Another lesson from the hoop... This one you begin to learn as early as the very first time you attempt to swing a hoop around your waist. If your body doesn't seek to make contact with the hoop, instead shrinking away, the hoop inevitably falls. Another way to put this, is you have to get off the bleachers and SHOW UP if you want to play the game.
Hooping requires you to learn a foreign skill. Arguably a skill more foreign than most, considering it requires your waist line to learn how to move an object through space.... yeah, pretty weird. Needless to say, this may not come naturally and you may or may not be prepared for the strangeness and shift in awareness required to keep the hoop in orbit around your body. Hooping, as seemingly meaningless as it is, can bring up feelings of incompetence or cause you to fear that you may look less than stellar in the eyes of others.
Here’s the trick; In order to keep the hoop in steady orbit around your newly awakened mid-section, you need to find the balance between RISING to meet the approach of the incoming hoop, and YIELDING to its touch. Too much rising, and you knock the hoop energetically out of orbit, too much yielding and the hoop succumbs to gravity. When the intelligence of your body learns this, it naturally becomes part of your way of being in the world. Neat, huh?
Welcome to the sweet spot; BALANCE.
So, how to embody the balance learned in hoop dance so that it may translate to your life as a whole? The simple act of engaging in a low stakes activity like hooping helps your psyche entrain more to balance and less to floundering. If you fail to find that fine line, the worst that happens is you hear a clatter as the hoop hit the ground. Far better to learn it with a silly little unassuming plastic circle than when a relationship, or job is at stake.
It really can all be summed up with finding your way to the every fluctuating present moment. The hoop teaches us to love the coming AND the going. Keep at it long enough and you work the muscle that LOVES to stay engaged in the moment. Rising just enough to give the hoop impulsion and yielding just enough to make it smooth. In hooping, just like in life, the sweetest dance is often on the middle road. Away from the sparkling extremes that at certain points in life seemed most interesting, but begat some serious Facebook worthy suffering, the middle road has space to smell the flowers. The middle road has a depth of sweetness that passerby's might not even notice, but YOU will. The middle road between rising to meet life, while simultaneously yielding to it, is what hoopers call FLOW. You could also call it PRESENCE. There is a quality of time slowing down, yet each moment holds more life than a multitude of seemingly more exciting events of the past. I suspect other movement modalities experience this as well, but I can't help but be partial to my hands free, body alive choice of Hoop Dance.
How do you experience this "sweet spot"? Golf? Hooping? Dancing? Tennis? Rock Climbing? Making Love? I'm curious....