First off, if you are looking for more general information about masterminds, this is not the blog entry for you. Click here instead.
If you are interested to learn more about my business mastermind, you’re in the right place! I’ll share with you 1) a basic overview of what we’ve discussed in quarter 1 (Q1) of the program and 2) snippets of interviews with current mastermind members about their experience so far.
An Overview of Quarter 1 in my Business Mastermind Program
In Q1 of the program we covered the following topics:
- Group agreements and how/why to create agreements within groups
- Participants’ relationship to both giving and receiving support
- How to create effective accountability partnerships
- Creating a clear vision for the future and measurable goals
- Visibility + taking our visibility up a notch (…or 10)
- Money mindset (money and visibility typically go hand-in-hand)
While I have a general outline I follow for my business mastermind, I tailor it based on the group dynamic and the group’s needs. I never hesitate to throw my plan out the window if there is a topic that would better benefit the participants.
My clients review their experience of Q1 in my business mastermind
Below are interviews with some of the current participants. Let me first first introduce you to them (p.s. they happen to all be ladies, but we do have a co-ed group)!
…and now on to their feedback…
My favorite part about Q1 was…
Eloah: The constant forward movement! I really appreciated the pace, and I made a huge progress sorting out my finances.
Lisa: Creating my master plan for 2021. It’s helped me focus my energy.
Carrie: Enjoying a community with other awesome creators.
This mastermind structure is unique because…
Eloah: There is so much support going through things that I would otherwise avoid.
Lisa: I am able to build relationships with entrepreneurs who understand my struggles, fears, and uncertainty, as well as my vision, growth and bigness.
Carrie: of the shared accountability and commitment.
My biggest learning in Q1 was…
Eloah: how to be unstoppable
Lisa: that having a road map is important, even if you are not 100% sure where you are going; accountability and personal integrity are my biggest assets and tools; I am a badass, even when I might forget; I am a leader, even when I feel invisible and insignificant; and I offer tremendous value to my clients, even when things don’t go perfectly.
Carrie: that I can trust my peers to hold my vision when I forget
If you’re considering this structure, you should know…
Eloah: that your life is about to change for the better and that it is never too late to give your life a new direction that feels right for you!
Lisa: It is what you make it. Although Megan is an amazing leader and facilitator with an incredible arsenal of tools available for us, it really is up to each participant to be engage, aware, alert and vulnerable. The deeper I go with my own practices and learnings, the more my business will benefit.
Carrie: you have value to both give and receive
What I appreciated about Meg as a leader in Q1 was…
Eloah: Geeez!! Everything? She is such a badass-take-no-shit-and-love-you-beyond-limits human being! She’s also great fun and a pleasure to have around!
Lisa: her heart and her ability to hold each individual to their highest self and potential. Even when I think I am failing, I feel like celebrating because of Megan’s incredible outlook that does not see results as right/wrong or good/bad but as a metric to see what’s working and what I can tweak to improve. My business is bigger and has more direction as a result.
Carrie: the special blend of playfulness, accountability, insight, and kindness that holds the group together.
What are you taking away from this blog post, reader? Share below in the comments!
I want to tell you a story how I recovered from rejection.
On its surface, the story seems to be about failure. Upon closer inspection, however, it is about intuition, energetic alignment and one of my favorite phrases:
This or something better.
Here’s a belief I live by: rejection is not bad or final. Rejection is a useful navigation tool and a way that the universe challenges us to step into the highest and best version of ourselves.
We are playing an infinite game, and rejection is a normal, natural part of the journey
The story I will share is about my own recovery from rejection, although I believe you will recognize your own experience in the story, too.
Back in October, I sent off my application for the Fulbright – a prestigious grant from the US government.
It was a badass proposal. My editor at Northwestern University said I had one of the best personal statements he’d seen that year. Plus, it was an awesome topic. I planned to study the intersections between flamenco and personal development.
About a month after I clicked “submit,” however, I got a gut feeling: I wasn’t going to get the award. Something wasn’t right. It wasn’t meant for me.
<<Ok, readers, check-in no. 1 – can you relate to this story yet? Is there a time when you felt in your bones that something was not right for you, even if you didn’t know quite why?>>
Last week, a rejection letter confirmed my hunch. And, while my stomach still dropped when I read it (I’m human, after all), I knew this was the right outcome.
This is when I turned to my mantra:
This or something better.
Something better, I trusted, would be on the way.
<<Check in no. 2! Can you relate to trusting something better is on its way to you?>>
Although this was the outcome I expected, and I had made peace with it, I wanted to think more deeply about why this happened.
I’m a coach, after all. Thinking deeply about shit is what I do.
After some introspection, reading and journaling, I realized the Fulbright wasn’t an energetic match for me.
This proposal was meant to teach me a lesson, but the fellowship was not my next step:
The universe doesn’t just present opportunities when our success is inevitable.
Need some examples?
- That guy you dated briefly wasn’t meant to be your future husband, but to teach you some important lessons that facilitated your next level of growth
- Your first job out of college seemed awesome… but in the end, it taught you how to stand up for yourself with a cranky boss
- The program you created was a flop, but you certainly learned a thing or two about launching…
The universe gave me the Fulbright to have me think more deeply about the intersections between two things I love: movement and personal development. And, gosh darn it, it worked. I foresee many future retreats around this topic…
<<check in no. 3. Has the universe ever given you an opportunity that was meant to teach you something?>>
My purpose is to challenge the status quo:
We’re all born with desires, goals and needs that are the perfect fit for the impact we are meant to make. I have very often been rejected by large institutions. I have also often been rejected by people who thought my ideas were downright crazy. In the end, I still did the thing – created a six-figure business, got an amazing master’s degree that had nothing to do with my previous studies, led dance trips around the world, etc…, but a lot of people out there were betting against me.
Given all this, it’s no surprise that a governmental agency with an academic bent wouldn’t be altogether psyched about my proposal that talked about spiral dynamics, self-esteem, personal empowerment and self-help storytelling.
Thanks for the reminder, rejection. I’m meant to take a path that’s outside the box so that I learn lessons to teach others and can model this lifestyle for kindred spirits.
Now, make no mistake, I’ll still pursue this project… and I’ll do it in the visionary way I do many things. People may not “get it,” but that won’t stop me from writing a best-selling book, creating a mind-blowing retreat, or doing something else that’s awesome.
<<Check in no. 4 – are you an out-of-the-box creator? Do you ever feel like people don’t get you? Remember: You were perfectly created to do what you are meant to do!>>
The work was misaligned with my money mindset:
I’ve done quite a bit of money mindset work this year, and I am no longer available to earn less than a $30k/month. The project (in the Fulbright form) would have asked a lot of me for little compensation – we’re talking about $1,000 a month for part-time work. Of course the universe would close that door! Perhaps I was available for this type of exchange right after college, or even throughout my early years as a professional. Now, though? We can go bigger than that…
There must be better partners available:
While Fulbright is a fantastic partner for many people, it clearly wasn’t the best partner for me. If someone does not get our genius (or simply aren’t properly equipped to support us), we don’t need to argue. Our job is to own our vision and show up consistently. This way, you will find the partners who are an optimal fit.
When you shout your desires from the rooftop, after all, you’re hard to miss.
I’ll say it once more…
Rejection is a useful navigation tool and a way the universe challenges us to step into the highest and best version of ourselves. While it may initially make us disappointed, sad, or angry, it is always in our best interest.
So, repeat after me:
Thank you, rejection, for closing doors so that I can navigate toward ideal opportunities.
Thank you, rejection, for reminding me to go bigger.
Thank you, rejection, for limiting the time I invested on a path that wasn’t quite right.
Thank you, rejection, for reminding me who I am.
What are your thoughts on rejection, reader? Share them below!
Embrace the Adventure,
This week, there’s been a theme on many of my coaching calls: the struggle to overcome fear-based perfectionism.
Perfectionism is sometimes a wonderful skill to leverage (remember: very few human behaviors are inherently bad or good). Other times, when perfectionism is rooted in fear, it can block us from moving forward.
In this blog, I will share:
- my philosophy on fear-based perfectionism
- a surprising practice for how to overcome fear-based perfectionism
- some of my favorite mantras to move past the sometimes-crippling need to get things “just right”
Let’s start with one very important truth:
Your perfectionism has paid off over the years. Perhaps your attention to detail helped you get the grades to attend your dream grad program. Or you were rewarded for catching mistakes or discrepancies in your line of work. It’s also possible the rewards started earlier. Growing up, your allowance may have depended on how thoroughly you cleaned your room.
Indeed, perfectionism is a tool
…but it can’t be the only tool. Think about construction workers. They head out with jack hammers, drills, and a variety of other equipment. This way, they know they’ll be equipped to address a variety of challenges.
You don’t really need to get rid of perfectionism all together.
Will your doctors appointment get cancelled if you’re late? Be perfectly on time. Need to find a professional to help out with your taxes, will or other sensitive documents? By all means, use all your perfectionist tendencies to identity the right person for the job.
So, if our goal isn’t to leave behind perfectionism, what is it?
The goal is to learn to recognize the perfectionism as its happening (i.e. cultivate awareness) and then to make a choice. If the perfectionism feels helpful and empowering, go with it! If it seems to be holding you back, it’s time to try something else.
Over the years (and over and over again in my conversations with clients this week), I’ve noticed how there is one particular flavor of perfectionism that seems universally debilitating.
Perfectionism Rooted in Fear
I typically see this in intelligent, successful people. Blind to the fear that’s actually running the show (or unclear that this is the real reason they can’t move forward), they often try to justify their behavior. They give well-thought-out reasons why they need to wait until conditions are just right, they know more, or they have enough time/money/etc… They argue for the perceived limitations, saying they’re not ready. Ask their closest friends and allies if that person is ready, however, and you will hear a resounding “YES!”
Here are a few archetypes of past clients whose perfectionism was disguised as fear:
- A doctor who wanted to write her first children’s book and spent hundreds of hours editing and re-editing her work
- A top-performing, highly educated employee who wanted to start his own business, but thought she needed more credentials
- A talented artist who almost turned down his first gallery show because he wasn’t 100% satisfied with all of his paintings
If these people had let fear win, the world would have missed out on their beautiful contributions.
The key to changing the behavior pattern
We don’t change our behaviors by making them bad and wrong. This can just send us into a shame cycle. We also don’t change our behavior by trying the same thing over and over again. This results in a frustration cycle.
Through my work with people around the world, I’ve discovered there are two key, initial steps we must take toward change:
- Finding a safe place to acknowledge and talk about the fear
- Cultivating more self-compassion
As I mentioned above, fear-based perfectionism is a challenge faced by accomplished people, many of whom do not sit around talking about their fear.
Now, please recall what I said at the beginning of this article: Any human behavior has both payoffs and challenges, and most behaviors are not inherently good or bad. While some people cringe when I mention the idea of sharing feelings, I’ve seen time and time again how learning to talk about fear with trusted confidantes can normalize the experience.
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” one of my former clients loved to say.
When we can name and discuss our fear, we give the fear less power and can build our sense of support and community. It can also — and this is extremely important — support you in cultivating more self-compassion.
Compassion is essential to overcome fear-based perfectionism
You may be great at offering compassion to your friends, pet, child or another beloved figure in your life… but not so practiced at offering it to yourself. You probably also know that sometimes compassion is the best way to get things done. You wouldn’t, for instance, yell at a toddler for not being potty trained. You’d show him compassion and then find a creative and loving way to support his progress (for my nephews, we use stickers).
Many perfectionists even have a story that self-compassion will make them weak or slow them down. The vast majority of perfectionists I know are at 0 risk of this happening.
Self-criticizing <—————————> Self-compassion
On the spectrum above, they are so far over to the left, that a few notches toward self-compassion will only improve the quality of their life. Their old strategy of pushing themselves is no longer working, anyway!
Do you want to go allllllll the way over to the right? Maybe sometimes. Odds are, however, that you’ll find a sweet spot in the middle that serves as a more sustainable and gentle road to success.
By cultivating compassion for their fear, and hence themselves, a perfectionist can find a new strategy to success.
Talking to your fear
Oftentimes, it’s easier to be gentle with our fear if we can personify it. Just yesterday, a client and I named her fear Koko the Gorilla. A few months ago, another client personified his fear as a much younger version of himself. It felt easier for them to welcome and spend time with this version of their emotion.
Mantras to overcome fear-based perfectionism
Fear-based perfectionism often needs a loving reminder from our adult selves that we are ok. Sometimes, it’s possible to have a conversation with our fear. You can choose to embody the fear and speak from that place and then embody your highest self and answer the fear. These conversations can help you better understand both sides of your personality.
Other people prefer mantras, so here are a few mantras I’ve come up with:
- Perfectionism, thank you for wanting to protect me. I acknowledge you. I celebrate you and the gifts you’ve given me. You can relax and sit back for now. I promise to call on you when I need you.
- Pursuing my goals is a journey. There is no failure in this pursuit, only learning and opportunities to pivot
- Anyone who judges me for being imperfect is giving me the big, fat gift of CLARITY. I can remove them from my list of allies or potential partners and hold space for someone who understands my heart, passion, and commitment.
- I learn and become better as I go. When it comes to living my purpose, perfection is a myth.
While this blog shares ideas and tips to start you off, overcoming fear-based perfectionism is a journey. Get lots of support from coaches, therapists and/or your network of friends.
How do you overcome fear-based perfectionism? Share below.
Fear. Insecurity. Anxiety.
It’s not very festive…. but it’s REAL.
And, while most of my friends, family and clients have been expressing ample gratitude for what they have, MOST are experiencing at least one of the feelings I listed above.
I’ve been a part of discussions about this in my virtual coworking community, business mastermind and plenty of other places. Inspired by them, here are some of my top suggestions for alleviating fear, insecurity and anxiety as they arise.
- Give yourself space to feel your feelings: Rather than operate on top of negative emotions, pause and see what’s there. I sometimes think about my emotions as children. When they’re upset, I don’t ignore them. I kneel down and ask “What’s wrong, love?” Then, I listen. Often, I write down everything I hear (a sort of journaling exercise). Emotions, like children, often get louder when they’re ignored.
- Set very achievable goals: On days when you’re not feeling great, choose one or two tasks you can complete and then celebrate the hell out of doing them. Our success is more about consistent action than about achieving off-the-chart results each day. If you can keep moving and positively reinforce that progress, rather than beat yourself up for not having peak productivity, you’re much better off.
- Ritual: Is there a way to infuse your core values into a ritual? For example, some of my core values are creativity, freedom and connection. I’ve created a morning ritual where I go for a quick walk around the block while listening to grounding music on Spotify and sipping my morning Rasa. It helps quell my anxiety (an ongoing challenge) and gets me ready to start my day.
- Make sure you feel aligned with what you’re offering through your business: Do you believe in all your services or products? If not, trying to sell them likely increases anxiety or stress. If something feels off, chat with a coach, colleague or friend about your concerns.
- Do a calendar inventory: Do you really need all those meetings on your calendar? Are there some you have out of habit vs. from a real need? Are there any you can cut down by 10 – 30 minutes if you and the other parties came prepared to dive in?
- Community: Cultivate your social support (read tips from the Mayo Clinic here). During the pandemic, fight the urge to just stay home. Create explicit agreements with your friends about meeting up and then go have a great time. Even an hour or two can lift your spirits. Go for a walk, go snowshoeing or have a bonfire. If Zoom is the way you stay in touch with friends or family far away, find creative ways to have those calls: set up game nights, read each other stories or make the same dinner at the same time.
- Give yourself something to look forward to: Can’t travel or visit friends/family right now? Do some research and plan a REALLY FUN trip that you can take in the future. So far during this pandemic, I’ve planned amazing trips to Italy and Japan. If you REALLY need variety/adventure to feel like yourself, consider some of the new virtual AirBnB experiences. You can meditate with monks in Bali, take a tour of street art in Japan or do yoga with an Olympic athlete.
- Eat well: Check out this resource from UCLA that highlights stress-reducing foods.
- Take a wonder walk: Head outside and practice taking in everything around you with wide-eyed wonder. The more over the top you go with this, the more fun/relaxing it is. Wonder walks are also great (and often hilarious) to do with friends.
- Workout (hot tip: “exercise snacks”): Make these non-negotiable even if it’s just 15 minutes of jogging in place each morning. You can also try “exercise snacks,” and do sets of squats, pushups or other types of exercise throughout the day. Exercise is proven to make you happier and offers many other benefits, too.
- Turn off technology: Give yourself permission to not look at your phone or your computer until a certain time in the morning. In the evening, do the same. If you’re noticing that this is difficult, you may need to find a stress-reducing hobby or ritual to replace the screen. This could be reading fantasy books, playing the guitar, journaling before bed, listening to a pre-downloaded podcast or music (with your phone on airplane mode), creating art or taking long walks with a friend or family member. Remember: You need time to just BE in order to balance the time you spend working or giving to others.
How do you reduce stress, anxiety and fear? Let me know below.
On November 8, 2020, some of my closest friends gathered for a very special occasion: my marriage to myself.
It was uncomfortable to plan this event. Each step of the way forced me outside my comfort zone. What would people think if I married myself? Was it selfish to have an entire non-birthday celebration dedicated to just me? Could I get myself a ring (I REALLY wanted to)?Would people think I was compensating for not being married? Was it ok to spend this much money on myself? Would people take the ceremony seriously? Would my vows be meaningful to me or would they feel weird? Would I cry in front of everyone? (The answer: Several times).
I also had to ask for help. I needed a ring bearer, a wedding officiant, a photographer, a musician/DJ, and… and… and…
Now, I am OVER THE MOON that I went ahead with the event… read on to see more photos (make sure to read the captions!), check out my vows, hear about highlights from the day and learn about some of the quirky (and perfectly me) things that I did.
When the day came, I took it seriously…
I spent the morning writing my vows, went and got my hair done and spent plenty of time dressing up and doing my makeup. Two of my best friends, Michael Gordon and Peter Will Benjamin, took care of me. Peter made me a delicious lunch so I didn’t forget to eat and Michael was the logistics master (and fixed the cake — making it look EVEN BETTER — after we experienced the Great Cake Disaster of 2020).
My gift to MYSELF that day was this: I chose to LOVE every minute of the experience and release any expectation of how it would go.
That decision was pivotal. It gave me permission to be totally present and laugh at or enjoy things that might have seemed “imperfect” before.
My Vows From That Day:
Megan, you are a beautiful, whimsical, intelligent, wild, and utterly magnificent creature. I am beyond thrilled that I get to spend my life with you. You bring joy to even mundane tasks, love sooooo deeply and can see the good in people and situations.
I remember one of the first moments I fell in love with you and your lust for life. You were eight years old an on a trip into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Looking in the rearview mirror, you noticed how clear and green your eyes were.
I’m happy here, you thought.
This might have been one of the first times you felt your intuition and were able to put what you felt into words.
When dad stopped the car for a break, you wandered into the forest nearby and pretended you were on an expedition. It was thrilling and adventurous. You knew in that moment you wanted to be a photojournalist and live in the mountains.
YOUR intentions are powerful. You went on to become a photojournalist and to spend time with many mountains. You’ve since listened to your intuition and followed it to great success, despite what others thought or said.
My wish for us is to continue our journey of self-love and self-actualization, to go beyond people pleasing and create a life perfectly aligned with our values. Let’s stay wild.
I promise I will continue to love you, CHOOSE to love you in the difficult moments and cultivate my relationship with you so that it becomes richer, deeper, more fun and more kind.
In sickness and in health, for better or for worse, in every moment… we’re in this together.
I’m grateful to have you as my partner on this wild ride called life.
It wouldn’t be a wedding without a ring, right?
I looked around for a long time to find my ring. I ordered a bunch of rings from Amazon and other online jewelers, but nothing seemed quite right. In the end, it was my mom that found my ring — a diamond and white gold band from T.J. Maxx (50% off, baby!). She decided to give this ring to me as a gift, and shared with me that her mom had given her a ring, too. Every time she looked at it, she thought of her. It made both of us cry.
Up until that time, I had wanted to find the ring MYSELF. Then I realized that self-love can sometimes mean letting others take care of you.
I’ll end by dispelling a few myths about marrying yourself. Marrying yourself DOES NOT mean that:
- You’re selfish
- You’re single
- You’re recovering from heartbreak
- You can’t celebrate in the same way you would a wedding to someone else (i.e. cake, invitations, vows, etc…)
- People will think you are over-the-top, ridiculous or unreasonable
What marrying yourself DOES mean is:
- You’re ready for a new level of self-love
- You’ll get to see who among your friends is up for supporting you at an awesome new level
- You can prioritize yourself in a wonderful way
- You get to have a beautiful ring!
Have you ever thought about marrying yourself? Share the details or your dream self-wedding below!
During this pandemic, organizing a gathering requires way more conversations and planning.
And — even when people are excellent communicators — I’ve seen best-laid plans end in…
- Various types of drama
As I’ve navigated the pandemic social scene, as well as coached my clients through this experience, I’ve realized there is one thing we can do to drastically lower the likelihood of gatherings-gone-wrong:
Turn our implicit assumptions into explicit agreements.
We might, for instance, assume that:
- Everyone has the same definition of social distancing
- People will feel safe with a certain size of gathering
- Your friends or family will all quarantine the same way before your get together
- Your guests will send a screen shot of their negative COVID results to your group
- People at a party will limit their drinking so they stay properly aware of social distancing throughout the night
- And on… and on… and on…
It’s when we don’t name these assumptions and then turn them into agreements that a situation can go awry.
I recently practiced this while out in Boulder, Colorado with a group of friends (nicknamed “the pod”). We created a list of agreements based on the assumptions we were making (think: how we shop at grocery stores, whether or not we dine out, quarantine rules before arrival, etc…).
While the list wasn’t perfect (and is outdated in some ways now that we know more about COVID), it certainly put us on the same page and allowed for a drama-free experience.
If you feel inspired, I invite you to create your own list for your holiday gatherings this year. Let’s stay safe and have lots of fun.
What does it mean to be in our pod?
- We interact as in normal, non-pandemic times (i.e. hugging, dinner parties, dancing, no mask when we’re together).
- When you see folks outside the pod, you:
- Make sure you and others have on masks if you are six feet apart
- Can forego masks if you are outside and more than 8 feet apart
- When out and about you:
- Wear an N-95 mask if you are inside and close to others (i.e. if you have to go to the doctor’s office, or are in a building where people are closer to you
- Are diligent about keeping six feet of distance between you and anyone else (this includes if you’re stopping to ask for directions or other quick interactions)
If people come to visit (i.e. people who are in our pod, but are only staying a short time):
- They get tested (if they fly, please see directions under flying)
- They social distance after their test until they come.
- They follow other directions as outlined here
Requirements to be in our pod
- Get COVID tested and then practice social distancing from everyone except pod members until you arrive
- No eating inside restaurants (outside eating only). If you are eating with someone outside the pod, make sure you are 6 feet apart (most tables are not 6 feet wide).
- Please also:
- Do not ride in Lyfts or Ubers unless the windows are down and you are wearing an N95
- Don’t go to the gym
- If you go grocery shopping, make sure to wear a mask
- For those who are flying, follow the protocols listed below
Mandatory COVID test:
- In many places, rapid testing is available that can get you same-day results (**please note that this is sometimes only an option for essential workers or if you’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID**).
- If you can’t get a rapid test, please plan accordingly.
Freetesting near Boulder (drive through): https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.9news.com/amp/article/news/health/coronavirus/adams-county-water-world-testing-site-open-through-2020/73-9a6dcdbf-abce-4071-bc83-3b8d32847367
If you are flying to Denver:
- Note from Meg: people on planes and in airports were not following precautions well when I traveled. Because of this, please get COVID tested a minimum of 24 hours after you arrive
- Wear an N95 Mask and a face shield when you fly
If you are driving to Boulder:
- Take precautions (mask, gloves, hand sanitizer) whenever you stop for gas or to get food
Has this blog been helpful for you? Or have you had an interesting experience turning implicit assumptions into explicit agreements? Leave me a comment below!
DANCE IS A VIBRANT FORCE FOR CULTURAL IMMERSION DURING TRAVEL
New Book by Dance Travel Expert Spotlights How Dance Connects Travelers to Community, History, and Cultures Abroad
Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad by Founder of Dance Travel Company Releases December 2020
How can people with no shared language communicate? How can someone who has just arrived in a foreign country quickly make friends or meaningfully engage with local culture? To former professional dancer Megan Taylor Morrison, now a life coach and dance travel expert, the answer couldn’t be clearer:
In her new book Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad, Morrison demonstrates that dance can forge connections between people from different backgrounds, as well as lead to cross cultural experiences that promote greater understanding of another culture or engender tremendous personal growth for the traveler.
For many of us during the age of COVID-19, life-giving experiences are in short supply. The things we love – attending incredible dance performances, going to dance classes, or hugging people within our dance communities – feel far away. Dance Adventures brings the wonder of adventure and movement to readers, wherever they may be.
This anthology includes 19 true stories written by a diverse group of renowned performers, dedicated dance teachers, dance scholars, and other avid dance travelers who:
● Explore their craft in locations tied to their family history and discover how dance helps them connect with their heritage;
● Build bonds and community with locals through a shared love of movement; ● Challenge their assumptions, embrace the unknown and find surprising new truths by saying “yes” to spontaneous opportunities; or
● Reflect on who they are and discover how dance can make them a better version of themselves.
The contributors hail from all corners of the world, and the stories take place in 17 different countries including India, China, Senegal, Philippines, Angola, Brazil, Morocco, Cuba, China and Mozambique. Contributors include:
Courtney Celeste Spears, a dancer with the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In Dance Adventures, she writes about her experience returning to her second home in The Bahamas and serving as an ambassador between her family, her heritage, and her dance company. For Spears, dance brought the two worlds she cherished together.
Indian-American folk dancer Dr. Ted Samuel, who embarks on a year abroad in South India where his parents are from. As a member of the Indian diaspora, he initially faces the challenges of feeling like an outsider in India, but ultimately finds an important vehicle for connection in Karagattam: a traditional south Indian folk dance.
Zsuzsi Kapas, a Hungarian dancer whose family immigrated to the United States in 2000 to leave behind a life of ethnic oppression. In Dance Adventures she shares a story from her three-year journey around the world, during which she studied the healing effects of dance and movement improvisation. She writes about her time in Indonesia, where her intensive work with the creator of a dance style known as Joged Amerta Movement led to lessons that helped heal her childhood trauma.
Makeda Kumasi, who teaches West African dance classes at UC Riverside, visits Senegal for the first time. There, she fulfills her long-time dream to set foot on the land of her African ancestors and gains the firsthand knowledge she feels she needs to teach West African dance at the university level. The story highlights her final day in the country, when she visits Gorée Island and confronts the realities of the Atlantic slave trade.
Topics Megan can also address include:
- ● 5 Travel Hacks Only Dancers Know
- ● Cool Dances Around The World You’ve Never Heard Of
- ● Why Dance Travel is the Next Frontier of Tourism
- ● How Dance Changes Us: Life Lessons learned While Dancing Around the World
Each of the stories in Dance Adventures highlights a way that dance travel leads to meaningful experiences, thereby shaping a person’s identity, facilitating their personal growth, or uniting them with people from different backgrounds.
About the Author
Megan Taylor Morrison is an avid dance adventurer and certified life and business coach. She has studied local dance forms in 16 countries on six continents, as well as designed and co-led dance retreats to Argentina, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. In partnership with Melaina Spitzer, Meg debuted the talk “Dance Travel: The Next Era of Dance Education,” at the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) Conference in 2018.
Through lectures, roundtables, and articles, Meg continues to share best practices for cultural immersion through the arts. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s in international affairs and French from the University of Puget Sound.
Advance Praise for Dance Adventures
“Armchair travel has never had it so good! Dropping into these cultural adventures is like landing feet first on the most dynamic dance floors around the globe. Each carefully curated story gives a dancer’s eye-view of the people, places, and practices that enrich our planet.”
—Mark Metz, publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine and founder of The Dance First Association
“This book is indispensable in light of the current social momentum with regard to Black lives and the dismantling of violent systems. Many of the stories portray the experiences of individuals in whom multiple languages, customs, and spaces coexist, and for whom dance is the unifying factor.” —Moncell Durden, Assistant Professor of Practice, USC Kaufman School of Dance
“Dance Adventures contains beautiful moments of transformation and connection through dance—a wonderful extension of Meg’s own mission. The anthology’s writers create a strong case for using dance to understand the world.”
—Mickela Mallozzi, Emmy® Award-winning TV host of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi
“I was captivated by Megan Taylor Morrison’s Dance Adventures! This vibrant and emotionally explorative collection of tales captures the power of dance in a way that transcends the stage.” —Aisha Mitchell, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member (2008–2013), Broadway soloist in Oklahoma (2019), and featured performer in The Lion King (2013–2018)
Title: Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad
Author: Megan Taylor Morrison
When I meet successful people, I ask them what they’re reading. These recommended books on business and personal development led to massive momentum toward my goals, and I’m delighted to share them with you.
Books for Business
Why read it? You want a simple accounting system for your business that makes sure you have sustainable growth, get paid for the hard work you do, and have fun.
Quote: “A financially healthy company is a result of a series of small daily financial wins, not one big moment. Profitability isn’t an event; it’s a habit.”
Why read it? You’re launching new products or programs and you need to know how to interview your ideal clients
Quote: “Trying to learn from customer conversations is like excavating a delicate archaeological site. The truth is down there somewhere, but it’s fragile. While each blow with your shovel gets you closer to the truth, you’re liable to smash it into a million little pieces if you use too blunt an instrument.”
Why read it? You want a business model that’s replicable and can help you make good money without working around the clock
Quote: “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business—you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!”
Why read it? You’re tired of investing time and resources into ideas or products that don’t have the success you predicted.
Quote: “We must learn what customers really want, not what they say they want or what we think they should want.”
Why read it? You’re ready to challenge yourself to have a brand that people notice.
Quote: “If you’re remarkable, it’s likely that some people won’t like you. That’s part of the definition of remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise–ever. The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out.”
I recommend listening to this book, rather than reading it. You’ll soak in all of Gary V’s positive, high energy as he riffs about all sorts of topics relevant to running a successful business.
Quote: “I put zero weight into anyone’s opinion about me because I know exactly who I am. Can you say the same?”
Books for Personal Development
Why read it? You are ready for your next level of wealth, and you need to challenge limiting beliefs or fears that are blocking you. I believe this is the best book about money mindset that has been written in the last 30 years.
Why read it? It’s time to stop making excuses and start creating the life you want.
Quote: “Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards.”
Why read it? You’re serious about shifting your money mindset. This may be my favorite money mindset book of all time.
Quote: “Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them.”
Why read it? You struggle with imposter syndrome.
Quote: “You can have all the confidence in the world and still be reluctant to self-promote out of a steadfast belief that a person’s work should speak for itself. It doesn’t.”
Why read it? You feel like you are heavily influenced by others emotions, behaviors, and needs.
Quote: “Furthermore, worrying about people and problems doesn’t help. It doesn’t solve problems, it doesn’t help other people, and it doesn’t help us. It is wasted energy.”
Why read it? You want to shift from one career to another.
Quote: “You can learn to enjoy calculated risk and uncertainty in exchange for adventure, flexibility, freedom, and opportunity.”
Why read it? You’re interested in open, honest, authentic communication
Quote: “To really experience true contact with another person, you must enter a realm of uncertainty together.”