yourself, others, and the world)
With heightened sensitivity, you also feel more connected to yourself and the world. You may feel higher levels of compassion and true empathy for others – even those who are harmful to themselves, others, and the planet. Your open heart brings you more joy, but also more pain. And yet, your heart is slowly learning how to expand and hold that pain.
5. You stop seeing life in black-or-white dualistic thinking
If you’ve been taught anything by your spiritual awakening, kundalini awakening, or dark night of the soul, it’s that there’s more to life than meets the eye. Something that may seem negative may turn out to be positive. Something that seems beautiful may actually be ugly deep down. Everything and everyone have two sides that are interdependent – nothing is totally black or white.
6. You can show more understanding toward difficult people
Because you can see underneath the surface of a person’s behavior – and the various wounds and traumas that may have caused them to misbehave – you no longer carry as much anger or resentment as you once did. You find it easier to show tolerance and understanding toward others, no longer reacting with as much judgment, condemnation, or self-righteousness.
7. You see that life is cyclical and like a spiral
Instead of getting stuck in one mode of being or mindset, you’re beginning to see that life is cyclical. There are good times and bad times. After spring comes autumn and after day comes night. All things are destined to come and go, rise and fall. As such, you don’t get as affected as you once did when life waxes and wanes – it’s just part of life and the journey of Ensoulment.
8. You become less attached to mental stories
The more you become acquainted with your mind, the more you recognize that thoughts, ideas, and beliefs don’t actually define you. Instead, these mental occurrences are like clouds that float into the sky, and then eventually drift away. When you attach to mental thoughts and beliefs, you suffer. But when you recognize that your thoughts and feelings don’t define you – instead, you are the vast Consciousness beneath them – you find it easier to let go and find a sense of inner peace.
9. You find it easier to slow down and do nothing
Our thinking minds are always wanting us to “do,” “get,” “achieve,” “go-go-go!” but the soul, the spiritual center of our being, finds true nourishment in slowing down and enjoying life as it is. If you’re finding it easier to wind down, or at least catch the desire to constantly be “switched on” and change course, this is a clear sign of spiritual growth.
10. You are more interested in letting go of the old than gaining the new
As an ongoing student of the Tao Te Ching – an ancient wisdom text from the Taoist tradition – the topic of letting go constantly arises.
Among many verses on letting go, verse 44 packs quite a punch:
One’s own reputation—why the fuss?
One’s own wealth—why the concern?
I say, what you gain
is more trouble than what you lose
Therefore, a huge part of authentic spiritual growth is the capacity to be not only accepting of letting go, but actually preferring it to “gaining more.” The desire to accumulate is from the ego, but the desire to surrender and be free is from the soul.
11. You have more capacity to be discerning
Spiritual growth is not just about experiencing love, bliss, and expansion – although that is part of it. As we deepen and mature, spiritual growth is also about the capacity to think clearly and distinguish truth from falsehood. This ability to use the mind like a sword is what is known as spiritual discernment.
12. You can access more moments of ‘ordinary magic’
While it’s normal at the beginning of the spiritual journey to want glitch, glamor, and exciting sparkly experiences, the more we grow, the more we recognize the beauty of what is already here, right now. This ordinary magic can be accessed whenever we are present, grounded in the Now, and connected with the heart and soul.
Keep in mind that the above list isn’t exhaustive. Furthermore, you don’t need to check every single box to be experiencing spiritual growth. Recognizing yourself in even just one of the above points signifies that you are indeed experiencing transformation instead of stagnation.
I hope this article has been of help to you. If you think I’ve missed out on any points, I’d love for you to share them with me below in the comments!