Having worked to build an 8-figure brunch restaurant called the Squeeze In. Known for omelettes and mimosas, it’s only natural that one of our favorite life metaphors centers around squeezing oranges. Squeeze In, oranges… it’s just too perfect AND the teaching is pure gold. This metaphor comes from the late, great, incredible Dr. Wayne Dyer, who recounts on a 2013 blog where the metaphor first came from:
Several years ago when an unsuspecting young man helped me illustrate an eternal truth we all need to be reminded of.
I was preparing to speak at an I Can Do It conference and I decided to bring an orange on stage with me as a prop for my lecture. I opened a conversation with a bright young fellow of about twelve who was sitting in the front row.
“If I were to squeeze this orange as hard as I could, what would come out?” I asked him.
He looked at me like I was a little crazy and said, “Juice, of course.”
“Do you think apple juice could come out of it?”
“No!” he laughed.
“What about grapefruit juice?”
“What would come out of it?”
“Orange juice, of course.”
“Why? Why when you squeeze an orange does orange juice come out?”
He may have been getting a little exasperated with me at this point. “Well, it’s an orange and that’s what’s inside.”
I nodded. “Let’s assume that this orange isn’t an orange, but it’s you. And someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, says something you don’t like, offends you. And out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, fear. Why? The answer, as our young friend has told us, is because that’s what’s inside.” *
What comes out when you get squeezed? If you're primarily a bitter person and life squeezes you (cut off in traffic, nasty yelp review, long line at the bank..) out comes bitter juice. This ‘juice’ that’s on the inside is what we are full of and so it’s not about finding fulfillment-we’re already full of stuff-it’s about actively working to cultivate better juice. We’re like self aware oranges that have legs and intellect and free will. That’s a weird visual that elicits strange early internet imagery and feelings of discomfort so let’s move on.
Think about what’s on your inside and what you are full of. Are you resentful, shameful, stressful? Or are you joyful, grateful, successful? Sure depending on where you get squeezed, who/what’s doing the squeezing and the intensity of the squeeze you’ll have different flavors of juice come out, but by and large most of us have our go-to regular orders and stick to them.
With fulfillment being a current cry of society there is much focus on ‘find what fulfills you.’ But using the word ‘find’ implies that the elusive fulfillment trophy is somewhere externally outside of us and thus needs to be found. This can lead many of us on a long and often lonely path of trial and error of outward experiences waiting to feel a mystical sense of purpose and resonance in which then, we will know in no uncertain terms, that THIS is where we are meant to be.
That core principle: when an orange gets squeezed out comes orange juice, is simple. But imagining that we are that proverbial orange and life is doing the proverbial squeezing adds a few more layers of complexity and if we lack intention we might just be serving sour juice. Check out this week’s podcast for more about Getting Squeezed and no matter what you’re doing or where you are: happy juicing!
*(excerpt from: www.drwaynedyer.com/blog/why-the-inside-matters )