[Hooping.org columnist Bonnie MacDougall feels the power.]
Last week a hooping friend on FaceBook contacted me out of the blue and gifted me a piece of her handcrafted jewelry. She explained this great kindness in a message, “So I decided to GIVE to (you) my hoop community (and being a teacher is Hard work)…..funny how that changes it all up and makes the energy MOVE! Enjoy. I am wishing you happiness and hope to see you sometime in 3D.” Her act of selflessly giving left me contemplating the numerous times I have been assisted by my local tribe or the greater hooping community and the many stories over the years of hoopers helping our own. I began wondering how hooping has individually affected us to create a community where support exists between people whom have often never even met and may even live thousands of miles apart?
Perhaps you are asking yourself, “What are these great acts of kindness of which you speak?” Well, they are certainly countless and widespread. Throughout my ten years inside the hoop I have witnessed people donating money to other hoopers to help pay doctor bills, to send someone to the dentist, to cover utility and home repairs, really the list is endless. I have seen a hooper’s family lose their house in a fire and a community stand up and help them through it. I’ve watched people lose loved ones and receive support that is unimaginable. We have not only helped hooping teachers, entrepreneurs, performers and many others see their dreams become reality as they began making a hoop career, we have also seen the gifting of a hoop, teaching someone a new skill, reaching out to a hooper who may be shy or just needs a boost of morale, all for fun and for free. All of these acts are important for a community that cares about one another on more than just a surface level.
Here’s the thing about hooping, for many of us when we first pick up a hoop we don’t really know what we’ve gotten ourselves into. Sure our friend tells us it’s better than ice cream on a hot day, but we’re thinking, “Hello, this is just a piece of plastic! How transformational can it be?” Then we find ourselves wanting to do it more and more and more. We notice that we are becoming more balanced in our lives, which leads us to feel empowered and strong. We start making sure that the clothes we buy are hoopable. We spin our way to finding friends locally, regionally and beyond who share our bliss and can relate to what we are experiencing. Often these people become our “tribe”, our community our support system. The inner change that we feel and have cultivated has a greater energy and power to manifest itself into larger local and even global change.
I live in reality, but the deepest part of me does not want to give up that child-like dream of utopia. We are a very diverse community, made up of people from all backgrounds from all over the world, and yet we all share is this one common love, a circle spinning around our bodies, our hearts, our lives. How strange that this draws us all into a communal bond. I am friends virtually and physically with people across the world that I would have never encountered otherwise. We have real interactions and deep relationships have formed, simply because of the hoop.
What if we harnessed the positivity created by the hoop, by hooping, by the hoop community far and wide. What if we collectively gathered all the support seen over the years, the friendships and communal energy we’ve all created and are creating. Couldn’t we change the world through our example? Or perhaps we already are. Perhaps in lifting the spirits of each of us inside our circles and sharing that with those we reach we reach in our communities and online, we continue to weave a fabric that is brighter, more colorful and stronger than the tapestry at hand. By sharing our hoop love and letting it shine we are truly making this world a better place.