Alchemy As A Path For Inner Transformation
April 6, 2013
How To Deal With Anger And Other Negative Emotions
April 13, 2013

Setting The Pace For Your Spiritual Growth Through Intention

As part of the run of spiritually-themed articles I have running through my head right now, I wanted to write something about setting the pace of your spiritual growth through intention.

It Is Possible

My message for this article is simple and needs little embellishment: It is possible to communicate with the Universe in order to speed up or slow down the rate at which you go through learning experiences.

This is very easy to do. The only obstacle people ever usually have, as far as I can tell, is simply not knowing that it is possible.

You need only address the Universe, your Guides, your Higher Self, God, or whichever other force you think would be appropriate, and make the intention to that effect.

Read on, though, because there are some, shall we say, safety issues it would be good to be aware of.

My Friend’s Experiences

A friend of mine explained to me, once, his experiences with setting the pace for his spiritual growth.

At one point he had become very frustrated with his progress and, regarding that topic, addressed himself to the Universe. “I want to grow faster, faster! Hit me with everything you’ve got, do everything possible to wake me up, I don’t care what I have to go through or what I have to suffer, just make me grow!”

What followed was 2 years in which he experienced every possible sort of negative experience imaginable. Financial troubles, breakups, sickness. It was unbelievably intense and by the end of that period he was at his wits’ end.

This was when he remembered the intention he had made and made the connection to what had been happening. Hurriedly, he retracted his intention. At that, the string of mishaps abruptly ended.

The Aftermath

After this period, my friend felt understandably quite a bit traumatised and reported going through some years in a kind of exhausted indifference to what happened in his life. On the other hand, he also learnt a lot of inner peace, a sort of Zen-ness, and an increased ability to maintain his centre through life’s ups and downs.

The interesting thing is that in a subsequent consultation with an astrologer, my friend learnt that he had completed the spiritual lessons for his current lifetime and was beginning to work on lessons which were intended for future lifetimes. I thought that was a very unusual and poignant thing to hear in such a consultation.

So, it definitely seems like he made some real headway and moved faster in this lifetime than was originally planned.

Learning Through Positive Experiences

I have a slight issue with the intention which my friend set, though, because it seemed to contain the assumption that growth has to happen through misfortune. While I’m sure it can, I believe that there are other methods too, ones which are less painful.

Of course the trouble with phrasing the intention in the way my friend did is that the Universe will bring you exactly what you ask for. If you ask for growth through suffering, the Universe will bring you growth through suffering.

Well, I heard my friend’s story some years back. Inspired by it, I decided to set an intention of my own for fast growth. However, trying to learn from his experience, I specified that my growth would come through positive experiences whenever possible.

Here are the exact stipulations of my intention, slightly modified since the first time I made it but still the same in essence:

I intend to heal and grow spiritually as fast as I can within what is good for the Highest Good Of All and within the larger context of my life purpose as a whole, being ready to experience whatever this process requires, intending always pleasant learning experiences but being ready to go into unpleasant ones if that is what it takes.

My Pleasant Growth Experiences

Since I made this intention, I have gone through some very powerful growth experiences, and, indeed, most of them have been relatively pleasant. For instance, a year ago I began living as a woman despite having been born into a male body. That was an intense but largely positive experience. It shook me to the core just like a powerful personal trauma might, but unlike a trauma, the experience was both chosen (I decided to explore my feelings in this regard, nothing forced me to) and not particularly uncomfortable on the whole.

I have had unpleasant experiences with being transgendered as well as with other learning experiences I’ve gone through since setting the pace for my spiritual growth. But, actually, I have had a remarkably positive time of it on the whole. In fact, a transgender counsellor I worked with expressed genuine surprise at how well I was doing emotionally.

I guess I just kind of willfully decided that no matter what other people experience, transitioning from male to female wasn’t going to be something that made me feel embittered or victimised. I had had enough of that for one lifetime.

And so, it didn’t. Being transgender has been challenging but also enriching and exciting. I am only appreciative of what I’ve gone through and the perspectives that has furnished me with.

And on the whole, my life has steadily improved in comfort and pleasure these last years, while my personal growth has remained strong and steady throughout. If anything, my growth has only increased in intensity in this time, rather than slowing. The comfort has not seemed to affect the pace at all.

Making Your Own Intention

So, now that you’ve learnt that you can set the pace of your spiritual growth, you can, if you like, make an intention like the one I made. You can even copy the exact wording if you feel inspired to.

Whatever wording you come up with, I do recommend you add something like my “within what is good for the Highest Good of All” to make sure that what you are intending will really make the world a maximally better place for everyone. This is a good thing to add onto any intention you make.

I also think “within the larger context of my life purpose as a whole” is also important, because after all, we are not always here just to learn or grow. Our souls often come to Earth with the primary intention of helping others, and our plans for spiritual growth in this particular incarnation may be, therefore, relatively limited. I’ve heard some souls even take “holiday” lifetimes where their soul purpose is to rest. So there are things which our soul might want to do other than just growing spiritually, and for that reason I think it’s a good idea to acknowledge that and leave space for that in our pacing intention.

The Slider

You can speed up your growth then. I should mention, too, that sometimes, things have happened too fast in my life. Once or twice, I asked the Universe to slow down a little bit so that I could have time to rest and/or process. In one case I remember I had to repeat myself a couple of times, but in a fairly short space of time it obliged. (I guess it wasn’t so easy for the events which I was experiencing to stop just like that).

Perhaps, for making little adjustments like this, it could be valuable to imagine a slider. You can push the slider towards one end to speed things up, or towards another end to slow things down. If you make this visualisation while addressing yourself to the Universe, I think She should get the message.

Actually, I mentioned a slider because that seemed an easier way to explain it, but what I have used sometimes was something that was more connected to my feelings – some sort of internal body clock that I could shift somehow using my kinaesthetic sense. When I needed things to slow down, it was like trying to put on some kind of brakes, while when I wanted to speed up, I could kind of push forward.

Whether you communicate to the Universe through the kinaesthetic sense or through a visualisation is, I’m sure, just a matter of personal preference. What matters, I believe, is that you have conviction and that you are directly addressing your chosen power.

In Conclusion

So, in conclusion, I think it’s cool to know that evolution can happen to a great extent as a function of how much you open yourself to it and invite it. I also hope that what I’ve written here will encourage people to invite more pleasurable learning experiences into their life, as well.

And so, give everything you’ve read here some thought. When you’re ready, you can give the techniques above a try.

Be responsible with it and don’t push yourself into anything you can’t handle. And remember, of course, that you can cancel your intention or set your slider back to the “factory setting” at any time. Just address your chosen power and ask that it be so.

Thanks for reading! If you have any experiences regarding this, I’d be very interested to hear them in the comments.


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Alchemy As A Path For Inner Transformation


What Is Spirituality?

The Pathless Path


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  1. Donna Farrer says:

    Great article, I will attempt to put some of these ideas into use. I have been reading Riana Milne’s Live Beyond Your Dreams and she speaks so well on the spirituality aspect of personal growth it pushed me to the internet to find other’s who have had great growth in this matter. is her site, the book is really worth a look!

  2. Kim Haden says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. Have enjoyed all the articles I have read so far.

  3. vee says:

    There was this dirt in my head that transgendered folk were somehow differently wired, in an “I wont be able to get along with them” kinda way. Not overtly but became apparent when I read the part aboit ypu being transgendered. Your article was clear, concise, intelligent and effectively destroyed that mental impurity. Thank you.

    Do you think there is a corelation between the quantum of negativity (especially guilt) within our memory and the kind of experiences we need to transcend the boundaries created by these memories? Does this actually make us ask for certain types of experiences cos somewhere we know what we need? Or is it your opinion that what we consider positive or negative is unimportant and that the same progress can be made withoit ‘human’ suffering?

  4. Sophia Gubb says:

    @Vee I don’t know really, but I would like to think that a lot of growth can be done without suffering. I’m not sure how much, or whether we can avoid suffering entirely, but I feel that it’s only sensible to intend for the most pleasant learning experiences possible.

  5. Barbara says:

    This is one of the best explanations of setting intentions I’ve seen. And good for you! I love a good story about overcoming something so difficult with grace. Well done! I’m sharing this with spirituality groups I’m in.

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