There are many lessons I learned during my years at Cirque du Soleil... some of them I now use to inspire as a speaker because they relate and lend to the business world. Other lessons focus on who we are as individuals, as humans. All the lessons have helped me grow as a person and I gadly share them.
One of the biggest take aways from my 5 years in the company were the lesson learned about integrity and being authentic - being true to who we are and not being afraid of our individuality or expressing it; qualities Cirque thrived on and inspired us to be, encouraged us to do, including being CHILDLIKE and in the moment.
Here is an excerpt from the sequel to FLYING WITHOUT A NET (still yet unnamed and close to publication) - this little "tease" gives a hint as to one of those many lessons.
CHAPTER 13 ~ The Cirque Audition… continued ~
There I stood below the trapeze; confused—a part of me fearless, the other half trembling.
The first part of the Cirque du Soleil audition had been a whirlwind of exploration, discovery, some really crazy shit, and a sturdy reminder to let go of conformity, feel and express without inhibition. Debbie Brown’s creative insanity left me none the wiser, only more curious and eager to play, be silly and have fun at the expense of the clowns, midgets and sword-swallowers I thought lived at the back in trailers.
The coach, Pierre, and his quiet assistant whose name I don’t remember, placed me into a harness. It fit snug around the waist. It squeezed my inner thighs and everything in between. They attached the belt to the bungee cords by a clip that mountain climbers use.
Pierre began my crash course like he had done to the other dancers...
...Instead of dancing up there as the other dancers had done, I played like a child on Christmas day. I made up several silly spur of the moment moves: the suspended swimming frog, followed by the flying monkey, ending with the slow motion astronaut and the seventies aerial robot. I went from zero to genuine clown in under six seconds.
“It’s fun, non?” asked Pierre.
Debbie and Pierre congratulated me.
I had apparently captured their attention, imagination and curiosity despite having no idea what I was doing. It sometimes pays to be vulnerable and authentic and just do without a plan or a sense of direction—to be spontaneous regardless of circumstance—to reconnect with one’s forgotten inner child and just be.
"It's not always easy to be in the moment, authentic and let go of your inhibitions to be free, to be vulnerable and childlike. But when I do, good things happen!"