[Hooping.org columnist Shea Brock is feeling revolutionary this year.]
by Shea Brock
Happy New Year Hoopers! I know, there’s probably a lot to not be so happy about too. Wars keep raging, people are getting sick and dying, the homeless are still without homes and the world keeps right on spinning, right? Factor in the inevitable holiday weight gain and all of the balls we’re likely to be juggling in January – things like being a wife, mother and daughter on top of getting the bills paid, and it can all get a little overwhelming. This year, however, rather than getting overwhelmed by it all, I am going to take the tools I learned last year and use them to make 2013 totally rock. While resolutions are great for a lot of people, this year I’m personally staging my very own revolution. A totally positive, loving your body, pleasing your soul, ass kicking revolution. Are you ready for a revolutionary new year of your own? Good, then here are my four easy steps to make it happen. Lets rock!
1. Check Thyself Before Thy Wreck Thyself: A lot of us aren’t just in charge of ourselves and our own lives, but we have our husbands, wives, kids and pets to consider too. So many little and big hands are reaching out wanting and needing support in the new year. In 2012 I learned that one of the most important things we can do is take care of ourselves, cause if we don’t, nobody else is going to. Like the wise man Michael Jackson once wrote, “You got to start with the Man in the Mirror.” Take a good look at yourself. How you doing? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating enough? Drinking enough water? Do you feel like you need to just put up a big old sign, stop everything and retreat to the bathtub with a box of wine and a dirty book? Guess what? You don’t have to say yes to everything.
I know because was something I personally struggled with. Sometimes you have to politely say “No”. Do what my good friends Rowan and Blythe at Punk Rock Hoops taught me to do at Circumference last year. It’s called a “Gut Check”. Ask yourself if it’s something you really want to do. If the answer in your head is not an immediate “Hell Yeah” then rethink it. Most of us, especially those of us who are moms, often put ourselves at the bottom of the list. We are always the last one to be taken care of, but that needs to change in 2013. Make 2013 the year of “you”. You need to move yourself on up the list. After all, it’s like the old saying goes – “If mama aint happy, aint nobody happy.”
2. Step Inside Your Circle of Control: You know that old saying “What others think of you is none of your business?” If you dont, then submit it to memory. When I’m feeling overwhelmed one of the things I like to do is step inside my hoop. In my hoop all the crap that is going on in my world just seems to not matter so much. Kitchen a wreck? Laundry stacked to the rafters? Oldest son mouthing off again? None of that seems nearly so important once i step inside my plastic circle. I am aware of the space around me inside the circle. I am aware of my body inside the circle. I remind myself that what is within this space is all that I really have control over. And then, I hoop. I forget what doesn’t really matter. I become more in touch with me. When I listen really closely, I hear the tap tap tap of the hoop as it bounces off and around my body. I love that tapping. It matches my heartbeat, it is the beat of my soul.
3. Now Check Your Surroundings:: Now that you’ve taken the time to check and check-in with yourself, turn those eyes to those closest to you. We can get so busy and caught up in the details that if we haven’t taken time to find our own space, then we easily miss out on what really matters. We may spend most of our time in our cars shuttling ourselves or our kids to so many places it’s hard to keep track. It’s easy to let things slip thru the cracks that way, to put things on the back burner and have that “I’ll get to that later” mentality. But how is everybody doing? Do your kids seem stressed? Is the little one dazed from lounging around too long playing video games? Does your spouse need a hug? Is that frail little old lady down the street unable to get to her mailbox?
People have such great ways of hiding things. As part of a truly revolutionary new year taking care of ourselves, we’ll also be better able to notice. I’m not saying you have to bust in there like Superman all gangbusters on them. After all, some people are very private and others were even raised that its not good manners to ask for help or talk about stuff like feelings or needs in public. Whatever their bag is respect it. Respecting it doesn’t mean you have to ignore it though. Sometimes just a simple heartfelt and present “How are you?” goes a long way. Sometimes all someone really needs is a pat on the back or a reassuring hug letting them know things are going to be A OK this year. Spread some real love as part of your 2013 personal revolution.
4: Check Your World: This world can be a big old scary place. Spending time thinking about all the things that are wrong can make you crazier than a Mad Hatter looking for a tea party. That’s why all those tree huggers, like myself, preach the philosophy of thinking globally and acting locally. And here is a little nugget of truth not too many people know: You don’t have to be Mr. Moneybags to be a philanthropist. There are so many different ways of giving back these days, some without even having to leave your home. While I love those people who think big, for me keeping it local is where it’s at. I love working in my community, seeing my time and money at work in my own backyard whether it’s here where I live or within the hooping community I hold so dear.
While a lot of people can be all about themselves, believing they can’t do a thing to change the world, when I buy into that personal sense of powerlessness I lose a piece of my inner spark. All it takes is a few of us looking out for others to start a revolution. So this year looking at the year ahead think about what you can tangibly do about a cause you care about. If you want to help kids have a brighter future, then if there are any after school programs where you can go and help out and take them some hoops. Create a hooping event or hoop-a-thon for a cause you care about. Get in touch with World Hoop Day and donate to the cause or become a World Hoop Day Ambassador. It doesn’t even have to be hooping related for you to feel good. Find what lights you up inside and spin it up and I guarantee you 2013 will be one of your best years yet.
Hooping.org columnist Shea Brock loves hooping and sharing the joy of it with everyone she meets. She has a hooping business of her own as well – Boro Hoops – and she lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA, where she’s slowly building an army of hoopers so she doesn’t have to hoop alone.