I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts recently (Tim Ferriss) and he was interviewing Maria Sharapova. Near the start of the podcast, Maria and Tim are discussing travel to Russia and she makes a comment - "One of the greatest things of travel is to not have expectations and to get there and experience a new place.".
It is a beautiful sentiment - it applies not only to travel, but many aspects of life. So much of our energy is bound up in imagining what will happen, replaying what has happened. I love traveling with only a loose set of boundaries and to explore and experience a place in the moment.
Instead of imagining hurt to come, frustration, disagreement - you simply withheld your expectations and experienced the moment.
Instead of planning what you're going to say in response, truly listen, experience and empathize with the other, and live in the moment.
I often remind myself the importance of slowing down and just enjoying the now - instead of playing some inner dialogue of what might be or is to come, just being.
Perhaps withholding our expectations is part of a path not only towards mindfulness but also acceptance.