Wellness: Expectations and Beingness, by Nadine Saxton

My life partner is fond of saying, “Expectations are the key to Satan’s room of disappointment and resentment.” By their very nature, expectations infer prospects, outlooks, potential opportunities, hopes and probabilities. None of these words are based on what is happening now. They are future outcome and desire orientations. Expectations lead to disappointment and resentment because you are not being met by yourself or by others. You are not living with what is happening. Rather, you are living with what you would like to be happening.

In my work as an Existential Psychotherapist, I use body beingness to help with the experience of presence. What we express physically helps us know what is happening internally. Becoming more conscious of our sensations provides us with more choice and a different level of knowing how to proceed. Being in this present moment, not stuck on an idea of what you would like to be happening, will ensure your beingness. In this moment, am I conscious of what triggers me? In this moment, is my heart racing? Why? Am I kind to myself? Do I have compassion for others? Am I able to respond and not react to others and my environment?

In Western Culture, the New Year tradition comes with the opportunity to reflect on the events of the year ending and consider the possibilities for the one ahead. We sift though what worked or didn’t work for us and then make resolutions for the future. It is the resolving part that often brings with it the potential for disaster. The many definitions of “resolution” hold the idea that something needs to be ‘fixed’, changed, or overcome, and that to do so requires determination. This process can set the stage for a sense of failure when we do not meet our plans. What happens when things in our life do not change or meet our expectations? “I am still not happy.”

You may ask, “What do I do instead of making resolutions?” I set intentions for many things and am always in awe of how they manifest. “Wow, I asked for that but didn’t know it was going to turn out this way, but here it is!” I work hard to live my life, where I am now. I notice if I have a judgmental thought, I bracket it and stay with my intent of meeting people where they are, as they are and responding accordingly. I know to do so I need support through contemplation, meditation and my chosen form of somatic bodywork to keep me connected to this moment, the only one I have.

So this New Year I am reflecting on the concept of resolution as it is used in relation to television: high definition and clarity, enabling me to set intentions for presence and awareness, to live without expectations and to watch for benevolent outcomes in each moment.

Nadine Saxton, MA, CMA, CST, RMT, specializes in somatic work and has over 25 years experience working with people. A Certified CranioSacral Therapist, Nadine has completed 6 levels of training with the Upledger Institute and continues to work with the organization as a Certified Teaching Assistant and Study Group leader in Toronto. She is currently working towards the Diplomate level of certification with the Upledger Institute. Nadine holds a Diploma in Existential Integrative Psychotherapy from the Living Institute in Toronto. In her Toronto clinical practice, Nadine has experience working with babies and children, those with arthritis and fibromyalgia, anxiety concerns, seniors, and seriously injured individuals. She works with artists who want to enhance their creativity, body and spatial awareness, as well as those interested in soul work. Her website is http://www.nadinesaxton.com/.