Soul Work: It’s a Process. Seven Phases of a Spiritual Journey

Once we are captivated with the bliss of the spiritual world, we soon grow disappointed when our lives don’t immediately change. Soul work is a process and has many phases from absorption phase, individualization phase and purge phase. We learn to document our experiences to record our progress and purpose. As we come to the end of this path, we realize all we must do is let go and receive all the miracles in our life.

It is easy to become enthralled with the spiritual world. Once we encounter a blissful feeling, we are hooked. We can’t get enough as if addicted to a drug.

Problems occur, however, when we haven’t manifested the miracles we desired. We grow frustrated and impatient. We doubt the work we have done. This is not the end of our soul work; this is the ending of a phase and into the next.

What helps to understand is it will not be the same experience throughout one’s spiritual journey. There will be up hills and down hills, there will be divergence from the path, there will be times we come to a crossroads and we scratch our heads confused which direction to take.

Here are seven phases to help encourage our spiritual journey:

Absorption Phase

Ah yes! It feels so wonderful to soak in all the spiritual goodness. We go to yoga, meditate, listen to guru podcasts and buy so many crystals we sit on top of a mountain of good intentions. At times we feel as though we can’t get enough. We soak it all in, never wanting our blissful bubble to burst, but alas, it will.

What happens when it does? When what we wish to manifest doesn’t transpire, we grow disappointed. We stop going to yoga, our meditation practice becomes heavy and well, crystals gather dust. We lose faith and hope.

It is important to understand, this absorption phase is not about bliss, it is about knowledge. No, we are not enlightened. We are merely immersing ourselves in wisdom. Everything and everyone offer us lessons. Once we begin to understand our own inner alchemy, it is time to move onto the next phase.

Congratulations. We have graduated, and as a student in school, we say goodbye to our teachers and masters to walk our own path.

Individualization Phase

There is a saying: Nothing grows under a big tree.

And we do not continue to grow under the branches of our masters. The best teachers will set us free and give us a little push into the spiritual world. It’s our work to do alone.

This phase comes with trust in ourselves. We are, as all gurus and teachers, spiritual beings. Developing our own practices doesn’t mean we give up our teachers and gurus, it means focusing our energy on what specifically works for us. This is why we bathed in it all. Not because it felt so good, but because we need to discover what speaks directly to our soul.

Soul work doesn’t come with a one-size-fits-all handbook. There is not one path and not one workshop where we will find eternal bliss. When we have developed the confidence to go it on our own and create our own practices is when we have reached this phase. This could be developing our own yoga practice, meditation practice. It could include sound baths, crystals, teas, oils...anything that takes us deeper into our work.

Purge Phase 

Often there is this idea that spirituality must feel good. This is a fallacy. There is good, bad and ugly...very ugly to spirituality. This is when we have to access our inner demons, which are keeping us from manifesting our miracles.

This phase takes courage, because this is where many retreat back to the bliss of the absorption phase. However, this is where transformation occurs. Purging all our issues from this lifetime and past lives is what will free us. It allows us to overcome all that has been holding us back. While it can get dark, it is indeed magical. Don’t fear the darkness, as there is a brilliant light beyond.

Documentation Phase

This cannot be overstated enough. When we sit in our bliss (or struggles), it all evaporates into the cosmos soon after the practice is over. Ever experience the buzz of a good yoga practice, or the bliss of a good meditation sit and then a few hours later, we’re back to becoming grumpy guses? We all have.

Writing down our experiences on paper, creating an artistic expression, or perhaps recording digitally, we don’t just see our soul lessons clearly, we can use it as a reference to come back to again-and-again. We can refer to this as a book of our soul. Once this becomes part of our practice, we can track our transformation to see our progress. This can be extremely empowering and it moves of us into the next stages of our life.

Surrendering Phase

Yes. Surrender. Let it go.

It’s not that we have to let go of our spiritual practice or forget everything we documented. There will come a time when our soul work becomes irrelevant because we succeeded in “being.” We are here. We have arrived. We are in the present.

Living a spiritual life doesn’t mean we are absorbed in the bliss phase forever and it doesn’t mean we will be constantly wandering in the darkness. It means we have come into unison with our soul, our unique being and we find peace with the world at large – so much so, we no longer have to absorb ourselves in deep spirituality. Yes, this is the paradox, it is a peaceful one of acceptance of what is around, the very world we tried to escape in the absorption phase.

In this phase we realize nothing in our life has changed, yet everything in our life changed. We have changed...we have transformed.

Allowing Phase

This is a truly amazing phase when we can sit with no expectation of what is to come, because we have grown confident whatever comes our way is meant to come our way.

And yet, this can be incredibly hard. We, as a society are not conditioned to receive unless we work hard. So, when our little voice tells us to stop, stop working, it feels incredibly uncomfortable. However, when we sit with in unison with our soul, we are amazed at what comes our way.

We are no longer disappointed when we don’t manifest those major miracles in our lives, but appreciate the mini-miracles that happen every day – an old friend reaches out to us, we receive a smile from a stranger or an unexpected opportunity.

Spiritual and soul work isn’t about living a life without strife. It isn’t about being “woke.” It truly is about acceptance to our current reality and our place within it. It is coming to find our unique journey and mission in this lifetime and how we can serve others. It’s simple, it’s subtle and is ultimately sublime.

Jennifer Ott is the author of many novels – fiction and non-fiction. Her latest WIP, "Arise My Tribe" is the story of a past life ancient Celtic healer who weaves her tale through that of a modern woman going through a crisis of the heart. Jennifer’s first entry into the spiritual world was the study of Nada Yoga. Since then she has studied a multitude of meditation styles, spiritual philosophies and multi-cultural shamanic ceremonies. This holistic practice of spirituality aided greatly into the journey of soul discovery to realize the burden of past life karma.

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