Keep the channel open.

“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

There’s a lifetime of wisdom packed into these 95 words from the legendary dancer and choreographer Martha Graham.

But the 4 words that speak to me, most urgently, are these:

“Keep the channel open.”

No matter what kind of work you’ve chosen to do — raising kids, writing books, leading kickboxing classes at the gym — you cannot deliver your best if your channel is blocked.

If you are exhausted, hungover, subsisting exclusively on food that comes out of a box, parked in a chair for eight hours a day, isolating yourself behind a screen for the majority of your waking hours, or feeding yourself all kinds of stories about why you’re not good enough, strong enough, smart enough, you will not — cannot — reach your potential.

I speak from experience.

I know what it feels like to do my job while running on two hours of sleep, microwaved coffee and a cold slice of pizza. It’s rough.

I also know what it feels like to do my job after a full night’s rest, an epic workout, a protein-packed smoothie and a kiss from my sweetheart. It rocks.

You and I both know:

The world doesn’t need the clogged version of you.

The world needs the unstoppable version of you.

Take care of yourself. Better care than you think you deserve. Guard the channel. Fight to keep it open. Do it for yourself. For your clients. For your students. For the people you love. For the betterment of the planet.

There is only one of you in all of time.

If you close down your channel…

God knows what we’re missing.