Letting Go Of Expectations
It’s easy to go about your life acting and reacting from your autopilot self. Your autopilot has been programmed from years of social media and underfunded educational programs. Hardwired habits have formed in all of us from our childhood and early teens, to say the least. When I say hardwired habits in this case, I’m referring to judgements, criticisms, and expectations we put on ourselves and others around us.
I noticed in my mid-twenties, that some of these habits formed early on to protect myself, were only hurting me now. Expectations I had formed on how to trust and who to trust, lined with criticisms about people, kept me emotionally shut down. I had created and accepted a reality that once served me but now was hindering my growth. Hindering my ability to deeply connect with those around me whom I held closest to my heart. I realized it was time to approach trust in a new light, and to do so, I needed to let go of some expectations I had on myself, such as the expectation that I had to look at every one around me with distrust, simply because I was afraid. I thought that if I didn’t keep that filter up, I would get hurt. I wanted to let go of those judgements I would create about the people around me, the ones that were silently supporting those expectations. Realizing that it was a choice to be aware of my own thoughts, and proactive in my actions, was great medicine for the soul.
Through active awareness and willingness I was, and am, able to work towards what I want to be: open, loving, and trusting. This transformation isn’t easy. It’s not like reading a book and–BAM, you got it. Not for me anyway. It takes practice and patience. It takes reading that book cover to cover, and being willing to edit and change along the read. This book I refer to is like the map of your psyche. It’s a layout of all the patterns you have created over the years. Why is it important to edit along the read? Well, like I mentioned earlier, some old patterns may not relate to your current lifestyle or choices. They may actually stifle your ability to grow and learn!
Now, Walk The Line With It
Now some of you might be wondering, how does this have anything to do with slacklining? It has everything to do with the relationship you choose to have with the line. Many times I have witnessed individuals automatically dismiss the idea that they could ever walk the line. This is usually because of an expectation that they have to be a certain kind of person to get on the line, or a silent criticism of themselves, thinking they aren’t good enough to even try it out. Now I understand it can be scary thinking about getting both of your feet off the ground to balance on this skinny piece of nothing hovering in the air. But it’s just that, a THOUGHT. A thought that it’s scary. It’s all about your willingness to see past these initial thoughts of fear, and to allow yourself to try something new. It’s letting go of whatever expectation or judgement you are putting on yourself, to make room for new thought patterns that support change and growth. When I was first developing a practice on the line, I would see someone around me get up and walk a 100′ line no problem! Then I’d get up on that 100′ line and struggle. My body would shake, my mind would race, and down I would go time and time again, only half way across the line. I’d get frustrated with myself because I had built up all these expectations to be like the other people walking the line with ease, rather than being present in my own mind and body. I was choosing to focus on what I couldn’t do, rather than celebrate what success I was achieving.
Thankfully I have had a lot of support from beautiful and inspiring friends around me. Friends that are constantly offering me reminders to breath and be patient with myself. I found that really helped me, so I offer this to all who care to receive. Be willing to really be aware of the structure of your thoughts, and how that is affecting your practice on the line. Clear that hallway of self-judgements, expectations and limitations, let them dissolve through your breath. In this new space, invite yourself to be closer to the line, to be one with the line, free from fear, free from doubt. Suspended in balance. Remember it is a practice, a progression to becoming more aware and making healthy decisions towards where you want to go and what you want to do. Anything is possible!
For a mind blowing reminder that anything is possible, check this out: