At 94 years old, Charles Fillmore, our co-founder of Unity, said, “I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm and spring forth with the mighty faith to do the things that aught be done by me.” The first time I heard this it sent chills down my neck and every time since it brings a smile to my face.
Zeal is intensity, enthusiasm; the inward fire of the soul that urges humankind onward, regardless of the intellectual mind of caution and conservatism. It is our get up and go. The ability to be enthusiastic and passionate, as well as to inspire and motivate oneself. It is directed energy focused on an idea to be realized and is natural to all of us. What do you love about life? What really gets you going? What really feeds your soul? What are your passions?
Zeal is depicted by the color orange – which is also the second chakra color which is all about desire and creation. It is a propelling force. Zeal’s energy center is located where the neck and skull meet in the back of the head because physically, enthusiasm is expressed through the hypothalamus and the medulla oblongata, which is found at the base of the skull.
Zeal is from the Greek word zelos, which means to be passionate and enthusiastic about life. Our joy is not dependent on external circumstances, it is within us. We don’t get “zeal”, we already have it; we just have to activate it. Zeal is an attitude of forwardness and courageousness. It is single minded devotion to one’s purpose. Pure zeal is pure passion. It is complete presence and focus on what brings’ us joy. It is important we stay connected to source and faith, which allows zeal to flow through us.
Zeal can get discovered. It is the power of the mind to shift. Stay open to some surprise change in perspective that makes something dull and challenging to something really terrific. Joy emerges from the ashes of adversity through trust and gratitude. Use power of the mind to inquire, “I am not really having fun doing this, what would make it more fun?” Be open to some surprising idea, some gift of giving, some way of joy. Shift thoughts from “I have to do this” to “I have an opportunity to do this.” This shift activates the Power of Zeal. This is how we discover and uncover zeal. It is always there and available if we are willing.
STORY: A few months back I took an enneagram class. The Enneagram is a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions. I thought I was the perfectionist, then I thought I was the achiever. I took the test and found out I was the Enthusiast.
I bring this up because, enthusiasm and Zeal come easy to me, but along with that comes other things that aren’t so positive, likethe never ending bucket list.
Zeal is the Spirit within that keeps us activated, engaged, inspired. A sense of, “Oh I remember who I am, I remember why I am here.” It is available to us all the time, easily reachable. When you feel unhappy – this is called divine discontent. It reminds us there is another way.
In Divine Audacity, by Linda Lartella-Winslet explains there are 3 important aspects of Zeal. Zeal is our rightful power of enthusiasm, audacity & devotion.
“Enthusiasm comes from the Greek root of en-theos; on fire with God; filled with God; Divine spirit is moving through me. To be enthused; is to be tapped in, turned on and moving forward. This gives us that feeling of being filled with the spirit. Knowing, this is the truth of who we are. Our eagerness for life, our interest in and our optimism about our intentions and plans. Dogs exemplify zeal all the time!
“As you activate zeal you will have more energy, exuberance, zest and be full of light… because you are more connected to the source. Norman Vincent Peale said, ‘Think excitement, talk excitement, act out excitement, and you are bound to become an excited person. Life will take on a new zest. Deeper interest and greater meaning. You can think talk and act yourself into dullness or into monotony or into unhappiness. By the same process you can build up inspiration, excitement and surging depth of joy.’ (The Positive Principle Today, 225)”
Exercise: Look in the mirror and say Enthusiasm 10 times, raising your voice a little each time. Watch how your energy will shift!
“Charles Fillmore, cofounder of Unity, taught that zeal is the great universal force, impelling humankind to spring forward in a field of endeavor and accomplish the seemingly miraculous. Audacity is our power source for moving in the direction of fulfillment and beyond bounds of perceived limitations. It is the quality of boldness and forwardness. A necessity for successful human living. Audacity can be seen as pushy or presumptuous or as spunky and daring. As a spiritual aspect of zeal, audacity is our capacity for boldly proceeding in the direction of our intentions. Audacious is you insisting that no material circumstance can interfere with your ability to shine the light of your spiritual nature.
“Finally, devotion is our capacity for wholehearted, single-minded attention. It is our power of intensity – the fire in our belly. Devotion fulfills the law of the mind – where thought goes energy flows. The flow of energy responding to devoted attention is not random, it is precise, amplifying and reproducing the original thought. This is why spiritual practice is essential for a spiritual experience in life.
Devotion is present moment engagement. Zeal can only be experience in the present moment. Enthusiasm, audacity and devotion PRESS TOWARD the future, but it is necessary to live in the present in order to get to the future. Appreciation of this moments’ possibilities grounds us in zeal. We can appreciate our future potential while living consciously and gratefully in the now. Staying present to what is and know the Divine Ideas will come. Then boldly step forth with audacity and enthusiasm to do what ought to be done by you!
“This may be little sparks; old dreams that make you feel alive. Singing, dancing, playing the piano, being an activist, doing massage, inspiring people, teaching, healing, decorating, fashion, golf, tennis, cooking, the lists goes on for as many people on the planet. The Power of Zeal is asking you to be the conduit for that spark within you. We plug into source and the energy begins to move. We become the conduit for whatever it is that we came here to create. Whatever it is that lights your fire, it is wanting to be lit or you would not be here today. It isn’t an accident that you are here reading. This message is for you. The Power of zeal is asking you to tap into it so something can be created or co-created through you as you.
“Howard Thurman said it best, that when we are seeking a purpose, when we are seeking a sense of being, he said, ‘Don’t look around the world and ask what does the world need? But ask, ‘what makes me come alive’ and do that. Because what the world needs is people that come alive.’ It is the aliveness we are looking for. Not so much looking outside ourselves. Or if you look outside yourself, notice what makes you come alive. Ah, that’s my spark, that’s my direction. That’s what wants to be. That is what zeal feels like.