This morning, on a sunny french balcony in the old parts of Barcelona, my meditation app coach revealed a simple guidance that really hit home with me and defined one of my key challenges in life. After the meditation routine, he asked me how I was feeling, and then to think about how I was feeling before the routine, and if there had been any change. He explained that so many of us compare our experiences with our expectations, which are often so unrealistically high that disappointment is inescapable. He asked me to not compare this meditation routine to the expectations I had of it, but to the way I was feeling before. In an instant, my mindset switched from thinking that this does little for me, to realizing how harmonizing it actually is for my body and mind.
I started thinking how the same applies for the rest of my life. I always put impossibly high expectations on myself, I always have. To some extent, I’m happy about it because it takes me really far, but I very rarely feel that I’ve done something exceptionally well or that I appreciate my own performance and achievements. I start out with the unquestionable conviction that I’m going to reach Mars so when I get stuck at the moon I am disappointed and I am so focused on how my mission was Mars that I don’t really look back on the incredible journey and achievement I have done to get to the moon. I am sometimes so fixed on how I have to control my life and how I have to take ownership and shape it myself, but the very nature of life is that no one can control it. There are natural laws of how the world, nature and us humans work that cannot be bent. If you try, the resistance will be like trying to push back a tsunami with your bare hands, it’s unstoppable. The trick is to learn to see which way the wave is going and to get up on your board and follow the flow, trying to catch that wave.
So the lesson and reflection I take away with me this morning is to try to start to appreciate how I cannot control everything in my life and instead of being so fixed on a mission or a set of expectations, to take the time to stop, to breath and look back, to look for what way that wave is going. Instead of feeling bummed that I am not where I expected to be, I will try to acknowledge and appreciate the great journey and the steps I have taken so far. I will still keep my mission and dream of Mars and it will never be off my mind, but I will look back more and realize how every day I am growing from my experience of living, and instead of feeling bummed that I am only on the moon I will celebrate and proudly raise my flag for having come this far.
All love and no fear,