As a teenager, I studied dance with a teacher who became one of the most important mentors I have had in my creative life, Marjorie Keith. One of the powerful lessons that she taught me was that no matter where we were, no matter what we were doing, it was important to honour the work. We honoured the work when we gave her our full attention. We honoured the work when we gave the choreography our all. We honoured the work when we sewed the costumes with care, sold the tickets with diligence and taught the little ones with love.
Honouring the work is not about discipline. It’s about magic. It’s about letting the muses know that you are here and you are ready. It’s about receiving them in a way that makes them want to come back. It’s about creating the conditions for inspiration and creativity to thrive.
Honouring the work is about creating a gateway for the magic of art to come into this world and light the way – for ourselves and for one another.
This sounds rather woo, doesn’t it? It’s all true – and it’s practical too.
When we honour the work, we get more done. When we honour the work, we progress in our skills. When we honour the work, others take us more seriously. When we honour the work, we take ourselves more seriously too.
What are some of the ways that we can honour the work?
Give the work your full attention. Be present.
Give the work the time it needs. Be patient.
Hone your craft. Be persistent.
Give your best effort. Be wholehearted.
Defend and champion the work. Be a hero.
Honouring the work is a part of the culture of the studio.
It lays and then strengthens the foundations on which our mighty creative energy can be unleashed into the world. The stronger this foundation, the more powerful the creative energy that can be channeled through us, the greater the light we’ll shine.
This week, in your efforts, great and small, lay the foundations for magic. Honour the work.