All month long, I’ve been thinking about obstacles. What they are, what they mean, how to deal with them effectively. “Removing Obstacles” was the subject of a two week Instagram challenge that I’ve been participating in. (Basically, a contest where you post pictures of the daily prescribed asana, along with a caption or brief commentary. Many challenges have a specific theme to write about). Here are a few of my posts that I felt were worth sharing here.
Perceiving Obstacles as Opporunities
Imagine for a moment that you are in a dark room, lit only by the light of a small candle (your perception). You can’t see very well, and on your way around the room, or into the next room, you run into things and you find these as obstacles. Now imagine you have a flashlight. You can now see with this beam of light all of the things around you which are not truly obstacles, but opportunities: The couch you may have stubbed your toe on is an opportunity to take a nap, for instance. There is an opportunity to watch television, etc. So the point is that ALL obstacles are opportunities, if we can only see them that way. I called upon Ganesha two days before this challenge was announced, and my perceptions are changing dramatically. EVERY time I a ask for help earnestly, and am open minded, the answers come. I need only get out of the way, and be open for creative solutions to come to mind. But it starts with surrender, then willingness, and of course… action!
Growth is Not Additive
All that stands in the way of your dreams and desires, is really just an INNER obstacle; something that blocks you from your true self – whether that is a story, a belief or a fear. I believe that the path to the True Self is an inner journey, but that we don’t have to “go” anywhere, or arrive at a destination. Rather we remove the layers of judgements and conditioning that keep us separate from the inner being, where joy, peace, and meaning and True Power are.
As I travel on my path, I find that my spiritual progress has mostly come from releasing things, not adding them… in a paradoxical way, I needed to surrender my strong personal will to gain the power that come from a higher Source; and I didn’t need to become anything (more confident, smart, able, etc.) but stop blocking these attributes. And this is only a matter of deciding that I am ready. You don’t ADD anything to grow, you STOP BLOCKING IT.
Detachment is Key
My friend yesterday made reference to “living in the flow” and I got to thinking about that from the perspective of releasing obstacles. So, what is “flow”? What comes to mind are concepts like, non-resistance; fluidity; a single moment, but elongated in time; effortless. If I can do that in my practice, I think life can be lived in that same way, and with as much grace. I think the big hinderance to living “in the flow” … attachment to outcomes. If I am trying to arrange and manage my life based upon worry or fear, then just like in posture, I am exerting force against the natural order of things. If I show up to life in the moment, and do my best – in the moment – with zero attachment to the outcome, then I am truly taking life as it is; taking life easy; and if I’m doing that, then I can trust. And that goes a long way in being able to stand steadfast in the midst of difficult circumstances. For today, The obstacle I intend to release is attachment to outcome.