Starting in the middle

November 5, 2013

Ganesha lore is vast and full of ways to enter into the conversation of yoga. He is Bheema, the one who is enormous and huge. He is the lord of new beginnings and guardian of the threshold. Starting anywhere is just as fine as starting at the beginning. Ganesha truly represents what is the middle.

As my teacher Douglas Brooks once said, “To know the first is to know the conclusion. On the contrary, if you want to find who or what you are, start with the evidence in front of you.”

The presence of Ganesha is one of confrontation. He IS the elephant in the room. So let’s be clear, here in the United States we just experienced daylight savings and the sun is now setting an hour earlier. This abrupt change for many is depressing and a sure sign of impending doom. The middle of autumn is a threshold between our sunny past and darker future. But is it really dark? This experience of “falling back” in time may be an opportunity to restart our connection to nature.

What can happen in that space is marvelous. Maybe the earlier sunset inspires you to look before you and make something with your time you may not have otherwise. It’s thought that Ganesha, as a guardian of thresholds, invites you to find beginnings by looking precisely at where you are. Most often, that’s smack dab in the middle of things!

Ganesha also stands for full moon light and turns people toward illumination. When it’s the darkest it will be all year (remember, winter solstice means light coming back), take a confident step across this mid-line marker of seasons knowing that you can always find a way to begin again. Invite friends to share a meal, strap on your leg warmers and cozy up in a yoga class after work, or finally sit down with that book you’ve been meaning to read.

Fall back into knowing that the middle of things is always where we are anyhow. Ganesha and his big presence, be it an obstacle or an opportunity, will stand guard at the threshold and offer you an enormous space to navigate the transition.

Featured on Conscious Living TV.