“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient” – Dr. Steve Maraboli
You have this vast reservoir of untapped potential. The only way you discover it, is when life throws lemons at you. That is when you learn to reach down deep inside to tap this reservoir.
Like pulling up a bucket in a deep well, you must bring up your hidden potential to the top. As you go through life’s storms, you learn how to develop that potential into what is needed to reach the top of your destination.
As you journey down your road, you will start climbing the higher elevations in life. You might have this idea that the hill you are climbing will get you to the top. Then you reach the top of that hill, only to discover that you are still in the foothills. You haven’t even started on the mountains waiting for you.
“She was unstoppable, not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them” – Beau Taplin
This is where courage comes in. The courage to continue despite the fears. The foothills were testing your strength. As you sit there looking up at a mountain, it would be perfectly normal to let fear take over and stop you in your tracks.
Your mind is getting busy at this point creating all of the possible means of falling down a mountain. From instant death, to hitting a crevasse and breaking multiple bones as you fall deep within the earth. Rolling down the mountain pass covered in snow, creating an avalanche that buries you alive.
Courage doesn’t make those fears your mind is making up go away.
“Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up” – Mary Holloway
Part of resilience is based on compassion for yourself as well as others. Compassion for yourself teaches you that failure is not fatal. That when you have the courage to continue despite life’s setbacks, success will happen.
Every morning having the courage to get started again, is like being reborn. A fresh start. Each day what matters is what you do that day to continue towards your destination.
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful” – Joshua Marine
Part of the overcoming of challenges, is being able to organize your suffering, so that you only have to bear the pain that is absolutely necessary. This allows you to not be overwhelmed by what is happening.
You begin to see the connections to what has happened, and how the lessons you are learning are actually needed for the balance of this journey. When you approach life from this perspective, you understand that each challenge brings in an experience.
Each experience brings more maturity, skills, and values into your life.
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength” – Mahatma Gandhi
Sometimes the new reality seems to be two steps backwards. You have choices as to how you handle that.
What you do next is what matters most. It’s the courage to continue, one step at a time, one day at a time. It’s that next step forward.
“Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default” – J.K. Rowling
You could probably write down a long list of failures in your life. Some small and some so large they almost buried you under the grief and negative emotions of “not enough”. You are not someone to sit around in sackcloth and ashes bemoaning the unfairness of life.
You are out there picking up courage wherever it can be found. You realize how much worse your life would be, if you were home just sitting on the couch and not even trying.
“I’m not sure if resilience is ever achieved alone. Experience allows us to learn from example. But if we have someone who loves us – I don’t mean who indulges us, but who loves us enough to be our side – then it’s easier to grown resilience, to grow belief in self, to grow self-esteem. And it’s self esteem that allows a person to stand up” – Maya Angelou
Every single failure should be proudly worn on a necklace as badges of courage. You have towered over your circumstances each and every time. Embrace the beauty that your life is reflecting.
“Transformation is often more about unlearning then learning” – Richard Rohr
When you were a little child you started forming your values based on how you were raised. As you grew older those values grew, changed and transformed based on your experience of life. Those values influence what you focus on as being important. They influence how you live your life. They reflect the reality you perceive and the behaviors you demonstrate in the daily living of your life.
“A mistake is an accident. Cheating and lying are not mistakes, they are intentional choices. Stop hiding behind the word mistake when you get caught” – The Coach from Raise Your Mind
Being imperfect, you will make mistakes along the way. You will make bad decisions, bad choices. Some of those will be intentional based on your fears. Some you won’t realize are intentional. This is because your subconscious is self-sabotaging you due to its fear of what might happen if you do the right thing.
Your values if you have chosen them intentionally, will assist you in your life journey to achieve the goals you set for yourself. Your values will also excuse or accuse your bad decisions. This is because your values can validate the difference between the simple wrong choice, and the times self-sabotage intentionally made that wrong choice. It is up to you to try, or not try to do better in the future.
At first the goals we form are all education types of choices.
Unforeseen tragedies can shift your values and focus, such as when my nephew was murdered. Any kind of major unexpected life event can significantly transform your life. In my case, LemonadeMakers was a direct result of my own life event.
“The Hero’s Journey is a concept to describe people’s self-perception when they are in a growth process” – Unknown
When life events cause you to question everything in your life, you have entered upon a Hero’s Journey. It is common for fears to crop up. Grief creates a whirlpool of emotions, you blame yourself for everything falling apart. You question all of your life values as being incomplete, unstable, and not good enough. You push feelings deep down inside of you.
“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others choices make us” – Richie Norton
Transforming your life is a process with a lot of ups and downs. Intentional living can help you to sort out what values you are keeping and what values you are letting go as they were adopted as habits from those you lived with. What’s vitally critically important is that you stop standing in the ruins of your life.
Acknowledge the impact of what happened. Make choices that mean something for you in your life and “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”.
“Transformation isn’t sweet and bright. It’s a dark and murky, painful pushing. An unraveling of the untruths you’ve carried in your body. A practice in facing your own created demons. A complete uprooting, before becoming” – Victoria Erickson
The thing that you fear the most isn’t powerful in and of itself. Your being in fear of it is what makes it seem powerful. Facing the truth instead of pushing it away, takes your power back from the fear. The Hero’s Journey is a time of self reflection.
“I traded easy answers for honest questions. Replaced being judgmental with open-hearted curiosity. Stopped warring with myself and found peace with others. I burned all the old maps and then discovered my true path” – John Mark Green
Run to whatever inside of you is hiding. Pay attention to what is triggering responses inside of you. Who or what is making you angry? What is triggering the arguments you are having with others? That is what you need to follow, to find the honest answers about what inside of you is calling out for transformation.
“It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs” – Jillian Michaels
This can be viewed as a spiritual journey. It is a path of recovery of those values that you should keep, and a time of personal growth for the new values that come from the release of past negative beliefs and actions you have uncovered in your transformation journey. Through the struggle of uncovering the false beliefs and values in your life you gain strength to continue your journey.
“Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional” – Glenda Cloud
It is comparable to when the caterpillar has transformed into the butterfly in the chrysalis and is ready to break out and take flight. There is first the struggle to break out of the chrysalis and then spread the wings to dry – this process strengthens the wings allowing the butterfly to gain the strength to actually fly.
The past couple of years has challenged all of us. This has been an unforeseen tragedy for everyone. There has been drastic changes in being forced to stay home. Work from home. Loss of income. If you are a first responder the fear of contracting the virus, both for yourself and your loved ones. Not being able to hold funerals for those loved ones that passed away. Children staying home from school and being home schooled by parents. So many challenges and struggles that will be continuing for some time in the future. Just not knowing what’s next.
These challenges create a lot of frustration and other negative emotions. It certainly impacts your values.
“Missing puzzle pieces do more than complete the puzzle. They fill in an empty space” – Luanne Rice
Have you ever been working on a puzzle for days or weeks and you get to the end and there is one piece missing? How did that make you feel?
Did you move furniture, sweep under cupboards, and generally take the room apart looking for that last piece to complete the picture? Have you ever taken the extreme measure of taking a photo and sending it to the puzzle manufacturer to see if they can send you that missing piece?
If you found the missing piece underneath something, how excited were you to fit it into place? It’s like a state of grace settles over you. Calmness. A feeling that all is right in the world in that moment. The adrenaline settles down, the anxiety or frustration of lost hours of work dissipates.
Sometimes in life you will miss an opportunity. You might not have recognized it, or maybe you were so busy with the chaos of life, that you totally didn’t see it. Then when you do realize it, do you kick yourself over missing it?
Right now, you may feel like you did with the missing puzzle piece that you looked everywhere to find, that you are now an incomplete picture and everything you’ve been doing up until now is just a big waste of time and effort.
What is wonderful about opportunities in real life, is that there is always another new door just waiting to be opened. I love the saying that “opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor” as it signifies how important it is to be looking for them. You can’t find them if you are not looking for them. Looking for opportunities within your dreams or aspirations are the perfect place to find them.
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes then learn how to do it later” – Unknown
Opportunities are supposed to grow you. If you will only take on what you know 100% for sure you can do, where is the growth?
I always think of cats. Some are a living example of grace. They will stretch themselves out in leaping up a tree or a fence. And whether they make it or land on the ground, they always land on their feet ready to try again. Others are scaredy cats are always hiding, afraid of everything.
So which kind of cat are you? The one taking the leap of faith, confident of landing on your feet? Or are you the one hiding under the bed shaking in terror, letting those scary opportunity pass you by?
“You walk in grace, or you walk in fear. You can’t have it both ways”– Carlos Santana
When you are young, you think that you have all of the time in the world to explore a myriad of opportunities. But this is an illusion. Don’t waste time looking backwards. You aren’t going that way.
Don’t waste time by constantly daydreaming about the future. You haven’t arrived there yet, and when you do so many things will have happened between this moment and that future, that you won’t even recognize you have arrived.
You need to let go of what no longer serves you and live in the present moment, where the opportunities are. You need to live in this present moment in order to make space for what is new to come in. When you are not in resistance, the illusion of time “taking forever” is released.
“To turn inward, to be courageous and trust our heart – to lean into our independent judgment – a brilliant opportunity we ignore too often” – Amy Jalapeno
In today’s world problems seem to be multiplying like bunny rabbits.
“The chaos doesn’t end, you kinda just become the calm”– Nikki Rowe
Grace changes everything. It gives you the space to go inward and out of the chaos. To reconnect with your heart and soul. By leaning into intuition and independent judgment you begin to see a way forward.
I read a story that gives a great example of this. Look at movie theaters. Most people will not want to go into the closed space of a movie theater for several hours to watch a movie. And while the day of the drive ins seemed to be past, they now have the opportunity to make a comeback.
In Germany an architect wanted to create the communal aspects of watching a movie as a group. So, he launched Windows Flicks, which projects a movie on large exterior building walls. People living in apartment complexes can watch through windows, patios, or balcony’s and drink a glass of wine and take in a movie while practicing social distancing.
What kinds of projects might you brainstorm for reinventions of businesses that may be facing extinction? The architect in Germany is fundraising for the German cinema industry, so he was able to both provide a reinvention of watching a movie with others and supporting a business that needs to reinvent itself.
Any crisis can give you the opportunity to reinvent your life in some way – will you take a leap of faith, or hide under the bed scared?
I love this concept. It takes a fire in your soul to put actions to your dreams. To keep walking your sacred path to your destiny, even when it feels like the sky is falling. Grace from the heart tempers this fire, so that it is the exact amount of heat to get your feet moving. Grace changes everything.
And remember, you never have to walk alone. Grace is always a step in front of you, and all you have to do is open your arms to receive it.
Your future dreams are being held in the gift of time. When divine timing thinks you are ready, your dreams will unfold, one by one.
How can you make progress so that you can draw your dreams into reality?
You can stop thinking that ignoring your negative emotions will make them go away. What happens instead is that they become buried deep within you and start roots. Those roots manifest themselves in your being triggered every time someone else’s behavior mirrors that same emotion. Each root becomes an anchor designed to hold you in place, which keeps you from growing into who you are capable of becoming.
At this point in your journey you are being given time to dig up all of those roots. When you expose them to the light of day, they will shrivel up and turn to dust. How do you expose them?
Encourage yourself by looking for what is working in your life at this moment. What things can you be in the space of gratitude in your life right now? Where do you see room for more of your potential to come out and shine? Ask those who know and love you where your greatness is if you can’t see it for yourself.
Realize that it takes time to heal and go through all of the stages of grief. The stages of grief don’t only apply to the loss of a loved one in death. It also applies to divorce, loss of a job, most kinds of trauma, even to children leaving home to go off to college. Take whatever time is required to unpack all of your baggage.
Understand what life lessons are there, and what needs to be let go of because it doesn’t serve you any longer. It takes time to peel back all of the parts of you that don’t belong to you. It takes time to expose and accept the parts of you that you have hidden away. Your life can’t be transformed by waving a magic wand and poof you’ve changed. It is changed step by step, bit by bit, day by day.
When life falls apart, you think that everything can be solved by just going home again. You think that “going home again” is about a place. But it isn’t. Those memories of home are all based on a time, which is in the past. It is why you cannot truly “go home again”. So this chasing of home is not about a place. “Going home again” is more about you chasing a feeling of love, security. Something that you feel will help you cope with whatever life is currently throwing at you.
“Productivity is how you run away from yourself. Creativity is how you become yourself” – Brianna Wiest
When life throws you lemons, you think that you need to do something. You just don’t know what that something is. You think that you’re waiting for help. You think that if you ask everyone, someone will tell you what the right thing to do is. Even though, at the back of your mind, you already know what that is. So all that you’re really waiting for, is a time when you’re forced to do it.
When life has fractured you into pieces I want you to remember these things:
Instead of judging yourself by all of your shortcomings or things you failed to do, why not instead let your life be defined by how much you are loved by others. Repair your foundation in life, your core beliefs and values. Rebuild and repair your cracked walls and ceilings, as represented by your archetype’s and the labels you identify yourself by. Sweep up the broken glass and create a mosaic of your life with gold filling in the gaps, these represent windows that you look out of – how your see your world. Remember you are made of beautiful things.
“You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will look back in a few years and be absolutely perplexed and awed by how every little thing added up and brought you somewhere wonderful – or where you always wanted to be. You will be grateful that things didn’t work out the way you once wanted them to” – Brianna Wiest
Life is a journey. There are patterns you will see as you travel to your many destinations. Life is sometimes remarkable, sometimes terrible, sometimes strange and yet hauntingly beautiful. Look for the surprises underneath the wrapping paper. When the moments of despair happen (and they will happen) bring out all of your beautiful memories and hold them close. Remind yourself that whatever is going wrong now, that this storm will also pass.
The first Saturday of every month we get together on Zoom to talk about our challenges, to encourage each other, and provide inspiration to continue on our individual journeys. Join us for the next conversation and become even more inspired to reach out and pull your dreams into reality.
Sometimes a sentence can grab your attention and send you down a rabbit hole. This sentence grabbed me and shook me awake. “You have to stop just completing and begin living.” I immediately thought of the difference between doing and being.
Doing is all about completing. It is a “to do” list. You complete the objective, tick off the box, and immediately start on the next thing on the list. At the end of the day, you might be able to proudly look at a completed list, but the question begs to be answered – at what part of the day did you begin living?
What are the things you can shift in your life to make those changes easier? How can you get off the treadmill of doing and start living the life of being.
“The highest level of creativity consists in being, not doing” – Marianne Williamson
Who or what are you becoming? How you are being reflects how you are growing. If you are too busy doing, then no growth is happening.
It begins when we enter school. We are taught to excel at doing. To give the answers they want, the ones in the book. Creativity is frowned upon in most subjects. If you espouse a different opinion on what the writer might have meant, it becomes the “wrong” answer. I always thought it was funny, how someone other than the author could know beyond any reasonable doubt what the writer might have been alluding to.
This continues through grade school, junior high, high school and even the colleges and universities. A lot of very successful creative minds left college partly because their creativity was being squashed. They all have the entrepreneur mindset. They all have some things in common, which includes doing things different than the norm. They look at what is, and wonder what else could be?
Oprah has said that she was hired for a T.V. news show as an anchor. Unknown to her at the time, the other anchor didn’t want her on the show. Several months later he got his way and she was demoted. It was very devastating. Within every “failure” there is a nugget of gold. She lost her job, but her demotion put her into a talk show format. She said that the minute she took on that show, she felt like she had arrived home.
That is a sign – when your “job” feels like home. You know that this is what you are meant to do. It is being a “creative”.
Steve Jobs found this out when Apple ousted him. It took him awhile to recover “who he was” because he had become so identified with the company, that he had stopped being and was just doing. It essentially created a mid-life crisis. He was looking at all kinds of possibilities from politics to becoming an astronaut. He went on to launch both Pixar Animation Studios as well as NeXT.
“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter into one of the most creative periods of my life,” Steve Jobs
He then goes on to say pretty much what Oprah said: “I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.”
“Once you shift your order of priorities from “having – doing – being” to “being – doing – having” your destiny will be in your hands” – Sadhguru
This reminds me of putting batteries into something. Batteries have a positive and a negative side. If you put them in backwards, they don’t work. It is only when the connections are correct that they “turn on” the item.
When you approach your life with “having – doing – being” you have the heaviness in your life. You are pushing the boulder up hill. You might make it to the top, but the success won’t be fulfilling.
It is only when you approach your life from the “being” first, then the doing and having come afterwards. Then your batteries are fully charged and working to speed you up to the hilltop. The success is fueled by your passion, love and creativity. You are a human “being” loving all parts of your life.
Both Oprah and Steve Job’s had failures. Those failures led to connecting or reconnecting to “having – doing – being” in the right order. You have these wonderful talents, They take the form of creativity, which becomes the doing part. When you are living your life from the having your talents expressed through creativity, then you enter the being part of your life. This is because you are living your divinely planned destiny in those moments. The more of those moments you connect with in your life, the more on purpose you are.
“Being free from the fear of failure means you can focus more clearly on what you’re doing – and will be more likely to succeed” – Zen Health
It’s like you have these batteries not only installed correctly, but they are being recharged or fueled by your living the “having – doing – being” in the correct order. You may not see it today, or even tomorrow as some things take a while to grow and mature. But there will come a time when you look back and you will be awestruck how every little misstep, mistake, and seeming failure adds up to bring you exactly to where you are supposed to be. In that moment, you will be so grateful that things didn’t go the way the mind planned, but instead the way the heart directed.
“Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do” – Pope John XXIII
You may at this moment be facing a similar landscape in your mind. Your mind is filled with fears of:
How do you embrace hope instead? You begin small and when the mind says “I can’t” or “I don’t” you replace those thoughts one by one as they appear. You approach it as a curious question, “I wonder what if?” I did this, or said that? Then as you strengthen those hopeful thoughts you can begin to replace them with:
Hope is stronger than fear and you can fill your hopeful space with courage to forge ahead into the great unknown. To explore all of the possibilities of a moment, and choose the one that fills your heart with the most hope.
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears” – Nelson Mandela
Every morning you have a choice. You can rise up with the light laughing at the fears you had last night. Or, you can roll over whining and cowering in fear, as your mind carries you deep down into the darkness.
Every day you can hug the world with a great big bear hug. Or, you can curse the world because you don’t yet have want you want, or need from it.
Every evening you can dream big dreams, longing to give more laughter, joy, and love to the world. Or, you can dream nightmares where you are all alone, abandoned and just waiting for death to take you away.
“Hope is the fuel of progress and fear is the prison in which you put yourself” – Tony Benn
Emotions can heal you or control you. Fear based emotions are toxic.
Emotions are fueled by your perceptions of what is happening. You have a choice to perceive what is currently happening in your life as a train wreck, the worst trip of your life. Or, as a learning opportunity; a mission to where no one has gone before; an adventurous quest in which you find your purpose in life. Your perceptions reflect the reality that you are creating.
Positive emotions are creative emotions. When you look at your world through the lens of love, you become creative. Singing, painting, writing poetry, dancing, crafting beautiful objects out of your imagination. Love is the passionate search for your own personal truth. A calling down deep within your soul longing to be expressed. It’s a part of God, and it is an act of reaching out to the greater good. That is what births hope.
“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear” – Unknown
It’s a funny thing how fear and hope are connected. It is like the oyster which takes an irritating grain of sand and turns it into a pearl. Fear is the oyster who is afraid of the hope that the sand is bringing to the oyster. So it coats it over and over, hoping to bury it and by seeming accident it creates something beautiful. Inside of every fear you have is that grain of sand. Irritating you to make another choice. You keep trying to cover it over, but eventually the fear is broken open and there in the middle of the shell is the beautiful pearl just waiting to be plucked out.
It’s an interesting dichotomy that both fear and hope are entwined together. Where you find one, you will always find the other. It’s just a matter of looking back at your past experiences. Follow the thread of how fears are born from uncertainty. You might be learning something new. You are afraid to fail. Fears becomes that irritating grain of sand.
But as you learn and take in knowledge about it, you start to gain some experience of what this is going to be like. That grain of sand starts getting a coat of confidence. You start to gain some confidence that you can figure this out. You acknowledge that you will make mistakes. But those failures or mistakes can actually provide vital information. Another coat of confidence coats that grain of sand.
If you understand that every experience is in fact a learning tool, it will in turn build more confidence. Slowly those fears of failure turn into hope that you haven’t bit off more than you can chew. Hope provides even more confidence and slowly the uncertainly disappears. Your grain of sand has become a pearl of wisdom and dreams being fulfilled.
“When it rains look for rainbows. When it’s dark look for stars” – Unknown
Always look for the reasons to smile. My sister and I were talking earlier about the Covid-19 and how the enforcement of staying at home has been affecting people. A friend of hers back east has lost three friends to suicide in the past few weeks. It has certainly been a trying experience for a lot of married couples. Jada Pinkett Smith was talking about her marriage to Will Smith and how she has now realized that she doesn’t really “know” her husband at all, even after 25 years. She says that she goes straight to “fight” and that isn’t an option when you are forced to remain at home under quarantine. They are choosing to “go through some stuff” and become best friends again.
It is raining right now. Are you looking for rainbows? When the darkness comes into your head and heart, do you look for the stars? Again look back at the cover photo – are you choosing to see the beautiful green meadow with the sun shining through the fog – or, are you choosing to just see the rain and the darkness of your life’s current event. When you look back at the cover photo do you only see the reflection of the death of everything in it?
Don’t be afraid of your fears. They are a sign post telling you that something is coming into your life that is going to change everything. Instead of feeling a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, imagine that your fear is in fact anticipation. The anticipation of opening that oyster to find a beautiful pearl just waiting for you to pluck it up and wear it proudly.
Never let fears stop you from pursuing your dreams. Don’t let your fears of what might happen, mean that you don’t make anything happen. Come join us for our next Zoom call. Bring all of those creative “hope” juices to the table and let’s see what we can make.
“A crisis creates the opportunity to dip deep into the reservoirs of our very being, to rise to levels of confidence, strength, and resolve that otherwise we didn’t think we possessed” – Jon M Huntsman Sr.
Crisis gives you the opportunity to get unstuck. To actually get up and do something more. To open up the door to bigger things in your life. A crisis gives you the keys to open the cage of mediocrity. It gives you the opportunity to discover:
When you have a crisis in your life, no matter what kind of crisis it is, there is always hope. From the space of hope and faith, you can choose to turn it into an open door of opportunity. The danger comes when instead, you are experiencing a closed door of suffering.
“Sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed, and rearranged to relocate us to the place we’re meant to be” – Quotes & Thoughts
One of the lessons you can learn in times of crisis is the wisdom of not knowing. Daniel Boorstin said, “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” In order to make the best decision in a time of crisis you have to let go of what you think of as normal. Normal doesn’t work in times of crisis. By adopting the wisdom of not knowing you will be better equipped to navigate the changes that the crisis will make as it passes through your life.
“In times of crisis, it’s always better to hop out rather than staying stuck in the chaotic life. At such times, one must form a steadfast resolution to live liberated, whatever be the situation” = Unfathomed Liberal Words
Times of crisis require you to be more open, curious, flexible, and expansive. Openness is a key that opens doors to learning new ways to do things. It opens the door to creativity. When you allow fears to keep you in contraction and frozen, you are experiencing the closed door of suffering. It takes courage to keep the door open. To forget what you think you know, so that new knowledge can be accepted and adapted to what is needed in times of crisis.
Look at what this current crisis is engendering around medical supplies. Everyone is making face masks and shields and discovering better ways to protect the front line doctors and nurses during this pandemic. Scientists are working hard in finding a vaccine. When this crisis has ended the things learned will help millions of people in the future to be better prepared for the next pandemic.
“It is really wonderful how much resilience there is in human nature. Let any obstructing cause, no matter what, be removed in any way, even by death, and we fly back to first principles of hope and enjoyment” = Bram Stoker, Dracula
Resilience is a key factor when in times of crisis. Resilience is what allows you to use the crisis in your personal growth. When you are in times of personal struggle, it becomes somehow easier to let go of the things that are no longer serving you. For example, you might have things that you have held on to from an emotional attachment, but they don’t serve you in any way. They just take up space in the “closet”. Resilience gives you the space to do the inside work.
“The time of crisis is a bell to adaptation. The time of crisis is the one, when your growth is the fastest. The time of crisis teaches you not to sweat away, the next time it appears” – IshitaG.
Doing the inner work is what opens up the space for grace and clarity. When you are seated in the space of grace, you are seated in your soul. The outside world can continue to be in turmoil, but if you are seated in your soul, it no longer impacts you in the same way. From the “breath of acceptance” you can acknowledge what is wrong and starting working on adapting what you already know. You can figure out how to blend in the concept of being open for learning and the concept of approaching that space from a state of clarity. You will intuitively know what is now most important.
“A time of crisis is not just a time of anxiety and worry. It gives a chance, an opportunity, to choose well or to choose badly” – Desmond TuTu
In times of crisis you have a choice to not react to all of the negativity.
When you make these practices part of your life, you not only improve your inner state, you impact your health too. When your inner state is in a place of grace and clarity, it gives you the space to deal with whatever is happening in your outer world. You grant yourself the gift of moving forward with courage instead of hiding in fear and contraction. You make better decisions when your inner space is in a place of peace and harmony. Remember that you always have a choice – you can impact your outer world, or you can be impacted by it.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less” –Elephantontheroad.com
All of my favorite books and movies have some things in common. The characters are all curious. They want to understand how and why things are the way they are. They are courageous and not afraid to do the hard things. Because of these two things their characters grow in meaningful ways. This is a time in your life for you to be both curious and courageous. Open the doors to resilience and allow the space of “not knowing”. Start learning what is needed to grow your inner self in this time of crisis. Times of crisis gives you fertile soil. It is the best ground to grow from. Do not let this opportunity pass you by.
365 days a year LemonadeMakers posts a blog about something positive and potentially life changing. I write about my own life, the struggles I’ve had and the struggles I am in the middle of. I write about the beliefs I’ve come to adopt. I write a lot about change and transformation.
“You and you alone make the decision as to how you view the experiences in your life and it’s important to know who you are; not to judge, not to focus on your flaws and imperfections, but to discover who you want to be and decide if you’re living by choice or chance” – Live Purposefully Now
It started with my nephews murder and my writing myself out of a dark time. Right now we are all dealing with some aspect of the Covid-19 in our lives as well as the “normal” life lemons that show up for all of us.
“Choice is the most powerful tool we have. Everything boils down to choice. We exist in a field of infinite possibilities. Every choice we make shuts an infinite number of doors and opens an infinite number of doors. At any point we can change the direction of our lives by a simple choice. It is all in our hands, our hearts, and our minds” – tinybuddha.com
LemonadeMakers just recently hit the milestone of 100,000 likes/follows on our page. In connection with that milestone I asked for some comments about how LemonadeMakers has impacted your lives. Some of you responded and it made us so happy to see that LemonadeMakers was able to have a positive impact for you.
Just three of the many comments received:
“Every morning you have two choices: Continue to sleep with dreams or, Wake up and chase your dreams. The choice is yours . . ,” – Unknown
“Life isn’t always easy. I struggle day to day. But I choose to live life to the fullest and keep reminding myself that I am stronger than anything that stands in my way” – Tanya Masse
I have been thinking about how while we have reached this 100,000 milestone, most of the people who have become fans don’t see our posts. On an average day less than 2,000 people see our posts reflected in their daily feed. I get complaints from both friends, relatives, and fans that Facebook doesn’t show LemonadeMakers on their news feed. LemonadeMakers wants to support you during the struggles of your daily life. In order to support more positivity in your life, here is how you can make sure that Facebook is reflecting LemonadeMakers in your newsfeed.
To edit your News Feed preferences on your phone:
(I suggest at this point you type in LemonadeMakers, because if you are like me you have hundreds of friends and pages you have liked over the years). You are limited to 30 picks for prioritizing who you are seeing first.
Your selections aren’t ranked #1, #2, etc. It is random how it comes up.
Notifications: If you really don’t want to miss LemonadeMakers posts, you can get notified each time we post.
Please note that we do post more than one post a day, so if notifications annoy you, don’t activate this.
On the Facebook mobile application on the bottom right hand part of the screen is a little bell – if you click on the bell it takes you to all of your notifications. You will see not only a LemonadeMakers notification, but any friend requests, birthdays and people who are asking you to like their pages. That way you can find us really easy if you missed our posts when they popped up.
Hopefully this helps you stay connected with us. Another way to stay connected is our monthly Zoom call. Click in the box below to register. We have a lot of fun conversation. I bring some ideas and everyone has the opportunity to join in the conversation or to just sit back, relax and listen.
“It’s not circumstance. It’s not chance. It’s the choice we make that determines the destiny of life” – RVM
“It is not the perfection of one’s life but the direction of a life that provides evidence of regeneration” = John Macarthur
My mother had this habit of saying that she was working on “getting it all together”. One day I found this cute little card and I had to buy it for her. It had the picture of a tall filing cabinet with the drawers partially open. There were files half way out of the cabinet with the papers spilling out of them. In one of the filing cabinets was a mouse going through the files looking for something. The caption read “I finally got it all together, but I forgot where I put it.”
“Happiness is not perfection. It’s looking past imperfection and see the beauty of life” – Surbhi Bhosie
Your life will not be fully lived if you are waiting on getting “all of your ducks in a row.” You have to begin where you are. Like the momma duck you need to starting walking and have faith that the ducks will line up behind of you. There is a joke about how when you finally got your ducks all in row, you’ll discover that they’re not even your ducks! It isn’t about perfection. It’s about creating something, anything that gets your closer to your dreams and goals.
It has been said, “If you want to get your ducks in a row, you must first get your head above water.” We are living in a world that is becoming hard to recognize as anything normal. If you work in sports, entertainment, retail, the restaurant industry, the travel industry – you may have lost your income. You may still be employed but working from home with children driving you to distraction. You may be caring for elderly parents terrified that they will get this virus. In one week you have decided that being a couch potato and binging on T.V. isn’t as relaxing as it sounds.
“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect, it simply means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections” – Iliketoquote.com
So with everything in your life going sideways or upside down, how do you find beauty in a world that feels like it is breaking apart? By creating beauty in the world, wherever you find yourself. There is an artist that did this magnificent beadwork on canvas, and then she tore it to explose of the beauty hidden underneath. When you find yourself feeling broken, remember to look for the beauty in the brokeness.
“I realized that to be more alive I had to be less afraid. So I did it. I lost my fear and gained my whole life” – Mantraband.com
In mosaics there is great beauty by taking the broken pieces and creating a new piece of art. It tells a story. Instead of throwing away the broken things in your life, look for ways to incorporate them into a new meaning. Don’t abandon your dreams and goals for 2020. Just look for new creative ways to keep growing your comfort zone and reveal the beauty of hidden possibilities and potential.
“The road remains wide open while your dreams are alive, only fear can block the way” – Fratley
What is it that you are currently focusing on? That is the direction you will find yourself heading. Years ago I was driving home from work one night. I saw that the car coming towards me had wandered into my lane. I quickly steered my vehicle off onto the shoulder of the road. The driver of the oncoming car continued crossing over into my direction. I could not get out of his way and he hit the side of my vehicle on the drivers side just past the passenger door. My vehicle was bouncing back and forth, from side to side. For a moment I thought I was going to roll the vehicle over.
I was sitting in my car, trying to calm my heart down and he came running back to my car. He kept repeating over and over how sorry he was. Apparently he was looking at the concrete wall that had been built into the hillside of a new subdivision and was not paying attention to where he was steering. When you look off to the side of the road, you will unconsciously steer in the direction that you are looking. By the time he realized he was going to hit me it was too late. He had not only left his lane, he had crossed completely through my lane and hit me off the road on the shoulder.
That is why focus is so important. It is so easy to swing the pendulum from one side to the other and not be grounded in the present. If you are too far to the right you might ask yourself:
What is running through your mind as the hamster wheel endlessly spins? Is it negative mind talk or positive “I can do this” thoughts? Have you basically already surrendered your life to fear and anxiety? Instead of listening to the minds endless list of “I can’t because thoughts” what if you turned the sentence around to view it with curiosity – “how can I?”
“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go” – Rumi
Right now there is a lot of things that you can’t control. Right now there is a lot of unknowns about what is going to happen next. The world is shifting and transforming right in front of you. Instead of feeling like running around and screaming “the world is falling” what if you just got still? If you just took a deep breath in and let it out slowly over and over until your mind quiets down? What if you sat in the space of learning to live between effort and surrender?
Something important to remember is that before you try to balance anything, you need to make sure that you are on firm ground. A steady foundation. Ask yourself, what do I need to stay grounded, in touch, in love, connected and emotionally balanced in this moment? You are not going to find it outside yourself. Look within, to find it.
What if you just looked at what to let go of – all of the cursed unknowns in your life right this moment, and just surrendered them. What if you got into the space of curiosity – of wonder – of imagination? What if you rethought/restructured what dream needs to take flight and just went for it right now?
Put your trust in your higher power. Embrace change. Embrace life. Expand instead of contract. There is tremendous power in your dreams. Use it to take flight. Start by recognizing your “super powers”, your talents and then find ways to serve others by using them. Do great work even in trying times.
There is an old curse that people used to say, according to various fiction writers. “May you live in interesting times.” It was meant to imply that you would live in times of great change and unrest. You might be wondering if you are today, this moment, living in interesting times. If you are, how do you “aim true”?
In thinking about this I wonder if you are in fact living in a time of great shifting and upheaval. Think of the change in a landscape after a volcano has blown its top. We used to live outside of Seattle, WA and I remember going camping, hiking and fishing around Mt. Saint Helens. When the mountain had its huge eruption, the landscape totally changed. You would walk down the same path as before, only it wasn’t the same. The eruption changed the landscape into something surreal.
Are you experiencing changes on a personal level, such as going to a grocery store with a list of items that you can’t find? For those few items you do find, are you being limited by the store as to how many items you can purchase?
One of the things I love to do is get curious about patterns and shifts in life. During WW II all of the men went off to war. This left factories without workers and so many women were called upon to join the workforce to keep the machines running. It was a time of great upheavals and shifts. When the men came home they expected the women to go back home to the kitchen. Women had stood in the place of their husbands or boyfriends and worked a fulfilling job for several years – as well as keeping care of the home and children. Many of them didn’t want to go back home into their old roles as solely a wife or mother. They felt that they could be more than that, and wanted it to continue.
Overnight it seemed that the roles of a man and woman had shifted. They had turned a corner and it wasn’t possible to just go back to the way it was. It’s taken a long time for those roles to continue shifting and solidifying into true equality. It is still going on to some extent.
It feels like you may be about to have a similar experience of what happened to the workforce during WW II. What if the result of this virus is that you are about to experience a “turning of the corner” moment, in multiple ways of how you used to live your life?
“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is” – Unknown
Malls have been slowly dying for the past 10 years or so. Is this the end of malls?
Working from home has been moving one step forward, two back for a few years. Where I work it wasn’t encouraged. It was well tolerated for a few years, but lately they had decided they wouldn’t approve it for fulltime employees who wanted to shift from the office to home any longer. Now of course for those states on lockdown everyone who can work from home is. If this home lockdown truly continues for a couple of months, will businesses have turned a corner and begin abandoning commercial multistoried office buildings? Will working from home become the “norm” of the future?
Has the virus killed ISP data caps? Internet providers have been lifting the data caps due to everyone being at home and using the internet – both for work and entertainment. Once you have given something away for free, it is very hard to put the genie back into the bottle. It becomes a negative experience for your customers and they will go to someone who is still not capping their online connections.
What if we have just “turned the corner” for movie theaters? You see Disney and several other companies releasing the movies to either buying the movie or streaming it and paying to view it. If this was to continue there would be need to be a drastic change to how much it cost to make a movie in order for the industry to survive. Would the mega dollars paid to the big stars go away? Would movies become all computer generated, with voices being the only real part of the movie?
What about the million dollar contracts for sports stars if the big arenas were no longer deemed safe?
Once you start down the rabbit hole of wondering, there is no telling where you might end up. The world is full of patterns. The patterns continue until they transform, collapse or end. When you are in the middle of a pattern that is in transition, it is really hard to recognize what is happening. Even if you recognize that a pattern shift is being played out, it is really hard to determine where it is going. It is impossible to guess how fast or slow the change will be, or how much it will impact you. You just know that transformation is in motion.
If you go back to the caterpillar to butterfly analogy you are inside the chrysalis and you are still just goo. Until you break free of the chrysalis you won’t know what it is that you have transformed into. You won’t know the true impact on your life. What corner(s) have you just turned that you can never go back from? It is like one of those pictures that you can connect the dots on. It is only after the transformation has been completed that you can see what you have transformed into.
I feel like there is an elephant trying to go through a door and it has gotten itself stuck. On the other side of the door is a brand new world to explore. I can get glimpses to see that it is a new world. I can’t however know how much of a change has actually occurred.
Will we all be working from home and will commercial real estate transform all of those buildings into housing? What would that mean for your goals that you are aiming for in your life?
Will the majority of people order groceries and have home delivery? Will grocery stores become more of a shipping facility than a store where you walk down the aisles and buy more than you planned on because of impulse buying? What would that mean for your goals that you are aiming for in your life?
Will drones become the future of deliveries? Will self driving cars that self sanitize become the way of getting from point A to point B if you do have to leave home? What would that mean for your goals that you are aiming for in your life?
All questions and answers can be discussed and explored – but nothing will be truly known until the elephant clears the doorway. Even then it will take time to fully realize that the corner has been completely turned. Before you can see how much the new direction impacts your life.
What you have in this moment though is the ability to be curious. To explore, not with a depressing attitude that the world is changing and you want it to remain the same. But with a curiosity that says, “I wonder what happens next?” “Do I aim high or low with my life goals and dreams?”
I firmly believe that there are going to be some great opportunities when we clear that doorway – when we turn that corner. You can make guesses. You can get curious and talk with others – but only from the perspective of good things are about to happen. This isn’t said to try and make light of the health and economic devastations that are happening. It is said to let you know that you don’t have to let fear take over your life.
You can’t control everything that is happening, or is about to happen. You can take the recommended steps to protect the health of yourself and your family. But once you have taken those steps – then go back into curiosity. Go back into wonder. Stay in the positive emotions of love, joy, happiness. Tell fear that it is in quarantine. Don’t let it out to take over your life.
Come and join our conversation on April 4th. Let’s talk about whatever is showing up for you and how you can turn the corner on fear and change your relationship with it. Let’s talk about your dreams and goals and how you can still be proactive in bringing them into reality. This isn’t the time to go into retraction with your life. It is instead the right time, to proactively take whatever positive steps you can to keep moving forward. To keep expanding the love, joy, happiness, curiosity in your life.
“Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious” – Rachel Wolchin
You are hearing these words a lot in todays media – “Out of an abundance of caution”. It is almost always followed by something that is being cancelled or changing to an online streaming event. The city of San Jose required that Tony Robbins cancel his upcoming event in March “Out of an abundance of caution”. When you hear those words “out of an abundance of caution” how does it feel to the energy in your body? Is is constrictive? Restrictive? Does it feel like the turtle pulling in his head and legs so that all you can see is a hard shell?
“Don’t adapt to the energy in the room. Influence the energy in the room” – FabQuote.co
You have dreams, desires, and ambition for your life. You have goals that you want to bring to fruition this week; this month; and this year. When you live your life from that kind of positive energy, it attracts others who feel the same. You experience movement, progress unlike the turtle who is motionless, hiding in his shell. If you live your life from “an abundance of caution” what you will experience is being motionless, frozen in time and space. It is important to surround yourself with people who not only live from a space of abundance, but an abundance that is expansive, not contractive.
“The more positive energy you have around you, the better you will feel about yourself” – Unknown
Words and music both have an energy that plays with your emotions. I can listen to a sound track of almost any movie and immediately feel the emotions that they are creating. If I have seen the movie I can see the scene itself. Here is where someone was in danger – here is where they were really happy – here is where their heart was broken. The words we hear also impact us emotionally. Negative words will drain your energy and introduce fear into your spirit. Fear itself is like a virus that will grow and take over your life if you are not aware of it being inside your energy field. It contracts you just like that turtle to hide away. To be safe.
“Stick with people who pull the magic out of you, not the madness” – Unknown
Instead be like the eagle. When the storm breaks most birds fly to a safe tree branch to hide from the weather. But not the eagle. The eagle flies above the storm. So be like an eagle and fly above the madness you see happening around you. Feel the positive energy of the eagle as you fly with it, above the madness of the storm and into the magic above it. The magic happens when you attract other positive energy people around you, as you support each other reaching up into the heights.
Here is some good advice from Vex King to protect your positive energy:
“Let me remind you: Wherever your focus is directed that’s where your energy goes. Whatever you allow in your space, you eventually become” – Overlyxclusive
So when the world goes mad, fly high above the madness. Self direct your energy instead of letting it be manipulated by negative fearful people. The media spreads the virus of fear, making everything “breaking news”. Stop letting anyone else control your mind, your feelings, and emotions. Remember what you focus on determines the reality that you are currently experiencing. It is easy to let the negative mind take over with possible world ending scenarios that expand your fears until you can no longer think logically. The secret is to focus on what builds up, not what tears down.
“She was unstoppable not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued despite them” – Beau Taplin
So match your own personal energy to that you want to attract in your life. Positive thoughts change your experience of life. Every smile, every loving word, every kind action are reflections of who you are. So dream BIG, stay FOCUSED, work HARD, be KIND.
“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you” – Unknown
In April of 2010 around 11 PM as my nephew and a friend were cutting across the park to go to his friends mom’s house the first shot was fired. As my nephew was hit, he yelled at his friend to run. When the second shot hit my nephew his friend started running. As the third shot hit my nephew and he crumpled to the ground his friend stopped, turned around and saw the shooter emerge from the bushes and take off running.
His friend helped him up and somehow got my nephew to his moms house and they called 911 for an ambulance. The doctors tried to get a lifeline helicopter but the fog that night was too thick for the helicopter. After working on him for over an hour, they thought they had him stable enough for transport to another hospital 30-45 min away. As my sister tried to catch up to the ambulance driving over the mountain pass, they phoned her to tell her to turn around. My nephew had died in route.
Let’s go back in time to the beginning of this fateful Friday. My nephew woke up early and grabbed his surfboard. On the way to Lighthouse field he stopped and gave away some breakfast sandwiches he had made to several homeless guys as he checked in on them. It was a regular routine for him to encourage them to quit drinking and take back control over their lives. He then went on to meeting one of his best friends at Lighthouse Field. His friend was going to film him surfing. The waves were supposed to be really good and he had this trick he had been working on for some time. He wanted to have it filmed so he could see what it looked like. The waves were as predicted and he nailed his trick.
From there he went to work at O’Neils Surf shop. Then he met another friend and together they went to another friends house. Close to 11 PM they started across the park so he could get his bike and ride home. Then “Shots Fired” happened. A random gang banger shooting. The shooter never said a word. He just blew up our world from the cover of darkness for no reason that we could ever understand.
“Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us” – suburbanment.com
Fast forward a few years. Our family is still recovering from my nephews murder. My sister started a non-profit Mother Grizzles Against Gangs, but she ran out of money and closed it down.
Santa Cruz Sentinel 2014> "Four years ago this month, JoAnn Tennent lost her only child in a shooting near Grandview Street in Santa Cruz. Carl Reimer was 19, and no one has been arrested in his homicide. Wednesday evening outside Santa Cruz City Hall, Tennent shared her grief with more than 80 people gathered at the third annual Victims Rights March of Solidarity. She also carried a message of hope and strength to stand together against gangs and violence in Santa Cruz County. “Carl wasn't just my son, he was your son. Because all your children are my children too,” she said. “When someone takes someone from your life, it's devastating. We can't just act like this doesn't happen.” As part of National Crime Victims” Rights Week, the march started at Santa Cruz County Superior Court at 701 Ocean St. and ended at city hall. Participants held pictures of loved ones who had fallen victim to crime in the county, and they marched with posters with slogans such as “Stop gang violence” and “Violence does not only affect the victim.”"
As a coping mechanism I had started writing to heal my sadness and grief. I was posting things on my personal Facebook page that I was writing. I thought just maybe it would help my friends and family. We were all rebuilding our lives around Carl’s loss.
“if you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed” – Unknown
A lot of people started commenting and sharing what I was writing and they encouraged me to do more. And so this LemonadeMaker page was born. I named it LemonadeMaker because I believe that we are all making lemonade out of life’s lemons. It all started as part of my own recovery, and it grew into a life purpose. It’s a vast vision, a dream that I work to fulfill every day. It’s a calling. Although we lost someone we loved so much – the day of his death was also a day that Carl was following his own dreams. He had a great morning. He was really stoked that he had nailed his trick with his surfboard. He wasn’t leaving his dreams for someday I will . . . , he was living them on purpose.
“In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths” – Quoteslife101.net
I looked at my life and realized I wasn’t doing the same. I was putting off my dreams for when I retired. For later. So when I started LemonadeMakers it was for the purpose of realizing my dreams of being a game changer. Of being an influencer. Of helping others to fulfill their dreams now. Because none of us are promised a later to do it in.
Steven Pressfield stated in “The Art of War”, that most of us have two lives; the lives we live and the lives we are capable of living.
5 years later LemonadeMakers has almost 100,000 followers. This happened because I saw something positive to retrieve from the ashes of my grief. My nephew left me a trail to follow and I have been walking down it ever since. It has totally changed my life. I had put off the dream of writing, because my mind fears said I would fail. Obviously that wasn’t true. I had told myself for years that I was an introvert and couldn’t communicate with strangers. Too my surprise this was also totally not true. How many mind fears – lies – are you listening too instead of pursuing your dreams?
Don’t put your dreams off to tomorrow. Start fulfilling them today. Live the life you are capable of living.
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