Friday, September 18, 2009

Releasing your Expectations

September 18, 2009
Finding Joy in Life's Surprises
Releasing Your Expectations

As we endeavor to find personal fulfillment and realize our individual ideals, we naturally form emotional attachments to those outcomes we hope will come to pass. These expectations can serve as a source of stability, allowing us to draft plans based on our visions of the future, but they can also limit our potential for happiness by blinding us to equally satisfying yet unexpected outcomes. Instead of taking pleasure in the surprising circumstances unfolding around us, we mourn for the anticipation left unfulfilled. When we think of letting go of our expectations, we may find ourselves at the mercy of a small inner voice that admonishes us to strive for specific goals, even if they continually elude us. However, the opposite of expectation is not pessimism. We can retain our optimism and free ourselves from the need to focus on specific probabilities by opening our hearts and minds to a wide variety of possible outcomes.

When we expect a situation, event, or confrontation to unfold in a certain way, it becomes more difficult to enjoy the surprises that have the potential to become profound blessings. Likewise, we may feel that we failed to meet our inner objectives because we were unable to bring about the desired results through our choices and actions. Consider, though, that we are all at the mercy of the universal flow, and our best intentions are often thwarted by fate. As you grow increasingly open to unforeseen outcomes, you will be more apt to look for and recognize the positive elements of your new circumstances. This receptivity to the unexpected can serve you well when you are called upon to compromise with others, your life plans seem to go awry, or the world moves forward in an unanticipated manner by granting you the flexibility to see the positive aspects of almost any outcome.

The further you distance yourself from your expectations, the more exhilarating your life will become. Though a situation in which you find yourself may not correspond to your initial wants, needs, or goals, ask yourself how you can make the most of it and then do your best to adapt. Your life’s journey will likely take many unpredicted and astonishing twists because you are willing to release your expectations.



LuLu said...

I just happened to click your blog today from someone else's. I always seem to do that right when there's something I need to see. Thank you for your comments about expectations. I find letting go of unfulfilled expectations might be one of my most consistent challenge in life. What also seems to happen with expectations is that I get stuck wishing I was not doing what I have to right now but off in some future desired endeavor. It doesn't do much good to live in the future. Just daydreams.

P.S. I too am a yoga teacher and am in the process of stepping back from teaching to be more of a student again. I liked what you said about inversions and arm balances. I had been surrounded by people who spent much time practicing such postures more to fuel their ego it seemed than to learn things like humility and self-confidence. Thank you.

dragonfly said...

Lulu, I look forward to sharing blog-land with you. Welcome, and namaste.