How To Work With Internal Triggers on the Spiritual Path

Submitted by Open on Wed, 02/12/2020 - 05:52

There's no doubt about it, no way of avoiding it, when you step onto the spiritual path you're going to get triggered by events, circusmtances and other people around you. Your buttons will get pushed! The question is not if this will happen, but what to do it about it when it does. It's also understandable you might want to surpress and deny distorted behaviour, but really this becomes counterproductive and derailing.

So what might be the best approach to dealing with such triggers when they arise?

First we need to understand exactly what a trigger is in order to effectively work with them.

What Exactly is a Trigger?

A trigger may be defined as an internal unconscious reaction to an event or circumstance in your life. Something in the external pushes an internal button and there's an immediate reaction, which at the time you're unable to control or manage. It creates anger, frustration, which often then comes with some kind of unpleasant projection or else there's contraction by surpression, which leads to a building unease that can lead to resentment.

I put it to you that what's happening here is where the soul is not yet fully self-realised in those circumstances, or we detach from authentic soul expression. The soul is unable to mediate through. This can lead to fragmentation of soul and the building of karmic identity around the situation, thus leading to the subconscious trigger.

You'll know the trigger when it activates because it causes dissonance in the outer and disharmony on the inner felt as internal tightness.

These triggers often result in unpleasant external projection, such as judgment, resentment, jealousy, envy, anger and rage. It's been long recognised in the spiritual mainstream that these are not behaviourisms to aspire to - the idea is we're meant to be loving, non-judgmental, accepting, forgiving and peaceful. And so I often witness these triggers being surpressed or else plastered over with some more acceptable, spiritual, behaviourism. This is going to be highly counteractive and derailing, because it simply creates another layer of spiritual identity. It's another barrier to full self-realisation.

It's Essential to Expose the Trigger

What we need to realise is that the trigger is created by an unrealised expression of self - a misaligned one. However, it is misaligned truth. And therefore rather than simply ditch the distortion, we need to work with it, get inside the loop of activity, and break it open, so as to explore deep within.

The trigger will contain an aspect of soul which is not yet able to express in an aligned way in these densities. This is the very learning/evolving/forging/integrating that the soul came here to fulfill. It's why you're here!

Therefore when something gets triggered in you, it's essential to explore into it. As soon as possible after it has happened, the recommendation is to regress into it through meditation: see the images of what happened, replay the experience and most importantly, feel internally the tightness of the trigger. Often these will be centred around a particular chakra - the sacral where it's an emotional trigger for example; the solar plexus where it's a mental one; the throat where you're not expressing your higher truth; the heart where past life karma might be arising.

Explore in, feel through, express and animate outwards - this helps you see the causality of the trigger. What were you attached to in the situation? How did you need it to go a particular way? What did you think you needed of the person involved? What outcome could you not accept? What were you really being invited to do but were afraid to? If you're unsure, ask the Universe, "Show me", and it will reveal the distortion and the possible gift of soul to come through.

Use this Chakra Attunement Meditation to Bring Light into the Situation

The essential thing is that even though you might be tempted to surpress and bury the behaviour or situation is to do the exact opposite - blow it up and express outwards, although this is initially best in your own immediate environment, a safe and favoured room for example, so as to contain the expression without causing any external damage or harm. You might consider dancing strongly to music, beating a pillow, shouting and making sound. All of this will help animate into the trigger so you can expose the attachment.

In this way you start to expose and break down the attachment which has created the trigger.

The Revelation of Soul

Exposing the trigger is only a part of the story, of the full opportunity. A new aspect of soul is wanting to come through. Where the original distortion might have been anger, the soul might now want to come through willfully and strong, but without the extra energy. It might combine with another aspect - humour for example. And now the willful energy carries, but without the projection and is therefore much more likely to have an uplifting beneficial effect in the situation.

To give an example...

I was at a crossroads in my car and didn't know whether to go left or right. Behind me a guy started peeping and as I looked in the mirror, I could see him angry and projectional. Before I knew it, I was opening the door to confront the guy. This was an authentic expression for me, my catalytic nature tends to engage such circumstances - I could feel a strong and willful energy coming through. But as I made my way across to his car, I could feel a more inquiring energy coming through. I sensed how this could all quite easily go pear-shaped, especially as he looked angry and was now winding his window down. In the moment I'm inquiring, "show me!" as in, "show me aligned response". As I bent down to confront him, a softer energy came through which although still confrontational, was also empathic, "have you ever been lost mate?" To which all the energy of the situation dissolved. "Yes mate", was his response, "where do you need to get to?"

Simply avoiding such circumstances would negate the possibility of soul growth both for yourself and the other. Hence ultimately, in some way, we all need to confront what triggers us so as to unpack and realign them.

Coming into Your Full Empowerment

Ultimately, we need to be able to unravel and express in the moment they are happening. So by regressing into them, you will get to the buried karma (try this 9 step approach from Openhand). But what you then need to do is break down the neural pathways and emotional/mental filters that obscure right action. We need to open a space so that authentic behaviour can come through. In the example I quoted above, I recall that as I opened a space in the moment I was walking across to the car, it seemed to stretch into eternity - I'd opened into the infinite potential of the moment. Hence the spontaneity of the soul can come through. Now you shape and express new behaviourisms that are authentic to your true self.

So this is an approach to dealing with internal triggers I felt to reflect to you for contemplation. It's essential to get inside the derailing loops and break them open for something more authentic to come through. It leads to a tremendous sense of openness, self acceptance, freedom and empowerment.

And if you resonate with what I've shared, do explore the Openhand Approach further and consider getting involved in a future Openhand Event where we help people embody soul in daily life.


In loving support

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(Publishers - please publish with links intact and the Openhand brief biog. Thankyou <3)

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Openhand is a bridge into higher dimensions of consciousness. It is a way of tapping into the benevolent guiding hand of the Universe, to help you align with your soul through life. It empowers people to be totally authentic in who they are, and in so doing, facilitating a profound shift of consciousness into a new vibrational paradigm, in the Fifth Density. Discover more...Openhandweb, Openhand fb, Openhand TV

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I felt to share this speech by Joachim Phoenix at the Oscars ceremony recently. Where so often moods and personality are 'put on' in the acting industry and especially at awards ceremonies, nevertheless, this shines through as someone speaking right from the heart, allowing distortion to come through. For me, you get the feeling of someone being truly authentic, wearing his heart on his sleeve. What do you think?...

In reply to by Open

I'm grateful that Joaquin Phoenix used the power of his acceptance speech to highlight the most important things in life, in particular being a voice for the most voiceless and speaking to the normalizing of speciesism. One day, we will no doubt all view abusing animals as unacceptable as any of the other isms.

I resonate with the deep love and probable despair for the animals plight which he embodies as he speaks from his heart and soul. His compassionate  angst is clear, no doubt because he knows what a great opportunity and responsibility this was for him to speak as he did, eve n though it could impact his career. Though I'd say this film would be a fantastic high for anyone to achieve, I thought it was a sensitive depiction of mental health challenges and shadow nature. Bravo to JP all round.

It's only recently coming to light how about how, as a species we've been spiritually corrupted conditioned to partake in the most horrendous abuse by being consumers of the animal agriculture industry. When we wake up to the extreme abuse in literally every single aspect of this industry, it's like walking in hell, as the those around us slowly awaken to the truth too, but weirdly, many denounce it, citing the messenger of compassion as an enemy. Best

The trembling JP exhibits, suggests his mindful potential for cataylsing awakening, and the inherent responsibility to share that to help liberate others - human and animal - both share sentience and right of life. I respect that he has the courage to embrace his moral agency whilst at work, and allow that to be seen, particularly as you say when there's often more of perhaps a veneer adopted at these kind of ceremonies. I gather the Dairy industry have criticised him for his speech, they're in decline, and don't want anyone speeding that trend by showing the truth of it.

Joaquin has been doing the Cube of Truth activism in London recently, and often attends other street activism events around the world, so I can only feel a deep love and respect for anyone who is an embodies being a voice for the voiceless by aligning their way of living with their values. It's one of the clearest measures of an evolved consciousness imo, and something that faux spirituality often avoids. Fortunately, it's easier than ever to adopt a plant based diet, as that's usually the aspect people are attached to not wanting to change.

I hope you don't mind me sharing the following supportive resources for anyone interested in embracing more compassion choices or exploring veganism. But feel free to edit of course.

in deep gratitude and love



Challenge 22

Animal Equality

I found this video deeply touching too, had the impulse to send it to several people. My general interest when  people have a message is not so much the words anymore, but rather the intention and the vibration behind the words. He's really vulnerable standing up there, so authentic, so human. At least as touching is the expression on Keanu Reeves face in the audience, the openness, the love. I find this personally truly inspiring. An uplifting video. :) 


Hi Open,

Thank you for the article. Triggers are a big topic indeed because let’s face it: triggers are going to happen. We can’t go through life wrapped in cotton wool, and we can’t control other people but we can delve deep and spark massive internal shifts.

I will share a recent personal experience:

There is one person in my life (let’s call her Angie) that I get massively triggered by. The other day I was on the phone to Angie when she said something that got me all emotionally charged. After I hung up the phone, I turned to one of my friends — who could clearly see I was triggered — and said, ‘What the heck, she is always so triggering!’.

My friend looked at me, and said ‘No honey, it’s not that Angie is triggering… it’s that you yourself are getting triggered.’

 … Ouch! When you’re in that triggered state, no one wants to hear that. Later on that day when I sat down on my meditation mat and closed my eyes I asked myself these questions….

 What did Angie trigger within me?

Frustration is what came up.

Why did this trigger frustration?

Because in that moment, on the phone with her, I didn’t feel heard.

Why does feeling heard matter so much to me?

Well, because as a child most of the time I didn't feel like my parents listened to me.


My trigger actually had nothing to do with Angie — who did actually listen to me — and everything to do with my past experience of not feeling heard. I was awed of how much gold there is in something that can be so easily bypassed J



Hi Desi - thank you so much for sharing. It's the perfect example how when we take owenership (with a little help Wink Emoji) it doesn't take too much to see the reflection and find the source of the issue - some convolution of a past experience in this life, and probably in a past one too.

You took ownership. Brilliant Thumbs Up Sign

And you found the pot of gold buried in the trigger The Sun Emoji

This is a great gift to me Open, thank you. 

There's lots to percolate and I'll needs to read it again and sit with it, but as someone who's working to heal the numerous long term effects of complex-ptsd, I can say that your take on triggers is refreshingly more helpful than many of the relatively premature and sometimes experimental theories and often unconscious delivery currently offered by mental health professionals. 

I've been triggered so often recently, that I sometimes wonder how much time I spend in non arousal state. Returning to normal base line can take hours or days compared to the minutes of hours of the non traumatised brain, and in that triggered state, it's more likely to become triggered as the limbic region gets trip switched into the 5 fs so rapidly and can keep us in hyper vigilance, and the not so good kinda vulnerability.

I've wondered if the trigger of overwhelm is a normal, if somewhat immature and innocent response to what can only be called global madness that we see in every news channel as the shift occurs. So I can bring compassion to myself and others struggling with triggers large or small. And I look for their well intended roots to shine light on.

Your writing about triggers caused me to realise a bit more why I struggle with embodiment, because being embodied can trigger muscle memory too painful to sit with, and I find the state of overwhelm like a broadband speed too powerful for the cables/neural pathways, which brings up more fear, and increased suseptability to being retriggered, and so the exhausting and sometimes hopeless loop goes on. Your advocating that going inside as the place to undo the knots and pain now feels more possible somehow because I can see it in more perspective, and  I get a sense of greater possibility for peace. Thank you. With love.