When Life Gives You Lemons. . .

We have all heard the phrase “when life gives you lemons…..” right? Well, making lemonade is not always the easiest thing to do, especially when the lemons seem to be too sour to do anything with.

But the hidden messages behind the phrase have helped me understand what I have been recently been deeming the “ouch” moment - that moment when you slip on a lemon and bang head-on into a wall.


A little over week ago, I needed to make a decision as to whether I should embark on a business trip or abort. Ouch. This is not where I wanted to be. There were good arguments for both sides, but I was standing in front of a wall that I had hoped would not be there.


​​While you can make lemonade out of lemons, making it out of walls is not an option. And yet, here is where my empowerment self-defense training has taught me to stand in the moment, in front of the wall, and assess. It is the “think” piece of our “THINK YELL RUN FIGHT TELL.

Can I go around the wall? To the left? To the right? Over it? Under it? Can I break it down? Should I even be in front of this wall? Maybe my path is in a different direction.

Yes, this is a self-defense technique. Not every technique we teach is physical. Nor should it be. So much of life is spent in the uncomfortable spaces of “am I ok with how I am being treated,” and “how am I being spoken to.”

These are not moments where a palm heel strike to the face or other physical technique is warranted. Yet, these are moments where I need to reach into my self-defense toolbox and find the presence of mind to stop, think, and feel what I need to do to feel good moving forward.

After all of my deliberations, I realized that this was not just an issue of lemons or walls. This was a full on test of faith. A test of faith that I took on with a strong and resounding YES!

Many of you have heard me say that when we learn to have a clear, strong and definitive “NO,” our “YES” gets bigger, stronger and honestly, more authentic too. So, though the situation was not what I had wanted it to be, I listened to my heart, and gave an honest “YES,” and knew that I was doing what I knew needed to be done.

Choice. Healthy choice. My choice.

And why am I writing? Well, because it is the power of faith. The five days for which my colleague and I had really nothing planned turned into an amazing week of meetings, workshops, and conversations.

The piece de resistance was that since I’d missed my flight home, because I’d had to have dinner with two amazing people for important work conversations, I had the opportunity to give a mini-TED talk in the shuttle on the way to the airport. I ended up handing out business cards to all of the other passengers who were asking, “Can I have one too?” “Can we find you online?”

So, with all of the walls, and the lemons, and “ouch” moments, I do believe that when I take the time to listen to myself, to my heart, when SHIFT HAPPENS, I'll enjoy the lemonade.

Chances are, it'll actually end up tasting really good.

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