On being a tightrope walker



This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I perceive balance to be. To me, balance is a sweet spot where I move through life easily, where I find it easy to connect to the dream that is living in my heart and live it. Life feels natural and good, really good. Imbalance, on the other hand, feels off, always. I perceive imbalance from the moment I experience boredom, a sense of listlessness.
Imagine we’re walking the tightrope again. For me, listlessness or boredome would be the moment when I feel I’m not one with the rope anymore, I become aware of the fact that I have lost focus. What happens next is the result of my training, whether I react or respond.

Reacting is going with the resistance, thinking things like: “I can’t believe that photographer used a flash, how stupid.” or “I can’t believe I got distracted by a flash, I’m such a cow!” or  “Here we go again, lost my balance, this is gonna take ages, now I have to regain my balance again before I can walk again, I hate this!” or “O no! I’m gonna fall! I’m never gonna regain my balance again, I suck at walking the tightrope!” Going with these feelings of resistance leads to more imbalance and before I know it, I am swinging back and forth on my feet, fighting to stay upright. Sometimes, my reaction to the perceived imbalance is so strong that I lose my balance completely and fall. What I have learned is that in order to fall I must have lost sight of my vision of all that I can be.
Getting on the tightrope, be it for the first time or the zillionth time, requires that you are aware of the tightrope. In order for you to live your best life, you have to know it is there, waiting for you, always. Then  you have to get up there. Getting up there means doing things differently than you did them before, instead of walking the ground floor, you have to climb the stairs, just a few steps or many meters, depending on where you are in your mastery of walking the tightrope.

Walking the tightrope literally is moving on a different level. To be clear, a tightrope walker is a top athlete. Top athletes are aligned with their vision, they have learned to stay balanced long enough to do their trick. What differentiates top athletes from amateurs is their ability to focus and their willingness to stay focused. Top athletes will do anything to make their vision come true. Their lives are in service of their vision, their lives are geared to excell. To excell they need focus and balance and they foster those by taking care of their body, mind and spirit through food, rest and physical, mental and spiritual exercise. They do what needs to be done, they live their vision to allow it to unfold. This seems paradoxical, but it is the only way to do it. For me that means that what I need to do – the quality of my food, rest and exercise – to get balanced and stay balanced are just as much part of my vision as walking the tightrope is.

Taking top athlete care of myself helps me to respond to imbalance in a constructive way.  When balance is part of my vision, when I focus on being balanced in order to walk the tightrope, I know that focus precedes balance. When I lose my balance, I can see that I have lost my balance because I lost focus, I am no longer aligned with my vision. When I am physically, mentally and spiritually fit I know that I can consciously regain focus by thinking a thought that brings ease, that relaxes my body and mind. You see, being balanced holds the middle between being focused and being relaxed. What creates instant ease and relaxation for me is compassion. I might need to play with my thoughts a bit before I hit a thought that feels right. The first thought I introduce might be: “No problem, everybody looses balance,” but when my mind retorts “what do you mean ‘no problem’!, it is a huge problem, because….”, then I start looking for a thought that may feel better and I might come up with: “you will be fine, just take a few slow breaths,” and somehow that clicks with me because that has helped me before. So I take few breaths, I feel my body getting more relaxed with each breath, I can feel the distribution of my weight on the rope.  And I think to myself: “That’s better, so far so good.” I relax my body and mind some more and I do feel more confident than I did a few breaths ago. “This may work. I may just pull this off.” Just feeling that thought creates more ease. “I think I will be fine. Just breath and focus on the rope.” Finding my balance. “I can do this. I am getting to the other side.”  Taking a step. “This feels good!” Taking another step. “I love walking the tightrope!”, walking with ease now, “There is nothing better than this. I am the master of the tightrope. Let’s do some tricks!”

Living my vision is not about doing tricks, but it is about a pure Love for Life that inspires tricks. Living my vision, walking the tightrope is about knowing my true, unlimited nature and living it, it is about being free and feeling ecstatic. That doesn’t mean I won’t loose my balance from time to time, or even fall off the tightrope completely, but that’s part of the thrill. If walking the tighrope would be completely safe, I might as well be exercising on ground level.


photo by Lies Meirlaen


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.