There is this series of videos on YouTube from the Spiritual Literacy Project which illustrate spiritual practices and capture the sacred in everyday life. In a video about enthusiasm, they share a story about Emil’s Sunset. Emil was a gentleman who each night would gather people at the family cottage just to watch the sunset. He would make people stop what they were doing and come and sit in the fully experience the beauty of the sunset. In the video, they talk about how one day after he had passed away, they were busy doing things and someone mentioned there was an Emil sunset. They all stopped what they were doing and sat and took in the beauty of the sunset.
There is something about being around people who want to share their enthusiasm with you. Whether it be an appreciation for the beauty of the sunset, or the intense joy a child has in their new pair of sneakers, or their purpose in life. This morning someone sent me a message on Facebook thanking me for being so enthusiastic about the work I do with Inspiritual and the passion I put into my words. I was so moved, but the interesting thing is that I just love what I do. I really do not consider anything I do with Inspiritual work. It is the space that I get to reside in where I get to grow and evolve in my own life and get to grow and evolve with others as I journey with them.
Enthusiasm is not just about an excitement and passion but a way of seeing and experiencing the world. For example, Sylvia Boorstein in her book, It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness. Wrote, "My son Peter's mother-in-law not only tolerates unpleasantness with grace, she often can appreciate it. She is the only person I have ever driven with on Los Angeles freeways, with cars whizzing in and out of lanes arbitrarily, in snarly, congested, smoggy traffic tie-ups, who says, with genuine awe, 'Wow! Look at all these people going places!' "It's a big step, of course, from freeways to famines to wars, but it's wonderful to have confirmation that spacious acceptance is humanly possible. Spiritual practice might be discovering that potential in ourselves and enlarging it."
Enthusiasm for me is about realizing that what might initially appear to be an obstacle in my life is really a doorway to spiritual growth and transformation. It is an intentional attitude and approach to life which allows me to be en Theos (in God) in all situations. If I can be en theos when facing that which I find repulsive in myself or others, then I can face it, breathe relief and healing into it, and begin the process of transforming it, all because I was willing to be en theos (enthusiastic).
This month may we experience being enthusiastic, not just as a feeling, but an act of being en Theos in all that we say and do. May we experience being en Theos in the sunset and the traffic jams.