I started my business, Laurie Burton Training, over thirty years ago. It was and is still based on these words from a letter written by choreographer Martha Graham to her friend and fellow choreographer, Agnes de Mille.
“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. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost – the world will not have it. ” ~ Martha Graham
Please look at these words closely. Are you aware of your vitality – the vital “You” and your experience of being alive? I assume that most of us are born with an innate awareness of our vitality. We’re living and breathing and moving about, after all. Our lifelong job is to develop a deeper connection and relationship with our vitality and incorporate it as one of our basic personality traits. Vitality supplies the power and energy in the way we live. Isn’t it a part of all living things? You are alive! Are you embracing your vitality?
The “life force” is the great drive to grow. It’s what makes a seed sprout and reach for the sun. It’s part of what makes us want to learn to walk and talk and evolve. This universal, underlying force forms a partnership with our own unique vitality, providing the spirit and strength that animates all living creatures with personal purpose and drive. Your passions are an integral part of your life force and vitality. They become part of you, your whole being, that serves as the foundation of who you are and who you’re capable of becoming.
A “quickening” could be described as what happens when something you are experiencing suddenly intensifies
- You are beginning to see
- You are beginning to understand
- Your heart beats faster and your body fills with excitement
- You become more focused and distractions fade
At times, it can feel like what I call “racehorse energy”. You are feeling ready to go, to break through and succeed in the race that your life has presented to you.
So, here is the challenge: to first acquire the profound awareness that each one of us has the power inside to be or create anything – and then do it, express it. To paraphrase Ms. Graham – because there is only one of you in all time, this (your) expression is unique. If you block, it will never exist anywhere and it will be lost. THE WORLD WILL NOT HAVE IT.
What part of yourself do you block to make it easier to get through life? Is it your emotions? Your opinion? Your experience? Your quick mind? Your vulnerability? Your love of animals? Your crazy side?
By hiding, avoiding, or just staying “comfortable”, just quietly getting through your life, the rest of us will be robbed of all you have to offer. And, as a spring that isn’t drawn on may begin to stagnate, our own vitality and life force may become dull and subdued.
So many people in the world desperately need help in becoming truly ALIVE. If only people were taught from an early age how special they are and that there is no one on earth like them! We need to encourage ourselves in this knowing, yes, but also, the people we love and work and play with as well. Embrace your expanded self-knowledge. Come out and share it with the world. If you are a little timid, embrace it. If you feel more vulnerable, include it, because vulnerability can help you be more open and empathetic.
These qualities lead to strength and power supported by your vitality and life force. They will allow you to cause a quickening in people that will lead them to take action for themselves.