There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path. Don’t allow yourself to become one of them.

~Ralph Marston

Do you have something holding you back? What are the obstacles standing between you and your dreams? How can you eliminate fallacies that might be in your way?

Almost everyone I’ve ever met has some goals or dreams in life. (I say ‘almost’ because I’ve met a few folks who were actually “happy going nowhere.”) Some people choose a certain path because of the ‘shoulds’ they heard growing up – “ You should be a lawyer!” 

Others decide on the path of least resistance or base their choice entirely on monetary values. We tell our kids to “follow their passion” or “do what you love” yet the person who is doing both and being successful at it is more often the exception, not the rule.

So why is it that so many folks stop short of pursuing their dreams and settle for a path that perhaps feels safer yet will never lead to true fulfillment? Anyone who has ever felt the pull of procrastination knows what a multi-headed Hydra it can be. “Work on my passion project? Sure, of course! But first, I just need to finish color-coordinating my sock drawer and clearing out my spam folder.

Sisyphus is alive and well in the modern-day, we find ourselves not behind a boulder going up a hill but at the bottom of an endless stream of input, information, and trivial tasks. Growing up in the high desert country of Western Colorado I was always fascinated by the insect known as the ‘ant lion ’. These clever creatures hide in a little cone-shaped pit in the sand that they’ve dug and the hapless ant that stumbles into one finds themselves helplessly slipping toward the bottom where they become the main course for the ant lions dinner.

The harder they try to climb out, the more sand they pull down. Once they’ve stumbled into the trap, there is little chance for escape. I’ve often thought about this as a metaphor for life – the best way to avoid being eaten by the ant lion is to avoid the pit altogether!

Fallacies that we fall prey to can be like the deadly pits of the ant lion as well. One that is particularly pernicious is known as the ‘toolbox fallacy’. It’s a simple equation that seduces so many of us because in certain cases it’s true. Of course, you can’t fly through the air until you have an airplane, (or hang glider or jet-pack). It’s more or less impossible to cook a hot meal without a source of heat. You can’t go to Europe until you have a passport.

But when we say to ourselves that “I can’t do (x) until I have (y)” we sell ourselves short by missing the point that the only way to embody our dreams is to find a way to move forward and make incremental progress regardless of how small each step may be. You’ve heard them all before, the variations are endless. “I can’t work out until I have a gym membership.” “I can’t paint until I take a class.” “I can’t start a business until I have more time.” When applied to our goals and dreams, the toolbox fallacy is a lie that will infest itself like a big red stop sign along every road forward.

The real danger is that allowed to fester for long enough, this fallacy can actually change who we are and sabotage who we have the potential to become. The amateur who enjoyed painting, singing, or shooting photos as a teen may have set those aside for a ‘real career’ and postponed turning pro because the proper class or training was never taken. 

At the time they might have described themselves as a painter, a singer, or a photographer. Years later, looking back, they might wistfully refer to these things in terms of what they once were. The toolbox fallacy has the poisonous potential to turn “I am” into “I was.” You may have believed in your talent at one point, but in the long run, hard work beats talent that doesn’t work hard.

The fact of the matter is that simply having ‘Y’ does not automatically make you ‘X’. As anyone who has ever taken a class or completed a workshop well knows, having some knowledge is one thing, putting it to use is another. Having a hammer is not what makes you a carpenter, using it is what does.

The key to sidestepping fallacies like this in the first place is cultivating your self-awareness and perception. Dancers, in particular, have a three-dimensional sense of their abilities and limitations. You might be a natural at tango while knowing that a break-dancing competition is not for you. If you’re built for wrestling, don’t set your sights on the NBA.

So if your goal on the horizon is reasonably realistic, and you’re willing to take the steps that you can right now without waiting for the perfect moment, the proper training, or the desired degree, you have every chance that the universe will open doors for you and ease the way. It’s a matter of continually and regularly flexing the ‘being’ muscle and not worrying about the obstacle of ‘having’.

It’s like the old saying about planting a tree. The best time was twenty years ago. The second best time is today. Learn to recognize and question any chimerical obstacles that stand in your way. Paying regular attention to your ‘being’ will get you much further than waiting on your ‘having’. And you can do it! With your body in motion, you’ve got the awareness you need!

May your Monday be motivating, and your path be pleasant! 

Much love till next week!


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

Dance First Association Spotlight: The historic first-ever Conscious Dance Conference!

This week’s Dance First Members Spotlight shines on the first ever Conscious Dance Conference! This upcoming online event happening November 1st through 6th is a groundbreaking showcase of facilitators, modality founders, transformation experts, and thought leaders of the movement world.

Hosted and organized by Amara Pagano and Pierpaolo de Angelis, the fine folks behind the One Dance Tribe gatherings and Path of Azul, this virtual gathering of the great minds in movement promises to be remarkable opportunity to engage with the global conscious dance community like never before. 

With over 50 presenters and more than 70 hours of facilitation, this free live online conference brings a rich exploration of conscious dance into your own home. Each session will be an hour long followed by a chat-room to meet other conference participants and share your experience.

Engage with heart-centered change-makers from around the globe including Soul Motion creator Vinn Arjuna Martí, Movement Medicine founders Ya’Acov and Susannah Darling-Khan, Adam Barley of ZeroOne, Cocréa’s Wren LaFeet, Dancing Freedom’s Samantha Sweetwater & Lydia Onesong Marolda, Bettina Roth, Michelle Mahrer, David Juriansz, and Guillaume LaPlane representing 5Rhythms, Let Your Yoga Dance with Megha Nancy Buttenheim, Audica Lynne Morley from the Tamalpa Institute, Dance of Oneness with Banafsheh, Surfing the Creative with Melissa Michaels, and many more.  

This easily-accessible online format allows you to not only learn and experience the work and teachings of each of these leaders, you will also have an opportunity to engage, ask questions, and share your experience with other conference participants, deepening your connection and understanding.

Sign up now and receive a video revealing the 4 Keys to Conscious Dance and a 50 minute guided movement experience. Get your seat reserved today and mark your calendar to make sure you attend the live sessions of your choice.

For more info and to reserve your complimentary seat today, visit: