“You always get what you want” a friend of mine moaned via Skype messaging one day. I jokingly responded, “I’m a witch!” only to receive the comeback “yes, and a very powerful one too!”

I gave her comment some thought, and yes, I do always get what I want—the power of my intent is phenomenal. I may not always get whatever it is the way I thought I would, but I get it. I always have, and I have learned through many years of understanding the way the universe works, to be specific about what I want. Well, as specific as I can, trying to think of all the implications—things that can go awry, how what I want may affect others, what I don’t want in getting what I want without focusing on the “don’t want” and, most importantly, that it is for the good of all involved. Then, once I have decided exactly what I want, I move to make it happen—show the Universe my intent.

A perfect example is my studio apartment in Bangkok. I had arrived back in Thailand after spending almost a year in Canada and the U.S. Having been here many times, I always stay at the same guesthouse. It’s a place I know and I don’t have to be concerned about what will meet me when I arrive—I don’t need the extra hassle after a long trip, I just want to settle and relax. I had already decided that I was going to settle back in Asia—the part of the world that whispers to my soul and where my aura receives the least dents. I just wasn’t sure which country in Asia and until I was, I had no intention of moving. I put this “out there”—I am NOT moving until I know.

I met up with a friend I had made on Facebook (yes, you can make non-virtual friends on Facebook) and he and I took an overnight trip to the River Kwai to get away from the city. I told him what I was doing back in Asia. My time in the U.S. had been fraught—very—but I had learned a lot about myself, my lifestyle, my diametrically opposed wants. My friend, who has lived in Bangkok for the past 10 years, asked why I didn’t settle in Bangkok for a while, get an apartment, get my head straight and settle into my writing and editing.

Getting back to my guesthouse, I had a long think about it. Bangkok, with its crazy traffic, masses of tourists, seedy reputation but many conveniences, had been a place I came to more times than I can remember across the years for visas, plane tickets, shopping for items I needed—it was the last place in the world I had ever thought of settling. The very last.

But what he said resonated. In fact, it clamoured and beat drums. I sent him a message telling him I thought it was a good idea, but I had to get an apartment somewhere convenient. “Why not my area?” he asked. In the centre of the city? Umm, I don’t think so. “There is a lovely place near me, with a great landlady, I will go and see if there is anything available.” And I left it at that.

He called me two days later and said there was a small room coming available, would I like to see it. We walked down a tiny street just off the wild Sukhumvit road, next to huge construction sites with tall apartment buildings stretching high and I thought there is no way I am staying here… no way. I had just come from living in the countryside in a village with 900 residents spread across hundreds of kilometres. Now the city? My heart dropped, but I said nothing. We came to a beautiful garden with a small building—an oasis of peace—and my immediate silent reaction was, “Wow, this is so beautiful, I could stay in a place like this.”

“This is it,” my friend said.

We met with the manageress and she and I clicked immediately. She took me to see the one-bedroom apartment that she thought would come available soon and it was perfect. There were smaller studio apartments, but none were available or even coming available, but she said she would let me know if anything did.

I decided that this was where I wanted to stay. The whole place spoke to me. It just worked. My aura agreed. I set my mind to staying in the guesthouse until something moved. Whatever moved, it wasn’t going to be me.

And I put the Universe on notice.

The Universe and I have an interesting, understanding and unfathomable-to-most relationship. I know there are things it expects me to do, that it needs me to do. In my infant years with the Universe, if I felt the “moving” to go and do something, I would unthinkingly do it regardless of the cost (monetary, physically and emotionally) to the people around me and to my own being.

But I learned.

I am not expected, or even being asked to drop everything and run, I am shown what is needed, where and “when you are ready” is the only instruction. Of course, the Universe works with a very willing subject and my “ready” is “always now,” but from years of experience now padded with circumspection.

My negotiations with the Universe go something like this: Right, you want me to do this, no problem, but here is what I need. I need the money to move, I need a place to stay that must have the following… I need to be able to leave wherever I am without causing massive hurt or disturbance, I need… whatever. Make it happen.

And I set the wheels in motion showing my intent to do. It may simply be searching the Internet for the cheapest air tickets, calculating my savings and dropping my expenditure, finding something that will supplement my income to have enough to do what I must do, to get where I must be to do what waits being done. But I show my intent unwaveringly and with absolutely no doubt that I will get what I need.

And so with the apartment. I wanted to stay in this building—nowhere else. That was my mindset and I settled into the guesthouse on a never-never basis, making it my home for as long as it took, regardless of discomfort.

Then my friend wanted a pet—he had always wanted a Peruvian guinea pig—and I went with him to the pet section of Chatuchak Market to help him “keep reason in the forefront.” Hours later we both walked out, each with a guinea pig and all the paraphernalia that goes with keeping pets happy and healthy. Thinking back I realize this was another “show of intent” to the Universe that I was here to stay.

Two days later I received a text message from the manageress of the apartment building saying the big apartment wasn’t available, but a studio would be in two weeks’ time and who knows, a larger apartment could pop up. I was delighted. A foot in the door is a foot in the door.

Two weeks later my friend helped me move to the apartment building. The manageress took one look at my pet and said, “We don’t allow pets.”

“You didn’t tell me that.” Of course, I hadn’t even thought to ask as I had no intention of keeping a pet at that stage. “Can’t you make an exception?”

“No, the owner will not allow pets—it’s the rules.”

“Let me speak to the owner.”

“He won’t. I have worked here for 20 years and I know him. He won’t budge, doesn’t matter if you speak to him.”

For a second I wavered, only a second and sending out a mental “Help!” I continued, “You don’t know what he will say. Please let me speak to him. I have to at least try.”

She went and called him—a lovely, stately and tall, elderly gentleman who spoke perfect Queen’s lingo. He didn’t say a word, just sat and listened. I told him that I hadn’t known about their rules about pets, that I would never have bought a pet if I had known. I told him about my travels, my life to date, all the things I had done, places I had been. He listened. I told him I understood he had rules and I would never ask him to break them, but if he would just allow me to stay until I found another place that would accept pets, I would be grateful.

Then he did something that I knew meant all was OK.

My friend had taken the guinea pig out of the cage and was holding it to calm it down. The owner leaned over and scratched its head: “What’s its name?”

Then he took me to visit his dog and we had a chat about animals in general, dogs in particular—animals I know well.

And I moved in—manageress still in a state of shock, me smiling. My friend said, “You know, that’s it, you’re in. If he wasn’t going to allow you to stay permanently, he wouldn’t even have let you in temporarily.”

The location is convenient, the people delightful and by now I know every street vendor, shop assistant and beggar in the area like old friends. One day I decided “that’s it.” I am staying in this studio, I am not moving until a larger place in this building becomes available no matter how long it takes. I made my intent very clear—I am not moving, I want the larger apartment in this building—nowhere else—send it to me.

Yesterday, as I was running out to go get some supplies, the manageress (now a firm friend) called me and asked if I would mind a larger apartment on the fourth floor. Of course I won’t mind, is one coming available? She wasn’t sure, but was going to speak to the tenants to see if she wanted to exchange.

And this is how intent works. It’s not about asking for something then sitting around and waiting for it to be thrown in your lap. That’s not going to happen. It’s about knowing what you want or need, asking—no, actually telling it. Then take a leap of faith—well, even a small toe nudge will do—setting the wheels in motion even in a small way to get it and unflinchingly accepting that it will be so. Because it will.

Show your intent: I intend to be happy, I intend to be satisfied, I intend to stay put, I intend to get this or that done, I intend to go wherever… and make the move—even if mentally to do or be so. Move, take that “leap of faith.” The Universe will move to meet you. It always does.