The Importance of Hula Hoops in Your Relationship

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The Principle of the Hula Hoop

I think one of the most important things a couple can do to improve their relationship is to learn and practice the principle of “Staying In Your Own Hula Hoop.” What I mean is it is so very easy to point the finger at our partner and talk about how they are making the marital relationship difficult. It’s easy to become focused on how desperately we want them to change, isn’t it? After all, if you knew the person we had to live with, you’d want them to change too, wouldn’t you?

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The Power of A Small Changemobile relationships Kate pieper, lmft

Did you every look at a mobile over your child’s crib? I know I’m showing my age, but stick with me here. Back in the day of less concern over choking on mobiles and the dangers of mobiles hanging over baby cribs – Folks used to have mobiles hanging over the cribs with little stuffed animals on them. -All perfectly weighted to provide balance and have the mobile rotate evenly.

Well – If you were to take a bit of the stuffing out of one of the little animals on the mobile (which, of course, you would never allow your baby to even be able to reach the mobile – let alone chew on it enough to take stuffing out!) the mobile would shift. The mobile would hang slightly crooked due to the loss of weight of the little animal. The whole appearance of the mobile would change. All because of a little stuffing out of one of the animals.

That’s power! One little stuffed animal changes the whole appearance of the mobile.

The same shift happens with dancing. Have you ever had the privilege of dancing with someone who really knows how to dance? It is an amazing experience! You actually feel like you are floating across the dance floor with a good dance partner. However, if one of you changes the dance steps, the whole dance will change. -You might actually get your foot stepped on if you’re not careful!

The Practice

When a couple comes in to see me for marital therapy – I have them first stand up and draw an imaginary circle colored pencilsaround themselves. I will have them tell me what color the circle is, how it feels in the circle, and how thick or thin the line is around them.

I then share with the couple the principal of “Staying in Your Hula Hoop.” I tell them – “You will have power to change the whole relationship if you stay inside your Hula Hoop. And – the minute you go outside of your Hula-Hoop and begin focusing on your partner, you will lose your only power to change your relationship.”

You see – regardless of what is going on for our partner – we have the power to change the relationship dance steps. We can improve our relationships simply by staying in our Hula-Hoop. The focus begins with us and possibly ends with an improved relationship.

What about you? Have you ever just focused on the improvements you can make in a relationship? With a friend? With a child? With a spouse? Try it daily for a month. Watch your world change and come back and tell me about it!


The above is not to considered as professional advice. It’s just good, practical wisdom from a wife, mom and licensed therapist. If you’re interested in finding out the skills needed to stay in your Hula Hoop, and you’re in the Auburn or Grass Valley area, feel free to call and set up an appointment with me at 530-268-3558 or email me at kate@katepieperlmft.com.

2 thoughts on “The Importance of Hula Hoops in Your Relationship

  1. Great article, Kate! And so true. I have found through my travels that I cannot change anyone else. I can only change my reaction to another person. That includes my husband, my kids, and my work peers. It starts with the person in the mirror.
    I especially like your hula hoop illustration. I will remember that for reference in the future. Thanks!

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