The Joy in Small Moments

The Joy in Small Moments

Oh, to be a dog.

They seem to have life figured out, don’t they?

Dogs know how to both give and receive unconditional love. You’ve seen it – they make a mistake, maybe eat an entire stick of butter off the counter (may or may not be a real thing that happened in our house) – and you yell at them… you tell them how bad they are (I know, you shouldn’t tell them they are bad…).

And how does your dog react?

They immediately feel so sorry, they look at you with “puppy dog eyes,” and plead with you to not hold a grudge, beg you to forgive them. Because they’ve already forgiven you for yelling at them; they are ready to move on and get back to playing, cuddling, and head pats.

And all it takes is for you to call them over, you lean down to pet them and kiss their head, and all is right with their world.

So why can’t humans have that same approach?

We find ourselves agonizing over decisions, feelings, past actions, future plans, relationships – too many things to list. We struggle to be present.

And to solve this human struggle, the mindfulness industry is exploding. Our Apple watches remind us to take a “mindful moment,” meditation apps have gained popularity, and therapy is available online at more affordable prices (note to self: look into this option for myself – if you read my last post, you know).

But have you looked at your dog? Really gazed at them and wondered what they were thinking?

Dogs have mastered finding joy in the small moments.

It can be something so small as taking a nap while touching the side of your leg. Or loving that moment – that single moment – when the whole family is back home together in the afternoon; so much so that they grab their favorite bone and start chewing on it in the center of the living room. Or when the alarm goes off in the morning, and they know you’re awake – that it’s time to hang out together.

What can we learn from our dogs?

Perhaps if we made an effort to find joy in the small moments, we would relieve ourselves of some of the weight we carry. The goal is not to ignore those big things – the relationships, the feelings, decisions to make, future plans to book.


The goal is to notice the feelings…notice the relationship dynamics…notice the future plans lingering in our minds…

And then take a breath.

And also notice the ray of sunlight hitting the carpet in a certain place. And notice the size of the trees behind your house. And notice the buds forming on the plum tree at the end of the driveway. Life is a mixture of light and dark.

If you can breathe through the dark parts, an opportunity to look for the light will come – you just have to open your eyes and start small.

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