How Have You Relaxed This Week?

What's New, Old Friend?

As summer winds down, I find myself re-connecting with warm, friendly faces.  

How was your summer?

What have you been up to?

Back into the swing of things?

So great to see you, let's grab coffee!

All spoken with genuine interest and positive energy.  Our intention: I've missed you and look forward to hearing about you.  

Our intention: I’ve missed you and look forward to hearing about you.

Updates, Updates

These conversations tend to morph into fun, upbeat checklist banter:

We went here!  We vacationed there! We did this! Now we're doing that!  What about you, dear friend?  

So similar!  We went there! Vacationed here! Did this.  Now doing that.  Sooooooo busy!

Etc etc etc

Not wrong or bad. I mean, I like these conversations…and I love my friends! Hearing what’s going on is an important part of our friendship.

But - it’s only ONE PART of the friendship.

Doing, doing, doing

I thought about it and realized: When asked, "HOW are YOU doing?",  I tend to answer "WHAT are you DOING?”

When asked, “HOW are YOU doing?”,  
I tend to answer “WHAT are you DOING?

You may have heard me say, our culture is very "yang."  The above is a perfect example:  an engrained, seemingly harmless standard etiquette question, "How are you doing?".  

The emphasis (and curiosity and resulting conversation) is about DOING.  Achieving.  Participating.  Improving.  Creating memories.  Staying interested.  Staying interesting.  

How are you doing? What are you doing?  Answering gives my friends and I an opportunity to align our actions with our storyline:  We are busy, young families living full lives in a great city.  

We Are What We Think (and Discuss)

There’s a Native American tale about two wolves inside all us. One is evil. One is good. Which one wins? The one you feed.

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It’s the same idea for Busy-ness and Relaxation. Which one do you feed?

So here' my idea:

Instead of asking,"How are you DOING?"  Let's ask: "How are you RELAXING?"

Instead of: “How are you DOING” Let’s ask “How are you RELAXING?

Shift the energy away from DOING to one of RELAXATION. 

Dear Friend:

What’s your self-care plan this season?

How do you incorporate mindfulness to the daily routine?

What’s coming off your plate this fall?

How are you relaxing?

It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.
— Molière

Relax with Yoga

Seriously - let’s all try “how are you relaxing” with our friends this fall!

Or at minimum, NOTICE all the times you ask others about DOING - especially mindlessly.

And in the meantime -

HOW ARE YOU RELAXING? (Yes, reader, YOU!).

Perhaps try this quickie yoga tonight. 15 minutes right before bed is perfect. Enjoy!

Heather Wininger2 Comments