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Mindfulness: Living In The Moment

Many of us look forward to summer as a time of relaxation, replenishment, re-creation and an opportunity to break our routine with a vacation.  But it often takes most of our vacation to unwind.  With our society’s belief in the values of productivity and accomplishment, stopping and finding ways to “vacate” from our many tasks can be difficult.  We are so busy “doing” that we seldom take the time to just “be” in the present moment.

Yet people want to find ways to slow down and reduce stress and anxiety. Practicing meditation, mindfulness and centering prayer have been part of all faith traditions over the centuries.  Sacred texts tell of the prophets, saints and monastics physically going to a place of quiet and peace to discern the leadings of the spirit.

Today there is a resurgence of interest in reducing stress and anxiety in our hectic lives.  In fact the practice mindfulness and meditation has gone main stream with many “mindful” goods and services available.  There is an increasing number of “apps” to help us practice mindfulness.  I decided to try one!

We may set aside times of quiet reflection and prayer, but my intent was to slow down and be present to the sacredness of the present moment. I find the reminders helpful to pause, take some deep breaths and acknowledge what is happening in my life in the midst of my activities.  This intentional practice can enable all of us to be more open to the moments of clarity, rest, creativity and provide a welcoming space for the divine presence to abide. 

I was challenged by Craig Groeschel of Life.Church to take 5 minutes every day and do absolutely nothing except focus on God.  Listen for Him, think of nothing else and just "be with Him."  This has been a life changing practice for myself but I will tell you, this is MUCH harder than it sounds.  It is so easy to get distracted, to start thinking about what needs to get done, etc.  Give it a try for yourself though and you will find the benefits are worth the work.

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