Do you ever have one of those mornings where you just feel a little “off”? Maybe you didn’t sleep well the night before; maybe you have a pressing concern? Maybe your day ahead is packed and pre-stress is knocking at the door?

Whatever the case, I understand.  I was having in “off” early morning recently. I also had a touch of a headache. Headaches are pretty foreign to me (I am more likely to get a stomach ache if I am unwell). I was a little confused and foggy.

But there I was in the checkout line at the grocery store, getting a few things on my way to exercise. I was squinting my eyes and questioning whether maybe I should just skip exercise and take my head home. Then I heard a voice so soft I could barely make out the words.

“How are you doing in your spirit?” the voice gently queried. I looked around. The voice was coming from the kind older woman bagging my groceries.

How am I what? I had to consciously repeat her words in my mind: “How are you doing in your spirit?” This sweet woman was ever so gently letting me know that she cared about how my spirit was doing.

Really? Do we do this? Do we ask about “how we are doing in our spirits?” No one had ever posed this sort of question to me before. Of course, people have asked “How are you?” Especially in grocery store check-out lines. Isn’t the standard sort of thing we say and answer over and over when we talk to grocery store checkers?

But this was different. I could feel the spirit of God when she asked me. I hoped she could feel the spirit in return when I responded. “I’m a little off physically.” I said, taking an extra beat to try to assess my spirit. “But I think my spirit is doing OK” I said with hesitation. 

To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure how my spirit was doing. It was such a kind, but deep question. The question presented an opportunity to ponder. Isn’t pondering one of the directives in the trifecta of spiritual growth? Aren’t we told to “search, ponder, and pray”. I vowed I would ponder all of this more deeply on the way home.

“Thank-you so much for asking.” I said. How are you doing in your spirit?”

“Pretty well” she said, smiling sincerely.

By now we were walking to my car with the groceries. Suddenly, I had a flash of inspiration. “You know what?” I said. “I am a writer, and your question is going to be the title and topic of my next article.” She lifted her eyebrows in surprise.

“I mean it” I said. “So often we ask people ‘How are you?’ And that’s a really nice question, right? We are wondering how people are doing physically, or emotionally or even mentally…but spiritually? I feel like maybe we don’t often go that deep, you know? And yet, our spirits-I mean that’s the most important part of who we are.”

We smiled at each other. I wanted to give this good lady a hug. But we were both wearing masks and keeping pandemic protocol.

I was grateful for her question-for how it made me feel, and for the spark of desire it ignited to pass the question along.

So how are you doing in your spirit? Are you OK in there? How is your spirit doing with this whole mortal test? I hope your spirit is well.

There is a beautiful expression in yoga. It’s “Namaste”. It means “The divine in me bows to the divine in you”. Isn’t that beautiful? It’s a reverent, mutual recognition of our spirits.

Maybe it’s a great companion phrase to “How are you doing in your spirit?”

May you feel forever loved and honored in your spirit. Namaste!