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  • Writer's pictureJo Johnson

Hitting the Spiritual Wall

Building Self-Awareness: Part 2

Hitting the spiritual wall while trying to build our self-awareness is NORMAL.

man kneels before a colorful brick wall with a heart with an eyeball painted on it to represent hitting the spiritual wall and building self awareness

You know what hitting the spiritual wall is? That’s fear and the ego trying to make me forget my self-awareness and talk me back into my comfort zone, disguised as a namaste nicety. “Seriously Jo, you should slow down and smell the flowers. You work too hard. You are just fine here, sitting in the grass, holding Greg’s hand and feeling the sun on your face.”

And, yes, it is 100% true that I need to slow down and breathe. We all do. Regularly. Like we did on this day 👇🏼!

man wearing camo with arm around his wife while they stand on a rocky outcropping looking out at the Pinnacle Mountains in the Monashee Range near Cherryville BC

But is that what my life is really about? Have I ever been a person who puts a little effort in and then sits back and thinks, Ooooh, I did a great job! Time to just chill for a few years.?

Uhm, not fucking likely.

I’ve never been content to just sit and watch the world do its thing. That’s not me. That will NEVER be me. I want more—I will ALWAYS want more—and that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with wanting more, wanting to learn and grow, wanting to improve myself and my surroundings.

I don’t give a shit what spiritual teachings say about letting go of material things and not attaching to anything.

Fuck that noise.

I like my shit and I love my lifestyle and I’m not giving that shit up so I can be more enlightened by breaking my attachments.

Hitting the spiritual wall can actually be a sign of burn out.

young woman with long, dark hair sits cross legged on the floor meditating with a brown french bulldog beside her working on curbing burnout and hitting a spiritual wall

What’s NOT okay is burning myself out because I think that I can do it all and have it all in a short time. It’s important to remember that this incarnation—any incarnation, anywhere—is about finding balance and, when shit gets unbalanced, everything starts to unravel.

I’ve lost my balance and I’m experiencing that unravelling full force right now and, of course, this is NOT the first time this has happened. My life has been a fairly consistent succession of falling apart and piecing myself back together.

It’s my thing.

It’s how I learn and grow, how I build my self-awareness. I’ve learned that this is my pattern—periods of pure joy interspersed with periods of kaka, tragedy, pain, and huge spiritual growth spurts.

Learn to recognize your patterns before you hit the wall spiritually and burn yourself out.

woman holds mirror up at face level and reflects the field of yellow weed flowers she's standing in, a metaphor of recognizing your spiritual patterns and self-reflection

Our Spirit Guides are our greatest teachers. Listen to them.

However, recognizing, accepting, and finally embracing my pattern was not easy (and still isn’t sometimes), but I had fact, I ALWAYS have help.

This is where spirit guides and dearly departeds come in. They are our greatest teachers and all we have to do is listen to their guidance to find our lives smoothing out and flowing easily.

woman holds lantern filled with fairy light in a sunset field of wheat as a symbol of faith in the unknown

When I died and hung out with my dearly departed mama, we had a very animated conversation about self-awareness. She said that during those moments in life when we find ourselves figuratively beating our heads against a wall, our guides have been trying to steer us down a different path but we’ve simply been ignoring them—deliberately or subconsciously.

And, really, by ignoring our guides, we are also ignoring our gut instinct (which IS our guides & our intuition) and being stubborn AF, just trying to “power through” or ignoring our well-being.

Staying Self-Aware and Recognizing Our Intuition

During these times, when our guides are knocking on our door (aka our intuition is kicking in) and we’re ignoring them, shit starts to unravel. If our self-awareness is "on", we usually start paying attention before we spiral down too far and really fuck our shit up.

And this happens to all of us. Some of us recognize it quickly enough to learn and grow and become more tuned in to ourselves…and some of us are slow learners and wallow down there in the shit for much too long.

I have been there, wallowing around in the shit, too many times to count.

Apparently, I used to just LOVE wallowing down there in the shit, but as the years go by, I’m spending less time down there. Sometimes—during my most aware moments—I’m not reaching the shitpile at all and just the smell of it is enough to snap me into awareness. These are the moments I live for. The moments that help me realize that I actually never have to hit the spiritual wall, AT ALL. But, of course, easier said than done, Johnson.

One small change can change your entire life.

Think of a time in your life when you were absolutely miserable, but then you made ONE SMALL CHANGE and everything righted itself again.

a woman holds a handful of change with a hand written sign that says make a change as a way of showing change can keep you moving forward in life

Perhaps you were in a relationship that was bringing you down or a job that felt like it was sucking your soul. How long did you stay in that situation? How miserable did you get before you lost your mind and got out of it? Or perhaps you’re still in this situation, waiting for a miracle to get you out of it? (Sorry, kids, that’s a whole ‘nother blog topic for a different day...).

And, when you did get out of it, did you notice that, even though that change created some difficulties and new struggles, it STILL felt better and easier than staying in that shitty situation?

When you look back on that, do you feel like smacking yourself in the forehead for staying in that situation for so long? Every time I hit the spiritual wall because I refuse to listen to my guides and make a change, I ALWAYS feel like smacking myself upside the head when I finally DO make a change and the world rights itself again.

Every. Fucking. Time.

And now that you've made a change and life is free-flowing again? If that same feeling started cropping up in your life tomorrow, do you think you would stick it out as long as you did last time? If not, you’re learning and growing your self-awareness. Feels nice, doesn’t it!

Self-awareness is like a well-used muscle. Flex that fucker as often as possible.

My unravellings used to be a lot more epic, and knitting myself back together used to be a long, tedious task. Now, each time the threads start to get yanked out of my soul fabric, I notice them quickly and gently tuck them back in before I end up naked, exposed, and covered in the kaka.

This time around, it took me only one month to become aware that I was beginning to fall apart and, once I became aware of it, only a few weeks to evaluate my thoughts, emotions and physical manifestations and make a plan to restore balance. What used to take months, sometimes years, has become faster and easier because I've been practicing constant awareness and committing to small changes as I go through my days.

What I marvel at most these days is how much easier it is for me to take a step back and pinpoint the areas that need to change or stay the same. I used to get caught up and deeply overwhelmed by the big picture and I could never pinpoint the shit that was causing my issues. Now, when I get all discombobulated, I step back, sink into some heart-focused breathing, shift my attitude, and then focus on the main emotion that keeps cropping up and trace it back to all the areas that cause it.

This is how I stop myself from hitting the spiritual wall and this is how I stay in touch with my intuition.

If it’s a negative emotion, I know that I need to make changes in those areas. If it’s positive, I know that I need to keep that shit up. This is what self-awareness is all about to me—the ebb and flow of recognizing when we need to change something to improve our lives and our mental health.

So, yes, I’m unravelling a bit right now because I’m unbalanced—too much work and not enough downtime, exercise, meditation, and other activities that fire up my soul—but I see it and I’ve already made a plan to change it up and restore that balance.

It will definitely involve more time to just hang out and do the things I love with the people I love, but it will also include a healthy dose of continual learning and growth, work, and ambition.

woman walks along the top of a fence post like a balance beam showing how everything is about balance with self awareness

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