I take pride in this podcast that I just let you see me for who I am, a flawed human being.
Cause that's what artists and characters are.
I try to use these little mistakes I make as teaching tools on how to be kinder to ourselves.
"I confess that I had a burning desire to be excellent but no faith that I could be. Martha said to me very quietly, there is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action.
And because there is only you. 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 it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine 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. As for you, Agnes, you have so far used about one-third of your talent."
A burning desire to be excellent but no faith that I could be.
Today, I taught a class for my core work coaching group, The Weekly Adjustment.
And I was talking about how when we make mistakes, we are not responsible for our first thought, but we are responsible for our second.
The first time I tried it, I was like, "Ugh, you're never gonna get it."
"You're not doing it right. Oh, this is a waste."
But somehow, I was able to say to myself, "Hey, this is the first time you've done it. Just get through it. Just take the action, let go of the results and see what happens."
Then I was brave enough to try it again the second time, and the second time it was easier.
And I was like, oh, wait a minute. I can do this.
I can handle this.
And not only that, and this is how it ties into the quote, I noticed where I was weak and what I needed to do to get stronger, or in the words of Agnes de Mille, be excellent.
See, it's not in strengthening our strengths that necessarily make us excellent. It is strengthening our weaknesses that make us excellent.
Great artists dive into what is difficult and try and solve it. Great athletes find what muscles are weak and try to strengthen them to get a greater performance.
"Martha said to me very quietly, there is a vitality, a life force, and energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action.
And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique."
I want you to think about that. There is only one of you. There is only one of you.
I remember I was going through a very, very, very tough time many years ago. And I made a decision to make it through that tough time. And I said to myself at that time, "If there is just one person I can help for even one second, my going through this will have been worth it."
It was the universe saying you have a message someone desperately needs to hear. You are the only person who will be able to translate that message to that one person to save their day or their life, or their career or help them along in that difficult day.
Well, I'm here to tell you that you have that too, and that's why you have a responsibility to yourself and the universe to express yourself uniquely.
She goes on to say, "And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and it will be lost."
Think of how tragic that is. Think of if Picasso never painted; if Monet never painted, if Martha Graham never danced, it would be lost. If Vermeer never painted.
Suppose Rembrandt had never painted if Spielberg had never made movies. If Charlie Chaplin never got on the screen, it would be lost. The world would not have it.
We wouldn't have E.T.; we wouldn't have Girl with a Pearl Earring; we wouldn't have Rembrandt's self-portrait. We wouldn't have the Night Watch.
"It is not your business to determine how good it is, how valuable, or how it compares with other expressions."
And, what it's saying, is it's your job to create it is your responsibility as an artist to create it is not your job to judge.
When you get on a stage as an actor, it is your job to portray that character, their wants, and needs, and be in the moment with their situation.
It is the most important thing in that moment. It is not what the audience thinks of you. That is your ego.
However, it is your business to keep the channel open.
You are on one side, and the universe is on the other side of the tunnel, and in the middle of the tunnel is all this junk.
And what core work is about clearing that channel. That's all it is. It's about teaching you to have a relationship with the universe that, in turn, can solve all your problems and, in turn, can inspire you always if you are open.
Now here she says something that I actually disagree with. Oh my God, I disagree with Martha Graham.
Now this is how you know I'm confident because I can actually say that.
"you do not even have to believe in yourself or your work."
I'm sorry, I disagree. I believe you do need to believe in yourself, and I do believe you need to believe in your work.
I think that is a necessity. It also leads to a happier life, but you can choose. You can take what you like and leave the rest on that.
"You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you."
Amen. Hallelujah. Martha Graham, sing it loud. Yes. Yes. Such inspiration. Let it motivate you.
Keep the channel open. Keep the channel open.
And then she says to Agnes de Mille, "As for you, Agnes, you have so far used about one-third of your talent."
That's the bit that just kills me.
Can you imagine if I am only using one-third of my talent? What the hell am I doing with the other two-thirds?
Why am I blocking it? How can I clear it out? Because my talent serves.
My talent serves, and that's not being egotistical or anything because, to be quite honest, my talent doesn't come from me. My talent comes from the universe. I want to be a vessel for its talent.