Expectations, disappointment, goals, hard work, dreams, plans, success, risk, failure, vision, discipline, flow… these are words that came up in a Jess-Ned- over wine conversation last night. Hashing out the discrepancy between “Expectation is the root of all heartache” and “Success demands disciplined planning and high expectations of yourself”
Thoughts were still massaging my brain during my morning swim. Here is what my 3500 yards between two walls gave me…. For as long as I can remember, I have had high expectations; have been driven, disciplined, and striving; planning, setting goals, working hard, achieving. But, this left me always running… toward or from something. I didn’t want to surrender to stillness or calm. Even as I practiced yoga, I didn’t want the calm, the exhales, the flow, to guide me. I wanted what I thought was discipline and intensity. Because, to me, discipline meant success, and intensity kept me running so stillness couldn’t reveal buried pain.
Then I learned that flow is being present, and THAT is more intense than any intensity I had known. Stillness takes more discipline, more patience.
Then I had a moment. Ned was there. Surfing at sunrise, we jumped off our boards and floated. Together. The white water enveloped us, the waves took us in, fish literally jumped out of the water surrounding us, the rising sun beamed sparkles on the water. I told him, “this could be the best moment of my life”.
“No”, he said, “it can’t be.” But he didn’t know. He didn’t know the moment I labeled “best” one early morning surfing; that I felt a sensation and a presence that had been absent in my life to that point. Maybe glimpses of it, but never a complete contentment, an absence of expectation, a patience, an experience of not needing anything else in that moment; not running from stillness, not trying to get somewhere else. Just the full dimension of being here. Now. Living this moment.
So, where do we land in the vortex of planning and goal-setting and over-achieving and experiencing stillness for contentment in a moment? All I know is I continue to practice life with passion and intensity in each moment.
Because, each moment IS your life. ❤️
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