Flying trapeze is not for the faint of heart or spirit. We work on skills relentlessly. We are persistent in our pursuit and grab hold of the smallest increments of progress.
We tweak, and adjust, scale back, and eventually, often after many years. reach new heights.
This is the same approach I take with my daily rituals.
For over seven years I have started every day with fitness or movement and meditation and ended every day with My Daily Recap, a journaling exercise I created to put my day in perspective. In between, I practice other daily rituals, including publishing to this blog.
My experience with flying trapeze has given me two core mindset pieces that have helped me sustain these daily practices.
You do the things every day, even if they do not appear to be generating results. As long as you are moving, you cannot be stuck.
When it feels like too much, the question is rarely whether to quit or start, but rather how to adjust.
How do you make a practice more effective? Sometimes it requires scaling back in quantity or quality, or power or intensity, but quitting isn’t an option (unless it is time to quit, but that’s another topic). You keep going. Every day.
In trapeze, we invest so much effort to generate greater height in the swing.
And here’s the catch (ha! Pun not intended): each time we gain height in the swing, we need to adjust the mechanics of the swing and of our tricks. Every action leads to the next action. Changing one small piece changes everything.
A higher swing requires more patience before each movement — the arc of the swing is longer, so everything takes more time.
I always say that flying trapeze is a sport where we take three steps backwards to take one step forward. And sometimes that forward step is a baby step.
When you spend a lot of time stepping backwards, it becomes easy to believe that you will never make a step forward. This is where another lesson from trapeze comes into play: Patience’s which is rooted in trust.
Trapeze follows the laws of nature. In this case, gravity.
When you stand on the platform and send the trapeze bar out, it comes back to you. What goes out comes back. What goes up comes down. And what goes down eventually bounces back up.
You have to be patient enough to wait for it.
Finding the Right Proportions
Too much patience can lead to complacency and not taking action. The reminder to “trust the process” only works if you’re doing the process. It doesn’t work on its own.
On the other hand, too much persistence isn’t good. When you’re on the receiving end of someone who is too persistent it’s annoying. And when you’re too persistent and not seeing results yet, it can be frustrating.
In every long-term endeavor, it’s crucial to find the right mix of patience and persistence.
You hold on to the main pieces of the vision while letting go of the details you don’t need. You release attachment to the outcome while working — and sometimes adjusting — the process.
Remember that the laws of nature apply. Whatever lands in the net eventually bounces back up.