Expect the Unexpected
As we move from moment to moment, through the waking part of our daily lives, we make predictions about what will come next.
We begin the day by guiding ourselves through the morning routine; counting on hot water for the shower, and food in the refrigerator for breakfast. Our expectations are, that everything that was present, accessible, or functioning last night when we went to sleep, will be just the same, when we awaken .
This reality forecasting is an ongoing, unconscious process; usually absent from awareness until something goes wrong.
In our complex reality, where each day holds numerous demands; we rely on things going smoothly to meet our obligations, and goals. When the car doesn’t start, the computer has a virus, or someone has eaten the last of the strawberries counted on for breakfast, we feel unsettled.
When this happens, we can cause ourselves great suffering.
Blaming, criticism and anger often appear. “What inconsiderate person ate those strawberries?” “Why didn’t I install the anti-virus program sooner?” “I know the mechanic at the car dealership just ripped me off....”
We may also feel an increase in anxiety and begin to predict terrible outcomes: “There isn’t anything else for me to eat, I’ll have to go hungry.” “My boss will be furious that I am late, and probably fire me.” “Its going to cost a fortune to fix that car...”
“Expect the unexpected” is a mindfulness slogan from the Tibetan tradition. It is an invitation to cultivate a fluid attitude toward reality, which is reflective of its true nature. Every person, being, atom, and event are changing in every moment. It comforts us to feel that the world is solid and predictable, but doing so can result in anxiety and stress.
When we encounter something unusual or unpredicted, the mindful position is one without judgement. The child’s mind says: “How interesting! Not at all what I expected. Hmmn, what is the offering of this moment?
An empty silence where the sound of the car ignition was expected. I am mindful of the feeling of surprise and the desire to begin my journey.
I embrace the opportunity to find out what is wrong with my car...”
Or; I can’t find the onions in the supermarket. I notice these onion-like things. I take in the visual beauty of their unusual leaves, letting go of disappointment and frustration. “I wonder how these taste?”
This position of openness, which allows us to refrain from anxiety, criticism and anger, offers us great benefit.
Breathing in I am aware of my breath.
Breathing out I am open to this moment.
Breathing in I open to reality unfolding.
Breathing out I drop expectation.
Breathing in I open to the unexpected
Breathing out I invite whatever is offered
Breathing in I relax.
Breathing out I move mindfully to respond.
May this information benefit you, those you love, and all sentient beings, everywhere.
© Ellen M. Adelman PhD 2013,
all rights reserved.
Mind Body Intelligence tm is a trademark of
Ellen M. Adelman PhD and the Sage Healing Institute.
For more information visit www.sagehealinginstitute.com.© Ellen M. Adelman PhD 2013, all rights reserved.