Holding Space at Sacred Circularities Retreat Bali 2015

Hello, my friends! I am writing to you from my fairy bed in my room at the Ananda Cottages, the head quarters for Sacred Circularities Hoop Retreat in Ubud, Bali. It is my third time coming to Bali for this retreat, and this year I'm the "space holder," for the retreat, offering extra support to the participants while their heart space and sacred essences expand as they deepen their connection in the hoop. It is so important for us to share our fears in order to grow and I am very honoured to listen and support the Hooper-Beings who travel to hoop at this retreat.

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Well,GoodMorning! Lotus Blessings~

It is so incredibly beautiful here. It's sometimes difficult for me to find the words to describe the magic and intensity of this island, and what it means for me to come here to hoop and share my medicine with the participants. My hands are shaking as I type this into my website.

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Yes, Infinity Pool, yes!

The job of supporting people's emotional body is what I came here to do, and with somewhat limited internet, I chose, of course, to focus on connecting with the group, and the crazy wifi situation made it easier, actually! The videographer for the retreat, Morgen, founder of the HoopTown Hotties in LA, USA, pointed it out that instead of everyone having their noses in their phones and computers, we've all mainly been having lively chats over buffet breakfasts and lunches in the resort restaurant and really getting to know each other more. Other participants and friends coming to visit us at our nightime hoop jams have also commented on how content and happy the vibration of the group is, and also how restorative it can be to just have a break from the internet and social media. The world will keep spinning as we spiral, and it will be there when we return. It is okay to take this time for ourselves.

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Photo by Michelle Hoops

The retreat center for SC Bali 2015 is in Ubud, a town about the size of Nelson, BC, the small city near my home, which is just perfect for me being a mountain girl who's used to seeing more wildlife than humans. We learned that the population of the Balinese here has doubled to 4 million people, all living on this tiny island. It's incredible, and also slightly worrisome in terms of impact and sustainability. There is too much plastic in the world, in general, and I was very moved to see members of our hoop community here, like Emma Kenna of HoopingMad, really making an effort to collaborate information in the SC Bali facebook group on simple things like carrying personal water filters to eliminate the need for buying endless plastic bottles of water. Other businesses and restaurants like Alchemyand Clear Cafe, (my favourite!) in Ubud are setting a new standard, using banana leaves to create compostable take-out containers, using paper cups and glass bottles instead of styrofoam, and even growing bamboo straws for their juices and smoothies. It's so inspiring!

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Flowers on the steps of Clear Cafe, Ubud, Bali

Our first week of hoop instructors included the warrior-hoop-goddess Babz Robinson, a Canadian from Canmore, Alberta, who wowed me with her instructor skills and her hoop dancing. Babz has a powerful presence and she comes and says hello to everyone, making the time to float around her classes and coach everyone to their highest potential in the hoop. This woman can DANCE! She hugs like a Grizzly Bear with a squishy loving heart and I can't wait to take more classes with her in week three!

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Babz and Cookie, going to the Water Temple. Yes, I am blissed!

The line-up of this week's instructors have held phenomenal breakthrough hoop classes all week long and includeCaterina Sutton, Tiana Zoumer, Tammy Firefly,Jocelyn Gordon, andMaliaka Cheze Darville.Jaguar Mary's unique and wonderful "alchemy sessions," which reminded me so much of the Restorative Justice circles I've participated and trained in. Compassion and understanding flows when we connect through revealing our vulnerability and truth, and Jaguar Mary masterfully guided us with her comforting and grounding voice and her loving presence.

So, I'm sitting here sipping on a Chocolate Butterfly with the AC on, half naked in my sarong, and I'm just ecstatic, tired, excited, and blissed out to be thinking about meeting so many incredible people from all over the world; Canadians galore this year, also United Arab Emerites, India, UK, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Spain, Holland, and the United States. Watch for the newest video from Morgen showing our global hoop dance community in utter bliss during one of Jaguar Mary's workshops, (check my page on Facebook Medicine Hoop Retreats, I will be posting much more content in week 2!) We are having our last dance together with Malaika teaching an African Dance class early in the AM, and then our closing ceremony for week one.

We say goodbye for now, but in my experience we will always be connected through the heart and the hoop, much like brothers and sisters, as the SC Family continues to expand.

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See you in Week 2 of Sacred Circularities 2015!
xoxox "Cookie" aka Jennifer Mountain

Medicine Hoop Retreats, Argenta, BC, CANADA 250-366-0028 cookiehoops@gmail.com Jen Cookson 2013