Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Obstacles to Opportunities

A few nights ago, Kathy and I took a little time out from all the busyness of our daily lives to watch the film, Shakespeare In Love. We both have fondness for things theatrical, and you don't get more "inside" the theatrical world than this. 

At the beginnng of the film, a theatre owner and director, played by Geoffrey Rush, is literally having his feet held to the fire by the producer/money man to whom Rush is in debt. "Let me explain about the theatre business," an exasperated Rush finally sputters. "The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster." "So what do we do?" asks the money man. "Nothing," Rush replies simply. "Strangely enough, it all works out well in the end." "How?" the money man presses. Smiling, Rush replies, "I don't know. It's a mystery."

If the Bard was correct, and all the world is a stage, this interchange reflects the reality of so many experiences in daily life: Seemingly insurmountable obstacles present themselves, and the mind creates stories of catastrophic outcomes. If we can begin to look at problems in our lives, not as obstacles, but as "opportunities in disguise," as Deepak Chopra calls them, then we can leverage these apparent obstacle out of the way and find the treasure hidden within them.

Remember that most of the obstacles in our life are created by the mind as thoughts, with no reality whatsoever (except as thoughts). As you travel through your day, greet any problem or obstacle as an opportunity. This is done by disengaging from the thoughts about the situation, and getting back in touch with the present-moment reality of the facts of the situation. To do this, simply place your attention on a present-moment sensation, such as the feeling of the breath. Or you can place your full care and attention on what needs to be done in this moment to overcome this imagined obstacle.

From The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra:
If you have life-centered, present-moment awareness, then the imaginary obstacles - which are more than ninety percent of perceived obstacles - disintegrate and disappear. The remaining five to ten percent of perceived obstacles can be transmuted into opportunities through one-pointed intention.


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