There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, 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. It will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor 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 works. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive.
— Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille
Rudolf Steiner wrote about Nervousness and I-ness in a short lecture in January 1912. It was his words that drives home what Martha Graham was saying to Agnes De Mille.
It is this “nervousness made up of precisely of the unused potential of the self” that Steiner describes as being without a goal that keeps us spinning in wonderings and wanderings of our inner storyteller that takes such pleasure in making us second guess ourselves. My inner storyteller has been quiet lately as I have clear goals aligned with my mission, but it was not always this way, and I am sure as every trail has forks my inner lizard will rejoin me again.
Self-doubt in the form of nervousness is alive and well in our modern world, but some remedies can help us overcome it. In this lecture, Steiner describes the importance of attention and the essence of the human being through its connection through the world. It is by connecting to the natural world, where we can quiet the inner dialog that distracts us.
Self-doubt is an attention thief. It keeps us from making decisions and trusting our intuitive knowledge. It casts doubt on everything.
Children learn from watching those who care for them. Nervousness is like a virus that is quickly spread. Taking time to connect with yourself through a daily nature practice will help quiet the voices of doubt and build your immunity to the dis-ease of nervousness. It will strengthen your child's immunity to self-doubt too.
You can strengthen your resistance to nervousness by finding practices that require no decision making. Taking a few moments each day to sit and connect with nature in the same spot is a decision. Practicing this decision process builds the muscles while also resting the mind.
All you have to do is sit still, close your eyes, and be with nature. The earth will take care of the rest.
This post originally appeared on Kathy Donchak's personal blog on March 25, 2018.