Experiment: Expecting Everything I

Anna K.E, Profound Approach and Easy Outcome, 2006-ongoing.
The sun was setting and I stepped out onto the verandah to watch the day give into the night. Everything around me bathed in reddish golden hues made richer by the wetness that had sunk into the pavements and buildings from a marvelous storm a few hours previous. It felt good to be able to see the lovely music that only the eyes could hear. Before I came out for the sunset, I had been on the verandah to watch finer strings of rain, remnants of a furious storm, thread down to knit into the ground. I had thrust my hand from under the canopy into the rain to watch and feel the fine sprays splash my palms and hands. It felt wonderful. It is quite strange how a ferocious storm becomes a fine sweet rain that at some point also disappears. It is quite odd that a day will come when it shall be impossible to feel rain on skin or have eyes drink in the setting sunset. And although I do not know what it all means, surely being able to enjoy and appreciate rain on skin is a purpose of life?

Today Mother may hurt terribly or die, today I may loose my legs and never walk again. And although these are in my opinion some of the worst things that could happen to me, they could actually be some of the best things that could happen to me. But also today Mother may win the lottery, or I might get a publisher for my poems. And although in my opinion these could be some of the most beautiful things that could happen in my life, they could in actuality be some of the worst things that could happen to me. I used to think if what I wanted 
happened, it was a good thing, and if what I didn’t want happened, it was a terrible thing. Then I learned that good will happen to you and ruin you, and evil will happen to you and save you. Then I learned that one needs to be ruined and saved, thus the good that ends up as evil is good and the evil that ends up good is good. That all is good and whatever happens is really all that has to happen. It is merely a matter of learning to see things as they are. The storm has passed and grandmother's flesh is rotting away. And the adage “be careful what you wish for, you might just get it” makes a lot of sense. The point I am trying to make is that there isn’t even a reason to wish because what one is and what one ought to be sings loudly at one's heart. So if one wants only to live as one ought to, in other words, if one desires to follow one’s true path, i.e. be the happiest one can be, then all one needs do is to listen to one’s heart  and do as it advices. As I have mentioned here previously I have no clue how to go about this, but I am trying to learn. One of the best ways I am learning to listen and trust my heart is by learning to see the value of what I have and trying to understand what makes me happy. And to do so, I am learning that it is important to not take the gift of life and love for granted. And how I am learning this is to expect everything.

We often hear the phrase “expect nothing.” Probably “expect nothing” is one of those phrases that do not make sense in of itself but alludes to a universal truth that sense synchronizes with. But in the case that its meaning is literal, then at present I have no clue what it means nor how to practice it. However it seems to me that expecting everything is much easier than expecting nothing, and possibly, expecting everything yields a much healthier experience than expecting nothing. When one expects everything, one wakes up believing that this could be the day one dies, or the day that one begins to consciously exist in a perpetual state of bliss. To expect everything is to be open to whatever happens. I have been trying to come up with experiments to teach me to better listen to my heart and I am sharing with you one of them. Here is the first part of a three week experiment on learning to expect everything:

Tools: 1. Consciousness 2. Lots of imagination 3. Willingness to be uncomfortable 4. A week

Week One Experiment
Preparations:

To perform this experiment you must pledge to yourself to attempt it for a full week.

+ Keep this experiment a secret. Often some of us just talk without any thinking and we discourage what we haven't even given an ear to. So for certain things to do with learning of self, it is easier to keep our efforts to ourselves. But feel free to share your experience with a friend when your experiment is over. It could be of some help to you and to them.

+ Do expect to fail and be willing to take your failure in good spirit without being insulting of the experiment. And try again if you wish.

+ Do expect to succeed and be willing to examine what your success actually means.

+ Do try and record your experience anyhow you wish: audio, video, writing, etc. So to become aware of your thoughts throughout the process. I suggest carrying a little notebook with you for documentation purposes. And if you want to doodle how you feel, do it! Yes, definitely sing it and dance it too. :D

+ Try and have fun. If you have fun with the experiment you will be enthusiastic and allow your imagination the freedom it needs to show you how you see things and how they actually are. Taking the experiment lightly will also make you more willing to be curious about where the week will take you.

The whole point is tuning to your heart, to learn your own truth. I am sure there are some great ways out there to do this, but this is my scrambling through the dark DIY attempt.

Experiment:

+ Every day, for a week, when you wake up, one of the first things you should do when you gain consciousness is to imagine yourself unwell. That is if you wake up in good health, try to imagine what it would be like if you had woken up sick and for the rest of the day everything you do must follow the same suit. Try to imagine how it would feel to perform your daily tasks and common place activities with a burdensome body. For example, when you walk imagine how it would feel to do so with badly aching legs; when you eat imagine how it would feel to do so if you had painful blisters in your mouth or if your teeth ached constantly; when you are  sitting imagine how it would feel if your buttocks were entirely covered with painful blisters; imagine how it would feel to breathe with diseased lungs that had difficulty drawing in air and letting it out; imagine how it would feel like to work with malfunctioning hands; imagine what life would be like if you had to struggle to hear, and see; imagine what state you would be in if your skin was so sensitive that it was irritable by even the air. Basically everything you do this week imagine extreme ways in which it could be quite a challenge to perform. Focus on all that you are able to do and imagine living without the ability to do these things as easily as you are able to perform them.

+ At the end of every day record your thoughts and experiences.  Be gentle with yourself and do not dismiss anything. Be also forgiving of any negativity you feel within yourself, do not dismiss it or try to bury it, try to draw it out and examine it. Don’t forget that theory is not the same as practice therefore what you know by thought and reasoning alone is not known by experience. Which means to know something intimately, you will probably have to suffer it. Ask questions like what have I been taking for granted, what abilities have I been under utilizing, how can I improve the experience of my body, how can I appreciate my body, what do I love to do and how would it feel if I could not do it any more? What should I do more of? What should I do less of? What should I let go of? Am I happy in myself? How? Why? In what ways am I lucky and in what ways am I unlucky? What does it mean to be lucky and what does it mean to be unlucky? Am I grateful and in what ways am I ungrateful? Why? What does it mean to be grateful or ungrateful? If you are not finding answers, be patient, keep asking, sooner or later you will start hearing yourself.

Have fun & stay tuned for parts II & III!
--

Jane

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