Click above to watch my VLOG – Letting Go of Expectations, or feel free to read the transcript below instead!
Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Today we’re going to talk about letting go of expectations. I think expectations are a huge cause of stress and suffering in all of our lives. And when things don’t look exactly as we expect, we end up feeling disappointed. We beat ourselves up. We have guilt and shame and it just starts this downward negative spiral. Which is something that we all want to avoid.
Letting Go of Expectations
Expectations are sort of the way that I think we try to control our world. And when we soften that, when we let go, we realize that we can actually co-create in a much more fluid way—life can flow along. There’s less of that negative energy around disappointment.
I know this very well being a recovering perfectionist. Part of perfectionism is expectations for what I’m supposed to achieve in the timing, and how things exactly are supposed to look. This is something I talk about quite a bit in my new book, Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life, which is really about looking at wellness and life in a much more holistic way.
When we have these expectations, there’s a lot of rigidity around that. And it tightens us up, it creates stress. It secretes certain stress hormones and our bodies don’t like rigidity. This means our digestion and circulation is constricted. It means that our organs aren’t able to function as well. We get these unwanted side effects such as weight gain, issues with our skin, or accelerated aging. Our bodies start to break down.
Be in the Flow
The first thing I would say about expectations, is a direct quote from Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life: “Expect life to work with you, but when it doesn’t, work with it”. It’s like beating yourself up against a brick wall when you expect A and B shows up. And then you amend and say, “Oh I wish it was this way, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
When life gives you B, when it gives you limes instead of lemons, work with it. Be in flow and that’s how more starts to come into your life, because life is unexpected and we’re not in control of so much. Really sitting back and having a more flexible attitude is going to not only open up your body and your beauty but your energy and health too. It’s going to make you feel so much healthier and happier and at peace, because it is what it is.
This is one thing I’ve come to realize, especially through things that have happened to me in the past few years. When my mom got sick, when she passed very suddenly, I could sit there and lament and say this isn’t fair. But it is what is coming in that moment.
Whatever is showing up for us is what we have to work with and that’s just the reality. The less we fight against how this isn’t fair and how we would want it to be a different way, we can then surrender, accept, and work with it.
We will start to move forward and everything in our life starts to elevate including our health. It’s a very Buddhist concept of surrender. In the West we think this means we give up, but it doesn’t mean that. It means that we are fully and present to what comes at us at that moment.
Pause and Reflect
The second step is, when you start feeling yourself attached to an expectation, pause and check out how it feels inside. Our whole Feel Good Movement in Solluna is not, oh we’re bright and happy all the time. However, it’s more that we’re connected to ourselves. And the more we are connected, that feels really good. It feels that we’re in touch with that stillness, the deeper part of ourselves and we can better intuit what we need, when we need time alone, when we’re actually hungry, what foods serve us.
The next time we start to feel that agitation, it means that we are disconnected from the present moment. Check out how that feels. We’re feeling agitation. We’re starting to feel riled up and take a breath. And realize that it’s more important to be happy and peaceful than to be right.
Even if we feel like we’re right and someone did something, they cut us off in traffic or a coworker took credit for a project or whatever it is. Just realize how that’s really affecting how we feel, which again, has a huge impact on our organs and our hormonal health. Notice how it feels and the more we tune in and we get really clear about that, we can drop it completely and let it go.
Learning to Trust the Moment
Thirdly, start trusting more. Trust that life is bringing us what we need in that moment, all these lessons, and growth that is happening. We can then realize that we were never in control and we don’t have to be in control and we’re not in control anyway. And this trust comes in, which is ultimate peace and sitting back and realizing that we can put in the right effort.
We’re co-creating, but at the same time there’s this bigger dimension, the universe, the divine, whatever you want to say is helping us along the journey and we are progressing. Whether it looks exactly how we want it to or not, there is a bigger plan. And when we really trust in that, more peace and joy comes forth.
I hope that these tips are ones that will resonate with you. Just by letting go of expectation more in your life, you can be in your ultimate perfection. Every moment is bringing us what we need for growth, being in that presence, and relaxing into that.
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