We’ve all encountered obstacles in life. Many of us have experienced deep sorrow or frustration or anger when life just doesn’t seem to go the way we had planned. But here’s an interesting question: What is it that makes the difference for those who are able to turn life’s proverbial lemons into lemonade? How do some people overcome such amazing odds to embrace the life—and career—of their dreams?
This question is one I’ve taken the time to explore recently. One of the prevailing factors I’ve discovered that seems to catapult people past their self-imposed limits, beyond the edges of any perceived career restrictions, and into aligned, joyful living is faith. One example of an individual who has achieved this degree of life and career shift through faith is a remarkable woman named Sloan Walsh.
If not for the physical, emotional, and spiritual trials she underwent, Sloan would not have discovered that her career sweet spot was helping other parents master the art of parenting. But how did she get there?
Sloan grew up in the wake of her father’s post-traumatic stress from World War II. As she got older, she battled with depression, an eating disorder, and a broken heart. She turned to Christianity to create some balance in her life, to have something to hold on to. Thanks to the transformative power of prayer, Sloan was able to heal herself even as life continued to throw new tests her way. “I actually believe the practice of prayer changed my brain structure,” Sloan shared. “There is science now to support this.”
In particular, studies on meditation have found that long-term practitioners show improvement in cognitive function and development of full mental potential. In other words, lots of praying is advantageous to your health and mental state. You evolve.
Through chronic fatigue disorder, infertility, breast cancer, her husband’s bladder cancer and raising three adopted children, Sloan’s faith carried her through to the happy, whole and love-filled life she has today. In fact, it was overcoming all she did that inspired her to become a Parent Education Instructor.
The takeaway here is that Sloan overcame great hardship by staying focused on her faith. Instead of letting any of the number of issues that could have permanently knocked her off her path take hold, she held onto that faith. From the depths of sorrow and pain and frustration, she remained open to signs that would reveal the next step in her path.
How This Helps YOU
How can you apply this to your own life? Try this on for size: No matter how many roadblocks you’ve encountered, no matter how hard things have been in the past, you have the ability to create the life and career of your dreams if you have faith and stay open.
Here are some simple tips to that end:
- Even if you don’t understand, know that there is a perfect plan for you.
- Pay attention to the signs; they are always there.
- Leave your ego at the door and see what great things can happen.
- Be open to changing your perspective when things aren’t going your way. We are not always right.
- Love, love, love. In all that you do, love.
- Treasure the special moments; they add up to a fulfilling life.
- Prayer can heal you. Try it.
- We teach best what we most need to learn.
- It’s okay to be an introvert and contemplative in an extrovert world.
- When you look back, it all adds up perfectly.
- Gratitude is the key to happiness.
- Sometimes we suffer. Rise above it.
Sloan now teaches parenting techniques to those interested in growing their families through whole-hearted mindfulness. What would you be doing with your career if you chose to keep faith above all that life throws at you? What opportunities are presenting themselves in response to your life experiences, even those you wish you didn’t have to endure?
After all life’s challenges, you have the power to choose faith and shift your life for the better.
 Studies of Advanced Stages of Meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist and Vedic Traditions—a Comparison of General Changes, by Alex Hankey