The Sensation of Expectation

What happens when what we thought we wanted isn’t what we believed it to be?

In this moment I’m debating the virtues of direct-ness. As a communicator, I tend (and prefer) to be direct, but I have learned that often the way of Aikido is more effective than the way of Tae Kwon Do. That’s not to say avoidance – that solves nothing and keeps me in a world of assumption and emotional turmoil.

Here I am, looking at yet another shift in my world; feeling the lack of ease in my solar plexus telling me that I’m stepping into “uncomfortable” territory. I expect to fail. And I will. Unless I create a twist that invites me to use my strengths.

Expectation. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Belief. Attitude. Hope.

I’ve given myself room to explore my habitual thinking.

When I’m looking for new choreography, I go to free dance and invite my movement habits and tendencies to bubble up. I don’t squash them or suppress them. I dance with them as long as they linger. I know, from experience, that from the usual will come the creative; something fresh will shift in; something new will bud. Not necessarily a spectacular shift, but a bud, the promise of something beautiful.

Something always comes. It may or may not be useable or immediately useable, but something always comes. The bitch of it is when I get something I’m not ready to use. When I first started this process I didn’t know that this could be the case, so I would toss out the ideas that didn’t “make sense” or ideas with which I couldn’t make any sort of connections.

Ofcourse, there are always lousy ideas, but then there are the ones I simply don’t have enough information to use. That can feel very frustrating or it can feel hopeful. Frustration tends to dance out when I “need” something or I feel the pressure of a short fuse. Interestingly, the more I think I “need” something, the more elusive it becomes. When I feel that restlessness, impatience and block for ideas to solve or feed the process, then I know what I need to step away and leave it for awhile.

Do I always do it? Sure. (Read dripping sarcasm.)

After beating myself up for a week or two, maybe. After trying to figure out what I’m not seeing, sometimes. After deciding that either I’m not as smart as I thought I was or that this puzzle is not for me to solve – then I usually manage to turn my attention to something else.


With too much investment, expectation can be more detrimental to my ability to move forward than helpful. If expectation is belief in disguise then my belief-driven behavior may not get me the results I hope for. Self-sabotage. Insidious, and so often unconscious, can lead me through a maze of delight and deep disappointment until I stop the forward momentum. Here is a place in which slowing down or even standing still will be far more beneficial than continuing to careen desperately forward. As in body movement, every move is made up of micro movements that tend to disappear in the speed and momentum. When I slow down, I am better able to notice which links in the chain are healthy and which are kinked and preventing me from moving fluidly and easily.

If I expect it, deeply, I will probably get it.

Whether I want it or not.

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