Human beings are gifted with the potential to create meaning in our lives. Integrating the wisdom of our soul lessons helps us evolve and become more fully awake and co-create our lives with an intelligent universe.

Soul lessons are what arise when we pause and create space to integrate the meaning of an experience in our lives. When we consciously ask the questions, What did I learn from that experience? What happened to me? 

Soul lessons always expand our hearts and cultivate love, self-compassion, inner peace, and other life-affirming expansive states. We know that soul lessons are being integrated into our lives when we experience a greater degree of authentic happiness.

I had the most profound experience with my little Granddaughter, Brooklyn one summer that showed me that we are meant to create meaning around what happens to/for us. Even 2 years olds naturally feel the need to integrate soul lessons.

Our family was out in a boat in the middle of a lake. I had little Brooklyn nestled in my arms when out of nowhere a huge wave engulfed the boat. I held her tight as the water threatened to either sink the boat or toss us out. Within seconds I knew we were fine and Brooklyn started to cry from the sheer shock of it all. After some reassurance and snuggles, she quickly settled and we marvelled at what a “great adventure” that was!

I’ll never forget what happened after the initial shock wore off. For the next few days, Brooklyn asked me the same question repeatedly, “Nana, what happened to me?”

She had an instinctual need to create meaning around what happened to her. It’s like her little soul knew what it needed. She needed to create meaning so she could integrate the experience and then move on.

A few days later, she hopped back into the boat and courageously sat upfront again where the incident had happened. She had processed the experience and felt safe. She could move forward.

This natural instinct to create meaning exists in all of us!

For me personally, I feel like the last 10 years have been nothing but soul lessons. It’s like I had to make up for all those years that I lived pretty mindlessly. But once the soul starts to awaken, there’s no turning back. Although it’s been challenging for sure, I wouldn’t trade one of my soul lessons.

Here are my top 10 soul lessons:

Spiritual awakening means that we’re beginning to see glimpses of our dual nature.

Awakening is a pivotal time in the evolution of our consciousness when we realize that we have both a lower nature which is our personality and a higher nature – our soul.

Our personality, or the small self that I often call it is made up of our body, emotions, and mind. It’s the container that houses our soul and through which our life force energy flows. For many incarnations, we basically live like we’re sleepwalking through life. We’re like a machine being animated by our personality that we assume is who we are.

When our soul starts to awaken we begin to wake up from our trance and realize that we have a personality, but that we’re not our personality.

If we’re not our personality then who are we?

We’re a soul that’s connected to an intelligent life force that’s housed in a personality.

The struggle and suffering that many of us experience in our lives are a result of not being in the right relationship with our personalities and our soul. Awakening is really about coming into the right relationship with our lower and higher nature.

Physical and emotional symptoms are indicators of our spiritual health.

This lesson goes way back to the ancient wisdom we gained from philosophers like Plato who said,

Before all it’s necessary to look after the soul, if you want the head and the rest of the body to function correctly.

It was this lesson that triggered my awakening to a deeper sense of myself and the healing that resulted. I wasn’t listening to my soul and following my own path and this manifested in physical issues – my stress hormone, cortisol was the symptom of a misalignment with my soul.

Cortisol was a physical messenger that from a medical perspective was to be diagnosed and treated. From my soul’s perspective, it became a source of inspiration to make some changes in my life. It’s what led to my meditation practice and the realization that when our soul awakens we’re called to be of service to something greater than ourselves. When we don’t respond to the call, our physical and emotional health will suffer.

Living a life that is true to our soul requires courage.

When we’re following the soul nudges in our lives, it often requires that we go against the norm and our conditioning. This call to live in alignment with our deeper truths feels right AND often feels uncomfortable.

When we’re following a life that feels true to our inner North Star, it may not be readily understood by others who may have different values.

It’s helpful to learn how to navigate fear and to know that there’s a difference between the fear that keeps us stuck and the fear that is in service of growth and becoming our true selves.

One fear keeps us tight in a bud, the other fear enables us to blossom.

Relationships are meant to help us grow, not complete us or make us happy.

A few years ago I experienced what can best be described as the dark night of the soul. It’s a spiritual process of radical change and transformation whereby we come home to our true selves.

After we’ve experienced it as an individual, we are often called to undergo a similar process in our relationships (marriages). This past year my 30-plus-year marriage went through a similar dark night of the soul.

It was challenging because we needed to shed outdated beliefs, conditioning, and identification with our roles to connect at a deeper level – the level of our hearts.

It required that we grow into a new way of being together and the emergence of a new model for our relationship.

The traditional model for relationships is for completing each other, whereas a spiritual relationship is for growth and supporting the other to become their true, most authentic self.

With an increasing number of awakening souls, creating new models that propel us towards growth needs to emerge.

Focus on living a meaningful life and authentic happiness will arise.

I’ve always been inspired by the Dalai Lama and have spent many hours reflecting on what he says about happiness and the purpose of life:

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.

For the longest time on my spiritual path, I felt like I was doing something wrong. I had gone through a period of time when I felt lost, confused and like my life felt meaningless. Although I had no religious background, I could really resonate with the spiritual process of the dark night of the soul.

As I began to pay attention to this, I was able to discern the difference between the happiness our small self (personality) is forever seeking, and the authentic happiness that arises when we’re in the right relationship with our soul and something bigger than ourselves.

Authentic happiness arises when we can feel the full range of our emotions and our hearts are open to life. When we’re in the right relationship with our souls, we’re graced with moments of authentic happiness.

Our life is fueled by either authentic power or personal force.

I first heard of the idea of authentic power in Gary Zukav’s book, The Seat of the Soul. Authentic power is what we use when we’re harnessing the will of our soul to bring forth our higher ideas into manifestation.

In contrast, we use personal force when our personality is running the show and we’re trying to force or make things happen in order to meet the needs of our small selves.

When we really pay attention to how the different energies feel inside of us, we begin to notice that power feels like we’re in the flow of life and although it may be stressful it feels like meaningful stress. We have a sense that something is meant to emerge through us and we’re paying attention to our higher promptings.

When we suppress this authentic power we feel like we’re not thriving and lose a sense of vitality.

Force feels like stress that saps our souls. It feels constrictive and it’s the type of force that causes stress that over time can negatively impact our physical well-being and leads to burnout.

The purpose of life is to discover and come into the right relationship with ourselves and life itself.

All spiritual traditions and ancient wisdom point to this truth. Because our eyes and focus of attention are naturally outward, shifting the gaze and developing the capacity to look inside ourselves is a whole new way of moving through life.

It’s an unfortunate truth that this shift from the outer to the inner doesn’t usually happen when things are going really well in our lives. It’s when life feels hardest that the opportunities arise to come into the right relationship with both our personality and our soul.

Coming into the right relationship that honours both our soul and personality has a lot of moving parts. It involves coming into the right relationship with our work, relationships, money, health, past, the present moment, and future potential. It must start however with the journey inward to learn about ourselves.

As with all great relationships, the first step is getting to know ourselves. Who am I? What makes me tick? What is holding me back from fully thriving in my life? 

These questions are the beginning of creating a life that honours our unique path and greatest gifts.

Change what’s going on inside of you and the outer aspects of your life will change.

For many years I had it the other way around. I had a subconscious belief that when the outer circumstances of my life felt in control and pleasant that I would be happy.

Science and our souls are teaching us that it’s the other way around. When I create inner alignment and evolve my consciousness then my outer circumstances will change.

As an example, if I want to change my relationship with my spouse/partner I need to first work on changing myself. And the first step in changing ourselves is understanding ourselves. When we develop a nourishing relationship with ourselves that honours our deeper self as opposed to our small self, our outer relationships with change. This doesn’t mean it will be easy, it just means it will be possible.

To learn our soul lessons we need to learn how to sift, shed, and shift.

Our experiences aren’t just things that happen to us. This concept has been particularly helpful when it comes to the beliefs that I carry around – both conscious and subconscious.

Sifting involves the process of contemplation and the ability to observe ourselves and our lives in action. It enables us to discern what we’re meant to “see” and sift for the lessons before just letting them go.

Shedding involves releasing beliefs, resentments, people, patterns, habits, etc. that prevent us from moving forward and evolving.

Shifting means changing the way we behave, think, feel, and our energetic footprint.

We get stuck because we can’t visualize an inspired future version of ourselves.

This soul lesson came into my life after I had been meditating for a number of years. In addition to daily spiritual practices, I had done the work in therapy to integrate my past and had developed what I would humbly say was a personality that functioned pretty well. And yet even with all this “work” I was feeling stuck in terms of fulfilling what I was starting to see was my soul’s calling.

That’s when the wisdom of the Enneagram psycho-spiritual soul map came into my life. The Enneagram provides a path and the insights necessary to come into the right relationship with our personality and our soul.

Armed with this level of self-awareness we know exactly how to integrate intentional practices in order to become our future best selves.

I invite you to spend some time reflecting on what your top soul lessons are. What is your life trying to teach you?

If you feel called, please comment below. Our community would love to hear from you!