Jun 13, 2024

Our family dog’s name is Harley. According to the rescue we adopted him from, his lineage is part blue heeler and part beagle. That being said, he is 100% treat hound. We adopted him over four years ago when he was approximately 1 ½ years old. While we don’t know what happened to him before we got him, we were told a little about the condition he arrived in. I won’t take you through the whole story, but a lack of food was an issue. Since that day, he’s been fed plenty of quality food and an abundance of treats. Much has changed in his life since we adopted him, but something that remains is his constant quest for more food.

That struck me the other day when I walked into our laundry room (where he’s fed) to start a load of laundry. Upon seeing me enter the room, he came running through the house, into the laundry room, and ran over to check his food dish. It struck me because he had been fed less than a half hour before, and he was being loved by several children at the time he came running to check. I could understand if it was a toddler pulling his ears and it was a good reason to run away, but it was a couple of teenage girls that were sitting on the floor with him, his head on one lap, getting petted and rubbed. He left what amounts to nirvana for a dog to check if I was going to randomly throw some more food in the dish, even though he had just been fed.

The failures in his past still rule his today, and it makes him trade all the good a current moment offers away as he fights the fear of his past. It made me wonder how often you or I trade the enjoyment of a current moment for worry about what’s next, and that is the basis for this week’s thoughts.

I believe we all have our "Harley moments." Those times when we let past experiences or future worries cloud the joy of the present. Maybe it's a missed opportunity, a past mistake, or a fear of what tomorrow might bring. These worries can cause us to miss out on the happiness and peace available to us right now. Just like Harley, we sometimes find it hard to let go of our past and embrace the present, even when the present is going better than we could imagine.

I think the most important thing to recognize is that the past is just that… the past. It shapes us, yes, but it doesn't have to define our present. By focusing too much on what has happened or what might happen, we rob ourselves of the joy and contentment that the current moment can bring. We need to trust that we are taken care of, that we have enough, and that it's okay to simply enjoy the here and now.

Living in the present doesn't mean we ignore our responsibilities or stop planning for the future. It means finding a balance where we can appreciate and fully engage with the current moment while still being cognizant of our past and future.

After doing a little research, here are four recommended ways (in bold) along with my opinion to help us stay in the moment.


  1. Acknowledge Your Thoughts: When you find yourself worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, take a moment to acknowledge those thoughts. Then remind yourself why this moment is more important.
  2. Practice Gratitude: Make it a habit to notice and appreciate the good things happening around you. Showing joy and appreciation is rarely a bad idea.
  3. Engage Fully: Whether you're at work, with family, or spending time on a hobby, give it your full attention. Put away distractions and immerse yourself in the experience.
  4. Breathe: Take a breath… Pump the brakes… Give it a minute and reset.

That leads me to this week’s challenge… Don’t spend today’s joy paying back the debts of yesterday’s failures. Appreciate all the good things you have going on. You live in freedom. You have the opportunity to work. You have gifts to offer others. You have shelter and are fed. You are loved. Aim your focus on the here and now and appreciate the moments of joy and peace that come your way.

I’m thankful that you went to work today, that you took time to read this, and that you’re a part of what makes this world amazing.