“ I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”

 ~ Mahatma Gandhi

How’s your internal landscape doing these days? Why does your outer world reflect your inner being? What is it about the ‘wallpaper’ inside your mind that makes such a difference in your day-to-day life?

You’ve probably heard the little snippet of ancient wisdom, “as above, so below.” When it comes to consciousness it could easily be re-interpreted to “as within, so outside.” The path between your three-dimensional external world and the infinite landscape of consciousness within is a two-way street.

Yet the two realms have entirely different operating systems. The physical, concrete, solid, three-dimensional world that you walk, talk, and drive through every day is so logical. It behaves rationally and follows all sorts of rules of order like the laws of physics and the principles of entropy.

You push the pebble and it stays put until you push it again. You water a plant and it grows. You feed your kids and one day they grow up and are off on their own. The rational world of if-this, then-that. Cause and effect. The Age of Reason.

But be careful! Don’t put Descartes before des horse! (pardon the nod to Pan and Alobar, but we’re deep into a French/English parallel reading of Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins over here.) Just because one has their ducks all in a row doesn’t mean that all is well under the hood.

How is it then that one person may have every item in order, all the boxes checked on the career and accomplishment list, each tchotchke and carefully curated artifact arranged to perfection, and yet still be uptight, unhappy, unhealthy, and miserable inside?

While another works in an office that looks like a hurricane just hit it, wears clothes with holes in the elbows and mismatched socks, is seldom on time or on the ball in a meeting, and yet exudes nothing but happiness and contentment and never catches so much as a sniffle?

The weird paradox is in the fact that your metaphysical, non-linear, ineffable inner realm has more of an effect on your overall well-being than your external three-dimensional surroundings. You can exercise all sorts of control and logic and micro-management of the details in your outer world, and still be out-of-whack in something is off-kilter inside.

But if all the important stuff within you is hunky-dory, then the physical world you’re following your life’s path through will somehow cooperate and fall into place, even if it’s in a slightly scrambled and less-than-organized manner.

Obviously, the two realms influence each other. Ideally, you find a balance that has equilibrium between the two, guided by your goals, dreams, and highest aspirations. But if one realm seems to be really working great while the other is falling apart, then it’s worth taking a step back and asking yourself some questions to sort things out.

Your metaphysical inner-realm is non-linear, non-logical, and not about to be categorized like books on a shelf. It starts with feelings, moods, and intuition, and works its way out. The slightest little unresolved issue such as an unspoken apology, an unforgiven slight, or an unfortunate regret can act as the proverbial pea in the princess’s mattress, causing you to never quite relax and be at peace with yourself and the world.

If you’re not careful a little pea like that can start to calcify and harden like the pearl in an oyster. The trap is when you work hard to ignore the niggling issue on the inside by putting more and more energy into ‘fixing’ things on the outside. Years of this and you might start to forget what’s at the bottom of it all in the first place. Like the princess in the fairy tale, a bigger stack of mattresses is not the answer.

Being mindful about what may or may not be bugging you is the beginning of balance. I find those moments just as I’m drifting off to sleep to be an especially accurate time for naming any little ‘disturbances in the field’. Noticing them, naming them, and noting how to deal with them in the real world as quickly and calmly as possible is the best practice for rooting them out before they have a chance to harden.

That’s why I’ve long been fond of the metaphor of ‘wallpaper’. What I surround myself with, what content I consume, what experiences I seek out all contribute to the ‘wallpaper’ that’s projected like imagery on the inside of my mind as I drift off at the end of the day. Kind and loving interactions, contributions to my community, art, music, culture, and the beauty of the natural world all serve to create a soothing and healthy backdrop to the infinite internal corridors of my consciousness.

Against this background, if there’s a fly in your ointment, it’s much easier to notice and deal with. If you allow your mind to be filled with upsetting content, crazy conflicts, or needless noise then your ‘wallpaper’ is likely to be chaotic enough to camouflage any internal issues that may be the root of your troubles.

What you’re feeling on the inside has everything to do with who you are being on the outside. Once you have those two realms dancing in harmony you’re free to be doing whatever it is that leads you to your dreams.

May your week be wonderful and your soul be serene!

See you next Monday,


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