I’m Bridget Owens and you're listening to the Waxing Soul podcast. Join me on an exploration of mindful modern magic, a journey towards deeper understanding of self and transformative individual spirituality. It's October 29, 2020 and on today's episode we'll be discussing the importance of digging into your deepest intentions, why we are so good at desires but so bad at intentions, and the three questions to ask to get down to the root of what you really want. Are you ready to grow your soul?
Thank you so much for joining me here on the inaugural episode of the Waxing Soul podcast. This is a project I’ve been contemplating for a large portion of 2020, and I’m super excited to finally be bringing you episodes.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, I’m constantly thinking and writing and exploring spiritual topics for my own projects, for the pagan meetup group I run locally, and just because it’s a thing that’s frequently on my mind. So after thinking about this for all these months I decided to start at a topic that’s going to come up again and again in lots of different capacities through this little audio adventure we’re embarking on, and that’s intention.
There are lots of resources that speak to the idea that we have to be clear in our intention to successfully manifest our desires or to get results from our magical practices, but the vast majority talk about how to fix that intention clearly and strongly in our minds. What I want to talk about today is the intention itself because we as humans are just not good at understanding what we really want. And when it comes to putting our own minds and energies to bringing something to fruition in a purposeful way, we totally, absolutely suck at putting that target on the right thing.
The best examples of how bad we are at this, for me, come from when I read tarot cards in a metaphysical shop. And if I had a nickel for every time someone wanted reassurance that something would happen for them the way they wanted it to but the cards kept telling them that they’re focusing on the wrong thing or that there was some other thing open to them that was better than what they had envisioned, but they just kept clinging to that original desire… If I had a nickel for all those times I could definitely buy a latte.
We aren’t good at intentions. We’re good at desires. And there’s a difference.
Also, we think we’re good at problem solving, and there’s a difference there as well.
Intention is hard for us. It takes digging deep and asking hard questions of ourselves, which is totally not what beginners in the world of manifestation want to hear or face. But it’s where we are. And, let’s be real, it impacts us in mundane life, too.
When I finished college, I had this drive to achieve certain things career- and income-wise because I envisioned the kind of life I wanted to have. I envisioned the kind of place I wanted to live and the kind of crowd I wanted to run with and the the types of things I wanted to do like throw dinner parties and travel with friends. I wanted those things, so I wanted to be a certain kind of successful and make a certain amount of money. I tied those two things, career success and lifestyle, very tightly together. So while I would have said that my intention was to succeed at my career, that wasn’t really my core intention at all. At the core of it all wasn’t even the desire for a certain material lifestyle.
What I wanted was what I thought that lifestyle would make me feel.
I wanted to have a group of friends to do those things with. I wanted to feel liked and appreciated and like I fit in with the people I wanted to hang out with. That was my core intention, and what I thought would get me there was just one of a zillion ways to get that feeling of acceptance. We’ll explore the issue of all those possible ways to get to a goal some other time.
Now, some of this realization, that I was chasing the wrong intention, happened a long time ago, before I really started digging into the idea in magical or spiritual terms. But even then, what I realized is that I was going about everything the long and complicated way and getting in my own way. I realized this when I realized that chasing what I thought was the intention wasn’t actually making me happy. It wasn’t making me feel any closer to my goal. Quite the opposite, actually. And it felt like a huge epiphany when I realized that if what I wanted was to have a group of cool friends to throw dinner parties and go on trips with, I didn’t have to make a lot of money and achieve things. All I needed to do was make friends, throw dinner parties, and arrange travel plans.
The bar for success at that is much, much lower, right?
It was a huge relief to me, actually. And what has continually struck me again and again in spiritual contexts is how often people express desperate needs to get one specific thing when it’s so very obvious that their needs really go deeper and that thing they’re desperate for might actually even be bad for them in some way. So one of the themes I’ll just warn you now will come up again and again in future episodes is this idea that digging down to our real, deepest intentions is one of the keys to manifestation, magic, and self-evolution, plus lots of other things.
If you're enjoying this episode of Waxing Soul, subscribe to the show! Each week we will dive into a different part of the world of spirituality, magic, and self-evolution. Thank you so much for listening to this first episode and getting into this journey with me from the very first step. I'm excited to take on this exploration with you. Next week we'll talk about the ways we shut ourselves off from seeing and recognizing paths to manifestation that don't fit our expectations, why we shouldn't try to micromanage the universe, and how to train your brain to see greater possibilities.
So, why are we so bad at intentions? And why is it so important to get better at it? Why am I starting here?
Well, the core reason that I do what I do, the grand intention which drives all of the spiritual stuff I put out for the community is to share my experience with other people who are looking for some kind of direction or stable foundation upon which to build a personal spirituality. Those of you who struggle to find a tradition that fits you, or who sit somewhere in between skepticism and belief, or who are simply at the beginning of your exploration into their path or craft. What I figured out along my own journey is that really the only way to find a spiritual place where you fit is to really get deeply in touch with the roots of your spiritual drive.
What is it that your soul is looking for that you’re hoping to find in spirituality?
We’re used to thinking of purpose or drive as something that spirituality gives us, but that’s not really how it works. It’s from intention, from deep within us. One of the biggest barriers to advancing towards our goals is a disconnect between what we think we want and our very deepest motivations. If we’re searching for spiritual guidance and truth, but every time we think we’ve found it we become disillusioned or dissatisfied, it’s because we haven’t dug deep enough to really work out what our intentions are.
It’s because we suck at cause and effect.
It’s why so many people chase relationships because they think being single is why they’re unhappy, but then they’re never happy in the relationships because the root of their unhappiness has nothing to do with being single. We’re super prone to either taking too much responsibility for what happens to us or not enough responsibility for it. We attach ourselves to particular ways, particular steps towards what we think we want and close ourselves off to other alternatives.
Which is something we’re going to talk about next week: the ways we try to micromanage the universe sometimes.
But the point is that human beings, for all our technological and scientific advancement, on average we’re really bad at cause and effect. Hell, even the scientists are bad at it sometimes! We see something happen or imagine something we want to happen, and we think we know just intuitively how those things are caused to happen, how they’re brought about. But we’re wrong more than we’r’e right.
But hope is not lost! When it comes to what we want to manifest, what we want our spiritual workings to accomplish, we can get better at this. And it’s super important that we get better at it.
We come to spirituality because we want something. We want to be better, do better, connect deeper, understand more, feel fulfilled, have a better life in some way, something. We’re looking for something. And no matter what that is, it takes some work on our part. We have stuff to work on or things to change.
It’s really no different trying to make something happen via spirituality than it is trying to make something happen in our everyday life; we have to have a really firm grasp on our true, deep intention.Tweet
It’s not about thinking about what we want, it’s about digging into why we want what we want, what we think will change in our lives if we get what we think we want, all of that kind of thing.
And here’s the three places where it makes a difference:
First, if we’re clear on our deeper intention, when things don’t go the way we expect we can keep moving forward. We can adjust our approach and try again. We won’t get stuck wanting one small thing to go our way and lose sight of the bigger goal.
Second, if we’re clear on the deeper intention, we open ourselves up to notice other ways in which manifestation happens. When we tunnel vision focus on the way we envision things should happen, opportunities that don’t look the way we expect them to can pop up and totally pass us by. The universe can provide all kinds of alternative paths to our deep intentions, but if we’re focusing on our specific short term ideal goal we’re going to completely miss out on so many opportunities.
And third, if we’re clear on our deeper intention, we don’t waste time on other stuff which doesn’t actually pay off the way we want it to. If all your smaller desires stem from a larger, deeper intention, you can get all those small things and still not feel satisfied or successful. It’s frustrating and it’s the number one reason people get disillusioned with their practices before they really master anything.
If you have a question, comment, or a suggestion for future show topics, you can submit them by hitting me up on any of my social media accounts:
So, okay, it’s important to dig down and get really good at figuring out our deep intentions. But how do we go about doing that?
Here’s where my podcasts are going to be kind of interesting because what I want to do is not just talk at you about stuff, trying to make you think. That’s all great, but a key part of a spiritual path is the practice component. It’s not about what we believe, it’s what we do. So for every episode there’s going to be a companion resource, something to download, some kind of quiz or assessment you can take, something. That’s the intention. I want you not just to think about this stuff, I want you to take action on the things that really grab you. So I’m going to provide links to a resource you can pick up for any episode that really grabs your interest.
Today it’s all about how to do that deep digging into your intentions. What we really have to do, before we put our thoughts and energies and efforts into manifesting our desires, is to ask ourselves the right questions to not just scratch the surface but really excavate ourselves down to the soul. Over time, of course. If every time we set about doing some kind of intention work we dig just a bit deeper, over time we’re really going to get to some fundamental things about ourselves.
You don’t necessarily want to dig it down all at once if this is something you’ve not done before because then we’re into serious shadow work and you can uncover some unpleasant surprises. So it’s a step by step thing, and it starts with asking good questions.
You start from whatever you think your intention is. And as an example I’m going to use my career thing I mentioned earlier. So let’s say I was going to do some working to manifest an opportunity to advance in the job I used to have. This is old me. So the first question to ask is simply, “Why?” I want to manifest a job advancement opportunity. Why? Why do I want that? Old me would have said because it meant more money and got me closer to career goals. Seems simple, right? It’s not the very core reason, I’d have to keep asking why at each answer to get further, and you can do that. Why do I want to make more money? Why do I want that specific career goal? But however deep you go, it’s deeper than the original desire, and that’s what’s important.
The second question, after you’ve pursued ‘why’ as far as you want to take it, is, “What next?” Old me wanted to manifest a promotion to make more money and move along in my career. What do I expect to happen after that? If I’m making more money and I’m further along in my career, I expect to be more financially stable and able to afford a nicer place to live, and I expect to work on more impressive projects and meet more influential people. And again, maybe you take that a few steps deeper, and ultimately you look at whether your answers are really a better intention to focus on.
Third question? After why and what’s next, ask, “Does the how really matter?” This is something I’m going to dig into next week, but it’s important to broaden your horizons here. If my real intention is financial stability, does it matter to me if maybe financial stability happens in ways I’m unable to predict? What if I find cool things to do and cool people to network with outside of my current career, does that change anything?
Now, let’s walk it through with a different starting point. Let’s have some fun here. Let’s say I’m wanting to dive right into questionable territory and put a hex on someone I don’t like. I’m gonna make this up as I go. So starting out with, “I want to put a hex on an ex so something bad happens to them.” They broke up with me, it’s hex time, right?
First question, why? Why do I want that bad thing, whatever it is, to happen to them? Because I hate them and want them to suffer? Why? Because I’m suffering so they should suffer too?
So then what’s next after that? Well, if I hex them and they suffer, they’ll either feel bad about breaking up with me and come back, or they’ll at least feel bad and recognize that they’re an awful person.
And does the how really matter? Does whatever bad thing I want to send their way have to be the way to teach them that lesson or win them back, whichever way I’m wanting it to go?
There’s lots of substance in there, right? Maybe the issue isn’t the breakup, it’s that I haven’t let go of things. Maybe I need to deal with wanting them back. Maybe I need to deal with my anger because when I look at those answers I see an irrational need for revenge that isn’t like me. Lots of things to dig through, right?
So, like I said, I’ll dig much deeper into that third question next week, but for now what I want to offer you is a downloadable pdf which gives you these three questions plus a couple of prompts to clarify your thinking around whatever working or project is at hand. Use it as a template or include it in your journal, your book of shadows, your personal grimoire, or just as a worksheet.
Thank you so much for listening. Look for a new episode of Waxing Soul every Thursday. All materials and resources except the music are © Bridget Owens. Music is Dream Catcher by Kevin MacLeod https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4650-dream-catcher License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Many thanks to my readers, listeners, friends, mentors, inspirations, and my framily. None of this happens in a bubble. Until next week, blessed be and be good to yourself.