Today is earth day so it was fitting that the bhavana for this morning's class was the earth. Through the course of the class the teacher reminded us to feel the support of the earth. "Draw in the earth's energy".
I wasn't feeling it today. I was actually feeling the exact opposite. Feeling like I've been stranded on a wobbly suspension bridge.
This week I was once again reminded that my "great expectations" are the root of my disappointment. I know, I know, that's certainly not a newsflash. It was also pointed out to me that my expectations of others causes distress to them. It puts unnecessary pressure on others when I expect things from them or I expect them to behave a certain way. I appreciated this point as I honestly never gave much thought to it. Mostly because I didn't realize that my expectations were unreasonable. Okay, sometimes they are but mostly they are reasonable expectations.
Keep in mind that I am fully aware that my ego is playing a huge role in what I'm about to say but humor me anyway........ I will do my best to keep my ego in check.
In order to be a yogi am I required to forgo all expectations? Wow! my ego is throwing a huge party in my head right now. It sounds something like this: "If you invite someone to your home for dinner is it unreasonable to expect a reply?" I don't think so. "If you ask someone a question is it unreasonable to expect an answer or even an I don't know?" I don't think so. "What if you show up for a yoga class that you know to be a specific style but what you get is totally different? Is it unreasonable to expect the specific style?" I don't think so. Aren't some expectations perfectly reasonable? If you walk into the ice-cream shop don't you expect to find ice-cream. Don't you expect milk when you milk a cow.
I, my dear friends, have come to the conclusion that I must be crazy. That's the only explanation I can come up with. I admit that I do sometimes try getting orange juice by milking a cow but I'm feeling like I was happily milking the cow and enjoying the milk and one day the cow decides to give me yogurt instead. The only problem is that I hate yogurt. Is expecting milk from the cow a perfectly reasonable expectation? I think so.
Okay, ego, give it a rest! Unfortunately, I cannot change the world. I cannot make people behave the way I think they should. I can't even control my own thoughts I certainly can't expect to change anyone else's. I accept that. I apologize to those people who feel that I expect too much. I accept the fact that it is my own expectations that are the root of my "suffering". But I do not accept that ALL expectations are unreasonable.
I was hoping today to clear my head. Instead I'm feeling more confused than ever. Is hope the same as expectation? If not, what's the difference. Is letting go of expectation the same as giving up hope? If we give up hope what do we have? Is lower my expectations of others the way to happiness? I don't think so.
So here I am, on the wobbly suspension bridge. What now? Do I sit on the bridge and cry or do I keep moving forward? Do I suck it up and eat the yogurt or do I go in search of milk? I will try to accept this predicament I find myself in but I'm not loving it. Since I'm not feeling the support of the earth beneath my feet right now I will need to find the support I need in my own heart and in my own sadhana. I will step forward in faith. I accept that the Divine, in her infinite wisdom is offering me an opportunity to grow. I accept that I need to practice discernment when it comes to my expectations. The only way to practice discernment is with a clear mind and a pure heart. I have a feeling my butt and my meditation cushion are going to be seeing a lot of each other........