when life gives you lemons...
down and out is overrated

ray-bans and rainbows: seeing life through a happy lens


I was driving home from work when I looked to my left and saw the most beautiful, vibrant rainbow. This is not the first time I've seen one lately and, seeing as I don't live in an area where rainbows are all that common, I took this as a sign. I mean, it has to be, right? All of these years looking and looking for rainbows and never seeing them and suddenly, within the last few weeks, I've seen quite a few... Seems a little suspicious (in a good way) if you ask me!

So, I'm at a stoplight and I decide to slip off my Ray-Bans to have a better look at this gorgeous image spread across the sky (this was a full, huge one, not some smear of colors sitting out randomly against the clouds). The minute I slipped off my shades and turn my face to the sky, the rainbow was gone. It had disappeared! I was both shocked and disappointed. Where did it go? I wondered as I fumbled in my lap for my sunglasses. At this point the light had turned green and I was trying to understand the missing rainbow while navigating through the throngs of people heading home from work after a long day. I unfolded my shades, slipped them back on, and looked to my left. There it was! Back again, the beautiful streams of colors were vibrantly stretched across the sky. I smiled, ear to ear. Then I pulled down my sunglasses an inch and peered over them. No rainbow. I pushed them back up on the bridge of my nose. Rainbow!

While this seems like magic to me, I'm sure there is a logical, scientific explanation for this. I'm going to stick with the magic idea for now. As I was driving home, shades on so I wouldn't miss another rainbow sighting, it occurred to me that, with the shades on, I could see this happy, beautiful thing. Without them, I could not. Last week I posted an article called 13 ways you distort your thoughts (and how to stop doing it) which basically discussed the various negative lenses we use in our minds to distort our thinking. While I think it's important to recognize these distortions and aim to avoid them, I think it's equally important to think about the positive lenses we can put on our thoughts. Like Ray-Bans bringing out rainbows, we can use our thoughts to bring about happiness in our lives. Creating a spin on last week's article, I've created a list of positive things you can do to bring out the happiness in your life. As you know, attitude is everything. Perception is so important. And it's up to YOU to decide how you want to perceive the world. These are some ideas I came across after the rainbow incident...


  1. Don't limit yourself! (Look for as many colors as you can.)

    Don't view the world, your problems, yourself in black and white. There are so many ways to see the world. Look for all of the colors, the various shades, the differences, the similarities. Try not to think of everything as yes or no, do or don't. There are so many ways to see the world and, as I'm sure you know, the possibilities are endless. Don't limit yourself!

  2. Embrace uniqueness! (Don't assume that each color is the same.)

    Colors are equal, but they are different. They are all needed to make the rainbow, but each color is unique. Recognize that uniqueness in the world, in all of the people you meet, and in yourself. You are different for a reason, and that is great. If we were all the same, life would be extremely boring. Be happy when you meet someone not like you. Learn from him or her. Embrace that uniqueness!

  3. Know that we're all in it together! (Focus on how the colors work together.)

    A rainbow needs all of the colors to make it truly beautiful. Think about all of the people in your life -- co-workers, parents, friends, family members, doctors, teachers, etc. -- we all work together to make life the way it is. What do you contribute to the rainbow of the lives of others? What are you grateful that others contribute to your rainbow? Think about how we all are in this together!

  4. Be grateful for all kinds of happiness! (A rainbow is a rainbow, no matter how small.)

    Okay, so I sort of snagged this line from Horton Hears a Who (which you should absolutely see if you haven't!), but the concept is this: even though I might have been joking about a small rainbow in the passage above, a rainbow is great no matter what size it is. Whether you get to see a little glimpse of that happiness or an amazing spread-across-the-sky version of that joy, it's still great. Be grateful for all kinds of happiness!


The other day, before my own rainbow sighting, I read a post on Look Far called "The Rainbow." It was a really great post and I think it's great that we can all gain a little bit of inspiration from rainbows...or nature...or whatever beautiful thing they spring from. One important fact about rainbows is that you need both sunshine and rain to make them. You need the good and the bad.


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What wonderful lessons learned from a beautiful rainbow. I'll certainly be looking at them differently from now on.

Limiting ourselves can be quite common. When I've been faced with situations that seem limiting, I've started to realize that it's not the situation that's limiting but I'm limiting it - and that's usually because it's not fitting into what I think it should be whereas the situation just 'is'. When I change my perception of it, the situation changes and a solution springs up.

Thanks for the post; I enjoyed it.

You have an award on my blog! Thanks for the great inspiration!

I loved this post!!! I want a pair of your magic Ray Bans so I can see more rainbows:~)And we should ALL believe in magic.

My favorite suggestion is "Know that we're all in it together! (Focus on how the colors work together.)" That's what I find so cool about rainbows -- the colors blend together.

I also read Amanda's rainbow post...it's awesome when like minds come together and create...well...magic:~)

That's pretty cool. I really like this blog- thanks for commenting on mine so I could come over and see you. Great blog!

What a great post! It's so interesting to mention how we tend to limit ourselves as I had just come up with the description/affirmation for my life the other day - Lead a magical, limitless life. I think it's very important to be open, and I believe that magic is everywhere, not the spooky halloween kind, but real, honest, natural magic - like seeing a rainbow when others can't.

Great post as always. I think you've made a really good point. The lens you look at the world through can completely change what you see. It's the difference between people who see the glass as half full and those who see it as half empty.

Awesome sunglasses!! I want a pair of them!

I think there is so much we can learn from nature, and so I love how you've looked at the rainbow in comparison to life. Point three really jumps out for me - that we're all in it together, that the people we know make up our rainbow. And when I think about that, and what kind of rainbow I want to create in my life - that has me thinking about the people I associate with, and what are they adding to that rainbow.

Rainbows are always very uplifting I think - and something to be in awe of. They are magical! And so, I'm leaving here today, uplifted, thinking about the awesome rainbows I've seen - and the ones in my life today!

What a great story, and a positve message to share.
I love rainbows. :)
We all need to try not to limit ourselves and we need to be grateful for everything we have around us.
Have a beautiful day~
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

I especially like your point on we're all in this together. It's a system. Imagine if all the people in the world were on your side.

Thank you for the post. I especially enjoyed the part on being grateful. Sometimes I get so caught up things that I forget to be grateful for the present.

Hi Dani .. what a lovely post .. rainbows .. love them & always have done .. we had prisms as a child and we'd put them where the sun would catch them and rainbows would appear. I've got them now too .. hanging from the window catches .. so I have rainbows floating round some of my rooms .. still love them!!

I love your mix of 4 points .. we do all need to work together, to look at and share thoughts, laugh together, share each other's uniqueness and each other's colours, support each other .. look to the future and future happiness and gratitude ..

Thanks .. the positive air of California has roosted here ..
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Fabulous post. I am going to grab my sunglasses right now :)

Laurie - So glad you got something out of the lessons I learned. I usually do the same thing you do, limit myself with my own (negative thoughts). It's never good to limit yourself in any capacity. We miss out on so much when we do that!

Gym Rat Girl - Thank you for the award! :) You made me very happy by giving that to me. I'm glad PP has inspired you!

Sara - Yay! I'm so happy you liked it. I agree, maybe we all should believe in magic. Working together is so important, though it's not always easy to remember that we're not completely isolated in our existence. Most of us live in a very individualized society which makes it hard to think about the togetherness. That's why I think the rainbow is such a great image -- it reminds us of how beautiful we all are when we are united.

Dani - So glad you liked the blog! I'm glad I found yours today. :)

Ia - I love that -- "lead a magical, limitless life"! That's really great. Magic IS everywhere...you just have to open your eyes to it. (Halloween is actually my favorite day of the year though I'm not at all into scary things. Perhaps it is the good magic that I enjoy so much when I think about the holiday...)

Srinivas - Exactly! The lens through which we look at life really impacts everything. You can see the good as bad, and the bad as good. It's actually really like magic in a way!

Lance - Haha. You can buy 'em! I can't promise that they'll work magic for you though...;)I'm so glad you're thinking of uplifting rainbows. Such a positive thought to think of them and remember how, in many ways, we are all united into something truly beautiful.

Giovanna - What's not to love about rainbows? :) Sometimes it's hard not to be limited in our own perceptions of the world, but it's really important to try to focus on having a positive outlook. It makes such a difference!

J.D. - Wow, I just thought about that...What if the whole world were on your side, working for you...What a world that would be!

John - You're right. It's so easy to get caught up in ourselves and in our own lives that we forget to be thankful of the moment. Rainbows always bring out gratitude in me because I love seeing them and get to so rarely. They remind me of how beautiful life can be!

Hilary - Ooh, prisms! How lovely! Those remind me of Pollyanna, and I always wanted to have lots of lovely prisms like ones she hung around the house. It's so interesting how they catch the sun and reflect rainbows all around. Perhaps WE should be more like prisms, collecting positivity and spreading it to the world around us...

Molly - Glad you liked it! I hope your sunglasses help you see the positive all around you!

I love your writing and the parallels you draw.It is really a perspective, isn't it? And the beauty is in wearing those ray-bans without hiding your eyes from the world - it isquite a challenge but possible :)

Seeing rainbows is a great experience even if it does take magic Raybans! Very positive message and great thoughts. Thanks for sharing. May you always see the rainbow that lies beyond the rain.

Maya - Thank you! :) You make a good point about wearing the glasses without hiding your eyes...Something to think about!

Mark - Thanks for your well wishes. I hope you always see the rainbow too. Seeing rainbows (in reality or metaphorically) is wonderful!

Just breathing it in. Aaahhh...the beauty of these moments. Thank you!

What a great post, and so thought-provoking!

I find it so interesting how you described only being able to see the rainbow with the glasses on... You saw something beautiful, made a change in an attempt to see it even better, then realized that you were seeing it in its full glory in the first place. :)

As always wonderful post.
I was wondering if by any chance you would be interested in doing a guest post on my blog sometime? I love your writing and im sure my readers would as well. The post will link to your blog as well :)

Let me know.
I wish you love and peace of mind
Yours Truly,

So very beautifully said. Indeed, we need both the good and the bad in this life to create magic.

This was wonderful! Hey, what if the gold at the end of the rainbow IS happiness?
How we perceive things has everything to do with what we allow ourselves to see.

Chris - So glad you enjoyed it! :)

Sarah - Yes, such a good point! I tried to take off the glasses to see it better but, really, I was seeing it perfectly before. Very interesting point!

Allen - Thank you! Of course, I would love to guest post. Contact me through email at positivepresent@gmail.com and we can set something up. :)

Megan - Absolutely. In life we need both the good AND the bad. The sun is never as bright, the colors of the rainbow never as brilliant, without the sun.

Angie - Such a great thought! I love the idea that happiness is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Wonderful idea! Thanks for the comment.

Hi there! - I would also keep thinking that it was magic ;). It's interesting that, in a way, you wanted to see that rainbow without your sunglasses (because you took them off to look) and even described the rainbow as "missing" without them. Sometimes in life too, we want to see something but don't have the right perspective or lens. If we could change that then what we wanted to see would appear to us. Nice rainbow article!!

You know I have so say as cheesy as you are, I just love it. It's endearing.

Amanda - Thanks so much for your comment. You make a really good point here -- very interesting! A lot can be said about changing the rainbows in our lives. I'm glad you liked the article! :)

Nicole - Haha. I'm glad you like it! The old, gloomy me would've probably read this site and just about puked on it, but I'm really enjoying all of this positivity stuff. It's a lot more fun than I ever would have thought! :) Nice to know you like it, even if may be cheesy at times!

This post strikes a real chord with me because it's the foundation of my whole belief system. We choose how we see what's right in front of us. We choose whether we see good or bad in the world. Thanks for a thought-provoking post :)

Lori - So glad the post hit home with you! Thanks so much for the positive feedback. I really appreciate it!

We absolutely need to look for all the different colors and celebrate the uniqueness in each and every one of us. I really thought about what colors I contribute to other peoples rainbow and what they contribute to mine. Great, great exercise to keep you present.

Thanks as always for the great post!

*Good Things*

Holy comment explosion, Batman!

I was just going to say that you've actually managed to make me miss Florida. I used to see rainbows all of the time but I probably have only seen 2 since I've moved to NC. (In 3 years!)

Lo - So glad you found the exercise useful! It really is important to recognize that we're all unique but we all contribute something to others' lives.

Hayden - I LOLed when I read that first line! That must have been so great to live in FL and see rainbows all the time...maybe I need to move...;)

That is so interesting that you saw it with the sunglasses on! And it's great to look at it in such a positive way. there's nothing wrong with choosing the positive lens if its the way to see the rainbow :D

Penny - Yeah, it was really interesting that I saw it only with the glasses on. Positivity is great lens through which to view the world!

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