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  • Writer's pictureRebekka Darge

Pause For Clarity

A few weeks ago I went on a coffee date with one of my dearest friends. When I saw her waiting outside the cafe I gave her a big hug and said: "So good to see you. How are you doing?"

She paused for a few seconds.

And instead of giving me the obligatory "Fine, thanks. How are you?"... She said: "I want to do this question justice, let's sit down and I will tell you."

I was surprised. Surprised by how much this caught me off guard. Surprised by how much this "pause" resonated with me. And I am still surprised how much this situation replays in my mind weeks later. Her willingness to pause this "throw away"-question in order to make space for real exploration and connection was truly inspiring.

The more I paused, the more I had to admit that, in fact, I was not "fine". But I would have told her "Fine, thanks!" nonetheless. Those few seconds between "Hello" and sitting down weirdly anchored me and gave me the opportunity to check in with myself.

Now, I know that it might not be realistic to assume that we will do this everytime we get asked "How are you?", but what if we tried? What if checking-in with ourselves first and being true about how we feel can open us up to wonderful opportunities? I personally have noticed a strong shift. By allowing myself to be more vulnerable and connected to how I am really feeling in the past few weeks - just by pausing and not defaulting to "I'm fine, thanks!". I had a number of surprising conversations that I know would not have turned out as deeply and authentic, if I would have answered with "Fine, thanks!".

Now I am inviting you to check in with yourself.

How are you doing? Think about it.


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