What do you say when people ask how you are?

What do you say, when people ask, 'how are you?'

For us to answer truthfully, we almost always need to pause.

There is something about breaking routine and geography--without our normal entertainment distractions--that makes us see ourselves more clearly.

So many parts of our normal lives are run on autopilot, but when our time and space changes, we notice things. And if we happen to do that in a natural setting, the pace slows which awakens a more subtle awareness.

'How are you doing?' ceases to be a greeting that we briskly respond to and starts to become the question of our souls.

We are as fragile as hummingbirds (and often moving just as fast) in a vast world that doesn’t always care about us. Heck, we hardly care about us. We keep the frenetic pace with a diet of coffee and sugar and tell our souls to “shut up” because we will get to them later.

Except that we rarely do.

There is intense value in the pause. In prayer, in meditation, in a long walk without destination.

If we feel exhausted, its because we are. We are the ones who feel so unworthy of love that we do not nourish, breathe or care for the very home our soul is housed in. The challenge is that when we don’t take tender care of our own souls, we are ill-equipped to care for others. Even the kindest moves become just one more draining task rather than an act that feeds both receiver and giver.

So, how are you?

If you find you cannot answer with a resounding “well,” then call in sick, go outside and take a very, very long walk so that you can be quiet enough to hear what is really going on inside of you.

Being able to answer the question is essential, because until we know there is no possibility of growth or healing.

So, how are you?

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall