Tally Marx certainly knows what gratitude is all about and she spins enough up to share with the rest of us after spending some time in the hospital. In her kitchen at home and with the perfect song playing, in these intimate moments her flow and smile and gratitude are captivating and truly heart warming, even in low light. She lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA, and the soundtrack for this is “Aloha Ke Akua” by Nakho and Medicine for the People and you can get a copy of it for yourself over on iTunes.
[Hooping.org will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day with our loved ones and we will return on Friday. Until then, Hooping.org Editor Philo Hagen celebrates the giving of thanks.]
by Philo Hagen
Every year when Autumn arrives I find myself in a little resistance. I want to stay outside in the bright warm sun and crank the tunes and keep right on hooping. The seasons, however, have other ideas and as the leaves fall and the very ground on which I live turns inward, I inevitably can’t help but find myself turning inward as well. Autumn is a time of harvest, a time of reflection on the year that is nearly past, and with the arrival of Thanksgiving it’s also a great time for gratitude. For those who aren’t familiar, gratitude can be as transformational in our lives as hooping itself, and like our hooping gratitude is not a noun, it is a verb.
When I was younger I often found myself defaulting to a place of being rather chronically malcontent. It was just a part of my psyche, the way I saw the world back then. So when a mentor in my life at the time asked me to make a list of all the things I was grateful for, I had a really hard time coming up with anything. “You’re breathing, aren’t you,” she would ask. I would nod and add breathing to the list. Then she’d cajole, “You’ve got ten fingers, don’t you?” I’d look at my hands and though I’d see them as being not anything special, I would nod again and pencil “having all of my fingers” on to the list. At the time basic body functions and having my extremities didn’t seem like much, but they most certainly are. Over time I was able to begin to understand and believe in the process and the power of gratitude. For if I could not breathe, I most likely could not hoop. I am so grateful to be breathing today! And if I did not have my fingers, I doubt I could hold and grasp and twirl this plastic circle within my hand. I’m so thankful for my fingers! In recognizing our gratitude we change our perspective, our view of the world, and in doing so we may even wind up changing the world around us. At a loss for things to be grateful for? Here are a few things I think most of us hoopers can have on our gratitude list.
[Hooping.org columnist Shannon Herrington celebrates giving thanks.]
The seasons are changing, the year is almost over and Thanksgiving Day has arrived here in the United States. As people are preparing to give thanks for everything in their lives, I am reminded that Thanksgiving originated from a mix of European and Native traditions. Typically in Europe, festivals were held before and after the harvest cycles to give thanks for a good harvest, and to rejoice together after much hard work with the rest of the community. At that time as well, Native Americans celebrated their end of a harvest season. Thanksgiving should be a time of gratitude, but being thankful isn’t something that comes easily for all of us, especially if you struggle with seasonal depression.
While many people today use the hoop to meditate, can’t we use the hoop to become more grateful? After all, gratitude is a very important thing for us human beings. Many people swear that starting a gratitude practice has changed their lives. Gratitude can help turn bad things into good things. How can we instill greater gratitude into our hooping? The next time you are hooping take a few minutes to reflect inside of the spin of your hoop. Think about what you have to be thankful for in your life. You might also find it helpful to remember the following:
[This week Hooping.org columnist Lara Eastburn reminds us to share the love.]
Every single one of us contributes to the hooping community in some way or another. But whether you participate in ways large, small, or in-between, we’ve all been known to grow discouraged. Would anyone care if I didn’t organize this hoop jam every week? Does anyone appreciate the extra time I put into the playlist for my classes? Where is the support for my new hooping event? Why did no one comment on my photo? Does anybody watch the hooping tutorials I make? Does anyone read my blog? (Yikes.)
Nobody jumps headfirst into the hooping community expecting to be praised for their efforts. Hoopers give their time for the same reasons that they hoop – it’s changing the way we approach our lives. We want to share it with others. We want to be of service to one another. That said, encouragement from the community is ultimately what keeps folks giving what they do. And encouraging one another is something each of us can and should do. Because our larger community enjoys a limitless online existence, that’s something we can accomplish in 60 seconds or less every day.