“It is generally known, that he who expects much will be often disappointed; yet disappointment seldom cures us of expectation, or has any effect other than that of producing a moral sentence or peevish exclamation” Samuel Johnson
I have never been great dealing with disappointment. My adult demeanor suddenly becomes that of a petulant child, and I wallow in the face of the disappointment until my body can no longer take it. I have always been told that I have far too high expectations for myself and for others around me. Some around me find it stressful at times, as they feel that if they do not live up to the expectations I implicitly placed upon them, then they shall be the cause of great disappointment.
Perhaps this is not the case now, as I certainly have learned from past experiences and have managed to try to stop having expectations on others. But as far as myself is concerned, well, although my mind tells me time and time again that I should keep my expectations at a low to avoid disappointment, something deeper within pushes me to do the same.
I attended a yoga class last week, and shortly after the session, the teacher gave us some words of wisdom to take home with us. She told us to be aware of any expectations that we may be carrying with us. She told us to acknowledge them, release them and let them be. This, she said shall set us free. I watched the teacher thinking, “yea right”. No expectations, how the heck…..” , and I must have given her a rather odd look, because she looked right at me amongst the group and nodded her head, as if she heard what I was thinking and nodded, as if to say “yea, Paula, thats what I said”. I left the centre quicker than usual so as not to confront her, and continued my day, thinking about those words.
How can you not have expectations, or release them, let them be. For I always believed that expectations were the catalyst for action-any action. Im not quite certain that I was convinced of that. However, a few nights ago, feeling rather uneasy, unrestful agitated and just plain “blah!”, I needed to put my mind at ease, and so, I went into my kitchen. The cupboards were rather bare, more so than usual, and I was not quite sure of what I could concoct with the ingredients I had.
However, I desperately needed to create something. I needed to put myself into the process of creation- or-else I felt as if I would have exploded.
For the first time, I really had no idea what would turn out from my creation, I just added as I so pleased, no real expectations as to what the outcome would be like, but simply enjoyed the actual process of creation. Clearly I must have had something in mind, but I was not so “attached” to the outcome as I normally would have been. I poured, and I stirred, and I added a bit of this and that, finishing off the near empty packets of this and that, which I had in the cupboard.
I had some oatmeal, some oil, flax seeds, soya cream, yeast, a bit of flour a selection of nuts and dried fruit, and so I could either have made a bread, or some cookies or …well, what turned out was the most delectable granola bars I had ever made.
And as I took my first bite of the chewy bar, I thought back to what the yoga teacher had told us some days earlier, and I think that perhaps, I may have understood, even if only a wee bit of what she meant. I perhaps never would have come up with this recipe had I really thought about it beforehand, about exactly I had wanted. And so, by being rather “detached” from whatever outcome would emerge something even better was created.
I cannot tell you how much my friends and I enjoyed these bars and I hope that you do as well! I would like to close this post by a quote I really liked by Stephen Hawking-
“When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have”
I tried to replicate what I made that evening and came up with this recipe…even though I have been not able to replicate it exactly, the following recipe came rather close..