““It’s never what the other person is doing, being, or having. Who you are being in relation to that is what matters.”

 ~ Neale Donald Walsch

Do you ever feel like you’re chasing after something? Is your external world a reflection of your internal state? What tools do you use to stay on center?

This time of the year can especially be busy beyond belief. Year’s-end and holiday deadlines loom and life can feel like trying to fit six pounds of oranges into a five pound bag.

Some folks are meticulously organized and have all of their gifts arranged, cards sent, and visits planned well in advance. Others lie low and avoid the whole frenzy altogether. I fall somewhere in between, doing my best to go with the flow and make sure some thoughtful care is put into everyone around me.

It’s also a time of year when families converge and get-togethers happen at work, school, or spiritual communities. You often find yourself in social situations where people from different walks of life rub shoulders and make merry with one another.

There’s a likely possibility you’ll be in conversation with folks who have widely divergent views or ideological beliefs. It’s common wisdom to avoid third-rail topics like politics or world affairs, although the current landscape is full of 800-pound gorillas that are hard to ignore.

You have no doubt encountered that person who seems dead set on bringing a snarl to the face of everyone they meet, especially this time of year. They don’t have to succeed with you, in fact it’s an opportunity to practice rising above any negative vibes and simply letting it pass.

There’s no sense in catching a scowl yourself, you can instead make a practice out of doing just the opposite. That is, see if you can fine tune your internal state in such a way that you bring a smile to the face of everyone you meet.

Now, by no means am I suggesting that you become one of those annoying people who say “Why aren’t you smiling?” Nothing is more aggravating than some stranger telling you you should cheer up — they have no idea what’s going on with you.

It’s not about bringing attention to their current state or attitude, it’s about consciously raising your own vibration in such a way that it rubs off and lightens people up a notch.

A prime example of the power of this is whenever you find yourself in an encounter with someone who’s wielding a sliver of authority. If you’ve ever had to register a car or return a package or deal with almost any bureaucrat behind a government counter you know what I mean.

Put yourself in their shoes. It’s not easy to deal with a constant stream of impatient people handling something that they would rather not all day long. When some bureaucratic detail isn’t going your way, don’t take it out on them personally, they’re just a cog in a much larger machine. They hold the power to make your life infinitely more difficult with just a few clicks or vastly easier with a hint about what to write on which form.

If you can manage to be that one rare person who shows up with a smile and lightens their day, your path will be far smoother. A little levity and a word of empathy go a long way in this world — be the one who brings it and feel yourself flow. Embattled people lead stressful lives of endless struggle, all the while missing the point that it is all a choice.

As Neale Donald Walsch makes clear in the quote at the top, it’s about taking personal responsibility for what’s happening inside ourselves that counts. We can never know or truly understand what’s going on inside another person, but we can always make a decision about how we choose to react and what kind of energy we bring in the first place.

It’s a helpful attitude to embody during the holidays, and fairly easy to accomplish if you put some attention on it. May your dance through the season be a delightful one, and may most of your moments be merry!

Thanks for reading Monday Love once again, and I’ll see you next week!

M+

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

Ring in 2018 with a Dance First Member’s Retreat or Workshop!

Special Dance First spotlight on member’s events to celebrate the arrival of 2018! Join your friends and conscious community at one of these gatherings to move your body and raise your vibration for the New Year!

Get your groove on with Megha Nancy Buttenheim in Florida!
Let Your Yoga Dance – Expanding Joy into the New Year!
Dec 26-27, Miami, FL

Dive into the 5Rhythms with Visudha de los Santos in France!
Howl :: 5 Day 5Rhythms Retreat with Visudha de los Santos
Dec 28 – Jan 1, Divinessence, La Roche sur le Buis, France 

Rare West Coast JourneyDance appearance with Toni Bergins!
New Years JourneyDance Celebration with Toni Bergins
Dec 29 – Jan 1, 1440 Multiversity, Scotts Valley, CA

Enjoy the Azul experience with Amara Pagano in Connecticut! 
Threshold – Entering 2018 – Azul workshop with Amara Pagano
Dec 29 – Jan 1, Greenwich, CT

Gather with the 5Rhythms Tribe in Washington with Kate Shela!
Alchemy – A 5Rhythms New Year’s Gathering with Kate Shela
Dec 29 – Jan 1, Olympia, WA

Share Adelle Brewer’s hospitality at Synergy in San Antonio!
Synergy Studio New Year’s Day Ceremonial Drum Celebration withDavid and Cameron Montalvo, Paolo Galarce and Michael Madison
Jan 1, San Antonio, TX

Dive deep into JourneyDance in Scott’s Valley with Toni Bergins!
Move into a New Story – JourneyDance with Toni Bergins
Jan 1-5, Scott’s Valley, CA

Immerse your shamanic self in the Amazon with Medicine Dance!
Dancing with the Heart of the World – Intensive Journey to the Amazon Rainforest with Ya’Acov and Susannah Darling Khan
Jan 3-16, Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador

Set your path for 2018 with Dancing Freedom around the world!
Dancing Freedom :: Anchoring your Intentions for 2018 – Online New Years Offering
Jan 4-5, Online, Worldwide