It was about 15 years ago that I was first introduced to the Hindu deity Ganesh. As it turned out, my across the street neighbor in New Jersey came over to apologize for her son who had dented my garage door with a baseball. Although I had lived there for several years, we had never spoken to each other. Within five minutes of speaking, however, we found out that we were both born on the same month on the same date and even in the same year (albeit she in Bangalore, India and myself in Opelika, Alabama). This bit of coincidental information began a wonderful friendship.
Lucky for me, I became the frequent beneficiary of Amita’s mouth watering Indian dishes. I was amazed at her garage full of imported aromatic spices, quite a departure from warming up frozen meals in the microwave! Amita and I would be playful and laugh about the intersection of our two cultures. When she told me that her husband was from the highest caste in Indian and her caste was one below, I reminded her that she could date and marry anyone she wanted because she was hot stuff.
I had always been interested in Hinduism, which is Amita’s religion, but I often felt confused by the many nuances, social structures and references that comprised this ancient religion. I was very blessed to have Amita to ask questions of and who was in appreciation of my interest. One day I noticed a statue of an elephant in Amita’s front garden. I had seen this representation before, but was unfamiliar with its meaning.
The elephant deity Ganesh is the great remover of obstacles. When we are feeling trapped by our circumstances, we might choose to call on Ganesh as a symbol of inspiration. Ganesh is often portrayed as dancing or enjoying day to day life activities. Ganesh reminds us that we won’t be able to move beyond our circumstances if we are weighed down by the heaviness of our day to day burdens. Ganesh’s playful appearance reminds us that if we would like to remove obstacles in our life we must step into an expanded and hopeful consciousness to absorb and move beyond our life challenges.
A Course in Miracles (ACIM) reminds us that miracles can change physical laws. Miracles, according to ACIM, are shifts in perceptions. Perhaps a representation of Ganesh in our life can help us to remember that shifts in awareness are always possible and available to us. My friend Lauren has a statue of Ganesh is her kitchen behind the sink. Ganesh is always there for her to offer encouragement.
ACIM also offers, “There is no order of difficulty in miracles.” While this idea may be challenging for us to get our minds around, I find it to be very empowering. The idea is that If you can shift your mind about anything, for example, forgiving someone who has been unkind to you, it is just as possible (no more difficult) to heal illness, to eradicate poverty, to stop hatred, racism or war. Some people may feel this to be a naïve perspective, however, many will give testament to the validity of this law.
Next time find we are feeling trapped by life, perhaps collectively we can look to Ganesh to remind us of our Divine truth.
(c) 2011 Jeanine Marie Austin, Ph.D., C.Ht.
Doctor of Life Coaching, Certified Hypnotherapist
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