A spiritual awakening is a discovery of the truth. It is an opening to our true nature. It is a return from ego illusions into the reality of the present moment. It is many, many things, but it is not bad.

So how do so many awakenings go badly?

Resistance. It’s not the awakening going badly. It’s the person’s total lack of preparation for dramatic spiritual transformation that makes them resist and get into trouble. And for a few people who might actually have been prepared, problems arise from a lot of involuntary resistance that they had no idea was there–and generally speaking, we all have a lot more involuntary resistance than we realize.

In general, it seems like a number of people have gotten into trouble dabbling in spiritual tools that they nor the facilitators of those tools fully understand. Playing around with Kundalini yoga is not advisable, yet it is one of many powerful tools that has been dumped out into the playpen for everyone to use. Occasionally, these tools are going to perform the purpose they are designed for–to wake up someone’s energy.

Furthermore, with so many people on this planet, spontaneous spiritual awakenings are just going to happen. I won’t guess if there’s a higher percentage of people awakening or not, but with 7.6 billion people on this planet, more of everything is possible.

So what do you do if things are going badly and you are one of these lucky few who awaken through the tools you dabble with or by share random chance? Let’s triage the situation.

Different Levels of Awakening Going Badly

Firstly, what I define as a problem and what a lot of other people will define as a problem are very likely to be different. Many people will see any kind of pain or discomfort as a problem and as a sign of things going badly. If someone had been prepared for the shifts that come after awakening, they would not be so confused. But since so much is so freely available and people are piecing together spiritual practices without understanding the bigger puzzle, they’re rarely ready for the intensity that can arise from within them.

Being Spiritually Ready Versus Prepared to Awaken

So here are a couple difficulties that arise during awakening shifts:

  • Mind resistance
  • Emotional disturbances
  • Physical discomfort
  • Energetic shifts

These things are actually normal, and when we surrender to them, a lot of them resolve themselves. In surrender, they’re also easier to process if we need to take a more active role with letting go of a particularly attachment.

However, I am not going to talk about them today. There are over 800 blog posts on this spiritual website, many of which deal with these things. I recommend using the search tool to find answers to these ones.

What’s more in line with today’s topic are:

  • Mental breakdowns
  • Emotional meltdowns (lost in emotions and/or shutting down)
  • Physical conditions caused by inappropriate reactions
  • Energetic imbalances also often caused by inappropriate reactions (like having energy healers try to balance you when something more intelligent is re-structuring you)

Because of resistance, the above four can happen, and they can leave people in some very sorry states indeed.

Resisting Truth and Creating a Mental Breakdown

Awakening shows us the truth. Our ego often doesn’t like the truth. When it holds on really strongly, it can cause a mental breakdown and all kinds of psychological trauma.

Let’s take a very simple situation. A person realizes they don’t want to be married. But their ego tells them that they have to stay in this marriage. The reality that this relationship is entirely unwanted and perhaps even toxic is seen. The ego doesn’t want to see this. So the ego keeps fighting and resisting. The person feels more and more torn and upset. Then something breaks down.

I won’t theorize the different psychological traumas and breakdowns that can happen, but anything is possible. The repair of this particular scenario is surrendering to reality whether it is the above example or anything that the person is resisting accepting. Accepting is part of the essence of surrender, and truly, it is the better option between clinging onto an illusion and/or damaging your mind.

5 Misunderstandings About Surrender

Overreacting and Emotional Meltdowns

A lot of emotions can come out of someone after an awakening breaks open the floodgates of energy. Most people are not ready for that, and the desire to regain control of their emotions can be strong. That desire can block the natural purging of old pain that many people need to do to return to their natural emotional balance. This blocking is like damming a river. The more the river is dammed, the more the pressure builds. This can lead to a total emotional shutdown or a meltdown that leaves a person unable to function appropriately in everyday life.

How to Guide Your Awakened Energy

Additionally, some people overreact to the truths they discover as well as to their emotions. For instance, many people feel fear, and then they get scared of feeling scared. They want the fear to go away, but every action they take is driven by fear. They add more and more fear and resistance until they can’t take it anymore. Once again, people can end up in some terrible emotional states when they respond with resistance.

Also, once again, surrender is the key here, but a lot of breathing helps too. Breathing to intentionally calm the emotions and the body will help to neutralize a reaction. It won’t get rid of the emotions that need to purge. If someone had been prepared for an awakening, they’d be much less reactive to the emotions and can more quickly process them. However, in this scenario, the person is basically learning a spiritual awakening 101 technique to get them out of the total meltdown scenario and allow them to be somewhat functional as the purging continues.

Body Breakdowns

While a lot of amazingly intense body sensations can arise after awakening, the worst damage I’ve seen people have come from their own reactions. Some of those reactions are around trying to resist the inner changes. Other reactions come from their attempts to rebalance or mask uncomfortable emotions and sensations. This means they eat inappropriately, exercise inappropriately, supplement inappropriately, and other such things. They are essentially trying to avoid or soften discomfort, but in doing so, they only make things worse.

The body can breakdown at any level. Everyone’s body is different, and different areas of the body can take more stress than others. That means repairing this level is really tricky and may require significant medical attention. For instance, having an inappropriate diet is really common, and the imbalances caused by eating incorrectly can require at the very least a trained dietitian to help someone get their physical balance back. And when I say, “inappropriate diet,” that includes everything from people who eat way too much sugar and processed foods to the the super “health conscious” who have too much ideology mixed in and have lost the reality that food is supposed to nourish us–nothing more. The body is a very delicate system, and when we really listen to awakened energy, it generally guides us towards greater health, not to any particular ideology about what is or is not right to eat or anything else.

Dietary Shifts and Food Needs in the Spiritual Awakening Process

The repairs needed for a body where there has been lots of inappropriate reactions and resistance can run the spectrum of possible problems, and it can take awhile to heal the body. It’s at this stage that you probably need help from a number of different health professionals and not necessarily from just a spiritual teacher or healer.

Energy Explosions, Bursts, Shivers, and More

The number of different energetic experiences people can have is beyond description, and because they can be so new to a lot of people, many of people think something is going wrong. However, things are actually going right, and people need to surrender to these new experiences. When in doubt, check with a licensed medical practitioner if you’re worried about your body. But if you get a clean bill of health, it’s time to trust and surrender.

Where some people get in trouble along with resisting is when they get some so-called “energy healer” to tinker with stuff. Awakened energy is not to be messed around with! It’s already super intelligent, and your average energy healer has no idea what to do with it much less the wisdom to help direct it further. Even if they do, usually, the wise energy healer does nothing because of the innate intelligence of awakened energy and because the person already has more than enough energy moving through them. If they want someone to make them feel better, then doing nothing is often the only option for an energy healer because to support the awakened energy would likely making things MORE intense as more energy would get directed at breaking down blocks.

In short, most people need to leave this level alone. They usually have more than enough issues and blocks at the mental, emotional, and body levels to deal with if things are going badly. Usually, dissolving many of those other blocks will support the energetic level in resolving itself.

5 Energy States and Experiences

Lost and Confused, But Stable

The ups and downs after awakening can go on for years. Yes, I said years. The shorter ones seem to be about 1 to 3 years. The longer ones that I’ve come across seem to be in the 6 to 8 year range. I’m sure they can go longer, and for those who deeply surrender to awakening, you don’t stop flowing. It’s just that the intensity dies down because so many blocks and so much resistance have been absorbed back into the flow. A river with no rocks in it flows just the same as a river with rocks, but there’s a lot less froth to show you how fast it is flowing.

With that said, some people manage to climb out onto a small island amidst this flow, and usually, they’re pretty fried at this point. They’ve been tossed about, but they resisted so much and were so confused about what was arising that most of the blocks remain within. The initial intensity has died down enough that they can beach themselves for awhile. Unfortunately, bits and pieces of spiritual truth have settled into them, so they can’t really go back to an old way of being. And without the push of awakened energy being as strong as before, they really have no sense of flow. They may feel terribly stuck.

Getting Stuck and Incomplete Spiritual Awakening Integrations

Repairing someone at this state means destabilizing the person again. However, this is rarely a case of just tossing someone back into the river. Since a person may have gone through YEARS of breakdowns, meltdowns, and a lot of other stuff without releasing issues, they’re probably very fragile. So in this instance, going slow is important. If the body has been damaged, that needs to be repaired first, and all spiritual tools that get used in this instance should err on the side of gentleness. This is not the person you toss into an intense breathwork workshop.

Over time, the person can be gradually introduced to more intense work to break down the issues that remain and get them into a healthy flow.

Getting Help with Your Awakening

Awakened energy is serious stuff. If you haven’t had an awakening, don’t try to get one. It’s better to work on gradually becoming conscious and building a stable, regular spiritual practice. Most people aren’t equipped for the inner intensity.

For those who have awakened, I am here to help you repair if you need it. As I said earlier, there’s a lot of emotional, physical, mental, and energetic upset that goes on normally in the shifts that arise after a spiritual awakening. That’s part of intelligently breaking down the ego. These upsets are not an inherent sign of something going badly.

Where people get in trouble and end up in terrible spaces that many will call, “A Dark Night of the Soul,” is from resisting. They resist the truth they realize. They resist their emotions. They fight their bodies. That means that one of the central ways to repairing these levels starts with surrender. Accept what you discover and feel. Keep breathing and relaxing yourself to neutralize your stress response. As you do, you can move through issues and release them, and that can open you to greater experiences and discoveries as awakening moves you towards spiritual freedom.

Need a Little Help? You Can Contact Jim Here.


I'm a spiritual teacher who helps people find freedom from suffering.


  1. Hi Jim, I have found myself in a difficult place after experiencing a time of darkness, self discovery and healing and briefly bliss :). Mainly through self hypnosis and meditation.

    2 years ago I left my toxic job of 15 years. Started a new career. Cleared out and redid my home bit by bit. Was eating right exercising, sleeping well, and felt so in the flow of everything.

    Although an introvert I really wanted to help other people feel the same….I took a counselling course trained as a hypnotherapist. Have just started my own hypnotherapy practice.
    But externally things are so wrong. My job as a carer in NHS is draining. My knees are killing me, never had an ache before. I'm meeting a lot of negative people.
    And try as I might to join circles of positivity, I feel like an imposter because the advice relates to the me 5 years ago.
    I thought life would align. I feel further out to sea. Externally. Where did it all go wrong? Am I missing something?
    Thank you

  2. You've been focused on changing the external world to make your ego self feel better. So all your ego beliefs are basically in tact, and they're causing you to suffer because life is still not going the way it wants it to.

    The path to spiritual freedom is an inside job. Go within to find your beliefs and attachments, and then you have to learn to release them.

    Here's a post to help you:

    What Is Spiritual Inner Work?

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