Have you ever had a TV dinner on Christmas? How about Chinese food or Kentucky Fried Chicken? How does that contrast with a big feast with family and friends?

It’s Christmas Day here in the USA, and regardless of what faith or culture you hail from, the world is basically on pause, and gifts and gatherings are the order of the day.

It’s times like this that invite an inquiry into the difference between our families of affinity and our families of origin. We all have a choice between the folks we choose and the families that spawned us, and holidays are always the time to mix the two.

What I’ve noticed over the years is that as we grow into our lives, the need for separation becomes less and less, and the fruits of connection become more sweet. There were years when I was at my most rebellious when the holidays were a joke, and a turkey dinner on an aluminum tray was a way of thumbing my nose at tradition.

I’ve been the odd man out at big potlucks where sharing a feast with new people was a treat. One year when I found myself very much at loose ends I volunteered to serve meals to the homeless at Glide Memorial in San Francisco.

Some years have meant travel to gather with far-flung family members, others have found me pitching in at home to host big dinners for my near and dear.

This year me and Teresa put together a small family dinner for us and our kids, and invited my daughter’s mom, and her son’s dad to join us. All in all a very pleasant and convivial occasion, I’m very grateful that we all are very much at peace with one another.

(That’s me and my daughter Geneva with Teresa and her son Elliot at The Dickens Fair earlier this month in the photo above.)

Wherever and however this season of celebration finds you, allow yourself to appreciate your place in the web of connection, and know that you are in exactly the right place, wherever you are.

Sometimes we’re close, and sometimes we’re far, and times alone are counterpoint to times shared with company. Life is meant to have contrasts, without light and dark we’re left with nothing but grey.

My older brother Rafi once reflected to me that the movie of life should have many reels. It’s not a short story, but rather a long narrative with many chapters.

May your current chapter in your life’s story be one that you are happy to dance through. And may your next chapters continue to rise up through the spiral of consciousness, and bring more love, kindness, and connection to you and everyone around you in days and years to come.

Happy Holidays to you and yours! See you on the first day of next year!


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