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How I Pulled Up Stakes and Moved to the State of Gratitude 

Sharon Owens Robustelli 


I find that of all the places I can be in my mind and on my journey, the most meaningful is in a state of gratitude. I’ve heard it said that gratitude makes what you have enough. And while this is true, for me, it’s not the whole story. In order for me to continue to reap the rewards of being grateful (peace of mind, a desire to be of service in my work and my life, the ability to see possibilities and step out in faith to make them realities) gratitude must be a fluid state of being. In other words, it takes awareness to be grateful, but it takes action to remain so.  


For example, a few years ago, I landed a new job that perfectly matched my needs and skill set. I was able to work in areas of interest with a smart and motivated team and I was extremely grateful. Like everything, the circumstances of that situation changed. Clients lost their jobs, new contracts were not fulfilled, team members moved on, and so many other changes took place that are simply a fact of life. In that, I learned to be grateful for what is and to take action in order to remain in a state of gratitude. Because everything changes.  


My responsibility, as I’ve come to understand it, is not to just be grateful for what I have, but to express my gratitude in deed and in action. Pay it forward by helping my former clients find new work, or by sharing what helped me when I was in a similar situation, or by turning my attention to other areas of my life where I could give of myself and in turn, get so much more back. In this way, I have an unending supply of things for which to be grateful. Whether it be new friendships and fellowships, new skills grown out of pure necessity, new hats to wear as mentor, counselor or just another person going through the things we all go through.  


The secret for me is to not only fall in love with and be grateful for what is, but to avoid my tendency to dwell on it, and instead embrace change by staying engaged in the present. Gratitude and reciprocal action has broadened my life in innumerable ways. I see the positive impact it has made in me, in my work and personal life, and in that of the people and situations with which I have the good fortune to come into contact. And for that, I am ever grateful. 

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