I have just been writing an article for Reiki Rays about my beliefs on having ‘expectations’ in Reiki. It got me thinking about my thoughts on having ‘expectations’ in or of anything…
Expectation is definitely a tricky one for me. Yes, I can clearly explain my understanding as to why it is advisable not to place expectation on a Reiki Practice - but then I started thinking about the number of times I place expectation on other things in my life.
For me the simple equation of Expectation is: Expectation = Disappointment, as inevitably if our expectations aren’t met in life, we get disappointed. I use the plural “we” but maybe I should use the more appropriate “I”, as I know that the equation I refer to is a deeply rooted belief in me, and one that continues to play out time and time again.
Sometimes it’s on a subtle level but other times the potency of disappointment felt in my body is one that triggers on a much deeper level.
I am typing this on the ferry on the way back from a week’s holiday in France. In all honesty, I thought typing may distract me from my ever increasing awareness of feeling sea sick. I’m happy to say that at this stage it is working but for how long, I shall have to see.
My point in mentioning my location is that I have just met one of my many ‘expectations’ on holiday, that being: if I’m on holiday in a foreign country it will be sunny. Of course, my levelheaded thinking knows that this is not necessarily true (and frankly, does it matter!), yet I noticed I was still disappointed each day when I pulled across the curtain and was met with cloud instead of sun.
Perhaps the main difference now is that I can ‘notice’ the pattern a lot more than I used to, but it is most definitely still there. I would like to be able to claim that leaning into my gratitude at actually being able to have a holiday negated the disappointment that I felt - but I would be lying. What is underneath this?
The same goes with my awareness of the countless times I expected my family to act in a certain way on holiday, with the inevitable truth that of course they will act in the way that suits them and not me.
Perhaps in writing this, I can now own a little of that projection and look towards myself in this place of mumbling disapprovals under my breath and instead ask myself; ‘why am I reacting this way?’ rather than trying to change them.
I take a breath with this realisation and pause as i try to access the seed of self-compassion, as i am acutely aware that this is an area not 'fixed' with one blog entry but definitely an area of ‘work in progress’.
I met a chap on a train journey recently who revealed himself as an avid supporter of Stoicism. Not particularly something you hear about every day.
It was one of those chance meetings where my hope on boarding the train was to accomplish my ‘to do list’ between Exeter St Davids & London Waterloo, but it seems the Universe had other ideas.
On boarding the train, I firstly sat down to discover that there was no plug point, to which I admit I was mildly horrified as I had purposefully forged out the three and a half hour journey specifically to ensure that I caught up on administration and not ‘waste’ my travelling time. It did make me take a pause with my more mindful hat on, welcoming the opportunity to lean into the space of ‘wasting time’ that my mind had constructed and smile at my familiar patterning. Yet, the other part of me who likes to maximise every potential moment had a little silent ‘humph’ that it now looked like that wasn’t going to happen.
The chap who sat opposite me sat down with the same element of disgruntlement regarding the lack of plug points on the train, following up with the statement that it would be a very different matter should we be travelling in France or Germany. On that particular note of ‘meeting’ we were able to politely nod in acknowledgement and simultaneously settle into the world of Mac in front of us.
However, the inevitable happened and the ‘juice’ ran out of my computer, which led to me closing the top of my laptop down and taking a breath. With much discomfort, I noticed that with that gesture, the chap decided to also shut his down too and took this as an opportunity to strike up a conversation.
I believe the question was “What do you do?” and at this particular time in my life/career, I noticed that I am not always entirely sure how to answer that question. I decided to go with ‘I’m an Author’, forever trying to become familiar and comfortable with that statement but very quickly followed it up with the far more natural statement for me of “I run a wellbeing & Reiki school in Devon”. To my surprise he answered with “Oh, a good friend of mine owns a Reiki school but I have never let him do Reiki on me. “ I paused for a moment before asking “why not” as I felt that it was potentially an invitation of enquiry that may lead for a long discussion. I was right.
I am not going to go into the whole conversation, for it was a long one with many differing points of views from both parties sitting across the shallow train table. I’m not even going to go into my own thoughts on Stoicism but rather it was just to acknowledge my continued wonder at the ‘timings’ of life and the people we meet. For a belief I will share is that, everyone comes into our life for a ‘reason, season or a life time’. As I opened to the incredible conversation I had on the train, I had a sense of ‘I wonder where this meeting will lead’. Will it be an introduction to his friend the Reiki Master (who I have since found out I have a number of his books!), will it be to a layering of knowledge around the philosophy of Stoicism, will it be finding a gem in the book he recommended to me called “Meditations” or perhaps an introduction I can make in relation to one of his other business ventures. I suspect it might be all of the above, but really the choice is mine. I could choose simply to acknowledge that unexpected interruption to my day and journey as one that I could have done without, or I could be open to the numerous possibilities that could come from that meeting. I guess, as is always the case, the choice is mine..
I remember a good few years back, a good friend of mine and fellow Reiki Master said to me that at some point my pathway would be to come out from behind my tree. The tree she was referring to was the beautiful tree image that I had and continue to use to be the ‘frontage/logo’ for my Reiki School (Devon School of Reiki).
I remember smiling and acknowledging her insight and wisdom, not only around the obvious reasons of why I may need to do that at some point, but also the much deeper rooted reasons why I have - until now - chosen not to.
It has always felt a much more comfortable approach to business and service taking on a welcoming logo and brand. However, it is only recently that I have begun to truly acknowledge the importance of me ‘owning’ that service from a place of self and therefore transparent authenticity.
That is why I have decided to be brave and step out into a far more vulnerable position of sharing my journey alongside my continued intention to assist others on theirs.
My new blog and website www.samanthagoddard.com has been born from a place of being guided to take that leap into unchartered, unprotected ground with an open heart and mind. I truly believe that our growth can only be encouraged and accelerated by finding space for vulnerability, so that our true potential and story can be revealed.
So...I welcome you to this first post of what I hope will be many. A place for me to bring thought to ‘paper’ and honour my own voice as I honour that of others. My hope is that by sharing my thoughts on my journey and opening my heart in this way, I will help heal the familiar pattern of fearing judgment and help heighten my awareness of the obvious route of falling into the trap of seeing how many people have liked or disliked my posts!
Life truly is a remarkable journey of exquisite love, discovery, laughter and pain and I am excited about sharing this unfolding chapter in mine.
'We have stories to tell, stories that provide wisdom about the journey of life. What more have we to give one another than our 'truth' about our human adventure as honestly and as openly as we know how?' Rabbi Saul Rubin