Monday, September 13, 2010

Expectation formula

Recently while attending Interactive Screen at the Banff Centre, a guest artist said something off the cuff during discussion which really stuck with me. He said that they joy, the happiness that we can experience from anything is deeply influenced by our expectations. He gave a formula

Joy experienced = what actually happens / how much joy you expect to derive

So, if you are expecting the experience will be really great, your experience of it will be reduced.
I can see how this works in many occasions. If you don't want to go to a fundraiser or that person's dinner party because you think it will be terrible, it's never as terrible as you think and you have more fun than you expect.

If you wish to go to something because you really really want to, it has to be pretty incredible to live up to your expectations.

I was discussing with a friend today how this formula operates in favour of arranged marriages vs love marriages. If you think that your husband/wife is going to be just ok, or maybe even terrible, and they show you little by little over time that life will be better than you'd expected, you move more towards Joy. If, on the other hand, you have married someone out of great love and passion, but every small incompatibility erases a bit of the picture of perfection, then you are moving away from Joy.

We were talking about this re: the Western need to have work which is on purpose. So many friends are searching for their mission, their purpose, their reason for being/working. Those who were born with a clear dream or purpose, who have not actualized on it, are miserable. Depressed. Those who were born without a dream or purpose, feel like failures for not finding it. Every moment is experienced through absence rather than presence of Best Self. The expectation is that finding your purpose, and working towards it is what brings joy. But if we look at the formula, working towards your purpose would have to be pretty amazing for it to bring joy.

There IS a factor of the formula in which effort mitigates the reductive capacity of expectation. Or maybe more accurately, risk. There's something about the unknown that neutralizes expectation. I'm not sure exactly how that works into the equation. It's just a hunch that it does. Unknowing is an antidote to expectation. So maybe we need to practice the art of unknowing the precise outcome we are expecting?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hair Cut Mayhem

The last post was about the outside affecting the inside. This one is about how a really short hair cut has caused me to look at how I express my dissatisfaction with people, and why. Outside affecting inside.

On Wednesday, I went into a new salon because I know one of the stylists from some volunteer work I did. I sat down in the chair, drew a picture of the haircut I wanted, and after discussing it a bit with her, let her go to work.

What I didn't want was much shorter hair. I'd spent 6 months growing it in from the last short cut.
I told the stylist this, and heard her say twice, "It won't be much of a change if it's not shorter."

I should have listened harder to what she was saying. I should have asked, "How long do you see the finished cut being?" and confirming understanding against the vision each of us had in our heads. I should have stopped her as soon as she cut one piece of hair too short.

Why? Because I got "scalped". While it's a great haircut for someone else, it isn't what I wanted. It's going to be a disaster for my hair quality too. So I'm annoyed. Disappointed. And looking like a grumpy dandelion just before you make a wish and blow off the fuzzies.

Friends ask, "Have you told her (stylist)?" "Will you go back?" to which I answer "no" and "yes".
I haven't told her because there is nothing she can do about it now. She can't glue on the extra 10cm of hair she lopped off and she'll only feel badly. The ONLY reason I would tell her now is, in fact, to make her feel badly--share my pain. Unload it on her. Find an outlet. Unless, by not telling her, I choke on my feelings and decrease the chances of ever going back to that salon. So, I may tell her, but after I've been able to cool off a bit and when I'm ready to ask her how we can avoid this happening again.

Expectation, disappointment, communication around vision and execution on vision are as simple and as complicated as this stupid haircut. The BEST way to avoid disappointment is to carefully check understanding BEFORE execution. Because, sometimes, it's too late afterward to do anything about the result.

Urgh. Bad hair quarter coming (but no photos).

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Toxic Beauty

Two weeks ago I bought new Pantene conditioner and gel. I used each ONCE and was chain-sneezing all day before rushing home to wash it all out. Curious about what was in the products which caused my body to reject it, I stumbled on this great short film about the Story of Cosmetics.

It confirmed my spidey sense, horrified me and got me curious to learn more about what I'm washing my body with. Now first, you should know that I'd stopped using shampoo because the sodium lauryl sulfate is so drying to my hair. SLS is a skin irritant and the bubbles are bad for fish. I also had given-up antiperspirant a long time ago because of aluminum,  & use deodorant only for important arm-waving events. 

I found lists and lists, studies and studies on-line that indicate that much of what is in our self-care products is not just harmful, but carcinogenic or even toxic to humans. The cosmetic industry is self-regulating, meaning that although toothpaste maybe in my mouth and lipstick licked off, they aren't regulated like food and drink are.

The popular brand toothpaste I use has 3 known carcinogens in it!!! Check out the items in your beauty routine at Hair dye is the worst! I'm researching products healthier than Aveda, which was my go-to standard 6/10. My old brand was a 10!

One thing you need to know is that cosmeticdatabase doesn't factor in the quantity of the ingredients, just their presence. My friend's baby lotion rated a 6/10 with 10-level toxicity being the equivalent of snuggling a pet rat during the Black Plague and she was slathering this stuff all over her newborn daily! so go and check your cupboard. Remember if you are ditching toxic stuff, it doesn't just go into landfill or down the drain!

You can learn more about the chemicals here:
and  (passcode: Goddess) 

Be healthy and well!