Trod Through Tribulations

kristina leonardi
5 min readMar 3, 2024


Photo credit: Kristina Leonardi

Open your eyes, and look within,

Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?

~ Bob Marley, “Exodus

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses. ~ Anonymous (popularized by Alphonse Karr)

I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day, and whether you had a special Valentine or not, that you showed yourself some love and stopped to smell the roses. ❤️

These Hallmark holidays can be fraught with such unnecessary expectations and pressures, and often deep disappointments. And the images that abound — and stories we project onto them — in the media/social media don’t help! Heavy sigh, but alas, even if we know its fabricated nature and insignificance in the scheme of things, most of us tend to be affected one way or another, whether or not we realize it or care to admit it.

One thing we can use occasions like these for, as with all of life and especially in the context of relationships, is: What is the Universe trying to show me? Where do I need to grow or be more forgiving of myself or others?

What is realistic for me to expect, not what the fantasy or Hollywood version of life tells me it should be? How is this person or situation helping to bring me closer to home (see last month’s essay)? What old wounds, misgivings or mistakes do I need to release or heal? Sometimes all that means is allowing yourself to have a good cry to clear the energy for something new to come in.

It also doesn’t help that we’re living in a topsy-turvy, cuckoo-for-Cocoa Puffs world with strife and uncertainty on many levels both here and abroad. These are extraordinarily transformative times, so by definition, that means a lot of metaphoric and literal death, as well as chaos and unknown.

It can also feel like going down rapids in a raft — and we’re all getting tossed and turned about, with a few moments in between to catch our breath. Or maybe we fall out and have to ride the choppy waters until we can catch up to hop back in. It’s messy and even scary, and for most of us who prefer the Roaring Rapids ride at Great Adventure to the wild natural adventures of the roaring Colorado River, it’s not fun!

In other words, there is so much being brought up for us to deal with, sort through, pursue, create and confront on many levels — both individually and collectively. And because we are all at varying levels of experience, ability and capacity to handle such a load, it’s important to remember that we’re all just doing the best we can. And that most people’s behaviors and reactions have nothing to do with you.

Perhaps more importantly, don’t compare your life to anyone else’s, as this is a direct ticket to suffering! You have no idea what is going on in anyone’s inner life. And the older I get, the more I realize that no one really knows what they’re doing, or rather, most people have some version of imposter syndrome and/or think everyone else’s life is better than theirs.

The only comparison, if you must, should be you with you and what progress has been made in your life from one day, week or year to the next. Everything is relative and we are all in different cycles and stages of our own evolution. The goal is to be the best, most authentic human you can be, with a big heart and magnanimous spirit. Then we can start building better families and communities, which means a better world.

So as we move together through the trials and tribulations of this earthly existence, let go of any judgments about yourself or others and walk through life as much as possible with a clear mind and peaceful heart. As Bob Marley (whose biopic just came out) sings, Set the captives free!

Not sure how to be a compassionate lover and liberator of yourself and/or others? Book a coaching session with me by visiting my website to see all current options.

(Originally published via my PGG Newsletter on February 16, 2024)


Looking for a great tool to create a positive mindset through any challenges at work or in life? It was so thrilling to find out how a client uses my book Say It To Make It: Affirmations to Empower Your Heart, Mind, Spirit and Soul. He let me video him talking about it, which you can watch here, and you can purchase your copy here :)

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Kristina Leonardi is a nationally recognized career and life coach, speaker and author who for over 16 years has empowered individuals to make lasting professional and personal changes aligned with their true passions and talents while fulfilling their role in the world at large.

With a holistic and personal growth-oriented approach, she has helped hundreds of men and women improve their job performance, enter or re-enter the job force, change careers, better manage their time and stress, and live happier, more meaningful, balanced lives.

Her specialty is working with people who feel stuck or are in transition and can help you clarify exactly what you want to do, identify blocks, issues, and patterns in your way, and offer proven ideas, resources, and action steps to get you there.


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kristina leonardi

Speaker,Coach,Writer.Very Tall. Expertise:People. All kinds, what makes 'em tick, how they fit into the world, how they can best connect to themselves + others.