Have you ever thought about what it takes to be great? Greatness is one of those things that we all aspire to in some way or another, but what exactly does it mean? Who are the people in your life who live up to the term?

Some people think that greatness is something we are born with. Like it’s an innate quality that’s some lucky people have in their DNA and others don’t. Maybe you found yourself stuck and wondering where your own personal supply of it is? Is it a finite resource, subject to scarcity?

But really, greatness is more like a metaphysical investment. Think about anyone you know or look up to who is truly great. Sure there are people with talent who excel in the creative realms such as writing, singing, or making art. But what about the people who are looked up to for being great leaders, great parents, or great teachers?

If you just look a little deeper beyond the stature they’ve achieved, and ask yourself what it is that got them to where they are, you’ll see one common element. And if you emulate this simple approach, then you are bound to become great yourself.

Great people become that way by helping other people discover their own greatness and helping them deliver it to the world. Every time you empower someone to do a little better, be a little stronger, believe in themselves a little bit more, you are adding another brick of greatness to your own foundation.

Great people are recognized because they instilled belief in the people they lead, they asked the questions that gave rise to the aha moments that truly educated, the modeled the behavior that made it easy for folks to follow in their footsteps. Above all, they made the greatness of the people around them more important than their own.

I see this happen all the time. Sometimes I’m the one helping people step into a larger version of themselves and achieve results that they didn’t know were possible. Some of my current one-on-one coaching clients are really knocking it out of the ballpark, and when I witness and facilitate this transformation I sometimes find it hard to believe that I’ve played some part in it.

Other times it’s me who’s being held in a higher light of expanded belief. I’m grateful to have a powerful group of mentors who believe in my potential and remind me not just of who I am, but of who I can become. That’s why I believe it’s so important to curate a quality circle of friends who help you spiral upwards through the levels of consciousness.

Years ago I remember writing a few small articles for XLR8R magazine in San Francisco. I was so surprised and taken off guard when some people I really respected took notice, and advised me to write more. Without those early words of encouragement I may have never believed in myself enough to become the writer and publisher that I am today.

Never doubt your potential for greatness. Recognize the people around you who can see your potential, and learn how to shine your light of empowerment on those who will grow with it. Your greatness doesn’t come from your ego or an inflated sense of self-worth, but rather from the recognizing when you’ve helped someone else bring theirs forward.

Keep on shining your light and have a great week!

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

Dance First Spotlight: NCDC DANCE CAMP!

Dance First Spotlight

Today’s spot light shines on an annual event that’s a West Coast legend. NCDC’s (Northern California Dance Collective) Summer Dance Camp! Truly one of the main highlights of the California conscious dance calendar, this epic family friendly gathering sets the standard for high-vibe camping for the ‘no booze, no shoes’ dance and movement community.

Every summer for 9 days running, hundreds of people make the beautiful journey to Camp Hye Sierra and frolic with their friends and family at one of the most perfect spots for this sort of thing that you can imagine. Set about halfway up the Sierra’s between Fresno and Sequoia National Park, Camp Hye Sierra has all the amenities that you’d imagine Charlie Brown had back in the day, but with dozens of freestyle dances and movement workshops happening daily.

There’s a lake to swim in, complete with canoes. There’s a lovely lodge for the yummy catered meals that doubles as a dancehall in the afternoons and evenings. There’s forests to hike in, lawns for relaxing or playing badminton or volleyball on, and great trails to ride if you bring a bike. Huge fire pits for making smores with the kids, (and there’s been plenty of rain, so fires will probably be allowed!) You can pitch a tent in the shade, stay in your RV, or share one of the many available cabins, it’s very calm and peaceful at night.

This years lineup is more dynamic than ever, with classes in all your favorite conscious modalities such as 5Rhythms, Soul Motion, Open Floor, and Nia. There’s partner Latin and Tango partner dancing, Contact Improv, Butoh, singing and vocal workshops, and a wide variety of performances including the renowned vocal stylings of Ma Muse. Enthusiasm provided by the Shamanic Cheerleaders and talent shows for both the grownups and kids. DJ’s include Ryan Herr, Cuttarug, Christina Tuccillo, and yours truly, Mark Metz!

Rates go up on May 15th, and some of the sections are selling out fast. You can sign up for any three, six, or all nine days. Learn more at their website, join the NCDC Facebook Group, and reserve your spots for you, your friends, and your family today.