My husband, Angel, our son, PT and our daughter Cara and Janelle’s mom, my friend, Lucy were all on hand and present to support and cheer Janelle on for her enormous accomplishment.
The ceremony took place in a large auditorium on base. First we heard a few speeches and then the proceedings began. As each of the candidates’ names were called, they stepped on the stage and stood between two of their superior officers. If their family members were present, they were asked to stand on either side of the candidate.
After the candidates were charged by their officers and their new duties outlined to them, there was a part at the end of the ceremony where each of the officers’ flanking the candidate, turned to face the candidate’s side, as they did so they extended their fists to punch the candidate on the side of each of his/her arms. As the officers or family members punched the candidates’ arms, loud shouts of support were audibly coming from the candidates’ flight team. I noticed that instead of hearing arbitrary shouts of support and various words of encouragement, I only heard one thing from each group. Each group had one particular sound or word that distinguished them from the others.
At the end of the ceremony, I asked Janelle what was the flight shouting and what meaning it had for her. She explained to me that each group had a special name that defined them and every time that they heard that word or sound they remembered what they had accomplished, who they were and the meaning of their service. That made them proud to be in the Air Force.
As she explained this to me, I realized that what the Air Force was doing in this ceremony was installing positive anchors in the officers. Each time that they were getting punched with pride by their supervisors or family members and hearing the sounds of support rising up from their flight team, they were reminded of their call to service, their choice to serve and the meaning of their work. They were reinforcing their commitment to the Air Force and making it real for the candidates. This anchor for committed service became a learning “in their bones’ experience.
I’m sure you’d agree that commitment requires continuous reinforcement in order to solidify it. Making changes means being committed and being committed requires consistent reminders of that choice to commit.
Can you think of a particular word or feeling that you would like to anchor into your memory to reinforce more positive changes in your life as you commit to taking better care of yourself each day?
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