So if you're experiencing psychospiritual/ transformational crisis, don't assume you're crazy. Tell your story to someone who will listen, an experienced coach or counselor who understands the nature of spiritual transformation. ("Spiritual Emergency: When 911 Can't Help")
In the post from my Out of the Box Self-Coaching Tips blog where the above is cited, I encourage anyone on a path of deepening self-awareness to reframe a rapid, forceful shift in perception as a "good" thing, so it doesn't necessarily become destabilizing.
Anyone helping clients loosen ego bonds, personality patterns, and defenses also needs to be on the alert for spiritual emergencies that may turn us upside down, but also lead to deep, positive change.
These major shifts from "normal" reality may appear in a variety of forms, many of which I've experienced in myself and/or seen in some of my own clients.
Becoming more familiar with the deep changes that are possible can help you hold steady when your clients experience one or more of the following:
- Powerful sensations of heat and/or energy pulsing through the spine, sometimes accompanied by an embodied sense that "something big is happening -- I don't know what!"
- A peak experience, mystical sense of awe, or feeling within profound love.
- Awakening of extrasensory perception, including precognition and telepathy, increased occasions of synchronicity or more than usual "coincidences."
- Feeling "possessed" by an archetype, a heretofore unknown and unfamiliar persona.
- An initiatory crisis, the sense of self as a "wounded healer" -- facing into our deepest wound to receive its blessing.
- Experiencing what we commonly know as "the dark night of the soul," a sense of something dying and not knowing what's on the "other side," even questioning one's own sanity.
- Similar to a peak experience but a more profound feeling of being at the center of or part of the cosmos.
If you're interested in a personal assessment or to delve further into these concepts, check out The Questionnaire Measurement of Spiritual Emergency (scroll through to Appendix).