It was 12 am, the lights from the stage at Brooklyn Bowl strobing through the boozy image of a little Hindu Ganesh tribute I had pulled from my backpack and planted on the table in front of me, and I found myself praying...

Remove all the obstacles.

Remove all the obstacles.

Remove all the obstacles.

It should be stated that we might be able to chalk this up to the dozen or so sushi rolls swimming around in one-too-many Brooklyn Brewery IPA's in my digestive tract, but I can't recall why I began to pray to that tiny statue. It wasn't as if I was a Ganesh devotee or even believed in anything more than the influence of the Hindu religion on the Western Yoga I practiced. In any case, I must have repeated it a hundred times before I let myself stop. Louder than the 120dB's of punkabilly coming from the band that night sang my prayer...the one I so desperately needed pray.

Remove all the obstacles.

Ready or not...

Much to my surprise, a few stumbling, fateful hours later I got exactly what I prayed for…only, it didn’t look anything like I thought it would. It was harder, more painful (for me and everyone around me) than I could have ever imagined. It took EVERYTHING in its wake. In hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have left it so open-ended...

Remove all the obstacles.

(but then please, for the love of Ganesh...replace them with a flower patch).

(Un)fortunately, it didn't work out like that. No…you see…for a prayer that big, while quickly answered...the aftermath of which was anything BUT easy. I can only describe what came next as the equivalent of a fleet of every kind of heavy machinery, taking the life I built, bulldozing and excavating and burning down every last bit until absolutely nothing remained...but me...alone...standing there amongst the rubble, buck-naked for the world to see.

Obstacles. (Check)

Removed. (Check)

As freeing as that newfound space might have felt, it was equally as raw, awkward, and terrifying to sit in. I found myself second-guessing...

What did I just do?

Maybe I can go back on this whole ‘remove all the obstacles’ thing?

Surely, this wasn't what I had intended. And so I tried...for a couple of months I tried and I tried, to zilcho avail, to rebuild what I had once called 'my own' from the pile of rubble that remained. But it felt as if I was trying to fix something that didn’t exist anymore…because it didn’t. It was gone.

Thanks, Ganesh.

Did I regret it? You'd better believe at the time I did. But that would be fear speaking.

Now? Absolutely not.

Here's what I learned in the wake of that prayer...

Hi (it's me, Ganesh),

  1. In order to make room, you have to MAKE room. It might temporarily feel like less...on the contrary, it is more.

  2. You must let go to make room. You cannot hold onto what no longer exists. 

  3. Trust. I've got you. 

  4. Everything, EVERYTHING will make sense. (Eventually.) Promise.

  5. You are being equipped. This process is often painful but it doesn't last forever. 

  6. This is a great time to love and heal yourself.

  7. Implement gratitude for ALL OF IT. Even if you don't know what it is or it all looks kinda shitty. Daily. 

Oh, and while you were busy doing all of that...look over there...right on time, rising so beautifully and predictably from what once was only death and ash...a full-blown flower field. 

Aren't you glad you we removed all the obstacles?

Don't ever ask for a flower patch again.



Side-note: For anyone terrified at the thought of Ganesh...let me be the first to remove his Dogma. He's a Hindu avatar for a characteristic of God...and he already exists within your perfect, forever-loved-and-whole being.