Congratulations! If you are reading this article:
- You or a loved one have had a spiritually transformative experience, and/or
- You are open-minded and curious
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 an STE? It can be triggered in different ways; there might be one big cause or a number of smaller ones that culminate in an STE. 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.
The keys to internalizing your STE—so these benefits deeply become an integral part of your beliefs and very being—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 because you don’t need judgment or criticism at that time. 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 an STE, but the topic “just never came up.”
2. Realize it’s OK to be different: Some people are worried after an STE 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 good evidence that your soul chose it, so get your moneys worth.
3. 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 (a therapeutic approach designed to facilitate identification with the material and lead to rational insight, recovery, integration and healing). The Soul Proof book and movie are comprehensive, but easy-to-understand sources of this evidence. Visit www.soulproof.com for free articles, radio shows, and newsletters. Two other great organizations that I work with are Eternea and Gary Schwartz, Ph.D.
4. 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, drum circles, chanting or Kirtan groups, meditation and yoga classes, and holistic/spiritual retreats and conferences.
5. 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 an STE, so be gentle with yourself as you get used to your new worldview. 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.
6. 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. Use the help of family, friends, ministers, counselors and others.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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 (www.radiantwellness.com) 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.)
10. 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.
11. Reach for the highest feeling thought: Gratitude, love, joy, enthusiasm and peace are 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. It’s a moment-to-moment choice. Over time, living positively in the golden present becomes your set point. And, that’s when life becomes really interesting.
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, holistic chiropractic physician, clinical psychologist, frequent media guest, and workshop leader who helps you know and show your magnificence in body, mind, and spirit—no matter what is going on around you. Visit his websites at www.soulproof.com and www.radiantwellness.com for free radio shows, e-mail newsletters, and articles. Contact him at email@example.com to schedule Soul Proof Experience workshops for your church/group and ask him your toughest questions.