As I contemplate the end of this year I have decided to look over the intentions that I put in motion for 2010. I am amazed what I have manifested and where my challenges have been. I notice that the challenges I have endured are a great part of the manifestation that is trying to come about. With this epiphany I am guided to remind you of a few things that I noticed:

• Spirit is always working for you, not against you.

• When you put something into motion with a prayer, intention, desire, or dream, there is an energy that goes into action in order to make this manifest for you.

• The greater resistance you have, the more difficult will be the manifestation and the more beat up or defeated you might feel.

For example, you might say, I want to live in my true self, I want whatever is blocking me from my true self to fall away and I want to live with unconditional love. (I have used this example because it by far the most common intention I hear from students.) Even though this intention is beautiful and loving, you can guarantee that you will find yourself in all kinds of situations that will require you to forgive, step forward, allow, not judge, be the bigger person, move out of fear, move out of judgment, or basically move out of ego. Unless you actually practice these acts of love you will be challenged. You will be challenged with the things that have a high priority of knocking you out or blocking you from your true self. The universe will, without judgment, create incident after incident for you to claim your desire and your intention of being in your true self by giving you ample opportunity to choose accordingly. Again, the universe will be working for you, to help you reach your goal.

The opportunities presented may not be immediately apparent. They might feel like challenges or hardships and your choice could then be denial, avoidance, or resistance. In fact, you can become so delusional with a situation that you miss the whole message and teaching. The choosing you will be faced with may appear to conflict with your desires. It is often this conflict that creates the growth. If you are already showing your true self to your friends, co-workers, family, or whomever you relate to easily, the opportunity may show itself in the people who challenge you-- those who you want to avoid, those who have hurt you, or those who may have betrayed you. Your real growth to become your true self or to live unconditionally will be in these arenas of challenge.

The intention of living in your true self or being unconditionally loving will not manifest in a Pollyanna scenario where you will be unchallenged. Instead the intention will provide all kinds of scenarios where you will have to reach deep within yourself and understand that in order to live in your true self or with unconditional love, you have to change!

Resistance to these challenges is the block that you seek to remove. You must let go of your judgments, your opinions, and your fears. You must develop a loving, kind, sincere, honest, courageous, and open personality that will stand up in any situation without defense, opinion, judgment, pressure, or concern for yourself. In fact, your only concern would be for the other.

So, the questions are: What have you put into motion? What are your desires? Where are your challenges, which often show up as resistances? What is your next choice? If you think that this is too hard or is asking too much of you, then change your intention. You can always change what you wish to create in life. You get to be in charge! The universe will never judge your choices; it will only act on what you put into motion. Remember the universe does love unconditionally and allows anything.

My recommendation is that you spend some time during these dark days of the North... to discern your behavior; to accept that love is always the answer; to give up what doesn't serve you; to mend bridges; to think about what you can do. Self-discovery is not who has hurt you, but who have you hurt? The irony is that often these challenging folks are in your life by your own design. You have pre-contracted with them to help you gain what you have come here on the Earth to achieve. The contrasts are in alignment with your own personal desires for growth. The contrasts can make you reach and change, or they can stagnate you. The choice is always yours.

Author's Bio: 

Jan Engels-Smith is a graduate of the Foundation of Shamanic Studies and has trained with individual shamans. She has had a thriving shamanic practice since 1994. She has performed over 3,000 soul retrievals and viewed as an expert in her field. She is an author, Shamanic Practitioner, Reiki Master, a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Chemical Dependency Specialist, a Marriage and Family Counselor a Hypnotherapist and a Reconnection Healer.

Jan founded the LightSong School of Shamanic Studies, which has eight associate teachers and is the first of its kind to offer three accredited degrees in shamanism: Internship (IP), Licensed Master Practitioner (LMP) and Doctorate in Shamanism (ShD). You can learn more about these programs at

Jan also conducts individual and group healing seminars for intensive personal growth.

Her training and experiences have been extensive both in the traditional philosophies and metaphysical traditions. Her personal philosophy is to assist individuals in gaining their own personal empowerment, which will in turn, promotes self healing, better communities and a healthier world.

Contact Jan at or call 503-669-3013 (Portland, OR).

Please go to and sign up for my newsletter & receive a free gift!