Saxcerpt: What’s in your way?

Earlier this month I shared a powerful practice I began last year. I shifted my opinions toward resolutions to encompass the powerful concept of intentions. But setting our intentions isn’t enough to manifest them. We need to do the work. As we move forward into January, I encourage you to consider the obstacles that are before you. Review your intentions/resolutions/theme words, and consider what’s on your path.


Part of doing the manifesting work is identifying the obstacles in our way. Our intentions/resolutions exist because we want to make a shift or a change in our lives, and this requires overcoming the obstacles hindering our ability to actualize. These challenges help us grow. They teach us new skills, provide new perspectives, and allow us to utilize our strength and resiliency to persevere. In these considerations, we think of Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. (See below for a short mantra meditation of Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha, the chant of Ganesha.) However, we often forget that he also first places the obstacles in our way.

Ganesha is Vighneshvara or Vighnaraja or Vighnaharta (Marathi), the Lord of Obstacles, both of a material and spiritual order.[91]He is popularly worshipped as a remover of obstacles, though traditionally he also places obstacles in the path of those who need to be checked. Paul Courtright says that “his task in the divine scheme of things, his dharma, is to place and remove obstacles. It is his particular territory, the reason for his creation.” – wikipedia


Evolution is an aspect of life. And it is through the challenges of life that we have that opportunity (amongst other efforts to grow). We have chosen our intentions/resolutions/theme words because they are something we want to either overcome or instill in our lives. As such, we have chosen the obstacles before us. Recognizing the issues is one of the first steps in overcoming them. When we can see the problem for what it is, and we sit with it for a while, new perspectives on how to approach the challenge may be revealed. A broadened perspective enables us to innovatively overcome that which stands in our way. And as a result, we cultivate new habits (samskaras), ones we are seeking through our intentions, resolutions, and theme words.

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I encourage you to take a few moments, listen to this short, 13-minute meditation if you’d like, and just consider the obstacles before you.  Ganesha resides in our Muladhara or Root Chakra. It represents a willingness to release that which is holding us back and move past our obstacles. If meditation doesn’t resonate with you, grab a pen and paper and write down your perceived obstacles. Naming them will not only help you recognize what’s before you but will also cultivate your strength to overcome them.