Holiday Minefield

How much room does expectation take up?  Where does it live?  Who does if feed?  How do we see it? When is it at its worst?  And…if you did not expect ‘it,’ would there be room for more delightful things such as contentment, awareness, lack of angst, and more turkey?

It’s hardest when we expect happiness, right?  Happiness at the holidays?  Happiness with loved ones, family, friends?  Happiness is such a big shoe to fill.  When we walk in those silver slippers life is slippery.

How do we catch ourselves expecting?  It ain’t like having a baby.  It would save much heartache if we knew when we were expectant, especially as we enter the winter holidays, layered with memories, family, and old friends; invitations, and gifts.  Oh yes, it’s an enormous minefield of hidden expectation.

Must we become Zen, or Buddhist to not suffer at our own hand? Perhaps, starting with the suspicion that happiness is over-rated? I doubt it.  If I learn to hold my hopes more lightly, and care less?  If the pleasure of a stranger’s smile could replace the anxious expectation of the thoughtful gift? If only Uncle Ned won’t get drunk at the party?  What if Sister Sarah’s boyfriend doesn’t give her the ring?  And on it goes, that merrie-go-round of expected joy and disaster which leaves so little space for being present, for giving oneself the gift of surrender.  Perhaps I shall wrap a small box, beautifully, and place it by my bed to hold all my expectations, conscious and un, to see me through the holidays.

“You did invite me to your party, didn’t you?”

Pose With Seasonal Energies:

Asana: Goddess Pose.  A great pose from which to create composure, endurance, non-expectation. Standing with legs wide, feet open out, take a breath and as you exhale, descend, bending knees, open thighs back, keeping knees over feet. Drop tailbone down, lift belly up and stay in pose for 10 breaths.  You can do Pranayama/breath work here, and form beautiful mudras.

Health Notes: Legs, particularly thighs are strengthened, Standing in Goddess for longer and longer periods of time creates stamina, patience, and the will to endure.

Astrology Notes: You can go to my Facebook page and from there leap to ‘YogaWoman’ (supposedly where I work) to stay up on weekly Astrological phenomena, with added benefit of suggestions for standing your mat. This week– it’s a head’s up on Mercury turning retrograde on Thanksgiving, along with a Solar Eclipse, which alters our electromagnetic fields making this holiday very tippy indeed.  Give yourself extra time, and patience for getting there, planning anything, never mind ‘expecting’ it to happen as you hope.  But as the Sun moves into ebullient Sagittarius, November 22, perhaps we shall simply find the un-expected changes, exciting and expansive?

Ayurvedic Notes: Moving into colder territory creates more kapha imbalance.  Kapha is composed of water and earth, with cold, heavy, moist, slow, sweet, sticky qualities. In general its role is protection, and it has responsibility for the immune system.  It creates tissue, muscle, and bone, and protects metabolic wear. It also lubricates the skin, and joints.  Kapha Dosha (imbalance) needs greater stimulation, more fire in the belly to prod lethargic tendencies.  Do a practice that energizes, warms, and releases toxins.  Goddess pose is a great place to start, and Shakti Dance is a wonderful place to end.


Jennifer Cooper

Expectations….Your words are a good reminder to be aware of our expectations of self. While I spread compassion this Holiday Season….I must remember to start with myself…We must care for ourselves so that we are able to care for others….xoxo


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