“Sometimes I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I’m either hanging onto a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments in my life, I’m hurtling across space in between trapeze bars.” – The Essene Book of Days
Clammy palms, pounding heart, dry mouth, shallow breath…this is how my intense fear of riding a bicycle appeared physically in my body, as I gripped the handlebars and pushed off.
It’s true: I’m 29 years old and I don’t know how to ride a bike. My parents gave it a good try when I was young, but this typical childhood lesson did not land well for me. After a few run-ins with the prickly rosebush on my street, I traded in my two-wheeler for a trusty pair of roller-blades, and that was that.
For most of my life, my non-possession of this elusive skill hasn’t been much of an issue. There have been a few outings missed, but for the most part I’ve done just fine. However, I see the usefulness and [perceived] fun of riding along a quiet street on a Summer evening, and decided after several failed attempts, that THIS was going to be the year that I mastered the complicated art of riding a bicycle!
As I set off down the quiet street with my husband’s patient voice encouraging from behind me (wow do I LOVE him), I tried to breathe and accept that this was an experience that I was going to do my very best to embrace.
No casualties occurred and after I returned home slightly less sweaty than when I began, the feeling of accomplishment, of kicking fear’s ASS began to settle in. There are so many things in this life that make us scared…we have two choices: to flee, or to step up. It’s okay to succumb to fear sometimes, but it’s an amazing feeling to embrace the knowledge that situations are going to make us uncomfortable, but plunging forward anyways.
This ‘fight or flight’ methodology applies to so many aspects of my life right now; particularly opening Karmyc Bazaar. But to not move forward and enjoy the rush of waiting for that next trapeze bar seems impossible now.
And as one of my favorite passages from The Essene Book of Days reads: “Transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but rather giving ourselves permission to “hang out” in the transition between trapeze bars. Transforming our need to grab that new bar, any bar, is allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where changes really happens. It can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening in the true sense of the word. Hurtling through the void, we must learn how to fly.” (or bike).