When Life Gives You Lemons

Last week was the week that kept on giving. My face down in the arena moment devolved into confetti moments of concentration and dysregulation. Each day seemed a bit harder than the previous and by Friday, I had nothing left to give. TKO.

When I am not fit for human consumption, my normal MO is to retreat even deeper into my safety net of introversion. No people? No problem. I was born for that life. The issue is that I have learned (the hard way) that it rarely serves me to disconnect. It both ticks me off and sets me free.

So I leaned into the discomfort and did the hard thing: I spent time with friends and colleagues, in person and virtually. I almost canceled on them, more than once, but I reminded myself that this time spent is always in my best interest. This time was no different.

Each person I spent time with gave me a different lens. Ingrid gave me a space to mope and a reason to laugh. Sandra made me feel understood and a reminder that comparison is a death sentence. Shoshana brought me wisdom with her coaching questions and gratitude for our blooming friendship.

Spending time in connection was exactly what I needed, but it is never my first instinct. I have to remind myself that if I want to feel differently, I need to behave differently and behavior starts with the way we think. That is why we have to actively use our Wise Mind.

In psychology, our Wise Mind is where logic and emotion intersect. It is the space where if we allow ourselves to get still and really listen to our Inner Wisdom, we can hear what is really true for us. In this case, my Wise Mind knew that choosing connection was going to be more effective than choosing disconnection. And it was, dang it.

In the end, with a little help from my friends, I channeled the week’s frustration and exhaustion into something productive. I made some long-overdue decisions to support my sanity through the holiday season and into 2021. While those decisions were not easily reached, it provided a sigh of relief and some breathing room moving forward. Moral of the story? When life gives you lemons, add vodka and make a lemon drop martini.  Or two. Bottoms up!

Tell me: Where has life given you lemons lately? When you are stressed or face down in the arena, do you find yourself leaning in to connection or pulling away? Where can you use your Wise Mind to help create a shift in your life?

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