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    Call Me The SuperFly

           In college, my buddies gave me the nickname “SuperFly”, after my favorite professional wrestler, Jimmy "SuperFly" Snuka. His patented move, “The SuperFly”, was a flying leap off the top ropes, smashing down onto a prostrate opponent. I was known for doing my own version of the move, careening off of couches, chairs, cars, diving boards, you name it. Especially when alcohol was involved.       
           One of the workshops I took here at The Omega Institute was called The Flying Trapeze. It involved literally getting up on a real trapeze and doing shit thirty feet off the ground over a net. Here, I earned the nickname “SuperFly” all over again. And let me tell you. It was one wild ride.  
           The scariest moments were always between the time I started climbing the ladder and the time I actually took off. By the time I’m waiting on the platform chalking up, my heart and mind were racing like a Formula One car. Grabbing the bar as I leaned out over nothing but air and waiting for my cue to take that leap of faith, I felt like everything inside of me was about to explode outwards in a violent mess of brains, blood, and thoughts. But once I jumped into the void, I wasn’t frightened at all.
           It’s not as simple, however, as “I didn’t have time to be scared”. That is a part of it. Things are indeed happening fast once you start flying. Real fast. But remember, the mind only needs a second to go from serene to clamorous . Granted, when things are happening that fast, my mind has no time to idle, which is when it gets me in the most trouble. Climbing the ladder and waiting for the bar do not take a lot of concentration, so my mind fills itself with all the things that could go wrong up there, and all the other completely irrational fears that one experiences climbing thirty feet in the air preparing to swing off of a bar into mid air.
           Once I take off, though, an entirely new paradigm takes over. It’s as though the way I lived my life just a moment ago, The Operating System For Clint In Life, has been usurped by something all together different. I am suddenly fully and completely engaged in flying. I’m totally focused, paying attention, and bringing all I have to this endeavor. It’s like there is no room for anything else. The situation forces me to fill myself up with what I’m doing. I’m moving trough the air (maybe not with the greatest of ease, as the song goes, but I’m moving). I’m not directly attached to Mother Earth. My only tether to terra firma is a metal bar attached to a couple of nylon lines, attached to a massive apparatus of poles, stakes, and ropes. It doesn’t feel like I’m on earth anymore. And that changes everything.
           Flying through the air, not experiencing any attachment to the ground, well, it’s something I’m sort of used to. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I have much more trouble being grounded than I do soaring through the metaphysical stratosphere of my own mind, of my own heart, of my own spirit. But this is different. Way different. This is physical soaring. Not just mental. Not just emotional. Not just spiritual. This isn’t just a mind thing. It’s a body thing. It’s a whole being thing.
           And while the body soars, my mind stays grounded, focused, engaged, and present. It’s almost a complete role reversal. Usually it’s my body that’s physically grounded, and my mind that’s soaring someplace else. Now it’s my body that’s no longer touching anything but air, and my mind that’s rooting me to the moment.
          It’s a mind/body role reversal, but on a different level, on a new playing field, a whole new continuum. Life is happening and I’m in it, one-hundred-fucking-percent. For those precious fifteen seconds, I’m free. Free of the mental chatter that sometimes derails me. Free of the ground that sometimes makes me feel trapped. I’m grounded, but it’s got nothing to do with the ground. I’m grounded in what I’m doing. My full engagement in life at that moment is what’s responsible. Paradoxically, my total commitment to flying is actually what grounds me.
           Fly with me into Part Two on Monday.

    ©2014 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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