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    Call Me SuperFly (part 2)

    If possible, please read the part 1 of this post, Call Me The SuperFly

    Insights on my experience with The Flying Trapeze...

           For the time I’m up there on the trapeze, I’m giving it all I have. And "all I had" became a progression of degrees. The first few times I flew, there was some trepidation in my take off and in my commitment to the the moves I was instructed to perform. I was doing the best I could, this being the first time in my entire life I was ever on a trapeze. But I noticed, as the weekend progressed, my conscious ratcheting up of my commitment, my engagement, my level of zest and zeal, for each flight. Towards the end, I was jumping higher off the platform with less hesitation; throwing myself with more vim and vigor over the bar to complete a move; outstretching my arms and opening myself up more when hanging upside down. I was amping up my own movements, and my own internal commitment. Both my inner and outer game got more of me. Way more of me.
           It was a very zen process. Was I more committed mentally because I was more committed physically? Or was it the other way around? My highly analytical mind actually doesn’t give a shit. It’s not important how. It’s just important that I made it happen. My body and my mind were both working together, in harmony, not fighting each other. And it felt like heaven.
           When my mind got in the way, and it did on one or two occasions for a few brief seconds up there, it wasn’t fear of falling that took me out. It was fear of failure. It was fear of screwing up and not doing the move right. On the ground, I am very familiar with this fear, and it followed me into the air. That tells me just how deeply rooted this fear is. Fear of failure is deeply rooted in most of us, in some form or another; we often only feel okay if we “succeed”, however we define success.
           On one flight, I was attempting a new, rather difficult beginner move called the phalange. I attempted it four times, succeeding twice. Completing the move successfully filled me with boundless joy and elation, and I would not trade those moments for anything. But the times I failed were when I got my greatest lessons. Because in my failures I saw not only the process which contributed to my failure, but my response to that failure. In this unique environment, it was easy to slow things down afterwards and clearly see myself and how my actions, both inner and outer, translated into results.
           When in those micro-moments my mind was over occupied with not failing, rather than being in the flow of the activity; when I could hear that voice in me telling me that “I am strong, and I’m a man, and I better get this right”, well, guess what? I didn’t. And afterwards, I was angry at myself for failing. But that anger didn't last long. Maybe a minute or two. Because my mind quickly left that space as I looked forward to my next full engagment in flight.
           Worrying about failing, and then beating myself for failing, is a way of being I know well, that most of us know well. It will sometimes even stop us from attempting something at all. I got to see myself like that just a few times during my trapeze experience, and it was highly enlightening. For it was so starkly juxtaposed with the way I was most of the time: fully engaged, not worrying about failure, and then the exhilrating high afterwards, wether I succeeded or not (although success definitely had a more pleasant and joyous flavor to it). It’s no fun living in fear of failure. And it’s ultimately not productive in a full being way. For some, the fear of failure is what drives them to succeed. I’m not judging that. I’m saying for me, it doesn’t work.
           Being in the moment is something that most of us struggle with. The trapeze showed me just how beautiful being fully in the moment - being invested body, mind, heart, and spirit - can feel. And I can take that into my life on terra firma. I can fly on the ground.

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

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