All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

―Pangloss, in Voltaire’s Candide

Have you ever felt like you’ve been here before? Do you ever find yourself circling back to a previous point in time? Is it possible that time is actually a spiral loop that just seems like a straight line due to our perspective?

One thing is for sure, our perception of time is very flexible. It varies so much depending on any number of factors. For some people, it seems to go slower during the years of youth, and speeds up as the years go by.

Patience is another important ingredient in our dance with time. You’re probably familiar with that feeling of flow when you are deep in a dance or creative project and the present moment seems to extend indefinitely, surprising you when you finally notice a clock.

Conversely, there’s nothing that makes time drag like wishing you were someplace else. The old saying “a watched pot never boils” doesn’t begin to describe the feeling for instance of being late to a party and being stuck in a long checkout line at the supermarket. A child will happily spend an hour in line for a few minutes on a roller coaster, but insisting on an hours worth of chores is another story.

The trick is to be present, stay present, and be at peace with what’s happening from moment to moment. Invoking the Panglossian sentiment above, that “all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds” is a stance that will serve you well, even though at times it may feel like a real stretch.

The wheels of time were on my mind this past week as my travels took me back to some places I hadn’t visited since the 70’s, and long-lost friends started coming out of the woodwork by surprise. This is always a clue that something cosmic is going on, so lo-and-behold I checked and what do you know, our fleet-footed friend, the planet Mercury, is retrograde once again.

Three of four times a year, Mercury makes a backward loop for a few weeks at a time, and gives us an opportunity to be present and focus on the “re-“s of our lives. It’s time to review, return, reexamine,  and reconnect. The invitation is to handle unfinished business and tie up loose ends before the next big forward push.

You may be one to scoff at astrology entirely, (like most of my Sagittarius or Aries friends), or perhaps you are like the older brother I grew up with, consulting the ephemeris for every move. Personally, I avoid the generalities of newspaper horoscopes, but my energetically attuned self can’t help but notice the larger shifts in cosmic energy.

And I find it fascinating to contrast the uncanny accuracy of astrological archetypes and personality against the stoic skepticism of science. It’s all one big finger pointing towards the mysterious moon of human existence.

Last week had me returning to my childhood home of Southern California, where I lived until I was seven in 1969. We lived in Orange County, quite close to Disneyland where we would visit fairly often, alternating with Knott’s Berry Farm. The last time I went to Disneyland would have been in the mid-70’s when I was about 12, and that’s also when I first went to Universal Studios, which in those days was a simple tour.

We had family reasons to head south, and my 9-year-old daughter had never been, so together with Teresa, her son, and a few other kids and family members we did both parks in a back-to-back binge of highly engineered entertainment. That’s me with Homer Simpson at Universal Studios in the photo above.

It was deja vu all day long at Disneyland, and I was delighted to see that so many of the original attractions were still in action and well-maintained. It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Submarine Voyage were all true to form. Tom Sawyer’s Island is still a place to explore and get lost. And there are plenty of places to relax in the shade and simply take it all in.

Universal is a trip straight to the heart of the entertainment-industrial complex. It’s fascinating to be immersed in the special effects and get behind the scenes of the cinematic world. My daughter is a huge Harry Potter fan, so I was happy to see how well they recreated Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, with the signature ride through the castle being a 3-D journey that is truly breathtaking.

We returned to host a birthday BBQ for some of Teresa’s friends and family, complete with 100 fresh oysters and turntables on the patio. One of her best friends from 15 years ago in Hawaii was my business partner’s girlfriend in San Francisco ten years earlier, another deja vu moment illustrating how our small world and the larger wheels of time intersect.

You undoubtably have people and places that will always circle back in your orbit. Celebrating the past and setting good intentions for the future are all part and parcel to making the most out of our present moments. Keep love and kindness front and center in your daily dance and your rewinds and returns will bring you joy.

Making the most of another wonderful week, see you next Mondayfor more love!


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

Dance First Member Spotlight – Nancy Trunzo & 
​​​​Come Home to the Body

Big shout out to our Dance First member of the week, Nancy Trunzoand Come Home to the Body! She’s an Oakland-based certified group fitness instructor who is also a well-known belly dance performer.

With a Master’s Degree in Holistic Health Education she brings a wealth of knowledge to her dance classes and performances. She hosts the weekly Bliss Grooves dance fitness class as well as the monthly Improvisational Alchemy community dance.

Nancy says “Every time we dance or move together we take step on the path of understanding the journey of wellness and health. I’ve designed these dance and fitness classes to help you integrate mind, body, spirit, and community. Being healthy is a whole lot more fun when you are in it with friends!”

Join her for a class at her home base facility, Bliss Fitness and Health in Oakland. Or for a more personal transformative experience, inquire about her one-on-one health coaching and innovative intensives offered in collaboration with Open Source Wellness in Oakland.

Be sure to visit her website and sign up for her VIP newsletter and receive your own printable movement tracking tool.

Thanks so much for your hard work and shining inspiration in the field Nancy! Dance First is at your service and we’re proud to include and empower great leaders like you!

Bliss Grooves Dance Fitness 
Monday Evenings, Oakland, CA
Improvisation Alchemy – Elemental Dance Journey
4th Wednesday Evenings Monthly, Oakland, CA

Nancy’s Website: Come Home to the Body​​​​​​​