According to Wikipedia, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is a proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. Lemons suggest sourness or difficulty in life, while lemonade is a sweet drink. Every month I volunteer as the “lemonade” at the Second Saturday Divorce Workshop, designed to help take the next step, no matter where you are in the process of untying the knot. It provides unbiased information to help understand all of your options, deal with emotions, and move forward with your life. The support group consists of Financial Planner Shanna Tingom of Heritage Financial Strategies, Attorney Billie Tarascio from Modern Law, and yours truly, Lemonade, AKA the Life Coach and CEO of The Courage To Shift!
When I decided to surrender, pulling my old dusty dreams down from a shelf full of cobwebs and following my century old passion of becoming a Life Coach, I only considered focusing on areas of weight loss and finances. Those are the demons I have battled and conquered, having maintained a 70-pound weight loss for twelve years and overcoming my addiction to debt, becoming debt free after a seven-year hellacious journey (worth every minute of discomfort). Surviving both were equally hard as they required not only discipline but a shift in mindset as both require more mental growth than head knowledge. Most of us that repeatedly duel with these common enemies, debt and fat, already know what to do but for some reason we are not successful, repeatedly banging our heads against the wall looking for the secret. For the innocent newbies, the information highway provides specific, easy to follow instructions yet most still fall into the ranks of frustration with the rest of us.
When I was approached to become the Life Coach, my mind had a meltdown and struggled with computing this information. During the certification process, we were told to determine our specialty areas by what we excelled at. For example, if I were still 70 pounds overweight I would probably struggle at building a successful business focusing on health and fitness if I didn’t look the part. Deciding whether I had excelled at divorce seemed insane to consider! Maybe success was that he lived to see another day? It took serious work to resist the urge to act on the myriad of emotions (betrayal, hurt, anger, fear) that threatened to consume me as I transitioned through the painful journey of divorce. Because I can over-analyze the best pair of socks to wear on any given day, I decided to evaluate my own emotions on the pain scale before making such a serious commitment. The last thing workshop attendees need is to arrive for support and leave feeling like the Life Coach needed a Life Coach!
Sometimes destiny is exposed through interactions with others. Evaluating my feelings post-divorce took all of five seconds and I was surprised to find thoughts of my own divorce no longer evoked the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. My initial desire that he drop dead so that I could collect life insurance had silently transitioned into an acknowledgment of my part in the demise of my marriage. We always have a part and mine was that I chose wrong, ignoring the flashing red lights and warning bells that went off in my head. Through this request, I learned that I am ripe for the journey of representing the lemonade that can emerge from the lemons, and an honored to be of service.