how are you?

How are you? I really mean it. I would really like to know how you are.

Most times, we are asked how we are, and most of those who ask, don’t really want to hear a full answer. I do. When I ask, I really wish to know how someone is.

So…how are you? These are extremely unusual times we are living in. The opportunities before us are endless…even if we feel they are extremely limiting. Is that where you are?

Are you writing, reading, playing music, dancing? Are you alone or staying in with others?

I’ve been listening to podcasts, reading books, listening to music, getting out for a walk when the weather is nice. All of this creates space for me to contemplate, to meditate, pray and to listen, deeply.

How about you? What are you learning – about yourself, others, your community, our country, our planet?

What do you feel you need? What have you determined is no longer necessary in your life?

~ ~ ~ ~

If you have read a book, listened to a podcast or found some good music, You are welcome to share it here in the comments below.

I am considering posting a list of resources for all of you. You are welcome to make suggestions!

Everyone…please take good care of yourself and others. Know that your choices affect many.


7 thoughts on “how are you?

  • This is not an easy question to answer, Carrie. My simple reply is “It depends on when the question is asked.” When I’m grading student papers on one of the few nice days and yard work is calling, my answer would be – “I’m shouldering my responsibility to care but it’s soooo hard to do. Yet caring enough it it’s own reward even though it may take days until my mind clears and my own language resurfaces.” If you ask me on a peaceful morning when I am lost in wonder watching and listening to the three House Sparrows that appear in the field next to my house, I might not even hear the question. If you ask me when my little dog is struggling and choking for breath, you will know how I’m doing by my worried expression and tears. But mostly, I am grateful for times of aloneness, working in my yard, solving a puzzle of how to help a student or family member, painting a wall, or listening to the classical music that is meant to soothe my parakeet and sometimes inspires him to sing along. The list could go on. There is always something that needs doing, a knotty problem to try to solve, or a beautiful moment that inspires awe. I try not to dwell on the things I cannot solve, but I do take time to check in with the world so I know what’s happening as a context to figure out how to best teach and help others. I can’t be helpful to anyone if I don’t take time to reflect and balance…

    i am always grateful for friends like you who ask “How are you?” and really want to know the answer. Thank you. Sending love and gratitude to you for your presence in my life.💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Carol…thank you so much for answering my question. I understand so well the complexity in answering a seemingly simple question. The genuine interest I am expressing in the asking of the question has been met by you with true honesty. Thank you so much for this. I feel it is courageous to be honest about how we are being and moving through any day…and even more so when we are living in times like these. We all face these challenges in different ways. Sometimes we are in a better place than at other times…and isn’t this true of our human experience…when we are deeply aware? Some days and some tasks are just tough sometimes. The same task on one day seems easy and light and other days, the same one feels so heavy. Thank you for honestly sharing how you are, dear Carol. I send love and gratitude back to you for the gift of your presence in my life as well. Your presence in the lives of many – your family and your students – is a blessing. They’re all in very good…kind and compassionate…hands. Take very good care of you. May your sweet little dog find ease in the days ahead. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  • I am… everything, right now. I cycle through all sorts of emotions, from anxiety to grief to joy, feeling them fully, listening, exploring with curiosity. I am learning, so very much, in the yoga teacher training class and feeling deep gratitude that I took the leap and plunged into it when I did last year. It was a scary thing to do, knowing that working with this particular teacher would mean deep work and stepping way outside of my comfort zone. The things we’ve been studying have helped, and have been so relevant to what’s happening. I’ve been tearing down the walls I built, learning about surrender and prayer and intimacy and vulnerability and openheartedness. I am learning to think of prayer in ways that are not weighed down with history and dogma, that it doesn’t have to be an asking for something or a bargaining (which is how I learned to pray), but can be just showing up in any way that I can at the moment.

    I go out to the woods every morning, a morning meeting with the trees, the birds, the water, whatever shows up. But here’s the thing: I show up. In prayer, in song, in chanting, in movement or dance, in a lot of tears (I usually end up having a good cry at some point while I’m out there). That has been a great lesson during our isolation, to show up. No matter what I’m doing.

    I miss my grandchildren and children. I worry about my brother who is having surgery today. I sometimes briefly get annoyed with my husband’s constant presence and feel deeply grateful for it and for him (probably all at the same time… lol!).

    It’s a little of everything, all at once. It’s an aliveness that, maybe, we rarely feel. It’s connection.

    How are you, Carrie?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Robin…you’ve summed up, quite beautifully what I feel many are feeling…and some even worse, I’m sure. That invitation to engage the yoga teacher training came at just the right time, yes?

      Crying is SO GOOD FOR US!!! The release is powerful and necessary! And where better to allow the tears to flow than in the presence of nature – the trees which see, hear and feel all and are still standing; and all the teeming natural life this time of year unfolding right before our eyes! Truly, you are in a safe place. Nature keeps showing you that…and I’m so grateful that you are capturing photos and excepting Ted Andrews’ book. Your posts are comforting.

      Thank you for asking about how I am. I am well. I’m a bit of a homebody after so many years of working in an office miles away from home and then spending a lot of time in my car immediately post retirement, doing consulting work.

      Having come through a fairly lengthy period of darkness – my dark night of the soul – I feel I am in a good place while all of this is happening. I’ve faced so much about myself that I thought I knew…and didn’t. Now I feel I’m in a good place and hope to bring comfort to others who may find these times to be extremely challenging.

      Feeling everything…to some degree seems normal for all of us. Myself, included.

      I wish your brother well…and have lifted him in prayers of gratitude.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Last week was particularly hard for me. I was so very sad. Not for myself, I am safe and have my needs met. I have been so sad for all those that are struggling.

    I need authentic conversations with others. I have noticed that when I haven’t taken the time to call or set up Zoom events I get down. Humans are meant to connect.

    I have been happily surprised by the listening and real connection that has come from my online writing circles. They have met a need for me and for others.

    I appreciate you asking the question, “What do you need?” It is one I ask often.
    We need to keep asking this of each other and really listening.

    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ali…I appreciate your honesty here. I feel as you do. My needs are met, and yet, I know there are so many who have been on the margins of society and who are suffering. It’s hard to ignore it.

      We are indeed hardwired for connection and these times can make us feel disconnected. I appreciate so much what you are doing to engage others in your community writing events. I’m looking forward to participating.

      I deeply feel that we all need to be seen and heard. Listening – truly listening – when we ask “how are you?” is essential to being a kind fellow traveler on this journey we are all on together. As we lift through listening, so are we lifted, This is paying it forward in an important way.

      Sending you blessings of love and peace.

      Liked by 1 person

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