Feb 25, 2017

Today is a Game You can Win: WE are the Reward

Driving to work at UNM, I felt overwhelmed to draw awareness to two natural occurrences:
1. The tendency for us to easily follow as we leave adolescence and transition to an adult, and
2. The need to reveal the invisible walls we place around ourselves so we are less limited.

So when I arrived at UNM Ballroom, I wrote these words on the board:


Everyone sat in one a two rows, both rows facing the board.

I explained how the last five weeks, we have enjoyed a peaceful and celebratory union.  One leader and everyone with the freedom to contribute, lead, follow, or simply watch.  As a United Nation, there was support, resources, and overwhelming guidance.

But today: we divide into states of birth.

Every student counted of "1, 2, 3, 4" and was assigned to either "Disco 1", "Disco A", "Samba 1", or "Samba A" groups (aka: States).  They were given three minutes to share their strengths in their State, which included 1. relationships (each other), 2. resources (wifi), 3. knowledge (class experience and journal notes), related to their state of Disco or Samba.

Then all groups rose and had five seconds to choose a "Quadrant" of our United Classroom; large blue mats divided the room in a cross (horizontally and vertically) so four floor sections were visible.

Now within their quadrant, each group had 3 minutes to discuss there dance style and share words related to that dance.  Then three minutes to put together an 8-count phrase of that dance style.  Then a few minutes more.

What happened during this time?

Eye contact

Everyone then was asked to grab their pens and papers and move toward the center lines, and privately and confidentially write down the "self-talk" in their minds throughout the experience.

Love, or hate?
Faith, or fear?
Excitement, or anxiety?  

What do you say to yourself when your leader leaves and you enter a new experience?
Are YOU ready to rise up?

The stronger your knowledge, resources, and relationships are within and around YOU, the stronger your family, your community, your state, our world.

The truth of dance is not in your ability to follow, but in your realization that YOU decide how much to learn, write, watch, experience, teach, share, and MOVE.

May your mentors walk behind you, as you find your place on your journey.

And I asked them if anyone had crossed the lines to communication with another group.  

ONE student out of 32 cheered out: I DID!

The walls were invisible.  
Class was just a game.  
Our states were always united.

Reveal the Invisible
The more possibilities you envision beyond your own boundaries, the more possibilities there are for us all.

I see a world full of dancers. 
Self-responsible, self-loving, contributing, dream-seeking, goal-achieving.

What do you see?
What do you do?

Nov 7, 2016

Hopeless to Hopeful: Elevating Dark Moments

This post is not about the many causes of Depression, or the quick guide to seek treatment with modes such as therapy, medication, and exercise (for highest outcomes).

These are Dramatic Wellness tricks for elevating heavier moments.

1. Be altruistic, because inner peace is created by doing loving things for others.  The size of these acts covers a huge range but the smallest acts bring elevation.  Make eye contact and smile at a stranger, donate a can of food, check on a neighbor: share what feels best for you.

2. Touch.  Hygiene to personal space has made us decrease contact with one another but we were meant to touch and be touched... this is partly why we own so many pets, comfortable clothes, and stuffed animals (snuggle, snuggle).  Bring touch back to one another: give anyone today a high-five, try a social dance class with simple hand holds, and lean in and snuggle back up to your family and friends.

3. Move with positive music which touches our brain through our heart (rhythm and tempo), our mind (words and lyrics), and our emotions (instrumentation).  Turn OFF dark, angry, and anxious music because it turns equal thoughts, emotions, and sensations ON: oh my!

Visit Spotify for a Hopeless to Hopeful Playlist that strengthens my heavier days.

Please share in the comments: 

What brightens your life?

BONUS Trio: Look up, Stand up, Open up.

We need your Light.

XO - Megan

Oct 30, 2016

Three Tips for Voting with Wellness

For a dramatically well voting experience, consider these three things:

1.  Candidate Selection without Bias:   Did you ever receive an email and the misinterpret the emotion behind it?  Written word takes on the tone of our own mind, not always the tone of the author, and just as likely body language and gestures can all interpreted in our frame of mind.

WHAT TO DO:  Look at each candidate and vote option from a point of fact (objective) rather than opinion and emotion (subjective).

2.  Question with Equality: if we start with our own preferences, then next we unconsciously seek out the information that supports our preference.

WHAT TO DO:  Equally ask the same question of both candidates, such as "what is their factual position and plan for environmental health?".  For bonds, what are the facts of this funding cost and distribution if I vote For versus Against?

3.  Innocent until Proven Guilty:   Especially in the days before Election day, anyone can say anything about anyone, and claims rapidly becomes global.  Does this urgency sway your research?

WHAT TO DO:  Seek to check if a claim has been proven, and consider through what process.

Hope for the Future

We all serve each other.  From love.  With love.
And it starts with You.

Happy voting!

- Megan

Oct 16, 2016

Hands to the Sky. Poetry from Dance

Tuesday, September 20 was a particularly emotional Ballroom class at UNM.  Before the last dance, I shared a piece of my health story.

So many people have issues in their lives.  Relationships.  Work.  Resources.  Stress.  Religion.  My health has always been... complex.

Five years ago I asked my dermatologists and eye doctors to monitor a spot on the tissue in the corner of my right eye.  Six months ago, my eye doctor said "Wait...  How long has it been like THIS?" meaning that the spot now extended throughout my lower eye lid.  I did not know...

So they referred my to a surgeon and said to take care of it within six months.  The eye surgeon was retiring, but he said "Get in to this doctor.  Email.  Call.  Get it done in three months.  Top of the list."

I was able to see this doctor within two months, and he asked me to schedule surgery asap.  He said if it was positive, I would have to go to Denver or Philadelphia to see the top doctors in ocular oncology.  I went upstairs and sat in the surgery department awaiting that schedule.  They brought me in and offered a date the very next week.

But the date of that week was tricky... seriously tricky.  I had my first recorded interview for a Fitness show.  I had an Open House for new students at a facility I adore.  I had my first conference presentation.  We planned to take our daughters to the State Fair.  And all that took place first.  One more week.

The day before surgery, September 20, I asked my friend and pro photographer to come in and take pictures.  I wanted to capture my students joy.  My students bravery and courage.  My students trials, success, and laughter.  And that I had waited one more week to savory this last moment, together.  Dancing.

For our very last dance, I shared the above story.  I promised to be back the next week.  I thanked them for dancing, no matter what.  No matter what.  And then we waltzed.  (Private clip, recreated October 14).

The next week on September 27, I came back to Tuesday class.  We had a strong class; we danced more, learned more.  It would be nearly three more weeks before I found out my pathology results, and they waited with me.  Dancing.

And one student turned in this...

Dance makes you vulnerable.  
It makes you honest.  
It heals you.  
It inspires.  
It progresses your life, and carries you through the scary times.
And whatever you may choose to do, like become a phenomenal poet, life is deeper.  Richer.

The pathology report came back.   Negative.   No cancer. 

Hands to the Sky

Thank you to all my students, doctors, friends, and family.  

Thank you, LaBlast Fitness.

And most of all, thank you for sharing your poem Richard Eckert.

YOU ALL inspire the world.

- Megan

Sep 30, 2016

Capturing Movement: Week 5 class at UNM!

On September 20, my dear photographer friend Basil Steele came for a visit at UNM.  On the fifth week of our twice-a-week Ballroom class with LaBlast curriculum, I was introducing Samba, Paso Doble, and Disco.

The gift of photography: absolutely priceless.

In honor of all my loving students who open their bodies, hearts, and minds to dance each week, please enjoy the following!