The other day I had a moment where I was invited to look at my attachment to a situation, to look at the expected outcomes I had, and why I was so frustrated when my expectations were not met. When I slowed down to look at my own frustration, I realized my expectations were laughable. I was in a class watching a three year old child take his first yoga class. I expected him to follow the instructions, to stay on his mat, to attempt the poses. He did do this for a short stint, but for the rest of the class he was off his mat, exploring the space around him, folding the mat over him, trying other mats on when other kids were off of theirs. Other kids off of theirs did not bother me, but for him, I expected more.
After the class I spoke with the teacher, sharing my exasperation. She said, “He was fine, he did great!”
Great I scoffed, how could she call that great? He was not ready for yoga, I said.
“Sure he is, it was his first time Elizabeth. We need to give him more time, and he was not the only one exploring the situation. He is pure joy, and his exploration did not bother me in the least. Let me give him some more support and then we can make a decision, but give him some more classes before you call it a failure.”
Her response caught me off guard. Sure some kids his age and younger stayed on their mats. Yes I wanted that for him. But through my conversation with his teacher I realized my expectations may have been unrealistically high for this child. And wasn’t yoga about your own practice, showing up for it, and letting it be. That he had done. I just was attached to him doing it better, to him perfecting it, and as I write this I realize where my attachment and hence my suffering in that moment came from. When asked at the end of the day his favorite part of his day he replied, “Yoga, I can’t wait to go back.” And here was the teachable moment to talk further about yoga in an inviting way for him.
Where do your expectations of a situation not meet reality? How attached do you become to this difference? Does it cause you suffering? How can you shift your expectations and meet life’s circumstances where they are and hence where you are? How can you honor the distance from where you want to be to where you hope to be finding your precious breath that helps you connect to the present moment? So that gracefully you can show up in the present moment of what is, finding the pure joy of the moment.