“To shake your rump is to be environmentally aware.”

 ~David Byrne

What are the big stories of your life? Do you create your own narrative? Or do you sometimes feel like you’re a character in someone else’s novel?

It’s fascinating to think about our place in the world in terms and how we fit in, stand out, or contribute. No matter who you are, you’re part of an intricate and overlapping web of narratives.

From the most mundane and simple parts of your day-to-day life to the grand cosmic arc of the universe, you’re constantly playing a part in the grand epic of life.

To your cat, you’re the faithful servant who stocks the bowl on schedule and provides a warm lap at nap time. If you have a dog, you are the great god and leader who says the magic word ‘walk’ and opens the door on cue every morning.

To your parents, you’ll always be their little kid, even if they find you well into middle age caring for them in their elder years. And if you have kids, you’re their rock, their rudder, and their oracle who provides your personal flavor of wisdom and guidance, whether they like it or not.

One piece of advice I’ve found myself repeating over the years, especially to younger people or folks trying to find direction in life is this. “Find a situation before a situation finds you.”

David Byrne touches upon this feeling brilliantly in the Talking Headssong Once in a Lifetime. “And you may ask yourself, ‘Well, how did I get here?’”

It comes down to understanding the value of free will. In every moment, you’re given the gift of choice. When you’re able to maintain a balance between the overlapping responsibilities of life, work, and relationships with your own deeper goals and desires, you can forge a path ahead that is true to your powers of creation.

The trick is to stay present and in the flow, while consciously keeping one eye on your own ball of inspiration. If you remember to make a habit out of polishing your dreams and pushing your goals to the forefront, then all of the other stories layered upon you will follow along by default.

So in between being a deity to your dog, a slave to your cat, or the captain of your family ship, remember that the story of your life is yours to write. It’s never too late to flip the script and put a new reel in your life’s projector!

Try this for fun. Quickly outline your life up till now, using the third person voice. Then when you catch up to the present moment, let your imagination run wild and see where your narrative paths take you. Try some different futures on for size and let your story become your own personal epic. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar, since no one else has to read it. But dream big, because you get to live it!

Your situation and circumstances can change, the scenery and characters can be rearranged, and your plot can take a twist for the better at the most unexpected moment. It’s your values that go along for the ride, so it’s worth paying attention to your belief system and continually making upgrades along the way.

May your story dance along with ease until next week!


Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine

Dance First Media Partner Spotlight – The Great Christmas Dickens Fair!!!

With the change in the season and the re-setting of the clocks comes the holidays right on the horizon. Here in the Bay Area that means one thing, it time to make plans for The Dickens Fair once again!

Experience a 50-year family tradition that has it’s roots in the original Renaissance Faire founded by Ron and Phyllis Patterson in 1967.The Dickens Fair is produced by the next generation, Kevin and Leslie Patterson, along with their sons Andrew and Michael, now on it’s 35th year.

When you enter the 100,000 square foot halls at the Cow Palace in Daly City, you step into a historically authentic and immersive environmental theater brought to life by a talented community of over 800 performers.

Seven stages offer entertainment for all ages and tastes, ranging from the family-friendly children’s shows and Royal Opera Gala to the more adult-oriented bawdy can-can dancers at Mad Sal’s Music Hall Review.

It’s hard to describe the depth and variety of the Dickens Fair. My experience is that it would take much more than a single day to take it all in, and even then there are so many roving performances and impromptu moments that it’s sort of like a Victorian-era Burning Man festival — no two people could possibly have the same experience.

One great thing about it is that it keeps to the era of the mid-1800’s, which means yes to Father Christmas, but no to Santa Claus, (he hadn’t been created to market the holiday yet). With over 100 shops and vendors offering hand-made and period crafts, clothing, jewelry, toys, antiquarian books and more, it’s the perfect place to do your non-corporate holiday shopping.

Much like the Maker Fair, it’s very much a hands-on interactive event. You can dip your own candles, bind your own books, and let your kids spend hours building fairy houses. Most of the artisans are present doing their work and are eager to share and explain their traditional practices and processes.

And don’t forget dance! Fezziwig’s is the full-time dance hall where you can whirl and waltz with a vast cast of dancers to live music, as well as enjoy Victorian parlor games during the interludes.

Even if it’s your first visit, it’s worth putting a bit of effort into your fancy dress for the day. You’ll encounter hordes of people decked out to the nines with top hats and tails, hoop skirts and corsets. There’s more ways to eat well and refresh yourself than you could possibly handlein one day, and you’ll want to make sure your camera/phone is fully charged with lots of room for photos.

Get your tickets now, and plan your visit, (or visits) soon. The last couple weekends get extremely packed, so mark your calendar and call your friends and family today. It’s your turn in the time machine, and Victorian London awaits!

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party
Opens Saturday, November 18th
Weekends through Sunday December 17th
Including the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Cow Palace, Daly City, CA