Are you Okay?
Once the pool opened, our small, prairie town finally had a place, besides nearby lakes, to host swimming lessons and life guard classes. The novelty of swimming in a pool was fun and I was keen on taking lessons. As I advanced, I graduated to learning life-saving skills.
You know what that meant, right? Resusci Anne got an invitation to the life-saving party.
I vividly remember having to get down on the ground and yell into Anne’s ear, “Anne, Anne, are you okay?!”
She never responded, of course, so I had to point to someone in the crowd and tell them to call for help and report back to me.
Who knew that such a skill was useful for both emergencies and daily inquiry?
Many years after my relationship with Resusci Anne, I would sit down with a counselor during a particularly difficult time in my life and have the counselor ask me, less frantically, the same question.
The first time she asked me she said, “Are you okay right now?”
I looked at her blankly. Was this a trick question?
She asked me again, “Are you okay right now?”
She kept asking, “How about now?”
Her question was intended to bring me into the present. Despite everything that was happening at the time and what I was making the events mean, worrying about the future or digging into the past was creating suffering and stress. Her point was that in that moment, I was okay. I was breathing, safe, and my most basic needs were met. I was alive. I may not have felt like dancing or rejoicing and it didn’t cure anything, but I was okay.
I learned from her, and again later with Martha Beck, that if things seem dire, you can ask yourself if you are okay each second, or each minute. You can incrementally cast your fears away by asking yourself if you are okay for the next five minutes, this hour, or this day. No matter how you feel in each moment, by reminding yourself that you are okay in that moment is to relax into the present and find relief.
How are you right now? Are you okay?
It’s a great gauge for pausing and identifying whether or not I’m okay (newsflash, I’m okay!).
I typically ask myself this question every morning. One particular morning, I awoke completely out of sorts. I have no idea what precipitated my restlessness, but I was the embodiment of unrest and dis-ease. It was a matter of putting one step after another to complete some of my chores that day. I was scattered, for no apparent reason at all.
I can assure you, we all have these days.
When I have them, they go something like this:
Lying in bed in the morning. I am okay.
Making breakfast. Still okay.
Getting dressed. Yep, I’m fine.
Driving to school. Still doing okay.
You get the picture. I check in with myself a lot those days. It helps just to know I’m okay even if I’m feeling anxious, sad, unmotivated, or angry. It’s amazing how much relief will wash over me when I acknowledge that, in the next five minutes, I’ll be okay. There is nothing I have to do but keep breathing and putting one foot in front of the other. It even works if you are feeling anxious or threatened.
You may not feel great or as productive as you like, but you’ll be pouring OK sauce all over that fear and negativity!
You just may like it.
Peace & Light,
The Busy Buddha
FIND RECIPE HERE @ What's Cooking Love!
Describe how, in even the most dire circumstances, you can see yourself being okay.