Sunday, September 27, 2009

Letting go of fear

Since I started my hoopdance company last month, hoopers have been coming out of living rooms, hallways, bedrooms... there are 'closet' hoopers all over the place who surface to meet me when I'm out hooping. They tell me how they have their own hoop and practice at home, or know a neice in a 'hoop troupe' in some city making a living off of this awesome dance/movement art. I'm inspired and motivated. Especially when I meet the people who want to hoop and who are afraid.

That's what this blog is about: facing fear. When I first started really hooping last year, I had to face my own monkey mind of fear of how I looked to others; I wanted to practice outside under the beautiful sunshine by the ocean and felt awkward dancing around with this big thing spiralling around me. With a sparkly hoop of course people would notice. Coming from a dance background, this self-consciousness was a strange feeling because I used to feel great moving in my own skin, never giving a second through to what other people thought when I was on stage or in a club. I had somehow lost that state of flow.

So I get those negative self-thoughts, those doubts, those judgements. Whatever I felt in my own mind, I took a deep breath and walked down the road to the beach and got my hoop on. Instead of laughter and pointing, I'd get thumbs up and smiles, still deflecting them as if they really weren't for me.

I meet people who want come out and hoop, saying they can't do it, or that they also fear looking stupid. Feeling it myself, I realize how powerful a tool the hoop is to face our own fears and to do what we love. If we can be held back by our fears in our own minds, with something as fun and freeing as hooping, what bigger dreams and aspirations do we hold ourselves back from?

I want to help people become comfortable in their own skin, to gain self-confidence, to connect to their bodies, and to truly live their passions authentically in life. The hoop makes me face my own fears, and I realize that the more I let go, the more beautiful and authentic the dance becomes. Perhaps that's the real message: that we're not really in control anyway. Life is short. Who cares what people think. Dance! Be yourself. Have fun! That, to me, is the magic of the hoop.

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