lemons to lemonade.

Once upon a time I made the leap of faith to leave a career that was sucking the life out of me. Little did I know that the next two years would be the BIGGEST lemons to lemonade object lesson of my life.  Wait, what?  I thought having straight-up clinical depression at 19 was that event in my life?  Or maybe fearing kitchen knives and necklaces because my anxiety was so high while in therapy?  Nope.  This.  Leaving a career and everything that followed has literally changed me, but for the better.  So, let's talk about that and how I've managed to turn my bushel of lemons to a grand pitcher of tasty lemonade.

If we are being totally raw and real, I will confess that there was absolutely NO other option, but to leave my previous career.  It was pretty much awful towards the end.  I was working for a person who was dishonest and didn't respect women. Plus, there were a lot of politics that didn't bode well for me.  I was miserable and stressed out of my mind.  I was presented with an opportunity to do what I loved so I took the risk and did it while taking a pay cut and all that went with leaving 11 years in a single industry.  It put me in the path of some of the best business people I've ever worked with, but also some on the other side of the spectrum.  Lemons to lemonade meant focusing on the people I loved working with and trying to tune out the others.  Not easy.  Believe me.  I opened up a part of my heart and soul that was passionate about doing the best possible thing with what I was given and I did just that.  I taught myself how to do things "the hard way" and succeed.  What I didn't know was this path was leading me in a direction of far bigger and much harder things.

One of the biggest challenges in life is to see the sunshine in our storm.  It's even harder when you already have a tendency for depression.  My mental health struggles started out because of female-plumbing-gone-haywire mixed with pressure on the homefront, but as I've aged and learned how to deal with that part, I've gotten better at managing it.  When my depression LOVES to show up to the party is in stressful situations or seasonal times of the year when the days are shorter and colder. Those are my triggers.  So, when I was suddenly presented with situations due to "doing what would make me happier" that were ultra shitty, the big D waltzed his way in too.  Yes, he is male.  No, I'm not being a feminist man-hater bitch.  Just roll with it.  Overbearing depression and anxiety are the party crashers that no one wants to ever see, but they still manage to show up.  But we have to face them and treat them with kindness because that's what ultimately sends them away.  Let them eat some appetizers, have a couple drinks and then they will go away.  And suddenly I've made depression sound like a bad wedding reception.

I have learned that the BEST way to make lemons to lemonade is to really take the advice "mind over matter" to heart.  Vision boards are not all smoke and mirrors, my lovelies.  When we visualize the other side of the trial we can get through the here and now so much better.  Having the vision doesn't mean that it's going to just poof itself away, but it means that we have our eye on the positive and can focus on it for as long as we need to.  It still means we will have "ugly cry" days and "step-away-from-the-chocolate-and-Diet-Coke-before-I-kill-you" days, but we get through them.

This past weekend I went to a business conference that my friends put together.  It was seriously one of the best experiences for me, both personally and professionally.  When it was done, I was on cloud nine for a long list of reasons.  I felt empowered, loved and appreciated. It was my lemonade for the last 2 years of utter hell of leaving a stable, yet shitty career, and becoming who I am meant to be.  However, I could not have been sitting in that room enjoying that surreal moment unless I had been in my previous career.  My knowledge, experiences and connections put me in that path.  150%.  In fact, my dear friend who was one of the event organizers was one of the best business risks I took in my previous career path.  She and I met sight-unseen after emailing each other on LinkedIn.  We still call each other the best blind business date we've ever been on.  I adore her and she has put me in the path of so many incredible people who have brought opporutnity and happiness to my life.  Lemons to lemonade.  Completely.  One of the speakers at the event was Olympic bronze medalist, Allison Baver.  Allison was in a horrific speedskating accident before the Vancouver Winter Olympics and her will to heal led her back to full health and she went on to win a bronze medal.  She shared the following quote with us and it really resonated with me.
Our mind can change the course of life, good or bad.  How are we choosing to treat it and how are we choosing to interpret life and its challenges?  For every trial, there are five things we can be grateful for sitting right in front of our face.  Each and every time we recognize the blessings we are keeping our brain on course to determine our outcome for the better. I can't begin to tell you the number of nights I have prayed with gratitude for my bed, the safety of my home, a warm bath, grilled cheese sandwiches and that the day was over.  5 things to be grateful for to every crappy thing.  Try it!  It works wonders!

One of the best cards I received last year was from my dear friend Mel.  It went something like this, "well lemons to lemonade, even if it's a 6 pack of hard lemonade."  At that point I probably could have drank a few hard lemonades, but I didn't, and I pulled myself up and got through the challenge that warranted her card.

I have resolved to further continue my quest for lemons to lemonade in some ways that are SO exciting yet SO terrifying because they expose more vulnerability and make my stomach jump.  But, I'm going to do it and I'm going to succeed just like I already have.

The moral of the story: When life hands you lemons, break out the juicer, throw in some extra suga (or maybe vodka) and have a party in spite of the storm!  You can totally do it!

Until next time, my lovelies!

Be sure to check out the biz side of "Let It Be & Celebrate" by visiting www.beyoudesignsut.co

Cure Child Anxiety

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