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Unveiling the Shadows: Challenging Toxicity in the Spiritual Community

Updated: Jun 20, 2023



In the early stages of my spiritual journey and growth I immersed myself in the spiritual community, seeking solace and a deeper understanding of my own existence. As time went on, I could not help but notice a disconcerting truth that lingered and still lingers in the shadows. There are individuals who manipulate and deceive, preying on the vulnerable and stripping them of their hard-earned money. What's worse, when confronted about their dubious practices, these individuals dismiss genuine concerns by claiming the accusers are at a "lower vibration." In this blog, I want to share my personal reflections on the dangers of such individuals, the fear that stifles our voices, and the importance of standing up against toxic behaviour.


The Deception and Gaslighting: A Personal Encounter

Within the spiritual community, a few years ago I once encountered an individual who exuded an air of authority and spiritual enlightenment. So much so I found myself drawn into their web of deceit. They spoke in esoteric terms, weaving a complex tapestry of knowledge that seemed beyond my reach. Blinded by their manipulative tactics, I willingly opened my heart, hoping to find the enlightenment I craved at the time. The intense yearning for "enlightenment," originating from my shadow self and was rooted in past trauma, compelled me to seek external sources of illumination, exposing myself to vulnerability as I embarked on my seeking journey.


However, as doubts began to gnaw at my soul, I summoned the courage to question their practices. To my dismay, my concerns were met with gaslighting. They subtly insinuated that my "vibration" was not elevated enough to comprehend their profound teachings. Doubt crept in, and I began to question my own intuition and experiences. It was as if they held the power to dictate what was real and what wasn't, leaving me feeling disoriented and powerless.


Breaking the Silence: Confronting Fear

Fear can be a suffocating presence, paralysing us into silence when confronted with toxic behaviour within the spiritual community. I know firsthand how it feels to be afraid of being labeled as "negative" or "unspiritual" for speaking up against deceit and manipulation. The fear of judgment, rejection, and the loss of community can be overwhelming, causing us to bury our concerns deep within ourselves.


But let me tell you this — silence only empowers the manipulators and perpetuates their harmful practices. It is only by breaking free from fear that we can create an environment of authenticity, accountability, and healing. We must rise above the fear and reclaim our voices, refusing to let our legitimate experiences be dampened or dismissed.


Trusting Your Instincts: My Journey of Rediscovery

Through the painful process of introspection, I learned the invaluable lesson of trusting my instincts. I encountered individuals who used technical jargon and superficial knowledge to sway me from my path. They tried to blind me with their words, making it difficult to discern truth from deception. But deep within, my intuition whispered the truth, urging me to question and seek clarity.

Trusting my instincts became a guiding light in my journey. When something felt amiss, when a teacher's actions contradicted their words, I knew I had to listen to that inner voice. It was a spiritual act in itself to honour my own experiences and recognise that authenticity does not shy away from questioning or challenging.


It's Not Your Fault: Reclaiming Self-Worth

To all those who have fallen victim to the manipulators within the spiritual community, I want you to know that it is not your fault. You are not to blame for the actions of those who sought to mislead and exploit your vulnerability. It takes strength and courage to acknowledge that you were deceived and that your trust was misplaced.


Remember, you are a good person, deserving of honesty and respect especially in time of vulnerability of seeking spiritual growth. By sharing your experiences and speaking out against the toxic behaviour, you reclaim your own worth and protect others from falling into the same trap. Your voice matters, and your truth is a beacon that can illuminate the path for those who have yet to find their way.


What can you do to minimise the risk?

To minimise the risk of falling victim to dishonest individuals within the spiritual community, consider these strategies, although they may not provide foolproof protection:


  1. Research: Thoroughly research spiritual teachers or practitioners, relying on reviews and credible sources. Trust your intuition and be mindful of red flags.

  2. Seek Authenticity: Look for humility and sincerity rather than flashy presentations or extravagant claims. Genuine spiritual growth takes time and effort.

  3. Community Recommendations: Seek recommendations from trusted community members who have had positive experiences.

  4. Set Boundaries and Prioritise Self-Care: Establish personal boundaries and prioritise your well-being. Spiritual growth should never come at the expense of your mental or financial stability.

  5. Continued Learning: Commit to ongoing learning and exploration in the spiritual realm to better identify inconsistencies and manipulative tactics.


While these measures can help, it's important to remember that dishonest individuals can be highly skilled at deceit. Stay vigilant, trust your instincts, and be willing to question even seemingly genuine individuals.


If you feel deceived within the spiritual community, take these steps:

  1. Trust Yourself: Recognise your feelings and trust your instincts.

  2. Seek Support: Reach out to trusted individuals for guidance and emotional support.

  3. Validate Your Experience: Connect with others who have had similar encounters to validate your experience.

  4. Reflect and Learn: Identify warning signs and learn from the experience to protect yourself in the future.

  5. Report and Share: If appropriate and safe to do so, consider reporting the deceptive individual to relevant authorities, such as then police or regulatory bodies especially if they were claiming to be certified, and share your experience to help others.

  6. Seek Professional Help: Consider therapy or counselling to navigate the healing process.

Remember to be patient with yourself as healing takes time. Taking these steps can empower you, promote healing, and contribute to preventing further deception within the spiritual community.


Conclusion:

As we navigate the spiritual community, we must confront the shadows that threaten its authenticity. Through personal experiences of manipulation and gaslighting, we realise the urgent need to challenge toxic behaviour. By breaking the silence, trusting our instincts, and reclaiming our self-worth, we can foster a community rooted in truth, healing, and genuine connections.


Let us come together and build a spiritual community that embraces accountability, supports personal growth, and empowers each individual on their unique journey.



I would like to add a list of those practitioners who have supported my growth with integrity.


Gina & Gail my reiki Master really led me though an empowered approach to Reiki


My experience with Paula on my goddess embodiment journey was truly profound:


learning classical mediation which is a foundation of my work was a real lightbulb moment during my time learning with Martin: https://www.martinbonemeditation.com


Angie, an extremely magical humble practitioner, her sessions remind me why I do what I do and I always feel safe: https://www.instagram.com/rewilding_hart/


The Cult and Hannah: a source for continued learning and a community that is truly one of the most supporting group I am part of:


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