Feb 7, 2008

the flying trapeze

in addition to the fact that my friend jen is a font of enlightening information; and without her, i would not be in the calm, balanced place i now find myself in 3 days away from a marathon, she would also send me inspirational little gems, like the one below. i thought i'd share the love. enjoy.

Sometimes, I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I'm either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments, I'm hurdling across space between the trapeze bars.

Mostly, I spend my time hanging on for dear life to the trapeze bar of the moment. It carries me along a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I'm in control. I know most of the right questions, and even some of the right answers. But once in a while, as I'm merrily, or not so merrily, swinging along, I look ahead of me into the distance, and what do I see?

I see another trapeze bar looking at me. It's empty. And I know, in that place in me that knows, that this new bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart-of-hearts I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on the present well-known bar, to move to the new one.

Each time it happens, I hope—no, I pray—that I won't have to grab the new one. But in my knowing place, I know that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar, and for some moments in time I must hurtle across space before I can grab the new bar. Each time I do this I am filled with terror. It doesn't matter that in all my previous hurdles I have always made it.

Each time, I am afraid I will miss, that I will be crushed on unseen rocks in the bottomless basin between the bars.

But I do it anyway. I must.

Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call faith. No guarantees, no net, no insurance, but we do it anyway because hanging on to that old bar is no longer an option. And so, for what seems to be an eternity, but actually lasts a microsecond. I soar across the dark void called "the past is over, the future is not yet here." It's called a transition. I have come to believe that it is the only place that real change occurs.

I have noticed that, in our culture, this transition zone is looked upon as a "no-thing," a no-place between places. Sure, the old trapeze bar was real, and as for the new one coming towards me, I hope that's real too. But the void in between? That's just a scary, confusing, disorienting nowhere that must be gotten through as fast and as unconsciously as possible. What a shame!

I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and the bars are the illusions we dream up to not notice the void. Yes, with all the fear that can accompany transitions, they are still the most vibrant, growth-filled, passionate moments in our lives.

And so, transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but rather with giving ourselves permission to "hang out" in the transition zone between the trapeze bars. Allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where change really happens.

It can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening.

Hurdling through the void, we just may learn to fly.

c. The Institute for Integrative Nutrition

13 comments:

Vickie said...

Very nice. Nice thoughts to send you on your way, on to the next bar.

Gotta Run said...

What a great read and so true!

Will call you later to wish you the very best!

Bob Gentile said...

think good thoughts.
send me your good karma.
bags are packed.
this girl is ready to run.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Amen Chica U are ready!!, enjoy the moments it's ur day!!

Amanda said...

Love it

mindy said...

Good luck on Sunday - I'll be sending good vibes from Maine (actually I'll be in Tampa!) Thanks for stopping by 5 Squirrels - Becky's IS the best!

Kristen said...

Hi: The fab Jen H is also my friend and she introduced me to your blog when I was training for the NYC Marathon this past Nov. I've been reading it since then - I love your ability to find the humor amid the torture - and have my fingers crossed for you this weekend. You'll be great!

Vegan Run Amok said...

That trapeze image is great.

Good luck tomorrow. You're going to have a great run, I just know it! Sending tons of good thoughts your way.

Cynthia said...

Hi All,

Zanne's sister here....she's running a consistent 8 minute pace. Update is she looks great and strong!

Vegan Run Amok said...

Awesome, Cynthia! Please keep us posted! :)

cynthia said...

waiting to hear more from my brother in law...will let you know..

cynthia said...

haven't heard final results yet and leaving my house now so am sure she'll post an update later!! you are great supporters of team zanne!

Ovens2Betsy said...

If I've figured the time difference correctly, then she should be finished by now if she BQ'd. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Laurel said...

Awesome post. Good luck this weekend! I can't wait to read all about it.