Appreciation vs. Expectation

In talking with a colleague recently about people and holidays, she offered such a great, one-line piece of advice:  approach everyone with appreciation vs. expectation.

This statement has proved profound and profoundly simple for me throughout this holiday season.  I challenge you all to try this as you gather and bump into so many people, their energies and their expectations.  Try out the process of loosening and removing your expectations of people and gatherings and instead step into an appreciative frame of mind.  Appreciate the time shared and the nourishment that others offer.  Appreciate the beauty of the person and personality that you are graced with in each moment.  If you are feeling stretched to find something to appreciate, appreciate your lungs for breathing in fresh air, your heart for pumping blood and health through your body to allow you to be present.  Dig for appreciation on as many levels as you may find it and try it on, while leaving expectations outside.

Think through the expectation process.

We decide that people or a situation should serve us, in some way.  Whether it be a promise of fun or that the people we commune with ought to treat us in a certain way.  Having expectations is one way to dis-empower ourselves.  When we lay expectations on people and situations. We are attempting to dictate an outcome or control a situation.  We are giving someone else’s choices in how they behave or respond to us, power.  We take the power to create our own happiness or appreciation away from ourselves in these moments of expectation and put it in the hands of another.

When we encounter friends and family that we haven’t seen for awhile, we aren’t always sure what we’ll find.  I’ve learn to be amused with how much I’ve changed. As I look into these people that mirror me, back to myself when we gather after time apart.  Appreciating my growth over expecting of them to meet some need in me… well it works. I challenge you to empower yourselves by moving into appreciation and out of expectation.

I wish you and yours peace, health and love this holiday season!  I’ll love to hear how this appreciation shift may work for you!  Please offer comments on how it serves you throughout this season.

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