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Mindfulness is defined as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experiencing moment by moment.”

A physician said to his patient that he had two types of news to tell him: bad news and really bad news. The patient asked “what’s the bad news?” and the doctor said “you only have 24 hours to live.” The patient then asked “well, what’s the really bad news?” and the doctor responded, “I should have told you yesterday.” The point is, we should strive to live in the moment because this is all that we are given – one moment at a time.

I recently attend an annual chaplaincy conference with 600 chaplains in attendance. One of the workshops I participated in involved the concept of being mindful of our surroundings in a nonjudgmental state. As a spiritual practice, this is shown to be a vital component for health and well-being in life.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said “it’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up – that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we have.”

As humans we need to be mindful of being, seeing, and tapping into the fullness of our human nature.  When we do, we can discover the spiritual concept of mindfulness, as often seen in the playful attitudes of children. Mindfulness is described by Jon Kabat-Zinn “as paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”

The practice of mindfulness, being present for each moment as it comes, being aware of our surroundings, and staying judgment-free of emotions and thoughts, can be incredibly powerful when used in our everyday lives as well as at work.

Be mindful of all of your surroundings and appreciate the moment you have.

Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!

By Chaplain Ghosten

chaplain@lhp.net