pointlessness vs. productivity

When I was 20 years old, my Italian boyfriend Giuseppe bought me a magenta egg, carved out of some kind of stone. We found it in a tiny art shop outside of Firenze.


In a form of broken Italian-English, I asked him, “What’s the point?”


I can’t remember his exact words, but the idea was that it had no point other than just being what it was. He told me to keep it as a reminder.


I thought he was un poco pazzo (a lil crazy) -- chalk it up to my American-influenced mind that placed so much value on things that were productive and had obvious purpose. But I said Grazie and kept the egg anyway.


This moment, let me mention, was also a mere year after I had quit dance. Again, I was in the mindset of “What’s the point?” “What difference am I really making by dancing around all day?” I had decided to move on to academia and more direct ways of helping people. The arts felt too selfish for me at the time.


It would take me many years and many self-imposed dance sessions to realize that dancing was truly a part of who I was. Just by dancing and being myself I was contributing to the world in a meaningful way. And to top it off, the more I danced, the more my career expanded and the more I was able to help people.

I had a feeling you might need to hear this story today.


I had a feeling that you might be placing too much value on what you’re producing in the world, rather than accepting the inherent value you have just by being yourself.


I’m in California now, which brings up a lot of what Italy had brought up for me over 10 years ago. I’m still learning and still soothing that part of me that clings to productivity, but here’s what’s apparent:


Not every second of the day needs to be filled with action.

There’s no room for receiving anything if you’re constantly trying to produce something.

Sometimes a magenta egg is the whole point.


There are moments to work and there are also many more moments to sit and daydream and listen and dance and feel the sun and see the stars.


Imagine how much more space you could create in your life if you let yourself be…


jess grippo thumbs upI invite you try it out this week.

Take some things off your to-do list.

Follow your impulse.

Give yourself permission to do something “pointless.”


I’ll leave you with a poem that has been in my heart, plus a recent dance video.

Leave me with a comment if you feel moved to share something.


to the value in you,


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A poem on being

by Jess Grippo 10/22/15


Sweet presence of being

of fully seeing

that all along I was deceived.


I thought I had

so much to do

but only had to be received.


If joy can happen

in the here and now

why didn’t it happen before?


That’s a question to surrender

‘cause we can’t go back,

but clearly I wanted more.


Now it’s apparent

that the more I wanted

was actually inside of me


And as long as I stay

true to myself

happy I will be.

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