Sometimes An Obstacle…. Isn’t

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(by Cynthia Joba, MA)

There are times when what initially looks like an obstacle or an obstruction isn’t that at all. I’d like to share three small stories from my day yesterday.

Story 1

Like many people, sometimes I love Comcast, sometimes I find the company to be aggravating. For the third month in a row I had to call them because of the same billing problem. After going through a million prompts (well, it seemed like a million), I finally got a live person, and just as she was looking into the problem we got disconnected. And so I called the company again, went through the prompts and got disconnected again. (Evidently they have a new phone system that is having challenges.) As you can imagine, at this point I was feeling rather frustrated, and annoyed that this was taking so much time. The third time things finally worked, I got through and asked to speak to their customer solutions department. She apologized, and gave me free dvr for a year. So – what looked and felt like a series of obstacles turned into a pathway for more money in my pocket.

Story 2

I stopped at Chipotle for a burrito bowl for lunch, and put my jacket on a chair to reserve a place in the crowded restaurant while I stood in line. By the time I returned, two young men had moved my jacket and taken my spot. When I pointed that out, they said, sorry, smiled, and didn’t move. I looked around, and saw that another space had opened up, closer to the window. So I just said don’t worry about it, picked up my jacket and moved – to a better table.

Story 3

I went to the library in Bryn Mawr, PA (which is really beautiful) around 4:45 to pick up some books. The parking lot was very full, but I found a spot toward the back. As I was preparing to turn in, a woman drove up behind me and cut into the spot. I wasn’t very happy about this, but circled back through the parking lot before giving up. A much better spot had opened up in the meantime, and I parked.

They’re small stories, but often the learnings from small stories have wider implications. And when three things of a similar nature happen to me in one day, I pay attention. So – what did I learn? Sometimes what looks like an obstacle, something getting in the way of what you want, is just a way of opening a path to something better.

With joy,


Cynthia Joba, MA

Strategic Marketing & Membership

Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology

Cynthia handles strategy, membership engagement and strategic marketing for ACEP. In addition, she is an artist and personal development mentor. This blog appeared on her web site yesterday.

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