I can go on for days about hooping and how it has changed my life. But most people don’t get it. “It’s just a kids toy, right?” “What’s so special about a plastic circle?” “Oh God, another Dubai fad…”, are some of the responses I get with intense rolling of eyes accompanied with a sarcastic smile.

But…it’s much more than that. Yes, most of us like to play dress up, covered in feathers and glitter, hoop around calling each other fairies and wizards, and it may seem silly…but the power of the hoop community and what it does for the soul is undeniable. It’s strong, felt, real, and changes lives.

So what sorcery is this that the Hoop Community holds?

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A “cuddle puddle” (as Teeba calls it) after one of our outdoor classes (yes that’s me being puddled in the middle!)

The power of community is seen in many different aspects of life; politics, religion, families, cultures, and so on. “Power in numbers”, right? If you believe in a cause, you build a community around it…that is if there isn’t one already. As human beings we crave to belong, to feel a part of something greater, to have a “group” to belong to; a group that will have our backs when we’re down, and that we support when we can…to flourish in. You see it as early as in schools, students forming groups that they feel they belong to (Mean Girls, anyone?). We see different parties in politics advocating their principles and beliefs. You see it in nationalism, different people from different backgrounds being proud of their roots and ancestry.

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The traditional Post-Workshop Dinner with the crew and Anah “Hoopalicious” Reichenbach

But what benefits are there in having a community that you’re a part of?

Fellow hooper, Flowground fairy and psychology major, Noha Salamé says “…I’d even say that what makes this [the hoop community] different from religions, cults and other communities is that when you belong to a society of some sort there are lots of rules. How you dress, there are urban boundaries of how you can live or what kind of house you can build, there are social codes of how to behave around people, how to gift each other, how to talk, how to socialise. But what makes this stand out is that there are no rules within the hoop. You are free to go with your flow and your community will never tell you that you’re doing something wrong, because its your flow.”

Hooping is great. It brings out your inner child, releases endorphins, helps keep you fit, and helps you discover new music (the constant struggle to find hoop music is real!).

But one thing, and possibly my favouritest of things, that hooping provides me with, is a community. A community to call family, a community that does not judge, a community that loves me as I am and pushes me to be better, stronger, wiser. A community that teaches me about love, compassion and empathy. A community that transcends physical presence, establishing an instant kinship between its members- connected by a plastic circle. A community that is fun and has no feelings of competitiveness, jealousy, bitterness or drama.

Hooping is a personal journey. You see yourself grow, develop, fail, rise, conquer and learn. But you do it alongside you siblings in the tribe…each has their own journey, but each celebrated for how far they have come. You are appreciated, for your presence means something, it means everything.

You are not alone. And you are loved.

Hooping may be silly. But it is out of this silliness that great inspiration, creativity, love, bonds and meaning are born.

Here‘s a great video on the need for madness in our lives to be able to cope with our daily struggles, shared by Flowground fairy Carla “Curlazka”Lazkani.

Who doesn’t like a bit of madness in their lives?

Go on…explore. Go out and find your mad tribe, and be the positive change that will make your community thrive, and pass it on to the rest of us.

For after all, we’re all part of one big community, one love, one world.

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Image Courtesy of https://hateandanger.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/one-love-3/

Hoops of love,

Farah