Have you ever noticed how expectations can lead you to being upset? Waiting for something in the mail, a vacation or a holiday pulls us into thoughts about what may or may not happen. We easily set our self up for confusion as thoughts circle around our hopes and fears. Living with awareness, we can find another way to be with expectation.

    Once we acknowledge the presence of our hopes and fears, we can let them pass through the mind. Letting hopes and fears simply pass through the mind neutralizes their power over us. Then, we can be more open to whatever happens. If the mail brings good news or the holiday time is fun, you can fully experience your feelings of joy. And if you don’t get exactly what you want in the mail, on holiday, or on vacation, you can be aware-bringing flexibility, patience and compassion into whatever happens.

    Not feeding fears and hopes allows you to be with what is in a loving way. And then your behavior is a gift to yourself and everyone you know.

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    Try this the next time you are aware that you feel stressed and want to quiet down the inner chaos quickly. Walking, driving, standing still or sitting, quietly say while breathing in, "I am breathing in, and I am at peace." Say while breathing out, "I am breathing out, and I am at peace." Focus attention on what happens. If you become distracted, simply return your focus to your words and notice what's happening within. Repeat until you notice a shift, and are ready to stop. The cells of the body receive thought as instruction, and they are willing followers to whatever we think. Saying we are at peace allows the body to shift from feeling rushed around, to slowing down, so we can feel quieter inside. With the goal of maintaining balance in all things, use this practice with care, and let awareness be your guide. Sometimes this practice is helpful, and other times, it can be used to distract us from exploring mistaken beliefs that keep us rushing around. Remembering awareness is a gift to yourself and others.



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