Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness: Martha Graham

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 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. --Martha Graham

Quotes keep me going in good times and in bad. This one from Martha Graham really struck me and is a good lesson for all of us as we continue what we'd like our life's work to be. My friend, Linda, sent me an interesting link that she found on the Get Rich Slowly blog. At a recent conference, the author of the post Linda forwarded to me, listened to George Kinder, a financial planned with a unique approach. He asks all of this clients three questions regarding their future:

  1. Imagine you are financially secure, that you have enough money to take care of your needs, now and in the future. How would you live your life? Would you change anything? Let yourself go. Don’t hold back on your dreams. Describe a life that is complete and richly yours.
  2. Now imagine that you visit your doctor, who tells you that you have only 5-10 years to live. You won’t ever feel sick, but you will have no notice of the moment of your death. What will you do in the time you have remaining? Will you change your life and how will you do it? (Note that this question does not assume unlimited funds.)
  3. Finally, imagine that your doctor shocks you with the news that you only have 24 hours to live. Notice what feelings arise as you confront your very real mortality. Ask yourself: What did you miss? Who did you not get to be? What did you not get to do?
George Kinder asks people to think of these questions as a funnel. The first question is easy and the others get progressively harder to answer. Life planning is about getting to the bottom of the answers to questions #3.

My answers to questions #3:
I didn't get to be my own boss, ever.
I didn't get to find the love of my life, though I did have a lot of love in my life.
I missed traveling to so many place that I wanted to see, though I did get to go on some pretty amazing trips.
I didn't get to publish a book, though I'm glad I published my own blog.
I never owned my own home.
I never learned to play a musical instrument well.

In short, if I only had 24 hours, I would die with the music still in me, as John Lennon said. And that alone provides me with a good deal of motivation to get and keep moving forward. Thanks, Linda!!


lindan said...

You're so welcome for the reference, Christa! And right back atcha with thanks for adding it to your blog.

Hope there will be many who will pick up some nuggets of wisdom from others' perspectives.

Christa said...

Thanks Linda your the reference, Linda, and thanks for all of your continued support of my writing. It means so much to me.

Big hugs,