Did Ganesh steal my keys to teach me a lesson?

I can misplace my keys now and again. It usually amounts to a few minutes of rummaging or dumping of the purse, shuffling about

This Ganesh was a gift from Ruth Fisk after her most recent trip to India.
This Ganesh was a gift from Ruth Fisk after her most recent trip to India.

papers on a desk or feeling in the crevices of a chair.

Monday night my search turned into a hunt and eventually an admission that they just were gone.

Ganesha is the Hindu god of wisdom and learning. It is said that he removes obstacles and is the lord of success. But a mentor of mine shared a different view with me last year that has stuck with me.

[message_box title=”Ganesha: Remover of obstacles” color=”red”]”Sometimes I think Ganesha puts obstacles in your way to see how you will overcome them rather than just removing them for you.” — Ruth Fisk[/message_box]

That got me thinking, did Ganesh steal my keys to give me an obstacle for a lesson?

I finished teaching class Monday and was ready to lock up the yoga studio and go home but couldn’t find my key chain.  They had the studio keys, my home keys, my car keys and some other unidentified keys I carry around with me. There’s also the stack of keycards on the key ring for Kroger, Speedway, the library and such. It was interesting to feel the uncomfortable space of not being able to locate something so routine and yet vital in my life as keys.

It got me reflecting on their significance and why the absence of them was so disturbing.

Keys lock and unlock doors and objects. They are often the access tools. They help us remove barriers and obstructions.

Besides losing my access to lock and unlock things, I got confronted with how I use keys, hoard them and disregard them.

I ended up on a hunt for not only the keys I lost, but for spares that resulted in a rich lesson about my patterns, my obstacles and my practice.

1) Doubt and insecurity. I repeatedly looked in new and often the same places for the keys. Maybe I missed something? I clearly wasn’t seeing, I thought to myself. They must be right in front of me and I can’t see because I’m rushing, so do it again! This was even after I secured spare keys for the studio, my home and the car.

It showed me a lot about control. I wanted to have the original keys in my possession. I needed to hold them.

It was as though my root chakra was jeopardized. My grasp on security and safety was seemingly lost. And that left me flailing. I slept poorly, awakening to resume the frantic search, then flopped into another restless sleep.

Some of the keys I dug up in my hunt.
Some of the keys I dug up in my hunt.

2) Key hoarding. As I started hunting for spares I found no less than six different containers, drawers, and jars with various keys. Keys for padlocks. Doors long gone. Cars long gone.

And I still don’t know. After trying most of them into the locks I wanted to open, they are in senseless piles around my house, still unlabeled and literally useless. Why will I keep them? Why did I keep them? Do I hope they will open future locked doors? That they will help me overcome a future obstacle?

I know some are from my mom and my grandmother. Both have passed on. I’m holding onto keys to memories? Because they certainly don’t unlock any cars or doors of today.

3) Locking or unlocking. Opening or closing. Looking at the pile of useless keys that I had been holding onto I wondered what I was not closing in my life. What was I still hoping or needing to open with these relics? I like to think I’ve resolved and set to rest any issues in my past with my mother and grandmother but confronted with a pile of keys from attics and sheds and cars long gone was a reality check  for me. I’ll be reflecting on them and hopefully finding the strength and will to let them go. They are small items to carry in life but weigh heavy emotionally nonetheless.

I was also forced to ponder what patterns, memories and unhealthy behaviors need to be unlocked? The first glaring pattern was my  habit of getting copies of keys instead of finding the originals. So many keys that I dug up were copies of the same key!

And then what the heck is going on energetically with my chakras and bandhas? All seem to be involved. My root and security jeopardized. My ability to go with the flow and forgive. Seeing clearly was in question.

Lost but now found.
Lost but now found.

4) Trusting intuition. Not long after realizing I couldn’t locate the keys Monday night I had a suspicion that they had literally walked off with someone else. (Or Ganesha planted them in someone’s purse) I thought the studio assistant who is behind the counter with me had accidentally scooped them up. We both have a big wad of keys with a carabiner.  I called her and another teacher. I later posted onto Facebook asking anyone who had attended classes that night to check to see if they had picked up my keys.

Tuesday night a student came in who had been there Monday. I asked her if she had accidentally picked up my keys. She looked a little bewildered and said no.

As I left after teaching tai chi, Lacey, who had taught yoga at the same time, was jingling my set of keys. She said that student had looked in their purse as they were leaving to discover a strange bunch of keys in her purse. She had accidentally picked up my keys Monday after all.

There was a sigh of relief and laughter. My sanity was restored. And as the tension melted off my shoulders when I put the keys in my purse, I made my way home to clean up all the locked and unlocked issues Ganesha showed me were there all along.

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