“What’s on your mind today?” I casually asked the patient, as I do many times throughout my day.

“That’s a hard one,” he said, not-so-casually back.

I wholeheartedly agreed.

First, you must rid yourself of external distraction such as screens, work stress, the fight you had with your wife this morning, political tweets, etc.

Then, you must turn inward and catch yourself. Do that scan of your body, mind and heart to assess what is going on inside. That’s, of course, if you even want to find out which you might not or might be too afraid to know.

Then, you must decipher your internal contents enough to find words to describe them with at least enough accuracy and clarity to be understood by the listener. Many of us are still at that pre-verbal stage of grunts and looks.

Then, you must decide if can muster the courage to be vulnerable and risk saying those words out loud.

Then, you must tolerate that inevitable unbearable pause. How will the listener respond? What will she think of me now?

Yep. That’s a lot of work one needs to do to meaningfully answer the question, “What’s on your mind today?”

And, we must do it anyway. That’s if we want to be alive as a human being. If we want relationships of depth and substance. If we take the one and only opportunity we have to become our highest, best self.

“What’s on your mind today?” I ask you.

For the rise of your life …