I find it personally really challenging to not have expectations. My mind is always working away ferociously, painting vivid imagery and so the actions of surrender and letting go have been some of my hardest spiritual work. Once you REALLY begin to become aware of how many expectations the mind is creating, there’s a frustrating period of being bombarded with that awareness. The weather, what seat you want in that cafe that is now taken, whether your meal in that cafe will come out how you imagined, why hasn’t that person called/said sorry/acknowledged us, what time we will get to bed tonight and damn we need a good nights sleep tonight…on and on.
It’s not planning. It’s the layer on top of planning. It’s slightly demanding in tone, and rich with need. I like the ‘merely steps on the path’ part of what Ram Dass describes here in this quote. It all is just exactly what is happening, nothing more or less. And we need to treat even the ‘positive’ experiences as such. With a lightness, and a simplicity. An unburdening of our imagined experiences into a present moment awareness. I have found it challenging work but also some of my most expansive. The delight that comes in to fill the space that expectation adamantly took up, is so beautiful. I’ve still got a lot of work to do, as I’m sure do you, but with awareness every day, the whole game of it gets more fulfilling and gentle.