Quotidienne 004


A Socratic Method Iteration of this Column in which we ask each other Loaded Questions
Ethos - 03.02.20
Words: Xandra Robinson-Burns
Photography: Kerrin Smith




Over salad at sweetgreen, Kerrin asked a question. But first she warned me: it’s a loaded question.

Our conversation:

K: How do you take care of yourself?

X: By letting go of the need to create a permanent self care structure.

K: How is that Cool And Thoughtful?

X: It’s being Thoughtful to myself now, instead of worrying about forever. It’s Cool in a more common, literal sense: it’s chill.

K: Or Cool could mean ‘fun’.

X: Yes. It’s not Controlling and Thoughtful.

(X: I also wrote down ‘mechanised wellness’ but can’t remember why…)

***

And so X and K spent a few days afterwards marinating on this conversation, trying to figure out What It All Means, and here’s where they landed:

K’S RIFF AS FOUNDER: So this all then begs the question of what is Cool And Thoughtful wellness? At its core, it’s just like being Cool And Thoughtful in any other area: being mindful of your reactions in service of being present with yourself and others. I think this is why your answer was so inherently Cool And Thoughtful: because it was ultimately about present. You’ve probably mastered (or at least more than most of us) what it means to listen to your body and to your commitments and synthesize both into choices about daily care. (Or even if you haven’t you are consciously striving to get there.) It’s easy to swing to one end of the spectrum of the other: to be at the whim of what’s instantly gratifying but maybe not what you really need, or at the other, to be overly designed to the point of losing the ability to stop and check in. In this way, we’ve brought the Cool And Thoughtful way of being to the area of wellness -- how that gets literally expressed will be different for each person, but the idea of being present as it relates to caring for yourself, is universal.


X: A shift for me came from the realisation that I can listen to my body. That I can ask myself in the present: what do I need now? For a long time I didn’t know that was an option. I used to be so caught up in planning ahead, and reacting to the past, that I ignored the present. It’s still something I must remind myself to do, but it takes less time to convince myself of its effectiveness. I’ve shifted from ‘Listen to the present? Really?’ to ‘Oh yeah. Listen to the present. That’s where the answer is.’


***

Xandra Robinson-Burns is an Essayist, and the Founder of Heroine Training. She hosts The Art Life podcast, and specialises in character development for everyday life.

©️ Cool And Thoughtful 2020