Mental Makeover #3: The Obstacle is the Way
“Whatever we face, we have a choice: We will be blocked by our obstacles, or will we advance through and over them…” Amy Clement
So, you might ask… How does this connect with our internal practice? Would you agree that our yoga practice is a journey, and not always a straight path with signs showing us where the self-realization is. I see it more as a bumpy, rough road with obstacles that pop up predictably and randomly.
WHAT IF the obstacles were really gifts to us?
… Gifts that have us learn the deeper lesson: it is in our obstacles that we come to terms with the truth of our lives.
1. Perception with Acceptance
The first discipline has to do with our perception. Yes. How we see things. How many times in our lives does this principle come back to teach us truth?
How do we approach and perceive the obstacles in our lives? Are they awful; unfair; impossible to understand? Or, do they teach us to face obstacles more a advantages than liabilities? Holiday says that our perception is everything. Let me say that again. Our perception is everything.
So much has been affirmed about seeing circumstances with a positive attitude. Today’s top educators say that “grit” is the top value needed to succeed. That, combined with “glass half full” thinking! Wow!
2. Action with Perception
So, with new wisdom, let’s agree to look at a situation (or obstacle, or challenge) with a clear, non-judgmental head. Life is not easy if we accept a bad situation with a clear head but then do nothing. So, let’s accept what we can change those areas of our lives within our control (can I say… my behavior?), and forget about the rest. It is up to me to take action on the things I can control. Period.
3. Will with Action
Holiday defines “will” as things we don’t have control over. For example, we’re all going to die. We can do our best to live our lives as fully as possible… but obsessing, or despairing over our immortality offers us no magic solution.
Seeing things clearly without judgment teaches that every obstacle offers a chance to practice excellence so long as we perceive the problem correctly, take action, and accept the things we have no control over.
My challenge to you… the next time you face an obstacle, I challenge you to embrace the situation as an opportunity to grow and excel at life!
How about it? Are you with me?
And don’t let me forget a favorite mentor, Eleanor Roosevelt, who is quoted to say,
“No one can make you inferior without your consent”.