“ Ring out the false, ring in the true ”

 ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

How do you take stock of the year behind? Are you a believer in New Year’s resolutions? What does your crystal ball say about the year ahead?

This being the last Monday of 2020 it seems like some taking stock is in order. It seems safe to say that one could call it a historic year that will go down in history, and not for reasons we might have preferred.

Like it or not, lessons have been learned and we’ll keep on learning. As the proverb says, “shift happens!” One thing is for sure, none of us could have predicted how 2020 was going to turn out a year ago.

What does this tell us about 2021? Well, not much, except we’re going into it with a lot more caution and a glimmer of hope in the air. My astrologer friends tell me we’re finally entering the Age of Aquarius, so there’s that.

While it’s easy and obvious to list all of the things that we’ve lost, missed, or done without these past months, it’s also worth acknowledging the things that turned up and that we may have never known or realized had we not been suddenly knocked off-kilter.

No two situations are quite the same, and some of us have faced immense challenges, severe hardships, or tragic loss. The lucky ones have had not much more than a change in routine or a quiet and less social year to deal with. I doubt that anyone could call this year ‘business as usual’.

Maybe we should be looking at life during Covid like a Japanese Kintsukuroi bowl. Sure it all suddenly fell to pieces, but as it comes back together we may discover gold in the cracks.

Have you found time for something that had long been on the back-burner? Is there a new practice, hobby, or intellectual pursuit that you’ll keep going with once our collective ship of society settles back on a somewhat even keel?

Perhaps you re-connected with some distant friends or relatives through the magic mirror of Zoom who you couldn’t quite find time for in the before-times? Or maybe a true passion like a book, screenplay, or musical recording project has finally come to fruition due to the lengthy periods of available time?

If you’re a dancer or facilitator, trainer or student, chances are you’ve gotten really well acquainted with Zoom this past year, (does anyone remember Skype?). Some community dances have managed to make the shift in style, Santa Cruz’s Dance Church being a case in point, I was delighted to get to DJ their last session of the year on Sunday, you can listen to the mix posted on my SoundCloud page.

I noticed a recurring theme while perusing social media lately. A LOT of folks are discovering the fact that they actually eat better and more healthy when they make use of their own kitchens and apply some of their innate creativity to the culinary arts.

It’s no secret that fast food eaten on the run was a defining feature of our previous on-the-go world, but we made excuses for the habit since there was always too much to do on our endless to-do lists.

Notwithstanding the plight of our local mom-and-pop restaurant owners and the inevitable shakeout of the industry, (order some takeout and help them out!), the move back into our own kitchens and the re-discovery of home cooking has got to be a plus for society in general.

More people are raising vegetables at home and putting in gardens. Home improvement, interior decorating, and Feng Shui projects are all the rage. Did you know that jigsaw puzzle makers are having their best year in history?

Sure as the sun rises tomorrow, some of the seeds we’re planting now during this dark and dormant time are sure to grow and bloom in years to come. And some of the excess growth from earlier times may be due for a pruning.

For all the jokes about 2020 vision looking better in hindsight and how much we’re going to like seeing it in the rearview mirror, it’s always going to be a turning point in our collective consciousness.

So as you gather the good and prepare to dance with it into the New Year, feel the freedom of releasing that which doesn’t serve you anymore and leave it behind. It’s time to inhale 2021 and exhale 2020!

Wishing you a safe, warm, and loving New Year!

Much Love! See you in 2021!

M+

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

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