Letting Go of Expectations

Dec 10, 2015

Two weeks before we officially celebrate Christmas. But, really if you think about it, have we not been inundated with thoughts of holidays, since the day after Halloween? [thanks to retail]

I don’t know about you, but for me, I feel as soon as September is over, the end of the year goes by in a blink of the eye. And, with this speed of time, brings upon different feelings of: should of’s, obligation, regrets, sadness for those who are no longer with us, and overextending ourselves [financially and otherwise]. And, they say this is the “most wonderful time of the year.”

All I can say to that is, BREATHE….  Breathe in some calmness and clarity, take time to give a few minutes everyday to a practice that resonates with you. What is your body and your mind craving? Be still and ask yourself, how can I refuel myself during the holidays? DO THAT. Not, what you “think” you should do by what the media is telling us… having the perfect decorated house, [which as of this moment, mine is not] attending lots of social gatherings, eating everything in sight, buying a plethora of retail stuff for others, etc.

Listen within, slow down, allow your gift to be the gift of presence. Your loved ones and friends, will appreciate this gift way more, than any present under the tree.

Lately in my classes, I have been sharing this idea of letting go of expectations. There seems to be so much “expected” this time of year. Which I find odd, isn’t this the season of giving? So, why are we all so caught up in expecting?

When we have expectations in our lives, it usually depends on someone or something outside of ourselves. Psst, here’s a secret, “WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THINGS OUTSIDE OF US.” So, why set yourself up to fail? Instead, choose to “flow with the holidays”. [I know… easier said than done.] Especially, when you know that you’ll be seeing your “Uncle Bob” sometime this month, and you both don’t see eye-to-eye.

Begin each morning with slow, conscious breaths, and literally ask yourself, these two questions: How do I want to feel today? What can I do to feel [fill-in-the-blank] today?  This simple exercise can be done, before you get out of bed in the morning.

Back to “Uncle Bob,” when you know you may see him later on in the day, make sure you do the exercise above. Then add one more question, How do I want to feel around Uncle Bob?  BREATHE that feeling into your belly, [the lower tantien] using those deep, long, even, slow breaths.

You already know, you cannot control what “Uncle Bob” says or doesn’t say. But, you can control how you feel, let go of agitation, and allow yourself to breathe in your chosen feeling. [not the reactive one, that usually happens] Know, you can agree to disagree with “Uncle Bob”. [Remember: give him the gift of your presence.]

Another way of letting go of expectations, is for every “yes” you say outloud this month, say “no” to something else. Which can really be a way of saying yes to yourself. It can be as simple as saying “no thank you” to that store-bought cookie. [..then you can say yes to a homemade one later in the week, or enjoy a green smoothie.]

Also, may I suggest signing up for my FREE 9-DAYS of Slowing Down, it’s a great tool during the holidays. [it’s the orange/purple box in the upper-right corner] You can also do it again… repetition is good for the soul.

Keep breathing friends and connect with those practices that refuel your soul. It will allow you to let go of any and all expectations. Please share in the comments below, what is one thing you do, or do not do during the holidays to allow your expectations to dissipate?


  1. This was lovely Toni! Personally I’ve been very picky about what we participate in because there are always more things that we can participate in than we have the time and energy for. Also, I’ve been trying to keep the focus with my children on giving instead of receiving. It’s wonderful to get a gift but it can be equally wonderful to give to others like donating to charities, sending cards, etc.

    • Thank you Sari for your comments. Yes teaching our children the gift of giving, is an important lesson. I also love the gift of “experience” [doing something together] instead of acquiring more stuff. Happy Holidays!

  2. Thank you Toni

    • You’re very welcome Andrew, I am glad to hear my practice inspired you.


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