Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Do you have big plans for the year ahead?

Dreams you are determined to transform into reality?

The New Year has a reputation as a blank slate. Time to start fresh. It’s easy to forget that each day and each moment is also a fresh start, minus the fireworks and new planner.

Do the dreams come with a side order of expectations?

I’ve been noticing how expectations sneak in the back door of my consciousness. They tend to wreak a bit of havoc and a struggle ensues. Me vs life. Life always wins. Sometimes at the cost of suffering and disappointment.

Expectations feel different than dreams. For me, dreams feel lighter and softer. With expectations, my good feelings and well being seem to be dependent on meeting them. There is just a wee bit or a lotta bit of pressure in the stew.

When we see the impact of our expectations, our first response might be to decide they are not a good idea and declare “We just shouldn’t have expectations. We should work on eliminating them or keeping them down to a cautious minimum.”

I’m going to propose that’s almost (though not quite) like saying “don’t breathe.” Expectations seem to be a part of the internal conversation of being a human being. Trying not to have them can be an exercise in futility that adds another expectation to the pot.

I see a bright spot. A gentle solution. One that requires no effort or strain.

Acknowledge you are a human and will have expectations from time to time. Ahhh, now that feels nice.

Notice expectations when they pop into your awareness. Noticing is a powerful first step to freedom. Of course, no worries about not noticing. You can’t notice what you don’t see.

The nature of noticing is that we may then begin to hold our expectations a bit more lightly. We find ourselves loosening the grip on needing something to happen or turn out a certain way. Perhaps just a little bit.  We might find we take ourselves a little less seriously.  Shine the light on those expectations and they may just scatter like cockroaches. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

The lighter we hold on, an open hand vs a clenched fist, the easier it is for expectations to flow through. Doing what thoughts tend to do.  As we loosen our grip, they may even dissolve.

What’s left?

Life. Doing its thing.

Like a river. In a state of flow.

gayle nobel