Recently, I finished reading Amanda Palmer’s book, The Art of Asking. It’s memoir and creative inspiration all rolled into one, and I’ve been thinking about a lot of the ideas in the book lately. Asking isn’t comfortable for me, and I’m sure this is true for many of us. Somewhere along the way, I ingested the idea that if I asked for what I wanted, I was greedy, or worse still, I was revealing too much about what I had and what I lacked. I guess there’s a tendency toward stoicism in my family; joys are celebrated with pride and praise, but troubles tend to be kept quiet, except within the family support system.
It’s taken me a long time to begin to open up to the magic in asking for things I need or want, and there IS magic involved. If I keep my dreams to myself, quietly nurturing them in the darkness of solitude, that’s all well and good (and, honestly, that’s how I am at the start of any project). But, I’ve realized that there comes a time when I have to call out to the Universe and say, “Hey, I’m ready for X to manifest, but I need a little help.” One thing I’ve learned as a Witch is that, while intention is important, clarity is crucial. If I don’t ask for what I want, whether it’s from the Universe, from my husband, or from my professional contacts, no one is going to give it to me.
I’m coming to see that asking isn’t greedy or selfish; it’s an act of ownership. It takes strength to be vulnerable, and as Palmer points out in her book, asking isn’t just about telling people what you want; when you ask, you give them permission to say “no.” And sometimes, the fear of that rejection is enough to keep us from asking. But, although random acts of kindness are beautiful, they’re still, well, random. We have to ask for what we need, and we have to be willing to accept both bounty and rejection (something I’ll explore in more detail in my next post).
This week, challenge yourself to speak honestly and ask for what you really need, whether it’s a large or small thing. There’s a courageous magic that manifests when we can give voice to our desires, and as I’ve recently come to believe, you never know what’s possible until you ask. As long as you are speaking from your heart, remember that it doesn’t hurt to ask.