Didn’t you know? ‘Expectation potholes’ can’t be avoided!

Beware of potholes, disguised as flirtateous expectations.Tempting you to hook up with them! Like a hot, irresistable lover, becoming your ultimate downfall.

Yes, these expectation potholes, I step into them all the time.

‘It would be so nice, if … It should be … He/she should be … I should be … It must …’

The list is endless. The minute you’re distracted, they trip you up. You might fall over and break a leg or drown in a deep well of disappointment. Feeling like Garfield, having been denied his favorite food of all time; Lasagne.

I am sure you know what I’m talking about!

‘I am here in St. Ives and there’s no sun. It’s bloody chilly. It always happens, when I am on holiday. It’s not fair! Life is a shit.’

‘Well you know, if you want to have sun, go to Spain. You’re in England for God’s sake. Deal with it! And by the way, the houses in St. Ives are crooked. It is what it is.’

This is exactly what I’m throwing at my audience in Norway Square in St.Ives, September Festival. Telling people off and getting away with it at the same time, is a lot of fun. My words are on fire, dancing like some juggler’s balls in the damp air.

‘Stuff your rusty expectations and take things as they are. Live in the moment. It’s all you’ve got. Stop being stupid and accept things as they are.’

Of course, to the audience’s delight, I don’t walk my own talk.

A noisy car passes by. I give it an indignant look. Giggles. Shortly after that, someone sneezes so loudly, that the walls of the near standing houses are shaking. Everyone errupts in laughter, while I shout:

‘How dare you interrupt my performance. It should be quiet, when I am on stage.’

Bingo! I’ve just proven my point. Expectations and potholes can’t be avoided. But they are a pain in the …

You know what I mean. Of course you do!

No? You’re playing me, aren’t you. Ha! You can’t wait to hear all about my recent trip ups, after I left my audience with these pearls of wisdom:

‘Let go of your expectations. Accept things as they are. Live in the moment’

You want to hear about my trip to Ireland, land of the potholes and how I fell literally from one expectation pothole into the other.

Okay, I get it. It’s so much more fun to see how other people mess up, instead of looking at your own failed disasters.

So, here we are! It’s exactly one day after I improvised my pearls of wisdom on Norway Square in chilly St. Ives. I haven’t slept out of fear, that I might not hear my alarm clock early in the morning. We have a ferry to catch; Fishguard to Rosslare. My travel companion is only half ready, when I pick him up. When it’s his turn to drive, he stalls my car three times in a row, which makes me ponder, whether we’ll ever arrive in Ireland in one piece. He’s used to an automatic.

I am irritated to the brink. This is not a great start for a journey I had so much high hopes for!

I had it all sorted in my mind. My ideal trip to the land of the potholes.

‘September is the best month in Ireland. We’ll have an indian summer. I’ll go swimming. I’ll meet up with all my wonderful friends I haven’t seen in nine years. Housesitting for my friend together with my travel companion will be so much fun. It’ll be great to be back to Dzogchen Beara, (a buddhist reatreat centre on the cliffs, where I volunteered numerous times in the past)’

Here is what actually happened.

My travel mate and me get into endless fights. I can’t help it. His behaviour irritates me. I feel like I’m turning into the nasty antihero, having jumped right out of Batman.

Many of my friends don’t have time for me. Now, I’m not only the nasty antihero, but also the lonesome ugly dug. Yes, and my glorious buddhist centre has totally changed. I created a triple whopper. On top of feeling like a nasty antihero and an ugly dug, I also succesfully turned myself into a stranded stranger, being stuck in memory lane.

‘Damn it. These ‘expectation potholes’ I fall into them all the time.’

I am not only drowning in dissappointment, but would love to punch someone at the same time. Preferrably me.

‘How for God’s sake did I manage to entangle myself in these failed expectations.’

It’s as if you’re caught in a spider’s web, ready to be eaten alive.

Let’s be real Life is full of potholes, disguised as flirtateous expectations. Disastrous lovers, waiting to take you down.

It’s really quite stupid to pretend ‘expectation potholes’ aren’t here in the first place.

The truth is expecting yourself to be the person, who never expects something doesn’t cut it.

Look at how that’s panned out for me! So, what do we do, if we know ‘expectation potholes’ can’t be avoided, but also have the potential to ruin our lives?

Is there no way to win? Have we ended in a cul de sac?

Well, let’s have a look at the real potholes and how we deal with them, when we drive down a road in Ireland, that is sprinkled with them, like a piece of swiss cheese.

In my opinion, you have exactly two choices. You either ignore them and drive through them full blast, wrecking your car in the process. Or you slow down, gently navigate your car around them and if you can’t help it, you even more carefully drive through the pothole. That’s it.

Your most important job is to recognize your own ‘expectation potholes’, navigating yourself through the maze. The minute you’re distracted, they trip you up. Bang, you’re drowning in the well of self righteous anger and dissappointment.

‘If, would, should, could, must …’

If it happens, it happens. That’s life. Get out of there and try again.

Like I did in Ireland. Luckily, I got over myself and managed to reconnect with Dzogchen Beara, the buddhist centre on the cliffs. I was so inspired, that I took up a regular meditation practice again.I also met some lovely, new people in the process of aquainting myself with the place again.

After all, that’s what really mattered to me all along.

Dzogchen Beara taught me two invaluable lessons. Don’t wait another nine years til you come back and expect, that things will have changed.

Even better still, expect the unexpected.

Now, that I gave you some insight into my own adventerous, expectation pothole trip, it is time to have a look at your own failed disasters. Yes, I ask you to expose your own expectation potholes.

No worries, I am here to help you. Head over to my be creative site and book a free coaching with me.

After all, I am an expectation pothole expert.

@Helen Jones
@Helen Jones

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