Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make — bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake — if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble.

~Lemony Snicket

Do you ever find yourself taking something for granted? Have you ever paid much attention to what happens you make assumptions? How do you deal with things when they don’t turn out as you expected?

You’ve undoubtedly had that experience where everything seems to be going according to plan, and then something goes sideways and life pulls the rug out from under you. Try as you might to have all of your ducks in a row, living in this non-linear universe means that sometimes you have to shift gears when you least expect it.

If it’s a minor wrinkle you can go with the flow, if disaster strikes you’ve got to roll with the punches and do your best to keep your wits about you so you can land on your feet. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s a good idea to have a contingency plan up your sleeve, or at least be ready and willing to make one on-the-fly.

I often find myself pulling one of The Four Agreements out of my hat when things get weird, and with recent events here in California it was obvious that today would be a good day to unpack number three: “Don’t make assumptions.

Here in the SF Bay Area, we used to brag about how this time of year was a great time to visit during our ‘summer season’ with predictably warm sunny weather and clear skies. In recent years, however, fire is what we’ve learned to watch for, and this year turned out to be no exception.

This weekend the winds kicked up and word came down from PGE, our local utility company, that they would be doing some precautionary power outages due to the fire danger from downed power lines. If there’s one thing that most of us have come to take for granted is the modern miracle of always-on electricity.

After last year’s disasters, the authorities aren’t taking any chances. Rather than wait until it’s too late, this time round they are evacuating huge swaths of the fire-prone North Bay hills, emptying entire towns just in case. It’s totally understandable, if the first responders have to go house-to-house looking for people, they’re taken away from the front lines of the fire.

So I went into the weekend assuming that my daughter would hang out with her mom and school would be back in session as usual on Monday. Instead, my house became a haven for folks from up north who were forced to leave, and school was canceled after three hours this morning.

Sunday was particularly dicey as smoke from a huge fire in Sonoma county filled the Bay Area skies and high winds took down trees and closed roads all over the region. Smaller fires started (and were thankfully contained) in several different areas just a few miles from my house. With more windy days in the forecast and nothing but dry weather on the horizon, it’s safe to say that we’ll be on our toes until things turn around.

All of this topsy-turvy activity made me ponder how best to approach situations like this, and why it’s important to challenge our assumptions. Particularly as I observed my 11-yr-old daughter’s reactions to all of this. At first, from a youngsters’ point of view, it’s like “C’mon Dad, what do you mean the powers out and my weekend plans are off? ” As if it’s something I have control over and I can wave a magic wand and make it all go back to normal.

It becomes an opportunity to model resilience and adaptability. Rather than join her in screeching about circumstances upon which we have no control, I simply start preparing the house for guests and cooking food, (fortunately, our house has escaped the blackout so far), and going with the flow.

The old saying that ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ could be updated for times like this. When friends or family are facing disaster, just roll up your sleeves and find ways to help. Demonstrating loving kindness in the face of adversity is the lesson I want her to learn.

For, as you well know, ‘what comes around, goes around’ is the flip side to this equation. There’s no better time to play the compassion card than when you’ve got the ability to give. You never know when you might be the one in need of a hand, hoping that someone who cares has learned the same lesson.

It’s all too easy to get overwhelmed with anxiety when everything around you is going haywire. Sometimes the big picture is more than we can deal with in the moment. Knowing how to zoom in and focus on a small and benevolent act can be the key to maintaining your sanity.

When life flips the script, pull out your patience, acknowledge the facts of the matter, and ask yourself what’s the one thing you can do right now that is kind, loving, and helpful. In this often uncertain world, knowing how to dance with the drama without losing your marbles is the key to keeping your head above water, (or your feet from the flames!)

With love and light till next Monday!


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

Dance First Media Spotlight – First-Ever Conscious Dance Conference!

This week’s Dance First Members Spotlight shines on the first-ever Conscious Dance Conference happening November 1st through 6th! Counting down the days until this virtual confab of 65 presenters begins hosted by none other than our esteemed Dance First members Amara Pagano and Pierpaolo de Angelis with support from their One Dance Tribe colleagues.

Let go of any ‘online summit assumptions’ you may have and open your mind to the idea that this is going to be an epic opportunity to connect and experience firsthand the wisdom, work, and inspiration of a never-before-assembled group of conscious dance leaders and somatic movement professionals.

Best of all, registration is free , and all you have to do to attend is sign up and make sure you are online when your favorite facilitator is presenting! I’m super excited because I will be interviewed on Saturday, November 2nd, at 3 pm PST on the topic of “Conscious Marketing for Conscious Dance.”

I’ll be talking about why a feminine business model is the secret sauce of successful movement leaders, and how you can create a compelling container that magnetizes your ideal clientele in a way that’s easy, lucrative, and fun. Like most of the other dynamic presenters, I’m offering a complimentary signup bonus, a ‘Practice Building Worksheet’ just for you.

With a wide variety of offerings available, you’ve got ample opportunities to learn, grow, and have transformative experiences in the comfort of your own home. I’m delighted to share the virtual stage with current Dance First members and fellow conscious dance luminaries such as Vinn Arjuna Martí, Jonathan Horan, Ya’Acov & Susannah Darling Khan, Adam Barley, Megha Nancy Buttenheim, Banafsheh, Samantha Sweetwater, Melissa Michaels, Lori Saltzman, Robert Ansell, Katie Hendricks, Phoenix Onesong Marla, Wren LaFeet, Jennifer Joy Jimenez, Ellen Watson, Sofiah Thom, Parashakti, Toni Bergins, and many more.

You’re in store for unprecedented access to rarely-reached founders, high-level facilitation, a diverse palette of presentations, connection to a growing global community, tools and practices for embodiment, unlimited inspiration, and a wealth of transformative knowledge.

Make sure to reserve your free virtual seat at this historic first-ever event today! The action starts this coming Friday on November 1st and runs through the 6th. You’ll receive a full calendar and participation instructions once you sign up.

Conscious Dance Conference
November 1 – 6, Online, Worldwide!