Walking the tight rope of personal mastery
Image: Freddy Nock
Imagine walking the length of nearly four football fields. Now imagine being on a tightrope less than an inch thick that is stretched between two mountain peaks. One slip, and you’re in free fall for more than half a mile. It seems impossible, but daredevil Freddy Nock set a world record in 2015 with his 39-minute high wire walk in the Swiss Alps.
Zen master Andrea Loreni teaches it as a way to show his students how to face fears, obstacles and new situations. It’s a balance practice that incorporates body and mind. Tightrope walkers must, of necessity, remain fully in the moment. A tightrope walker uses a pole to minimize the body’s rotation around the rope.
I am using ‘tightrope walking’ as a metaphor for living a life of precision, living in the ‘zone’, in the ‘flow’ more often than not. It is a lifelong commitment, and for those who choose not to lead an ‘average’ life. What about the pole? The pole is what you create with your daily, weekly routines and other practices and rituals and mindset. This helps keep balance and minimize ‘wobble’ through life’s ups and downs.
By the ‘zone’ and ‘flow’, I am referring to a higher state of being and consciousness. You have a heightened state of focus and discernment for all areas of life and just at your work.
Here is one pathway to the tightrope - the runway, the balance beams and then finally the tightrope. The runway is at ground level, the balance beams usually placed 4 feet above ground, and then the tightrope. Highwire is the first act of tightrope at 20 feet above, then Skywalking which is performed at great heights and length. A skywalk is performed outdoors between tall buildings, gorges, across waterfalls or other natural and man-made structures.
Let’s make sense of the pathway to the tightrope.
First you make a decision to get onto the tightrope and this puts you on the runway.
On the runway you are:
Assessing your daily practices and routines - mind, body and spirit
Assessing your environment - people and environments that expand or contract your energy
What of the above is serving you and what is not
You are creating your start doing, stop doing and continue doing lists
You are diving into exploring, or atleast asking yourself the question “how do I want to express the core of my being through my art?” For some it may be “what is my art?” Art here refers to your chosen path of work, or serving or calling. And this very well be what you are currently engaged in
By now you have created your routines and practices and know what you want to start doing, stop doing, people you do not wish to spend time with, people whose space you want to be in, know the art of your self-expression (for now at least, although this can change with time) or getting to grips with it.
You feel that you are on the path of a intentional and self-expressed life
Now the balance beams. Here you:
Are practicing the routine
Cutting ties with those that drain you
Building new ties and nourishing ties with those who elevate you and you them
Clear about your objectives for the next year, have a plan for the next 6 months at least
You have shared your vision and objectives with your partner and close friends
You have tinkered with your routines and locked into the one that resonates with you, your life circumstances at this present moment. You have planned and begun to move forward towards your goals for the year and have them imminently visible to you. You are intentional about how you structure your days and weeks.
You are beginning to feel more energy and focus for things that matter most.
Tightrope: high wire
This is a very different paradigm. You know what got you here, will not necessarily get to your next level! Now you are defining the qualitative aspects of your life with more finesse, your values, the quality of emotions you want to experience more of.. You are in your engine room and embedding a new code! You are building the conditions for being in a state of flow as consistently as possible. The tightrope is your values and they almost always include service, charity and care for family. The pole is the routine and practices you have honed. You are fully aligned to your ‘art’ of choice.
You have defined your core values and how these will play out in everyday life
You have your ‘GRID’ of support - choosing the people who can support you and expand your consciousness and your perception of yourself to an very different bandwidth
You know the ebb and flow of you day best times to engage in different types of activity
You have a vision for your life at least 3-5 years into the future. Daily visualizations are a regular part of your practice as is a sitting mindfulness practice
You have established a ‘digital diet’ protocol - set times of total cut-off from digital stimulation
You have reviewed how your diet is impacting your emotions, have created a bespoke diet and know food supplements that help you
You are aware of financial best practices and have yours in place
Your friends and the people closest to you have changed to . You feel well supported on your path to personal mastery and you are supporting others too. You are aware of when you are in flow and when you are not and have the ability to get back into flow. You show-up to give without need and without any expectations
You feel intrinsic happiness knowing that you are one with what you are here to do and feel well supported.
You are in ‘flow’, in your ‘zone’ most of the time. You are one with your ‘art’, have a great sense of who you really are. There is not much room for error, but you know you have reached a standard of personal mastery that you have what it takes to skywalk.
You use your language with precision, your words create your world and not the other way around and are aware of the space that you intend to leave behind after each interaction.
You have well defined practices, routines, diet, values that are second nature by now
Your commitments and agreements with others are very clean and clear. You are impeccable with your finances and all financial dealings
You have high sensitivity to what is going-on within you and can self-regulate your inner world; great moment to moment awareness and mindfulness in everyday life
You are mentoring emerging ‘artists’; giving back in time and money is a conscious endeavor
You can intentionally ‘shapeshift’ to meet the demands and challenges presented to you
You will find yourself in ‘distinguished’ company, your peers are hitting the ball out of the park consistently and are collaborative. When you are skywalking, you have unobstructed self-expression and radiate the essence of who you are even without speaking a word.
Because of where you choose to focus your energies, joy is a daily experience regardless of the external circumstance. There is a feeling of inevitability of fulfilling all you wish to and relationships are pristine.
None of the stages are associated with a financial income level, but when you are in ‘flow’ you attract greater serendipity and life is an upward spiral. And there are no defined time scales either to move from one level to another and nor is it a linear path. If you are reading this, the chances are that you have a good few of these markers in your daily repertoire.
Ask me about my coaching program - creating flow in everyday life