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Suffering Expectations: Being a Being.

The blog itself has seen a lot of changes in the past month.  I am sure that it is no coincidence that my life has also seen many changes. I believe that the reason I started implementing so many changes was because I felt compelled to do the things I casually thought that I “should” be doing. Not just chores, or reading, but living the life of the person I want to claim to be. I always felt compelled to write with purpose, but never felt like I was achieving.

I had to fight impostor syndrome, which was never something I thought I’d have to do. I googled all the answers, “Be kind to yourself, celebrating success, embracing the feeling” but I couldn’t find relief in the disconnect I felt. This frustration led my life down a path of clarification. I knew that if I had a concrete sense of direction and image of myself, for only myself, then those feelings would surface less frequently. At first it started as simple changes in my life, then I saw an email about renewing the domain name of the website. Bringing to my attention it had been a year since I started the blog. This made me realize that my changes in vision needed to extend to the blog. In this way I observed my image as this earthy, almost material thing, beginning to share balanced interaction with my motivational fire

The blog has always been intended as the avenue of my purpose, a way to publish the words that needed their own specific place. Describing the feeling elementally, it was like my earth (image, material, density) and fire (purpose, creativity, mission) began to stop disagreeing, and find a bit more peace. Even still I observed something else: though I observed the direct change in two elements, their movement toward harmony also inspired balance in my emotions. My elemental water, which I hadn’t even realized at the time, was disturbed by the disagreement of my fire and earth.

This came just two days after finishing the Elemental Imbalance series of posts here, and really solidified something I touched on. No matter what singular element we may be able to consciously recognize as the agitator, each element is disturbed by the imbalance. The Ayurveda concept of dehydration causing a decreased “stomach fire” (agni, digestion), made me remember reading that imbalanced fire can cause synergistic response with water. In this way our emotions “run hot” when our water rises to combat excessive fire, but we may be apathetic and emotionally low when our motivational fire is simultaneously low.

At first the website changes were hard. Much harder, in fact, then I actually thought they would be. Deciding on a new domain, designing the blog around it, I realized every post seemed to wander in different directions of my own self image. Even two weeks into the new domain, I found myself editing the “About” page 5 times a day because it just  wasn’t me, or wasn’t what the blog is. Only when I started removing the “credibility” paragraphs, did I feel the need to be validated by the posts lighten. Instead describing myself and the amount of holistic education I paid for over the years, I just explained what I have been this whole time, a blogger. I didn’t need to be anything more or less for the blog. Just as we are beings, and don’t need anything more or less to be

That’s when the words seemed to ring in my brain like crash of a gong. “Describe what the hell it is!” I needed to sit down, and just describe what I was doing, what I wanted to do, and why I wanted to do it. Remove the ideas that came from capitalism and marketing jobs, then summarize what’s left into a website. Within a day I felt the path brighten more than I had in over a year. I removed the credentials, and by doing so, removed the expectations put on me by myself and others. I gave myself the space to transform into the new shape I had been desperately trying to force myself to fit. 

So many times I think we as humans are tied up by expectations. We cleverly disguise them as “goals” or “vision” but that’s not what they are. They are a pass or fail metric that we implement on ourselves. Some Buddhists believe the second noble truth links the cause of suffering to expectations and attachments. That to hold an expectation for yourself or others is a great disservice to them, because expectations introduce suffering. How often do we see this in the world around us? Children expected to learn the same as one another, though their brains as unique as snowflakes. Couples expected to have children, though birth is a literal miracle. The list could go on for ages as each of us remember an expectation we had no desire to meet, but how many of these same expectations have we placed on ourselves? 

We deserve to experience existence without fear of failing to meet someone’s expectations, especially our own. Our life is a miracle. That we woke up to enjoy it at all is incredible. Remind yourself that you are a being, and know that is the only requirement to be. When we’re busy with the flow of the day, ask ourselves what things we actually have to do, and why. If we can remove expectations, then we can certainly transform suffering into healing


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Tips of Tender

Extracted from years of my life spent reading, writing, and studying, it is my vow that this blog will remain free of ads, at no cost to you. The years spent creating this space have been incredibly fulfilling for me, but also require a diligent balance of time and money. Most days you can find me waiting tables to make ends meet, as gratuity is the most compatible form of compensation with my spirit. With that in mind if my words have brought you any illumination, please consider a humble donation.


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