If you’re in the throes of a spiritual awakening, it can sometimes feel like the world has turned upside down. All of a sudden, you have a new perspective on life, and see everything with a fresh set of eyes.
While this can be an amazing, wonderful experience, it can also be quite scary. It can seem as if everything you’ve known, and everything you’ve worked for, is suddenly in jeopardy.
Not surprisingly, one of the most common questions I get about dealing with spiritual awakenings has to do with your job and career. So, what happens to your career after a spiritual awakening?
The short answer: it’s entirely up to you, but there are a few guidelines you might want to keep in mind…
Nothing Needs to Happen: Choose Your Own Pace and Process
The first, and perhaps most important point to grasp as you’re beginning your awakening process is that nothing needs to happen.
Often, when we first begin to open our eyes, we feel the strong calling of a new way of life. While this is joyful, for some it can also come with a sense of duty or obligation. You may feel compelled to take actions you’re not comfortable with, because you begin to prioritize your spiritual progress over your material world.
The point to watch out for here is why you feel you must act in this way. If your calling comes from a genuine feeling of joy and trust, then by all means proceed with it. However, many people begin to think they should or must behave in a certain way in order to become more spiritual.
The truth is, you are 100% in charge of your spiritual journey. There are many ways to become free from the trappings of an ego-based personality. You don’t have to drop everything and move to an ashram, or donate all of your possessions to the local church.
It is very possible to have a deep internal transformation, and yet still maintain the same job and career you’ve always had. This is especially true if you have always enjoyed your work, and find it meaningful and fulfilling.
After all, being a spiritual person includes operating within the modern world. The only question is how you choose to do that. I discuss some of these paths in more detail in this post: How To Start a Spiritual Journey: Modern Paths to Enlightenment.
How To Deal with Work during a Spiritual Awakening
Nevertheless, when you do have a strong awakening experience, you might find your external circumstance no longer seem to fit with your new beliefs and outlook on the world.
There are a few guidelines you might consider:
It’s Ok To Take Space
The first is that it’s ok to take space. For many people, awakenings occur in times when they don’t have to deal with the normal routines of daily life. Getting out of your normal habits can help you to break the mental thought patterns you’ve developed for most of your life, and begin to see from a fresh perspective.
This is why spiritual retreats and extended periods of isolation can be so powerful. They shift your attention to the inner world, rather than the outer world, and give you the time you need to have a spiritual breakthrough.
This time could be a week-long vacation, or it could be a sabbatical of six months or more. The choice is up to you and what your circumstances will allow.
When In Doubt: Keep Your Job
While you may feel called to a new experience of life, think twice before you make any major life changes, such as quitting your job, moving to a new city, or leaving a romantic partner.
Spiritual growth can be a time of upheaval, and you may find that while this growth challenges you in new ways, the stability of having a steady paycheck or familiar partner is ultimately a benefit.
That said, many people will find they desire a change. If you feel a strong calling towards a new career, go with it, and don’t be afraid to take the leap. My point here is that if you doubt what you should do, or are in any way unclear, it may be best to remain with a stable situation until you gain further clarity.
Trust Your Intuition
At the end of the day, however, spiritual growth is about learning to move in greater alignment with your intuition. Once you become clear about how to follow your intuition and receive inner guidance, you can begin to make decisions in accordance with that guidance.
Trusting this new form of knowledge takes practice. Over time, you may find it leading you into new work opportunities and jobs you had never previously considered.
You will know if and when it’s time for a change based on this intuition. When you feel a positive sense of expansion and fulfillment, you will know you are on the right path. You will begin to visualize your own success, and the right choice will appear obvious to you, and the universe will begin to conspire in your favor.