Are the obstacles you’re encountering a signal from the Universe that you should rethink your goal? Working through this question with clients over the years, through dreams, intuition and life story, we’ve encountered some basic truths. If you’re wondering about this very question, you may find them useful.
Power-related goals always bring up obstacles. Goals associated with power are fraught with challenges the like of which you may never see elsewhere. Examples are: finishing your degree, getting a professional license, breaking into publishing or testing for a credential. If your goal will give you more power, even if you are not doing it for the power, expect the process to be filled with weird hazards. It is going to feel as if there is a conspiracy against your success. Don’t sweat it, wondering what this means. These problems are not a sign you should quit. Keep at it and don’t let the flying debris hit you in the head. Consider this an initiation or ordeal. If you want to discard the prize, or ignore the profession after you finish then do so, but get the goal you are after first.
Goals related to your voice are highly challenging. There is nothing more taboo than your authentic voice. It freaks out the people close to you, and it ticks off the “experts” who should be helping you. Whether you want to write, sing, teach, paint, make a film, or just live your truth, you will encounter an invisible barrier that makes it feel like it is too much trouble, or too much to hope for. Phooey. Your voice is your sacred right, and the more you express and acknowledge your truth, the better your life will become. You don’t have to chain yourself to a tree or shout from a rooftop to express your voice, but you do have the right to own your truth and express your knowing.
Things get sticky at the threshold. There is an overwhelming human tendency to abandon goals a few feet from their fulfillment. Walking away from the degree, the promotion, the exhibit, or the completion of a project feels so right. It may feel as though you have penetrated some philosophical truth about how you “don’t need” the achievement and life is about the journey, not the destination. Well, although those truths have resonance, reach your destination anyway. Then, if you want to walk away and leave that chapter of your life behind, you will have created completion and closure and will truly be able to move on. It is better Feng Shui for your life.
If you are working against your true preference, it’s okay to let go. Have you ever applied for a sucky job because that’s what job-hunters do, and then discovered how much you didn’t want it, once they phoned you for an interview? Or worked to inch a relationship to the point of commitment, and then realized that was never what you wanted? We waste a lot of time adhering to the expectations prescribed for our situation, instead of listening to the voice inside us. If you are working against your nature and your preference, then let go. This will free you up to reach for what you do truly want and love.
If you are hanging onto something dismal, because you think it was “meant to be,” let go. Sometimes our commitment to a sense of destiny or spiritual connection can create a kind of test of endurance: just how much punishment can you take? How long can you hang on? Don’t feel you must prove your goodness or your belief in spirit by enduring endless abuse, neglect, discounting or suffering. Most of my clients tell me they secretly “knew” they were in the wrong situation/relationship after their dreams and feelings have unfolded to spell it out. It is as if they wanted permission from someone to finally let go and be happy again. If you are connected with something or someone in your life who is a misery-maker, it is okay to let go. It doesn’t really matter if this person is part of your soul family or if this “lesson” was meant to be. You decide when you’ve had enough. Own what you know, and grant yourself permission to return to the stream of life.
Be aware of “difficulty at the beginning.” There is a Zen principle about “difficulty at the beginning.” Very loosely, this translates into finding out that your idea was dumb, not possible, not practical, won’t pay, or is not open to people who are not already doing it. This is like a weather pattern that smacks down new ideas. Just realize this is the way of it, not the truth of it. Be rather stubborn about the “no’s” you encounter at the beginning, because they can refine your plan, but should not nullify your intention.
Be aware of “dragons at the gate.” When you move toward something that has been a dream of yours, a passionate hope, or something you’ve worked toward for a long time, monsters will jump out at you from every side, saying you lack the right credentials, “it takes a lot of money,” or it simply can’t be done! The closer you get to the finish line of your heart’s desire, the more dragons will threaten you. This just means you’re getting there. Offer the dragons a breath mint and press on!
If you have fears about a project or goal, those fears will be out-pictured in your life. Working on something connected to private fears will magically attract nay-sayers, critics, or technical experts who will pick at you or flatly tell you why it can’t be done. Those critics and experts are not signs that you should give up. Instead, they are your fears being “presented” so that you can chose to keep at it. Go ahead and put your thumb to your nose and wiggle the fingers of your hand at them. Then do the next step. This can actually get to be fun. The more something means to you, the more it relates to your voice, your spirit, your purpose, the more fears may be woven around it, and thus, the more silly critics may jump out of the woodwork and say “boo.” Don’t let them scare you. They are part of the game. Give them your raspberry salute and plunge ahead!
Be willing to let go of the form, but not the essence. The person you loved may flee the scene, but don’t give up on love. The job you thought you wanted may be snatched from underneath you, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be a success. The house you made an offer on may get sold to another, but you still can and will find the perfect home. Separate from the forms when they leave or don’t work out, but deepen your connection to the essence. You haven’t been told “no,” you are simply letting the “not quite right” forms fall away.
These are the best of the best ideas that have emerged through client dreamwork, intuitive processing, and true stories of success and surprising joy I’ve been happy to witness over the last 25 years. Use them and trust yourself!