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By Chaplain (Capt.) Meade Adams 2nd Bomb Wing Chapel

Last week we talked about an ancient practice called centering. I hope you took the time this week to be silent and center your thoughts and your minds. Another ancient practice that I would like to challenge us with this week is mindfulness. I think the above quote adequately defines what mindfulness is. It is about being here, in this present moment. It is walking by the tree and taking the time to engage the tree. See the tree; look at the tree; think about the tree; enjoy the tree. It is a step beyond being aware of your surroundings (something that anyone that has been to any form of military training is familiar with). It is about quieting the racing noise of our minds in order to be present and appreciative of the moment.

Research has shown that the mind can only worry about the future or reprocess the past. It is not natural for it to be present in the moment. In order to do this we must retrain the mind. I challenge you (and me) this week that when you’re with your kids or your spouse to put the phone down, turn the tv off and soak in their smiles, their smells, their touches. Appreciate the moments that life gives us. Go for a walk and take in the colors, the sound of the wind and the birds, the feel of the ground under your feet. Part of my mindfulness exercises lately are being more aware of my body language and nervous ticks—picking my fingernails, tensing my shoulders, fast tapping my legs. I’m trying to be mindful of what my body is doing and trying to come back to a place of center and rest. Find your own mindfulness task and commit to it this week.