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Learning to Fly: Reflections on Fear, Trust, and the Joy of Letting Go
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Learning to Fly: Reflections on Fear, Trust, and the Joy of Letting Go

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  85 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The acclaimed author of Fire in the Belly presents an exhilarating memoir of his late-blooming love affair with the flying trapeze--and a provocative look at the potential it offers for growth, transformation, and overcoming deeply rooted fears.

An unprecedented adventure of the soul and psyche, Learning to Fly teaches us to soar on the wings of possibility as we watch Sam
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Harmony (first published 1999)
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On New Year's Day I took my first trapeze class. My obsession with the circus began over the summer, and after seeing Cirque du Soleil I started taking aerial silks classes, thinking it seemed less scary. But every time I went for a class I'd watch the trapeze classes going on and it looked so fun... well, I wasn't afraid of heights - I'd climbed to the top of the silks rig - so finally I did it. And it was awesome! I knew I would be taking many more trapeze classes in the future.

So of course I
Jun 10, 2007 is currently reading it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in self reflection and inspiration
Wow! This is one of those books that I read in small bites but every time I put it down I have a tear in my eye. It just really hits home with who I am right now and what it is I'm looking for in my life. I've accomplished enough in my life that I can now see that "accomplishment" is not "nourishment". Amazement, wonder and inspiration is what nourishes the soul and in many subtle (and not so subtle) ways that is exactly what the author conveys in this book. It's reaffirming to hear these things ...more
I have mixed reactions to this book. What I really like about it is that I started to learn to fly at age 50 and some of Keen's insights and descriptions of the process of his learning process and emotional evolution really rang true to me. I draw on some of this information often in my own aerial journey. For e.g. dealing with the ups and downs depending on my progress, trying not to compare myself to others, aches and pains and remedies for them, etc. I found the chapter on learning to catch p ...more
James R
Jun 08, 2012 rated it liked it

For me this was one of those books that left me with a bundle of dichotomous feelings. On the one hand the story of how a sixty year old took up the practice of flying on a trapeze was interesting especially because he included a brief history of the art and the individual pioneers and greats throughout the narrative. Added to that his descriptions of his encounters with the current accomplished flyers provided insights into a world I would have never encountered. Although its been a long time
Diana Sandberg
Jun 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
Excellent blending of narrative and philosophy. The author began to learn flying trapeze at the age of 62 and wrote this book 5 years later. It is at once a very interesting recounting of his physical journey in the art and a collection of spiritual musings, more or less sparked by his experiences. I steamed through it as though it were a novel. I got it from the library, but I'm buying a copy for me.
Sounds amazing he started at 60yrs old- must be pretty flexible.

btw.One of my friends, Wendy in Sydney is the director of this Aerial arts school....check them out....
Jan 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
it's a trapeze thing.
Jul 23, 2008 is currently reading it
Funny how he inserts Biblical language putting his own twist on things to serve his purpose - make his argument.
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was ok
A friend recommended this book to me. I thought it was nice. I knew several of the characters in it- so that was neat, but I didn't love it like my friend did.
Cami Rice
Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is Sam Keen's wonderful memoir of taking up the flying trapeze at age 60. It is beautifully written, inspiring and insightful. I highly recommend it.
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I was over educated at Harvard and Princeton and was a professor of philosophy and religion at various legitimate institutions for 20 years before becoming a contributing editor of Psychology Today, a freelance thinker, lecturer, seminar leader, and consultant. I am the author of a bakers dozen books, a co-producer of an award winning PBS documentary, Faces of the Enemy. My work was the subject of ...more
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