My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations. Michael J. Fox
This week and next I will address two obstacles to our vitality and aliveness: expectations about others and beliefs about ourselves. This week the focus is on expectations.
Expectations are one of my all-time favorite trip-ups. When we expect someone to do or say things a certain way so we can be happy or comfortable, we are headed down Frustration Alley. We expect a neighbor to wave good morning. We expect grade school age children to appreciate all the time and energy we put into their care, feeding, and chauffeuring. We expect partners and friends to behave how we think they should and feel hurt and anger if they don’t. Often the other is not even aware of our expectation and pain. We only hurt ourselves when we engage in this pattern.
How can we get out of the expectations/resentment trap? We can make a subtle and powerful mind shift: we can claim our own wants and desires more and put less expectation on others! Expectations infer a particular result—a right or wrong, good or bad mindset in which our need for comfort is paramount. Alternatively, wanting and desiring are open ended and expansive claims of what we hope for ourselves. Expectations lead to power struggles. Wishes, wants, and desires lead to possibilities.
Sense the difference in your body as you read each phrase aloud:
I expect the driver in front of me to keep pace with traffic.
I want to keep pace with traffic.
Feel the subtle difference in your body’s felt sense of each phrase?
Practice this subtle shift of perspective and notice how your feel!
Until next week, Embrace Vitality, Transform Your Life!
PS — Some good stuff to do:
The Natural Living Expo in Northern VA
Sunday October 5. I’ll be there, will you?
Shift It Telesummit recordings available
until October 3. Listen here: