If manifesting isn't working out for you, this might be why

With so many angel card messages lately urging us to set intentions to manifest what we want in our lives, I thought Id write about how we sometimes block our dreams from coming true by wanting them too much.
Wait, what?
Bear with me. I *know* that sounds counter-intuitive. How can you want something too much? I mean, no one would set a goal for something they didnt really want, right?

The problem is that when we want something so much that we devote all our focus to it, we dont give the Universe enough space to make it happen for us –  and that messes up all the good energy were trying to send out. We get in our own way. We try to force it before the time is right, jumping on every opening that seems like it could possibly be the way forward, instead of pausing to let our intuition guide us. We might pursue business opportunities that don't suit us and chase potential romantic partners who arent that into us. Speaking of romance, my own love life is a case in point: I believe that I only got the relationship Id yearned for after I had stopped looking for it. I had not given up on love, I had just given up the search for it (for the record, love is not something you find. It finds you... when the time is right).
There is such a thing as being too attached to something. If we idealise how we want our lives to look, we may become tunnel-visioned and not realise that the Universe is showing us a better way. The problem is not the wanting of said thing, it’s the clinging to said thing.
This isnt just a trick to play on ourselves so we dont get too disappointed if something doesnt work out, BTW.
When we ask the Universe for something, there are only three possible answers it gives:
·         * Yes
* Not yet  
             *  I have something better in mind
Here’s an example. Last year I was completely fixated on my goal of making my reiki practice work. It was haemorrhaging money, and I exhausted every avenue my Mastermind group and I could think of to attract the clientele the business needed. I sensed Id made a misstep in opening a business without establishing a client base first, but I was in too deep and I felt I couldn’t just walk away (flogging dead horses has always been a hobby of mine, lol). I was so obsessed with making it work that Id staked my sense of self-worth on the success of the venture, so that when it inevitably failed, I felt like I was the failure. Not exactly a healthy approach.
Ive already written about my struggles with that resulting sense of failure (read that post here) but here’s a brief summary of what went wrong (or right, depending on your perspective): the Universe was trying to steer me in a different direction, but I hadn’t been listening. Because I was too attached to how *I* thought it should happen.
A lot of spiritual experts encourage people to emotionally invest in their goals, which is all well and good, but if we are *too* attached to our visions, we can overlook cues from our intuition that there might be a better way – or that what we want simply isnt right for us at that point in our lives.
Lesson learned. Now when I set goals and intentions, I ask the Universe for help, then let them go. Your move, Universe.
Of course the Universe always responds to action (you should never be passive about your goals), but there’s only so far you can go before you’ve got to get out of your own way. Surrendering to the Universe is the only option – and the Universe is, after all, better at organising things than you are. 
This has worked brilliantly for me in recent weeks. One of my aims was to get a regular spiritual column in a publication. To solidify that intention, I focused on the euphoric feeling of having such a gig that would beautifully marry my two career streams of spiritual guidance and journalism (hint: the Universe loves it when we attach emotions to our intentions). I contacted a few editors, but heard nothing back. Then I pretty much forgot about it. I didn’t give up, I just knew there was nothing more I could do to bring the column into being. I knew that if it was meant to happen, it would. 
And, almost 12 months later, it has.
A few weeks ago, a former co-worker put me in touch with a commissioning editor who was looking for a monthly spiritual column on her magazines website. After some discussions, we arrived at a formula, I wrote my first piece, and its just gone live. Im thrilled. I’m aware that it might not work out long-term... but then again, it just might. Either way, Im happy. Because as much as I wanted this opportunity and am enjoying it, I didn’t *need* it.
That’s the best way I can sum up non-attachment: wanting but not needing. It’s a pretty helpful strategy to keep in mind. Except for when it comes to nachos, which I both want and need on the reg, obviously.