During a packed class the other day, our yoga instructor, Jen, said this: “Let go of any expectations. You have no idea what your best looks like.” What a powerful statement that was. Is it not true that if we think we know our best then we might unconsciously slam into a brick wall when we get there?
I’ve experienced this in yoga class before, although there are certainly postures that I have yet to close the gap between where I am and where I imagine my best to be. This is one of the primary reasons that I continue with my practice–I’m not there yet and I hope to never actually get there. For this to hold true, though, I need to let go of expectations.
This concept also rang very true for me this week. For years, celebrating the holiday in my family has followed tradition and so I have the habit of forming in my mind, my idea of how I would like the events to unfold. Naturally, it never turns out quite how I had envisioned and this year was no exception.
Several days before Christmas, my mom came down with a stomach flu that left her unable to keep down food or water. And then other family members got sick. Long story short, we decided to postpone our family gathering until next week. Since my dad’s birthday falls on Christmas day, I spent the day with my parents cooking for my dad.
So here I was, first time cooking a 7-lb beef tenderloin that had been waiting in the fridge for Christmas and that had to be cooked. Several hours later, I served my dad the most tender meat he had ever eaten with some sweet potato fries, cauliflower a la Alice Waters, and a nice pinot noir.
By this time, my mom was able to hold down vegetable broth with rice for the first time in days, so we enjoyed a meal together watching Ben Hur. My mom was happy that my dad had a delicious birthday meal; my dad and I were happy (and grateful) that mom could finally keep something in her stomach, and we all had a relaxing day.
I could have easily been disappointed about Christmas. But because I let go of expectations, it turned out perfect for the circumstances we had. Even better than I had imagined since I now know how to cook a perfect beef tenderloin. : )
The entire family is getting together next weekend to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. How will it go? Don’t know and I’m not going to think about it. I’m just going to let it happen and maybe be pleasantly surprised.
I want to wish everyone a happy holiday and I hope it's been better than ever imagined : )