“ The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

 ~ Alan Watts

Have you ever heard the expression “even with the best laid plans”? Is it actually possible to have a neat and orderly and predictable existence? Does your ability to navigate uncertainty correlate to your overall quality of life?

Even when you think you’ve got all your ducks in a row, life can throw you a curveball. If you’ve ever had kids, (or even pets for that matter), you know what I’m talking about.

If life is a river, we should expect that there will be boulders to flow around. And while we can’t pretend that they are not there, we do well to have a strategy that prevents us from crashing upon them.

Downhill skiing through trees in deep powder, and whitewater rafting through rocks and rough rapids are two activities that provide one of my favorite metaphors for life.

In either situation you have no choice but to surrender to the flow. The reality of the trees or boulders is a given. Tangle with either one and you’re a goner.

The key to surviving such situations is to understand the difference between attention and awareness. Attention can be focused like a laser beam, while awareness expands like the air filling a balloon.

In the rapids or in the trees, the trick is to focus your attention on the space between. Your awareness of the obstacles must be ever present, yet your focus and attention must be on the pathway through.

In life, the key is to hold a vision. Having a clear picture of where you are headed, (and consistently making progress towards it), is how you stay in the flow.

Face it, the rocks and trees will always be there. Currently I’ve got an important installation coming up on a deadline and a big trip on the horizon. Meanwhile, our cat has come down with something serious and my left thumb looks like a black and blue balloon after an unfortunate encounter with a 5-pound hammer.

But onward we must flow! Thumbs heal, cats (usually) recover, and life goes on. The secret sauce for riding the current is gratitude and thankfulness. Blessings are buoyant so remember yours as you ride towards your vision.

Until next week, much love!


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