I’ve made it through my first week living abroad in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve walked a lot, seen hella street art, acquired kangaroo leather shoes (apparently very economical), figured out the hard way that you have to press the button for the doors to open on the tram, learned to remove at least one letter and/or syllable from most words before speaking them, taught my first yoga session in town to someone I met having dinner at a pay as you feel vegan restaurant, wrote a page in my screenplay, taken my first acting class in over a year, made some precious new friends, gone to some events such as an acro yoga jam, Game of Thrones viewing party (zombie dragon!), and a comedy show called Spiritually Incorrect on a night when I couldn’t get a ticket to a spiritually correct event I planned on attending.
It hasn’t been going quite as I expected. I mean, it’s been a week. I was supposed to have found the perfect place to live, got a job teaching yoga at a studio, landed a starring role in a theatrical production, finished my screenplay, figured out the meaning of life, and met my soul mate by now, right?
In my last post I proclaimed, somewhat proudly, that I had no plans. Well, while that is true, what I’ve come to learn is I did have expectations. Google “expectations” and hundreds of quotes about how they’re behind all human suffering appear. In fact, it was William Shakespeare who said “Expectation is the root of all heartache”.
Expectations are defined on Wikipedia as a strong belief something will happen or be the case. An assumption, prediction, forecast, projection.
Letting go of the comfort of home and adjusting to this new life is bringing up emotions that I didn’t quite expect. And, now, having no plans, is actually feeling quite daunting. When I told friends about my plan-less plan, some of them said, “you’re more courageous than I am. I don’t think I could go on a trip like that without a plan”. I felt good about myself hearing that. I am courageous, I thought. My expectation was that I’d feel liberated and free without being tethered to a plan. It turns out, while I had the courage to go through with it, I’ve still found myself feeling afraid in the reality of my choice.
With fear comes questions. What am I doing here? Whats my next move? Where should I go? Where will I live? Do I try to create a life here or do I go where the wind blows me? Is it the wind blowing me or is it my restless nature seeking, always seeking. Reaching, always reaching. For more. For better.
I love that line from the Orange is the New Black theme song by Regina Spektor. “Taking steps is easy, standing still is hard.” I am good at keeping it moving. Onto the next adventure, challenge, climbing bigger and bigger mountains. Its when I’m standing still, unsure of whats next that I find myself feeling uneasy. The patience and energy required to feel at home in a unfamiliar place, without a true sense of belonging makes me want to keep moving. Home is within, home is within, home is within…
Maybe making a few plans, minus the expectations wouldn’t be such a bad idea. So, I have, at least for the next couple of months. The plans are to stay here in Melbourne until my 31st birthday at the end of October. Then, I will be traveling back to India in November to attend the Sattva Summit. I’ll probably book end that trip with visits around Bali. I feel like a lot of clarity could come from that trip, especially getting to return to Rishikesh, reconnect with Sangha, and learn more from my guru Anand and other Sattva Master Teachers. However, thats just another expectation, I realize. Dang it, I’m no good at this.
This journey is revealing itself to me as a test of trust. Faith. In myself, in my intuition, in the choices I’ve made that have led me here. To the universe, God, the divine intelligence that guides me.
Maybe its okay, human even, to have expectations, hopes, desires. However we must be prepared to let them go and trust in the unfolding of life, beyond our minds limiting beliefs, otherwise known as expectations.
Until next time and with all my love,
Elena Rose Davis