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Namaste Journal

The Opportunity in Obstacles

Obstacles seem to come out of nowhere. You are steaming right along, making progress and working steadily towards your goals when *BOOM!* As if a boulder fell from the sky and stopped right in the middle of your path.


Obstacles seem so immense when you first meet them, don't they? They stop you in your tracks! It's difficult to not get angry, because you were making such great strides, and now you have this thing you are going to have to work around before you can continue that progress towards your goal. An obstacle can paralyze you, crush you beneath its weight.

But only if you choose to stay beneath it.

If you choose to overcome your obstacle, you most certainly will! With enough time, patience and breath, you will learn all you can in this moment, and use it to asses the direction your path will take based on this new experience. Remember that overcoming an obstacle doesn't always mean blasting through it. Sometimes, you have to flow around it like water, thus creating an entirely new path for yourself.

Let's create a plan for facing obstacles. The steps are easy to remember. Just remind yourself to DEAL with it.


You have to put some distance between yourself and your obstacle. Distance equals perspective. Size up your obstacle, look for gaps, holes... ways over, under and around. Getting absorbed in the affront of the obstacle or frustrated at its appearance in your plan will not make it go away. Try to avoid negative thinking, it will only siphon time and energy out of you and away from your purpose.

Embrace/ Learn to Love it

In order to make an obstacle work for you, you have to find the good in it. For instance, if you are short on cash and realize you can't go shopping. The time you would have spent shopping for things you cannot afford can now be allotted to work on a project you haven't had time for or just to pause and reflect on your budget and refocus your plans. Would you do this if it weren't for the obstacle?

Obstacles cause us to slow down. It is a block in your path; you have to stop! Stopping is frustrating, because humans love to go! Momentum feels great and progress is so rewarding. We don't like obstacles, because they inhibit the completion of a goal - and thus the delay the feeling of accomplishment we get from a job well done.

However, obstacles provide us with the ability to gain additional insight and knowledge we would not otherwise obtain if we were able to just carry on pursuing our goal without resistance... What's not to love about that?


You can't rush an obstacle. The more impatient you get, the more impenetrable they become. So take a breath, take your time. Have faith in yourself and your ability to work your way through this. Look forward to all the knowledge and experience you will have gained by the time you make it through. It's a detour, not the end of the world! And even if it was the end of the world, that's really just the beginning of another sort of journey.


Notice the details; immerse yourself in the moment. When will you be back to this place? Maybe never, so don't rush it. You may even encounter an obstacle within and obstacle; that is fine! Break that one down and see what you can learn from it too. Obstacles are like yoga: they provide a place for you to see what you are capable of. They give you the opportunity to build strength and flexibility. When you approach them with this attitude, you find they don't seem quite so insurmountable. When you are able to DEAL with it, you are certain to grow.



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