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Engaging keynote speaker, award-winning author and hardcore hooper who helps people tap into their unlimited power. For more info, please visit HoopWoman.com.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Hooping Spirit of TED

In two weeks, I am going on one of the most important dates of my life, and his name is TED.

On 12/12/12 (World Hoop Day!), I will be delivering a TEDTalk at TEDxSarasota called "The Hoop Revolution: How Joyful Movement Will Transform the World".  As I write this, I am deep in the throes of a five-alarm freak-out, doing my very level best to keep my @!%* together.  Within 18 innocent inches of these clicking fingers lays (or is it lies?) my tattered TED script, complete with hoop choreography notes that aren't even close to being incorporated.  I'm terrified that while on my Date of All Dates, I will do one of more of the following: forget everything I am supposed to say, sound like a colossal moron, or experience the greatest fear of all hoopers -- drop my hoop.  It feels like the three nerve-wracking hours immediately before the biggest night of one's life, still looking unbelievably scary in the bathroom mirror.  We know that eventually we'll create a miracle and be fabulous, but at that particular moment it seems like we'd all be lucky if we got out of the whole darned thing without wetting ourselves.

As a professional inspirational performer (aka "motivational speaker"), delivering a TEDTalk, even at a smaller sib TEDx event, is tantamount to winning an Oscar.  It's friggin' HUGE, both from a career perspective, and bragging rights.  I can already imagine the big red TED behind me and the millions of views underneath my little video player starring me.  ("Why, yes, Ellen, I'd LOVE to be on your show next week!  You'd like me to be a regular correspondent? Sure!") But beyond the letters and numbers lies (or is it lays?) the Spirit of TED.  TED's sole purpose is to provide an outstanding venue for "Ideas Worth Spreading".  Since 1984, some of the world's greatest thought leaders, visionaries, and artists have graced TED stages with big, compelling, game-changing, provocative, brilliant and beautiful answers to the question, "If you had 12 minutes to save the world, what would you say or do?" 

My own answer is simple: hoop.   

My newest toy, TEDdy

In two weeks,  I will spread my worthy idea of a hoop revolution.  My uniform is black yogawear and my sword is my hoop.  My battlefield is a 25'x15' stage in an opulent 17th Century opera house.  On World Hoop Day, I am going to give it everything I've got, and my Jedi sense tells me that it's going to be nothing short of spectacular.

But today, it's a little different story.  I can't fully express how much fear I have inside of me right now.  It's suffocating.  Thousands of thoughts race through my head, and most of them are bullies.  ("You are going to suck it big time! You don't have Michelle Obama's arms; cover those floppy things up! You are going to look like a spaz up there!  Everyone is gonna hate it!")  But, what I am learning as I nourish my own potential as I have helped others nourish theirs is this:  we do great things not in the absence of fear, but in the full awareness and presence of it.

Years ago, I was afraid to step on the stage and deliver my first keynote, but I did it anyway.  Last year, I was afraid to hoop in public, but I did it anyway.  A few months ago, I was afraid to submit my TED application, but I did it anyway.  Today I am afraid to share these thoughts publicly and risk being judged, but I am doing it anyway.  And on 12/12/12, I will be scared witless to walk up the stairs, look at 250 faces and a blinking red camera light, and step into my hoop, but I will do it anyway.

In order to get through this latest fearball, today I will move my body, quiet my mind, and connect with my spirit.  When I give myself permission to be fed in these ways, all of those stupid voices of less-than and victimhood melt away.  Or rather, they get shimmied out.

The hoop -- as well as all other forms of joyful movement -- is medicine.  It helps move out all of that yucky fear and replaces it with power.  It strengthens our vehicles so we can go further for longer periods of time.  It wakes us up to our own magnificence.  Joyful movement WILL transform the world, and I am honored to have a dude named TED helping me share that message with as many people as possible.

Now it's your turn: What would you say or do if you had 12 minutes to transform the world?