Unemployment was a bowl of lemons.

Via on Dec 7, 2009

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Everyone says “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” But of course lemonade is much too sugary. I suppose when I got laid off I juiced my lemons with an apple and some kale and that’s how everything started to get amazing.

True story.

I’d been planning on leaving my soul-sucking job in advertising for awhile. Day in and out I stressed over how to best sell cruises, energy drinks, cars and chicken nuggets. Gross. Contributing to a culture of consumerism was at direct odds with my yoga practice, which taught me I already had everything I need.

I considered quitting, and the universe heard my intention loud and clear. I got laid off.

Talk about scary. Even though I knew I wanted to pursue my part-time yoga teaching and holistic health counseling practice, part of me felt scripted to go seek out another job as an art director. I mean, that’s what you do. You work for a living. You get a paycheck. You have benefits. Right?

Well, what ended up happening was I started to live my life. Imagine that. I started to love living my life! I said no to freelance art direction and said yes to teaching two new yoga classes. My business showed promise and I knew I could move forward in a direction that aligned with my values. It was a whole new way of living…of being. In other words, it felt freaking awesome.

Along came a little movie project called Lemonade. They asked, “Were you laid off and went on to do something amazing?” I raised my hand. Why not? For the first time ever I felt amazing.

We filmed last summer, and as with any yoga shoot I was sore for days afterwards. I mean, come on guys, I can only hold this arm balance for another couple of seconds!

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It’s not every day you get to reinvent yourself. Or, is it? This whole experience has stretched my mind in a million ways. Everything I thought was impossible turned out to be entirely within reach. It’s like that day when you finally feel your feet lift the ground in crow pose. Whoa.

Screenings of Lemonade are being held in select cities, with wider distribution being figured out. This whole project was completed on a zero dollar budget. How’s that for following a dream? To learn more about the film and its creator, go to LemonadeMovie.com.

About Michelle Pfennighaus

Michelle Pfennighaus is a freelance writer, holistic health coach and new mom. She readily admits to being afraid of handstands and is in love with her immersion blender. Visit Michelle at FindYourBalanceHealth.com or follow her on twitter @FindUrBalance

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6 Responses to “Unemployment was a bowl of lemons.”

  1. Hi, Michelle. Great blog, great thoughts, and gee, what a great looking film trailer!

    I have two comments, which I hope no one will take as detracting from your blog or film.

    1) This doesn't work for everyone. Not everyone has the means to even get by without a job, and not everyone has a life's passion sitting the wings ready to be trotted out by a forced layoff or the ability to make a living with it. For the majority of ordinary working people, losing a job is a tragedy for them and their families that can only be relieved by finding another job, whether they particularly like that job or not.

    2) Don't feel too sorry for all those poor people in business. I spent 30 wonderful years as a software entrepreneur. I actually went in reverse–I tried working at my life's passion first (flamenco guitar), then gave it up to study accounting and go into the software business. Not everyone hates their conventional job. Some of us loved theirs before they retired to do things like write Yoga books!

    This doesn't change the truth or enjoyment of your blog or the film. But I do think it's worthwhile to point out that these are special cases that are great for the right people, but not for a lot of others.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  2. Hi, Michelle. Great blog, great thoughts, and gee, what a great looking film trailer!

    I have two comments, which I hope no one will take as detracting from your blog or film.

    1) This doesn't work for everyone. Not everyone has the means to even get by without a job, and not everyone has a life's passion sitting the wings ready to be trotted out by a forced layoff or the ability to make a living with it. For the majority of ordinary working people, losing a job is a tragedy for them and their families that can only be relieved by finding another job, whether they particularly like that job or not.

    2) Don't feel too sorry for all those poor people in business. I spent 30 wonderful years as a software entrepreneur. I actually went in reverse–I tried working at my life's passion first (flamenco guitar), then gave it up to study accounting and go into the software business. Not everyone hates their conventional job. Some of us loved theirs before they retired to do things like write Yoga books!

    This doesn't change the truth or enjoyment of your blog or the film. But I do think it's worthwhile to point out that these are special cases that are great for the right people, but not for a lot of others.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  3. Hi, Michelle. Great blog, great thoughts, and gee, what a great looking film trailer!

    I have two comments, which I hope no one will take as detracting from your blog or film.

    1) This doesn't work for everyone. Not everyone has the means to even get by without a job, and not everyone has a life's passion sitting the wings ready to be trotted out by a forced layoff or the ability to make a living with it. For the majority of ordinary working people, losing a job is a tragedy for them and their families that can only be relieved by finding another job, whether they particularly like that job or not.

    2) Don't feel too sorry for all those poor people in business. I spent 30 wonderful years as a software entrepreneur. I actually went in reverse–I tried working at my life's passion first (flamenco guitar), then gave it up to study accounting and go into the software business. Not everyone hates their conventional job. Some of us loved theirs before they retired to do things like write Yoga books!

    This doesn't change the truth or enjoyment of your blog or the film. But I do think it's worthwhile to point out that these are special cases that are great for the right people, but not for a lot of others.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  4. Hi, Michelle. Great blog, great thoughts, and gee, what a great looking film trailer!

    I have two comments, which I hope no one will take as detracting from your blog or film.

    1) This doesn't work for everyone. Not everyone has the means to even get by without a job, and not everyone has a life's passion sitting the wings ready to be trotted out by a forced layoff or the ability to make a living with it. For the majority of ordinary working people, losing a job is a tragedy for them and their families that can only be relieved by finding another job, whether they particularly like that job or not.

    2) Don't feel too sorry for all those poor people in business. I spent 30 wonderful years as a software entrepreneur. I actually went in reverse–I tried working at my life's passion first (flamenco guitar), then gave it up to study accounting and go into the software business. Not everyone hates their conventional job. Some of us loved theirs before they retired to do things like write Yoga books!

    This doesn't change the truth or enjoyment of your blog or the film. But I do think it's worthwhile to point out that these are special cases that are great for the right people, but not for a lot of others.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  5. Love this Michelle! I can relate in so many ways including leaving the soul-sucking job, wanting to teach yoga, the handstand thing…

  6. ALINAGHI KHANCHI says:

    Michelle Pfennighaus
    HI HOW ARE U
    THIS VERY NICE PHOTO PLZ LET ME KNOW HOW MANY YEAR U ARE DOING YOGA VERY WODERFULL DO U HAVE A CLASSES??//// I WAIT YR REPLY
    FOR YR INFORMATION I AM FROM IRAN AND I AM STARTING YOGA ABOUT 7 MONTH IN MY COUNTRY
    AFTER HOW MUCH TIME I WILL DO SAME U
    ALINAGHI_KHANCHI@YAHOO.COM
    SKYPE :ALINAGHI.KHANCHI
    TKS+B.REGARDS
    ALI NAGHI KHANCHI

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