There is no one definition of spirituality or specific path that an individual must follow. While we have stereotypes about what it means to be spiritual, a person’s spiritual journey can be extremely diverse, and might not look like the path of a master.
That said, there are a few common characteristics of spirituality, that apply to many individuals who have experienced a spiritual awakening, or, at the very least, begun their journey with a conscious intention.
Ready more about starting a spiritual journey and the many modern paths to enlightenment.
In this post, I’ll explain the top 3 spiritual traits you might expect to see.
3 Characteristics of a Spiritual Person
1. Awareness of The Self
The first characteristic of spirituality is a heightened awareness of The Self. By “self,” I am not referring to the individual personality, the “you” you think you are and have identified with your entire life.
Instead, this Self is impersonal in nature. A spiritual individual often recognizes that this incarnation is but one drop in an ocean of his true nature.
This feeling often comes as a feeling of stepping back, and observing your own actions and interactions with the world as a curious exploration, rather than becoming dense and getting embroiled in the minutiae of day to day life.
This leads to a more lighthearted nature, and higher degree of peace and joy, which leads us to our second characteristic…
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2. A Practice of Peace, Joy, and Unconditional Love
As you pursue a spiritual path, you will inevitably develop a much greater feeling of joy, peace, and unconditional love for yourself and everyone around you.
Your physical senses will heighten as you become more mindful, and the simple act of moving through the world will begin to feel like an ecstatic, remarkable experience as you learn how to be present and live in the now. Flowers smell richer, the sky looks clearer, and everyone you encounter appears beautiful and radiant.
This transition does not happen overnight, but is often a process that you develop through consistent practice of loving kindness and compassion. It is a choice to experience joy, peace, and love. A spiritual person will prioritize this choice, even if it means sacrificing physical and material aims.
3. Focus on Non-Physical Goals
A spiritually-minded person recognizes that physical goals are never the true aim of any life experience. Instead, their focus shifts to immaterial goals.
This does not mean that in order to be spiritual you have to renounce all of your material possessions and move to an ashram. While that may be an appropriate path for some, for others, their idea of spirituality can align with earning lots of money and owning luxurious toys.
The distinction rests with where the person places his focus. Spiritual seeks rarely want to have money for the sake of having money. Instead, they have set a non-physical goal, which will often engage and enhance their own spiritual pursuit. They see material possessions and physical experiences as a side effect of their more fundamental aim.
In other words, while the physical aims become less important, they do not necessarily disappear. Instead, it is a matter of priority, and the reason why a person pursues their aims.
To understand this point further, read more about what happens to your career after a spiritual awakening.