To Sweep Away

Ganesh Om Symbol

I don’t even remember how many times I have posted about the relative nature of time. So I won’t harp on about it today.

But as I approach big life events, forward motion, and sweeping changes in general, time always seems to accelerate. Little details fall by the wayside for me. I want to approach the big stuff with an open heart and mind. I want my energy to open to the universe and accept the newness and the change without reservation.

Of course, I want to eat ice cream too. Haha.

But my honest intention is to move naturally into what is emerging for me now. And what, you may ask, exactly is emerging for you Nathan?

My answer to that is pretty nebulous. I see less forced routine and more expanded activity. I see more freedom of movement. I particularly see more freedom from any type of mood or mind altering substance, legitimately prescribed or not.

I see a conversation with my doctors (all of them together) to truly examine what else I can do to pursue my goal of optimum wellness.

I see a full and detailed mental health evaluation by someone who understands addiction as a disease of the mind and who can truly help me worth through some of the issues that I feel have been the impetus of my last five years of hell.

But most of all I see myself changing my focus. And I don’t mean changing my goals. I mean moving from a life in which almost all my energy and attention is focused within me into a life where a significant portion of my focus and attention is spent contributing to the world around me.

It is time.

In Alcoholics Anonymous the say very clearly that you “can’t keep what you have unless you give it away”.

I don’t go to their meetings anymore and I don’t subscribe to all of their ideals, but I KNOW 100% that part of my recovery and my wellness MUST involve making a significant contribution to my community. Now, I don’t quite know what that means yet.

My mom has told me about this amazing exercise she uses in her coaching practice. It involves standing with a large table between you and a wall. On that wall is a chalk-board, wipe-board, or just a flip-chart, whatever (something you can write on). And on that writing surface, you write where you want to be in the next year, five years, ten years, or for me, more likely in the next 2-6 months. Now the issue with this is that clearly, the table is in the way. You can’t reach that goal or aspiration with that table there.

And my mom would ask you at this point, what do you do?

Many people answer that you must first move the table, break the table, jump over the table, essentially just _________ the table.

Notice the theme here? Everyone is worried about the damn table!

And the truth is that the table is only in the way because you are focusing on it. That’s another thing they talk about often in therapy and drug rehabilitation programs: focusing on the problem not the solution.

When all you can think about is the table, you quickly lose the vision you want for your future. And it becomes increasingly difficult to get past that table which grows wider and higher the more you think about it.

So what’s the solution here? We can’t ignore the table right? It is still there. Here’s what my mom would say: “you can’t get rid of the table, but what you can do is find someone, a coach, god, a friend, a psychologist, whatever, to take your hand and walk you around to the other side.” The table is there still yeah. But as you shift your perspective, the table is no longer in the way. But it often takes the help of others who are already on the other side of that obstacle to help us shift our paradigm and make the forward motion we want.

Thanks mom for the example. I have just loved this exercise since you explained it to me. And I don’t know if I got it exactly right, but I think I got the point across right?

So my question to all of you is what is on the other side of that table for you, and how are you going to shift your perspective so that your focus is on your positive vision of the future rather than on the obstacles in the way?

Today in our meditation group we did Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha – a Ganesh chant meant to help sweep away obstacles in our paths.

Fitting for my blog today eh?

Thanks for reading, and may you find that today your obstacles are swept away!

Peace to you,



One response to “To Sweep Away

  1. So glad the table metaphor works for you. It’s similar to what you wrote on a previous post – that what we mentally focus on really determines where our energy, mind and heart focus. Focusing on your purpose and vision is much more powerful that focusing on limitations and “what’s missing”. this was a great reminder for me today!. thanks, Nathan.

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