In his 1915 obituary for the comedic actor Marshall P Wilder, Elbert Hubbard coined the phrase “When life serves you lemons, make lemonade”. The obituary was entitled King Of Jesters and Hubbard praised Wilder’s optimism and continued success in the face of his dwarfism.
Fast forward to 2016 and Beyonce’s most recent album, Lemonade, plays on the same theme, but here the lemons are marital. Through the telling of the story of her cheating husband she creates positive outcomes. By the end of the album she is making lemonade. Art from the ashes, rebirth in life through the creative process.
The image is still as resonant today as it was over a century ago, it is at once domestic and political. The human experience is essentially the same, it’s just the outer narrative that keeps changing. We struggle, we survive.
The question each of us needs to explore is how we can make our situation be of service to us. How do we make the bitter, sweet?
JUST ADD SUGAR
The question is simple, the answer is too. But the learning is harder. How do we make visceral that which we know intellectually?
For me the answer is in our hearts. We live too much in our heads. We treat our bodies as taxis that ferry our brains around. We have forgotten that our physical bodies often know before our brains have time to register that knowledge.
Our muscles have memories.
When we fully engage with our bodies we can bring our whole selves in a meaningful way. We can be truly present. We can use our feet to ground ourselves and give us strength. We not only overcome, we create and make.
Our lives serve us rather than us being in servitude to the situations we find ourselves in.
Having suffered with panic attacks for most of last year I’ve had to learn how to ground myself in the given situation. Literally how to make my feet anchor me, using my body to stop my head spinning out.
The anxiety was often triggered by the seemingly insignificant, a lemon pip in the blender so to speak. Connecting with my body in a visceral way, allowed it to know what I needed, helping me to step out of my mind and away from the panic. Often just breathing into and through my entire body allowed me to just be. Giving me peace. Sweetening the bitterness.
How can we connect with our bodies at a deeper level? How can we embody ourselves and embed our learnings? I do it by running and meditating. Through both I learn to breathe into my body and connect in a mindful way.
And my drink of choice here - lemonade of course.
We need to give ourselves time to just be, time to wake up properly each morning. Deliberately. Purposefully. Set a daily intention, something simple yet resonant and important. Something that will inform how you show up that day. State out loud that you will be kind, or fierce, or whatever you set. Always be nice, especially to yourself.
Look into your life and see where you could be sweetening the load. How could you make lemonade? Where could you create positivity in the face of challenge?
Come, together we can make lemonade.
OVER TO YOU
Feel free to share this post if you enjoyed it.
If anything in my blog has resonated with you I would love to hear about it. Tell your story or share your insights in the comments box below.
GET IN TOUCH
I coach people who struggle with anxiety, who yearn to live a fulfilling life but feel trapped or at a crossroads so that they can experience a calmer more purposeful life. If this sounds like you, get in touch here.