A silent war for your mind, body and spirit | Veterans Corner

Series: Coronavirus | Story 171

Last updated 5/7/2020 at 9:45am

Our nation has been in some form of war or conflict for decades. Most know only of the wars they see on the television or read about, but there are conflicts waged behind closed doors and in foreign countries that are off camera and do not make the headlines.

And often, these silent conflicts – whether in the chambers of Congress or on foreign soil – are to preserve or challenge our way of life here in the United States.

For many, our way of life as we know it is in question. The different approaches to how states deployed their COVID-19 response or how governors defined “essential” vs. “nonessential” business have some questioning if America – and freedom itself – is under attack.

Others are left wondering if there is a silent war to control what we think, how we move about, and if the spirit of America – that independent character from which the concept of America was born – will survive.

Andy Andrews, a New York bestselling author, in his book “How Do You Kill 11 Million People – Why the Truth Matters More than You Think,” asks a compelling question: “Why do the ages of our world’s greatest civilizations average around two hundred years?”

An intriguing question.

Andrews shares that civilizations “all seem to follow the same identifiable sequence – from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, and finally from dependence back into bondage.”

Depending on who we listen to will likely determine where we think we are on this continuum. And that is where the silent war begins – the battle for your mind. And where your mind goes, so follows the body and your spirit.

Dr. Caroline Leaf, a communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist as well as the bestselling author of “Switch On Your Brain,” shares how our inputs influence our thinking – what we watch, who we listen to, all influences our thinking … and “our thinking shapes and colors everything we say and do.”

This is one of the first trainings in the military: break down your way of thinking and reshape it into thinking that will support the mission. Some call this indoctrination. But the military is brilliant in influencing how one thinks while still supporting creative thinking.

Those who serve in the military certainly follow lawful orders, but often have latitude in how the mission is accomplished.

Today’s media tends to just tell people what to think.

Whether it is a “call to arms” or a “stay at home” order, to blindly follow is dangerous. The ability to truly think – to filter, to ask questions, to seek wisdom without preconceived conclusions – is truly phenomenal. And missing in America.

When we blindly follow and freely give up our mind, when we fail to take ownership over our own health, and when we allow the spirit of America – that independence – to fall victim to dependence, the America many of us and our grandfathers, fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters fought to preserve is on a potential death spiral.

So what can we do?

We have to truly commit to challenging our own way of thinking; we have to monitor incoming information and remove strife – this “right” to be ugly if we want to; to talk against our neighbor if we want to; the right to say whatever negative thing we want – and replace it with healthy, love-based thoughts, words and actions.

When we do, our perception changes, which influences our strategy. Our mental and physical health will also improve. That is science.

And that is how we preserve this country and win the war for our mind, body and spirit.

Edmonds resident Mike Schindler is a U.S. Navy veteran, the CEO of Operation Military Family Cares, and author of two books. He has been featured in USA Today and on numerous national radio shows, including CBS radio, Entrepreneur Radio, “The Lars Larson Show,” and a frequent contributor on Q13 Fox TV in Seattle. Mike was also named RIS Magazine’s Top 100 Business Leaders and the recipient of several awards, including the National Patriotism Award and the WA State Patriotism Award.


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