Want to know how to live in the present? The answer is closer than you think.

Want to know how to live in the present? The answer is closer than you think.

Well that’s a bit of a long title, you must be thinking. And a bit of a riddle. Although the picture probably gives it away. Read on and let’s find out. 

Reflection piece 

Hi there. I hope that you have all had a good week. How did you find my blog post from last week about men and mental health? Did you find it useful? Let me know if you found it helpful. Plus if you want any more advice around that area please let me know.

So you must be wondering what the title is all about. 

As some may know who follow my weekly blog, you will know that I draw inspiration from lived experience and also from what I read and research around physical fitness and mental wellbeing and wellness. I get inspiration from great people. And sometimes I get inspiration from….not people.

The last weekend my partner, Lana, and I were walking around a lake close to where we live. We had a nice long walk taking in the fresh, albeit cold, English winter air, and spoke about all manner of subjects. When you can spend an afternoon walking and talking you know you are onto something special.

During our walking and talking I noticed lots of dogs. People like to take their dogs for walks around the lake. Dogs of all types, of all breeds, small dogs, large dogs, dogs with lots of hair, dogs with short coats. Barking dogs, playing dogs, dogs chasing one another, dogs jumping into the lake and sending ducks and geese flying into the air.

And it struck me: dogs live in the here and now. Their minds don’t live in yesterday. Their minds don’t live in the future. They are not worrying about the future, they are too busy chasing a ball.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

And I think there is a lesson to be learnt in there somewhere. Dogs are happy to play, to chase, to be. They are easily excited by that squirrel that is running across the lawn. We all worry so much about the next project, the next big thing, that we sometimes lose sight of the amazing experience that is right there under our nose that we could be enjoying like a dog jumping into a puddle.

I leave you with a lovely advert which O2, the mobile phone company, aired in 2013. It is a funny and smart advert and always puts a smile on my face.

Be More Dog. Advert by O2 (2013). Property of O2 and available on YouTube.

In summary, being in the here and now and enjoying the moment is something we can do, and looking at how dogs engage and interact in the present is one way to achieve that. Next time you have the next big thing distracting you from enjoying time with their family or friends, think of it like a dog: and enjoy that time with your friends and family. And your dog.

I hope you have found the blog of some help. Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely weekend wherever you are on the planet.

And remember: love yourself. 




A bit about the author:


I am a guy who is (nearly) 40, who is sharing a journey of weight management and wellbeing.I am also a mental health professional with a wealth of years of experience in supporting individuals who have challenging mental illnesses and personality disorders.


Prior to my current professional role, I spent several years supporting members of the community as a fitness professional, assisting individuals with weight loss and health improvement programmes.


I completed a PGDip in Mental Health Nursing in 2013, and an MSc in Advanced Practice in 2016 in which I looked at improving nurses’ level of engagement with patients with challenging personality disorders.


In 2018 I successfully undertook a Clinical reasoning in Physical Assessments course with the view to start studying toward becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in late 2019.


In 2015 I also undertook a Mentorship for practice (BSc Hons) course and have been supporting future nurses with their training and development. I have also recently supported a Healthcare Assistant Staff toward training in and successfully passing and achieving a Foundation Degree in Mental Health Nursing.


In my current role I am a person looking to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual. As part of my role within the health services in supporting individuals with mental health care needs, I am also currently looking to develop myself as a Wellness Coach, to support the individual with weekly wellness blogs, with the view to support individuals on a 1:1 basis as well as holding motivational lectures and seminars.


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