Hello there, dear reader, and welcome to this little article, dedicated to the 4 P’s of slacklining. As it seems these days that the average attention span is getting shorter and shorter, I will do my absolute best to maintain brevity with this piece of writing. Ok, so here it goes, the 4 P’s of slacklining: Practice, Patience, Persistence, and Presence. BOOM, there you are. The End.
But really, those are the 4 (and sometimes Puppies get included in that list because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t like puppies!? Weirdos). In all seriousness, the 4 P’s of slacklining have served as touchstones for success, virtues to live by, both on and off the line. And for those that are really interested in achieving the art of slacklining, read on as these 4 little P’s are ingredients to a recipe I just made up, LOL, but combine really well for a tasty dish of “yes, I can do this!”
This next statement is going to seem obvious, however it needs to be said as it will encourage you, the reader, and hopefully future slackliner, to keep going; if you want to slackline, or achieve your goals, you must be Persistent. In other words, keep going even when the going seems impossible (I thought I would never be able to slackline). Specific to slacklining, no matter how “bad” or “good” your balance is on solid ground standing/walking/Being on your own two feet, falling is inevitable. Period. Rarely as a beginner is anyone sufficient at this practice without a little dedication, and practice. In my nearly 8 years of slacklining, I have encountered just 2 individuals that could walk across a slackline on their first attempt. True anomaly. Please take these words as encouragement and support in your slacklining journey – Falling is not only ok, it’s expected – It’s an essential part of the process, for every time you fall, your brain, body, and psyche (psyche defined here as conscious emotional self that is witnessing your experience) is being rewired.
It’s actually pretty simple – you are accessing your Center point and for most people this is largely untapped territory. Our current, modern day lives have us walking around glued to our tech (disembodied), feet bundled in shoes with soles so thick we can barely sense the earth beneath us. So why would one assume being this disconnected on a regular basis that we would magically be able to bare our feet and walk across a thin line that moves in response to every muscular fluctuation in our body? Preposterous! Unless your daily ritual and way of life has you running around in the wilderness, freerunning up trees and rocks, this whole sport of slacklining will take time – so please, be patient with yourself, and I mean your whole Self (mind, body, psyche, spirit). During your practice of slacking, you will likely have many moments of feeling both elated and excited by your progress, as well as frustrated and discouraged. This is where holding patience, compassion, and grace for yourself will serve your development. Slacklining is asking you to come home to your center, a seemingly still point that lives and operates at your core…for many of us who can be asleep at the wheel of the physical instrument we call a “body,” this will take time. Please take breaks when you feel you need to. Step away from your line, go for a walk, flow through some downward dogs, drink water, create space to reground yourself.
The imbalance you feel and experience on the slackline is literally a projection of your internal experience. The slackline is playing the role of the mirror, the teacher, providing you in the Present moment with instant feedback. You will notice your breath (are you holding it?), the flow of energy and lack thereof in your body (are you tense in your arms, legs, face?), and with this practice of observing the present moment, you will become more balanced, more stable, more centered. Slacklining is essentially an energy practice (I liken it to Tai Chi or Qigong). The objective is to go with flow, not remain still, rather, allow your body, breath, and entire being to move like water. Wherever there is tension, energy stops in its tracks. So keep it moving, breathing, and allow your body to flail around like you’re just learning how to swim.
As soon as you hop up on the line, your attention is right here, right now, and with that launch into the present moment, you gradually become more aware of your state of Being. And I will add here that it will serve the highest for all to dissolve any judgment here; kindly remove ‘good’ or ‘bad’ from your vocabulary. The reality is your body, your physical instrument, is likely out of balance, not quite tuned (most of our bodies are out of tune). Alas, remain encouraged! Our bodies are a reflection of Nature and when we watch Her, we see that nature has a natural way of self-healing, which means wholeness. The Self (body-mind-soul) has an innate tendency towards integrity. Thus, elevating awareness of the imbalance in your body will naturally lead your neural pathways to a state of wholeness. Surrender and Trust the process.
You got this. You already are and have everything you need to succeed. Slow down, breathe into the present moment, keep going and know, like a deep inner knowing, that every fall, every trip, every moment is teaching you something. All in divine order – waiting to be seen, felt, and heard by You.
So, still think you can’t slackline? Therein lies the problem – You’re thinking too much! Get out of your mind and into the beautiful resting space of your body.
Slacklining is for ALL BODIES! Come find me and together we will walk into a new You.