“I saw a dear friend a few days ago. I stopped by to ask her how she was doing, how her family was. She looked up, voice lowered, and just whimpered: “I’m so busy… I am so busy… have so much going on.” Almost immediately after, I ran into another friend and asked him how he was. Again, same tone, same response: “I’m just so busy… got so much to do. The tone was exacerbated, tired, even overwhelmed. And it’s not just adults.
In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask “Keif -Haal-ik”? How is your heart?. 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 in this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know. I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul. Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch. Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence. Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second. Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch.
W. B. Yeats once wrote:“It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.” How exactly are we supposed to examine the dark corners of our soul when we are so busy? How are we supposed to live the examined life? I am always a prisoner of hope, but I wonder if we are willing to have the structural conversation necessary about how to do that, how to live like that. Somehow we need a different model of organizing our lives, our societies, our families, our communities. I want my kids to be dirty, messy, even bored — learning to become human. I want us to have a kind of existence where we can pause, look each other in the eye, touch one another, and inquire together: Here is how my heart is doing? I am taking the time to reflect on my own existence; I am in touch enough with my own heart and soul to know how I fare, and I know how to express the state of my heart.
How is the state of your heart today? Let us insist on a type of human-to-human connection where when one of us responds by saying, “I am just so busy,” we can follow up by saying, “I know, love. We all are. But I want to know how your heart is doing?” by Omid Safi
I was so moved by this article. It reminded me that no matter where I am in the world and with whoever I speak, I always long to communicate about the state of the heart and the beauty of the soul. Many years ago an astrologer told me that I was part of a group of souls whose sole mission here was to preserve, honor & celebrate what’s beautiful about humankind – forever. It reminded me that the question “How is your heart in this moment @ this breath?” leads you to discover the beauty of the humankind in your own heart, and is the key question of The BREAZE, a moving meditation to the heart and a sacred journey to the present of the soul. The question “How is your heart? Keif-Al-Haal? كيف الحال, is a daily practice that reminds you to be a human-being rather than a human-doing, take care of yourself, pay compassionate attention & breathe~love. It keeps you centered, grounded, connected & present, and helps you trust in the beauty of humankind in your heart, and celebrate the sacred truth of your being.
Samuel Jakob Kirschner, Voice of The BREAZE