c.1600, from Middle French enthousiasme (16c.) and directly from Late Latin enthusiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos “divine inspiration,” from enthousiazein “be inspired or possessed by a god, be rapt, be in ecstasy,” from entheos “divinely inspired, possessed by a god,” from en “in” (see en- (2)) + theos “god”
I started writing this post on enthusiasm and was thinking, “you know what would help my enthusiasm? A DELICIOUS ICED BEVERAGE.” So I went around the corner to the coffee shop and got my current obsession: a half-caff iced latte. I quit getting high back in 2006 (7 years ago this week, actually, yay me) but occasionally I still like the buzz of caffeine…though it can exacerbate my anxiety issues. Nonetheless,
GOD IS WITHIN ME NOW I TELL YOU.
I’ve always liked teetering on the edge of enthusiasm/insanity. I’m stable now, but I used to need a lot of substances to feel enthusiastic. To jump over the daily grind. To push the boundaries of my consciousness into that place of expansion, freedom, inspiration. In high school, it was about taking a shitload of LSD and staying awake all night talking about art and cosmic stuff and feeling “plugged in to the generator” — like being on a rocketship.
In college, it was about getting really wasted on pot and long ponderings about Keats and the nature of truth and beauty, and what the fuck was Blake’s Sunflower poem really about anyway, and then it was Rumi and Tu Fu and Hafiz and all those dudes. Slouching toward Bethlehem on a cloud of pot smoke, thinking I was soooooo intellectual.
I was stoned.
So when the drugs stopped working, and started taking over my life, and when I started spending more money on drugs than on rent, and when I couldn’t function at work without getting high, and stopped having a certain level of personal integrity, it became harder and harder to be enthusiastic about anything unless I could transcend the mundane. With weed, mostly. But alcohol would do in a pinch. So I got fired a few times, felt like shit, and made some big changes.
That, like I said, was seven years ago. The things that turned me on then are still the same, but there’s a clarity around my vision that was obscured by being wasted (don’t get me wrong, let’s decriminalize. Duh.) — because
there’s a connection between enthusiasm and motivation.
When I stopped self-medicating I had to actually show up for my life. It took a few more years to realize I’m good at a lot of “jobs” but I’m kind of a shitty employee because I hate being told what to do. I changed careers a few times. Sometimes my enthusiasm was perceived as ambition. Sometimes it was just too “intense” — what Pixie Campbell recently talked about in terms of “The Too-Much Woman” (see the Sacred Grit TV episode on that subject on June 11th). Sometimes, being enthusiastic shines a light on where other people aren’t able to allow the “entheos.”
Be enthusiastic anyway.
It is not necessary to dim your light for fear of outshining others.
Enthusiasm is the state of your soul when it senses a path to travel on.
Enthusiasm is a marked tree in the wilderness.
It is the spirit that makes, that creates. Do not let the daily grind pulverize your enthusiasm for anything. Create space for it to live and grow and draw near those who share your spirit. Abandon all conditions that interfere with its expansion.
Damn, that was a good latte.
The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s BlogLovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 100 other creative bloggers. Learn more — and join us! — by clicking here.