Love Letter Thursday 5.16.13
On this Thursday, I send you some ideas on the wanting mind. Rooted in desire, the wanting mind is constantly evaluating what we like, don’t like, wish for and don’t wish for. Although the world keeps changing right underneath our feet, we grasp with the wanting mind and hope (expect?) that somehow we can set the circumstances in place that will allow things to be “just so” and for as long as possible. This is, exactly, the idea behind the love note itself. Or is it?
In Phillip Moffitt’s book, Emotional Chaos to Clarity (which, by the way, I can’t recommend highly enough), he explores the difference between expectation and possibility. And, I argue that, based on his explanation of the difference between the two, a love note is exciting because it is filled with possibility rather than expectation. Sure, you don’t expect to open my little note on Thursday and find something mean spirited, but the reason why you look forward to these notes is because anything is possible—will it be a poem, a song, a video, a picture, a……….well, anything is possible really and there lies the joy. But, if you found yourself really liking the love letters with videos and you opened this and didn’t find a video, well then, you might not be able to truly enjoy this love note for what it is. In essence, your expectation that your wanting mind’s preference for videos in my love notes, when not met, will cause you to have a bad experience of this note even though it is entirely pleasant.
And, according to Phillip Moffitt, we pretty much do this to ourselves all the time. We allow our wanting mind to determine what we like and when we don’t get it, regardless of how pleasant the reality might be, it is near impossible to let go of the disappointment and appreciate what is possible.
Expectations narrow options, limit imagination and create pressure because you can only have a sense of well being if your wanting mind’s expectations are met. Possibilities, on the other hand, are a request rather than a demand. Possibilities are based on what is actually happening in the present moment. Possibilities allow you to consider that there might be something even greater than what you think you want.
What kinds of expectations has your wanting mind brought to your attention today? Is there anything you expect that you might be able to release and turn into a possibility? For example, all day long you look forward to your yoga class because you love your teacher. Just the sound of her voice makes you feel calm and collected. But, when you show up for class, you find out that your teacher had to fly back to San Francisco to visit with her sick Auntie and there is a substitute instructor. Can you resist your urge to pack up your mat and head back out, disgruntled? Can you turn this expectation into a possibility? Can you give the present enough time to reveal potential? Can you, just for a few moments, entertain the idea that you might even like the substitute teacher better than your regular teacher? Or, maybe you will learn something new? Or, maybe your experience will simply reinforce your gratitude for having found your regular teacher?
In honor of love letter Thursday, I ask you to challenge yourself to turn one expectation into a possibility and share your experience with the community below.
This Love Letter is brought to you from Sharon Rudyk, a Pittsburgh based yoga and meditation instructor, yoga therapist and doula. Do you want my newsletter brought right to your inbox every Thursday? Of course you do! Well, then sign up here.