Enthusiasm is a gift. The word comes from the Greek “entheos” – having a god within. So, when we tamp down our enthusiasm (in order to feel more acceptable, grown-up, professional) are we stifling our own holiness? Are we caging the most sacred part of ourselves? What are you enthusiastic about? Baking cookies, making a collage, singing in the shower, reading a mystery, petting the cat, staring out the window, staying up late, making doodles? Do you dream of learning to play the cello, or to tap dance? Permission is granted. Our enthusiasms need to be fed, let out for a walk, treasured. They can teach us the power of savoring our joy, of living in full color, of honoring the god with.
The poet Chelan Harken says … “just do it” in this poem…
THE THING THAT MAKES YOUR HEART SING
The thing that makes
your heart sing
might be quirky as hell,
it might not do anything for capitalism,
no one might buy it.
You’ve probably written this thing off
for those reasons
and because you probably should
do the dishes or something more practical
like that instead.
But this thing that make your heart sing
is the thing inside of you that most wants
to topple your kingdom of shoulds
that wants deeply and burningly
to be prioritized
and for no particular reason
but that it brings so much light.
It wants to look you straight in the eye
and say, “Let’s do this, baby!”
Even if it’s drilling holes in seashells and stringing them to
even if it’s drawing anatomical pictures of a flower
with great care that are never meant
to be hung in an art gallery
but to be pressed
into the precious pages of your heart,
even if it‘s making a new kind of cookie
and devouring them with relish on your couch
a sweet sacrament
just meant to share
with your taste buds.
This thing that makes your heart sing
will resurrect parts of your life
and restore a sacred nutrient
to your days
It can be muted
but never silenced.
If you’re not sure what it is,
just listen for the reoccurring whispers
in your chest
of that flame that will not die.
The paradox is this:
while the thing itself might seem simple,
this thing that makes
your heart sing
will create a luminosity
you’ll be the envy
of all the stars
and they’ll want to jump into
to feel it.
(from the book “Let us Dance!” by Chelan Harken