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 medium and 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.
– Martha Graham in a letter to Agnes De Mille
This quote hit me like a slap on the face (thanks, Jess!). I realized that, during the last two years, I’ve been completely irresponsible for my voice, which likes to express itself best through writing. I have a lot to share with the world –I aim to be of service through the written word– and yet I’ve been keeping it hidden, allowing it to go silent under the weight of a myriad excuses and unfounded reasons for why I shouldn’t write:
- “I’m too tired.”
- “I don’t want to.”
- “No one cares.”
- “I’m too busy.”
- “I don’t have the time.”
- “I don’t feel inspired.”
- “My writing is not good enough.”
- “I’ll get to it once I do X, Y, and Z.”
- “What if I fail?”
On, and on, and on. Same shit, different words.
Of course, listed out as they are above, it’s easy to notice a pattern and get down to the core issue: fear – fear that comes from insecurities and, mostly, from taking myself way too seriously. Like, way too seriously.
I don’t always feel that what I have to say matters. And, objectively, maybe it does or maybe it doesn’t… but who cares? That’s not the point. The point is that writing is my favorite way of expressing myself and, as such, is part of my Self expressing Itself. It is my life’s expression. As Martha Graham writes in her letter: “It is not [my] business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions… it is [my] business to keep it [mine] clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
So that’s what I’m going to do. A new commitment to my Self for this new year and new decade. Beginnings have always excited me; consistency will be my biggest challenge.
I’m here for it – enthusiastically, humbly, passionately, and with as much joy as I can muster.
Photo by: A friend’s wedding photographer / Sacramento, CA