I always have a fantasy future running in my mind. I then get disappointed when outcomes don't match up. I'd like to see how life could be with no expectations, just letting it unfold. Is this possible? Can I learn to do this?
Yes - you can learn to do this and this is a great thing to strive towards. All expectations are self-limiting. The truest states of peace and happiness come from living in the Present Moment. All expectations end in disappointment, or just encourage us to continually want more, always seeking, never content with what is.
Better to have "intentions" than expectations. Intentions are the purposeful use of the will to participate in the manifestation of your future reality. But expectations leave no mystery. When we try to be the one in total control of life, we always fail; We only see one perspective, one slice of what is, and are not at a state of consciousness that has the insight, wisdom and awareness of the whole.
There are many paths to Self-Realization, but meditation is one of the most direct. Past and future is always tied to thought. The more the thoughts are quieted, the more you awaken to the Present - and the more content, appreciative and full of wonder you will be.
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist