Coincidence, happenstance, karma……call it what you like, but when it happens it can certainly make you take a step back and think…hmm.
Conversations around the idea of people’s expectations come up quite often in therapy. For some, it can be a significant underlying aspect of their struggles. Becoming aware of those expectations and being able to let them go is part of the process of growth and healing.
So, the other day I had a session with a client where much of the hour was spent looking at the expectations she has for herself. The ideas she has for her life and where she thinks she should be. As we talked about letting go of expectations we focused on the skill of being present and accepting what is. At the end of the session she seemed more aware of the expectations and was able to begin to let go. She was my last client for the day…then off to yoga.
I arrive at my yoga class with about 15 minutes to spare. The class fills up regularly, so I like to get there, find my space, and begin to let go of the day. It’s a good class, great teacher…..I’m okay with it being full and not having a lot of personal space to really spread out. After all, this is my practice. We’ve all adjusted our mats to accommodate the maximum number of participants allowed. Then, right when class should begin, we’re asked to be patient and make room for 2 more. What? Are you serious? It’s time for class to start and we are filled to the brim…2 more people? I have to admit, I found myself beginning to feel annoyed, if not agitated. As we begin the practice in seated meditation, I feel myself struggling to be present. All the thoughts of what this class is suppose to be….on time, max of 20 people, adults (there was a child in the class)…raced through my mind, hence the annoyance and agitation. Don’t get me wrong, I like people and children 🙂 .
Then, suddenly it hit me…wow, talk about expectations and needing to let go! I actually kind of laughed at myself. So…hmm, what did I need to learn? My annoyance wasn’t about the extra people or starting a little late, it was that the actual experience and the expectation I had for what the class should be didn’t exactly match. What I recognized is…the changes in the class didn’t really have any impact on my practice. The extra people, shorter amount of time…none of it mattered. I still had the same practice as I would have had those aspects not been there. Well, except for my annoyance, but that had nothing to do with the class, just my rules and expectations 🙂 .