What Do You Expect??
Do the expectations we place on ourselves make us feel crappy or give us the feels??
this post does have a Pilates bent but *warning* you will have to read and read and read and read to find out what that is
Most mornings I wake up before the hubby.
I get up at the insistence of the cat who can be pretty vocal; she lets me know she needs a bit of food and a bit of love.
The dog on the other hand expects that once I’m up, I’ll immediately sit myself down and then invite her up onto the foot stool at my feet - in the cooler weather I put a blanket over both of us.
When we’re all situated they both delight in getting stroked.
Do I meet these expectations on a daily basis?
Not only are are their demands pretty simple and easy to accomplish, I gain some calm from taking the time to be with them.
The only expectation I have for myself at the beginning of the day is that I’ll enjoy some quiet time with my freshly made cup of coffee while I breathe in a bit of animal fur and look out at our beautiful view.
Once the animal’s early morning expectations are taken care then they both carry on with their days.
The cat usually surveys the scene outside and then assumes a relaxed vibe on the couch👇
The dog after food and a game of fetch (of which she never, I mean never, ever tires) usually joins me in the studio - she loves to soak up the sun👇
So here’s a question…
Are the expectations we have for ourselves throughout our lives too much?
Are we as kind to ourselves as I am to my fur kids?
I had some high expectations when we moved here just over 18 months ago.
EXPECTATION Number One:
The existing three bay shed would be transformed into my bricks and mortar (okay, steel and concrete) Pilates Schudio within the first couple of months and I could start rebuilding my in-person business asap.
Easy Peasy, right?
Well I’m not the world’s best project manager but even so,
Due to my own stop and start way of doing things + a one month overseas trip, AND the Covid-induced-I-can’t-travel-anywhere-so-I’m-going-to-remodel-my-house-instead building boom, AND that we happened to pick an exceptionally crappy company for the initial work to enclose the structure, AND that there was some tricky engineering to work through, AND one of our trades was not only incommunicado about when they'd be working they also disappeared for a couple of weeks in the middle of their job...
The REALITY is that my schudio is still not finished!
But, it’s really, really, close…
So close that I’m able to start visualising actual clients hanging out there with me. It's going to be so much fun!
Since the tradies are almost done (and our builder, sparky, and plumber have been and are fabulous) now it’s just up to me to fill a bazillion nail holes, sand, prime, and paint, hang some equipment, and then finally move all of my studio belongings up from the garage and into place…
Stay tuned because there will be a big ole blog post about the whole process but to tide you over here's a look see at the soon to be completed bathroom
EXPECTATION Number Two:
By now our ‘garden’ would be picture perfect and ready to be featured on the cover of some fancy schmancy landscape design magazine.
We spend days at a time out there weeding, pruning, cutting, thinning, raking, and burning, and it looks like nothing, nada, zip, zilch has been done.
Sometimes it so overwhelms me that all I do is wander around the property, pull a few weeds, and stare at the view (which I never forget is quite fab)
Over the past 18 months I’ve obviously had to adjust my expectations but is that such a bad thing?
Don't get me wrong
Having high expectations of ourselves can serve us well. Haven’t we all “made things happen” by pure will and determination?
For example I spent a large part of my youth massaging my life to fit my dreams and desires of becoming a professional dancer. There was nothing wrong with having high expectations of myself, it gave me an almost 20 year career in the field and showed me that if you want something badly enough you’ll most likely find a way to accomplish it (although it might not be exactly as you imagined).
But, and this is me talking as someone in my late 50’s who’s had a bit of a life, I’m asking:
Do we need to decrease our expectations?
What might arise if we do?
So back to my original question with a few more added:
- Do the expectations we place on ourselves make us feel crappy or give us the feels??
- How do we marry our expectations with the reality we find ourselves in - especially if some things are out of our control (see shed build above)
- Is it okay to adjust our expectations?
- Do we equate not fulfilling our expectations with failure?
I'm not going to answer those for you but this is the path I'm heading down:
When the perceived crappiness comes around and I catch myself with some unreal, perhaps not so positive, expectations, I realise that I need to breathe and sink into the letting go of them.
I'm starting to be okay with releasing my expectations (or at least having them lowered, lol)
These days, after the dog and cat and I have our snuggly moment with the sunrise, I take my low ball expectations, go out into the garden, acknowledge the projects I’ve accomplished, pull and few weeds, and stare at the view.
Everything will get done in good time, right?
And now finally, finally, finally!
Here’s the question as it relates to Pilates:
What do you expect from your Pilates practice?
There’s a famous Joseph Pilates quote that says,
“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 you’ll see the difference, and in 30 you’ll have a new body.”
I like the first two ideas but am not so sold on the third.
You don't need a new body.
It’s my firm belief that a Pilates practice will help you feel more at home in the body that you have no matter what shape it is or shape it's in.
While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to nail The 100 or achieve a perfectly smooth Rollup, how could you approach your workout another way? What are your expectations for your session?
Generally at the end of my classes I ask my awesome, amazingly lovely clients if they feel better than before class started?
Most of the time they do.
And that’s enough.
I think that far too frequently we say to ourselves:
‘if I can just...’ or ‘once I achieve...’, or when I’ve finished...’ then my life will be what I want/think/hope it should be.
Instead we should just pet the dog, let go of our expectations, and enjoy the view. 😘
As always, Be Well!
The information contained above is provided for informational purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and Rebecca Forde disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this post
cover & social photo by Emily Morter
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