If you have been around the block a few times, like I have, then you have experienced some form of spiritual restlessness. I remember how scared I got the first time I experienced this kind of anxiety because it came so unexpectedly. For years I had been tailoring my life to the expectations of my mentors, but the emptiness began to feel inside slowly overtook my consciousness.

At first, I resisted listening to and adhering my inner desire to live a greater life, for my ego is quite stubborn. This resistance created a conundrum because, although I fantasized about being adventuresome, deep down inside, I didn’t want to take any chances. My mistaken desire for comfort and safety was commanding this resistance.

Fortunately, our spirit does not stop with our rejection. It is relentless in its pursuit of our growth and it will use an arsenal of strategies to get our attention.

Ways your Higher Self seeks your attention

1) Your life bores you.

I am reminded of the time I visited the Louvre Museum in Paris to see the Mona Lisa. I stood in line for an hour to see da Vinci’s famous painting until I finally got the chance for a view. After gazing for more than fifteen minutes at Mona’s legendary smile, I moved on to see the other wonderful art at this museum. Moral of this story; even a priceless masterpiece is not enough to capture your attention for the rest of your life.

Hanging on to your daily sameness is like standing in front of the Mona Lisa for years, you will get bored. Curiosity is the tool your spirit uses to learn new things. If you persist in living in a state of boredom, you will shut down your sense of inquisitiveness. Time to open that spigot back up.

2) You persistently pursue distractions

Rather than sit and face your dissatisfaction and/or boredom with their life, I know several people who throw themselves at any activity that comes their way. They never stop, they never take time to reflect. They race from one event to the other and collapse in bed every night. Have you allowed your career, kids, church, hobbies, etc.  to take over your life in this way? If so, this is keeping you from truly living.

3) You are addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, etc. 

An addiction is like Number 2), except you have turned over all of your power to the substance or habit (like a sex compulsion) at the center of your obsession. If you are addicted, nothing else matters to you as much because you are self-medicating the emptiness inside with the temporary high you get from your addiction. You know you are addicted when your life is planned around obtaining the desired substance or on how to easily engage in the activity of your addiction. Example; you know the location of every liquor store around you and their hours of operation.

I realize shedding an addiction is a hard thing to do, so I don’t mean to sound flip about this, but this is no way to live.

4) You feel as though you are slowly vanishing.

With each passing day stuck in your rut, you have a sense that something inside of you is disappearing. Every day you feel further and further from your true self. It is like watching a sandcastle slowly melt with each incoming wave. One of the saddest things I witnessed throughout my career was seeing people become living cadavers at their desk by refusing any assignment out of their comfort zone. If this is you, then it is time for your resurrection.

5) The things that used to give you joy no longer do.

There is a numbness growing inside of you, it is like a slow rolling fog. The hobbies, friends, TV programs and activities you used to love are now lackluster. You don’t know where to turn to bring some vitality back into your life. You are being called to look inside.

6) You lack energy to do anything. 

Endless nights of restless sleep often come when you are experiencing your “Night of the soul”. From these sleepless nights come a sense is of overwhelming fatigue. As of now, you stopped going to social gatherings, meeting friends, or gathering with old acquaintances. Family gatherings drain you, so you just stay home. You have trouble concentrating on anything and you possess a short attention span. Is this fatigue permeating your life?

7) You know the way everybody sees you is someone you are not.

Your parents see you as the kid you once were, your coworkers as the person you show at work. Friends view you as the individual they first met. But you realize you have changed, and this frustrates you. Fear keeps you from showing them who you really are, so you play along with their fantasy of you.  Adding to your woes is that you have lost confidence trusting anyone with the real you because you fear they will be disappointed.

8) You think your life is a mess, nothing is like you wanted it to be.

It is a mystery how this happened to you. Somewhere along the line you got off life’s highway and lost your way on some winding, narrow, isolated road. You do not understand how to find your way back and you doubt you ever could.

If you are suffering any or more of these eight life stages, you need to make some life changes.

A call to action

A call from your soul is like a fire alarm going off inside you that will not turn off. You can try to medicate yourself with an addiction, ignore it, distract yourself with activities, etc. but it will not stop until you heed its warning, or reach the inevitable psychological collapse from ignoring it.

This call to make changes does not necessarily mean you have to sell everything, give it to the poor and join a monastery in Tibet. It also does not imply you must quit your job, divorce your partner, or move to another country, although, it could mean these things at some point. It may not even involve a change in your material world, this may just be about changing your perceptions and beliefs.

The most important thing you can do when confronting any of these eight experiences is to face the fact your life is not working.

This call to change is different for all of us. Some of the changes may be more difficult than others. If you are suffering from a chemical addiction or depression, more than likely you will need professional help to deal with it. For others, the changes may need to start small by engaging in activities that make you a little uncomfortable. I use what I call making these small changes “Engaging in Desperado”; saying yes to all invitations (as long as they don’t endanger my life). I would not be writing about these things if I had not experienced some of them myself, so take heart, if I can do this, so can you.


If you have been taking residence in one or more of these eight stages, this means your Higher Self has been persistently trying to get your attention, but you have ignored this invitation for quite a while. Acknowledging that you are being called to open your life to new possibilities is a necessary first step. When you do, trust the Universe will lead you to the answers and help you will need.

As always, wishing you a life filled with joy, love and serenity.

Photo by Richard Lee on Unsplash