“In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask in Arabic: “Kayf haal-ik?” or, in Persian, “Haal-e shomaa chetoreh?” “How is your haal?” What is this ‘haal’ that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.”
I was sitting at a cafe yesterday with a friend whose 12 year old niece from Florida is visiting with her for a week. Apparently they went to three clothing stores and the niece found nothing to buy. When I arrived to the cafe, you could cut the air with s knife. My friend was texting me “I can’t take it anymore” and the niece’s face was longer that the diaspora, as if a cast member of Les Miserables. Somehow, I abandoned my cheerfulness and got sucked into this gloomy-dark-state of “what’s wrong here?” that soon after turned into “What’s wrong with me, that I’m tolerating this?” The three of us were sitting together feeling separate and miserable trying to find something to say and fill the eery silence.
At some point, I got tired of it, and I checked into my heart and breathed. I immediately felt relief from the negative cloud that surrounded us. I asked the niece from the heart “Are you OK?” She said “Yes”, but her demeanor changed. Case and point – Eventually when all else fails and you run out of strategies, solutions and quick fixes, check in with your heart, and breathe… You may be surprised as to how transforming it maybe to check in with your heart (haal) and follow your breath (nafas).
Follow Your Heart at the Gym4theSoul
Smauel Jakob Kirschner, Voice of The BREAZE