The arrival of a new level of spiritual awareness can be as gentle as a slight breeze, in fact, almost beneath the level of our noticing. It can come as a perception of what is not, rather than what is.
For example, a pain in the heart that has been there for a long time can suddenly feel like it is off in the distance. Or a sense of anxiety that has traveled with us for a long time can suddenly be missing. The absence of what has been can be a signal, as much as anything else, that a new energy has entered the picture that is creating changed inner conditions, and this can be true even though its source is unknown and even though nothing special may have happened to bring it about.
Similarly, there may be subtle, unexplainable feelings of well-being - a noticeable absence of irritability concerning things that would have been distressing to us just a short while ago. Or, the presence of humor over things that previously did not at all seem funny. Or moments of unexplainable joy that have no external basis. These things, too, can signal the presence of a new vibration having entered the heart.
No one characteristic describes what an experience of spiritual reality is like since it is different for each person. Yet what happens, optimally, in each case, is a validation of the experience so that it can receive a place within our awareness that is hospitable, rather than being treated like an intruder or as a stranger who has come to the wrong house.
Behind the subtle movements of energy that can produce the effects which alter and transform us inside is God's light and love. The power of this love is such that it can penetrate even the most difficult and entrenched systems of belief or habit, and, when invited into an open heart, can create softness where there was only hardness before. This love does not come to us, today, because we sit in a church, temple, or mosque in order to pray, although these conditions can magnify the experience. It comes to us on the street, in our homes, while asleep, and in ordinary conversations with others that we might not have paid attention to otherwise. It comes because it is a time of light and love ascending upon the earth, and change is in the air.
In the presence of the new, the smaller self may feel reluctant to give credence to what is happening out of self-doubt or out of fear that it will go away. In the midst of such concerns, it is important to know that even if the new awareness diminishes or disappears entirely for a time, it can never entirely disappear, for what has been experienced once, is now and forever part of us. It will return to unfold the deeper reality of who we are, even if it appears to be absent for a while.
When the mind is surrendered sufficiently to allow something to take place that is beyond its control and beyond its measuring, and when the heart is open, then new experience can enter quietly like the sun piercing through mist on a summer morning, dispelling the vapors and creating a new vision that is more open - a vision that reveals a different reality behind the fog and mist.
The way that opens to spiritual reality is known to the soul. It is only to our smaller self that it appears unfamiliar. When heart and mind are willing, the doors of consciousness can open to embrace the new and can remain open to receive whatever the inflow of light and love will bring.