What am I gonna get out of this? We are constantly asking ourselves that.
We do things, we give things, we go to things, we talk about things, so that we will get something OUT OF THEM.
It’s like we’re willing to participate in life as long as life will give it back to us immediately.
Not only are we looking to see what we will get out of experiences, but we also unconsciously jump into expectation; we expect from others (especially from those who are close to us) to give us something in return for what we do for them, or simply for who we are to them; we want the equation to be balanced. I give to you, so you give to me. Hmmmm.. I don’t know about you, but that sounds quite lame to me.
Why not try something different.
Action that is free from attachment, when it has no need to be seen or acknowledged, is in essence filled with joy, purity, stability and ease.
When we perform for the sake of performing, when do for the sake of doing, and when we give for the sake of giving, we don’t suffer because we are not expecting anything in return; we are not hankering or latching on to desire. We are able to go about our day freely and with purpose, because we are not waiting to find purpose outside, but rather we are constantly creating it. We allow ourselves to be pulled to do what we are meant to do because something deep in our being moves us to do so.
“If you want to have the most meaningful experience, you should actively participate in making it so.” – Sharon Gannon
However, it’s actually pretty hard to live this way because we are so conditioned by the idea that if we pay for it, we deserve it. The same happens with food (especially if you live in New York). We get lazy and order for delivery, or take out, or we go to the coffee window (like I do every morning) and get our to-go coffee as fast as possible, and storm out. We expect from the person making our coffee to make it just right, give us our change fast, and do everything we DESERVE because we payed three bucks for it. So much entitlement: it’s OUR morning, OUR coffee, OUR stress, OUR business. Ugh, let’s get over our self importance already.
We’re in this world primarily to connect with others and as Sharon Gannon (founder of Jivamukti Yoga) says in the December focus of the month :
“… for most of us, the development of our talents, intelligence, emotions, and spiritual awareness depends on our having others to relate to. Usually those who live reclusive lives don’t have much chance for personal growth.”
So perhaps next time suggest to yourself to leave your home a few minutes early and sit at your coffee shop, or sit at a restaurant for dinner instead of ordering take out and Netflix. Engage with those around you and give something of you to others on a daily basis.
And choose to stay.
Arrive at a place, stay, sit down, and let go of the rush rush rush. Give your presence and present-ness to those around you.
When we let go of the fruits of our actions; when we let go of the grabby-give-me-more mentality, then we will start to live and really enjoy the things that we do.
When we start to do for the sake of doing, give for the sake of giving, and be for the sake of being without calculating what we will get back, then life actually gives us MORE in more magical and unpredictable ways because we’re no longer asking for it, and we’re no longer a beggar; we’re no longer missing anything.
It’s not easy to live without wanting to always get something out of it and without having expectations, but like everything else, it requires practice. Practice letting go of complaint and expectation.
So go out, do your thing (whatever you’re meant to be doing in this world), and abandon the attachment to the fruits of your actions.
And Happy Holidays from my to-go coffee window.