By Laurie Kasperbauer
……you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you might find, you get what you need…. – Rolling Stones
I celebrated my birthday recently and as always, I was humbled by the wishes of family and friends. Because I was born on Valentine’s Day, it’s an easy birthday to remember, which is a distinct advantage, especially for my husband. Not that he forgets important dates like anniversaries and birthdays, but because he sees constant reminders of Valentine’s Day through advertisements and store displays, he sometimes even plans ahead, as he did this year. So, several days before my birthday he said, “You should be receiving a couple of packages this week”. Cool! I like packages that arrive at my door. Immediately my brain started anticipating what might be coming. New walking shoes? Something yoga related? Do jewelry stores deliver??? Just a few days later a large rectangular box landed on my doorstep. I grabbed it and brought it in. Fragile, the box said. 24 Long-stemmed, it said. Score! Roses! What a thoughtful and romantic gift! That night when we were together, I opened the box, arranged my roses and displayed them in the perfect spot. Then my husband said. “There should be another box coming.”
How do you top two dozen roses? This next one has to be chocolate or diamonds, right? The next day another box appeared. Similar in shape and size to the box of roses. Cargo Floor Mat Cover it said on the box. Hmmmm. This must be something my husband ordered for himself. I never mentioned needing a floor cover for my car. No, this was definitely his box, not mine. When he got home that night he said. “You didn’t open your gift.” Say what? A rubber floor mat? I played it cool. “I wanted you to be here when I opened it, I said.” So I did. And my husband installed it in the cargo space of my car.
Expectations are a slippery slope. An expectation fulfilled may make us feel happy or accomplished in the short term but soon our mind hones in on the next level, greener pastures or something bigger or grander than where we are. On the flip side, how often does life come up a little short of our expectations? Frequently, I believe. How could it be otherwise? We all have different expectations of any one event. We all have our own perspective; our own point ofview. We even have expectations of one another. Yoga has an answer to Expectation. It’s called Santosa.
Santosa is contentment. Santosa means to be happy with what we have rather than being unhappy about what we don’t have. Santosa tells us that there is a purpose for everything, and we cultivate contentment to ‘accept what happens’. And once again, we are reminded to live in the Here and the Now. To be present.
When I first decided to practice yoga it was for the same reasons most of us do. I wanted to become more flexible, maybe lose a little weight and work up a sweat. These were my expectations of yoga. I didn’t have any interest in the theory of yoga practice. I had no idea how powerful the noise in my mind had become and therefore I had no interest in quieting that voice. Meditation sounded like pure torture. To be present, and enjoy the moment at hand, sounded like such a waste when there was so much to anticipate. Dwelling on past mistakes was my punishment for making them in the first place, right?
Through yoga practice, I have become more flexible. Yet the ability to get into a bind or do a lovely Triangle pose are not nearly as beneficial to me as the ability to calm my mind and my breath. I don’t need to touch my toes often throughout the course of a day, but reaching deep inside for compassion, contentment, balance and peace….these things I look for constantly and yoga guides me in my search.
In anticipation of the packages I was promised to receive on my birthday I allowed my expectations to trample the beauty of what was right in front of me. My husband, in his thoughtfulness and love, gave me a gift that I needed. The gift is a reminder that we all have a different point of view, and expectations are built on unstable foundations, begging to be toppled. I love my rubber floor mat! It collects the sand that constantly falls from my yoga gear and keeps it contained. It guards the carpet from tears and stains. But beyond this, my floor mat reminds me that what we receive may have far greater value than what we expect. My expectations will not always be realized. But if I try, I will find that I get what I need.
Laurie Kasperbauer is an active Florida Realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. Laurie also enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes.