There is a story about two shoe salesmen who are sent by their companies to explore the possibilities for sales in a Third-World country. They arrive at the same time, check out the scene, and then both head for the telegraph office to report back.

The first one wires: “Everyone barefoot here. No market. Returning immediately.”

The second one writes, “No one has shoes here. Tremendous opportunities. Send large shipment immediately.” He saw the possibilities.

When Paramhansa Yogananda arrived in America in 1920, he hadn’t a friend in the world and only five hundred dollars to his name. Yet he began his mission to spiritualize the West with courage and confidence. While living in a small room in the Boston YMCA, he told his first disciple, Dr. Lewis, “It’s going to be big, Doctor. BIG, I tell you.” And big it did become. Master saw the possibilities, and put out the energy to make it happen.

When Swami Kriyananda started Ananda Village in 1969, he had a handful of loyal students and only the little amount of money he earned from teaching hatha yoga and meditation classes. Yet nearly fifty years later, Ananda has reached millions of people with a model of a new way of life rooted in God. Swamiji saw the possibilities, and put out the energy to make it happen.

When we look at the challenges we face in our life or in the world at large, it’s easy to feel discouraged, or perhaps even hopeless. The secret to navigating rough water, however, is to be aware of the rocks in your path, but look for where the currents are flowing freely. Where others see only obstacles, train yourself to see opportunities.

See every obstacle as an opportunity #quote #yoganandaAsk yourself: “What do I want to accomplish now? What positive difference can I make in the lives of others?” Look for the possibilities, no matter how small they may seem, and act on them.

Be conscious of what doors are opening for you, who is appearing to show you a new direction, and what effort it will take on your part to break through any obstacles. As our spiritual leaders have demonstrated for us, look for possibilities, and believe in the power of the divine to help you through.

Most important of all, meditate regularly to feel the flow of endless possibilities guiding you forward. In 1933 in the midst of the Great Depression in America, Paramhansa Yogananda gave his followers this daily meditation: “I am the mighty flood of peace which sweeps away all embankments of human worries.”

So whatever tests come your way, ask God to show you how to use your own potential to overcome all obstacles. See the possibilities in every situation, until you know from your own experience that behind every cloud of gloom, God’s light is always shining to show us new opportunities.

With blessings of light,

Nayaswami Devi

Listen to the audio version of this blog read by Devi, or download it as an MP3.


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  1. Thank you Deviji. Such a perfect message. Amazing how different I feel when it looks like an opportunity vs an obstacle! Master and Swami’s stories inspire me everyday now. If they can do that, then so can I. And then it seems to be a matter of tuning in so that I can just take the next step. So happy to feel your amazing vibration as I read this. Aum, Aum.

  2. Thank you Deviji. What a wonderful example of new possibilities-the opportunity to hear the scripter of the written blog share it with her own voice. Deeelightful. In deep gratitude for the reminder, from Master, as seeing all challenges as possibilities. Joy, Namaste

  3. Upon his return,the boss of the 1st shoe salesman told him,”You acted like a dumb heel.And now you are fired for being a loafer!”The poor sole was fit to be tied. Haa..

  4. What a beautiful and empowering message, Devi! Thank you! Yes, “where others see only obstacles, train yourself to see opportunities.” Interestingly, I did encounter a work-related obstacle today after reading this message. It was super fun meditating on the amazing opportunities this obstacle presented. After that, we were like: “what obstacle?” :)) Thank you again. <3

  5. Thank you for such profound inspiration you always give us, renewing our courage, enlarging our vision and energizing us to fulfill the purpose for which God sent us on Earth! I always look out for your emails!

  6. Dear Nayaswami Devi,

    I really needed to hear this today. Thank you for all your support and guidance.


  7. Dear Devi,
    I just saw the possibility of listening to this beautiful post read by you!!! Even more inspiring!
    Thank you!
    A presto,
    pace e bene,

  8. Dear Deviji,
    Thank you once again for the inspiration and most of all the tangible love for God and Guru I always feel in your words.
    Once again, perfect timing to read this.
    Jai Guru!
    Prem Das

  9. Dear Devi, That is exactly what we are totally engaged in doing at Laurelwood Center and Yogananda Gardens, All of us here just keep sorting through the possibilities for a bright and successful future. Thank you for the encouragement! If Master could do it and Swamiji could do it, we can do it. You so beautifully describe the way. We examine and take advantage of the possibilities with love and joy!
    Many blessings from janakidevi and Byasa and your friends at Laurelwood.

  10. Thanks for a inspiring blog. I am blessed to have been touched by the spirit of Ananda.

  11. We are getting married soon. I got turned down for a job yesterday that we needed to pay for the small wedding we are having. I was very frustrated and angry. When I told my fiance her response was God must love me very much. It didn`t feel that way. So here I am this morning and I ask God and my Angels and ancestors for help.
    I open my email and there is this lovely blog. A reminder of how much God loves me. I need to be reminded sometimes.
    Thank you

  12. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for such an encouraging blog. Much needed at this time !
    This is very Inspiring — “Be conscious of what doors are opening for you, who is appearing to show you a new direction….”
    Swamiji & Master , on what they have accomplished is just there for us to take the cue and proceed in our life. We thank them for their guidance & teaching.
    One of my friend after watching ‘The Awake’ movie said this – ” What Paramhansa Yogananda has done , its very hard for someone to even think of ”
    Another friend of mine , when we watched Finding Happiness together commented – “There is something like this and we are not aware of. How much energy should have gone behind getting these communities , schools …”

    What Inspiration and blessings we get from our spiritual family


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