It was 2002. I was climbing the corporate ladder at a fast pace. With my Princeton work-ethic and my belief that I could achieve anything I put my mind to, I had my sights set on becoming a V.P. as quickly as I could. Underneath the surface, though, there was a mild dissatisfaction brewing — that question that lurked in the dark moments, “Isn’t there something more to all of this?”

Life stopped me in my tracks. Six months after my first child Maggie arrived, tests at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were inconclusive. Doctors told us: “There is something wrong with your baby. She might not walk, talk or be normal.”

I went from feeling a mild, inner discontent to plunging into deep, intense personal suffering.

Rather than Leaning In to climb the corporate ladder to numb my pain, I instead Leaned In to my LIFE. I Leaned into my Pain. This radical choice has made all the difference for me.

In the years just after Maggie’s arrival, I learned that pain could not overcome me. Pain was a vehicle to my personal awakening. The intensity of these circumstances had no outer solution. Nothing could make me feel better anymore — my work addiction lost all it’s magic. All the things that had caused me a sense of excitement no longer did so.

It was just me and the pain. What I quickly realized as I sat in the intense discomfort of my life was that there were deeper messages beckoning — even screaming for my attention.

“Trish, you are here for something more, something deeper than this external rat race.” It is time to come back to yourself…to the clear callings you had as a young person.”

“Trish, mild suffering is overrated — the status quo of stressful striving is not the only way. You searched for excitement in outer activities and it never satisfied you, look within and look above.”

“Trish, you can find the way beyond Pain. You can find a way to peace — even joy — regardless of the circumstances.”

Leaning in to my pain cracked me open and allowed me to discover who I was on a much deeper level. Leaning in to the fires life brought me burned away all that didn’t really matter. Leaning in to the inner messages that had, for years, been trying to get my attention allowed me to finally get on the path to deep self-discovery, spiritual awakening and incredible life transformation.

I fell apart and I was purposefully reconfigured into a better, connected-to-my-true-essence version of myself.

We live in a world that tells us pain is a bad thing — AVOID IT ANY COST. Numb if you must — with alcohol, drugs, mindless device surfing, materialism, unhealthy relationships. Stay so busy that you never have to be with yourself in quiet moments.

The results of that are clear. We live in an age where depression is on the rise and mental health issues are becoming a massive, world-wide epidemic. Suicide rates are rising.

There is a better way. The path through the fires of pain may not be easy at first. Yes, you may need some support — and, that’s okay. Sitting with discomfort to understand the deeper messages of our lives can seem daunting. The good news is: once we take the time to do this, life can open up into awareness, peace, wisdom and self-understanding.

There are life-long payouts for dealing with our inner demons and becoming free of them. The alternate path of constant numbing keeps us stuck in a perpetual pain cycle that has no end. It eventually becomes so destructive with time that it forces us to break down into such a crisis that we have to face the pain ANYWAY.

So, why not, right now, instead, PAY ATTENTION to what Life’s circumstances are trying to tell you?

As I sit here 14 years after Maggie’s birth I feel at peace. I did the soul searching to reconnect to my purpose on the planet. I cleaned out my mind one thought at a time — identifying my fears and negative self-talk and replacing it with optimism and self-compassion. I began a journey of deep self-realization that has allowed me day after day to find ways to build a thriving life. I learned to struggle well.

The journey of having a child with a rare disease (Prader Willi Syndrome) has not been an easy one. In the midst of the ups and downs I can now keep my center, knowing that everything I experience is for my highest growth and learning. Now, I have the joyful honor of sharing all that I learned with others as a coach, speaker and writer.

The greatest gifts in our lives often come in forms we don’t expect. Take the time to open to the gift of your life circumstances:

What is it your Life is speaking to you?

What is it time to get honest with yourself about?

What is your inner voice whispering (maybe even shouting) to you?

What transformation is your deeper self yearning for?

Be curious. Open to your life and your self in a new way. With courage, you will be amazed at the treasures of wisdom and awareness that await you!

Choose to Lean In….to Your Life. You’ll never regret doing so.

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Originally published at on April 27, 2017. Over 300 posts to help you feel inspired and reach your full potential!

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