Barbara Zabawa founded Lemonspark in 2008 after experiencing her own lemon in life. As she wrestled with her loss, she sought to understand why it happened, and what did it mean for her life going forward. To find answers, Barbara attended support groups, but was quickly disenchanted with those groups. For her, the groups seemed more concerned about rehashing the past rather than finding a path forward. She then searched for stories online from people who had overcome tragedy, maybe similar to hers, and are currently living their best life, but she had a hard time finding such stories in one place. Because she could not find such a place to get inspiration, hope and a sense of community, Barbara decided to create one. Lemonspark was born.
The three pillars of Lemonspark are Hope, Inspiration and Community.
When people face tragedy, many reach a point in the grieving process when they ask why the lemon happened in the first place. In their quest to understand the “why,” hearing stories from people on the other side of tragedy can offer hope and inspiration. Those of us who have suffered tragedy and not only found peace, but a new purpose in life, is so important for those in the midst of tragedy to hear. Hearing such stories not only provides hope and inspiration to those currently suffering, but it also provides them with a sense of belonging. One of the most terrible feelings that Lemonspark’s founder felt as she worked through her own lemon was feeling alone. That no one understood what she was feeling or experiencing. It appeared that everyone around her was living in a “normal” world and she was an outsider, looking in. Hearing stories from others who are familiar with the feelings that come with severe loss is comforting to those who feel isolated and misunderstood.
Lemonspark is a movement. It is about celebrating the humans who have dug deep in the wake of tragedy and have used that blank slate that tragedy often provides to spark a new direction in their life. That spark is inside all of us, but over time it gets buried by life. Jobs, careers, bills, relationships, finances, schedules, projects, chores, tasks, deadlines, meetings, or expectations consume our life and lead us to forget, or never even consider, our spark. Our spark is what makes us happy and feel fulfilled. It is our true purpose. Life’s lemons many times shatter the shell of daily activities we build around our spark, allowing it to shine and resurface.
Do you have a Lemonspark story to share? If so, please contact us and let us know your story. We will aim to feature it on our podcast!