What’s your relationship with your belongings? How do you deal with ’stuff’? Why is it that the things we own are a reflection of who we are?

Everyone has a different way of making their way through the three dimensional world. And at the various ages and stages of our lives the importance of our stuff shifts in relation to what we are feeling and who we are being.

Neale Donald Walsch has a great saying, that “what we are feeling is who we are being.” It’s a valuable perspective to keep in mind as we navigate our path through the people and places of our world.

And what sort of things we choose to surround us with can have as great of an effect on us as who we associate with. Life is an ongoing process of obtaining, curating, editing, and letting go. A healthy flow is vital to an easy life.

I’ve definitely been on both sides of the fence on this one. There was a time in my early 20’s when I was a collector of “found items” from the back alleys and vacant lots of Denver Colorado. I dreamt of having acres of property to fill up with my treasures, none of which turned out to be very valuable in the end.

Then there was a period of a few years where I inhabited a tiny crew cabin on a large ship in the Richmond Marina. Living in a space of less than 80 square feet gave me the opportunity to pare things down to the very nubbins.

Somehow, through it all, I’ve managed to hang on to some records. For me, my vinyl collection has remained a constant companion. Records are somehow a lasting metaphor for meaning in my life, and also great teachers of the lessons of non-attachment.

On a couple of different occasions in the distant past I have had crates of important records go missing for one reason or another. At the time it always seemed like a real shocker, but I never worried about it too much and got on with my life, continuing to collect more.

After a few years I noticed that records are like karmic boomerangs, titles that I had given up on and long forgotten about would reappear in unlikely places and find their way back into my hands.

Sometimes people have the impression that I must own tens of thousands of records, but nothing could be further from the truth. I bring home new ones every week from a wide variety of sources, but I also maintain what I call my “go pile.”

I make sure to part with crates of the extras that accumulate every so often, so that if I ever decide to move I’m not drowning in records. I’ll spend time going through ones I haven’t heard in a long while, and if they don’t pass the “will I ever have occasion to play this?” test, then off they go.

Have you ever heard the phrase “three moves is as good as a fire?” It pays to stay relatively light, that’s what I consider my core collection somewhere between 500 and 1000 records that continually improve in quality over time. But I’m a DJ, I’m sure a lovingly-curated collection of far less would be enough for most families.

One of the things that so delightful about sharing excellent music with other people, is giving them the gift of the artist and song title so they can go hunt it down themselves. At Dance Jam on Fridaynights, we have started keeping a small easel on the DJ table where we can place the cover of the record that is currently playing, easily viewed from the dance floor.

It’s hugely gratifying when an inspired dancer comes forward and looks closely or even snaps a photo of the record cover. We’re happy to help them start their hunt so they can play them at home while they are cooking or hanging out.

When it comes to how are keep my collection organized at home, it’s more of the serendipity and intuition method. I’ve never been one of these people who can keep everything perfectly tidy and alphabetized, but I usually have a pretty good idea of where things are at.

Perhaps haven’t had a turntable in a long time, or maybe you still have some records hiding out in the attic or basement. If that’s the case, feel free to hit reply and I’ll be more than happy to find find some time to get on the phone with you and help you get started again.

It’s sort of bizarre to be advising people to make room for records in today’s day and age. David Bowie prophesied that one day music would simply flow like water from a tap. And yet even with 50,000 songs on your hard drive, or millions available on Spotify, there’s something missing.

I live in a house with my 10-year-old girl and my girlfriends 12-year-old boy. Before we got the turntable and stereo dialed in in the dining room, there was very little acknowledgment of music in the house, especially first thing in the morning.

Now, we greet the day with a few favorite artists that are on heavy rotation. For some reason, the kids have taken a serious liking to both Joni Mitchell and Carole King. The kids often wake up before we do, so they will invite one of these inspiring women into the house with us by dropping the needle before we get out of bed.

No matter how many times we hear Carole sing “You’re beautiful…”while we are squeezing our juice and eating our breakfast, it never gets old.

When it comes to your dance with the three dimensional objects that you surround yourself with, ask yourself how they make you feel? Like Neale says, how we feel is who we are, so it’s well worth editing things to raise your vibration!

Have yourself a great week, and enjoy your dance till next Monday!


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

DANCE FIRST MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – Ilona Glinarsky and her Living Tango Method! 

Today’s Dance First Member Spotlight shines on Los Angeles-basedIlona Glinarsky! She’s a serious mover and shaker in the Southern California Conscious Tango community, and the creator of the Living Tango Method. Besides 25 years of experience leading social partner dance, this Ukrainian-born movement leader is also an in-demand public speaker and sought-after life coach.

Ilona is a shining example of a hardworking community leader dedicated to her craft. With popular weekly “Tango Experience”classes on Wednesday nights, a monthly Sunday night “Milonga”and a busy calendar of special events, she does more to present Argentine Tango in a mindful manner than probably anyone else in the Los Angeles area.

Look for her annual LA Tango Marathon “The Endless Summer Tango” that happens in spectacular indoor/outdoor locations including a “Beach Milonga” every Memorial Day weekend, this year from May 24-28.

She says “Tango is about self-discovery, about learning the true meaning of partnership on the dance floor and beyond, about re-framing our preconceived ideas of “masculine” and “feminine” interaction and, above all, Tango is about discovering true CONNECTION and PASSION.

This coming weekend, March 24th and 25th, she’s proud to announce that she will be offering her signature “Mindfulness in Motion x 2” workshops as part of The Best You Expo in Long Beach! FREE TICKETS are still available at this link:https://thebestyouexpo.com/us/free-tickets

Recognized for her innovative teaching approach, warmth, and wisdom, she sees tango as a powerful tool and a perfect platform for embodying meditation, mindfulness, deep body awareness, authentic non-verbal communication, creativity and teamwork. With her degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica plus an active yoga practice, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her holistic teaching approach.

She’s even bringing the magic of tango to the technology and engineering community! She’s recently been invited back to teach the ‘brainy’ folks at The Aerospace Corporation for a second term.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area this coming weekend, don’t missThe Best You Expo and you’re chance to experience “Mindfulness in Motion x 2” with Ilona. And if you have friends in the area, be sure to let them know!

Find out more about Ilona’s regular classes, special events, and one-on-one offerings at www.LivingTango.com