Living With Intent

As a pagan doing things with Intent is pretty much the foundation of everything we do. It is for almost any religion. Ask a Buddhist monk who can stand for six hours without twitching so much as a finger, or a Catholic woman who kneels before the cross and prays for her husband surgery to go well, or the pagan who breaths slowly and stares in silent concentration into a lit candle. What they’re all doing takes not just focus, it takes intent. They do these things with extreme concentration and focus, their mind dwelling on their single goal. They know what they want from the bottom of their heart. That is intent.

Lately…no, for a while now, I haven’t been living with intent. Not in my magical or my mundane life, and took reading this woman’s blog to realize it. As I scrolled through her lovely worded updates it made me stop and look at myself. Was I appreciating my life both magical and otherwise the way I should be? Was I waking up in the morning and taking ten minutes to meditate, or doing anything very magical? Was I making the most of my day even in a mundane way?

No.

That’s a hard thing to admit for me, as practicing pagan of 16 years. Hell, it’s hard to admit as a human being. Yet we are always learning and changing, and we often lose sight of our intent. And that’s okay. Life, stress, failure, fear, all of it can get it in the way, throwing their lemons and booing at us. It blinds us to the things we can do, the things we should be focusing on. Our goals. Our intents. We lose sight of them, but the gods always bring us gently back on track. The show us a way back—sometimes in something as simple as another witch’s blog!

Living with Intent sounds easy, but it’s not always. It doesn’t just mean setting a major goal (like my becoming a published author…*coughcough*) or even doing something extreme. It means that you make sure you do things in your life that give meaning to it. And you appreciate it. Which can be easy to over look sometimes.

During the past couple of months I’ve felt a growing depression and sadness in me. Some of it from lack of human interaction (I’m such a major extrovert I should be their poster child), and some of it, I realize now, is from the lack of having something magical to focus on. I’ve lost my Intent. When I made this blog I said it was to hold myself accountable, and just like a mirror it reflects back what I’ve achieved—or haven’t. My Intent was to live more in magic, to do things with intent towards a magical life and home. But this blog, like my magical life, is woefully lacking.

(This little plant has some major intent! Becoming a tree!)

Realizing this tonight, I turned to my BOS (Book of Shadows) and let it fall open where it would. The first page that fell down was on Grounding. I would have laughed out loud, if it wouldn’t have woken others up. One thing that I’m always aware of, regardless of how little magic I preform, is my spirit guides. One spoke up, saying in a gentle voice, “It isn’t just grounding. You must mediate. Breath. Be in the present when you ground. Truly feel yourself.”

Who am I to ignore such words?

A phrase I use on kids whenever they have a bad attitude/day is, “you’re in charge of yourself. If you’re having a bad day, you can choose to make it good any time you want. You can start over whenever you want.”

I should really listen to my own advice! I can chose to live with Intent right this moment, or two weeks from now. And so can you. You aren’t a bad pagan for not doing a spell every day, or reading tarot every day, or celebrating every full and new moon. Life happens. But think about your Intent. What do you want to bring into your life that will be meaningful with your actions and thoughts? What will make you feel connected again?

In line with these thoughts and revelations here are some goals that I intend to work on and practice every day, with no excuses or a ‘maybe later’.

* Meditate every day for 10 minutes (either before work or before bed)

* Bless my tea for energy every morning

* Put intent and mindfulness into my food when I cook (I cook a lot)

*Attend a pagan event once a month (If there are any going on)

It’s all in little baby steps. You will observe I didn’t put ‘do a spell everyday’ or ‘go to as many pagan events as possible’. That’s not intent, at all! These aren’t New Years resolutions my friends! These are things that, when added together, will help ground me in the present and at the same time, bring magic to me since I’m bringing magic into my life through those actions. I’m living with Intent.

What about you? Have you found yourself not quite living the magical life you’d promised to? Did you lost your Intent but find it again? If so, how did you do it!?