by Philo Hagen
When I first started walking down my own path toward love, I must admit I was routinely guilty of taking matters of the heart a little too seriously for my own good. It’s not that they have any less value today, but hooping has given me back a sense of play in life, a sense that has spilled over into how I live and how I love. George Bernard Shaw once said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” And love at it’s best requires a sense of playfulness. When I was a kid I was told that falling in love was for adults. I knew I didn’t want the same relationship my parents had while growing up, but I wasn’t exactly clear on the alternatives either. Armed with a handful of televisionary ideals for a love life, soundtracked by forlorn songs of American pop, I quickly came to believe that love was a many
splendored pain filled thing. And like many of us, I began to believe some degree of pain was synonymous with love itself, rather than that pain simply being the by product of behaviors, patterns and belief systems that simply didn’t work.
Whether we’ve been hurt before, come from families of origin that were not necessarily the healthiest, or even if we already have all of our ducks in a row, hooping can be a very valuable tool for navigating our love life. In fact, hooping is a great thing for us to do before a date, during one and even after a date as well. If something looks good on our romantic horizon it can be far too easy to future trip on what’s to come. And if we’re unsure of ourselves, it is also so easy to rewind to previous episodes where it didn’t work out and our heads might tell us that it never will. Hooping brings us into the present moment and helps to quiet the chatter and bring us back into our bodies. Over the years when I’ve approached my hoop with something weighing heavily on my mind, I’ve finished my session unable to instantly recall what it was I’d been concerned about. Why? The centripetal force spins away what isn’t real. FEAR often stands for False Evidence Appearing Real in my life because 95% of what I worry about it never transpires. When dating they always tell you the best advice is to be yourself. Hooping before a date, even if only for five minutes, helps to bring us back to self so we can share that person with another, approaching love with a true sense of who we are, right here, right now.
While hooping isn’t the easiest thing to weave into a first date, when couples do a physical activity or practice of some sort together, there’s something about engaging in an activity that allows our minds to calm down and not worry so much about who this person is, how many kids they might want to have, and whether we want to spend the rest of our lives with them. If you can get your date to hoop for awhile you might be able to help them level their own playing field as well. Hooping after a date can help us clear away the fears and the fantasies of the evening, helping us to focus on the facts and feelings of what we just experienced. As a result of spending time inside the hoop, a whole lot of often confusing self-talk can be dispensed with.
In my earlier years on my path toward love, I often showed up for a date with a laundry list of items I was looking for and concerned about, spending our time together mentally checking items off as the conversation continued while steering our talk towards whatever it was I thought I needed to know. Oddly enough, however, I’ve never really thought myself into love very well, but when I’ve follow my heart it always steers me in the right direction, even if that direction doesn’t always make sense at the time. Hooping can help us show up for a date and one another from a heart place, rather than a head space. And ultimately, that’s where we fall in love.
When we open our hearts to ourselves, and thus open our hearts to others, we are truly able to start to be and become the love that we’ve been looking for, and that is a very attractive thing. Rather than expecting it to come from somewhere outside of our plastic circle, as hoopers we begin to vibrate quietly with the radiance of our beautifully loving hearts and it’s been my experience that when we do, the world often responds in kind. Perhaps it’s a very practical thing. We smile in ine at the check out counter and the checker smiles back and asks how we are. Or perhaps there is something a little more magical at play, a little more magnetic, spun within the very laws of attraction itself. What I do know is that the healthier and we happier we become in our lives, the healthier and happier people we attract. Every day our hoop is ready to put a smile on our face and a spring in our step, spinning us forward on our loving path. A path where pain isn’t required and connection and play are not only valued, but celebrated.
Philo Hagen is the Founder and Managing Editor of Hooping.org. He lives in Los Angeles, California.