by clicking the "Next" arrow.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Mindful : February 2015
1 NOT GETTING WHAT YOU WANT One of the most common sources of disappoint- ment is not getting something that you want in life. It might be as small as not finding your favorite brand of peanut butter at the grocery store or not getting the gift you had really wanted for your birth- day or at Christmas. Dang, you didn’t get that device you were coveting. It could be much bigger: Not getting a promotion you’d hoped for at work, not getting into the college of your choice, not winning an election, or being turned down when you propose marriage to some- one. Closely related to not getting what you want is getting what you don’t wa nt. Nobody wants a flat tire; nobody wa nts to get stomach flu. Nobody wants to flunk out of school, get cancer, or get arrested. Feelings of disappointment may have shades of anger, sadness, emptiness, or dejection. You might take a stiff upper lip approach to your disappoint- ment, but it will probably be a quivering lip. If you book a venue for a lecture or a concert, and the room is only half full, you might say, “That was a disappointing turnout.” And someone might say back to you, “What did you expect?” That doesn’t mean they’re asking you litera lly what you expected, but they’re telling you that you had unrealistic expectations. It could mean you didn’t do enough to publicize the event, so you should have expected poor attenda nce. There’s a strong relationship between expecta- tions and disappointment. Expectations may arise in the present, but they tend to be future oriented— they set us up for disappointments to come. It may be helpful to look at how our thoughts of the past, the present, a nd the future relate to expectation and disappointment. → Contemplation Working with Your Expectations Three Types of Disappointment Carolyn Rose Gimian is an editor and writer specializing in meditation in everyday life. She recently edited Mindfulness in Action: Making Friends with Yourself through Meditation and Everyday Awareness by Chögyam Trungpa. At different times, you may be more preoccupied with what happened earlier, what’s happening now, or what you think and hope is going to hap- pen. Give yourself some time to notice your thoughts and how they shape your expecta- tions. The point here is not to manipulate your thoughts but to become more aware of them. This exercise is about observ- ing and understanding expec- tations and disappointment. The Overall Approach: During a session of meditation or at another quiet time, pay attention to all these thoughts of the past, the present, or the future. Here are some sugges- tions for how to do that: 1 When you have thoughts about the past, does this set up expectations for the future? For example, if you had a fight with your son or daughter this morning before they left for school, are you anticipating what will happen when they come home tonight? 2 What are you expecting to hap- pen in the future, whether it’s later today, this week, or this year? Will you be disappointed if these expectations aren’t met? If your par tner always gets you a great gift for Christ- mas, do you anticipate what you’ll get next year? Do you worry about whether you’ll find the right gift for him or her? 3 When you have thoughts about what’s happening now, are there expectations attached to that? Present- oriented thoughts are often based on observation. How do expectations come out of your observations? Think about a messy room in your house, filled with stuff that you and others have left there. Can you just obser ve that in your mind? Can you separate the observa- tion from the plan you make to clean up? Or you might look out the window and be surprised that it’s just star ting to snow. Is there a moment of appreciation, when you see those first few flakes falling, before you wonder whether you have a snow shovel any- where around? 4 Although we all have lots of thoughts and expectations that preoccupy us, we rarely give ourselves space to see these thoughts and emotions and explore them without judging or trying to change them. What do you learn from looking without judgment? mindful practices insight 72 mindful February 2015