When I first explored expectations, I thought of what I had expected from others and the environment. Much deeper I find there are many expectations I set on myself, this is about how I am dropping them and picking up to-dos when I’m ready to.
I’m 35+ weeks pregnant, some of the information will reflect that. These skills can be used by anyone, you may see similarities and get inspiration from them.
In the later stages of pregnancy, I can so easily become overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed as if I have been working all day, done errands then look at my own to do list thinking ‘So, erm, what was my objective here?’ It’s only 10 am, in fact, some days I only properly ‘wake up’ at 2 pm.
I literally have no energy other than to turn on a relaxing track and nap.
Husband and extended family are supportive, reminding me IT’S OK to rest, relax, do nothing for a while.
I miss the excitement of Sadhana practice, the drive to get things ticked off my list and the celebration of accomplishments. Thinking I can get all things done while growing a watermelon doesn’t work.
After a lot of resistance, I have accepted I can get things done by going slow and resting often. Not to ignore the intuitive voice that sounds like it’s in pain ‘I am so tired’.
A resource I turn to when overwhelmed or need the time out is Martha Beck’s Gathering Room on Facebook. In a recent episode, she shared ‘Force is still a force, creativity is flow. Let go of expectation, be continually expecting something new’.
Often I am expecting something specific to happen, like completing three tasks or to have enough energy to be out all day.
However, if I expect something with no strings or specifics, something new will happen.
It always does. Never fails.
Martha’s health issues allowed her to see that everything is ‘A gradual awakening from suffering’. No one wants to be in suffering through in small ways we are.
Like when I wake up after a night of unexpected insomnia and bathroom trips and I’ve slept but somehow I’m tired like I haven’t slept at all, that is a form of suffering. Now I practice thinking of it as a gradual awakening rather than what is, what will be all day.
Just before entering the Gathering room again, I was reading about the benefits of weekly planning over daily. This interested and annoyed me as I got a pricey daily planner at the start of the year. Instead of going out and buying one (shifting an old habit) I copied the layout into my Bullet Journal.
The benefits of weekly planning are that you can see all your priorities, tasks and appointments all in one place. You delegate priorities over the days and it works as stepping stones to a goal.
From experimenting, weekly planning is working better. Though with husbands working hours and my nap times, it is becoming more like an accountability tracker. I can see how and where progress is to be made which is something!
I’ve come back to old useful habits, instead of ‘painting’ on my list I will put ’15 mins journal’ as that’s all the time I need to play pressure-free and usually I go onto paint from there.
I write 1 – 3 tasks down on my whiteboard and if I complete only one I remind myself ‘Hey you wrote an article today! That’s amazing!’ The same goes for when I note down to read, naps, walk I remind myself ‘I am in such appreciation that I can read this long book and take it in!’
I’ve been practicing that every day is different and to go with the flow since week 6 of this journey. Now it feels I have the added experience building of no expectations, to be present and only expect something will happen, not try and predict what, just be in the flow.
Stand outside overwhelm, there you have less frustration and more fun.
How you get there only you can experience, though to begin, become still.