February 1: Dropping Expectations

Don’t let expectations ruin your experience of the beautiful unfolding of the Now.

Human beings are smart creatures.  We see patterns and can develop and live by detailed rules and routines.  Establishing order can help us feel grounded and can create efficiency. But, expecting order can also create dissatisfaction and un-comfortibility when the unexpected rears its head.

The naked truth is that we are a part of the natural environment and as such are subject to the chaotic whims of nature.  We don’t expect to control the weather, or at least we shouldn’t, so why do we expect to be able to control all human activities such as traffic or a yoga class?

One possible answer, is that science has allowed us to inflict our will onto traditionally natural phenomena.  Plant growth is a great example.  Consider for a moment, a field of corn.  An image of uniform plants, all the same height in ordered rows comes to mind.

But, this isn’t how it always was.  It took the will, effort, and money of countless human beings to create this order.  And despite best efforts, it doesn’t always go as planned.  Plants find a way of returning to a more natural chaotic systems and humans must find ever more advanced ways to keep nature within a uniform box.

Once we accept this reality, that life by its very nature is chaotic and unpredictable, we are able to shed light and humor on unexpected moments.

Asana Practice: For many of us yoga is a sanctuary.  In my corporate days I remember rushing to class with a sense of desperation.  I KNEW, if I just made it to my mat I would be able to make it through the week.

I would hand select the studio and teacher to fit my schedule and desires, put the class in my schedule book, and make it just in time to greet the teacher in samasthitihiBut what if something goes “wrong!”

We have all run late for a yoga class. We have all suffered a moments disappointment to find out our favorite teacher is on vacation.

Can you think of times when your yoga experience didn’t meet your expectations?  Maybe the person sitting next to you had a burritos for lunch or you were cramped against a wall? How did you respond to the experience?

We can’t control the world, but we can choose our reaction to it. In moments like these, I find a deep breath goes a long way.  I can choose to let these moments ruin my day or create anxiety, or I can take a moment and find something optimistic about the change in circumstance.  Almost always, my choice of perspective dictates the quality of my experience.

Having a positive attitude and going with the flow, has allowed me to find the perfect new teacher,  to make a new friend,  or has given me a much-needed lesson on patience or compassion.

Just recently, I missed a class I was looking forward to for a week because of a huge snow storm.  It took me a minute to accept the change in circumstances, but once I did, I realized I could use the time to catch up with a close friend who was in need of companionship.

Lesson Learned: Embrace each moment with love and understanding.

Don’t throw away your planning book, there is value in order and efficiency. However, when the natural fluctuations of the world around you force a change, do your best to respond with positivity.

There is something greater in the world than the plan we impose on it. If you can embrace the beautiful unfolding of the now, you can experience the oneness of the universe.

This image can be found at: www. josephinewall.co.uk

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2 Responses to February 1: Dropping Expectations

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