Expecting nothing and be grateful for everything

It was Saturday morning before Vinyasa yoga class, so it was 10:45, and the sky was gray. One of my students was standing on her yoga mat with a smile on her face. As you know me I always invite you to share how you feel, and what you have come to class with. We often share things which are not so positive, like back pain, trouble with sleeping etc. And I also love to hear positive things so I thought I would ask her “Why are you smiling”.  “The Sun will be shining at 12:00,” she replied. 🙂 I thought, oh yeah, she’s looking forward to seeing the Sun at 12:00, it makes her happy –  she is in the future. I smiled back at her.

I thought this is a great subject for our practice, and for our  monthly newsletter. The goal of yoga practice is to connect nto thepresent moment, so we therefore breathe consciously. We focus on physical sensations, knowing that the breath and the body are always in the present moment. It is different with the mind. The mind is often wandering into the past and then, into the future. When the mind goes into the past it is often because we think that there are things which are not completed yet, or that we’d like to change something from the past, or maybe we disagree with what happened or we are not happy with the end results, so we feel the need to finish or change it. The truth is that we unfortunately have no influence on the past – and by going back to the past, we are simply missing the present moment.  We miss sunrise, birds singing, warm words, delicious meals. To become friends with the past we need to say SORRY AND GOOD BYE.

When the mind goes into the future it is often because we’d like to be somewhere else. We are looking forward to lunch, weekends, holidays, new jobs, nice weather etc. When the mind goes into the future it means there is something missing in the present moment. What is very important here is the awareness of the present moment. So if you find yourself being hungry, it means you miss food; or there is rain all day long so you miss the sun. The awareness of what I miss in life, what makes me feel unhappy, what are the problems I am facing, can help us to practice kindness and gratitude.

But coming back to that story of looking forward to 12:00 to see the Sun shining 🙂 There is nothing wrong about setting goals, or looking forward to something that gives us hope and a happy feeling. We just need to be very careful with that, because by trying to achieve our goals we often push ourselves and we set high expectations.

Imagine yourself looking at the weather forecast and you see the Sun will shine at 12:00. It makes you happy doesn’t it? But what happens if the Sun doesn’t shine at 12 o’clock because the forecast has changed? It brings disappointment, doesn’t it? Or what if you  imagine yourself expecting tulips for your birthday –  and you get roses? The same goes for anything else… When we expect something we are often disappointed. Expectations create disappointments,  and often disappointments about ourselves.

Now imagine yourself walking on the street and a stranger comes to you and gives you flowers, or another gift. You are surprised and it feels pleasant, right? It feels pleasant because you were not expecting to get a gift 🙂 When we expect nothing we are often nicely surprised and feel grateful.

The key words here are „”expecting nothing and be grateful for everything”. Next time when you don’t see the sun shining when  you expect it, just smile to yourself 🙂