I just woke up from an incredibly vivid dream in which I was a choreographer at a national dance competition! My team, made up of amazing kids and adults alike, were at varying standards and levels of competency.

A member of a rival dance team had just had a major failure in front of the judge’s and I was attempting to hold out an olive branch by giving her reassurance, but her team mates were lessening the impact of the interaction by jeering, assuming my compassion to be disingenuous and thus attempting to compound the rivalry between teams.

A member of my team was next up, but a prop from her routine had been tampered with by the rivals and was now assumed to be a hazard (though no evidence presented itself). At the last moment, as I entered the arena to watch and support my next dancer, I realised that someone had set up a completely different set of props and switched the dance to new choreography whilst my back was turned… I was horrified but the music had begun, the judges were in place and she was poised in the middle of the floor ready to dazzle…

The new dance, one I hadn’t choreographed, had her tying the ankles of a fellow dancer, but the pre-tied restraint prop malfunctioned and she was now a full 8 count behind in the unfolding story. It was a mess. The whole piece ended with her banging on two rainbow coloured kettle drums to the beat of the music but she was handed giant metalic ladles to use. Every strike left a dent in the drum, the damage was irrevocable, the dance was a disaster and I was mortified on her behalf.

When she left the floor I ran to comfort her as I had the other team’s member, but once she was out of ear shot my first question to the rest of my team was “who authorised that routine?” I went on to say that the more ornate the set the more elements can go wrong, the more props and technical equipment involved the more potential for disaster… winning dances are derived from simple, unfettered elegance and technical brilliance… and I finished my lecture with the very frank statement: “when you over-complicate you fail.”

The elements of the dream were simple: I took my eye off the ball and focused on someone who could not hear me because others were shouting louder and they didn’t trust my intentions, meanwhile my own message was not only distorted but completely transformed whilst my back was turned. The badly tied ankles slowed the dance down and every time the drum was struck (or a communication attempted) using the wrong tools for the job, the message was damaged even more… the dancer left the floor heartbroken.

Surprisingly the other team didn’t didn’t heckle, they were just as dismayed by the disaster as my team… the only one not dismayed was me… I knew the responsibility was mine and simple resolved to never enter a competition again until all my team had the same level of focus, commitment and belief in the dance I’d created and until the rival team recognised that we weren’t their rivals but in fact their partners in driving the evolution of their choreography.

You may be wondering what that was all about… well, in terms of The Grail, here are the relevant Principles... Principle 1: I AM God reminds you of your divinity even when you feel less than your brilliant self, Principle 2: I AM Detached keeps you focused on the here and now, what’s important and what’s in front of you, Principle 3: I AM Human, asks you to forgive your mistakes and those of others, take responsibility for your action and your failures, Principle 4: I AM Truth tells the story of believing in your own message even when others don’t, Principle 5: I AM Liberated demonstrates how material (props) can encumber your progress and freedom, Principle 6: I AM Self-Full reminds you to take care of you and yours first, and finally Principle 7: I AM Open-Hearted… rivalry is a losers game and sometimes you have to be willing to offer support and compassion to all the dancers on the universal dance floor regardless of what team they are on… everyone is family.

I may have made another dent in the drum here, but it’s my drum.

Wishing you simple, pure, graceful choreography today, and the support and respect of every team dancing… x