Radical Soul
Radical Soul
Desire as Trickster Energy with Opulence Abundance

Desire as Trickster Energy with Opulence Abundance

“Healing our relationship to desire, and being able to acknowledge, verbalize, and celebrate our desires is key to living a life of joy, presence, and meaning,” explained conflict navigator and healer Opulence Abundance in a recent newsletter/blog post.

During our chat for this podcast episode, we spoke about Opulence’s relationship with desire, as well as the relationship between yoga and the caste system, embracing one’s identity as a healer, and the loss of wisdom in communities that shun their elders.

Below you’ll find a brief reflection on our conversation about desire as trickster energy.

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

About the Guest

Opulence Abundance on Instagram: ”@zoomidoomi told me to”
August 26, 2023

Opulence Abundance is a speaker, conflict navigator, and healing professional. As a queer intersex person of color born and raised in the Carolinas, Opulence learned how to diffuse conflict and build community at a young age. In 2014 Opulence moved to California and in 2016 they graduated from the University of Southern California with their Masters in Social Work. They went on to work in grants management and healthcare, creating one of the first healthcare programs for people exiting incarceration. Opulence now works with individuals and groups to navigate conflict in new ways so they can break patterns, harness their power, and change the world. Check out their Substack and podcast.

Desire As Trickster Energy

So Opulence and I have something in common. A big influence on both of our education around desire has come from “white lady Tara Brach,” as Opulence calls her. If you’re not familiar, Brach is a psychologist and Buddhist practitioner with a kick-ass podcast about meditation, which is where Opulence was first introduced to her.

I found out about Brach from a therapist who recommended her book Radical Acceptance, a guide to self-acceptance based on the belief that we are inherently good and worthy of love.

The path to self-acceptance requires us to heal our relationship with desire, so it’s a common topic for Brach. And she is a big advocate of sitting with one’s desires instead of acting on them. Through sitting with our “wanting self,” we can learn to filter through all of the layers of surface-level wants to better understand what the heart is truly seeking.

In Radical Acceptance, Brach writes:

At any moment throughout the day, if you find yourself driven by wanting, the question, what does my heart really long for? will help you reconnect to the purity of spiritual yearning. By pausing and asking yourself at any moment, “What really matters? What do I most care about?” you awaken your naturally caring heart.

During our chat, I admitted to Opulence that I worked on being able to ask myself these questions and answer honestly for over a decade. It was a painful process.

Here was their response:

“When I began my spiritual studies, there was this idea, because you're being exposed to all this esoteric philosophy and ideas — ideas that have been passed down for hundreds, thousands of years — and it shows because they're hard to understand. And they're like little riddles. And the invitation is not to muscle through it. It's not use your mind to figure it out. But to engage the fullness of your spirit to sit with it and listen in.

And similarly, when you start asking yourself self-reflective questions, especially around desire, which can be so confusing or have some trickster energy, there's so much that we are told to desire in this lifetime. So I think when we slow down and tune in to our true desires, that are authentic to ourselves, it can take a little bit of time for those to come forward.”

I love this response, especially the idea of desire as trickster energy. See, desire is a good thing. It’s our heart’s way of asking for what it needs. But we each have a lifetime of asking for what we need and getting denied or hurt in the process. And what happens when, over and over again, pursuing your desires leads to pain and heartbreak?

Shame. Denial. Manipulative strategies.

When Opulence talked about desire having trickster energy, what they were really getting at (I think) is that we become tricksters when attempting to get our needs met — whatever they are.

Sometimes, this is a good thing: desire as play; desire as magic; desire as a spiritual conduit. But we can also rely on unhealthy means of getting what we want: desire as an excuse for violence, manipulation, and dishonesty.

Part of befriending our “desiring self” is learning to understand why we respond to our wants in the ways that we do — a process that requires a lot of self-compassion and curiosity.

The other aspect of desire I associate with trickster energy is desire’s fluidity and chaotic nature.  Trickster archetypes are often shapeshifters or masters of disguise. Our desires might look different from day to day. It can shift and evolve based on our changing circumstances whether we want it to or not.

Healing our relationship with desire requires embracing and accepting its trickster aspects.

P.S. Opulence is starting a new interactive course called New Cycles, which is designed to create a loving container for folks to “get comfortable with our desires, tend to our wounds, and take baby steps towards creating transformative change in our lives.” Join the waitlist here.

Radical Soul
Radical Soul
Formerly Left-Handed Journeys. Interviews with radical souls about their spiritual journeys, especially centering the stories of queer folks and sex workers.
This podcast is part of the larger Radical Soul brand which centers justice, strives to help others heal from religious trauma, and rejects white and Christian supremacy.
Want to be featured? Email jera@jerabrown.com.