Here we are at the spring equinox, standing on the threshold. The end of one thing just signaling another beginning. Ganesh is our elephant headed deity in Indian lore, filled with goodness, representing possibility, overcoming and sending out obstacles, standing at the beginning of things. These myths filled with Gods and Goddesses and demons alike. They make mistakes and betray and destroy and create and everything in between. The Gods and Goddesses ask for help. They call on others to come in. They stand in the discomfort of their weaknesses. They get their posse involved. They don’t try to put the past back together, they allow the broken misfit pieces to create a new thing. These myths take the long way around. The world breaks down, breaks apart and flourishes. The world gets bigger by breaking apart. There is no growth without the breaking.
Break into yourself, the more you will find.
You don’t wash away the bad in these stories, the Gods make mistakes and do terrible things. An elephant headed boy came from the betrayal and mistakes of his father, the wounds of his mother. Just because the light and the dark are almost equal does not mean the shadow has gone away. He stands in the light despite his wounds.
The more light we create, the more we illumine, the more shadow we cast. The more shadow we must assimilate. The universe is dangerous, powerful and ferocious. The ferocity is unyielding. Why should these stories reflect anything but the truth of this? You are all the characters in these stories, the Gods and Goddesses, the demons and the shadow. You look around at your life and you see the beauty and the joy, the sorrow and the grief. And, it will never be anything else. If you love, you will grieve. If you are alive, death is coming. Embrace the paradox! Stay in the process. Do the great work of yoga and keep going in…and in….and in. The way out is in. In is the new out!
The yoga isn’t going to make the world perfect. The yoga is going to help you be the best you that you can be. Get it? This is not a yoga of turning our back on the world. This is a yoga of being in this life, in this body, in these relationships. The good, the bad and the ugly. All of it, take it all in and make shri – divine beauty. Illumine to keep pushing at the boundary, to keep pushing the darkness further away. Keep doing the work because who you are in this matters.
I have to remind myself of this daily. I feel a sense of relief that these stories were working out the very same struggles I face in my life. Of course this, this thing now. “Why me?” I ask. “Why not you?” he replies. Ganesh keeps throwing obstacles my way not to trip me up, not to stop me. The obstacles force me to rise to the occasion. Let’s see what I am made of. The breaking down of one thing in my life a beginning for some other thing. Step into the shadow because the light is on the other side.