How many times a week when you ask someone how they are do they respond with "busy?"
In my world, I must hear that multiple times a day and often participate with the same response myself.
Lately, I've been mediating on what it means in our culture and in my life to characterize ourselves as "busy." All. The. Time.
I suppose for some of us, it gives us perceived value and purpose to be busy. For others, it may just be a way to push away conversations about what's really going on.
For business people, it might be how we validate our success after what was for many of us a long, painful stretch of not being busy enough during the economic downturn a few years back.
No matter what the reason, I'm feeling compelled to suggest some alternatives to "busy" that feel softer and more enjoyable to say and receive.
Try these on and see what you think...maybe we can all bring our awareness to what "busy" means and switch gears to something a bit more productive (even if you really, truly are that busy!) from time to time.
Plus, I like these so much more than "fine," as well, which also felt more of an empty, unconscious response before "busy" took over...
-"I am well." I like this because it's not only a response, but a wonderfully life-affirming mantra. To be well is a beautiful wish for ourselves, isn't it?
-"I am full." Like busy, this sentiment conveys what feels true about life but it also suggests a sense of wholeness and roundness that sounds so much more positive and less energetically draining than "busy."
-"I am present." You are here in the now. And that is enough.
-Lastly, there's always the tried and true TRUTH. "I am ____________." Fill in whatever the absolute truth is for you. Even if the only truth that rises within you is, after all, "busy."
The truth is really what I want to know anyway when I ask, "how are you?" Because that gives me the opportunity to show compassion, love, empathy and support. And I LOVE giving that out more than anything...and I have tons of it to give. Many of us do, so imagine what a gift it would be to put the truth out there and to receive an unconditional dose of, "You have been seen; you have been heard. And you are loved no matter what."
Be well, full and present, dear ones....I am!