Mind & Body

Expectations—real or imagined

 | January 14, 2013

June_bwAs promised last month we are revisiting the idea of “expectations.” This seems like a particularly appropriate time to do so since, for many, with the New Year comes a list of hopes, resolutions and plans for the months ahead.

First let’s review the principles behind our experience. We know that life is an inside-out experience. We’re the creators of the movie we call life. Someone has said “Life is 10 per cent what happens to us and 90 per cent what we make of it.” We might go so far as to say that it is 100 per cent what we make of it. In other words, what we think.

The principles of mind, thought and consciousness are the foundation behind how we are in the world. If we’re anxious, worried, calm, compassionate or any of the many feelings that accompany our thinking, it’s simply because we’ve made that choice in the moment. We need not take our thinking so seriously and personally. It is, after all, just a thought. We can let it go, knowing that our innate health will prevail and offer us deeper understanding and wisdom about any subject or event. We’re the thinkers behind each moment of life. We have choice.

So what are expectations really, and how do they impact on our well-being? Expectations are our creation of what “might be.” They’re born out of our hopes and fears, our past experiences and our imagination of future events. They’re not real.

When we become gripped by our thinking and by the outcome of our expectations we lose perspective and forget the beautiful gift of innate health and resiliency that lies within each of us. We lose sight of the profound power and wisdom that’s available to us. We imagine that our sense of well-being is dependent on a specific outcome.

While it may be inevitable to have some thought about future events, whether it’s an important meeting or a family gathering, a difficult test or a dental appointment, the trick is to see it for what it is, our own imagination at work.

Once we’re on to ourselves we can never again be as totally gripped by our movie. We may be momentarily pulled off course by some scary scenario, but we’ll quickly regain our perspective and wonder, “What was I thinking?”