He who thinks he knows, doesn’t know. He who knows that he doesn’t know, knows. For in this context, to know is not to know. And not to know is to know.”

~ Joseph Campbell

What are your words to live by? Do you have any mottos or maxims that keep you on track? What’s your favorite quote to share when people ask for advice?

Most everyone has some ‘old sayings’ up their sleeve. My dad used to say “Money doesn’t grow on trees!” Whenever I meet someone who is in the middle of paring down their possessions and shifting houses I say “Three moves is as good as a fire.”

Quotable quote or lasting phrases are the original memes. Long before there were internet pipes full of cute photos with catchy phrases superimposed on top, memes were  defined by Merriam-Webster as “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.”

Richard Dawkins , the man who coined the term, said that “Memes (discrete units of knowledge, gossip, jokes and so on) are to culture what genes are to life. Just as biological evolution is driven by the survival of the fittest genes in the gene pool, cultural evolution may be driven by the most successful memes.”

It’s remarkable how a random phrase or repeated remark can become so much of our personality and shape our mindset. Memes are the seat of both healthy habits and limiting beliefs.

Joseph Campbell, Mr. “Follow your Bliss” himself, wisely pointed out that society lives into the myths it creates, so if we are to take that on a personal level it’s a good idea to put some care into the myths and memes we hold dear, and make an effort to grow into the ones that serve us best.

The term ‘conscious dance’ itself is something of a meme, once we started publishing under that umbrella in the mid-00’s, many of the facilitators and modalities that didn’t quite feel comfortable with monikers such as ‘ecstatic’ or ‘contemplative’ adopted it right away. And of course there has always been a fair amount of pushback and humor in response, after all, a lot of folks love their ‘unconscious’ dance!

Be that as it may, the term has stuck, and we’ve always encouraged the open-source usage of ‘conscious dance’ while reserving the rights to the intellectual property around ‘conscious dancer’ for our business and publishing activities.

I subscribe to a concept known as “Positive Active Measures.” The idea is that in today’s world of overwhelming news and depressing statistics, we need to bolster our spirits with a variety of nourishing activities and support one another with enlivening ideas and information whenever we can.

This Monday Love newsletter/blog that I post each week is one small way that I seek to elevate our collective spirits with a blast of positivity. You are all making a difference in the world in your own way, and my goal is to encourage and inspire you in any way I can!

This coming week take a moment here and there to pause and reflect on any common phrases or cliches that might recur in your mind and examine them in the clear light of your conscious mind. Are any of your favorite phrases or verbal memes masking subtle shutdowns or less-than-loving beliefs?

Ask yourself how you might replace any that are no longer serving you with updated messages that reflect who and what you’d like to become in the future rather than what you’ve been or are leaving behind in the past.

Remember that your words create your reality, and what starts with a thought manifests into the world you inhabit every day. Only you can dance with the words in your head, so air them out in the light from time to time and make sure you’re still in love with your partners!

Till next week, may it be a happy dancing time for you!


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

Make plans for Dance Camp Northwest!

Dance Camp Northwest re-convenes for a sixth year on August 19 for a whole week of dance, community and transformation, two hours northwest of Seattle on the shores of Puget Sound at historic Fort Flagler State Park. Enjoy a blend of movement with everything from acro-yoga to qi-gong plus a plethora of cross-modal community dances and workshops.

Check out the website for a full list of presenters and dance-artists, and reserve your spot as soon as possible. Meals and snacks are included, and dorm beds and tent sites are still available.

Make your travel plans now, and invite your friends! This is going to be a Pacific Northwest adventure not to be missed!

Dance Camp Northwest
August 19 – 26, Fort Flagler, WA​​