Day 537: Barriers and Obstacles

Yesterday, barriers and obstacles  were very much on my mind.

What are the barriers to our getting what we want or need?  What obstacles get in the way of our moving forward, and why?  How do we judge ourselves and others, when we encounter these?  And are there other, more helpful ways to view these situations?

As usual, when something is on my mind, I see evidence and examples, everywhere I look.

Barriers sometimes get in the way of seeing clearly, figuring out what’s ahead:



Sometimes, we just can’t figure out what’s there, no matter how we look at it:



No matter what’s in front of you, there’s no shame in asking for more information, or other types of help.

Some obstacles can appear suddenly, leaving no room to proceed as planned:


With other unexpected obstacles, sometimes we can see a way to stay our course, by slightly altering our steps.



Obstacles can seem different, depending upon our perspective:



For example, stairs are more tiring for me these days, so I see them differently. However, the stairs are the same as they ever were.  I just need to go more slowly, negotiating them.


Something might stop us, temporarily:


But if we wait patiently, and proceed with care, we can keep moving forward.



Sometimes, people might seem to be blocking our way.


However, we might be over-rating a person’s importance and permanence, in our lives.


If we give somebody too much power, we might lose track of what surrounds us.




Speaking for myself, I tend to focus on problematic people — their thoughts, their actions, the harm they might possibly do.

It helps to let go of worry about that (and other things):


It also helps to focus on supportive people around you:


… even if you can’t come up with many names, initially.  Chances are, there’s a team nearby


… even if they’re difficult to recognize, at first.

Sometimes, obstacles can block our ability to see the most obvious things around,


but going a short distance can help us see more of what’s there.


And while there might be lots of things telling us not to proceed,




… sometimes we just have to cross a line, and keep on going.IMG_6061

Thanks to all those who deal with barriers and obstacles as best they can, to supportive people everywhere (named Mark or otherwise),  to the guys at my parking garage (who have told me that bird poop on my car is lucky), to creatures that poop, to anybody who needs help interpreting anything I ever write or say (because of inevitable barriers to communication), and to you — especially! — for overcoming any obstacles to get here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 30 Comments

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30 thoughts on “Day 537: Barriers and Obstacles

  1. Great post! We’re going to live in Ipswich soon . . . . Ipswich, Suffolk, UK!

  2. I love to be part of your team, Ann. It’s a position to respect and honor, to shout out about by writing your name on a street pole, really. Talk about serendipity. I was Polish in my post today, too.

    I also want to take a bow to any bird who can poop from the sky and have it land in the shape of a bear. Now that is an obstacle to overcome.

    • I always love to give shout outs to my team members, Mark, especially those who see, so clearly, all obstacles in their way.

  3. haha I was so confused by that last photo. I wondered what that was. A ghost? a smudge on your phone? Thankfully your summary helped me to realize the photo was taken through your windshield in your car! Thanks for this ‘obstacles, smobstacles’ post. Very timely for me!
    Diana xo

    • I like confusing people temporarily and then clarifying things, Diana, so I am very pleased with your reaction. Also, I think you came up with a better title for this blog post. xoxo

  4. Gene Phillips

    I well-illustrated post.

  5. I love that you have a tag called, “fun with bird poop on windshields.” I clicked on that to see if you had any other posts in that interesting category. So far, this is the first — but I have great expectations. I’ve really never thought that much about windshields or poop, and especially not about the luck involved with that, either way.

    Today, I am sitting in my backyard in the shade, writing. It’s a beautiful day, sunny but not too hot. And thanks to you, I enjoyed a nice outing around Boston (especially the urban gardens), mulled over some deep thoughts, and laughed. Thank you!

    • You are most welcome. I was hoping somebody would notice that tag; of course, you did. I’m so glad you had a beautiful day, sunny but not too hot. That’s the exact kind of day we had here, too. And it makes me happy to think of you laughing, so many miles away.

  6. PS. I’m glad that you gave us a close-up of what was behind the fence. What turned out to be an orderly arrangement of white storage bags, I had mistaken for a Ku Klux Klan conference!

  7. amusez798387

    I often have bird poop on my car as I park under a tree and am glad to find out it is good luck. What guys in the garage? I recognize the gardens parallel to Brookline Ave. I love focusing on them on my walk to work.

    • Hi, Mary! So nice to see you here. I’m referring to the guys who work at the garage where I park my car. If you click on the link in my thank-you’s at the end of the post where I mention them, you’ll see a post about how great they were, last year, when Aaron was in the hospital.

  8. Pingback: Day 538: Shorter | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  9. Our mind is a very powerful tool… Those negative thoughts and actions want to take over if we let them, but you have many great suggestions for letting it go… Love the images that go along with the article… LOL… Much love on this nice Sunday…

  10. YOu always draw my mind out of any box it might be attempting to hide inside thinking it was best to stay inside!

    And, you always make me smile — and laugh — at some of the world’s absurdities.

    And… you make me curious. So… I went in search of bird poop images online and found many!

    Here are a couple of links. the cartoons are priceless — (check out the fifth one…) 🙂

    • And I am grateful for your openness, curiosity, and zest for exploring and discovery. It’s inspiring, no matter what the topic! Thank you, Louise, for the links and for lovely you.

  11. Pingback: Day 540: I Spy | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  12. Pingback: Day 608: Low hanging fruit | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  13. Pingback: Day 612: Not the only one | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  14. Pingback: Day 619: Something to remind you | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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