One of my favorite Hindu deities is Ganesha. He’s just so lovable.
Ganesha is a playful god with the head of an elephant. Ganesha makes me think of beginnings. He’s the remover of obstacles, the patron of the arts and sciences…Ganesha to me is friendly, congenial, your best buddy that’s there to support you and call you out.
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Remover of Obstacles
People worship Ganesh when they’re hoping to clear a path. We’re making sure that we can get to our goals with little disruption and difficulty. These are very understandable wishes.
But the great philosophers also say that our obstacles are important for our personal growth.
In Ryan Holiday’s beautiful “The Obstacle is the Way”, he uses the lessons of the Stoic masters, including Marcus Aurelius to support his thesis:
“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”
And so how do we reconcile these two views? Obstacle as annoyance and obstacle as important tool for growth? Today, I invite a reframe.
Instead of wishing for the obstacles to be removed, let’s ask for the obstacles to be removable.
This phrase – let the obstacles be removable – that’s bringing our power back. We’re no longer in reaction to the situation around us. We’re no longer hoping things are easy simply because that’s all we can handle.
Instead, we remember that obstacles are in our path, and we have to decide – do we trust ourselves to be able to remove them?
“Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.”
Witness the obstacle at hand, and move forward. Be true with yourself – not denying the situation or wishing it didn’t happen, but focusing on your experience and the ways that you want to move forward.
This takes trust. This takes belief in yourself.
This is also the power of the 3rd Chakra.
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The Third Chakra – Manipura
Manipura is located right above the navel, and the color of this chakra is yellow. I think of the immense power and beauty of the sun. The way that it is constantly shining, even when we can’t see it. The magical orb in the sky that brings us warmth and life and happiness.
This is our center of confidence and esteem. This is our center of ego (in the most positive sense of the word). This is where we build our sense of “I”.
When our 3rd chakra is balanced, we believe in ourselves. We have an energy, a life-force, that can move us forward.
It comes down to believing that every obstacle in our path is removable. We can handle whatever we experience.
A weak 3rd chakra means we lack self-esteem. We’re unsure of ourselves and our path. We don’t know who we are and what we stand for.
I know my 3rd chakra isn’t in great shape based on how many opinions I’m asking for. If I have to call up every person I know to ask them if I should do X or Y…..that means I need some 3rd chakra help. I need to dig inside and find MY strength and personal power.
How to balance and build your 3rd chakra
- “I am powerful”.
- “I believe in me.”
- “I am enough.”
- “All obstacles are removable, and I can remove them.”
Breathing deep, envision a small yellow orb right at the center of the belly. Feels it’s warmth and brightness. See it and feel it. Watch the orb steadily grow, taking up more and more of your body space, filling your entire body with light, warmth, and power. When that power grows so great, see the light burst out of your body and into the world. Bring that brightness out. Feel your personal brightness lighting the world around you, touching friends, family, neighbors, and all the people you see on the street. You are power. Bask in that light and strength for a few breaths. That light is never-ending.
Use your body:
Do any exercise you like, but focus your attention on your core. Engage your abdominal muscles and feel the movements originating at the center of your body. This is you using your whole body to show up. You’re using all of your strength to move and breathe. It will feel powerful.
Use your daily routines:
Make a commitment to nourishing yourself with wholesome food, empowering books and media, and daily routines that make you feel like the rockstar you are.
Each time you choose to do something healthy for you, you build your confidence in your own power.
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,
Samantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.