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Wayne Dyer’s Orange Story: A Radical Approach to Self-Care

By Michal Spiegelman

Intellectually, we know that we can only take care of others if we first take care of ourselves. So why do we feel guilty when we do things to care for ourselves? And why is it so hard to be consistent with our self-care practices? Is your current self-care practice giving you what you need, or is there room for improvement?

As someone who always took care of others before taking care of herself—who was heavier, unhealthy, and drained all the time—I can tell you this for sure:

You cannot live as the Beacon you were born to be, bringing light to the world, unless you engage in radical self-care.

Let me tell you one of my favorite stories from Wayne Dyer about an orange. Perhaps you know his story about the orange. I’m not sure if he was thinking about self-care when he told it, but I think his story can teach us a lot about caring for ourselves.

One time when giving a talk, Wayne Dyer brought an orange with him to the stage and 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?” Dyer asked.

The boy looked at him like he was crazy and said, “Juice, of course.”

“Do you think apple juice could come out of it?”

‘No!” the boy 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?”

“Well, it’s an orange, and that’s what’s inside.”

Dyer nodded and addressed the audience. “Let’s assume that this orange is you. And someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, says something you don’t like, or 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.”

“It’s one of the great lessons of life,” Dyer said. “It doesn’t matter who does the squeezing–your mother, your brother, your children, your boss, the government. If someone says something about you that you don’t like, what comes out of you is what’s inside. And what’s inside is up to you. It’s your choice.”

When we feel pressured or stressed, and we no longer react with love, that’s an indication to us that something is off. It’s time for balance. When what comes out of us is anything other than love, it’s a message for us to remember self-care.

  • Note to self: When stress makes you disconnect from love, get honest, evaluate, and correct.

Many of us are natural givers. If you are an empath like me, you allow other people’s energy to drastically affect your life. You are often drained.

Emotionally drained, physically exhausted, spiritually depleted—these are the symptoms of an unempowered empath.

  • Note to self: When negativity affects you, and you feel like a squeezed orange, it’s time to accept responsibility for upgrading your self-care practice.

Here’s an important question for you, Beacon: Do you ever feel guilty when taking care of yourself?

Many women, even those who are doing the inner work, still feel selfish and guilty about caring for themselves.

If you tend to play the “self-guilt” game, watch this video I created and learn why everyone wins when you practice self-care.

Going back to Wayne Dyer’s orange story, here is my point: When we make self-care a priority and release the guilt around caring for ourselves, we are more rested, calm, and loving. The “juice” that will come out when we’re squeezed will reflect those loving and centered qualities.

  • Note to self: Caring for yourself is not selfish. Caring for yourself is your sacred responsibility.

Here’s another important question for you, Beacon: Is there a blessing to feeling depleted?

Before you say no, think for a minute. I’ve learned the hard way how important it is to turn challenges into opportunities. There actually IS a spiritual blessing to feeling depleted. I wrote more about it in this article, “When You Feel That You Have Nothing Else to Give.”

  • Note to self: When you feel that you have nothing else to give, look for the spiritual opportunity and turn things around.

Once you give yourself permission for self-care, the rest is easier.

Isn’t it true that you know exactly what to do to take care of yoruself?

Isn’t it true that you can teach others how to take better care of themselves too?

We all know what to do. We just don’t do it.

That’s why evaluating your current practicess is so important. Give yourself permission to love yourself first, and then evaluating and correcting your self-care practice is an easier process.

Let’s use Wayne Dyer’s orange story as a reminder about self-care.

Next time you have an orange, squeeze it a little bit and remember to take better care of yourself, no matter what.

Meet Michal
Michal Spiegelman

Michal Spiegelman is Medical Intuitive who helps women get to the root source behind disease, disharmony, imbalance, stress, and trauma-related conditions.

Having studied in Israel, Germany, England, and the U.S., Michal is a Certified Professional Coach, a Reiki Master, and a former social worker who brings years of experience working with a variety of modalities into her intuitive teachings, coaching and mentoring.

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  1. marguerite bryant

    I never heard this story before, and I love it! Whenever I see an orange now, I will “check in” with myself about what kind of juice is inside…
    I always thought my juice was sweet, until Trump decided to run for office. Everything about him makes my juices feel bitter. The idea of him actually winning sends me into a panic. Any advice you have about this would be so welcome. So far, the main self loving thing I have found that calms me down a bit is to just avoid all news. Whenever I see his face online, I close my eyes and move on. I know I must not be the only one dealing with this, and I welcome new ideas for coping.

    • Dorothy Elston

      Dear, worry not about Trump or Clinton. All will be well. All you watched is a fictional story created to entertain USA citizens… and all the viewers of MSM abroad. Focus on your own regional reality, You and yours, and it will spread. Good luck and be blessed.
      Yes, I too, had to tune into the debate… just to see beacause I love all of humanity, and especially still have national pride (retired Air Force). It made me ill.. my stomach, because we were witnessing two people feuding, in a world of duality, and yes, those squeezed oranges sprayed not grapefruit, but vinegar, in the attempt to keep you (and all TUNED in) off balance and uncentered. I had to turn it off. Remember, Master Michal, recemmended we turn off the news. Be blessed dear one, know all is going to be well, and we are One in Reiki.
      Again, thank you Michal, for your most intuitive and timely message.

      • Michal Spiegelman

        Thanks, Dorothy! yes! all is well. and all will be well. no matter what.

    • Michal Spiegelman

      Thanks for sharing, marguerite. Part of caring to yourself is deciding how you want to spend your time. Limiting the time you listen to news is often a loving act. We want to make sure we engage in activity that uplift us and limit activities that drain us. Ask yourself what makes you feel good – and do more of those activities. Maybe we can not change the world. but we can practice self-care, self-love and kindness.

  2. Kimberly

    I love the visual of the orange theory it really helps me to relate it to how my body feels when I overdo. Which is a natural tend abc for myself as well. I feel that the self reiki gives me a bit of self reflection that I was not sure how to give to myself.

    • Michal Spiegelman

      I totally agree, Kimberly. The simple practice of self-Reiki is so amazingly helpful in connecting to our body and providing it with love and pure universal energy so the juice is yummy…

  3. Dorothy Elston

    Thank you so much, dear friend. Your words came at a so very pertinent time, for many others I am sure, as all, we all as one are transmuting the energies of others thru these trying September fluctuations. If others, like I, came out with grapefruit juice, it is gone now… forever. As always, ask for forgiveness and of course it will be given from those we surround ourselves with. And most importantly, to forgive ourselves. For sure, Michal, I will set more time for self love. Blessings to you always, and thank you for touching my heart. Always, much love. Dorothy.

    • Michal Spiegelman

      I love when you pop up, Dorothy! and I miss seeing you. Yes, set up some time for self-love. sending you hugs!

  4. Julie

    I used to feel guilty about “me” time in the past but I haven’t now for years. After I discovered my true path, I realized that in the past I was stressing over things that really weren’t important, as a result of learned behavior from those around me. It was not for my greater good… I started to train myself to de-program. Now, when I’m “squeezed”, very little bad juice comes out. I’ve learned to look at life differently, I am more at peace and I am happier. Learning Reiki was something that I have always wanted to do for myself and others. It makes me happy. So like the orange, what comes out is sweeter and not bitter like the grapefruit.

    • Michal Spiegelman

      I love the connection you’re making between Reiki and the orange/grapefruit juice, Julie. it is cool to hear how when your’e ?squeezed?, very little bad juice comes out. You’ve learned to look at life differently and this is the key. Life is life but we can choose how to respond to life.

  5. Carol

    I love what you wrote here. What a great message you drew from Wayne Dyer’s story – and how to use our own distress not as a sign to push harder or get down on ourselves, but rather as a sign to return to love, including self-love. And as a sign that our values have gone off (my interpretation).

    • Michal Spiegelman

      Love your interpretation, Carol! “A sing that our values have gone off”. exactly!

      • Kathleen DeGrandis

        Hi Michal I love the orange story. I have been taking care of my mother for a couple years because she is not well. However, I have not done any self care in several months. I find myself getting physically sick more because mentally I am not making time for self care. Any suggestions would be great Michal. Love and light Kathy.

        • Michal

          Kathleen, dear! Your mother is lucky to have you. You are truly serving as the beacon that you were born to be. I am so glad to hear that you are aware. We can only take care of others if we take care of US first. I have been there in the past, when I didn’t practice radical self-care and it affected my health. Please review additional blogs on the topic of self-care here:
          Email me for additional guidance.

  6. Cynthia

    Great post Michal! I certainly feel the same way. The strength of the truth rings loud and clear in this blog. Self care is an important topic and unfortunately could be considered controversial by some. I especially appreciate the timing of this blog as I embark on adventure this afternoon after a devine morning of self care. Thank you Michal.

    • Michal Spiegelman

      One of the things that is so amazing about you, my dear Cynthia, is that you choose to see challenges as adventures. Reading this article and sharing your thoughts here is also an act of self-care. Thanks for inspiring others!

  7. Bev Butler

    It took me a long time, but I now realize I cannot give anything to anyone when I’m running around on empty. I used to always put the needs of others before my own personal needs. I have learned to set healthy limits for myself and to practice the art of extreme self care. Reiki has helped me tremendously and I am so grateful to be part of this community. When I get snappy at people, I know it’s time for me to take a personal time-out. Do I do this perfectly….absolute not, but I’m a lot better than I use to be. Still so much to learn.

    • Michal Spiegelman

      Bev- you inspire me! I know your story. You shared it with me during the Reiki Class. You are a strong women who is determined to heal and grow. Take a minute and celebrate your success. Give yourself credit. and stay in touch so we can support you!

  8. Patricia Burford

    I have never heard this story before. Wow, what an impact. It brought me to full attention, and I remembered those times the part of me I do not like comes out… Thanks for sharing this, I think I am going to find me a picture of an orange to hang up in my home as a reminder, to love my self and take a few minutes and do self care. This way when I care for others all that comes out is LOVE.

    • Michal Spiegelman

      Maybe a real orange or a bowl of oranges to remind you to love yourself, Patricia? I love it when you pop up! miss you!


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