Go to ten yoga studios, and I can guarantee that you’ll see a statue of what appears to be an elephant looking man with four arms in at least eight of those studios. Prior to becoming more committed to my yoga practice, I was already an elephant collector, so when I kept seeing this figure at various studios I had to know who/what this thing was.
Upon several google searches, I found out that this figure is Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. Ganesha is thought to grant success and protect against adversity, something we could all benefit from.
My research on Ganesha motivated me to begin thinking about the obstacles in my life and I felt compelled to write them down. What I found was interesting. There was a whole lot of this going on:
I want to be at this point doing/obtaining D, E, and F. I can’t do/obtain D and E yet because I don’t have (insert excuse) to do it, and in order to do/obtain F, I have to wait (insert excuse) amount of time until I’m qualified & prepared. So now I’m stuck doing A, B, C.
As I looked at my list, it was almost as if the paper transformed into a mirror and I was staring at my biggest obstacle- me. Is this something you can relate to as well? Are the things that we perceive to be obstacles tangible or are we the real obstacles? More often than most of us are probably willing to admit, we are the sole source of interference on the journey to our dreams.
Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely things beyond our control that poses obstacles but I’m still learning how to cope and accept the things I can’t change or that will take time to change. Looking at my list also made me realize that sometimes the things we perceive as obstacles are really sacrifices, and sometimes they may look and feel the same way, but their DNA is completely different. Obstacles are external and are usually things we have no control over in regards to when, how or why they happen. They’re overcome by problem solving, changing a game plan, or waiting a situation out until the obstacle removes itself. Sacrifices are internal. We choose to create our own sacrifices based on the value we determine something we want is worth . Like obstacles, sacrifices aren’t easy and are not meant to be comfortable. However, the outcome of the sacrifice is dependent solely upon what we put into it. The road to success will surely have obstacles but it also does not come without sacrifice.
Now I wear a Ganesha charm daily to remind myself not to get in my own way. I accept sacrifices because they pave the way to my ultimate destiny. They aren’t road blocks preventing me from getting there, but rather rest stops along the way reminding me to pace myself and value the journey.