THE STRAIGHT UP
EXPERIENCE NOW Gratitude in Each Moment
this life. During my time at the abbey, I thought about how wonderful my life is and all I have to value. It dawned on me that the most important thing in my life is the relationships I have with other people. In my career as an orthodontist, I have been lucky to meet so many different people. There are some who come into my office that I see for just a short period of time, maybe a year or two. Then there are others who I watch grow up. I can vividly remember when some of my high school patients first came in to my office for early evaluation at the age of eight. Nearly 10 years later, they tower over me and are so relieved to finally get their braces off. “WHEN WE APPRECIATE THIS MOMENT, WE EMBRACE THE IDEA OF LIVING LIFE AS A HUMAN BEING, NOT A HUMAN DOING.” Chris Peterson, the father of positive psychology, once said, “Other people matter.” It’s a simple fact we can so easily forget at times. In the work I do, it’s other people who make it worthwhile. Each day, I get to meet new people, have incredible conversations, or learn something new about someone I’ve known for years. This year, I want to let all my patients know how grateful I am to each and every one of you. Thank you for making each moment better by letting me be a part of your life.
trip was actually spent in an abbey — yes, where nuns live. About two hours fromSydney is the town of Jamberoo, and I really wanted to visit JamberooAbbey. Home to Benedictine nuns, Jamberoo Abbey opens its doors to guests. Benedictine nuns are famous for their silence, and while Joanna and I would talk at dinner, the nuns speak to each other only as needed, and the abbey halls are mostly silent. Guests have their own little cabins to stay in, and you are left to do or not do as you please. It was kind of like being a hermit for a while. I honestly loved staying at the abbey. As I’ve often told my husband, I believe I have a real talent for doing nothing, and it was amazing to have the space to do nothing and just be. I would sit in the sun on the porch outside my cabin and watch the cows wander through the nearby field. My brain calmed down and began to appreciate each moment as it passed by. It’s easy to get so caught up on worrying about what will be , or dwell on what has been , that we forget all we can control is what is right now . When we appreciate this moment, we embrace the idea of living life as a human being, not a human doing. Only then can we see all the wonderful things we have to be grateful for in
t’s almostThanksgiving, and I have gratitude on the brain.
When we make a point to express more gratitude in our lives, we often focus on the good things in our past or the joys we look forward to. These are wonderful reasons to be thankful, but we can miss out on so much gratitude when we don’t allow ourselves to experience this moment, right now.
Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to fully live in the now when I visited my friend Joanna in Sydney, Australia. Sydney is a glorious city that blends the best parts of San Francisco, Vancouver, and Santa Monica.We had an absolute blast, but my favorite part of the whole
– Dr. Leslie Pitner
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