How Are You? By Virginia Robin

When we casually ask, ‘how are you?’, we’re often asking a polite question that receives a polite answer, like ‘yeah, I’m okay’, even though deep down we might really feel like screaming, yelling or crying. I’ve even seen business owners answer that question with a feigned ‘great!’, irrespective of the reality of their situation.

Why aren’t we always able to answer that question honestly? Why would we choose to be the bearers of our own ‘fake news’?

Two reasons come to mind:

  1. We don’t truly value how we feel; and
  2. we think we have to appear that we’ve got it all together.

Whilst it could be that those reasons are inherently connected, let’s explore each aspect.

Emotional avoidance.

During my experience as a lawyer, it was taboo to connect with a client’s emotional state. Among other reasons, emotion was seen not to be a ‘fact’ when bringing matters into evidence. 

What we have created is a legal system that seeks to resolve conflicts devoid of any emotional characteristics using ‘left-brained’ thinking. What we have is half a human dealing with half the problem. Not good problem-solving math! 

Given our systems reflect our collective beliefs, this told me that we tend to not collectively value feelings or emotions.

Appearing confident.

Further, I believe we must move away from the perceived danger of emotional pain, perhaps from a fear we may be exposed to vulnerability.

Vulnerability, when broken down, can appear to us unconsciously like death or endings.

Having moved through many identity shifts, I understood that each time I let go of who I thought I was, effectively I was transformed. This took some courage as I discovered that to my self ego, transformation seemed like a death of sorts. 

But the ego is merely an identity, or a carefully crafted version of you. For all intents and purposes, it was the version of you that was formed in early childhood based on your own ‘tribes’ rules. Following your tribe’s rules, like ‘boys don’t cry’ or ‘girls don’t get angry’, you, in turn, adopted those unconscious rules to keep yourself safe, accepted and loved by the tribe. This became your identity or, as I like to call it, your internal legal system. Your ego worked mighty hard to keep you safe then, and having a mind of its own, now won’t let its judicial position be handed over to you without a fight. 

Your ego effectively ruled that certain emotions, or ways of being, were ‘unacceptable’. And now as a grown up, you unconsciously continue to avoid those feelings or emotions, as if you still existed subject to parental supervision. We labour under a belief that the parent wields a big stick, and so remain fearful of being vulnerable to transformation. 

What happens if I start feeling?

The paradox is, when you allow yourself to accept all of your circumstances as they genuinely are, you free yourself to explore any emotional pain present so as to fully experience that aspect of yourself. This is all about unwrapping every facet of the amazing creation that you are. We were instructed not to do that as children. We have been repressed and have not allowed particular aspects of ourselves to unfold, and grow with us to emotional maturity.

You are either in a state of acceptance of all that is happening in your life, or in a state of resistance. Accepting what is, has a more positive feel to it. Resisting experiences has a negative feeling signature. You cannot live in both states, in any one moment.

If we say to ourselves, there’s a dark room in my house, but I don’t want to know what’s in there, that is resistance.

In my experience, the way I feel indicates my level of consciousness in any given moment, which in turn, has a direct impact on my whole life. The feeling-self is, in my view, the most important aspect of our humanness. 

You might like to play with this idea for a while like a curious child. You are energy. You will ebb and you will flow, but wherever you are in your life’s journey, you are at all times perfect and you cannot get it wrong. 

Virginia Robin modern shaman, former practising lawyer and disruptor of stagnancy. If you want to learn how to shift your own level of consciousness and sustainably solve any problem using unique methods, I am open to consultations. For more details visit

Virginia Robin

Virginia is a modern day Shaman, lawyer and creator of The Centre of Love and Wisdom on the Sunshine Coast.

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