The Difference between Setting Intentions and Deep Listening

I love all of you who are concerned my manifestor button is broken. I assure you its not! Allow me to share where I’ve come in my journey over the past 15 years, in the interest of inspiring your own inquiry into your life, around which aspect of our inner nature to use and when.

So much change is afoot in the world right now, and part of it is a paradigm shift. Part of it is the old ways of simply manifesting what we dream is going bye-bye, just as the capitalist model it’s based on is going bye-bye. The American Dream is becoming a relic.

I am not here to say you can’t have what you dream – that’d be silly and not true – we can’t make blanket statements – but that it’s a bigger picture issue at this point. Hang in there and give it a listen before you decide whether this view applies to you.

I know there are a ton of you out there who believe in the Law of Attraction which is awesome, its just not the complete picture in alignment with your soul. Its definitely in alignment with how your spirit does energy work. Those two things are, well, different. If you find everlasting happiness by manifesting what your heart says you want, and getting it, rock on. If you have manifested some great things but are starting to wonder why you still feel a little unmet or dissatisfied, this post is for you.

Life appears to go in cycles, much as the natural world does, as we are part of nature. We cannot argue we have an animal self, and are as impacted by the seasons and moon cycles as any animal. Our lives also can have a cycle. For me its been feeling like a spiral. While I’m no expert astrologer, it appears to be connected in to the cycles of planets. Every few years, something cycles around, sometimes its 2 years, sometimes its 10… we move in orbits in our life. Sometimes its the time of plenty, sometimes its the time of lean, sometimes its both, in different ways.

In my last 9 year cycle of life I chose to manifest an idyllic home in the countryside, so I can get away from all the noise and outside influences, and focus on my creative expression. I really did that. I found a place in paradise, on top of a hill with both trees and sun, a place for farm animals, and got a horse. I made sculptures for hospitals right there in my backyard. I had a super cool landlady and a garden, and four cats. I loved it. It matched the dream I had.

When we were asked to leave, I already knew it was coming. I felt it on the energetic web, and the day I got the letter it was not a surprise. Sad, but not a surprise. Our time had come to a close there, just as the number 9 indicates endings. It was a powerful place of healing for me, and a place I rose into offering my gifts larger to the world, created a breathwork training program, hosted tons of workshops and classes, worked full time five days a week as a healer in my office. Beautiful times. Not to mention getting a horse I’d only dreamed about since 3 years old.

That departure from paradise was 8 months ago, and if you’ve been reading my newsletters you know I did not find a new home. Something else happened, something totally appropriate to Jupiter transiting my 3rd house.

We took a look around to see if there was anything we could buy, so we could truly feel settled in Sonoma County. After disbanding all we’d built on the farm and giving it away, we didn’t want to recreate that scenario by renting a new place and being asked to leave again. And my, how things had changed in Sonoma County. When we looked a few years ago we could manage to buy a fixer-upper, and now we could not. Sonoma County turned into the top 10 hottest markets in the U.S. So we took a moment to cool our heals, and pulled up our travel trailer and all our myriad pets and decided to hang out with Mom.

Jupiter transiting the 3rd house is about moving home, and its also about healing childhood issues. And wow is it been the latter! I hadn’t spent much time with my mom for 28 years, and its been the black-belt level of applying all the healing work I’ve done over the past 20 years to being with my family in community. Not something I ever imagined doing, not ever imagining it was do-able, but when I got still and listened closely, this is where my intuition guided me.  Its been a rocky road and I’ve wanted to rebel and leave home just like a teenager again but I used all my super skills I’ve acquired, to navigate the hardest relationship of all – the one with a parent when you were not on good terms.

Eight months later I can say I’ve found a sense of peace, and being self-empowered, in the presence of my Mom. And accepting who she is, and letting her be without reacting to her dynamics (on a good day). Its been a complete trip and I would never, ever have planned this. But you know what? Some of my biggest teachings, and source for supporting others, comes right straight out of my own life, just being a few steps ahead. I am just as human, and find the biggest spiritual path to be one that includes people very unlike ourselves and in which we learn to remain strong and be ourselves. Love is the answer. For me, its a pretty big calling to love even those who are not as awake and aware, and to love those who are different. Not cut them out of our lives and move on, thereby rejecting my former self and former life, and former family. We are also that wounded child. That wounded child still wants a healing.

Its not always possible for everyone, so I feel particularly gifted with the opportunity. This, I feel, is healing my ancestral lineage more than so many other approaches I’ve tried for working the energy of the line. Knowing and working our own energy field is the first step. Then take it back to our people, and by continuing to be who we are, and allowing the relationships to heal and change, we change our ancestral patterns.

For my family, abandonment and severance are big energy patterns. Looking at that as a major operator, it makes sense that learning to love and accept each other, with all our shortcomings, and stay connected, is part of the healing.

This happened by listening, not intending. I didn’t intend to live with my Mom, but I was guided to by listening. I likewise have many options before me. I don’t intend to live with my Mom forever, but there has become something quite enjoyable about being here, helping her in her life by bringing in connection, intelligent conversation, and the energy of slightly younger people connecting her more to the world with all our comings and goings than she ever had sitting in the woods by herself in retirement. What was initially really hard has become enjoyable – community. What’s interesting is that its quite different to experience community with one’s own family – this is new to me. There is more caring, especially as our relationship has grown to allow more authentic tenderness that wasn’t there when I was growing up.

Thirteen years ago I learned the power of intentions, thanks to the wonderful crew at Clarity Breathwork. They’re awesome at teaching expansive spirit-lifting work that teaches you how to utilize the energies of the universe to get what you want. It works, except when it doesn’t, because the universe is a big place with a lot of power, and your soul has a lot of other reasons for being here than just giving you what you want. I woke up out of that model after my friend killed himself. You can read more about why intentions sometimes fail in my previous post.

People get stuck on the manifest-your-dreams bit. The trouble is, when our dreams aren’t big enough for our souls.

I’m just dreaming bigger than ever. I’m tired of listening to other people’s ideas. I’m deconstructing, so I can find my own.

My email has triggered some Law of Attraction folks so let me attempt to explain in a slightly different way…. I’m exactly where I need to be, going through the peculiar hardships I face, because its not authentic to me to simply “Manifest my Dream Home” here, at this moment. There are many big foundational stones I am shifting – letting the old structures of what I wanted to have happen fall down, in part because some of them were built with old ideas, from teachers, mentors, coaches, and following business models of times gone by. My own SoulCentric Painting process has taught me to listen more carefully to MYSELF, and my numerology backs it all up – time to kick out all the other cooks in the kitchen, and find out what vision I hadn’t yet dared to dream.

I am an EXCELLENT manifester, but I’m no longer interested in tampering with my belief structure, or creating a vision to believe in, and its ok if that is what you do, I get it and am 100% there for you. I honor where you are at and what you want in your life. I never push my ways on to someone else. I only share as maybe a single person may be touched by this and get it. What I can plan is too small. My experiences are too small. (thanks David Whyte) I’m more interested in opening up to how I can be of the greatest support to humanity. If I sit here and dream up a plan, it’ll be too small.

That is part of how my SoulCentric Painting work led me to reconsider grad school, something I considered many times over the years. It was time to build a bigger foundation, something that will open doors more easily for my work that I’ve been practicing for a long time, SoulCentric Breathwork & Painting. Both help you meet the truth inside you.

While I’m dissolving old structures (bye bye, home I loved) this takes TIME and I have deep gratitude I’m not locked into a year lease somewhere paying exhorbitant rent.  Yes I got a funky shaman’s lifestyle going on right now – its cold outside – but there is something special about being close to nature, and we’re digging that part. Its not every day you can toss the cat out of your lap and scare your partner’s pet wild opposum out from under his chair.

Those of you who only like to be around people who are shining stars of success, may want to take a look under the skin of that sea and find out if its all its cracked up to be… I’ve witnessed many ‘leaders’ fall from their towers. I am choosing to find an authentic way for myself, and it doesn’t involve glamour. I don’t wish to weave a spell to lure anyone in. I prefer to step into deeper truth telling and hold the opposites of our existence, and make nothing wrong. It all is.

By the way, there are many ways to be successful. I have successfully been walking in the underworld for two and a half years, after my fall from my “high horse” (a pun that came through in my meditation this morning). There is so much rich humus down here, and while I am not “out in the light” as in times past, I’ve come to acceptance there is so much good medicine down here, I don’t really care. The time in the light will come again when I’m good and ready. For now, I’m going to grow roots, good roots, roots that are independent of a good many things.

In truth I feel just under the surface, and I’ve dubbed this place Purgatory. Like the Spirit world many get stuck on here on earth, I can see and witness so much but I’m not willing to be fully engaged – my energy has not yet recovered from the fall. I do not think it’ll be much longer, but it’ll be as long as I need. I am not interested in pushing myself.

In gratitude for the lightworkers teaching me I need to just manifest my dream home by visualizing it, I’ll be honest to say I am not there yet… do I want a castle? a ranch property? a hole in a hill? Right now, I’m just being with the changing seasons, helping people who want the help of someone who knows how to traverse the underworld, hang out peaceably in purgatory, and who also knows the light, and how to be out in the world in a big way. Its all there, and I won’t force my energy to be where its not, and I certainly will support you to connect into what is true for you.

Love you all, no matter whether you agree with me or not. All I can say is, keep watching, if you are curious what will happen. I know what my soul says, this pathless path I walk, and I know my big energy and have a sense of my bigger destiny… regardless of how that manifests.


By Mardi Storm

Healer, therapist, artist, supporting others professionally since 2002. Working in community settings and private practice, offering private and group work. My art has been published and is on public display.

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