Are you choosing to live your life over, under, or on the rainbow?
A friend of mine was reflecting on his first weeks of 2016 and how his year was shaping up. We are both very visual people, so he used vivid and colorful imagery when he told me that he felt like he was living his life on a rainbow. I was intrigued. It was not until I gave this concept some considerable thought that I really understood just what he was saying.
Being on the rainbow is the sweet spot.
This means being in alignment with our thoughts and values, it means finding a sense of balance and joy that emanates organically from the inside out, and it means having the kind of moment, day or life that we most desire. Living life on the rainbow permits us to see our world realistically, close up and in bold color. If we are perched on the rainbow we are experiencing both that which we love and that which we may not. Either way, we are living in the moment, focusing on the Technicolor and enjoying the process of life, not contingent on outcomes as much as on the journey itself. Living on the rainbow affords us front row seats to commit to ourselves and to make positive and powerful choices from a place of consciousness and not from a place of fear.
If being on the rainbow is the ideal, what does being over the rainbow indicate? Like Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz, living life over the rainbow creates unrealistic expectations of how we want our days to be. Dorothy searches to escape her environment, but once she does, she longs to be back home once again. Living an over the rainbow life promotes a “the grass is always greener” viewpoint steeped in a state of pretend and disconnected from the truth around us. Like the Tin Man without a heart, the Scarecrow without a brain, and the Cowardly Lion without courage, allowing ourselves to camp out over the rainbow keeps us in such a dream like state that we remain out of sync within our own worlds. All three characters possess and demonstrate all the characteristics that they most desire and yet they cannot see that for themselves. Living an over the rainbow life may appear to be carefree, but a reality check tells us that never understanding how unique and special we are can keep us always wanting more, or craving something else that we don’t think we already innately possess. Living over the rainbow robs us of really enjoying our lives because we may feel that we are never worthy of love, never smart enough, or brave enough. Our fears guide our decisions. Unless we learn to face these fears, we often are not making any decisions; at least none that allow us the freedom to evolve and change.
The song “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” casts a false illusion of life with lyrics that lull us into believing that this is a place “where dreams that we dare to dream really do come true,” or that “troubles melt like lemon drops.” Our dreams come true when we demonstrate commitment and discipline in taking action to make them come true. The reality is if our troubles melted like candy, we would never be motivated to take action to make things better or to learn from setbacks. Learning how to negotiate the downhill may be a less desirable but significant component of our own personal growth. Like Dorothy, we remain trapped in Oz and forever searching for a way out.
Living under the rainbow is similar to “being in the forest and missing the trees.” We may be surrounded with beauty all around us, but when we live under the rainbow we may be just going through the motions of life, not the experience of life itself. Busy being busy, we may miss what is in front of us. We see the stunning rainbow, but we may be more inclined to take a picture of it and post it on social media rather then to take the time to sit back and enjoy the actual beauty of being surrounded by it. Living under the rainbow can lead to dissatisfaction and limitation in our lives. We may want to be on the rainbow, but we may not know how to navigate the challenges in our lives long enough to appreciate what we have accomplished. Are we so busy that we have lost our deepest connection to ourselves?
Unfortunately, I was just recently at a friend’s father’s funeral. What impressed me during his service was the genuine celebration of the man. A man I did not know, but would have loved to have known, because he was a fearless example of a life well lived.
Living our lives doesn’t always equal a life well lived.
Leading a life well lived requires us to show up no matter what, to be present and engaged, to make choices to keep evolving, and to recognize that while everything may not always be perfect, this is the life we have. We might as well choose to live it in color!
Where are you spending your time? As for me, I like being on the rainbow. Great view!
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
I think that my biggest acceptance is of myself! My goal is to be as transparent and authentic a person as I can be and that requires a little less perfection and a little more overall acceptance of imperfections. Since I am a work-in-progress this is an ongoing and empowering goal.
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I have learned to appreciate the wins and the fails. When something does not go as planned, instead of thinking why me, I strive to think about what I can now do with the situation at hand. So, if I did not achieve something, I ask myself what I can do differently to reach for this goal. I evaluate if it is time to scrap this project and fold what I have learned into something else. Essentially, I like to process and utilize the fails as a foundation and a springboard for the wins.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
Reinventing myself as a certified transitional reinvention coach is one of my most rewarding achievements and one that keeps me on the rainbow! I am so proud of my pivot and it continues to fuel my goals of helping others to change and evolve at any age.
4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?
As I mentioned above, I really like to lean into those imperfections! They stimulate growth. So, one of my challenges in starting my own business was to become tech literate. For a long time, I kept falling just short of assessing what I needed to learn and accomplish on social media, web etc. I would dance around the idea of video. None of this was my comfort zone and yet…in order to be transparent and true to myself…I needed to step right into the discomfort. It is really joyous to know you are doing something that you are uncomfortable with, don’t do that well, and yet…are doing! Magical.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my ability to dream and visualize. In today’s world it is increasingly difficult to find the time to have a vision and to allow it to take flight. I feel that this freedom to think and imagine creatively impacts my coaching and my writing. It also reconnects me to myself in a very empowering way.