I remember a conversation I had once,
“How are you”
Me: “I don’t know who I am, how am I supposed to figure How I am?”
This is generally the truth of my life. So as you might imagine, I face many challenges with the usual social conduct norms. More and more I have found that most social behaviour is based on people’s fears, ignorance and incompleteness.
take for example, a common greeting that starts with ‘How are you?’ is the most bizarre thing because ‘Who am I’ is a very fundamental question where from we can say all spirituality begins. So a greeting like ‘How are you’ not only completely ignores this fundamental aspirational question, but it actually implies that people not only know ‘Who’ they are but they can actually surmise about ‘How’ they are.
A lot of people may say that what I am saying is too deep and everyone doesn’t think so much. This is not about thinking. This is about our day to day conduct being truer to the nature of life. In more intelligent and evolved civilizations we find the common greetings to be much more deeper and truer to life. The greeting of Namaste or Pranam is a reverential bowing down to the other person. “I see the divine in you”. What a fundamental truth is being inculcated into our day to day life by this simple action!
Not that I have adopted the practice of greeting people with Namaste. I stick to a ‘Hi’ or ‘Hey’. I find it most important to have a little joy come into my heart and mind when I see someone and I greet them. Then whether I say a Hi, Hey or even the dastardly How are You. It’s ok. Though at some point I want to adopt the Namaste.
There is another reason why people continue with the ‘How are you’ greeting. It is because they don’t have a clue about how they really are. As I wrote in the previous post also, ascertaining How I am doing is something I have spent quite some time on. It requires a serious consideration of many aspects of my life and then an overall surmise about How I am doing.
So here is how I do my ‘How am I’ thinking….
Basically I have identified different aspects of ‘Me’. Each of these aspects have specific activities associated with it. These help me to overall get an idea of my life and also include such activities that are needed towards better well being.
This is mainly the physical fitness. Towards this well being is your usual walks, swimming and other forms of fitness.
Metrics: The overall metrics to measure how well I am doing in this zone is level of activity (should be high) & frequency of falling sick (should be low). Not gotten into actual fitness metrics as of now.
This is about the mind – whether it is fine.
Mood: Am I calm, collected, cool and brimming with vitality. Or am I lethargic, bored or depressed.
Creativity: On different spheres of life – personal/work/day-to-day
Social Interactions: Quality of interactions – should be high, activities with friends, client relations, balance
Metrics: Social interactions & overall comfort and ease of mind.
This also includes activities like writing this blog – because research and expressing really suit my scientific bent of mind.
Maybe I should add hobbies here?
This aspect I understood and put into my assessment quite recently. I realized that I need to do something to work towards my emotional well-being as well and it is a different zone from psychological. For a while I was at sea about how to take care of my emotional health! And honestly I feel so sad because the reason I was totally clueless about how to care about my emotional health is because people don’t bother with it. No one has ever explained this to me, not taught me in school nor nurtured it at home – because they just don’t know. Recently I saw this TED video on emotional hygiene and I so agree that people need to take their emotional health seriously.
Finally I figured out the way through this. A little help from Indian culture and little help from a client of mine – Lumens School, they have 4 pillars in their education system including Emotional. Basically Emotional is tied with Creative energies. So one of the ways to emotional health is via Art & other creative tasks.
Metric: Painting & other purely creative art & craft
In fact, I noticed that if I was to celebrate every Indian festival traditionally then my emotional health would be taken care of! Cooking delicacies, making rangolis, lighting lamps, decorating the house …. all these creative and artistic tasks really help maintain emotional balance. Sadly, the urban lifestyles have drastically cut down on how much we celebrate our festivals. So even more important for us urban folks to care about our emotional health.
Spirituality again is something that is abundant in Hindu land, but it is a task to pick it out from all the religious stigma. This is whole topic on which I can write on because I have many thoughts on it… not because I have figured it out 😉
Also, the metric for this would be very subjective.
Metric: Yoga, relevant Books, improved perception and understanding of how the world works…..
All of this assessment thing is a work in progress….. but so far this is what I have got… 🙂
And if you have actually read this whole post… do comment with your thoughts… 🙂