It’s the Holiday season, are there parts of your festivities that give you that feeling of giddy anticipation or dreaded expectation? What would you love to experience this holiday season?
I have that giddy feeling of anticipation. Both of our daughters will be coming home for Christmas. It has been seven years since all four of us have been together for Christmas. Their flights arrive 10 minutes apart. I have had the delightful feeling of anticipation each time I think of seeing them, hugging them, greeting them at the airport. The feeling of anticipation is part of my holiday joy experience.
I also recognize the importance of having few expectations while the girls are home. For me expectation can lead to disappointment. I recognize, there are more people that they want to see than just their Mom and Dad. It is their time to visit friends who are in the area. So I have asked for what I need; one additional family day, 12/21 will be family fun day.
My intention for our time together is connection, laughter, time to give and receive, and fill up my heart with more family memories.
What is the difference between anticipation, expectation and intention? How can you use this explanation to set your sights on a holiday season that is filled with more of what you desire?
Definitions from the Cambridge Dictionary:
Anticipation: a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen in the near future
Expectation: the feeling or belief that something will or should happen
Intention: something that you want and plan to do
Here is what I believe the difference between anticipation, expectation and intention are and as I shared above how I’m using them to be present, intentional, and joyful this holiday season.
Anticipation-allowing the imagination to wonder how it will feel. Thinking of the event and sensing that excitement in my belly, like butterflies. The simple thought of the event can bring that exhilarating feeling. This is an element of joy for me. Bringing in a quality of wonder of how it will feel.
I remember my father, who passed 30 years ago, saying “The best part of the trip is the anticipation.” It was a sentence that I didn’t fully believe or understand when I was in my twenties. However, it made me ponder and it stuck with me. Now I understand that the experience of anticipation adds juiciness to the event and/or trip.
Expectation-Imagining the perfect way that an event will turn out and playing out the roles of every other person with expectations of them following your story line. Danger is that you set yourself up for disappointment. You expect others to do it your way versus their way. Often leads to a feeling of disappointment.
Intention: What I desire, how it will make me feel and where I’m choosing to place my focus. An intention is something I see and control in my own mind and heart. My intention is my heart speaking its desired feeling of the outcome. Without having to control how I will arrive at the destination. Trusting that the intention is enough, and the unfolding of the actual outcome is just the way it was meant to be. Setting intentions for me is a feeling that is freer than setting an expectation. It allows space for flexibility.
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Susie Raymond, Catalyst Life Coach, Reiki Master/Teacher, Esthetician