Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind. ~Douglas MacArthur

There are no rules here — we’re trying to accomplish something. ~ Thomas Alva Edison

One of my all-time favorite films is Strictly Ballroom for a variety of reasons, one of which is how the main character, a world class ballroom dancer wants to use his own steps in competition and the outrage and ultimately, delight, it causes.  I’ve always loved to dance, but hated formal exercise.  Since I’m not out at the clubs much these days, Zumba and CardioSalsa at the gym have filled the gap; but I never was into doing exactly what was presented – I generally stand in the back enjoying the music and sort of go along with the group.

I recently found a new class called NIA that is perfect for me – it includes sections for “free dance” and encourages you to “dance it your way.”  It kind of looks like hippie dancing, or what you might do if you were in your room when no one was watching; it’s a great workout that speaks to my body in a way that makes me feel good.

This time of year especially is filled with many traditions and routines, along with thoughts about the changes we want to make in the New Year.  My Mom has always made the holidays extra-special with borderline excessive (but not at all tacky) decorations around her home, and this year she just wasn’t feeling it. When I suggested she could put the tree up with a few accent pieces instead of doing the whole Winter Wonderland/Santa’s Workshop she thought it was impossible – it had to be all or nothing.

I insisted it could be done – and took some of the items she put in the same place every year and used them differently.  She fought with me tooth and nail until I proved they would indeed fit in spots she said they wouldn’t. The house looks festive and the mission was accomplished – it feels like a maximum amount of decor with minimal amount of effort!  But it was her resistance to change and incredulity that several options and alternatives existed which were the hardest parts to tackle – she simply couldn’t see any other way except how she’s done it year after year.

Tradition can be a good thing, but it’s important to know when those traditions and routines are serving  or restricting us.  Sometimes you just gotta break the rules, think out of the box, do it ‘your way’. Where we would we be without the hundreds and thousands of rule-breakers both known and unknown in every field, especially the arts, science, fashion, and civil rights?

But the truth is that often our most fervent rules and regulations have been totally self-imposed, and/or are no longer necessary. It’s easy to get caught up doing the same old thing just because that’s the way we’ve always done it.  Sometimes we need a fresh eye, another brain, to look at the same situation and come up with a new solution, a new way of doing things that you couldn’t see because you were too close/it was too engrained in your psyche.

Wondering if change will serve you better than reinforcing the ‘rules’ you have in place right now, or which walls need to come Tumblin Down and be replaced with some new Moves Like Jagger?  Give me a buzz and I’ll be the law enforcement that looks the other way and the instructor that helps you create the right combination of funky steps you can dance to the beat of your own drum!

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