Making Lemonade with Life’s Challenges 

    Let’s face it, life brings us plenty of obstacles.  We face challenges and obstacles all day long.  And sometimes the challenges can feel like you are carrying bricks on your shoulders.  The difficulties we face in life place an emotional and physical toll on our body, mind, and psyche.  And it is often hard to shift our perspective when the stress just keeps piling up on us.  I know I felt life was overwhelming.  And during those stressful times, I often felt like curling up in bed and hiding.  But that isn’t always an option.  We have to keep moving forward.  We may not always do it for ourselves. But we do it for our families or those we love.

    I used to wake up every day with a sour stomach and anxiety.   I was stressed from the moment I opened my eyes till I closed them again at night.  I didn’t realize at the time that it was my nightmares that were causing such an intense physical and emotional reaction.  But after years of tackling the physical root of my symptoms, it was time to face the facts and deal with the emotional root of everything.

    As I began my journey, I started to follow a daily principle, I learned from Wayne Dyer;

    “Change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

    I used this premise to reflect on my stressful moments and find the blessing in challenges.  I learned from the dark moments to find meaning in each experience.  Trust me life was not easy.  And some days I cried often. On other days I experienced excruciating physical pain or headaches.  But I kept switching my perspective and focusing on the positive.  I made slow but steady progress.  Abd some days, I woke up smiling and singing.  I started to wake up happy, excited, and motivated.  Rather than stressed, overwhelmed and anxious.  And the nightmares began to diminish in the process. And soon the bright days outnumbered the dark ones.

    And the new perspective and joy gave me the courage to face my biggest challenge in life.  I was ready to face my trauma, which literally gave me that sour taste in the morning.  It was time to go back in time, re-experience my sexual abuse and find the blessing in a horrible situation.  I knew it was time to learn the lessons and forgive myself for something that was never my fault.  But as most people facing similar hardships, self-forgiveness is often the most difficult to achieve.  I kept focusing on a positive outlook and finding the lessons each day.  And suddenly the dark days diminished, bringing more days of sunshine and hope.

    I learned to praise my progress and recognize my success often.  It was a premise, I later called Progress, not Perfection.  And at the end of 2021, I realized I had made lemonade out of lemons.  I had faced my fears. I had seen everything I experienced as a little girl. I had seen everyone that was involved.  I recognized all the beliefs those experiences had created in my life.  And as I unraveled the self-limiting beliefs everything started to change. As I let go of the sense of unworthiness my life began to bring new blessings.  And as I realized, “I am good enough,” everything began to look brighter.  And little by little, the bitter taste in my mouth began to disappear.  The sour stomach disappeared.  The chronic shoulder tension from bearing the weight of a 35-year secret was relieved.  And finally, I began to feel like my happy, energetic, and joyful self again.

    And one day, I realized life had become lemonade.  Suddenly the lemons of daily stress no longer brought me down.  I was able to find blessings and lessons each day.  And I was able to make sweet lemonade with each sour moment.  I knew it was time to share this perspective shift and guide others to see the blessings amidst the chaos.  And in November 2021, I created a Lemonade Meditation.  A short-guided meditation to face challenges and find the blessings.  The lemonade meditation is a little piece of the magic that came from this new outlook on life. And it was a great way for me to guide others to use their 5 senses to re-experience life’s challenges in a new light. Over the months, I have shared it with friends and small groups.  And today, I am grateful to share it with you.

    Thankfully the days of waking up with indigestion, anxiety, and sour stomach are behind me.  But it all started by choosing to find the blessing amidst the chaos, making lemonade out of lemons, and recognizing the progress along the way. If I learned anything on my journey, it is the power of self-love and forgiveness that sets you free.  But most of all, making lemonade out of the sour moments brings sunshine and sweetness to each day.