How many time each day do you extend or hear a greeting that goes something like this:
How are you?
This past week I was having lunch with a friend.
After a couple of months of not seeing each other we were catching up on how each of us was doing. Fairly early on, the conversation turned to how often each of us finds ourselves going from one demand to the next or one appointment to the next or one task to the next with little or no time taken to really pay attention to the person across from us let alone ourselves. Somewhere in the mix of our conversation that went back and forth across the table, in passing, my friend mentioned the exchange with which I started.
How are you? Fine. How are you? Fine.
As so often happens, I find myself in a serendipitous moment when something I see or hear each and every day suddenly strike me in an entirely new way. And so it was with our exchange over lunch. I know that most of time when people ask how I am they really don’t want to know. It is not that they are uncaring, but in that moment they are only practicing a social convention in which we all share. But I decided the next time someone asks me how I am doing, I am going to use that moment to check in with myself.
How am I doing?
Fine or not so fine?
Maybe a 10 second check in with myself will help me to see where and how I am so I can be more honest with myself and pay more attention to the moment which I have. Naming how I am may not change how I feel or the situation in which I find myself, but it may help me be aware of the strengths or the vulnerabilities which I bring to any given moment. Anyway, I am going to give it a try and see what happens.
How are you…really?