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 November 26, 2020, and on today's episode we'll be discussing the nature of our power moods, why our emotional and mental states are so influential on our ability to function, and how we can do mood magic on ourselves. Are you ready to grow your soul?
It’s Thanksgiving, and I thought about doing an episode on gratitude to be topical, but that idea didn’t seem particularly inspiring to me, so here we are talking about our moods instead. Which I think is a pretty topical thing now that we’re into what we like to call the “-ber months” which have all of what I think are the best holidays in them. But this time of year can be frustrating and depressing and otherwise emotionally tricky depending on the person, and especially this year I’m sure it’s triggering some extra stuff for people.
But instead of talking about the negative emotions and bad moods, I want to talk about power moods. You know, that frame of mind you get into where you feel extra inspired, extra motivated, extra happy or optimistic or whatever it is that makes you really feel lifted up and powerful in a spiritual sense. It’s that state of mind or mood you get into where things you otherwise find difficult become much easier.
For me, I work as a freelancer, so I have to manage my productivity. And I realized a long time ago that I have low moods and mindsets where I lack motivation or ability to do tasks, and after doing my shadow work and paying really close attention to when these moods happened and what set them off I realized that for me it usually comes down to feeling like I’m behind or failing at something. Like, not too long ago I had a week where I felt like I was constantly behind and I was having a hard time motivating myself to stay focused and catch up. The things I was most behind on were actually the things I dragged my feet on the most, those and the things I felt I’d made mistakes on before. So later in that week I finally caught upon the things which I’d needed to do other than the stuff I was dragging my feet on, plus a couple of little side projects that had popped up, and in doing that I got a bunch of positive feedback. That positive feedback, that reassurance that I was appreciated and that I was doing good work, put me in my power mood. I felt valued and competent, and suddenly I found it easy to do all the stuff I’d been putting off, and easy to do extra unrelated stuff.
And I started thinking about the fact that we spend a lot of emotional energy focused on how to deal with our negative moods and feelings, and we work really hard at getting to that good meditative zen headspace, but there’s not so much on how to get not just into a zone, but really into a power mood.
And it’s more than just getting pumped up or excited about things. For me it’s that feeling of empowering relief. It’s not just energized, it’s empowered and motivated.
So I got to thinking about how we can not just overcome the down feeling, but how we can trigger that motivated, empowered, power mood when it’s not the flip side of a down mood. And this is important because once you recognize your power mood, you can figure out how to trigger that emotional state in yourself. Especially when we’re talking about magic and spiritual workings, knowing what your power mood is, where it comes from, what triggers it is really the basis for being able to create a ritual or a meditation or whatever is your go to method for creating change in your emotional and spiritual state.
Because that’s the thing – this really is a spiritual issue. And if you haven’t listened to my past episodes or read much of my writings, spirituality is something I talk about in an alchemical sense. It’s not a religions thing, but it’s all the things that have to do with our spirit – our thoughts and feelings and choices and actions. So impacting our moods, our emotional states, being able not just to cope but to get ourselves to the state of mind and energetic state we want or need to be in, that’s really one of the core aspects of spirituality and magic.
Because it may sound kind of simple, it may sound kind of naively simplistic to say that it’s possible to magically alter our mood to shift ourselves into a power mood, into courage and motivation and whatever makes up whatever your power mood really is. And, I mean, it is a pretty simple concept. The execution in the end is pretty simple. But it’s the stuff in the middle that isn’t – the hacking of our subconscious part.
And I want to be really clear here that I’m not saying we can just magically overcome mental health challenges at will. Magic exists, but brain chemistry and such is real, so magic is no substitute for mental health care.
But day to day, when we feel bored or distracted or just not in the mood to really focus our will on things but we want to, getting from the “I wish I felt more whatever” to the “there’s nothing going to stand in my way” mood is well within the capability of magic, and it’s something we all could benefit from.
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. Check out last week's episode for a discussion of spiritual community and leadership dynamics, why we even need spiritual communities at all, and how to go about finding or forming a community which enriches your spiritual life. And next week we'll talk about the problem with treating spirituality as something that has an end goal, the nature of personal evolution, and where discipline fits into authentic individual spirituality.
When it comes down to it, our day to day moods are just emotional energy, and energy can be transformed and worked with. I know a lot of people approach magic as a way to impact external things in their life, bring things in, banish things, but the real power of magic is in affecting us on a subconscious and emotional and energetic level.
I one hundred percent believe that that’s the way magic works anyway. It’s not some external power in the universe looking down on us and deciding whether we should get what we ask for and how it should come to us. It’s really in the transformation and hacking of our own subconscious, our deep soul energies, to shape reality around us.
Now, I don’t want to get really deeply into some kind of philosophical tangent. We have the entire life of this podcast for that. So here’s the thing: emotional energy is really our soul stuff coming out in spirit form. There are soul deep beliefs that cause spirit energy reactions, that’s what emotional energy is. And when we have those down moods, those emotional states that keep us from really doing and acting the way we wish we could, it comes from deep self beliefs which take a lot of shadow work to really root out and change.
In the meantime, though, it’s totally possible to find workarounds. Magical workarounds.
So, I have done some therapy in my life, and the root of what I’m talking about here has come up in dealing with therapists. I remember a conversation I had with one psychologist I was working with after we’d done some cognitive behavioral therapy to break some thought patterns that were manifesting in my life in some really irritating ways. And I’d done all the work on my beliefs and figuring out where they came from and stuff, but one day I had to ask her, “It’s great that we’ve dug down to stuff I decided was true about the world because of how I was raised and things that happened to me and everything, and I know that when those thoughts come up why I’m thinking that way and I can shift out of that mindset and stuff and all. But when it comes down to it, when I’m in certain emotional states – and yeah, maybe they’re better now than in the past – but there’s still practical ramifications. Even if I’m working through this stuff, being distracted by those thoughts and worn out if I’ve been crying or stuck in some kind of energetic state even thought I know it’s not logical and whatever, knowing that the roots of those things are from past trauma and thought patterns I’m changing doesn’t actually get me into a better energetic state. It’s just this long road of those things being less bad as time goes by. So how do I shift things in the moment?”
Now, she didn’t really have good answers for me at the time. Like, “If you’re distracted and low energy and having trouble staying on task, maybe you should try scheduling your time.” Uh, yeah, thanks. Super not helpful.
But when I got to thinking about it, I realized that I know pretty clearly what triggers the opposite moods for me, right? When do I feel my most motivated and energetic and inspired? It’s when I feel appreciated. When I’m proud of something I’ve done. When I’m excited about an idea. When there’s something coming up that I’m looking forward to. When I feel like I’m supported and like people care about me. It’s stuff like that.
And in a lot of ways, it’s that simple. If I can use personal ritual and sensory inputs and other magical tricks to hack my subconscious to make myself focus on those things rather than on whatever is dragging me down, then I can put myself into the power mood when I need to be there. It’s not a matter of trying to entice good luck to come your way or banish the things causing you to be in a funk, though, which is what I think a lot of us do or how we think when it comes to what’s causing us distress in life. We look at what’s causing us to feel that way, which is often misplaced, and we look towards what we wish things were like instead, which closes us off to other possibilities as I talked about a few weeks ago, and in the moment it doesn’t do much of anything at all to get us to the mindset and energetic state where we’re lifted out of that stuff. It leaves us waiting for our lives to change, or waiting out the process of healing, and there’s really something to be said for, in the meantime, shifting how we feel so we take some of our power back. Taking control of our energy in the moment even if there are external things we can’t change, and not in an avoidant way. Not pretending things aren’t the way they are. This is different from that.
What this comes down to is focusing on the link between how the way we feel changes how we act instead of focusing on how things around us make us feel.
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Alright, now let’s dig into the how.
Now, first off, the thing about magic is that it really works best if you put yourself into it. Create your own rituals and write your own spells and do what makes sense for you. And in this case it’s super important for this to be something you create because we’re all different when it comes to what our power mood looks like and what causes it.
Now, there’s a few things to think about when it comes to actually putting this into magical practice, and the first one is really thinking about what causes you to go into a power mood. What is it in your life that makes you feel not just happy – this isn’t happiness, really – but makes you feel really capable? What is it that makes you not drag your feet about doing things that sometimes can be not your super favorite thing? What is it that makes you feel optimistic and empowered?
For me I think about productivity and creativity and confidence. But I look at people around me and, for instance, those up moods which make my introverted wife actually be excited to go out in a crowd or talk to a bunch of people. It’s that kind of energetic state. The kind where you feel like you can overcome things that are sometimes big mountains to climb over.
Once you’ve figured out what those things are, then the next thing to think about is how you can make it as if those things are happening to you. And here’s where things get creative. For instance, for me, external validation is kind of a big deal. There’s very little that makes me feel more empowered than being recognized in some way for doing something well or accomplishing something. Not just a “you’re a really great person and I like you” thing. But like “you solved this problem” or “that turned out even better than I expected it to” or “I can always count on you to be able to achieve this particular thing that’s important to me.”
Now, I know it doesn’t work to, like, beg people around me for validation, right? And it doesn’t work to tell myself that my need for validation is rooted in crap from my childhood and that I need to shift my mindset around my inherent value or whatever. That’s like not listening to music that makes you happy because real happiness comes from within. Bleh.
But, what I can do is create some kind of personal ritual centered around getting that kind of validation from my ancestors or the universe or whatever it is that fits what you do. I can do a spell to summon that kind of positive reinforcement.
I can make an altar to myself as the goddess of spreadsheets or whatever, and leave myself offerings and tributes and stuff.
I could take an object or a crystal or a little figure or something and imbue it with a spirit whose only purpose is to tell me I’m awesome.
I can ceremonially do something I know I’m super good at in honor of some higher power and bask in the spiritual knowledge that my skills are appreciated.
The point is to not think of whatever your power mood is – courage, motivation, whatever – as some external thing, some external energy which comes from somewhere else that you either have to work for or deserve or luck into. Because it isn’t really that. It’s a reaction. It’s from within. So it’s not about doing magic to tap into some external source of those things, it’s about doing magic to pull those things out of yourself. To trigger the chain reaction that turns that switch inside.
And I think this is super important to this whole thing: It is not a failing or something bad if you can’t just shift a thought or think the right motivational words and be super into your power mood all the time.
Nobody is meant to be up and feeing powerful all the damn time. We’re human.Tweet
We have a variety of moods. Sometimes we don’t need to feel empowered and revved up, sometimes we need to feel our deeper feelings. Sometimes we need to unplug and be still and lazy. Whatever.
No matter what the ‘positivity only’ crowd suggests, nobody is able to just not ever deal with so-called negative feelings and keep their energies high all the time and switch off their down moods whenever they come up.Tweet
That whole idea is not just fantasy, it’s unhealthy.
But staying stuck in a funk isn’t healthy, either.
Now, it wouldn’t be an episode of Waxing Soul without a downloadable resource or something, so what I made this time was a little idea sheet that I hope will trigger some creativity to help you figure out how to do your own mood magic on yourself.
And I would absolutely love to hear what kind of ideas you come up with on your own, how this works for you, what you try and what you find out.
Thank you so much for listening. New episodes of the Waxing Soul drop every Thursday. All materials and resources except the music are copyright Bridget Owens. Many thanks to my readers, listeners, friends, mentors, inspirations, and my framily for riding with me into season two. Until next week, blessed be and be good to yourself.