I’ve been sitting in contemplation of this quote by dancer/choreographer Martha Graham for a few weeks now:
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.”
Allegedly told to another dancer/choreographer, Agnes De Mille, I just love this advice. Because I feel like we do it too much, this getting in our own way.
How often do we block our unique offerings because we judge them and then deem them unworthy or insignificant? We say “Oh, I could never…” or “I just don’t know how to…” or “I don’t belong here…” or “This isn’t as good as…” or “This will never work…”.
We feel an urge, a yearning, a desire inside of us to do something or create something or say something… but we don’t. We ignore it, either because we’re scared it won’t measure up or because we don’t fully understand how it’s all going to work out or because we’re worried about what everyone else will think.
But this stifling? It’s robbing the world of you.
It’s robbing the world of you.
And, as Martha said, “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.”
If you block it, it will be lost.
Stop making decisions on behalf of the rest of the world what parts of you you should share.
Instead, keep the channel open. The channel that originates with a stirring in your heart and travels out of you through words and deeds.
Keep it open.
Do this for you. For the stirring in your heart. Because that stirring is you; it’s your life force, your vitality. And, you were meant to be just you in this world. Whether you realize it or not, the world is hungry for you. It’s waiting for you.
How can you keep the channel open today?
Wings & Whimsy Challenge: Howl!
Challenge: Have you been holding back? Closing a channel off? How can you open up and offer yourself to the world? Tell me about it in the comments below, or tweet it to me @ErikaPetrelli1
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Currently a speaker, educator, blogger, and mother, Erika Petrelli has been in the field of education for more than 15 years, and she currently exercises her dynamic education experience as The Leadership Program’s Vice President of Leadership Development.
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