The Trapeze ~ Turning the Fear of Transformation into the Transformation of Fear
My life is currently in the midst of several massive transitions. Luckily, I’m the kind of person who embraces these types of life changes, because to me, they inevitably mean growth, opportunity and possibility. Obviously there are some changes that happen that blindside us, devastate us or just plain doesn’t feel like an opportunity for growth. But even in those trying times, after perhaps a period of grieving and healing, it is up to each of us to choose to find that opportunity for growth that lies within, or else we let the circumstance win and end up stifling our growth.
Then on the flipside, there is change that we actively pursue. I love this kind of change, because it is a fact that growth simply cannot happen without change. Sure there are often growing pains along the way, in fact, that’s par for the course! As I’ve often discussed on this blog, it is those very obstacles and challenges that pave the way to ultimate success, freedom and happiness.
So here I sit on the precipice of massive changes. One week from today, my family will be relocating from San Francisco, CA to Austin, TX! Leaving the beauty of the bay area and our amazing community of friends is really, REALLY difficult, and last night’s going away party was filled with loads of tears. I truly believe I have the most amazing, conscious, connected friends in the world (sure I’m biased, but I truly believe it!) , which has been the one thing keeping this move from happening for the many years it’s been on the table of possibilities.
That being said, what waits for us in Austin is a quality of life change that fills us with excitement, love and complete contentment. You see, I am also 4 months pregnant with baby #2, and my husband and I are both blessed with extraordinary families, and it is just time to be near them. Talk about serendipity, 3 years ago, my parents retired from Wisconsin to right outside of Austin, 45 minutes away from where my husband’s parents live!
Not only will we have the most loving, engaged grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in our children’s lives, but we will be able to afford a home 3 times what we have here in the bay area for a 1/3 of the cost! Needless to say, on both accounts we are beyond excited!
Sure there’s a lot about our move that is not seamless and that could have our minds swirling with fears, but everything about this move feels SO right, that we are just standing in faith that it will all work out exactly as it should. I know from countless transitional experiences, that without taking the leap, we never get the chance to spread our wings and soar.
So how do you relate to transitions and change? Do you let them paralyze you or do they set you free to expand and grow to even greater heights? I’d like to invite you to read a very powerful poem on the topic of transitions and transformation that I find deeply inspiring, and hope you do as well. You can return to this poem whenever you feel yourself hanging on for dear life, clinging to an illusion of control, and stuck in that fear place. Because as I’ve often said, faith and fear simply cannot exist in the same space at the same time!
So enjoy the poem, and enjoy the discovery of all that is possible when you transform those fears into pure faith. The life you dream of IS possible! Who knows, it might be on the very next trapeze bar…all you have to do is hold the vision, take the leap in faith, and enjoy the ride.
The Flying Trapeze ~from The Essene Book of Days by Danaan Parry
Mostly, I spend my time hanging on for dear life to the trapeze bar of the moment. It carries me along at 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.
“We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Anonymous