Harness your inner Ganesha power
What can Lord Ganesha teach us about personal power? Practical lessons from one of the most recognisable Hindu deities. By Michelle Maslin-Taylor
Long before I entered a yoga studio or became a yoga teacher, I’ve always been drawn to the beautiful depictions of Hindu deities — my favourite of all being Lord Ganesha. I mean who wouldn’t love the beautiful and bejewelled, pot-bellied and elephant-headed God?
In true synchronicity, I discovered that Ganesh Chaturthi, a Hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of Ganesh to earth, falls on my birthday, and it got me thinking a little more about what he means to me and why I’ve always been so drawn to him in particular.
Without going into the story too much (which I certainly wouldn’t do justice to), Lord Ganesha is the god of new beginnings and the overcomer of obstacles. We turn to him when we need help to start afresh or overcome obstacles in our lives.
But as a middle-class, white, Western woman who loves the symbolism but really has no claim to the culture, I can’t help but wonder, is this another opportunity to outsource my responsibilities and deny my power?
You see, I’ve noticed a pattern in myself, and society as a whole, to feel that we don’t have control over our situations, to let the obstacles get the better of us and to look for someone to blame for our situations and why we can’t get out of them.
Lessons from Ganesha
Ganesha has many lessons for us in his symbolic depictions but I believe his biggest lesson to us is in how we deal with our own obstacles.
The elephant signifies wisdom and knowledge and really inspires the same qualities within us, to consult our inner wisdom and come up with the solutions to remove any obstacles we face.
As for those obstacles, I’ve come to believe that the biggest obstacle in any situation is actually our own mind — it’s the way you see and approach a situation.
If you believe it is hopeless then it almost certainly is because you won’t be looking for the hope, or the ways to figure it out. You’ve resigned yourself to it being impossible.
If you are feeling stuck and wishing you could pray to Ganesha to remove your obstacles for you, here’s what we can learn from him:
- You are resilient and no doubt have made it through many other challenges. Just like Ganesha’s belly, you can cope with good or bad and have the whole universe inside you to call on.
- It’s your choice what you keep in your life. Keep the good, let go of the bad (just like Ganesha has let go of his bad tusk).
- Don’t let desire get the best of you — keep that under control just like Ganesha and his mouse.
- It’s time to get really quiet so you can hear your inner wisdom. Listen more, talk less and you will be able to find the path through the obstacle ahead.
Ganesha has tools like his axe (for cutting ties to attachment) and rope (to climb to the highest goal). Okay, so you may not have exactly the same tools to cut down anything in your way but you certainly have all you need inside you already (not to mention the whole universe). Look at the tools and skills you have, look at how they can be used. A little creative thinking and those obstacles will be chopped down and you’ll be climbing your way to new beginnings.
Above all, let Ganesha inspire you to be your own remover of obstacles. You are your own creator of new beginnings if you want to bhttp://livehappylivehealthy.co.uke.
Michelle Taylor is owner at Live Happy Live Healthy (livehappylivehealthy.co.uk)
Michelle helps burnt-out yogis facilitate deep transformational healing through her unique blend of reiki-infused yoga and wellbeing rituals.