"The songs of our ancestors are also the songs of our children."

~ Philip Carr-Gomm

How do you deal with responsibility in your life? Who are the people that rely on you? Which branch is yours on your family tree?

Everyone is part of a lineage in some way or another, whether it’s a tightly knit family or a community of affinity. The tree metaphor has obviously been useful for generations, although some of us have family maps that look more like a thicket or a bush!

There is something about our human DNA that drives us to keep making more people, there’s got to be some explanation for why there’s nearly eight billion of us populating the world now!

The dynamic situations in which each new generation is created are intense crucibles of consciousness raising. We are all the product of some sort of a relationship, and as we all know relationships can run the gamut from idyllic to traumatic. The serene scenes of smiles andnoodle salad that comprise so many TV commercial scenarios are anything but typical. Wholesome harmony is more easily achieved than we might think, but sometimes it’s the exception, not the rule.

What we carry with us from our upbringing into our own nurturing nests depends largely on what the environment was and how we were able to deal with it. Some of us might want to re-create the circumstances as closely as possible because they were so pleasant and memorable, while others will make every effort to ensure that their kids grow up in just the opposite atmosphere.

Links in a chain is another metaphor that seems appropriate when talking about life, lineages, and legacies. Some of us are destined to start more than one strand, while others inhabit the last link. Prolific people create large families that increase the population, while other genetic lines dwindle or taper off completely. Even if we do have kids, there’s no guarantee that they will.

Where this is all going in the long term for our culture is anybody’s guess, and all sorts of factors are having an influence. The modern scourge of student loan debt is apparently one reason women in America are choosing to have fewer children. A savagely comic extrapolation of current trends can be seen in the dystopian science fiction film “Idiocracy”, in which a bumbling dude named Joe, played by Luke Wilson, is frozen in time for 500 years only to awaken and discover he is the smartest person on Earth.

For those of you who are parents like me, you can probably relate to the constant push-and-pull between your own needs and the priorities of your children. And if you are growing into a role of responsibility for an aging parent, you get to feel the same thing from the other side of the looking glass.

A couple of years ago when my daughter was nine, my dad would’ve been 90 which is an order of magnitude of difference age-wise. I’m somewhere in the in-between, (that’s George and Geneva in the photo above). We recently went up to Oregon to celebrate his 92nd birthday with him, and that my daughter will be turning 11 next month. He’s tickled pink that the DMV just renewed his drivers license, so he’s officially legal behind the wheel for another 10 years!

One of the things I find the most fascinating about standing on the ladder of my family’s lineage, boosting my father from below while giving my daughters a hand up from above, is how much they embody the traits of their grandparents more than me or their moms.

It’s one of the perplexing mysteries in the dance of life how so many of the things that make us who we are tend to skip generations. My younger daughter only knew my mom until she was two years old, yet she resembles her physically and in so many of her tastes and attitudes that it is astonishing. My older daughter Isabelle in Australiais following my dad’s footsteps both in her love for design and her knack for business.

Whether we are part of a perpetuating family, or simply stand as members in a community of affinity, we all hold the hands of those who came before and those who will follow. There will always be ‘us’, and there will always be ‘them’, yet the real magic in the dance of life happens in the sublime spaces in-between.

In the triune universe of relationships, the ineffable ‘other’ that we co-create through our interactions is where the foundation for the consciousness of future generations are built. When we tap into our unlimited supply of love and kindness, and give 100% without condition, we allow everyone around us and linked to us in the chain to have a clean beginning or ending to their own creations.

On this fabulous floor we share called earth, it’s good to remember that we are all individuals dancing somewhere ‘in between’… When you remember that every present moment is a gift, you will never run out of opportunities to uplift!

May your week bring you joy and delight! Much love until next Monday!

M+

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

Dance First Member Spotlight :: Let Your Yoga Dance with Megha Nancy Buttenheim!

This week’s Dance First Member Spotlight shines on Megha Nancy Buttenheim and Let Your Yoga Dance! This long-time member of the Conscious Dancer community and Dance First member is well known for her dynamic workshops and training programs and is one of the driving forces at the Kripalu Center in Stockbridge Massachusetts since 1985.

She’s also someone who goes above and beyond the normal practice to create groundbreaking programs for underserved populations, as well as training folks on how to serve them! With over 11 years of working with Parkinson’s sufferers, she’s also developed programs designed for kids and teens.

And best news of all, she’s published a book about it all, that comes with a comprehensive set of videos that enable anyone, anywhere to learn all about how to bring the Let Your Yoga Dance practice to life. When you get your copy of “Expanding Joy: Let Your Yoga Dance, Embodying Positive Psychology” you also get access to a collection of videos to help you expand and integrate the work in your own life.

Here’s what Soul Motion founder, (and fellow Dance First member)Vinn Arjuna Martí has to say about Expanding Joy: “ Megha holds a clear view and a transparent excitement for her work that is deftly transferred to her students. She brings to these pages sentiments that will enthrall, entertain, and enlighten the reader on what it means to dance your yoga.

With four different trainings scheduled this summer at Kripalu, and a wide-ranging tour of workshops around the country, you’ve got ample opportunities to experience the magic of Megha first-hand. You can find all of her workshops, trainings, and events on the Conscious Dancer MoveMap or on her website calendar.

With the addition of the ‘Kids and Teens’ training to the Let Your Yoga Dance offerings, Megha feels that her mission is now complete. “To spread Joy and Consciousness throughout the world by transmitting body health, brain health, heart health, and soul health to all populations!

Here are some of her main trainings to look forward to this year at Kripalu:

May 17-24
Let Your Yoga Dance Complete Teacher Training.
With up front study on the LYYD You Tube Channel before the training begins, because it is a short training! Become a full fledged Let Your Yoga Dance instructor in just one week.

June 23-28
Let Your Yoga Dance Teacher Training for Special Populations.Known as “God’s  Work” this training is for everyone wanting to work with populations that are struggling physically. Born out of 11 years of work with Let Your Yoga Dance for Parkinson’s.

July 7-12
Learn to Teach Kids and Teens: Let Your Yoga Dance.
For those wanting to bring this loveliness to the younger folks.

Sept 8-13
Module 1 Let Your Yoga Dance Teacher Training
All about the science and method of yoga dance and its applications.

Oct 27-Nov 2
Module 2 Let Your Yoga Dance Teacher Training
This training is done in sections so folks can marinate and practice at home before returning to do their final practice Teaching sessions.

Learn more, visit www.LetYourYogaDance.com!