This Thursday, my youngest son will turn 13. Liam, my “little one” who now is almost as tall as his 17 year old brother, has always been a kid who keeps light on his feet and happy in his disposition. He’s not a complainer. He most often rolls with the punches and goes with the flow.
So, why am I so distraught?
Seven years ago this week, Liam’s dad was in the medical ICU unit recovering from brain surgery. He was in kindergarten. He was turning six. He shared his birthday that year with the fact that his dad got released from the hospital.
Liam’s dad lived 3 more birthdays. Each year, something happened around that time. A visit to the ER, a death in the family. And every year, Liam approaches his birthday with joy.
This year, Liam is stuck at home. It’s “covid-cation” as my kids like to call it. There is no extended family celebration. There is no party, sleepover, or outing with friends.
And he’s happy.
But I am struggling. I am struggling because I believe (aka: I expect) that life will give Liam a break. Life will present to Liam a different, less complicated time in which he can have a birthday. But, it’s not. And so I struggle.
I am struggling with accepting life as it is. I am struggling in my head, my heart, my body. I want (aka: I expect) all sorts of things to be different. Ultimately, it is my expectations of this time that are causing me heartache. My thoughts, my opinions of “what should happen” are determining my level of happiness, my level of joy...my level of present-moment-consciousness.
I am fighting with my expectations in my thoughts. They are creating stress in my body and causing disappointment in my heart.
How is this story familiar to you? How many of you are struggling with your expectations that things be different than they are right now? It could be a small expectation of wanting to go to the grocery store in less than 2 hours or it could be much deeper and more profound.
Tapping can offer you a shift. Tapping is not a cure, it is a way of meeting up with, what I call, the truth of what is. Tapping can help you dialogue with yourself about the struggles you’re having while allowing the body to physiologically relax. When those two things happen simultaneously, you can have a shift. A change. A new level of acceptance.
For me, Tapping through these expectations has helped me feel my sadness. Tapping on the expectation that ‘things should be different’ helped me understand the guilt I have held onto and the desire to change things for Liam. Tapping has helped me recognize that I am in self-punishment mode for things I can’t control. This has helped me sit with myself and witness my experience as Liam’s mom in a more objective way. It is helping me have more compassion for myself and Liam. As I shift, I get the opportunity to be present. When I am not comparing the present moment to false expectations, I am able to feel more joy. I get to meet Liam where he is at, versus where I want it to be. This allows me to be in his happy birthday. This is what I want. I want to be present, feel joyful and follow my child’s lead on his own birthday.
In Tapping, we are able to identify and feel our feelings. While doing so, we are relaxing the body by Tapping on acupuncture points. Again, the combination of the two allow us to meet the present moment and its complicated nature with a body less stressed. A physical body that has minimized stress is more likely to be more relaxed and have open thinking about any situation.
I have created a Tapping sequence for you to honor this need in today’s world. We’ve all been called to adapt, pivot, adjust in a very short period of time. I know many friends, colleagues and clients are still living with the expectations they held for themselves prior to COVID. This is going to cause us more heartbreak and stress than necessary.
The Tapping Video and the introduction to it I’ve posted on YouTube is meant to help you reduce stress and lean into a new level of acceptance and peace with the world as it is. We can’t change what is going on right now. We can change our inner relationship to it.
And this is where peace and personal power lie.
As always, I remain with you in heart and spirit. I wish you well and send my best. Please share this audio if you find it helpful!
Intro to working on Expectations:
Tapping to adjust expectations:
Gretchen Driscoll has dedicated the last 20 years to helping hundreds of individuals and corporate clients clarify goals and achieve success.
Tapping Points PDF
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