Intention vs. expectation
I recently got a membership at a local yoga studio. I've practiced yoga poses over the years as a part of different workouts, and I've done my own thing with videos at home. However, this is the first time that I've officially joined a studio. It is one of the best decisions I've made. It has made me realize that there are many intricacies to the poses that I did not know. Relearning the poses has been humbling, in a good way, I've realized how much I have to learn.
Yoga has been an antidote for tough workouts and crazy days. It calms my mind, and it stretches out my sore muscles. At a recent candlelight yoga class, the instructor started the class by talking about intention vs. expectation, and it really stuck with me. These two words can be used interchangeably, but there is actually a big difference between them. When I think about starting my day, if I sent the intention to be calm, that's the best I can do because I can try to accomplish this through self control. However, if I set the expectation for a calm day, I may very well be disappointed because of factors I can't control.
I think the quote "expectation is the thief of joy" is a powerful statement. Expectations can get in the way of just being and enjoying the moment. Each day is a blank canvas, if we just live in it and the moment, great things have a chance to happen. If we set expectations for work, a trip, a vacation, a party, we give these items strict criteria to meet. If X isn't met, then we may think this day or experience isn't what it should be. We may miss out on amazing things because we are completely focused on expectations, and this could prevent us from being open to fantastic parts of life.
I am a planner by nature, and I think this kind of structure lends itself to expectations. It's also human nature to think: I hope this party goes well; I hope my child behaves in this way; I hope this day is amazing and so on. However, I'm going to try not to box in the moments and days of my life with expectations and be open to what they may be. At the very least, if we don't have expectations, we won't be disappointed, but we may very well experience amazing moments beyond our wildest dreams.