Ever thought of running off and joining the circus? Me neither. My life already feels like a juggling act. So no thank you!
However, when I think of some of the daring feats at the circus, I get inspired!
Speaking of inspiration, do you ever get kind of deep and reflective about your life when you have a milestone birthday coming up?
I do. As my last birthday approached I took stock of my life.
I determined to live life knowing who I am. Willing to RISK.
I wanted to do something fun to celebrate my birthday that symbolized these values. But what would represent this bold freedom I wanted to pursue?
THE CIRCUS! Well, sort of. Flying through the air on a trapeze would be just the ticket!
I rounded up a few friends and scheduled a private flying trapeze class!
The day came for our adventure and I was pumped!
The class I booked was called Trapeze Over The Air Bag. So instead of flying from one bar to the other you simply swing on the bar and then drop onto a net with a giant air bag under it. Sounds easy enough right?
Before going up, Dave, our instructor, took us through a whole training session to teach us how to properly execute the experience to avoid injury.
Let me tell you. IT IS NOT AS EASY AS IT SOUNDS!
But there I was, ready to be brave, standing with my toes on the edge of the platform, looking down from high above, my friends watching below! Still excited, my stomach turned with a mixture of fear and desire.
My moment had come.
At Dave’s command, I jumped off the platform and there I went flying through the air, swinging high above! And then came the command “Hep!” and I dropped from the bar into a thrilling free fall broken by the faithful airbag below.
I had done it!
Each time I got up on the platform, it became easier to let go and it was way more fun too!
It was almost time for our class to end and I asked Dave why we hadn’t learned any tricks.
He offered to have me try to swing by my legs from the bar. His step by step breakdown sounded as clear as pig latin to me. I felt like I had to see it done in order to understand what to do.
My friends below were wide eyed with surprise that I was thinking of attempting this tricky maneuver, and I heard one of them say somberly, in a concerned tone
“Oh my gosh! She’s going to try to do a trick. I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it.”
And you know what, I almost didn’t do it.
I was listening to the voices of fear below.
Then Dave said, “Just listen to my voice once you swing out.” He assured me that I would be fine if I would just listen to his voice and follow his commands.
My uncertainty turned to resolve as I decided to listen to Dave.
As a declaration of how I want to live my life, I took the leap from the platform and went swinging through the air.
The command came to throw my legs up over the bar and I tried to throw them up but couldn’t seem to get them over the bar. I swung a few more times until I heard, “Hep!” and dropped.
I had missed it!
I was determined to nail the trick. I made the long climb up the rig again for one last attempt.
I asked Dave what I had done wrong and why I hadn’t been able to do it. He said,
“You quit trying to throw your legs over the bar. You have to keep trying until you do it. Don’t quit trying.”
Hmmm. This resonated with me. Don’t quit. If you don’t give up, you win!
I tried it again and this time, I got my legs up over the bar right away.
Then came the command to let go, and there I was, swinging through the air from the bar, by my legs!
Yes, BY MY LEGS!
It was exhilarating!
And then the voice of my instructor called for me to grab the bar, bring my legs down, and swing by my arms again and then “HEP!”
Just like that I was free falling again right into the soft landing of the faithful air bag.
What a picture the experience was of all the very things I’d been pondering!
I want to live a life of risk and new adventures, knowing that as I leap into unknown territory, doing things I’ve never done before, I can listen to that inner voice to know just what to do. Even when I don’t get it right away, I can come back every time and try again, asking what needs to change.
So here’s to a life lived brave and FREE -a life of adventure!
What voices are you listening to? How do you want to do life?