Thoughts

No Expectations

It’s rare, actually, it’s even quite difficult to escape expectations. Every day, as soon as we wake up, we hit the ground running with expectations. Even before consciousness, there is the expectation that one will wake up by a certain time in order to do certain things by other certain times…..

I’m sick of it.

It feels completely unnatural to me to have my entire life planned out. I’m a glutton for surprises, the unplanned and the moments that could never be planned. I don’t want to have expectations of every second of my life because then I miss out on what the moments have to offer for themselves.

It feels completely unnatural to me to have my entire life planned out.

The Sanctity of Nothingness

Perhaps some will say that I’m a fool, that nothing would be accomplished without making plans and setting expectations – but is that true? The wind doesn’t make plans to blow the weather through the plains, the mountains don’t have expectations of breaking apart the storm, and the people can’t even have expectations that it will rain wherever they happen to be (though we certainly try our best to).

A cougar may hunt, and even have great techniques that land its pray almost 100% of the time, but it doesn’t have the expectation that it will make a kill “at 5pm, every third Thursday.” It doesn’t require that it’s to groomed itself before it goes hunting. It doesn’t “have to” bring back a huge elk for a dinner party it doesn’t really want to have but feels obligated to host anyway…

We’ve wrapped ourselves up so tight in meaning we can’t even make sense of it any more.

No, we humans are the fools. We’ve wrapped ourselves up so tight in meaning we can’t even make sense of it any more. We are so desperate for validation and justification of our existence that we sacrifice authentic living for conditioned expectations.

Here’s my point: the cougar goes on living it’s great cougar life without schedules, tasks and expectations – what would a human life look like if it did the same? Arguably, some expectations and plans are beneficial, e.i. brushing your teeth, wearing clothes and having a fulfilling life – but are they really the means to getting these things?

Perhaps the good life is recognizing that you have a good life.

Perhaps the key to a good life isn’t painstakingly designing every detail and moment to match up with external and internal standards you have to struggle and suffer to achieve… Perhaps the good life is recognizing that you have a good life.

Reevaluating Motivation

If I only brush my teeth out of obligation to the expectations of my society or conditioning, I’m missing out. However, if I brush my teeth because I’m actively aware of my life, my body, how good it all is, my gratitude for my teeth and my ability to keep them healthy, the task becomes a celebration. It’s in this way that expectations steal from us: they make the completion or acquisition of an experience or trait more important that the experience or trait itself.

Imagine for a moment a different world, one where people operate from genuine need or desire rather than expectation. Imagine if the normal was to wake up when you feel rested rather than when you “have to” in order to be “on time.” Imagine exploring your days rather than planning them. Imagine allowing for life’s spontaneous joy and peace to bless you when you least expect it… Seems so wonderful, and so alien.

Well, that’s what I’m doing today.

Reinventing my Success

I’ve been laying in bed for hours. I woke up on my own at about 7, but I’ve been reading and writing since then without finding reason to move. My kitties are cuddling me. My lover is trying to make plans to see me today… and I am just doing nothing.

Two fluffy kitties, one comfy bed and all the time in the world…

I told him he could come by as long as he didn’t have any expectations, explaining my current desire for void, and he told me to let him know when I feel like making plans.

Right now, I have some loose ideas about how the day might go. I have desire to clean my space, and it needs it too. I also feel some curiosity and creativity bubbling up, so perhaps some study and work will get done, but I can’t say for sure what or when. I was inspired to write this blog and that’s as far as I’ve gotten. No plans.

I’m hungry, but not for my usual, easy-to-grab-and-go breakfast smoothie… No, today I’ll make myself some pancakes, for brunch now I guess… And I’ll eat them slow.

I’m also feeling like some self-care… It’s been a while since I’ve had a ritual bath. Maybe I’ll make a custom face mask and deep condition my hair too. I guess I’ll see!

Lover wants to go for a hike and forage mushrooms, which does sound fun. So perhaps once I’ve eaten, straightened up my space, and pampered myself a bit I’ll join him… He also said he would just bring me dinner later if I like though, so we’ll see how things go…

Regardless of what I do today, I’m already happy. In this way, I’ve succeeded even before I’ve begun.

Regardless of what I do today, I’m already happy. In this way, I’ve succeeded even before I’ve begun.

Offering Renewed Perspective

The reality is, I won’t get everything done today. The reality is, I never do. With or without plans, LIFE IS FULL! That’s why there is always more – it’s not because we don’t do enough, it’s because we could never do it all, even in a million lifetimes.

Still, even without my plans, I will accomplish stuff today. Accomplishments are a part of life, we simply can’t avoid doing things entirely. We can however, make the act of doing things something we needlessly stress over.

So, I’m done. I’m hereby relinquishing my expectations. I’m letting go of all the “shoulds,” “coulds” and “woulds” to embrace what is, regardless of what that means I am. At least in accepting myself and my reality I can make decisions that are informed by truth, even if it’s just the basic truths of desire and need.

No more sacrificing authenticity for expectations.

No more sacrificing authenticity for expectations. No more artfully designing the distance between myself and “good enough.” I declair myself FREE! Free to be me, free to have bad days and to have really surprisingly good ones too. Free to exist grateful for who I am rather than punished for who I “could be.”

Here’s to wishing the same for all of you. Blessed be!

Milestone, spiritual, Thoughts

Blessed Lammas

The house is quiet, only the sound of grandma’s oxygen compressor and the restless shifts of sleeping puppies punctuate the stillness. The overcast sky has overcome midsummer heat and a cool breeze wafts through the open front door, spun about the living room by the ceiling fans, tickling my skin at every bare side. Grandma is feeling well, things are calm, and the energy meanders about on the low end, right between “sleepy siesta” and “reading in a hammock.”

This is my harvest.

Appreciating Peace

I’m not exactly opposed to chaos, in fact, at one time in my life a therapist told me “you can be addicted to anything, even chaos,” in attempt to wake me up to my patterns of poor choices back then. I didn’t get it then, but it’s become obvious as time and life’s lessons have wore on.

I have all the markers of an intelligent person: I cuss, do drugs, stay up late and seek other novel experiences. I travel internationally solo, my #1 bucket list item is “swim with sharks,” and I’ve taken myself far past my own expectations and boundaries again and again. Yet, as of late, all I have wanted is a bit of peace.

Actually, I’ve been craving it, deeply. All my efforts to “full speed ahead” in July were thwarted by reality and I spectacularly failed every last expectation and standard I had idealized for myself at the start of the month. So here I am, beginning a new month and even a new phase of the year’s wheel, hesitant to make another attempt at idealistic grandeur for the upcoming month. Though my intuition and awareness are making it hard not to get excited anyway…

Closing a Chapter

Lammas is a Pagan Sabbat, or holiday, and serves for celebrating harvest as the long days of summer begin to dwindle. There are 4 yearly Sabbats including Lammas (Aug. 1st), Samhain (Oct. 31st), Imbolc (Feb. 1st) and Beltane (May 1st). Each Sabbat falls at a midpoint between the Equinoxes and Solstices, and carries its own seasonal/archetypal energy.

The focus on harvest is an interesting one, because it allows for taking inventory. In this way, Lammas invites us to review what we’ve planted and how we’ve sown those seeds since Beltane. Personally, since May, I feel I’ve been caught in a whirlwind.

So much has happened in just 3 short months and they feel markedly halved. From May through the first half of June I was on dieta, preparing and then participating in a spiritual retreat and largely feeling centered, focused and excited. Mid June through the end of July however, were marked by stress, uncertainty and groundlessness. I am grateful for it all.

Despite my tireless devotion, nothing I did before my retreat was “enough” for me. I felt like I was simultaneously the donkey and the carrot, trying to manipulate my development and attention to the “perfect” degrees in order to activate to upmost potentiality of my spiritual experiences. I struggled to remain in my beingness, fighting my addiction to doership at every angle.

Since my retreat, coming home to grandma being ill, I have been unable to maintain strict control over my experiences, feelings or thoughts, and have largely been caught up in the moments as they’ve happened. I’ve been wading through turbulent waters, barely keeping my head up, let alone maintaining “good form.” Yet, I’ve also still managed to study, write, edit, contribute, encourage, connect, love, meditate, practice yoga, share myself and otherwise be authentically me in spite of it all.

The juxtaposition of these reflections is illuminating.

From The Universe has Your Back (card deck), by Gabrielle Bernstein

Beginning Anew

I’m not going to set standards for my organic spiritual disposition. I am this person who studies astrology, philosophy, yoga and practices meditation, development and awareness – regardless of whether or not I make it a “daily task.” I am a writer, editor, collaborator, contributor, consultant, healer, teacher and coach – regardless of how/when/why these things all get done. I’m not these things because of anything I do, I am these things, period.

This is my harvest: I get to be me. In the stillness and quiet, as well as in the chaos and noise. I am Mayryanna. I am a blessing. I am blessed. All the rest doesn’t matter.

So yes, I’m excited. I’m excited to accept where I’m at, appreciate myself and explore the ever-expanding heights and depths of my consciousness. I will certainly be fighting old habits – for some reason I love planning even more than doing lol – but it’s a lesson I feel fortunate to be learning.

May you all have a blessed, reflective and illuminating harvest as well!