One of the deities is Ganesh, known as the remover of obstacles. He is half elephant half man. This is one of the versions of how he came to have his elephant head: The goddess Parvati wanted to take a bath in privacy. She asked the guard Nandi to make sure no one goes through the door. Shiva came home and wanted to go through it, and because Nandi was more loyal to Shiva than to Parvati, he was let through. This upset Parvati, not only because her privacy was invaded, but also because she realized there was no one that was loyal to her. She decided to create a boy, Ganesh, who would be loyal to her. She then asked Ganesh to guard for her, and true to her hopes and expectations, Ganesh was fiercely loyal, so much so that it ignited the wrath of Shiva, who then killed Ganesh and beheaded him. When Shiva found out, Parvati was inconsolable. Shiva then gave life back to Ganesh and replaced his head with that of an elephant's.
When we think of our own obstacles, whether it is a personal struggle or a relationship issue or a financial difficulty or a moral dilemma or a health challenge etc, we may react as though it is the end of the world, feeling hopeless and paralyzed, like the lifeless Ganesh who was beheaded. But like the story of Ganesh, we can remove obstacles by finding creative ways to deal with them. Obstacles appear on our path, urging us to see possibilities and opportunities. During these times, it helps to connect to our journey guide, to see the signs that are around us when we reach a fork in the road, to look for solutions that are unconventional-- maybe even as strange as the idea of replacing a human head with an elephant head!
Whether our journey guide appears in the form of an image like Ganesh or in more subtle ways like messages we see around us, we need to be humble enough to receive the message and open enough to perceive them for what they are. Obstacles need not stop us. They can help us examine the best way to forge forward, with a creative mind and a full heart, to reach the destiny that is meant for us.