How Are You – And Do I Care?
How many times a day are you asked “How are you?” I am referring to people that are casual acquaintances we meet as we move about our public ways. In consciously observing these greetings with those that cross my path it has got me thinking about why we do this.
On the surface many seem shallow, automatic and insincere in their delivery. “Do they really want to know?” When someone begins to walk past you they might toss out a “How ya doing?” Am I supposed to respond to their backs as they move away from me? Feeling awkward but not wanting to appear rude I have done just that…which leaves me feeling awkward anyway after doing so!
Because of my conscious quest to understand this social greeting I have been noting a few times where I was about to ask the question to a person’s face and when I was about to deliver it decided against it as I questioned my own sincerity in the moment.
My summation, after thinking about this for some time now, is that primarily it’s an extension to a simple “Hi” or “Hello”.
Of course, the one that is tossed over their shoulder in passing is simply an offhand greeting; “I see you and am merely letting you know” and might require nothing more than a quick smile.
I found myself studying this at the grocery store. Many of the checkers going about their job automatically deliver the “How are you” line with a weariness of having done so for the umpteenth time in that day. They don’t appear to require an answer as their focus is on sliding my purchases over the scanner so we can finish our transaction and they can move on to the next in their line.
Regardless of the automation or tone of delivery…it leaves an opening to develop a conversation, of some sort. It is the moment to offer some social finesse and experience a “paths crossed moment” with conversation while offering some pleasure to an otherwise potentially mundane exercise of human interaction.
Instead of answering with a generic dismissive “I’m fine” I think about something positive in my day and share it. “I am enjoying the sunshine today and as you are my last stop of a long day I am looking forward to spending time in my garden upon my return home.” This might elicit a conversation about what I have growing in it and suddenly we are sharing a moment. It’s really an opportunity…should one choose to see it that way!
I might turn it back to them. There is a very sweet gray haired woman that works at the service desk where multi-tasking is a part of her job. That day, as many others, I had to wait a while for her to get to me. It’s easy to be patient when you see someone working so diligently! She apologized for my wait and after she asked how I was…I told her I had no complaints this fine day and life is good. (Even if it was a crappy day…I do not need to share it with her.) Then I told her I noticed how busy she always is and how she seems to maintain a sunny attitude. She stopped what she was doing for me and looked me in the eye with a genuine grateful smile…taking her time to answer. She said she appreciated very much my observation and said she wished more customers were as nice as I was in saying so. She finished by telling me that some people can be very unkind.
I had another young checker, after her automatic “How are you?” who I asked how her day was going and what side of her shift she was on she responded by telling me she was off in an hour and with a tired sigh told me she had to go to school when she got off. I smiled and said “Ah, then you will be spending time for yourself and your future!” She appeared to stop and think about this and smiled quickly back at me. She told me she never thought about it that way and she would remember that….thank you she said, with sincerity.
In our busy lives remember how initiating a human connection…even if brief…and how uplifting for that moment by taking time to do this by extending compassion for another soul can be uplifting for both sides. We leave the situation with a spring in our step and the goodwill left behind can be considerable.
All this from a simple vague “How are you?” : )
However busy and hectic your days might be…I hope you find some healthy quiet repose time in this the beautiful colorful growth time of Summer. Enjoy those joyful times by being in them exclusively without worry of past or future…solely in the moment!
Peace On Your Path
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. Carl Jung
We live in the age of distraction. Yet one of life’s sharpest paradoxes is that your brightest future hinges on your ability to pay attention to the present.
Written by Jasmine
(Webmistress The Majickal Garden)
Warm greetings in this most welcome time of new growth! For some it has been a very long Winter laden with record breaking snowfalls. Here in the Pacific Northwest, with not a flake in sight all season where I live, it turned out to be wet and mild temps from the norm. Even our beautiful mountains have suffered with a much depleted snow pack.
I feel the urge to get busy in clearing out the cob webs and clutter that manages to appear during the dormant time and freshen the place up.
I started with this website for a garden-fresh change that has been long overdue! It is requiring some education on my part in working the updated program which I find rather stimulating in the results it produces. I hope the new look and features are pleasing for you. : )
The latest battle in the news is over Net Neutrality over ISP companies (Internet Service Providers) like Comcast, AT&T and some other interconnect companies. When we access the internet via phone, tablet or computer we get to view websites and videos at pretty much the same speed as everyone else does. The conflict was in the ISP’s desire to control their data pipes from flowing at the speed we have been used to during peak times and in busier areas unless customers were signed up with paying premium payments. Of course they would deem where and when this would happen!
The defense is that the internet belongs to everyone and it was the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) that met these corporations in court and ruled:
“When these rules take effect, broadband service providers will not be allowed to:
- “Block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices,”
- “impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of Internet content, application, or service, or use of a non-harmful device,” or
- “engage in paid prioritization.
(Quoted from an article in “The Motley Fool” website)
They will contest the ruling as is their right; however it looks like the ruling was solid. I feel this is a huge win for “We The People” against the money grubbin’ corporations that would see us bled dry in order to maintain their quarterly earnings!
The other day I was doing my yoga routine and injured my elbow. I did not feel it until hours later and quickly my elbow had swollen up, very sore with a significant lack of bending range. I went back over my session and remembered my mind had wandered from the moment to somewhere totally inconsequential to what I was doing. At the time I realized my posture in the pose was off and corrected it but I must have damaged the muscle in the process. I immediately set about using an ice pack every couple hours throughout the rest of the day with limited activity. I had to go out and take care of some business so I pared down my normal prep to only necessary to get myself reasonably presentable. Just putting a scrunchie to a pony tail was a major painful effort! With each step forward I focused solely on that alone. When periods of time came where I had nothing to do but sit calmly still I made sure to savor the moment in awareness and appreciation for now…everything was alright.
On the 3rd morning upon awakening I gingerly lifted my wounded “wing” off the pillows I had planted it on for my slumber and gave it a bendy run. I had my movement back with but a little bit of soreness and a lot of gratitude that it was a short injury experience. The next morning it was no worse, which gave me hope. However…everyday uses of my limb became greatly limited and offered much challenge to achieve my goals! After a soothing meditation session I replaced frustration and anger for “allowing” it to happen with the knowledge of the reminder it was…to remain “in the moment” fully.
It’s so easy to take basic things in life…like use of all our body parts…for granted. I am comforted with the strength and power of positive thinking that willfully living in the moment brings dealing with incapacitating injury or illness. The only thing to do at those times is whatever is within our ability to help our situation be it with medication, healthy food and supplements or simple tender loving care for ourselves. To accept the things I cannot change…the courage to change the things I can…and the Wisdom to know the difference.
I am looking forward with pleasure to connecting with my awakening garden again as new growth sprouts around me. I hope you find your own connection with nature revitalized and reap the soulful benefits of living in the moment as you doing so.
Peace On Your Path
Webmistress – The Majickal Garden
“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different;
being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).
enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will)” – James Baraz
I really like this sleep meditation and have been using it often. Insomnia
likes to visit my bed at its own discretion and timing. So I have found
guided imagery with music most helpful during those times.
The male voice is soothing and soft with a pleasant accent. It’s counter
productive to find your mind wandering in noting you really can’t relax
and follow your guide when all you can think about is how irritating the
voice is to your ears! It lasts an hour and most nights I don’t get past the
first half where I am already drifting in my dreams amongst the stars.
I spend the first 5 min or so lying on my back…mind clear…and allow
my body to sink into the mattress while focusing on the narrator. As
I do this I allow each inhale of breath to settle into each section of my
body and feel it relax…starting with my feet and work upward with
each slow relaxed inhale. Not thinking any words but only observing
as I begin to let go of tension in each body part. With one last long
slow exhale I can feel a slight tingle starting on the top of my head…
traveling down my arms to my fingers and ending in my toes.
At that point I turn over to my sleeping position and allow myself to
be guided to sleep.
(Commentary written by Jasmine-webmistress of The Majickal Garden)
Written by Jasmine
(Webmistress The Majickal Garden)
Here we are counting down the weeks before Christmas and I am just doing my Fall update. Where has the time gone! I enjoyed a beautiful sunny Indian Summer and the garden lasted well beyond usual. My goal of nurturing my pale green thumb was met with pleasing results. The seeds I started in the garage in April flourished once planted in the ground, tubs and hanging baskets much to my surprised delight. I felt such a feeling of accomplishment that “I” could actually do this and the satisfaction exceeded years of buying them and keeping them alive! I bonded with these wee beauties and they taught me tips to alter for next year.
My back yard is covered in small red rock with a few beds. I use plenty of containers. Mid-summer while weeding my “rock lawn” I realized that some of the “weeds” might want to be allowed to grow…just a hunch I had, never seeing them before. I had let the chore go for a good month so some had taken quite a foothold and were very healthy. They were centered around the proximity of the bird bath and looked different from the normal weeds that get yanked out.
They grew quickly and I did not have to wait long before I was rewarded when they showed color. Extra interesting to me is the area they were located in usually did not catch my target for watering and at an especially dry part of summer until they caught my attention. They were very tenacious and appeared to want to be there. One type flowered into what looked like purple wild petunias, if there is such a thing! The other was purple lobelia, another wonder to me.
Not long after they bloomed; one sunny morning while garden tending, I had a sudden thought of my beloved Grandma, who watches over me from the other side, and was overwhelmed with love busting from my heart. Quick heartfelt tears stung my eyes as I remembered each summer she always had petunias and draping lobelia together in her baskets. It is my knowing that she sent them to me via the birds where nature takes its course! I had a sudden overwhelming feeling of love intertwined with feeling that I had been granted a precious gift from her in the form of these particularly specific “wild” flowers in MY backyard! I had a pot ready with soil that I never got around to planting in and within some weeks it was lush with the petunias.
I know from many ways she is around me when I invoke her from the heart in certain situations. From birth my grandparents were always an active part of my life and later my own children’s. As busy as they were with their own lives, they always made me feel special as they spoiled me a little and taught me much with subtle guidance at the same time as I was growing up. I feel a distinct blessing in knowing she found a way to touch me even closer on my side of the veil! She was always supportive of me with her unconditional love. I now know she did not always approve or understand some of my choices made but she trusted me and never seemed to express negativity. I know her daughter, my mom, raised me the same way. They knew I had to find my own way and at the same time; at the ready to talk to me when I needed their input.
My Grandma is with my Grandpa as well as my Mom. I miss them dearly. I have so many questions I never asked when I had the chance. However, the more I mature in age and experiences the more I feel their loving support. It does not matter I don’t have all the historical family facts…they are with me now as I continue down my own path.
When I am in the garage on a creative mission looking for something to make happen out of my head fumbling around for that certain component to appear; my carpenter Grandpa smiles silently over my shoulder guiding me. And when it suddenly shows up with a “hey presto” moment I can smile gratefully back at him.
My mom guides me still with her strong ironic humor wrapped in her own life experiences where emotions weighed heavy. When I am scared, confused, or in tears I can feel her supportive presence with her empathetic concerned loving knowing smile. She felt them all in her time here and that visual of her loving face packs a most effective punch in the gut to buck up and go forward.
The holidays are ever challenging for me. I am blessed with so many wonderful majickal memories via the closeness my family shared packed into decades. The balance lies in keeping them with me and endeavoring to create new ones in my life now.
I look forward to Spring in the hopes I might be blessed once again with “wild” petunias and lobelia! The delightful blessings of miracles in this lifetime cannot be expected nor taken for granted, however large or small. Living in the mindfulness presence of the moment, by not allowing the mind to wander to yesterday, tomorrow, or what might be done later allows openness to what might be experienced or lost for lack of “being there”. If I had done a mindless clean sweep of my backyard I never would have discovered what I did and never known what I could easily have missed! I was open and therefore ready for what might come to be.
I hope your holidays are sprinkled with sparkles of special moments all season long!