Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.

~ Napoleon Hill

What’s your secret to getting along well with other people? Do you ever find yourself talking about someone who isn’t present? Why is it that when we hear something second-hand it has so much impact on us?

Gossip has a bad reputation, and rightfully so. Most of us have had the old saying “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all” drilled into us when we were kids. But were we really paying attention?

If you are like most people, you have probably spent some time in your life as part of a large group or organization. Whether it be school, work, a volunteer organization, or your local conscious dance community, life is made out of interactions with other people.

You have undoubtedly witnessed the various ways that people manage their relationships in the context of real-world social networks. Some folks fly under the radar, others make a huge splash, and then there are those who seem to magnetize turmoil to themselves wherever they go.

Working, playing, or volunteering together in a group is like a big dance where ideally everyone is moving together in sync. The random flow of energy is balanced by a set of social structures that help keep people in harmony. So when someone has a habit of throwing sand in the social gears, they stand out like a sore thumb.

One of the most common ways that people do this is by saying negative things about other folks behind their back. We’ve all seen it happen, it’s a small-minded approach to climbing the ladder in a social structure. The mistaken idea is that if someone is torn down then the person who is talking smack has a better chance to ascend.

Predictably, this plan of attack almost always backfires. Setting aside the questionable nature of hierarchy in a social setting in the first place, it’s like an immutable law of nature that gossip or denigrating comments find their way back around to the person they’re aimed at. As you know, hearing something second-hand makes an outsized impression upon us.

It’s no surprise that don Miguel Ruiz made “Be impeccable with your word” the first of The Four Agreements. Rarely has better advice for staying out of trouble in life been given. Once words leave our lips, there’s no pulling them back.

So what’s your best way to deal with situations when you find yourself in a conversation that veers into less-than-loving comments about an absent third party, regardless whether they are perfectly valid points? First, know that behind-the-back criticism serves little purpose beyond sowing discord in an organization. The person with the complaint needs to figure out how to approach the problem directly, or in the presence of a mediator if necessary. Obviously, if it’s simply out-of-line behavior that needs to be brought to the attention of someone in charge that’s a different story.

If it feels like insidious gossip is being spread in your presence, and perhaps you have an entirely different opinion of the person in question, you can always choose to simply keep your mouth shut, (and perhaps raise your eyebrows). But if you are drawn into the conversation, or pressed for an opinion, you have the opportunity to flip the script and actually say something kind and well-meaning. A few words of gratitude or appreciation go a long way in this circumstance.

The practice of actually living out your mom’s advice and either keeping your mouth shut or keeping it positive will serve you well in a number of ways. First, the people piling on in that conversation will know that you’re not playing their game. Second, it will sort of inoculate you from being drawn into more of their drama. And third, you’ll build a reputation around kindness and positivity.

Whatever you say will likely find it’s way back to the third party at some point anyway, or at least you have to assume that it will. You may as well make it something that you’d be happy to stand behind face-to-face! You might even land a compliment that would blush your cheeks in person, but if you’re honest, earnest, and acting with good intentions your words will never come back to haunt you.

Whether you’re dancing solo, in a pair, or with a large group, keep your power of positivity handy and you won’t step on any toes!

Much love till next week!


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

Dance First Member Spotlight :: Join Adelle Brewer in celebrating The Synergy Studio’s new location in San Antonio!!!

This week’s Dance First Members Spotlight shines on Adelle Brewer, the dynamo behind The Synergy Studio in San Antonio, Texas! After an epic 13-year run at The Pearl, Synergy is on the move to a new larger and better equipped location closer to downtown San Antonio and more accessible to major highways at 701 N. Alamo.

After six months of hard work and inspired preparation, the new digs open to the public next Monday, July the 8th! There’s room for more classes, a salon space & therapy room, and fully equipped facilities for Aerial & Sunrise Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates Reformer, Drum Circles, Hip Hop,  Bollywood, Nia, Breathwork, and more.

Adelle is a well-known mover-and-shaker who has arguably done as much as anyone in Texas to build a conscious movement community there. Her network of teachers and facilitators have made The Synergy Studio a widely-recognized destination for embodiment.

Recently The Synergy Studio stepped up to a greater mission “offering more experiences to school-age children, our Military Veterans, as well as our elder population” and launched a new 501-C-3 non-profit called “The Synergy Studio Community. ” You are invited to support this dynamic new charity outreach via their PayPal fundraiser page.

Best of all, you don’t have to live in Texas or visit San Antonio to experience Adelle’s magical mojo firsthand! You can plan a trip and travel to one of the many seminars and retreats she hosts, often co-facilitating with frequent collaborator Joanie Brooks. From the Soma Dance Retreat in Montgomery, Texas to Playa Xinalani in Mexicoand more, you’ve got ample opportunities to embody yourself Synergy style.

Learn more at