Letting go of expectations

On a recent trip to Asheville, NC, I hiked to the summit of Mount Mitchell because I had heard that it is a place of great spiritual energy. While I had an amazing spiritual experience on my journey to the summit (via a 2+ mile hike), it was not as I expected. (My expectations may or may not have entailed a scene similar to Moses seeing the burning bush and communicating with God – or – at the very least, frolicking among butterflies and birds in a beautiful sunny field.) 

Rather, when I reached the summit, a dense fog completely covered the ordinarily spectacular 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains. I dryly thought to myself, "Really?" I, however, then asked for a sign – any sign – from the universe, even clearing of the fog.

A few minutes later, the fog cleared and revealed a lone mountain peak. I reveled in getting a response until I saw the mountain peak is called Big Butt Mountain. I laughed and asked for the real sign, the one really meant for me. A moment later, the fog cleared to reveal just one other peak, which unbelievably was Little Butt Peak. After I saw two signs in a row, I felt as if I was being hit over the head with the message; it finally clicked. The message was, “Don’t take yourself too seriously!” in life and especially on my spiritual journey.
 
Harsh reality hit me as I realized - I chose to ignore the first sign because I expected a different kind of response. When Big Butt Mountain did not fit into my expectations of what the sign "should be," I rejected it. (I did learn to not take myself too seriously by quickly letting go of any shame and embarrassment I felt in not recognizing the first sign. =) I decided then and there to make it a priority to keep an open mind and be receptive to the unexpected, as I have had some of my most rewarding life experiences when I have held that mindset. 

The universe provides us with an excellent sign post for when we are holding too tightly to expectations - the feeling of disappointment. While still honoring our feelings, I encourage all of us (including myself) to delve in deeper as to why we feel disappointment, including what expectations may be limiting our experience.