Try free for 7 days.

Mindfulness.com
Meditation
See all Meditation

Browse

Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
Community

Already have an account?

Sign in

00:00

00:00

"Be Like Water"

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about expectations. So in daily life, it's totally natural and really useful to have a certain amount of expectation. You know, when we're meeting a friend for lunch, we expect them to turn up at the agreed upon time, or waiting for our train, we anticipate it will be there at least roughly when we expect it to arrive and that's completely reasonable and really useful. But a problem does arise when our expectations become really rigid and inflexible.

When that's the case, we can become very, very easily irritated, disappointed, and frustration any time things don't go the way we thought they would. This is a recipe for unnecessary suffering. For instance, really simple example. Just imagine that your partner pretty much always comes home from work at 6:00 PM. And one day you decide to make a special dinner for them.

But this particular day, they decided to catch up with a friend after work and they don't come home until 8:00 PM. If you stay fixed to your expectations of what you thought would happen, your plans, you might end up really irritated, disappointed, or even angry. But if you simply acknowledge things didn't go the way you thought they would, then you can just go with the flow. You might even be delighted to enjoy your nice meal and some time to yourself that night. Your experience of that evening can be completely different, either quite negative or quite enjoyable, depending on if you can let go of expectations.

So a lot of the time we also have unconscious expectations that we get really attached to. For instance, we expect people to behave roughly the way they always do. We expect things to go the way we plan them to. We have expectations about being able to do our usual routines. And so a lot of the time when they change, we feel really put out.

So of course, as I said, while it's really helpful to have an idea of where you're going, mindfulness actually really invites us not to form rigid ideas about how things should go, how things should be. Instead, the invitation is to meet whatever arises in the present moment with openness and acceptance, rather than really needing it to conform to our desires. In the words of Bruce Lee, we want to be like water, to be fluid and light on our feet, adapting to things as they arrive in the moment and kind of flowing with the current of things. So this is the invitation for practice today and ongoing going, to be like water. Of course, keep making plans and following your path, but also letting go of your action expectations so that you can make room on your journey for the surprises, the pivots and all the twists and turns.

As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And inviting you now to settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

"Be Like Water"

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about expectations. So in daily life, it's totally natural and really useful to have a certain amount of expectation. You know, when we're meeting a friend for lunch, we expect them to turn up at the agreed upon time, or waiting for our train, we anticipate it will be there at least roughly when we expect it to arrive and that's completely reasonable and really useful. But a problem does arise when our expectations become really rigid and inflexible.

When that's the case, we can become very, very easily irritated, disappointed, and frustration any time things don't go the way we thought they would. This is a recipe for unnecessary suffering. For instance, really simple example. Just imagine that your partner pretty much always comes home from work at 6:00 PM. And one day you decide to make a special dinner for them.

But this particular day, they decided to catch up with a friend after work and they don't come home until 8:00 PM. If you stay fixed to your expectations of what you thought would happen, your plans, you might end up really irritated, disappointed, or even angry. But if you simply acknowledge things didn't go the way you thought they would, then you can just go with the flow. You might even be delighted to enjoy your nice meal and some time to yourself that night. Your experience of that evening can be completely different, either quite negative or quite enjoyable, depending on if you can let go of expectations.

So a lot of the time we also have unconscious expectations that we get really attached to. For instance, we expect people to behave roughly the way they always do. We expect things to go the way we plan them to. We have expectations about being able to do our usual routines. And so a lot of the time when they change, we feel really put out.

So of course, as I said, while it's really helpful to have an idea of where you're going, mindfulness actually really invites us not to form rigid ideas about how things should go, how things should be. Instead, the invitation is to meet whatever arises in the present moment with openness and acceptance, rather than really needing it to conform to our desires. In the words of Bruce Lee, we want to be like water, to be fluid and light on our feet, adapting to things as they arrive in the moment and kind of flowing with the current of things. So this is the invitation for practice today and ongoing going, to be like water. Of course, keep making plans and following your path, but also letting go of your action expectations so that you can make room on your journey for the surprises, the pivots and all the twists and turns.

As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And inviting you now to settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Duration

Play in-app

Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on our mobile app

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.
or

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.


Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.

Mindfulness

Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!

Checkout

Thank you for joining us

Congratulations on your subscription! Dive into the full library and enjoy all it has to offer.

Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.

Sign up or login to your mindfulness account to proceed.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Mindfulness

One membership to gain access to a world of premium mindfulness content created to help you live happier and stress less.

  • 2000+ Guided Meditations
  • Courses from world-class teachers
  • Resources for Stress + Anxiety
  • Breathing exercises, gratitude practices, relaxation techniques
  • Sleep meditations, playlists, stories
  • Mindful talks, podcasts, music, nature sounds