Expectations have a way of ruling our lives. When our expectations are high, we may never achieve the level of success we expect, thus setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment. I recommend that my clients let go of expectations so that they have room to explore the infinite possibilities, which usually turn out to be way better than what we could ever expect on our own.
Expectations in relationships set our partners up for failure. High expectations of our children cause them stress and us to feel disappointed when they don’t meet our lofty desires. Expectations for our life cause us unhappiness, as we tend to set the bar way too high. When we expect so much, we can find it difficult to be happy with what we have. When we learn that settling for less, we find happiness in the smallest of things and life becomes infinitely simpler.
When we stop expecting, we step into the flow of life, rather than trying to figure out exactly how things should be.
Lofty expectations, not my house!
When I moved to California, I had high expectations of a house with a clay tile roof, snuggled into the backdrop of palm trees or mountains with gardens and trees. As I searched the Internet for homes to rent, one little adobe home with a chain link fence kept surfacing. In fact, this little house was the first one I saw when I began searching for homes while still in Colorado. Letting Go I have given up all of my belongings three times. I have far less now than I had even ten years ago. With much less I am far happier with myself and my life. Possessions don’t bring happiness; they just bring attachment and more confinement. I can focus on what is really valuable, rather than what is ego-based. I love myself enough to know I don’t want to share my house because I need help paying my rent. I like my solitude and privacy.
Leaving Boulder, Colorado moving day
My ex-husband had just died. My work in Colorado didn’t pan out as I had hoped and my finances were restricted, just like the Universe likes it. We had only just moved a year before from Georgia, after selling everything. Cross-country moves are costly. I had blown a lot of cash moving and having to relocate again.
We become creative when our finances are tight; we learn to make do with less and don’t waste anything. I had expectations of life in California, and it didn’t include a small adobe home in the middle of a town.
If I hadn’t had such high expectations of a home, I could have moved right in as soon as my daughter, and I arrived in Rosamond. Instead, we stayed with a friend our three cats in a cage and our dog Karma had to stay in our pick up truck. I caused the hardship because of my high expectations.
3-car garage, 5,000 square foot home – miserable
I had lived in beautiful homes where our garage was bigger than this entire house with a monthly mortgage that was half a yearly salary for some people. I had to drop my expectations to accept that this home being shown to me over and over was the best place for my entire family.
What We Believe To Be True is Often Fiction
I looked at the homes on the mountain side thinking how lovely it looked up there, high over the town with a view of the valley below. It seemed idyllic and beautiful to me. I had romanticized the larger homes thinking life would be better there.
The yards there were postage-sized without grass, which meant my dogs would need to be walked, there was no safe place for them just to play outside as dogs do. The houses were packed tightly together and cooled with air conditioning units, rather than the less expensive swamp coolers. The rent was double that of the little house in town. The landlord of the rental house wasn’t open to being creative with financing in any way. There was no wiggle room on anything.
The interior of the house was completely renovated. The walls were a foot thick which meant it would stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The house was solidly built being over sixty years old.
Instead of an air conditioning unit, it had a swamp cooler which cools your home for less than a third of an air conditioning unit. The rent was very reasonable. Since the entire house was only 800 square feet in size, my utilities were affordable. The little adobe house was a perfect size for my daughter and me with three bedrooms and a beautiful kitchen complete with goose-neck faucet, gas cook top and granite countertops. The bigger picture was that the smaller home was perfect in every way except aesthetically.
Mojave Desert, California
It had a half-acre of fenced in yard which provided ease for me to let my dogs out to play safely. Across the street was a warehouse that was empty. To the left of me was a vacant lot. Across the street to the left was another vacant lot. To the right of me were apartments where the garages were the only things that faced my home and yard. I had complete privacy on all sides.
My landlord is Hispanic, a family man who knows what struggle is all about and was willing to work with me. He even let me slide for three months the first winter I lived in California while I was struggling to feed myself and my daughter. There were so many gifts living in the house that was smaller, and seemingly a lower standard.
My biggest beef about the little house I have now lived in for almost four years was the roof. In the desert, the wind howls, especially in the winter. Shingles were constantly falling off the roof, and there was a multitude of patches of different colored shingles making the house from the outside look like a little shabby without the chic.
On Monday, September 12th, during the Mercury Retrograde, a time when things need to get re-done, reordered, repaired, I drove up to the front of my house and said, “How can I easily get a new roof?” That afternoon, I heard a crash. My swamp cooler on the top of my roof had leaked water into my back bedroom and caused a quarter of my ceiling to cave in.
Before the make-over
When my landlord showed up to take a look at the damage the next day, he announced, “Next Friday, I am going to give you a new roof!” After four years of me looking at the roof and wishing it to be different – it happened! Last week he asked me to pick colors for the house and suggested blue.
My home is north-facing, which means the best color from a Feng Shui perspective for wealth is blue. He intuitively knew it. On top of a new roof, my house will be Feng Shui perfect from the outside in the right color! Gratitude For What We Have I am so grateful to have the privacy, safety, and comfort that I experience in my little home. My animals love being out in the yard and are safe from traffic and coyotes. Expressing our gratitude for what we do have allows us to attract something more. The space I have is more than enough for me. I use all of my rooms. My office is lovely, tidy and orderly. I can create here because I am at peace.
As my business has grown in California, I have relaxed and enjoyed my home. I have never been so happy in my life as when I moved to the desert of California. I love the solitude, quiet and remoteness of where I live. In the time it takes to drive one exit up the highway, one exit I can be in the wilderness to dance and walk my dogs in peace. I can be at any beach in two-to-three hours. In the winter, I am thirty miles away from snow in the mountain town of Tehachapi.
My animals love the yard and digging for gophers in my little patch of green grass. I have made it a sanctuary. It feels peaceful and zen like inside. If I had chosen the other house on the mountain, I would now be living in a small apartment. I wouldn’t have been able to afford it during those lean early months and would have had to move – again.
Since I spend less on my living expenses, I am free to travel to Boulder, Colorado four or five times a year and visit my clients in Atlanta, Georgia as well. In 2017, I plan to visit The UK, Ireland, France and India again. I can clean my home in a little over two hours from top to bottom. I am not a slave to my possessions. I can close the door and hop on a plane to do a workshop and not be concerned about whether someone will break in and steal my stuff. How You Can Benefit From Reducing Expectations
We relax when we reduce our expectations.
We can step into the flow rather than forcing events to happen.
When we simplify our lives we become less stressed.
We stop worrying about what others think of us and become more authentic.
Life is more blissful when we do what we love.
We enjoy what is really important.
When we are less stressed we become infinitely more creative.
Our relationships become more peaceful when we reduce or drop expectations.
We become free. Freedom brings us peace, serenity, and happiness.
Getting Out Of The Ego
Let’s face it a huge house is beautiful. Living in something smaller gets us out of our ego. Tom Shadyac is a producer, director, comedian, screenplay writer, and philanthropist. He created such movies as Liar, Liar, Ace Ventura Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor and Bruce Almighty. His net worth is approximately 12 million. He was instrumental in creating a documentary called I AM. I highly recommend this film, available on Netflix.
At the end of I AM, Tom features his 17,000 square foot, 7 million dollar property in Pasadena, California talking about how excited he was to move in. Once he did, he looked around and
Tom Shadyac’s mobile home in Malibu
recognized that the house didn’t thrill him like he thought it would. The house was huge, beautiful and certainly a showplace. He sold his home in Pasadena. Tom now lives in a little 40-foot trailer in Malibu.
I have friends that struggle to pay their enormous mortgage and accompanying living expenses each month. Many of them never travel because their living expenses keep them so strapped, all their income goes into just existing. Life is more than struggle. Reducing our expectations allows us to enjoy the little things that matter. Adventure, travel, and exploration can occur when we free ourselves to enjoy something other than trying to look a certain way.
We can set expectations up for wealth, success, relationships. We can set the bar so high for achievement, that we never find the happiness we think is going to be there. Expectations break the bank on happiness. High expectations will cause you to feel you never succeeded.
Love yourself to be in the flow of life. Have the courage to do with less, spend less on things that don’t matter. Focus on what does, your health, happiness, and love.
I love you,
Thank you for joining me today.
Client Testimonials: After working with Jennifer recently, I must say that I am grateful to the Divine for placing her in my path via a Google search. A few weeks ago, I was in an interesting place emotionally. I was in-between coming to terms with some past emotional trauma but not fully understanding what it meant to “let go of my past.” Following our initial 30 minute “discovery session” and subsequent first session a week later, I finally understood what it meant to embrace the present while letting the past be whatever it was.
As she opened my Akashic record and began to peel back the layers of my current and past lives, I shook, trembled, and buzzed as Jennifer cut the cords to the negative emotional patterns that had affected me on a personal, physical, emotional, and spiritual basis. The guilt, shame, and depression I experienced for years immediately left, and I felt lighter! It was as if life had finally smiled at me and the Universe had finally said, “it’s time for your healing. Embrace it and finally, learn to live life and enjoy it!”
I’m truly grateful for Jennifer’s work, and I know that this is the beginning of something beautiful in my life. Thanks again, Jennifer, and I send you much love and many blessings!
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