A much-loved family tradition for the past few years has been our annual trip to the Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center in New York City. We used to live near Lincoln Center – it’s where my oldest daughter learned to walk – and I would often see the performers from the Circus in the supermarket or post office.
Having seen them perform such stunning feats in the Circus, I was always somewhat surprised by how ordinary they appeared in regular life. I don’t mean that in any derogatory way – simply, that they weren’t striking or exceptional in any way.
One year, as I watched the Circus, I was struck by something that seemed to me to be a perfect analogy for what I believe is involved in living your best life. Each and every performer was using something unique about them to create something exceptional.
The incredibly slim guy with the tiny hips was perfectly created to soar high in the air when the man with the unbelievably broad shoulders sent him flying. The woman who could bend and twist her body in unimaginable ways was simply using a gift that she was born with and taking it to its absolute extreme. She was quite ordinary in line at the checkout counter. She was simply extraordinary when using the natural talents and physical attributes she was born with. And, don’t even get me started on the man in the tights …
So, what is YOUR circus act? I’m not talking about juggling because that’s just inherent in being a mother. Many days, I feel like a juggler, lion tamer and ventroliquist (“say please, say thank you …” said through clenched teeth) rolled into one. I’m not talking about the skills you’ve been forced to learn. I’m talking about the character traits, physical attributes and talents that you were born with.
When do YOU feel extraordinary?
What comes effortlessly to you that others find hard to do?
This can be tough to answer as we often assume that everyone finds certain things easy to do simply because we do. Trust me, there is something about YOU that is extraordinary and you don’t have to run away and join the Circus to find it. Although, there are days when that’s a very tempting thought!
Please spend a few moments looking back on your life and thinking of the times you felt most glorious. What were you doing? Where were you? Does your present life give you any opportunity to feel that same way?
Send me an e-mail and let me know what came to mind for you.
Now go find your Big Top!