§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD!
When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade
I can’t believe it! I think I broke my toe! And I’m leaving on a trip to Mexico City in less than an hour!
I was running around packing for a long-awaited trip to Mexico City to visit a dear friend from college when I stubbed my toe against a door frame and felt wincing sharp pain shoot through me.
I looked down and saw the little toe on my left foot at a weird 45-degree angle away from the rest of my toes.
Not good. And I still had packing to do and an Uber to catch to the airport in less than an hour. Walking hurt.
I will save you the story of what happened in the next hour but suffice it to say that it included an ice pack, Ibuprofen and taping my little toe to its next of kin so I wouldn’t wind up with a super deformed foot I would never be able to get into any shoe.
I found myself at the airport, hobbling while pulling my suitcase and wondering why on Earth this happened.
Truth to tell, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.
This trip was my 2nd annual solo trip (in 17 years!) without my husband or the family and my college friend and I had an ambitious itinerary of climbing pyramids, exploring museums and galleries, walking through ancient streets and partaking in a vegan food tour.
I HAD BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS TRIP FOR MONTHS! What could be more fun than exploring a new city with somebody who has been in my life for nearly 30 years.
And now I was hobbling through the airport at a turtle’s pace wondering if we would be able to do anything more than hang out at her house for the next 4 days.
But here’s the thing: I believe that everything (no matter how crappy) happens for our highest good so that we can learn the lessons that we are meant to learn and evolve into the people we are meant to be.
So, what were the lessons here.
The Obvious One: SLOW DOWN.
I have been running around at 100 miles per hour recently as I nurtured my family and household, kept up with my business and staff, launched a course and have been gathering amazing women from around the globe for a virtual summit, Extraordinary Life After 40.
Recently, I was often not “present”, multi-tasking EVERYTHING, short and impatient with my kids and hubby and didn’t have much bandwidth to support my friends.
And I have had a lifetime battle with trying to do too much. And trying to do it perfectly.
The Universe was reminding me through my broken toe that I needed to slow down and that in my CHOOSING to do too much, I wasn’t allowing much fun or love into my life.
The Slightly Less Obvious one: FOCUS ON ONE THING AT A TIME.
Have you ever noticed how you can be so busy that you can’t imagine how you could possibly fit another thing in but then something happens (an accident or an illness) and all of the sudden, all that really matters is attending to the matter at hand? Somehow you suddenly put everything else on hold and just do what needs to be done?
In this case, I needed to drop most of my to-do list and just get myself to the airport and once there, take care of my foot. I got a bag of ice and just sat there with nothing else to do and nothing else on my mind. NOTHING was as important as healing…quickly.
There’s a serious inner peace that comes from focusing on just one thing at a time.
This seems to be a lesson that I need to learn over and over.
And so, I renewed my commitment to mindful living. Doing one thing at a time, focusing on one thing at a time. Letting go of perfection. Being OK with good enough. Doing less. Getting more help. Feeling more peace.
The Least Obvious One: WE ARE OUR OWN HEALERS.
As I sat on the plane, still wondering how the trip was going to go now, I thought back to an amazing woman I interviewed the day before for my Extraordinary Life After 40 Summit, who healed herself from a debilitating disease that had her confined to a wheelchair and then again from a horrific accident that had her cross over and come back. AND SHE DID IT ALL BY FOCUSING ON GRATITUDE.
I kid you not.
She remembers laying in the hospital with absolutely everything in her body hurting and just being grateful that her eyebrows didn’t hurt. She also noticed that as she made a mental list of things to be grateful for, once she got to about 150 things, the pain disappeared.
Sure, a lot of other healing work went into it but this MIT educated woman was so impressed by the power and the energy of gratitude to heal that she has since dedicated her life to spiritual and energetic studies and her work to manifesting miracles.
As I thought back to this interview, I started to think that if gratitude could bring somebody out of a wheelchair, perhaps it could help me begin to heal a broken toe as well.
I started to think of what I was grateful for. There was so much! And the cool thing is that as I got to about 30 things, my foot stopped hurting.
And I was filled with yet more gratitude for the gifts inherent in all circumstances.
And with positivity and hope. I have no idea how this trip to Mexico City is going to go but I have a feeling that it’s going to be good, broken toe and all.
What about you? What can you learn from life’s adversities?
I would love to hear from you so feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.