An old friend of mine did me a huge favor the other day. He sent me the quote I needed to hear. I believe he read it in a George Carlin book, but the quote is from modern dance legend, Martha Graham.
"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because 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 be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, 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 directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open."
If I was ever going to get a full torso tattoo, this would have to be it. In fact, I think I would have it tattooed upside-down, so that I could look down and read it back to myself. Every single day.
Although every word of this message hits home for me, one sentence really stands out. "It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions." I like to imagine my mother saying this to me in what we always called her "white eye" voice. This meant that she was speaking quite sternly and her eyes were open widely, thus the "white eyes." We always heeded the message of the white eyes. She meant business when she used it. (And I am proud to say, I think I inherited the magic of the "white eyes." You can ask my kids about it.)
Somehow reading this quote makes me let out a huge sigh of relief.
I don't have to explain myself. To myself. Or anyone else.
I am not even allowed to question any of it.
My job is simply to be open and keep moving.
I can do that.