0% Expectation, 100% Effort
Intention with no action leaves you only with a dream.
I decided to go to a Bikram Yoga class yesterday. Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 yoga poses over a 90 minute period in a room heated to as hot as 115 degrees. This is the type of exercise where you feel as if you have worked out super hard but got a massage at the same time…not to mention you sweat out of places you didn’t even know existed! If you have ever done yoga before you are aware that it is not for the weary. Although your body gets an awesome workout (and you end up with a nice tight yoga butt!) it is more of a workout for your mind. The whole idea of yoga is no expectations. Your best is different every day. You are to look forward at yourself in the mirror and yourself only. Not at your neighbor. Not at your instructor. At yourself only. It is truly an art of self-focus.
As I stood in this un-Godly hot room yesterday feeling as if I was going to pass out, I had an interesting experience. Back in Delaware where I have practiced Bikram Yoga for the last 3 years, I felt like quite the expert. I stood in the front of the room, went through all of my poses, battled the heat like a champ and left feeling accomplished. In Arizona, with higher temperatures, higher elevation and three times as many people in class, I found myself an amateur. I had a battle with my mind, comparing myself to others, worrying about what they were thinking of me and actually needing to leave the room twice because I felt as if I was going to die from not being able to breathe.
Yoga instructors tend to be psychic by nature. They seem to know what you are thinking and feeling at every moment. At the precise moment I felt like Mini-Me in Austin Powers, the instructor reminded us that yoga was about 0% expectation and 100% effort. She told us to allow ourselves to be where we found ourselves today with no judgment. The key to yoga is not expecting to be anything but what your best can offer you that day. Knowing what you want, expecting nothing, and giving 100% of yourself in effort.
In life we tend to find ourselves expecting things we want to show up in a certain way. We have expectations. Expectations are very different than wishes, dreams or wants. Defining what you want is one thing; how it shows up is another. We get caught up in the “how,” the expectation, the form of our want. What is true is that the “how” is not up to us. The how is solely up to the Universe. Every prayer is answered. We just think our prayers are not because we are expecting it to show up how we want it to show up. We are so caught up in being anywhere but in the present time in our minds that we miss the form in which the answer to our prayers appear. We are watching other people, seeing other people’s results, wishing we had what we don’t have now. We focus on everything but what is in front of us. It is your job to know what you want and it is God’s job how it shows up. You give the effort and he fulfills the expectation.
For the rest of the day today, allow God’s plan to supersede your own. Watch who you meet and what shows up when you expect nothing but give everything you’ve got. Stay present in your mind and body. Let nothing throw you off center. If something or someone does, bring yourself right back. Do what we do in yoga. Come back to your breath and relax. Breath brings you back to the present every time. There are no expectations in the present. Expectations only exist in your future.
“In this moment, I will experience the joy of God’s plan, rather than the pain of my plan.” ~Archangel Ariel through Steve Thayer
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and Google+.