Ingredients Required To Make Lockdown Lemonade

Bag Of Lemons (can Include: Health, Relationships, Finances, Death, Loss, Injury, etc)
Optimism  (Organic)
Can-Do Attitude
(Unlimited Amount)
A Pinch of Vulnerability
A Dash of Authenticity

Serve With A Smile!

Be The Victim of Your Story or Be the Hero of Your Journey. 

 The Lemons.

In the blink of an eye, the plans I thought were set in stone, felt ripped out from under. Any stability suddenly, vanished. It was February 1, 2020. After a three month adventure-living on the Big Island of Hawaii, I said my final aloha and was en route to returning to life right in the middle of Winter in Boulder, Colorado. To set myself up for success, I’d accepted a salaried job and verbally committed to sublet a furnished apartment. In fact, both seemed to fall into place, with ease. Though I was not excited returning to cold and snow, I trusted the Universe had my back and everything was in motion. 

On my way to CO, I stopped in San Diego for a week to visit my family and watch the SuperBowl with friends. It felt like a little breathing room before my new chapter. But, before I could settle in, my phone rang with game changing news.  The company who’d 10 days prior offered me a job, eliminated the position. Then, the housing, no longer an option. It’s as if the Universe waved her finger in my face with a smirk saying, “I don’t think so!” Devastated, I began to question…everything.

Once hopeful, I was now I was heartbroken. Why would life line up only to fall apart? How could ‘they’ do this to me? I thought I was being responsible but now I felt lost. 

 Throughout my life, uncertainty was practically, certain. Though I knew whatever I was “going through” would be temporary, it didn’t make the waves of anger and frustration any easier. All of a sudden I was unemployed and homeless surrounded by snow, and weeks prior I was a Nanny living island life in an airbnb.  I had to drop my victimization even though it felt like the odds were stacked against me. When you’re smack dab in the eye of a storm, it’s impossible to see the silver lining. But I didn’t have time to doubt. I had to have faith everything would work out. 


I was being “tested”. 


Rejection is Redirection, Rejection IS Redirection” 


Despite struggling with self-confidence, now back in Colorado I continued “trying” to find a job and a place to call home. Though I’d made a promise to myself not to return to my old profession as a Travel Nurse Recruiter, a former nurse I worked with “randomly” reached asking if I’d be interested to interview with her company for a remote position. Explaining my situation and the synchronicity of her timing, despite not wanting to work in the profession again, I said yes to learning more.  It was now late February and the “Corona Virus” was the hot topic in town and I knew I had to secure something soon. However, a week after my interview, the company decided to freeze their hiring. What was happening? Again hurt by the tease of stability, I whispered to myself, you’re going to be OK. Again, I had to trust and have faith. 


Forced to step back and take inventory of my situation, I heard loud and clear, my heart didn’t want the recruiting job. My heart was back in Hawaii. I missed the ocean breeze, humidity, tan skin, even my wild curly hair! Though happy to be with friends, I wasn’t happy with a foot of fresh snow. But, what could I do? Where would I go? I tucked my awareness in my back pocket and committed to making Colorado work.


From What If… to Why Not


With my decision to stay,  I had to shift my perspective and make the best of the unknown. And guess what, the more I leaned into uncertainty, the more opportunities showed up! From a long term pet sitting gig to generous invitations in friends’s guest rooms, I even had a good friend traveling to Indonesia lend me her car for the month as it helped her have a place to store it! Despite the fact I had no plan, the Universe kept handing me hugs and heartfelt high fives. Life felt in flow.


Yes, And…


Some days I’d wake with a huge smile. Other sleepless nights I lay awake, riddled with anxiety from the nightmare of not knowing my what next. The “stuck in a funk” days were the worst. To snap out of it I’d do my usual: strap on sneakers and go for a walk. One afternoon, strolling along the Boulder Creek, clarity hit me like a lightening bolt. Everything I was “doing”… was not working. In fact, It didn’t feel like it was meant to work! It felt like a lot of trying to prove vs acknowledging I didn’t to be there. In the moment of sudden clarity I stopped in my tracks and gave myself permission to say to myself: I’m not happy here. I want to live by the water. I needed to be back at the ocean. 




Pausing with this epiphany, out of “nowhere”,  I heard a gentle voice clearly say, Ask for help. Here I was trying to “figure it all out” and telling the Universe what I wanted but hadn’t asked for divine guidance! And, now, in my new ah-ha, I had nothing to lose. Wide-open to a change of scenery and I decided to surrender in the idea of moving some where new. So, I took a deep breath, put my hands in prayer form, and from a place of gratitude and appreciation, kindly asked out loud, “pretty please show me where I’m to live the month of April.” I instantly felt a nudge: log into the San Diego Housing Group on Facebook.


So, I listened.


Having lived in San Diego from 2004-2011, this came as no surprise. In that very moment, I picked up my phone and logged into the FB group. And BAM. The very first post on the page read: APRIL ONLY – GET IT BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE DOES! Holy wow, was this for real? Did I really get my answer this quickly? I scrolled through the stunning photos and scanned the details. It was everything I wanted and then some:  minutes from the beach, my price range, even a bike to borrow! Without skipping a beat, I private messaged the owner: “My bags are packed!!” Yup, those were my exact words. I was confident this apartment was meant for me. 


However, it turned out the house wasn’t actually in, San Diego. 


In the midst of my excitement, I failed to notice a really big detail! This dream come true was not in So Cal, but instead, in Tulum, Mexico! Wait a minute, despite a global wave of confusion, was I being guided to leave the country and consider…paradise? 

Visibly shaking with excitement, my intuition smacked me upside the head with a big, fat “YES!” Pumped for my new “plan”, I knew I needed to act quickly and show the Universe I was serious. So, I logged into Southwest since they allow charge-free change, searched for a direct flight from Denver to Cancun and BAM, there it was:  April 1st, only $135. Disregarding the looming state of affairs around the world, I clicked “purchase” and instantly felt FREE. The next part: talk with the owner and agree it’s a fit, which is exactly what I did a few days later. Even though this felt crazy, I felt confident in my choice. 


Accept… COVID- 19.


Unlike most Americans, I wasn’t worried about being “stuck there”. Are you kidding? I loved the idea of quarantining with palm trees and an ocean breeze! Some friends thought I was nuts, others were jealous, a few concerned. But 90% gave their blessing. They had no idea how I’d do it but they couldn’t deny if anyone could, it was me. I felt I wasn’t trying to go to Mexico, it was as if the opportunity found me.


Then…Southwest Canceled all International Flights.


Though I understood the decision. I didn’t understand how fear was spreading faster than the virus. Why didn’t I feel any anxiety about traveling? Was I selfish for not wanted to wear a mask? Why was I more afraid of the people hoarding toilet paper, judging others, and giving away their personal power than I was of getting sick? It was a wild awareness to learn about myself. I didn’t fit in with how most of my friends and family felt. I actually felt more aligned. Despite the uncertainty of the world, I felt more certain in some ways than ever before. 


The world was shifting

It was now March 12, and my 42 birthday was days away, March 15. The retreat I’d booked for myself was now cancelled. So, I went back to Southwest and reserved a last minute 72 hour trip out of Denver to where I knew I’d be happy: San Diego. At this point, EVERYONE had an opinion on what was right and wrong in how to handle Covid 19. Not wanting anyone’s input, I trusted traveling was fine — and guess what, not only was a right, but it was THE BEST NIGHT on what turned out to be, the very last night before the world would never be the same. The next morning, the 16th, we woke to learned San Francisco went into lockdown! This meant two things: Shit was getting real and I had to find a place to live, really fast.   But thank goodness it was my birthday weekend because that meant all my friends were calling to say hi. 


Flashback: How the Idea of Saint Petersburg was planted months prior. 

In 2008, working for the same Healthcare Recruiting company in San Diego, CA, I met Tina in… the Women’s bathroom. I mean, how many bestie stories begin like that? Then, I was laid off and she resigned the next day. Soon after we bumped into each other in dance class, fast-forwarding our friendship from co-workers to partners in crime. Then, in 2010, Tina and I decided to move to Wilmington, NC together. Then I moved to CO and she to NYC. No matter where we’ve lived, we remained the closest of friends. Then, in 2018 moved to St. Petersburg, FL, where she bought a home, complete with an adorable backyard studio surrounded by a pool and palm trees.


As it turns out, a few months prior, Tina was visiting with my Mom at her home in Delray Beach, FL, 4 hours from Saint Petersburg. Curious about my “what next” they called with an idea: rather than moving back to Colorado, I could move into Tina’s studio, typically listed as an Airbnb. Though I loved the idea of living with Tina and close to my Mom, the timing didn’t feel right, as if I had unfinished business in Boulder. I was set on returning to Colorado.

But, the St. Petersburg seed was planted.


Timing Is Everything


Back to March 16th. She explained the current Airbnb guests were looking for permanent place and once they were out, I could move in. I had to let that sink in! Never in my dreams had I thought about Florida. Though it did have everything in Hawaii I craved!  Though I didn’t know anyone else nor had I ever been there, her offer felt divine and on time. Except one part: I needed a place by March 23 and they were confirmed through March 31. But, she really wanted them to leave early. We agreed I’d come whenever it was ready and crossed our fingers! It was getting down to the wire. And then, March 19, in the midst of a MASSIVE snowstorm, I got the text I’d been praying for “The airbnb guests are leaving! The casita is ready on March 23!






I called everyone to share the good news: Within 72 hours, I used the same Southwest ticket originally to Cancun to book my flight to Tampa. As if it couldn’t get better, my friend traveling Indonesia, whose car I’d been driving for a month, texted asking if I’d be possible for me to leave her car parked at the airport by 6 PM on March 24th; the day she’d now be returning. As it turned out, my departure time was 5 PM on March 24th, without trying to make it work, it worked out perfectly.


Time To Make Lemonade!


 With only a few days to get everything in order, I downsized my storage unit into a smaller space, pulled out the same two suitcases I’d packed for Hawaii, pulled out my sundresses and set myself up for a few months in Sunny Florida, having no clue how long I’d be staying. My last day in Boulder was a bright blue sky and I spent it hiking with a dear friend. Then, I hugged the same two friends who’d picked me up from the airport six weeks prior, hopped in my friend’s borrowed car and bid farewell, again.

Driving to catch my flight, I felt like I was in a movie. Here I was, leaving everything I knew, having no clue when I’d return or what to except when I arrived. My emotions ranged from grief to gratitude. To add fuel to the fire, 20 minutes away from the airport, a friend called to let me know the Govenor of Colorado announced a mandatory lockdown beginning at 5 PM, the very next day. Instantly I felt panic jolt through my body, as if I was now trying to outrun a tornado on my tail. Only this wasn’t a movie, it was really happening. I knew I was getting out right on time.

Once the car was parked for my friend, my bag were checked and I cleared security, I finally, for the first time in weeks, took a huge deep breath and sighed relief. I did it. When it was time to board, I was greeted with a total of 25 other passengers. Everyone was spaced six feet apart, but, everyone was very friendly! The flight attendants smiled and instructed us to pick our own row, joking we were all first class with bottomless pretzels for everyone. Looking out my window, I saw the mountains one last time. I was ready to wake up in my new reality.  


—————— This Brings Me to Today, April 24, ONE MONTH LATER —————


As I write this, I’m sitting at my desk in my little (well, tiny) Pinterest perfect studio, watching the warm rain dance on the saltwater pool that separates my space from Tina’s place. My skin is golden brown and my hair is soft with curls. And most importantly, I am safe, I am healthy and I feel… at home. As Joeseph Campbell says,“we must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”  As i look back on the chaos: the job, housing, flights everything had to happen, in the time that it happened, in order for my opportunity in Florida, to happen. Fully leaning into the uncomfortable space of uncertainty was the key to my daydream of quarantining with an ocean breeze and palm trees, coming true. Lemonade isn’t made from luck. It’s made… from lemons.




Life Happens.
The first step to making lemonade is to admit, “it”…happened. You must call out the chaos and acknowledgment the wrench in your place. You must look your lemon in the eye and… accept it. Acceptance is the first step toward healing, anything.  When you release tension in the body you not only open yourself up to positive energy, but you allow yourself to feel deeply, ultimately releasing negative emotions from the body. These emotions might include disappointment, sadness, anger, frustration or grief. Expressing emotions is anything but a sign of weakness.  A good cry feels good, for a reason. Only after you accept your fear can you turn it into fuel.  Feeling your feels is what I consider to be the ‘first step to freedom’  Vulnerability is the prelude to the perspective shift.


Keep The Faith
To have faith is a choice. Like I showed in my story, it was the act of surrender that invited the Universe to meet me halfway. But to bring myself to the point where I can let go and trust, I must trust, myself. The moment you start to doubt your worthiness or your capabilities, you fall off course. You must believe in the greater plan, for it all. I know it’s easier said than done. Faith only becomes my friend after I’ve been brought to my knees, that moment of pulling myself up by my own bootstraps. Believing in myself empowers me to believe in others. Though I empathize with the unsettling and often, terrifying feeling of uncertainty, I also can’t emphasize the role you play in attaching meaning to what it means to “not know”. Even when we feel certain in what’s ahead, it all can change in the snap of a finger. This proves “knowing” doesn’t protect you, just like “not knowing” doesn’t destroy you. There’s always a method to the madness.


Let Go To Grow.
Detaching from the way something ‘needs’ can determine whether someone is going to spiral out, or remain balanced.  It’s the assumptions and the expectations that lead to disappointments and misfortune.  Holding onto assumptions blocks your ability to visualize and feel into what you want to co-create in your life. You must not limit your ability to look outside of your bubble.but instead see the limitless possibilities in every which direction around you. Our conditioning has taught us there is a right and wrong. But to move through life with ease, you must also have grace, with others, with outcomes and with, yourself.  You know the phrase, “go with the flow”, well, it’s true. When you let go, you flow. Think of your limiting beliefs as a dam holding back raging waters to a calm standstill. Now imagine removing the dam. Water begins rushing over and under, around rocks, through trees, but all streams of current in the same direction. That’s what happens when you stop holding yourself back and begin believing it’s all going to work out.  Your willingness to shift your perspective shifts your energy! In this space of a higher vibration, you will attract who and what you need. Manifesting isn’t magic but rather your heart and your mind agreeing to align in their common pursuit of a greater purpose.


The moment you’re able to look on all the lemons that brought you to exactly where you were meant to be, you experience a level of peace that’s hard to put to words. The weight is lifted off your shoulder. And as your story continues to shift, your confidence continues to grow. This feeling becomes a stored memory you can tap back into any time you need the extra motivation or a reminder of your why. You now hold a personal play-by-play of how you turned lemons into lockdown lemonade. Never will you not know what it means to be brave and forge ahead. You know your ability to love yourself so much nothing can stop your Pheonix from rising. You know not only do you deserve to dream, but your dreams deserve to you, too.


This is your life. These are your lessons. What you decide to do with what you learn is up to you. But please, do me a favor. Please give yourself permission, to give yourself permission, to live your most authentic life. Imagine the unimaginable. Speak your truth. Follow your bliss. And most importantly, practice gratitude. To be grateful is the greatest gift we can offer to honor the journey we call, life.


Let’s Make Lemonade, Together. 


Are you ready to shift your story and shift your life? If you crave a connected conversation or want guidance connecting with yourself, I‘m here to help. There is no right or wrong and the Universe doesn’t choose favorites. As long as you are open, you will experience a positive change.


Due to the extreme circumstances of COVID, I recognize many of you are in a space where a little support can go a long way. Whether you want to turn lemons into lemonade or a genuine, connected conversation about life, Consider me your support. Treat yourself to a massage for your heart and soul and schedule a time for us to talk, HERE!


You are not alone. We are in this together.
Thank you for being you and most importantly, thank you for showing up, for you.


Cheers To The Journey,

Social Distancing on a Sunny Afternoon in St. Pete!