1. When have you felt “fire in your heart” about something or someone?

2. Where in your own life do you shine naturally and without a lot of effort?

3. What can you learn from pets like Putnam the dog who have no expectations from people or from life and who exude natural enthusiasm?

4. What ideas or attitudes have inhibited you from showing your innate enthusiasm?

5. When was the last time you paid attention to the good news in your life? What was it?

6. What sport or physical activity requires you to engage your full self? Share a story about this.

7. Where in your own life have you put “your whole self in” and “taken your whole self out” like doing the hokey pokey? Can you do more of this through volunteering, practicing a hobby or possibly switching careers?

8. Who in your life is like Emil gathering everyone to watch the sunsets? Why is their enthusiasm so infectious?

Possible Practices

1. Notice where you are enthusiastic in your life right now.

2. Find a way to underscore what is working in your life, in contrast to what is not working.

3. Experiment with seeing the bigger picture of your life, as Lawrence Kushner suggests. Where is the meaning coming from?

4. Write in your journal about why you do not freely expression your enthusiasm (if this is true in your case).

5. Think of one or two specific ways you can proclaim your passion at work and at home.

Visit the Enthusiasm homepage for more ways to practice this spiritual quality. Follow the links in the left column to:

  • a collection of quotations on compassion
  • book recommendations
  • book excerpts and teaching stories
  • film recommendations
  • music and art meditations
  • a daily cue, reminder, vow, and blessing for compassion
  • a prayer or mantra
  • personal explorations including imagery and journal exercises
  • practices and spiritual exercises
  • questions for discussion, storytelling, sharing
  • take action with household, group, and community projects
  • and more

Prepared by Persephone Zill with contributions from Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat