Why Your Smudge Doesn't Work

If you’re trying to smudge, the chances are you are hoping to see results of some kind. Maybe you’re wanting to feel better, find clarity, or refocus energy in some way. It can be frustrating to go through the smudging process and not feel any different afterwards.

It’s okay to feel frustrated! Feeling like you’re not getting the results you want can lead to completely giving up the practice of smudging and, ultimately, lead to negative associations surrounding smudging and other cultural teachings. This is definitely not the result you were looking for!

If you’re struggling to see results from your smudging routine, there are few very common issues that you can easily troubleshoot on your own. If you find yourself growing frustrated with the process, you might be running into one or more of the following common smudging problems.

Common Smudging Problems

1) You haven’t set clear intentions

Smudging is all about intention. You will see results based on the intention you set. For example, if you’re smudging to remove negative energy from a room or home, you might try stating that intention out loud or reciting a related prayer or blessing.

If you aren’t making your intentions clear, you might not get the results you’re hoping for. 

2) You are asking for something you don’t need

Just because you think you want or need something doesn’t mean you actually need it. Smudging attracts the energy or outcome we genuinely need. If you’re not feeling better after smudging, you might be focused on something you don’t need. Reevaluate your priorities and intentions in order to truly focus on what you need, not just what you want.

3) You are not smudging consistently

Smudging should be a part of your routine. Smudging regularly reinforces our intentions and guides our focus, energy, or clarity. Smudging just once might not be enough to see true results. If you incorporate smudging -- and, with it, gratitude and mindfulness -- into your daily routine, you are more likely to experience a positive outcome.

4) You haven’t asked why

Why are you smudging? This question is an important part of the process. If you haven’t focused your mind on the exact reason you’re smudging, you’re unlikely to see results. Be clear with yourself and understand the reasons you want to smudge.

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5) You’re not focusing on yourself

Self awareness is not only a valuable Indigenous teaching, but a crucial part of the smudging process. Being present in the moment and in tune with your needs is pivotal to getting the most out of the smudging experience. If you’re more worried about other people or other distractions than you are focused on yourself while smudging, you won’t get your desired result.

6) You’re not focusing on your intentions enough

Even if you have set clear intentions for yourself, becoming distracted while smudging is enough to stop the process from being successful. Make sure you not only set intentions, but focus on them clearly so that you can attract the energy, focus, and wellbeing you are seeking.

Don’t Give Up!

Don’t give up on smudging if you don’t feel better the first time! Smudging takes dedication and even a little bit of practice, but can be so powerful when done successfully. 

With effort and intention, smudging can not only completely transform your mental and physical wellbeing, but be deeply and personally rewarding.