My agenda this weekend was to put the final touches on my monthly article and get it ready to publish. Time to check the box and cross it off my list. When I work, I give myself a goal and then listen for the deeper meaning behind what is going on in my life. This helps me build momentum and experience to bring to my goal, letting it unfold before me in the way that it needs to versus the way I think it should. At the same time that I am calling in the goal, I need to be aware of what is calling back to me. Right now the popular practice of the law of attraction, or manifesting, is approached from an, “I want to get it,” mentality. We take a fundamentalist approach to the idea of creating your own reality. See your future, say your future, visualize, believe. We love this method of doing because it feels like it is something we can control. In fact, we can even be compulsive about it if we really want, constantly checking in on our intentions, where we are at, if we are open enough yet, have I surrendered hard enough yet? On another level, we love it because if we don’t see the results we seek, we can subconsciously punish ourselves for doing something wrong. We reinforce that we don’t get what we desire because we aren’t good enough yet, all while repeating, “I am worthy.”
This is approaching the law of attraction from the head.
The act of intention setting is only part of the story, we also must be available for what the universe wants for us. When we make room for those two things to occur simultaneously, well that’s when it feels like magic.
A few days ago, my aim was to fulfill a deadline. Yet, when I awoke, I heard my heart deeply calling for something else. I wanted to be a vessel for love. My heart wanted to let the energy flow through me. It felt like that was my job that day. I battled with myself for a while, going back and forth between the need to be productive and this desire that came from within and from outside of me simultaneously. I knew this was what I wanted and I knew this was the universe’s request of me that day.
This place can be tricky, because desires can also be escape mechanisms, bypasses, or ways to “check out.” But when the desire feels like it is coming from somewhere deeper, somewhere true, and maybe not even your desire alone but the universe’s dream for you, well that is the kind of desire to follow through with. Often when we stand at the edge and notice these moments, it makes no sense, and yet, we have to go with our gut.
Against my sometimes blind obedience to the belief that says productivity is valuable and being busy is safe, I pleasure reading with my cat for a while. I allowed myself to be filled with love and to get radical by making space for love instead of seeking validation through productivity. I sang and danced. I prayed and praised. No boxes needed to be checked off today, just Being. Feeling pretty good.
And then things got dark. You might hear that spiritual growth is messy. Indeed. I didn’t realize I was going there that day; I thought I was sitting here with love and harmony. What happened? Somewhere between the poetry running through my heart and the conscious movement of my body, I found myself suddenly in a pit of darkness and despair. Of what? You tell me. It was like some gruff be-ing crawled up my skin, covered my eyes and my ears, and said stay here. This wasn’t sadness, this wasn’t mourning for the pain in the world or feeling someone else’s energy, this was just senseless torment. Here I sat right in the spot of doubt, disappointment, lack of drive confusion. Honestly, I don’t even know what this is or what it was about. Squirm I may, what I also knew was not to run away from this place or make it wrong. If my intention is to be a vessel, then Greater Spirit, let me be the vessel. Let me love the dark turmoil as much as the rest. Let me turn inside out and somehow hold myself in the process as I surrender to the thing.
Great flowing waters of the universe. Let the blessed waters run through me. Fill me and then empty me once again. Even in despair, I drink your sweet love potion. The flowing river of life you leave the whispers of your traces like ripples in the ice of my heart.
We crack ourselves open and then leave space for the mystery to unfold within us. The thing we need is staring us right in the face. It is all around us, actually.
I share this because this is a very rudimentary version of speaking intentions and making room for what the universe wants for you and consequently for us. My intention was to share my teaching for this new moon. My intention was to breathe life into what is present to me. I thought it would be about science and the Great Mystery, but it turns out it is about leaving space for the Great Mystery even while we are immersed in it. Even when I submitted myself to love that day, where I thought it was going was totally different from where I ultimately needed to go. And, I was available for the teaching.
At the same time, you set an intention, you also loosen the grip around expectations. You have to be available to hear the answer from the heart, otherwise, you are just willing from the head. The practice requires that you strike a balance to call in what you want (after all you can’t just leave it all up to chance, you have a responsibility to ask) and watch the cues for what serves. It usually isn’t what you expect. If it was, you wouldn’t need the Great Mystery.
My point in all this is to let us be careful not to convince ourselves that there is some formula for ascension. Let us remember that however, we got it done last time, might not be the way on the next round. Let us love the mystery of our unfolding as much as the knowledge of how it works. Let us not rush to fill the gaps or explain it all, reducing what is beyond rational to a mere equation. Let us trust our deeper selves too, for in doing that we are actually trusting the universe. It’s okay that you don’t fill in all the holes. We need the space to become. The space is where we meet the great mystery.