Happiness is a Choice... These four words were whispered to me so loudly, I don't know where the words came from, was it my own thought or something else? All I know is that was all I needed to make it my mission to prove this concept to be true. What I didn't expect was how much I was being misunderstood.
All I wanted was to put a smile on someones face, if just for a moment. My inner critic snapped back with the thought that others would think I was nuts if i was standing on the sidewalk hula hooping during lunch hour with a sign reminding others to smile. That's when I heard those worlds, That's when I realized that how other people feel was their choice and that I would do it anyway. I might make someone happy and that's all that I wanted, I ran with it. I wanted people to realize that whatever they are feeling, they can choose to feel differently. I studied happiness, I learned how to help others identify what happiness was for them and how to coach others towards their goals. It was my slogan, my baseline.
"Choosing to be happy when you are unhappy is inauthentic" , a man once said to me. Inauthentic!?!? That comment hit me like a freight train, All I want is to show people that they don't need the masks and that they're are beautiful as they are. Was I encouraging people not to feel their feelings? Was I downplaying the importance of learning to process your feelings in a healthy way?
Happiness is always an option. We are beautiful, magical beings with the ability to control our emotions and to choose how we respond to the things that happen to us, We will always feel all the emotions, even the ones that don't feel good like anger or sadness, The problems arise when we sit on those negative emotions for too long, You see our feeling become our thoughts, our thoughts become our words, our words become our actions and all of these things become our life. So its important to be aware of our inner dialog. And realize that we have the ability to make small adjustments to help shift our mood. I like to suggest making a Mood Boosting list, This is a list of small things you can easily do that will make you feel better. Things like taking a walk or petting your dog, taking a shower or spinning a hula hoop, I know that when I'm having a really bad day, the last thing I want to do is try and feel better, so having a list a list of quick fixes on hand is crucial.
Choosing happiness is a learned skill. Its not as easy as throwing on a face and "faking it", although it has been shown that even pretending that you are happy, even when you are not really feeling it, can actually lead to real happiness. But personally this is a last resort option that is only effective if you commit to it and its not just "customer service" happiness, where you only try to be happy when other people are around,
Change is inevitable. The only thing we can do about it, is decide how we are going to handle it. Sometimes when things change it is exciting and we can easily see it as a new beginning. Other times change is devastating, and its seems impossible to find the light. The important thing to remember in times like this is that everything that happens to us is meant to happen, and whether you see it as a negative or a positive is entirely up to you,
Happy hoops has gone through some crazy changes over the last year and although I sad to have had to make these changes, I am excited to finally be aligned with my original purpose. You see,
I became obsessed with Hula Hooping in 2012, But it wasn't just the act of hooping that took over my life, it was also how I felt while I was doing it. I still can't truly explain it, but I do know that when my emotions and life was in chaos, 5 mins of spinning that hula hoop quieted it all. Nothing had done that before. And i knew I found some sort of magic. I dreamed of being good enough to teach others to hula hoop, because I knew that others would experience what I had, I started sharing this with friends, And other fell in love with it too.
Making hula hoops came out of a necessity, I needed more hoops. For 4 years the only hula hoop i had was a 42" -turned 40" after I broke it once - giant hula hoop. I loved it but it was so big I couldn't do tricks like the escalator because its was just too big for my 5'5'' frame. So with the help of some youtube videos, I learned how. I made hula hoops for anyone who wanted one. Once someone suggested I sell my hula hoops at the local craft show, Happy Hoops became a real thing. Then before I knew it, we were doing craft shows every weekend, we were selling hula hoops online and we had sponsored hula hoopers all over the county. We were a hula hoop shop competing for the attention of the online hula hoop community,
Happy hoops had it own identity, going at its own speed, really doing its own thing, it lost its purpose. It started getting lost in the sea of sales and competition. We didn't know it but we had shifted from our purpose. And as always the universe will do whatever is necessary to realign us with what we are meant for. I am fortunate to understand this, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to take a slight step in a different direction and align with what I truly want Happy Hoops to be.
While I will still be selling hula hoops, this is no longer the focus. I am most passionate about Hand to Hand sales and teaching. I have also partnered with The Happiness Project to help provide skills to achieve sustained happiness in both adults and children through programs in schools and communities, as well as promote mental health awareness. I am pleased to announce that 10% of all Happy Hoops profits will be happily donated to support this amazing cause.
This blog is my fun little side project. I have always been a writer of sorts and this is a beautiful place to share my thoughts on this beautiful life and our fun little circles.
Hula Hooping has come back on the scene within the last decade and has been found in fitness classes, music festivals, music videos and talent TV shows all around the globe. People like Michelle Obama and Kelly Osborne have raved about this trend dating back to the Fifties. I myself have been toting around a hula hoop for the last 8 years and it has taught me so much about myself and the life I live.
Now I love Hula Hoops and could literally talk all day about this subject but in an attempt to be somewhat organized I am going to break it down into THREE well understood categories: THE MIND, THE BODY, and THE SPIRIT.
IT PHYSICALLY MAKES YOU HAPPY
When the body is in motion the brain released chemicals like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are known as "feel good chemicals" that create a sense of euphoria and joy. Imagine paring this with your favorite song and your favorite color hoop as a dance partner, I bet you're smiling now.
IT COMBATS ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
If you are like me and the other 300 Million people worldwide, who suffer with depression and anxiety symptoms, you know that at times it feels like there is no way out. Racing thoughts and debilitating fears make any place outside of your bed feel so far from reach. But with a hoop, I hand you a gentle solution. Keeping the Hula Hoop going takes focus and concentration, a welcome distraction from those debilitating thoughts of depression. Suddenly those thoughts fade, they begin to feel less heavy and something you can handle.
IT TURNS OFF THE MIND
Our lives are filled with To Do lists and errands. Our Jobs, our families always keep us busy. I like to think of Hula Hooping as Moving Meditation used to create awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state of mind.