Sometimes, it is more difficult than others to quiet the ego mind and let go of expectations for the session. The egoic mind is constantly chattering in your head in your everyday life all the time and blocking you from connecting to source.
Just watch those thoughts come and go without giving them any power, just like clouds in the sky. Become a silent observer. So, if a thought comes in during your session like “oh, I don’t like the music today, I wish it would change” or “I want to feel more emotions”, don’t suppress it but do not give it any power, just observe it come and go and stay with the breath and stay open to what is happening in your emotional body even if it is just a hint of an emotion.
If it brings up an emotion such as frustration or disappointment at not being able to drop in deeper, amplify that and make it bigger. That will always deepen your experience and start to give you practice in connecting with what is happening in your emotional body in your everyday life.
Sometimes, after numerous sessions, you might find that your egoic mind is trying to push the process in a very specific way because it “knows” the experience it like best from the past and “thinks” it knows best what is the right experience to have right now. Breathwork is a mirror of life and expectations are the biggest impediment to us fully experiencing this amazing adventure we are all in. When you are holding onto expectations, nothing new can happen.
Your brain will try and create what you are expecting. And, what you are expecting can only come from your past, from things that you have already experienced so they block personal growth and expansion.
Expectations are how we limit our possibilities in life and keep ourselves stuck in our current reality without any possibility of change. Your egoic mind will always try and create expectations based on what has happened before so it is not surprising that it can happen in breathwork.
Your breathwork experiences are a great practice field in not paying attention to the expectations that the ego mind will try and set up. You can hear them without giving them power.
And, the more successful you are in doing this in your breathwork sessions, the more successful you will be in noticing when your ego mind sets up expectations in your life and not giving those power either. This can be an ongoing practice and, if you really dedicate yourself to it, will completely transform your life.
I have heard Dr. Dan Siegel say that the more our field of possibilities is open in life, the healthier we are mentally. And, the more we let expectation control what we allow ourselves to experience, the more we close down that field of possibilities.
This is a great example of bringing the principles of breathwork into your life to lead a life with more joy and depth. In breathwork, the instruction is “surrender to the process and leave all possibilities open”. In life, that would translate to “surrender to life and leave all possibilities open.”
One of my suggestions is as follows. For the next month, create a practice of watching in breathwork and in life when your mind creates an expectation.
And, knowing that your expectations limit your possible outcomes, notice it, write it down, and then answer the following questions (or similar questions that work better for you):
a) Is this the only outcome possible?
b) If this is not the only outcome possible, do I want to limit myself to this particular outcome?
c) If not, what is an example of another possible outcome that might serve me better?
d) Since anything is possible, am I willing to open myself up to all possibilities and not limit myself to any specific outcome?
e) Am I willing to trust that there may be an outcome that I cannot even imaging right now and open myself up to letting my inner wisdom bringing me that also?
When I do an exercise similar to this, it rekindles my natural excitement and passion for all that life has to offer.