Life TherapyTM
Psychotherapy & Coaching + Mindfulness & Meditation

My Fearful Flight on the Flying Trapeze….

It was my idea. Originally I thought it was a great one. What wouldn’t be super fun and exciting about going on the flying trapeze?

Apparently, I didn’t really think about what would be involved. Maybe just the word trapeze sounded different and unique so it was something I should be doing for whatever reason.
So now was the time. I looked up the rickety loosely secured ladder attached to the simple platform hanging in the air. “Why did I think this would be fun?” I get to the top of the platform, and this girl who couldn’t have been bigger than me was there to assist. I cannot remember the last time I felt fear like this, not even when I jumped out of a plane. She hooked me up to the safety, and told me to bring my toes to the ledge of the platform.
“Left arm back to hold on and keep from falling and right arm, grab the trapeze swing, lean your hips forward off the ledge, I’ll hold you.”  she said.
That bar was was way heavier than I expected. Fear encompassed my whole body, “was the weight of the bar going to pull me off the platform? Could this little girl actually keep me from falling head first off this platform?” Every part of my body said “No! Stop! Get down! This is wrong! What are you thinking???” It took every ounce of my intention to breathe deeply into that fear, to not listen to it and move straight into what it was resisting.
Then, I let go with my left arm. No more control. My two hands were on the bar, my body was in an inclined lean off the front of platform with the spotter holding onto my belt. If she let go, I would have fallen off head first. And then it was time. Time to jump. So I did. The first swing was definitely not effortless, but as I got the hang of it I realized that it was pretty fun, and I even wanted to do it again….and again…..and again….
When I got down, it occurred to me that this experience truly represented life. When we are faced with something “scary” our gut has an immediate fear response. Every part of us may even be screaming “no! don’t do it, it’s too dangerous!” This is often when people stop and turn around. The fear is strong enough that they listen to it, believe it, and don’t move beyond it. One thing I realized that day is that the fear is almost always worse than the actual experience, and if we can manage to move through and beyond it, we can gain access to new realms we didn’t realize were there.
The most successful people don’t live in the absence of fear, they have learned how to move beyond the limitations that fear tries to set for us…
Notice the fear. Breathe deeply. Do it anyway.

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