Overcoming Limitations

Namaskar Everyone
I was clearing out my documents folder and came across this little nugget. It’s a note I made while Sri Vasudeva was speaking in a discussion group at the ashram, I didn’t write the date but I’m sure you agree that the message is timeless. He asked, “Can I see my limitation? Does it bother me? Does it really bother me (like it did me, Vasudeva)? And am I really serious about coming out of it? Do I want to open my awareness? Do I want to see my world differently? Do I want to rise above ignorance? Do I really want to? So when we really ask the question of the Universe…How can I, an embodied soul, become free? When we really begin to ask that question, our true journey to freedom begins.” He went on to say, “ limitations and how we treat with limitations also tell who we are.”

I found this a thought provoking piece as I reflect on my response to limitations. I appreciate very much the process that brings to my awareness a limitation because it’s not easy for me to spot a limitation in thinking and therefore in acting. I’ve been trying to train myself to come out of blindness to limitations by noticing when I feel uneasy, cramped, uncomfortable in any way, and to celebrate this awareness as a first step in overcoming a limitation.

I can get caught up in intellectualizing how to get out of the limitation. I can find myself rationalizing the existence of the limitation if I’m not careful. For example today I’m thinking there’s so much to do that I don’t have time to do all of it. I want to spend time in the garden, I need to catch up on emails, I have a lot of cleaning to do, I have tons of research and writing that I haven’t started…and the list goes on. I feel overwhelmed. What can I do?

I remind myself about my spiritual goals, that I will strive to see life as it is without judgment, to be a Source of love and light wherever I am, to seek to experience the fullness of Being. Hmmm! OK that brings a whole new perspective.

I spend fifteen minutes in the garden enjoying the sunshine, pulling the weeds, allowing myself to be reminded of the value of the mantra and the need to manage the mind and emotions just like I need to manage the weeds in the garden. As I do that I become calmer, more centered inside. I decide to give ten to fifteen minutes to each of the tasks that I consider important. I make up a schedule. Funnily enough there seems to be enough time to make a start on every thing I want to do.  I’m reminded of why these activities are all important to me. Every small step is important and will be done in enjoyment and with the fullness of my Being.

I feel in charge of myself once more. I feel a sense of direction. I feel great. What a transformation! Writing this has made me aware of an important process for myself. When I notice the need to make a change then if I take a small step in the direction I want to go, that will create momentum and energy to take even more steps.

Thank you for sharing this time with me and allowing me to explore this idea. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you become aware of limitations and how you overcome them and even how you think the way we treat with our limitations tell who we are.



14 Responses to Overcoming Limitations

  1. chanmadhavi says:

    Namaskar Lyn

    Yes indeed when we have a great desire to grow the Universe responds with great benevolence by giving us new opportunities.

    I believe that learning and growing can be hard work especially when we resolve to face challenging areas of our live. What greater work is there?

    As you say managing our response to change ” takes constant vigilance because change is a fact of life.”

    Thank you for your sharing.


  2. chanmadhavi says:

    Namaskar madhavi, I loved your blog. This is new to me, so I am not even sure I am replying in the right place, so please let me know. I was talking to guruji this morning about having limited time to do so much I would like to do, so the subject is very relevant to me also. I like your solution to spend a little time on each one, each day. I resolve to do that. One of my own limitations, I am working on is resistance. When the Universe sends something new to me how do I respond. I notice I don’t always respond with open arms especially if it isperceived as more “work” but often it is just the thing I need to learn and grow, so in this one small area, I am trying to be aware and to welcome the new as an opportunity to grow instead of resisting. But it takes constant vigilence because change is a fact of life. I read recently when we resist life it is our ego at play, our higher self flows with the universe and this is what I am attempting to do.

  3. anagha-devi says:

    Dear Madhavi,

    I was reading your blog and I thought about it. Sometimes I would get mad at my little sister because she always bugs me and I would take it out on my elder brother. But this is not right to do.

    I have to learn to take the challenges in my life. This piece has inspired me to do things better and take the challenge to be a better person. Thank you for this very nice piece. May Guruji bless us all.

    Love Devi


    • chanmadhavi says:

      Namaskar Devi

      Thank you for your blessing darling.

      The next time your sister bugs you I wonder what you will do differently?


  4. roma says:

    Namaskar Madhavi,

    This piece is indeed timeless, thank you for sharing. ‘Seeing my
    limitation’ is not always easy, since many times I look for fault in the
    other party rather than myself. Through Guru’s teachings, more &
    more I look for the lesson that I should learn from the experience,
    since I am interacting in a world that was specially designed to teach me many lessons.

    Looking at things in this way commits me to taking responsibility for my actions and not blaming another for my shortcomings…

    For example, if my youngest child is throwing a tantrum (which can be pretty loud), I start to take deep breaths which helps in keeping me calm and centred. Then when she quiets a little, I tell her that I love her and I want to help her. She may continue to react, but I stay quiet and look at her lovingly.

    When she quiets down even more, I tell her that she can choose to be happy if she remembers her happy thought – I’d try to point out something funny that happened or remind her of how Guru hugs her.

    It’s amazing, but she totaly forgets whatever it was that was making her upset and starts to chat as normal. Even at four years, i find a loving presence, can do wonders.

    In the past, I did not handle the situation in the best way, but as I observed this about myself and prayed for a solution, the answer came. I am being taught many things by my kids and I am thankful for that. They have a beautiful way of pointing out my areas of weakness.

    Life presents many challenges each day, but as we continue to surrender to Divine Will and we pray that ignorance be removed, the tests keep coming; some exams we may have to repeat until we pass.

    What I have found very useful is surrendering and wanting to see the other person’s perspective – putting myself in the other person’s shoes. This widens my view about the situation.

    As we continue to seek Grace, may we be open to the possibilities….

    Thanks again for your most inspiring piece..

    With love & peace,


    • chanmadhavi says:

      Namaskar Roma

      Thank you for sharing your ways of changing a negative response to a positive one. I liked your many strategies, first your awareness that your response was not the best, then a strong desire to find a way to change it, you sought help from the Divine. You recognized the link between breath and emotions so you regularized your breathing and your emotions became more manageable and you were able to center in a deeper place. I loved the way you bring love into the space by your words, your touch, your voice. Beautiful.


  5. Yesudas says:

    Namaskar Madhavi,

    Very interesting indeed! Food for thought. This motivates me to take a look at my own schedule to see how I can be more efficient and effective in my planning. Thank you again dear friend for your inspiration and wisdom.

    With Love,


    • chanmadhavi says:

      Namaskar Yesu

      Thank you for your wonderful words.


  6. Imelda Devaki says:

    Hi Madhavi, thank you for the thought provoking reflection on limitations. I like your implicit notion that becoming aware of what might be a limitation is a bit like offering yourself an invitation to follow a dream. I noticed that you did not get caught up in the limitation itself or follow it. Rather, you focused on a dream you would like to follow – working in the garden and so on. then you set about making it happen, one step at a time. I liked that. Last week I was at a conference in London and we talked of problems as frustrated dreams. So, as I was reading your blog, I was brought back to those wonderful days of dreaming last week:-)

    thank you and love
    Imelda Devaki

    • chanmadhavi says:

      Hi Imelda Devaki

      I love your expression “a limitation is a bit like offering yourself an invitation to follow a dream.” This is exactly how I feel. For me the awareness of a limitation is the start of an exciting adventure. My very nature will ensure that I will seek in every way to move so it’s where the fun starts.


  7. Suditi says:

    Namaskar Madhavi,
    Very nice blog with a wonderful subject. I especially like “noticing when I feel uneasy, cramped, uncomfortable in any way, and to celebrate this awareness as a first step in overcoming a limitation.” First, you generally know you are not in harmony with the Universe when you are ” uneasy, cramped, uncomfortable…” and to celebrate identifying this is a nice second step. I also like to head into my schedule knowing opportunities will arise in every moment…so to not be too rigid.

    This morning the cows followed me down to the pen right away and I could see from their behaviour, it wasn’t for food, but interaction. Taking the time to brush them, talk to them and spend a little extra time made my morning a so much deeper experience. All in all…it didn’t really ‘disrupt’ my schedule in the least and my day is so much lighter with ‘cow kisses’ on my cheek.
    Keep up the good work,

    • chanmadhavi says:

      Namaskar Suditi

      Thanks for the reminder that a plan is good but also important as Guru says to hold it lightly, to grasp the opportunities that may present themselves. As you say take time for “cow kisses”!


  8. Thomas says:

    Namaskar Madhavi!
    Its a nice article you wrote. It took me a couple of days to form a opinion about it. But in the first paragraph you quote Guru about how important it is to have the desire to change, and to overcome your limitations. Now im back home and all the old habbits start to come up again. And i really feel that i have to answer all the questions you quote with a big YES. But sometimes that can be hard. Its so easy to sit on the couch and watch tv instead of doing my yoga exersises or some reading. So every time i watch tv i ask myself the question if this is what i really want. And most of the time that motivates me enough to do my exersices. And of course, when i have done them, i feel much better and statisfied.
    Thank you for sharing!

    • chanmadhavi says:

      Namaskar Thomas

      This is a very interesting strategy, to pause during an activity, examine your options and then decide which choice you wish to make, then taking action based on what you really want. Also you reflect after the action and the good feeling motivates you to continue the action. Very useful process in changing a habit, thank you.


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