I have been listening to this song by Trevor Hall for months now and never seem to get tired of it. The video happened one day as I was practicing and when this song came on I realized that my practice had turned into more of a happy dance fest. So I recorded it and then forgot about it.
This past week held some interesting experiences that reminded me how I once felt about myself, particularly about my body. Self esteem and body image may be two of the stickiest issues for most women. I know they have been in my life. It took me decades to work though the negative messages and self image that I’d had, on some level, since puberty. The issues were complex and the process of resolution, many-pronged. At the time, I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to heal the inner conflict and feel ‘normal’ and loving toward myself. In time, and with a lot of help, it all got a lot better.
The body image thing was still a little shaky, though. That finally shifted for me, five years ago, when I started hooping. I had gone through menopause a couple of years earlier and my body started changing–suddenly my waist began to thicken and I felt flabby instead of toned, despite the fact that I was a regular runner. Within two months of starting to hoop people who knew me were exclaiming about how good I looked and asked what I was doing. Granted, I was hooping an hour or two a day. It was such a pleasure for me that I hooped every chance I got. From that point on, my body quickly started dropping all the excesses it had been collecting and started to feel good and beautiful to me.
It was then that I began to love and appreciate my body. The longer I hooped, the more joy I felt, whether hooping or not. And the body that I had spent so many decades battling became my ally, my strength, the one through whom I could dance and move and experience so much more than I’d ever imagined possible. Today I embrace my curves and encourage other women to embrace theirs, as well. It is those very curves that make the hoop go round and my world spins a lot sweeter, as a result.
And that is why I decided to post this video, that feels like a testament to that journey from self-loathing to celebration. Here’s to the Shakti (life force/empowerment) in all women. Om Shakti Om.