Expectations are the enemy of presence.
When we have expectations, we see only what we’re looking for. In science, that’s called confirmation bias. If a researcher is looking to see if kale helps zebras grow longer eyelashes, she might notice something that’s not actually there.
If we think the lady who lives in the apartment across the hall doesn’t like us, we may look for evidence to support that expectation.
Expectations are the enemy of being present. Instead of being present, with expectations, we are in a limited version of reality.
To try to set aside expectations, practice a quick grounding exercise that engages all your senses:
(1) Look around the room you’re in or go outside. (2) Name three objects. (3) Touch two objects and describe how they feel to you. (4) Listen for two sounds. What do you think they are? Be as specific as possible. (5) Notice and name one smell.
Now we’re using our Now Senses!
Now we’re primed to see the neighbor as she is today. Maybe her eyelashes look exceptionally long. Perhaps it’s from all the kale!