Since moving to Australia in 2010, I could never wrap my head around the social convention of asking each other “how are you?”
I took the question too seriously at first, and I soon realised I didn’t really need to contemplate the meaning of life as all I needed to say was “Fine thank you. And how are you?”
I think I’m getting the hang of it. I’m accepting that it’s really a hello or a G’day.
But 9 years later, I rethinking the “how are you’s.” Here’s what I think we should do to this social convention:
We should ask ourselves, on a daily basis, “How are you?”
And then patiently wait for a full-bodied felt response.
We don’t check in with ourselves enough. Most days, we are bustling around getting from one place to another, nailing down one task to another, from home care to schoolcare to the workforce. Meanwhile, we neglect to listen to our bodies.
Our mind is there to take care of the mind and the body. This is not just about being self-aware, because you can self-aware and still fail to ask fully embrace this beautiful question of “how are you.”
Hint: Like a call-and-response, if you ask this question to yourself and let it ring through from the top of your head to your pinky toes—and give yourself time—you might find yourself automatically letting out a sigh. That’s a good sign.
So, how are you?