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The Obstacles in Your Way

In Arabian Nights there’s a story about a farmer. His plow catches on something in the dirt. Despite much struggle he can’t dislodge it. He finally stops, digs in the ground and finds that his plow is caught on a metal ring attached to a door. When he opens the door he discovers a passageway that leads to a treasure.

The obstacle in the farmer’s past turned out to be priceless.

“Wherever our most primal fears reside—our fears of the dark, of death, of being devoured, of meaninglessness, of lovelessness, of loss—chances are good that beneath them lie gems of wisdom and maybe a vision or a calling. Wherever you stumble—on a tree root, on a rock, on fear or shame or vulnerability, on someone else’s words, on the truth—dig there.” – Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life.

Where you stumble, there is your treasure.

My current obstacle

I’m hobbled. Literally. Physically. My right leg has been yelping in pain for two weeks, ever since I returned from my four-month cross-Canada road trip. She whimpered at first; now she’s screaming at the top of her longs. See me! Take care of me! Love me!

The treasure? The warning signs, the wisdom of my own inner knowing. The whole time I was away, my body nudged me to slow down. Rest. Stretch, breathe, do yoga, sit. Be still. Watch the trains roll through the Saskatchewan wheat fields, the Saguenay River flow in the Quebecois Valley, the wind move the clouds along the Nova Scotia coast.

Did I rest? Nope. There was too much to do! People to visit, sights to see, paths to walk and ride and climb, tours to join, food to procure, laundromats to find…I’ll rest tomorrow. Or next week. Maybe when I get home.

My body is my obstacle and my treasure. I knew I should’ve listened to her because she’s smarter than I am. Now she’s simply taken matters into her own hands, and I’m exploring the weird, wonderful world of acupuncture, therapeutic massage and Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

Your obstacles

Where are you stumbling? Maybe stay there awhile. Instead of picking yourself up, brushing yourself off and marching right along, just lie down. Close your eyes and rest your cheek on the earth’s warm breast. Relax your body against her solid ground, inhale her scent, absorb her deep rich soil. 

Hey, what’s that? Maybe you feel something bumpy or pointy—is it a rock, or maybe a root? Or maybe it’s metallic, even man-made. Perhaps it’s a ring attached to a door that leads to a passageway with treasures galore, treasures you’ve never ever seen before.

Buried treasure may not look anything like you expected. Which, of course, makes them all the more precious. Maybe even priceless.

Buried treasure?

Sometimes our obstacles are directly related to something unexpected: Love. 

In When You Disagree About Putting Your Dog to Sleep – Tips for Couples I share an obstacle my husband and I are facing. Even people who love each other—and who love their dog—don’t always see things the same way. In this video I share three ways I’ve found peace and joy in the struggle.

When You Disagree About Putting Your Dog to Sleep – Tips for Couples

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