Many of us who find our way to hooping have gone through a time of big change, a relationship ending, health crisis, or major shift in their work or personal life. The transition from an old way of being to a new one takes time, tears and sometimes tantrums. For me, like others I have met, not everything in this new chapter has gone to plan. In fact, none of it has gone to plan but then again so much of the great stuff, the exciting twists and turns, I could never have planned for. If life had stayed the same, would I have ever picked up the hula-hoop? If I had stayed married, would I have moved to live in Bali and started a new career as a writer?
The invite to participate and blog for the 2015 Sacred Circularities Retreat was a true gift. I could say it came unexpectedly out of the blue but then again, life has proved to me over and over, that a lot of things that seem random at first tend to end up serving an important purpose.
There is so much I could say about this experience - to try and capture the awe-inspiring talent of the teachers, the beauty and kindness of my fellow retreat participants, and the magical Bali setting amongst tropical jungle and rice paddies - but ironically, when it was over I found myself speechless. The most powerful experiences tend to do that to me.
It has taken me a full week to get close to articulating some of the things Sacred Circularities has meant for me. Perhaps the most significant was how this opportunity to blog came about and why I needed it.
It arrived unexpectedly in response to a call for help. I had been feeling stuck for some time, unsure of where to focus my work efforts and uncertain of my path in general. I asked for a miracle. I just need something good to happen. I spoke the prayer in my head one night and told my mum the following day, as if speaking it out loud might give it more power.
By the next evening I got my wish. I received not one but two good things that landed as messages in my Inbox. The first was a free-lance writing opportunity for a Bali-based magazine, the second was an invite to blog for Sacred Circularities. Win-win and a miracle that came in perfect timing.
My miracle started to unfolded and a few weeks later I found myself immersed in the world of hooping with thirty other people who are also in love with a plastic circle.
My inner child was the one that led me to the hoop and it was also her that came unstuck with it. She loved to play but she also wanted to win and get approval for her talents. I soon realized there was no winning in this game. We were only in competition with ourselves. So I felt the blocks and even the inner temper tantrums but because I stuck with it I also had major breakthroughs, and by the end of the week I had picked up the basics of tricks and techniques I’d never imagined I would be able to do so quickly. Even twins suddenly seemed quite possible as I found myself weaving by the end of my first double-hooping class.
As the week went on, the deeper meaning of the hoop started to reveal itself. The teachers and retreat participants shared their stories of how the hoop had changed, saved or transformed their lives. It was clear this was no hobby. It was a passion, an art form, a dream-weaver, and an ever-evolving relationship. The hoop was a metaphor for life and how to live every element of it with greater creative expression.
I found myself getting into the swing of using the hoop as a tool for personal growth, the process of getting comfortable with hooping and myself one and the same. I learnt it is ok to drop the hoop, that I really need to keep turning down the dial on my inner critic, that even mistakes can be transformed into new moves, and performing without choreographed
routines is the essence of true freedom - all the things that living a life of one’s own calls us to do.
Life truly calls us to step into the hoop if we want to craft the one of our dreams. No sitting on the sidelines. Heart, body, mind and spirit have to be all in!
We weren’t just hooping. We were hoping too. Hoping that our biggest dreams, that are so big we don’t often dare to share, could be realized. The strength of the group was where the dreaming power lay. Around me were amazing women and men who dared to live with open hearts and passion, even when it hurt, even when it didn’t go to plan, even when things felt like a struggle. We shared our hooping and our dreams in the spirit of cooperation and community, transcending the normal paradigm of competition and supporting each other to shine even brighter.
When it comes to dreams, for anyone that has ever faced the exciting but also scary prospect of creating their life from scratch, the new chapter doesn’t always fit the image we hold. How could we have imagined that a hula-hoop would be in the picture? Usually we have to follow and trust the flow of opportunities as new people and experiences come in and out of our paths. This is where the out of the blue miracles come into play. We don’t always need a 2, 5 or 10-year plan. Some of the greatest things in life are best not planned!
To live an amazing life there are many experiences that should end up in your bucket list, things you didn’t even know you wanted or were capable of doing. Attending a hula-hoop retreat could very well be one of them.