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brought to you by The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™
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Why this project matters
My name is Meagan Ruppert and I’ve been hanging behind the scenes of Zipper Junction™ for about 2.5 years now. I wanted to share what inspired me to get involved with The Project because perhaps it will spark something in you as well – maybe it will inspire to you share this blog with those who need it, or to offer your support to the mission, or perhaps it will inspire you to take action in your own life in order to find more passion and zest for the things you spend most of your time doing.
Many people see me – at first glance – and typecast me as a freeloading hippie. I am a white woman with dreadlocks and I live in an RV. I know, I know… I’m asking for it, right? Wrong, actually. Quite to the contrary. I am an entrepreneur and have been for the last 8 years. I have two very successful businesses, one is an event called Return to Roots Gathering, which is a 4 day hoop dance, yoga, flow arts, music and arts festival, which was actually started in Hawley, PA (now it is in Medford, NJ but we’ve never forgotten our roots!). My other business is coaching women to awaken to their purpose so that they can create a thriving conscious business, allowing them to live a freedom-based life.
However, I wasn’t always so motivated or filled with passion about what I do. I used to work in restaurants and did very little outside of business hours besides drink, eat and sleep. However, one day I discovered PASSION.
I found passion through a plastic circle – a hula hoop to be exact. I found the art of hoop dance, which is dancing with a large, adult-sized hula hoop. What was once child’s play became a form of self-expression for me. It inspired me. It got me up in the morning and kept me up at night trying to get better and better at it.
Never in my life had I ever experienced a drive like I had when I was hooping and within a short time, I was telling everyone I knew about it! You see, hooping was a tool for boosting my confidence, it inspired me, it helped me to loose weight, and even to overcome depression. Now, it wasn’t the hula hoop that was doing that – it was the PASSION. It was the commitment to doing it. I became OBSESSED and in a really good way!
The next step for me, since I felt so called to “share it with the world”, was to start making and selling hula hoops. So I went out and bought the supplies and began crafting hoops. Then I got a certification to teach hula hooping and I began leading workshops.
Fast forward 2.5 years, and I started a hula hooping festival, Return to Roots Gathering. I flew instructors in from around the world for a 5-day camping festival of workshops and music. We had over 100 people come from all over the northeastern US. We hosted our first event at Vanderbeeek Farm in Hawley, PA. That event sparked a movement. Today this event, now in it’s 6th year, draws over 1000 people from around the US to attend workshops on hoop dance, yoga, flow arts, and personal and professional development. We have massive art installations, national touring musicians and a team of over 40 people running this event.
Taking it another step forward, after I saw how Return to Roots Gathering was helping to change the lives of those who attended, I realized that there were other people who wanted to create passion-filled businesses, but they needed help. That’s how I began working as a coach.
So, you see, out of one simple discovery – my passion for hoop dance – I created a career for myself. I am probably one of the happiest people you may meet in a day and I am like that because I live life on my terms and I love what I do.
Do you love what you do?
I got involved with Jim and The Zipper Junction Project™ because I saw the need for inspiring others to find their passion – and to provide them with the tools to find it, coupled with the ability to learn how to use that as a career path.
This stuff is important.
If we don’t start getting people excited about life, this world is going to collapse on itself. Happiness is the key – and if you don’t LOVE what you do, you won’t be happy. It’s as simple as that. I’m excited for our collective future because of projects like Zipper Junction. It gives me faith that we are on the right path.
To learn more about Return to Roots Gathering, click here.
To learn more about Meagan and her coaching, click here.