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You've probably read this quote before. I know I had. But when I saw it again yesterday hanging on the bathroom wall at my yoga studio I found a whole new meaning in it.
This is a really hard time of year for may of us. I know that I have been having my own little Crisis Of Confidence lately, and for no actual reason that I can see. I've felt anxious and I was even considering, for a time, removing everything I've ever posted online (links, pictures, blogs, everything) because I suddenly felt incredibly self conscious, like I reveal too much of myself. I've always been passionate and expressive, always wanted to share with others the things that excite and inspire me.
And I've always taken shit for it. Usually it slides off my back, but for the last few weeks I've just wanted to shrink, Alice style, and hide away so that no one could see me or know who I really am. But that's bullshit, and I can't give in to it. Martha Graham's exquisite sentiments have been the catalyst to get me out of this sluggish, fear-based, even dangerous state of mind:
"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all 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. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time.
There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others"
I mean really, a massive and unexplained explosion happened 4 billion years ago and out of the hydrogen and helium created therein and eons of time and the astoundingly beautiful principles of evolution... here we are.
We must choose to celebrate that, to revel in it. Dance, blog, create outfits, make art, raise babies, sing songs... do what you do, joyfully, without shame or fear. The rest of us need it.