I have written a previous post regarding the Dog Whisperer , Cesar Millan and I’ll confess I have become a devoted follower of him and his techniques for “rehabilitating dogs and training people.” It fascinates me that he can take an out-of-control dog and within minutes bring that dog to a “calm submissive” state without using physical punishment or harsh words.
Now bear with me here….
We have several dogs in our neighborhood that are not contained. Consequently, on more than one occasion when walking our dog, we have been confronted. There are also dogs contained by an Invisible Fence, similar to what we use, but when they approach the boundary in our direction, it causes anxious moments. In fact, our dog basically goes nuts. No matter how much I attempt to correct him, he often squeals and jumps around. I knew there was a problem.
What I have come to realize that it is not my dog, but me that needs correction. I am still living in a past experience of a dog attack that was being transferred to my dog. For you see, dogs live “in the moment.” They don’t dwell on or catalog past experiences. They simply live in the “now.” Humans don’t. We catalog past experiences and use them often as reference points for present experiences. Even though, for example, my wife and I have moved to several different states, we often compare those living environments to where we live now and how our life is. According to Cesar, dogs would never do that.
Living “in the moment” has certain advantages. Naturally one of them is putting the past in the past and not agonizing over the future – just living in the now. The moment I have is the moment I should cherish. For, as we all know, we cannot change the past, nor to any large extent, influence the future. What we have is now. Right here, right now – in the moment.
For me, I love that concept and am attracted to its benefits. The only problem is this. My dog may do that instinctively, but I have to work on it. It is not my nature to do that. I often find myself living my life engulfed with questions and doubts. “What if I had made this choice or that choice? Moved here instead of there. Took that job instead of the other.” Etc, etc. Consequently, I seldom enjoy the moment – the present – the here and now.
The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven (Eccl. 3:1 ESV). That is probably the quintessential “in the moment” statement in Scripture. It tells us that the here and now is what matters. It’s not a matter of time in a bottle, but time that moves forward. Time that says with each ticking of the clock, if you please, there is an appropriate behavior or circumstance. My objective is to embrace and live in that moment. I cannot plant before the soil is ready or harvest before the crops are mature for harvest.
Living in the moment is a challenge for me. It will require both thought and behavior changes. Perhaps my dog Eli can help me to master that.