Most yoga instructors will ask you to set an intention for your practice before you begin each class. Setting an intention really helps you to actually focus during those 60-75 minutes, rather than having to argue with yourself about what things you will or won't think about during each pose. I try to faithfully do this each class; sometimes I am more successful than others. But this last week, on Dec. 24, I finally found the real POWER in this simple focusing activity.
Mia, our instructor, started our class with acknowledging how frenetic the coming hours were going to be for us. No matter what our role was in our family's Christmas Eve & Christmas Day activities, the days had the potential to be crazy and perhaps even draining. She asked us to all set the same intention that morning-- to consider whether we were entering the holiday with EXPECTATIONS or with HOPE. I am sure that her challenge was, to most, just a typical focus task, but because of the way I am wired, it really resonated with me.
Because I EXPECT a LOT.
I set high expectations for myself, for my family, for those I work with, and even for the way I think things are supposed to go. I set expectations for my schedule, for my day, and for each event of which I am a part.
And needless to say, I am often disappointed...to the point that I actually experience PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS of discomfort when my expectations are not met.
Mia challenged us to NOT enter Christmas 2015 with expectations, but instead with HOPE. She reminded us that many of our expectations will most likely meet disappointment, but hope...well, hope never disappoints.
As the mom/wife/host/professional who overplans and overschedules and overexpects, I took her words to heart....to the point that I found tears running down my face several times during those 60 minutes in class. It was as if the tears represented the relief I was feeling about potentially NOT being disappointed on Dec. 24 and 25 when my expectations might not be met.
I thanked Mia at the end of class for her challenge, and then I headed home to begin the Christmas Eve preparations.
Most things went just as I had planned...a few did not.
But IT WAS OK.
I thoroughly enjoyed every single second of our Christmas this year.
I did not worry about details or minutiae.
I did not fret about clocks or deadlines.
I was simply PRESENT for my family and it was absolutely amazing....
I am so appreciative of what yoga has done for my life.
It is not just strengthening me physically.