I am currently sitting in my Chevy Bolt waiting to charge in Buelton, CA. My heart is FULL, I feel peaceful and also kinda exhausted. This last weekend at hoop camp was just the sweetest gathering of lovely souls. So much talent, wisdom and camaraderie. Who knew that a simple plastic circle could hold so much healing, community and transformation in its unassuming form? So many stories of major life issues managed and overcome through Hooping. From depression to mental illness, the hoop has the power to connect us to honest to goodness wellness and the good stuff in life. From a science perspective, it isn’t surprising. Hooping incorporates some of the main elements of movement proven to increase synaptic response time, build new neural pathways, increase brain mass and promote ease of learning and brain chemistry balance. Those elements being, in no particular order, activation of the vestibular system, utilization of fine motor skills, new/unfamiliar movement patterns, play/creativity/imagination and community engagement. It seems the humble hoop is the perfect tool for a long, healthy and happy life. Who knew??
And so, I head home with new inspiration and appreciation for the hoop and community that has built up around it. If I had to pick a theme for the week it would be this nugget;
In the face of “failure”, be EPIC.
These aren’t her exact words, but a paraphrase from Babz Robinson's workshop on the last day. It stuck out because it is the same concept I was relaying to a student during a private session earlier in the day. It is the same concept other prominent hoopers (namely Baxter, Tiana, Brecken and Caterina) have spoken to called “mistakelessness”. The idea is that flow is not just found when we are “getting” a move or “succeeding”, but also when we take the drops and falls with grace and keep going anyway. And this is meant to be taken in the literal sense. Meaning, as the hoop is falling you are going with it and keeping it moving in some way, rather than just giving up and letting it fall. It’s the understanding that hoop dance isn’t just a person dancing with a hoop, it is a trio of hoop, person and gravity. It’s the knowing that a “failure”, ie the hoop dropping, is only a failure if you go “UGH” and drop the hoop on the ground in defeat. If instead, you stay connected to the flow of the hoop, even as it’s dropping, and continue to dance with it, your supposed failure often leads you into unexpected pathways of movement that you would never have thought of under any circumstances other than at the invitation of gravity. The application of this concept has changed my relationship to hooping dramatically over the last couple years. I think this one concept is the mark of any true master. And, as so many things in the hoop, translates perfectly to basic life wisdom.
If things aren’t going as planned, do you go “UGH!!” and throw yourself on the ground in defeat, or do you notice what is happening and stay open and curious to the new road unfolding? Do you trust that all circumstances have the power to turn towards unexpectedly delightful directions, even if at first blush it seems disastrous? Imagine if your response to a looming screw up was to add your creativity and epic-ness to the moment instead of freaking out? Imagine how much more easeful and magical life would be if we applied mistakelessness everyday?
In love and hoopiness~ Anah