Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Land of Expectation Versus the Land of What Is by Lisa Guyman

August 21, 2018 by  
Filed under ., News

Thinking that life should conform to our internal picture of it creates stress and unhappiness.

Life is as it is. That’s a fact. In this moment of your life is exactly as it is.

The key to happiness is continually surrendering expectation to what is. Ironically, when we are in a state of acceptance of “what is” we are in a greater place of power, grace and love. We experience greater happiness and are more likely to take actions that better our lives.

The key to unhappiness is expecting things to be different than they are. The land of expectation is fraught with subtle or not so subtle let down, overwhelm, stress, angst or irritation. Happiness is very fleeting if it arrives at all in the land of expectation.
Expectation (born of stories, belief, conviction, judgement and assumption) sounds something like this: “Things should be different than they are. This shouldn’t have happened. This is awful. This needs to happen. That person shouldn’t have acted that way.. The traffic is too slow. That person is driving too fast. My life should be more exciting, purposeful you name it. I should have more money, more time, be more fit or healthier, be in a relationship, have a better relationship, get out of this relationship, get a better job, and on and on and on.”

Expectation comes down to an underlying belief that things should be different than they are or that we should feel different than we feel or that we need to get more done or that life is simply better over yonder.

What if you didn’t resist whatever is in your life or is not in your life?

Life is exactly as it is in this moment.

What if you met it there?

What if you met yourself (just as you are) and your life (just as it is) and those around you (just as they are) in this moment . . . without a story?

Inviting you to meet the moment exactly as it is.

My Unexpected Summer Break

The skill of meeting life “as it is” has come in particularly handy for me, recently. On a beautiful Thursday in the latter part of June, I enjoyed a long walk in Rochester and in the evening caught a yoga class. After yoga while strolling toward my car (apparently mindlessly) I didn’t notice a large pebble in the lot (if a pebble can be large that is) and I stepped on it in just the wrong way and rolled my left foot hard, perhaps twice. Surprisingly, I didn’t fall I kind of leapt a couple times. It was not a gracious dance.

When I got home there was significant pain and I could no longer put any weight on that foot. I got in my front door and crawled up my steep stairs. I elevated and did Reiki and other holistic treatments and got around my apartment by crawling, hopping and discovering the versatility of my office chair.

The next day a friend came by to rescue me. Fortunately, she happened to have crutches and a walker and has a ranch style home. I set up an appointment to see a doctor the next week, just in case.

On Tuesday I got the news that I had broken my foot. I said: “oh I have a little break?” and the doctor with great empathy said: “no, you have a serious break and two fractures. You’ll need a fiberglass cast for 6-12 weeks and likely at the higher end. You’ll get x-rays and a new cast every two weeks.”

He went on to explain: “This injury heals via non-weight bearing. You’ll need to use crutches or a walker and keep your foot “off the ground” when moving around or standing. This particular kind of fracture is highly prone to reinjury (even with a cast) and putting any kind of weight on your foot could cause reinjury and that could mean an expensive surgery and an even longer recovery.

My summer plans changed in a flash.The “weekend” visit to my friend’s home has turned into weeks (and now alternate weeks). I have prized paraphernalia for getting around including a walker (yes, for real) and a knee walker (which is much more hip). Crutches were off the table once I learned I couldn’t catch myself with my injured foot (if I needed to) and having an incident on crutches could equate to surgery.

My expectation was that in addition to my work my Summer would be comprised of walks, lake and poolside activities, bike rides, yoga classes, teaching my July Reiki workshop in Denver, other trips, and so on. Not.

If I held tightly onto my expectation of my summer as I had pictured it, I’d be miserable. To say it shouldn’t be this way though would be ridiculous. How can it not be this way? It is this way.

The first couple weeks there was some physical and emotional adjustments to be sure. Though almost immediately I started asking myself the question “who would I be without the story of this whole thing is awful. My whole summer is gone?” I realized quickly I would be fine without a story that argued against reality, without my expectation for what I wanted my summer to be like.

It’s a lot of work getting around and yet I get out and about plenty. I’m able to be there for family and see friends. There has been plenty of dinners, movies, shopping, etc. And a huge bonus is that I’m able to drive because I didn’t injure my right foot.

Anthony Robbins says “everything happens for us, not to us.” And as I peer through that lens at my circumstance I can see that there are many “benefits” to this challenge, to this break and to putting the brakes on. I’ve already learned a great deal and I know I’ll come out of this with an enriched perspective and energy about life.

This is the choice we have. We can resist what is. Or we can show up, be present and embrace life exactly as it is in this moment.

Hope you are enjoying your summer, navigating your life with grace and taking time to enjoy the gifts of this amazing journey.

Inviting you to meet the moment exactly as it is.


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