Expectations (9th of August 2008)
The stone of expectation
What is expectation?
Expectation is the projection of an idea that will effect (or be the outcome) of what you believe will occur in the future.
Expectation, as I intend it here, is not events that we will term ‘concrete reality’. Events like death, or hitting your head on a wall if you bump into it.
Expectations are of our own making, and are created by real or imagined events of the past.
How expectations hinder us
No expectations, no disappointments.
This famous quotation sounds distinctly Taoist, and explains part of why expectations are a negative stone to hold upon.
To begin with, expectations blind you from the reality that is present. If you wish to see Spring, but there is snow on the ground, not only will you constantly feel the weight of disappointment as you look at the snow, but you will be unable to appreciate or see the snow for what it offers.
This can be applied to all expectations, especially with regards to relationships with partners, friends and our relationship with other entities such as work, marriage, family, leisure.
If our expectations are modest, perhaps they can be met, but even then, holding onto an expectation hinders our ability to see what is actually there.
Expectations are a barricade to communication and understanding between people.
If we expect our partner to fulfill certain roles in the relationship, and they do not fulfill them, there is a danger of seeing our partner in a negative light and also being put into the position of not being able to see the real positives our partner brings to the relationship. Admittedly they may not be the positives we ‘expected’, but then, our partner is not a figment of our imagination that needs to perform to our ‘perfect list’. Our partner is an individual with talents, skills and positives for us to enjoy, but only if we can see them.
Some of the expectations we have are the cause of a lot of our sorrow.
Expectations to do with age and success, to do with our parent’s wishes, our ideals for the future, with how much money we should have, and what kind of partner we need.
Expectations lead to sorrow, dissatisfaction and blindness towards the very things we hold so dear. Our families, our friends and ourselves.
How to stop
I believe in little steps. One expectation at a time. Tentatively feeling through your mind’s projections and gently loosening the hold expectations have on your life.
With them, you are not free. You will never see the truth. You are chained by your ideas and your view of the world as it ‘should be’.
Without them, its possible to come a little closer to the truth. Its possible to learn. Its possible to discover the miracle of what is.
Its only after the emptiness, its only after falling into what seems nothing, that we can, finally, be.
All of the stones – all of the ego’s desires and torments – each and every one of them need to fall away, or we need to let go of them, for the next step to be reached.
People discussing spiritual emergence, or kundalini rising, or the flowering of the human consciousness, what ever you’d like to call it, express this void, this black pit of despair as a necessary movement of development.
So be it. Let it be known.
Movie Stars hire people to help create their off stage image.
Princess Diana is famous for hiring a publicist who helped keep her public image appealing.
Some people know how to walk the walk with full confidence. You see them strutting their stuff.
Most people don’t know how to effectively use their image, and most people don’t know why (or take any responsibility for) other people’s images affecting them positively or negatively.
One of my past students recognised in themselves an irrational respect for wealth. For wealth displayed in expensive cars and houses. When I questioned her on it, she said she knew that it was irrational, but she felt strong respect for wealth.
Images are created by a person’s behaviour, their accessories, their friends and our own preconceptions.
Knowing our responses to another’s image helps us not be a victim to feeling subordinate and helpless while meeting our doctor, or when shaking hands with the mayor, or when meeting someone of the opposite sex.
If you have trouble meeting some type of people, I’ve heard of popular psychologists suggest picturing these people on the toilet, or naked. By doing this you remove them of their powerful accessories. Their magic is gone, and they are a human being, just like you.
What images make your heart beat a bit faster?
What vision makes your stomach curl up?
What images bore you?
Whose image do you ignore?
Who taught you how to read people? Who said wealth was positive or negative? Images.
Yoga is a tool. It’s a system created by those who came before us. It’s a stone, like all of the other ‘things’ – that we can hold on to as a support to lower ourselves safely into the pit, or it blocks our path
Yoga, qigong, tai chi, pilates. Stones to help us, and stones to hinder us. But we’re all going to end up in the pit, regardless.
Let it go. Hold on. Let it go. Hold on.
Breathe in, breath out. Relax, hold tight. Struggle and release.
Yoga is not an end in itself.
Tools are to be taken care of, to be appreciated, and to be put back where you found them once they’ve done their job.
Yoga. Another concept.