… from the bungalow

Pooping Rainbows: Not Just for Fools and Space Cats

26 Comments

Viper Top Gun "sunshine up your ass"

"Now I'm not gonna sit here and blow sunshine up your ass, Lieutenant."

Ever been accused of blowing sunshine up someone’s ass*? I haven’t yet, at least not to my face. But I feel like it’s only a matter of time. I sometimes hesitate to share thoughts and articles pertaining to joy and love and other such hippie-esque virtues because of what appears to be an overpopulation of online naysayers and trolls.

It seems that in this microcosm of electronic communication and semi-anonymity that we call the interwebz, cynicism has become the increasingly popular stance to take. (Not being friendly is much easier to do when you’re not standing eye-to-eye with someone.) Now, I do love me some good sarcasm here and there. Oh, you’re being sarcastic? I get it. Very funny. And witty. Congratulations. How’s that working for you? But as a Facebook/blogging friend (TMiYC) put it, “I used to be a huge fan of sarcasm. Now I prefer direct, honest human connection.” Exactly.

I often feel like positive thinking is being asked to take a back seat. Inspiration has gotten a bum rap. Not everything intended to be inspiring on the Internet is “blowing sunshine up your ass” or “shitting rainbows**.” It’s about GRATITUDE, one of the most powerful emotions we can experience. What’s more: it’s something we can choose to feel. How great is that?!

Nyan Cat

Nyan.Cat: Rocketing through space on a never-ending supply of rainbow ass-fuel since April, 2011.

So why does it seem like so many people are against expressing good feelings and spreading inspiration? Do they think it’s unrealistic? Do they think I’m a fool or that I’m naive? Do they think my life is blissfully simple? (Far from it.) Is it lame to express joy? Are they jealous? Personally, I think it has something to do with rationalization and this little thing called cognitive dissonance. (The Wiki on cognitive dissonance is pretty good.)

sour faceThey perceive something to be elusive or unattainable (e.g., joy, happiness), so they find ways to diminish its validity. (That’s fancy-talk for “sour grapes.”) Granted, there are probably just as many inspiring and uplifting folks as there are sour grapes and Debbie Downers (if not more). But they stand out! A frown, even a virtual one, will always stand out in a crowd of smilers.

These cynical Doubty McDoubtersons (thanks, Karin) have the misfortune of believing themselves to be “realists.” Without going post-modern or new age-y on your asses, isn’t “reality” simply what we see and experience? Or is that just perspective? If so, isn’t my perspective just as valid as one belonging to someone else? Perspective and context are the infrastructure of what we view as reality. What I think and feel determines my experience in any given moment, so my reality is always shifting, never stationary, never absolute. So go ahead and react to your surroundings. Deal with it in any way you know how. Just maintain a balance. There’s no point in fixating on how difficult or pointless things seem to be. Why not find the silver lining, take the higher road or find purpose in the chaos?

To that end, I want to take this opportunity to share with you some of my favorite blogs and Facebook pages. Some of them are staples in my online diet while others are relatively new to me. All of them are inspiring, whether inspiration is the primary focus or a fortunate side effect. The common thread? Gratitude.

The Monster in Your Closet (Deborah Bryan)
TMiYC on Facebook
http://deborah-bryan.com/

I’m sure you know Deb by now. She has become a very real friend to me despite knowing her only digitally. Compassionate, articulate and honest (and let’s not forget delightfully nerdy), you can count on wearing a smile with every post she writes. She also holds a law degree and is a talented author of young adult fiction.

I Want a Dumpster Baby (Katy)
IWaDB on Facebook
http://www.wantadumpsterbaby.com/

If you love heart and humor, and haven’t already read Kitty’s (sort of my online “pet name” for Katy, no offense to her awesome husband!) blog, do it! In her words, she’s “fucking funny. And pretty nice too.” She’s been sober for 10 years, and hasn’t eaten anything with a face for twice as long. But she’s not a dick about it. Promise.

Mynewfavoriteday
Mynewfavoriteday on Facebook
http://mynewfavoriteday.com/

I’m new to her blog and FB page, but she and I are on the same page when it comes to connecting with others in a meaningful way, even if the specifics are different. From her site: “what I found out … was that these emotions and feelings were not unique to us or our circumstances, but rather permeated all of your personal experiences…” (Connections! Context! Perspective!) It’s a blog filled with gratitude focused on making each day “mynewfavoriteday.”

Don’t Pet the Sweaty Stuff
Don’t Pet the Sweaty Stuff on Facebook

New here, too, but DPtSS talks a lot about gratitude, gives people a place to share gratitude and demonstrates a healthy balance between gratitude and sarcasm. Just don’t ask for help with your math homework.

The Dash Between (Christine)
The Dash Between on Facebook
http://brilliantlyred.wordpress.com/

Again, new to this page/blog. Showing appreciation and humor, she’s living the dash between (1974 – ?).

Yes I’m on My Way (Emma Jewel)
http://www.emmajewel.blogspot.com/

Em is a single parent (well, she was–she’s now engaged) with an exceptional son. It’s a blog rich in self-empowerment that strives to inspire. She’s also one of my longest-standing and most loyal readers. 🙂

MAD Queendom
MAD Queendom on Facebook

From her page, “Inspired to motivate, entertain, inform with positive energy–with a MAD point of view!” That pretty much sums it up.

Moms Who Drink and Swear (Nikki)
MWDaS on Facebook
http://www.chicagonow.com/moms-who-drink-and-swear

Nikki’s page really needs no introduction, as she now has almost 187k fans. And while she certainly needs to pimping from me, I like to make sure my readers know about her blog regularly. Because, despite what the newcomer might think of her page from glancing at the title, Nikki is passionate about what she believes in, and she knows how important it is to find balance between ranting about the woes of parenthood and loving the shit out of those little fuckers. She’s a foul-mouthed therapist and mother with–count ’em–two master’s degrees. A woman after my own heart!

That’s all for now. Any more might cause gratitude overload (and make for a ridiculously long post). Enjoy these fellow bloggers/pages, and share your gratitude with them. It’s contagious.

I’ve said it before: life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. But to the extent that I can craft my filter and focus my lens to see the beauty in life, I will do so proudly and without apology. Remember, we’re building a community here. To my friends old and new, welcome to the neighborhood. I’m grateful for you!

Pooping rainbows since 1976,

 

   

P.S. Please share your thoughts! The more thoughts shared, the broader our perspectives become! Also, what are you grateful for? 🙂

P.P.S. I’m also really grateful for the times you share my posts! (Nudge, nudge.)

*This implies disingenuity. My happiness, I can assure you, is genuine.

**The term “shitting rainbows” here is in reference to a sort of delusional, artificial or naive happiness.

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Author: Chris

A dad with a self-evaluation complex. Also a music therapist, college enrollment administrator, and hippie-nerd.

26 thoughts on “Pooping Rainbows: Not Just for Fools and Space Cats

  1. ok, you are a doll. Secondly, I lean towards genuine and hippie love stuff too. It is a fine line we walk online where the tendency is to be sarcastic and snotty. And that is where we are sometimes, but to express gratitude and genuine vulnerability in a not SCREAMING AT YOU fashion, is more difficult. I’m drawn to that more. Which is why I’m drawn to you and FTB. Well done my friend. xo

    • Thanks, Kitty! Yes, there is a level of vulnerability involved in expressing thanks and happiness. And I think people tend to scream gratitude as a way of over-compensating for the inevitable backlash. It could be a sign of insecurity. I’m finding that I care less and less about what others think, especially online. It’s so easy to be nasty to someone that it’s hard to take it personally.

  2. Love it! I have been on a mission for a while now to expunge the Debbie Downers from my life. Unfortunately, it becomes impossible when they are family. So instead, I practice tolerance, and bite my tongue although sometimes, the truth needs to be heard. It isn’t pretty, but it is definitely effective!

    • Thanks, Teri! For me–and this is difficult to do–the best way to keep Debbie Downers at bay (for the times you can’t just let them go) is to be a shining example of happiness. I’m not always good at this, but I try. I have to work at my happiness, which is why I try to surround myself with inspiration.

  3. What a wonderful post! Thank you SO much for including me in it! I’ve told Mister many times I didn’t have any real purpose when starting the FB page, other than to share my blog with anyone who might be interested. And then I saw an opportunity to just put some pictures/posts out there that made me smile and hopefully do the same to other people.

    I find it a bit ironic that this happened to be your post today, as I was hesitant to post the “Love” pictures I did. I figured it might be too mushy and sappy for most people. And it may be. But I also figure if it makes just one person feel good/better/smile than it’s worth it. Even if I am that only person.

    I have my own reasons to be pissed and angry at life, but I don’t like living in that dark place. I’d rather spread sunshine and happiness, and hell, if I could shit rainbows I’d be even happier (and richer, because there’s a pot of gold there, right?!). I love everything about this post, and how well you’ve stated exactly what is in my heart and on my mind. I can’t believe I hadn’t followed your blog yet, but I corrected that error right now! I’m off to read more of the other blogs you’ve listed that I haven’t visited yet!

    Have a beautiful day!! ❤

    • Thank you, Christine! It’s my pleasure to include you.

      I have my own reasons to be pissed and angry at life, but I don’t like living in that dark place.

      Exactly. Why do that to yourself? Some people would say, “Well, it’s just the way things are. It’s reality.” Of them, I think, “Another victim of circumstance.” There’s power in the decision to seek happiness. Personal responsibility can be scary, but it’s oh so empowering.

      You have a beautiful day, too!

  4. Wonderful post! I love it!

    I also have lots of reasons to be all sorts of pissy about my life, and I lived in that dark place for a long time. I refuse to do it anymore. Life is too short to do that. And I love to find the happy inspirational blogs – they always help when I’m having an “off” day (or week).

    You are awesome. Thanks for sharing all of these – going to go make sure I’m following all of them….

    🙂
    Amy

    • Thanks, Amy! Yes, I try to surround myself with inspiration. The hardest times in my life have had the biggest impact on my overall happiness. Adversity itself doesn’t build character. Perspective and character in the face of adversity gives birth to happiness.

  5. I’m going to cheat and use my status from yesterday evening, slightly modified:

    I drink. I swear. I get angry, especially when needless risks are taken to save a penny or a second, and I am vocal in these moments.

    But overall, I am grateful. I have a life filled with blessings.

    It amazes me when people think that an “attitude of gratitude” means you must just have it too easy to know the difference. In my case and in the cases of a lot of those beloved by me, it means we’ve gone through hell and made a choice to not let that hell define the rest of our lives.

    This gratitude? It’s real. It’s raw. It’s not smarmy or weak-hearted.

    It’s thus that I am super freakin’ excited for this post. Your thoughts on this subject are an articulate, considered reflection of what’s behind dismissing gratitude as weak and/or silly.

    I ♥ them, you, and the folks you’ve linked here, so much. ♥

    • Thank you, Deb! It’s OK to use last night’s FB status because you had a sneak peak.

      it means we’ve gone through hell and made a choice to not let that hell define the rest of our lives.

      Exactly. There’s real power there. Not that my hardships should be compared to, say, those of a Holocaust survivor. But I’ve seen more amazing examples of sheer joy demonstrated by those who have experienced that kind of hell. I suppose it’s a matter of contrast and personal strength. Never weakness.

  6. I realize that not everyone has had a happy childhood and has lost faith in humanity – my fiance being one of them. It is a challenge sometimes to manage his cynicism – but I don’t just sit there – I make him face it.
    He says he’s just telling the truth – I say, “no – you don’t know how to feel or you don’t know what to say so you go cynical, no… not always cynical… you go MEAN.”
    He’s getting much better at listening to the words and tone he uses. He grew up in a very different family structure and environment than I did. I always see the good in people first, expect the good in people, probably trust people too much sometimes… At the same time I am a good judge of character – if something or someone makes me feel nervous, I take extra emotional (or physical) precautions and really notice my surroundings. I find the nearest exits or plan an escape route (emotional or physical).
    C is learning to see the good in people, to trust a little first before expecting to be hurt. He has seen my family dynamic and I refuse to live differently. At one time I was a cynic – very negative, at the same time thinking I was being realistic – in reality I was being depressed and pushing people away so I wouldn’t get hurt. While I haven’t experienced half of the loss he has, I know what it’s like to fear pain.
    C understands that I love him and I want to be with him – he also knows that I refuse to fight with my partner on a regular basis. I’ve said these words: “I’m worth more than that, and I won’t settle for less.”
    The time between the “come to Jesus” talks and understanding that he’s caused me pain – the time has shrunk significantly. He’s not quite to the point of breathing to relax before “just telling the truth” but he’s getting better. I know he deserves a happier life, and I know he can get there.
    I don’t blame him at all for being so afraid of pain and misery – he needs to learn that there are good people out there who want a better world, and who want to make society better.
    He’s getting there… To be honest, I think he’s lucky to have met me… and my family.
    He’s said several times lately that he wants a happier life, he doesn’t want to live in anger and cynicism and pain anymore. How he needs to let go of the pain and grief and hurt that has plagued him for so many years.
    While I don’t pretend to KNOW or UNDERSTAND his pain, I try to help him find the ‘yes’ in the “what if”… To know that just because he’s had a hard morning at work doesn’t mean he’s failed. To know that everyone has an off day or has a hard time dealing with a certain time of year – but that doesn’t mean he has to dwell on it.
    It has taken YEARS for me to not dwell on things – specifically pain and the past – It took me two years to realize that I didn’t have the energy to spend on hating CJ’s bio dad – that I had to let go of that anger and focus my energies on something more important – like CJ.
    CJ understands that I’m not angry at S anymore for leaving me – but that I will always be angry at S for leaving CJ… And that it’s okay to be angry and sad, but that it can’t run your life…
    I think this is another blog post in a reply 😛

    • Thanks, EmmaJewel. I’m sure that choosing to be with a partner that doesn’t share your own perspective on life can be trying for both of you. But he obviously loves you, whether it’s despite your attention to positive thoughts or because of it. There’s really no right or wrong. It’s more a matter of conditioning or learned patterns of thought. Both of your perspectives are “right.” But who’s happier?

      • Oh I’m happier in life, I can guarantee that. However, C is really growing to understand why I have my positive attitude. Really, is it a huge problem if the cat tosses up a hairball on the kitchen floor, or is it more important to make sure the rent check went through?
        He’s learning 🙂

  7. I am a little bit teary to be honest, this is so unexpected, so lovely and such perfect timing. I am so touched to be included here and I am nearly without words (and that almost never happens:))

    Why is your timing is perfect…not just because it so brightened.

    Life is so dramatically far from easy and I have often wondered as I blog, if I was more cynical or sarcastic would that be more relatable to folks, but then
    I realize that’s not who I am. I have survived so many different experiences and for reason the lemonade tastes sweeter when I add a little sugar rather than just focusing on the lemons.

    To have you write this, while addressing both sides and that it is absolutely positive to be positive is just heart warming and reinforcing which we all need now and then.

    Additionally, I love seeing the other folks that you recommend as it’s always great to find like-minded folks who can support one another as a inspirational place while still finding a few laughs:)

    Thank you Chris, doesn’t seem like enough, but maybe with a few <3's I can begin to show my gratitude!

    • Thank you for the great comment, Shannon! I feel that way a lot. It seems like the most popular pages on Facebook are the ones that focus on scathing sarcasm. Again, there’s a place for it, but like I always say, I love Love. Gratitude is magically uplifting. I struggle quite a bit with finding a balance in my blogging voice. I get frustrated and angry. I cuss and gripe. But I also love deeply and sincerely. I have to remember that this is a personal blog, not a service or product site. As such, it should be multifaceted, as I am.

      I’m glad to be able to spread the love a bit. There are lots of pages that I could include in a post like this. You can thank TMiYC for pointing me in your direction! 😉

  8. Pingback: A last minute post for a ‘newfavoriteday.’ Who doesn’t want to poop rainbows? | mynewfavoriteday

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and pointing us in the direction of other positive bloggers. It’s so difficult to stay upbeat when there are sour grapes everywhere in daily life. It’s nice to be able to come home and immerse myself in gratitude. (I wish I had a more eloquent comment, but I’m fighting major brain fatigue!)

    • Jess, how dare you leave such a non-eloquent comment! 😛 Kidding.

      You’re welcome, and thank you for reading and commenting. I agree. It’s nice to get those reminders!

  10. Hi Chris! Deb (TMiYC) recommended I check out your blog today and I’m glad I did! I couldn’t agree more about the power of positivity (and love Deb’s For This I Am Thankful series). I have a ‘guilty pleasure’ blog and I’m sure it comes across as really ridiculous and vapid to some folks, but I can’t think of a blog I’d rather have! I’m looking forward to checking out other posts of yours, as well as the terrific-sounding bloggers you’ve listed here. Signed, Julie, Professional Sunshine Blower (er, you know what I mean)

    • Hi, Julie! I’m glad you stopped by. 🙂 I remember seeing something on Deb’s page about a guilty pleasure post. Must be you! I’ve briefly checked out your blog and I love the premise! Subscribed. 🙂

  11. I feel like most of it comes from a refusal to take responsibility for the things in your life. I’m always trying to silence the negative folks and spin things on a more positive note when I can. A number of folks in my circle will worry unnecessarily about anything that could possibly happen.
    Thanks for the positive blog selections, It’s folks like them that keep me reading ^^

    • I agree. A lot of it comes down to personal responsibility. What some people don’t realize is that there’s a lot of power in taking responsibility for everything that happens in their lives. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  12. Some nice spot-on observations here. Well done!
    I’m often accused of being negative but I prefer to be called realistic! I wish I could be sunnier, but it’s not in the cards…

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