WildHeart Expressive Angela Howard blog post about the Flying Trapeze
Angela Howard

Angela Howard

The Flying Trapeze & Its Metaphors For Life

“Choose to do something different, something edgy outside comfort zone for whatever reason”

 I was introduced to the flying trapeze while  on staff at the Omega Institute. I was  teaching holistic studies through the modality of somatic movement therapy, which is the use of  the body’s movement, pain, constriction, freedom, or  ease, to reveal deeper emotional and mental issues. The body reveals belief systems that are hindering “movement forward in life”.  A person can’t be stagnant and frozen for long. Our body replicates new cells daily and is a completely renewed with  different cells every 7 years. Our blood moves constantly, our heart beats  and air passes into and out of our lungs without even thinking.  And so our body moves and so do our thoughts. The year after my divore was final I was teaching at Omega and took the circus arts course where we learned mostly the flying trapeze. this was something I’d never dreamed of doing – never knew it was a possibility  laymen.

There I was, toes on the edge, a place I have become familiar with through my life as a courageous pioneer and a loner. Becasue  I was a resident staff and faculty member at the Omega Institute, the largest holistic institute in the nation,  I figured I had “done that and been there” with many “out there” modalities for personal growth.  I was on the other side of a life-changing divorce and ready to discover my new life, my new me. I had an infinite number of life choices and no real clue where I was going or what was next for me. I was literally on the “platform” of my life. The facilitator told me everything I need to do and when I needed to do it. “Let the trapeze do the rest”, he said.  Hmm, this requires trusting. Something I do not understand, this “Taking care of the rest” business…hmm. By the time that unfamiliar thought registered, he said, “Ready…HEP!”, the cue for me to jump.  I bent my wobbly knees, hopped up, grabbed the “bar of my life”, and took off….trusting, something very new and different for me.

The trapeze is mostly physics and timing.  You really don’t have to exercise much except your mind and emotions in the beginning. I did what he said and it worked! I felt GREAT!   My thrill was immense! My legs were noodles from my adrenaline, and the reception I got on the ground was tremendous.  I cried.  The metaphors swarmed me.  “Stepping off the platform”, “jumping into the void”, and “trusting my “angels””, who had my “safety lines”.  The entire experience was pleasantly overwhelming.

Then there was the “catch”. This is when I make a mid-air transfer with a professional catcher on the other trapeze bar.  I had to release the trapeze bar and trust the “timing” as an “angel” catches me in the “void”. This was one of my greatest challenges, on and off the trapeze.

 “Ready…HEP!  When I reached out into the void, two big hands grabbed my wrists. “I gotcha”, my angel said.  I flew with my angel.  He safely released me into the net.  Trusting a man to be there for me while assisting me into my new life was a huge shift.

It was a shift in my confidence to be in this new life alone as a single mom, it fortified a weak belief in letting life take care of me, being open to help and not being such an isolated warrior and the big lesson was trust. I let go of the comforts of the known and traded them for the adventure and the possible “better” experiences of the new life. I learned to surrender to trusting in my experiences and timing as teachers and fortifiers. Something better was ahead.

 Excerpt from my unpublished book “The URBhana Way”

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