When your mind gives you lemons…
Not long ago I auditioned for a TEDx jury in front of a live audience.
There were 14 passionate, intelligent speakers vying for the chance to present their “idea worth spreading” for the 2017 season.
My topic was My Unrealistic Reality. Each time I share my stories and how I view life, many people ask, But HOW DO YOU STAY SO POSITIVE AND HOW CAN YOU TELL THESE STORIES WITH SUCH EASE AND HAPPINESS?
I offer my viewpoint throughout my presentation, with examples such as: After my body was crushed in the car accident and the doctor came to offer his prognosis for my recovery, he stated, “Your injuries are extreme, your body will not fully recover and your athletic career is over”…. and I WAS DELIGHTED…. because what I heard him say was, “You have a completely different body now, so you get to choose interesting, new and exciting things to BECOME!” I did choose new and exciting things to become, and so, there was nothing wrong with the circumstances, and, after some time I also healed decently and DID return to my athletic career.
Although I give these examples and live my life with this kind of thought process, not even I realized how my personally trained way of thinking is such an engrained part of me, until a gentleman named Oliver, spoke on the subject of happiness. His focus was about how our thoughts, rather than our circumstances can help us to create our own level of happiness.
Toward the end of his presentation he said, I am going to quickly demonstrate just how powerful your mind is. Please close your eyes. Imagine a big, yellow, juicy lemon. It is on a plate in front of you. You have a sharp knife and you cut the big, yellow lemon in half. It is glistening in front of you. You see the juice dripping from the slice. Now you pick the lemon up, and you take a big, juicy bite. Now open your eyes.
He then asked, Raise your hand if you had a physical reaction of some kind during that story.
Everybody in the room raised their hand… Except for me.
Oliver then chuckled and said, That’s how powerful your mind is. There was no lemon. I was just saying words. Yet, your mouth was affected wasn’t it? Everybody laughed and nodded, yes.
I had no physical reaction to Oliver’s story.
The moment I heard Oliver say the word lemon, I chose to re-imagine a lemon as the most sweet and easy thing in the world to taste. I did not know where his story was going, or that he would ask us to take a bite in our mind. I did know that the thought of a lemon causes my mouth to have an unpleasant reaction, and I like pleasant things… so, I just made it pleasant. When he asked us to taste it, I took a completely different bite than everybody else in the room.
I did not think about the significance of this until I was on the train home after the event.
When life gives me challenges I re-imagine them into advantages and when my mind gives me lemons, I make butterscotch fudge!