Three Big Problems with Ungrounded Spirituality

A lot of people, when they think of spirituality, new age topics, energy healing and such, their first association is “oh no, all that airy-fairy stuff!”

And unfortunately, for the most part, they are correct. This is not because spiritual, psychic and energy healing topics are in and of themselves vague and ungrounded. Rather, it’s because many many (far too many!) people attracted to these topics (to the extent that they become leaders and teachers in these fields) are ungrounded.

To make the most of subtle spiritual, psychic and energetic processes and truths, we actually need to be VERY grounded.

The subtle etheric world is like the crown of a tree. If you just focus on growing the crown of the tree, without building roots, the tree will topple.

Seeds grow not by sprouting leaves first, they start with roots! Only when the roots are firm, do the first leaves show. When the roots run out of space to expand, the leaves stop taking up more space too.

In our human growth, we need to take that approach too: start with growing more roots, before expanding the leaves.


drawing of hsp seed growing in the earth


In practical terms this means:

  • If you’re woozy and not eating well, take a cooking class, not another meditation class.
  • If you’re sluggish and out-of-shape, go do exercise, instead of taking Flower Essences only.
  • If you’re feeling stuck and unmotivated, go have some fun. Take time to feel and listen to all your feelings (What do you hate? What would you like to do instead?) and go make some practical changes in your life.

Some people avoid anything spiritual and new age like the plague because they believe it is all unscientific and therefore untrue, a scam, a waste of time. Those are not the people I am writing this article for (they can go hang out in the science-only community, they already have plenty of backing there).

I am writing this article for those of you who know there is more to life than meets the eye, but who also have concerns about being ejected from your dinner table seat, into outer space.

So, without further adoo, here are three big problems I see that happen when spirituality becomes ungrounded:

1. The Lure of the Positive Vibe that Kills the Real Vibe

There is a big difference between having a positive attitude, versus repressing painful feelings to pretend that everything is sunshine and rainbows.

Unfortunately, a lot of new age talk about maintaining a “high vibration” turns into a cover-up contest. Don’t let the neigbours suspect that you have any dirtly laundry!

I talk more about a few popular ways that emotions are evaded here.

Sadly, a lot of healers and energy workers also fall into the emotional-evasion camp. Deep down, they have no idea what emotions are, why they are there, or what meaning they have. Emotions are just considered to be pesky painful interruptions to an otherwise undisturbed mind and hence need to be deleted a.s.a.p using clearing tools.

What this does is keep people stuck in going round the same “problems” again and again, because they never learned how to actually deeply and groundedly process those experiences. Our bodies hurt emotionally not to punish us, but to help guide us. When we don’t understand the guidance and just try to get rid of it, we don’t progress and end up running in place instead.



2. Low EQ is Not True Enlightenment

A lot of spiritual practices turn into rational doctrines. There are many rules about how things “should” be. As a result, the strongest believers end up living more and more in their head, and avoiding all emotional evidence that contradicts their beliefs.

Sadly, much popular “enlightenment” – in a spiritual sense, is no different from the much older scientific Enlightenment movements that were all about valueing rationality above anything else.

In those approaches to life, there is no space for grounded intuition and enthusiasm. Rather, everything is “top down”, with the lower chakras being considered less wise and valuable than the higher chakras. And guess what comes out on top: the head.

A very practical and common problem this leads to is that far too many spiritually minded people believe that when they are hurting it must be psychic and they should do all they can to protect themselves against energy from other people.

I talked to someone in this exact predicament recently. He was convinced that everyone else’s energy was the problem, while the real problem was that he didn’t follow through on owning his own feelings. Look, just because you have a “weird pain” somewhere that you are afraid to explore or cannot make sense of on your own, does not automatically mean other people’s energies are attacking you. It really is a lot more complicated than that.

(I totally get that all this is very confusing – which is why I offer Clarity Calls, to help you make sense of this complex subtle stuff. It’s just that many people never get real clarity on what is up with them, and so they just keep spinning stories about energy interference that are not grounded in reality.)

For people who are habitually avoiding their body and prefer to live in their head, and who have very little practice actually processing emotion in a healthy way, the “it must be someone else’s energy” becomes a very convenient cop-out. Yet, it’s also very inconvenient because by trying to push all that emotion away, they are essentially pushing themselves away and get more and more internally divided.

I am not saying that nobody is influenced or overwhelmed by energy from others. Just that “energy speak” is often part of the in-crowd lingo in spiritual communities. Rather than say: “gosh, I feel really down today” it’s more “spiritual” to say: “wow, I feel a real kind of downer energy here”. Sigh. Often, “here” is just you, spiritual people. It’s just your own feelings.



3. “Everything will work out for the best and come together somehow”

If you’re someone who takes responsibility for their life and works hard to make sucky things better, then you’ll likely loathe this phrase. I know I do.

Those of us who made lemons into lemonade, know that the lemonade does’t just “come together”. Yes, you may get inspirations, and helpful synchronicities and feel really good about making lemonade, but you still have to MAKE it.

So when someone congratulates you on how “everything came together just fine” they’re missing the point. You have to take action, and – sure – you need to have enough faith to not become an obsessive control freak, there’s a balance. But heaven doesn’t swoop in to do your laundry, or make lemonade, for you.

Living up in our head is akin to taking a spectator approach to life. In your head, the only thing that happens is thinking, and thinking, and thinking some more. Without doing something about those thoughts, not much will happen.


drawing of head floating above hsp body


Overfocusing on vision boards and meditation and positive thinking and yadayada is just being a Spiritual Couch Potato. No more, no less.

It’s fueled by:

  • a fear of the unknown (Yup, the unknown will strike when you go and do something!)
  • a fear of not having control (Of course things will never go exactly according to plan!)
  • a fear of making mistakes (Cheer up: life is just a long chain of experiments, most of which “go wrong” and lead you to new, magical and unexpected insights and results).

(If you’re reading about these fears thinking, “oh no, I do that!” then check out the resources on Practical Perfectionism in the Happy Senstive Library – it’s all about helping you get unstuck and taking action while honouring your sensitivity and your desire to do well).

A lot of people who are drawn to the spiritual community in a more fundamentalistic “all in” kind of way experienced severe trauma in childhood or after, and decided a long time ago that the physical, material world is not to be trusted, and out-of-body experiences are where heaven is at.

This is not a healthy or balanced way to live, and it’s definitely not something to go and teach others, yet many do!

A spiritual leader like this will use special spiritual one-off experiences as proof of their mastery. They had a near-death experience or a spiritual guide who showed them the most amazing things and then they refuse to move on from that but keep pining for those experiences.

Yes, amazing spiritual experiences exist, but you’re not meant to LIVE IN them. They are there to nudge, inspire or help you through something tough. That’s it. You’re meant to go back to your flesh-and-blood life and use those new insights and inspirations to make your very material life work.

Psychically, energetically and spiritually there is a lot brewing below the surface of our lives.

There is a time and place for exploring this when your material life and “something else” start colliding. For sure.

Yet, psychic, energetic and spiritual practices do not replace the material here and now. More importantly, when your material life is completely out of whack and a miserable place to be: no job, no friends, no healthy habits etc then it’s really important to get those flesh-and-blood things on track first. Those are your roots.

Tend to your roots first. And keep tending to them. It’s not something you can just “set and forget” while you zip around the out-of-body world. In fact,

It’s perfectly possible to be grounded in your body and simultaneously attuned to more subtle realms when appropriate and helpful.

Your spirituality is not meant to be a location-independent endeavor. It needs to be grounded in you.


drawn illustration of hsp with roots coming out of feet and head


clarity call after  post transp

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