Do you ever find yourself expecting things from other people or experiences? You aren’t paying attention to what is actually going on but instead focus on what you think should be happening?
I recently saw the Foals play at the Commodore Ballroom. Going into any concert, I always think about what songs I’d love to hear live at the show. For this rocking British band, I settled on “Two Steps Twice” and “Big Big Love (Fig. 2)” both killer songs from their first album “Antidotes”. I declared these desires to my friend Shaz as the band walked on to the stage to the uproar of the crowd. My intention was sent forth and pushed into the universe.
The atmosphere was electric and the band was on fire as they ripped through their set, much to the delight of the sold-out venue. It was hard to keep two feet on the ground as they pounded the Commodore with unrelenting energy without pause, like a stormy ocean beating up against the shore.
As each song ended and the band prepared tuning for the next jam, I caught myself constantly wanting to hear the chords for the songs I came to see. I almost stopped paying attention to what the band was actually playing, because I was so focused on what they weren’t playing. Expecting to hear certain songs prevented me from enjoying what was really happening at the concert.
After the beautiful “Spanish Sahara”, I caught myself in my behaviour and immediately committed to not wanting to hear anything, except which the band felt like playing. From that moment on, I was much more present at the show and was fully able to enjoy each song as it happened, not waiting for it to end so I could hear my songs.
This experience inspired me to think about other areas of my life which were pervaded by expectations. I was able to see how in some relationships, I wasn’t aware of what was really happening, but instead only thought about what I expected to happen. I found this to be especially dangerous when dealing with personal and professional connections. It became obvious that there were instances where I was blocked from seeing what was really going on in front of me, because I was only looking to see what I wanted to see. The Foals concert was a great example of how this was happening in my life. Once I became aware of this and stopped expecting things, I found that relationships and experiences unfolded in a much more natural and pleasurable way.
The band re-emerged from backstage after putting on a stellar show and picked up their instruments for the encore. I applauded, jumped and screamed to show my admiration and appreciation. The lead singer approached the microphone and gazed out into the crowd. “You’ve been great Vancouver. This is our last song and it’s called Two Steps Twice”. Of course, I laughed to myself. The moment you let go of something, it comes running back to you.