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Enthusiasm





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

~Chelan Harken

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

countless times

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

fishing line,

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

each week

and devouring them with relish on your couch

by yourself;

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

so bright

you’ll be the envy

of all the stars

and they’ll want to jump into

your body

to feel it.


(from the book “Let us Dance!” by Chelan Harken


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