Friday, March 28, 2014

4 Ways to Know You're in "Obstacle Shock" ~ Turn "Why Me?" into "Yes Me!" and Advance Powerfully Into Victory!

~Obstacle SHOCK~

We've all been there. 
We've all had that moment when we can't believe that WE, after however many years of practice, are facing a HUGE OBSTACLE. 

It seems, sometimes, that no matter how much we study, and we KNOW huge obstacles bring huge benefits, and HUGE obstacles come to people making HUGE positive causes, that sometimes obstacles still, as my mother would say, "throw us for a loop." (I wonder where that phrase came from!) and we go into Obstacle Shock. 
I guess we could also call this a "reactionary" phase. Sometimes I call it the "Wah Wah Wah" phase, when my life is reeling from the impact of a huge obstacle. 

What is "Obstacle Shock?" How do we know we're in it? 
Here are some recent observations from my own experience:

4 Ways to know 
You're in "Obstacle Shock"
by Jamie Lee Silver from

1. When we're in "Obstacle Shock" we go around with the constant thought "This can't be happening to me. These things happen to other people; not to me," and our brain gets caught in the endless "Why me?" loop.

2. We wonder how we could have drawn this obstacle into our lives and are dumbfounded to find a karmic connection. It just feels we're living someone else's life.  It can be hard to concentrate on anything, whether it's chanting, or work, or....anything. 

3. It is HARD to chant. Really hard to chant. Some people stop chanting altogether. Most of us, soldier on...every morning and evening doing our very best to connect...but somehow feeling "off our game", and like our Daimoku just isn't as powerful as it usually is. We may feel as if we are going through the motions. 

4. We pull away from our friends in faith. Not always. But sometimes. When it comes time to go to a meeting it may feel like we're just out of synch, and it's easier to say "Oh I'm going through this incredible obstacle, I just don't have time to get to a meeting now!" Or "I can't call members to encourage them! I have ________obstacle going on now!" And of course, we know, somewhere deep inside that it's more important than ever to get to that meeting! 

"Obstacle shock" is, I believe, a natural part of life. It happens to everyone. And we have to keep going until we emerge from the other side. 

This week I connected with a region leader in LA who went through a similar obstacle to the one I am facing right now, and triumphed in the end (Of course!) And she talked about her own "Obstacle shock" and how hard it was to chant when the obstacle first people would come to chant with her, and how it felt like she was just going through the motions. And then, at a certain point, the "Obstacle Shock" bubble burst and she began to move the levers of her practice again, feel the connection while chanting, and know she was going to win.  

I realized that we ALL go through what I call "Obstacle Shock." It doesn't matter how long we practice. And our sheer ability to keep chanting, even when it's hard, and we've temporarily lost faith in our Daimoku, THIS CHANTING and STUDYING TIME is crucial. 

The Daimoku we chant when it's hardest to chant may be our most beneficial of all. 

THIS is when we are really changing our karma. And the moment will come when we click back in and KNOW we are winning. 

4 Ways to turn "Why Me" into "Yes Me!" and advance Powerfully Into Victory! 

1. We keep chanting, even when it feels like we're "out of synch" or that somehow our prayer doesn't feel as deep. We keep chanting, and studying!

2. We don't make ourselves "wrong" for feeling this way, and struggling to chant. We remember it's a natural part of the practice, and keep going to the best of our ability. 

3. We nurture ourselves. We do what feels good to us. We are our own best friends. What feels good to you? Yoga, being with friends, walking, energy healing, massage, writing, singing? Whatever it it! 

4. And we know we will "Click Back In" when we persevere, and are able to switch our attention back to our mission for kosen-rufu. 

The woman from LA who was encouraging me said everything changed for her when she re~embraced her mission for kosen rufu and began focusing on shakubukuing youth. She ended up being invited in to speak to youth who were struggling, and helped many families to begin their Buddhist practice. She took her own HUGE obstacle and turned it into a HUGE benefit. She "Clicked Back In" and achieved Victory for herself and her family. 

Sometimes we just have to get to the other side of "Obstacle Shock" and turn "Why Me" into "Yes Me!" where we click back in to our missions as Boddhisatvas of the earth. If we persevere this will definitely happen! 

Daisaku Ikeda says: 

"The important thing is to advance brightly, 
to strive for victory each moment, 
right where we are; 
to begin something here and now 
instead of worrying over what may happen. 
This is the starting point for transforming our lives."

Faith in Action, page 75

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