If you want to learn how to live in the now – get a dog. I’ve spent the last week constantly reminding myself to stay in the moment as Ella and I go on walks, meet new dogs, or experience new things at home (like the washing machine – oh my!). I spend lots of time telling others to keep the focus in the moment at hand and work to do the same in my practice, but these last few days have been a perfect “off the mat” experience into the world of being in the moment.

Keeping your focus in the present is not about lying to yourself. It’s about recognizing where you are now and not passing judgment. Was I more than impressed that Ella figured out how to get in her crate after a few days? Yes. Was I frustrated that she kept jumping up on the furniture? Yes. But I kept reminding myself of the current moment. The moment where this little fur baby has only been living with me for 7 days.

Now getting a dog is a bit extreme if all you want to do is practice living in the now, but you can still take what you’ve learned on the mat into your life. Every time you want to pass judgment on yourself or others, take a moment to reflect on where you are currently. Just as with any new trick, it is something you have to practice over and over again. Nothing is permanent in our lives – the moment, the day, or the situation. We all have power to change what happens to us. If we can’t change the actual thing, we can always change how we respond to it. And that my friends, is the magic of being in the moment.