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Are You OK?

"I'm ok."

How often do you use this phrase, and what do you mean when you do?


I was recently in an enlightening conversation about how many ways these two sweet little letters come together and create meaning. I know I've said, or signed, OK a million times, but taking a pause about it showed me something new.

The conversation started at our weekly team meeting when we did a little check-in.  The simple question, "How are you?" was met with a pause and a hand on the heart.


"I'm ok," was the response.


This little 'ok' meant "Yes, I'm ok. Also, there's some stuff that's so not ok." It's the pause that said, "Hold on, checking in...this is not the time to totally share, but I'm in my body, I'm present, I'm safe."


That pause is a pause of self awareness. (Listen to my podcast episode, What is Self Awareness?) In a different time or place she might have told the whole story, beginning to end, because that's what that moment and audience called for. It also acknowledged that, "Yes, there's something, but I'm not grinding to a halt and it's good if everyone knows there's just a little something on my mind."


This is different from saying "I'm ok" through gritted teeth when the honest truth is hard to say but needs to be said. It's different from saying "I'm ok" with a quivering voice when what you really need is help. It's also different from saying "I'm ok" when you don't feel it but you're trying to convince yourself you are because you gotta wo/man up for a minute! Perhaps my favorite use of "I'm ok" is to self-soothe when my mind starts conjuring up things to worry about. 


There are probably hundreds of other uses and meanings behind this little phrase.  I believe the most important thing, though, is the awareness around it.  Turning a blind eye to your inner pain is never a good idea. Saying the truth out loud to a friend, partner, or therapist is often helpful. But the first conversation must be with yourself. 


When someone asks, "How are you?" do you know the true answer deep inside yourself?  And do you ever pause and ask yourself, "How am I, really?" 


May you genuinely be ok, and may you take pauses in your day to check in with your inner wise self, the one who knows the truth, and may you acknowledge that truth with loving self compassion.


Much love

P.S. One great way to tune in and discover just how ok (or not!) you are is with this Chakra Check-In Self Assessment.  It is a PDF for you to go through chakras checking in and asking if you're ok. You will also have access to a video guide preparing you to listen, as well as tools to use to bring harmony and balance to your areas of need. 

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