Having undergone a transition some time ago, in retrospect, some of us might have been in the “same boat”, at some point in time.
At some point you could possibly have compared your life with a series of trapeze swings. You were either hanging onto a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments in your life, you were hurtling across space in between trapeze bars. Most of the time you spent your life hanging on for dear life, to your trapeze-bar-ofthe- moment. It carried you along at a certain steady rate, and you had the feeling that you were in control of your life. You knew most of the right questions and even some of the right answers.
But at a certain point in time, as you were merrily (or not-somerrily) swinging along, you looked out ahead of you into the distance, and what did you see? You saw another trapeze bar swinging toward you.
It was empty, and you knew, in that place in you that knows, that this new trapeze bar had your name on it. It was your next step, your growth, and your aliveness coming to get you. In your heart-of-hearts you knew that for you to grow, you had to release your grip on that well known bar to move to the next one. Each time it happened to you, you hoped and prayed that you would not have to grab the new one. But in your knowing place you knew that you had to totally release your grasp on your old bar, and for some moment in time you had to hurtle across space before you could grab onto the new bar.
You were afraid that you would miss, that you might be crushed onto unseen rocks in the bottomless abyss between the bars. But you did it anyway. Perhaps this is the essence of the faith leap. No guarantees, no safety net, no insurance policy, but you did it because somehow, to have kept on hanging onto that old bar was no longer on the list of alternatives. And so for an eternity that could have lasted a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, you soared across the void of “the past is gone the future is evolving.”
This is called transition. You now realise that this is the only place that real change occurs. This means real change, not the pseudo-change that only lasts until the next time your old buttons get punched.
In most circumstances this transition zone is looked upon as a “no-thing” a no-place between places. Sure, the old trapeze-bar was real, and that new one that came toward you, that surely was real too. But the void in between? That was just a scary, confusing, disorienting “nowhere” that had to be gotten through as fast as possible. What a waste! You now have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone to the new is the only real thing, and the bars are illusions we dream up to avoid the void, where the real change, the real growth occurs for us. Whether or not your hunch is true, it remains that the transition zones in our lives are incredibly rich places. They should be honoured, even savored. Yes, with all the pain and fear and feelings of being out-of-control that can (but not necessarily) accompany transitions, they are still the most alive, most growth-filled, passionate, expansive moments of our lives.
And so, facing risk may have nothing to do with making uncertainty go away, but rather with giving ourselves permission to "hang" in the transition between trapeze bars. Our willingness to grab that new bar is allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where fundamental change really happens. It can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening, in the true sense of the word. Hurtling through the void, we just may learn how to fly.