Written by Rev Jeff Lanier
What if we didn’t do something purely for the end product? Doing action for the end product, will leave us feeling unsatisfied and bored in our work. However, if we are doing the action because that is what we enjoy and we are not focused on how much everyone will notice our efforts, how great the end product will be, and how much fame, money or attention it will bring, this is where our actions have the space to be unrestricted. Mainstream American culture has groomed us to consume. There is a hole in us. We are hurting and we are trying to fill it with things and distractions. The hole continues to grow, so we need to consume more to fill it. The hole can never be filled from outside by prized merchandise or approval from others. The hole is our stifled self. It can become stifled through our own internal perceptions or fear.
When we look at the process of action and where our expectations can lead us, it becomes more clear that action without attachment is the only way to move forward.
We can begin to fill this hole in when we take action and can still remain unattached to the results of the action. If we are expecting our work to cause instant widespread change in the world, we can easily wind up disappointed. Seeing the work through to completion simply so you can start again, the process of action itself fills the hole. One of the key requirements for manifesting is actively taking steps towards what you seek. There is no one person, event or thing, that can ever do it for you. The action more than likely will change over time, so even becoming attached to the process can hinder ourselves. We become unwilling or unable to see alternative ways of taking our action, by our own preconceived ideas.
Expectations can lead us into a trap from both ends. When an event turns out less than we expect, we can feel let down or even get stuck in a feeling of failure. When something turns positive, we can get stuck trying to recreate that moment, feeling like it wasn’t enough and always trying to cling to more. If we expect that our actions won’t be received in a positive way, we may never even do the work out of fear or a lack of confidence. When we enjoy speaking of our work more than we do taking the action of the work, this can be a sign of attachment to anticipated results. Feelings will happen regardless of our attachment to the end product and should not be discounted, instead felt and used for direction into the next action.
How do we take action and turn off our expectations? Simple, we don’t. Our thoughts are intended to protect us and one way they do this is through thinking through the possible outcomes. We can’t stop our thoughts, just see them as thoughts not facts. For me, recognizing that I can not ever imagine every possible result, helps to become less attached to what my thoughts are saying based on my previous experiences. This month try recognizing these thoughts that are deterring us from taking action, sit with them and see they are trying to protect us, then take the first step forward.