People ask me regularly how I stay so positive. Trust me loves, it’s not because my life is easy or only filled with Hurray. In fact, there’s quite a bit of what-the-hey in my life, in my community, and in our world. There’s plenty to upset me. And I used to let it consume me. It’s easy when things are not {seemingly} going your way to only see the clouds and rain. And yet, is that serving you? Is focusing on the disaster at hand really helping you grow, and feel, and live fully? What if you could look for and find the silver lining?

I’m not saying you should ignore any upsetting feelings or emotions that are “unpleasant”. But the key is to gently guide your focus away from fears, misunderstandings, judgements, and negativity and toward a more loving view. When love is the lens we use to view events, an unfortunate happenstance can turn into a new opportunity. 

Along with the sad and bad (as we are judging them to be, at least) often comes goodness and hope. I saw this first hand during my recent trip to Hawaii, in a very physical way. First, my trip to Hawaii last month came with lots of actual clouds and rain. For such a sunny island, Oahu sure loved to rain down on us while we were doing photo shoots for this site. Off and on all day for several days, I was out in the wilderness and beaches of Hawaii in my underwear or bathing suit, getting rained on, and bit by bugs. Ugh. But guess what came with that rain: rainbows. Like ALL the time. Everyday. It was amazing!

Too many people miss the silver lining because they’re expecting gold.

-Maurice Setter

If I had expected only sunshine and no rain, and accepted only this as an outcome, I could have missed the rainbows. I would have heard the weather reports and stayed indoors to avoid the showers. I would never have been in the way of beauty. I encourage you: be open to the silver lining in seemingly unfortunate situations.

OK, I hear your voice now: “But Kimmay, a little rain in your day is no big deal. Of course you can find the silver lining in that. What about something bigger, or worse?” Fine. Let me set the scene for you. After working for three days straight (yes, in the rain off and on), I finally had my first free day in Hawaii. The sun was shining, and I walked solo to enjoy some time on Waikiki beach. I soaked in the sunshine, the wind in my hair, and the surf and sand on my feet. I even treated myself to lunch at a fancy restaurant on the beach. But what started as a perfect day turned into a nightmare. I went from sunning on the beach to getting violently ill, falling to the floor in pain, and being assisted by a lifeguard, security guard, 2 EMTs, and 4 Firefighters in the poolside bathroom of that fancy hotel. Having food poisoning, and being taken out on a gurney to the ambulance while tears streamed down my face was not in my plans for the day. Or ever. I was alone, and in pain, and scared. For the last of my days in Hawaii, I was almost completely confined to my bed, to bland food, no alcohol, and lots of fatigue and weakness. Hurray.

It was quite ideal, I suppose, that my time in Hawaii was spent shooting the photos for this very blog post. I was already dreaming up my advice to share on how to find the silver lining in every moment when this occurred. Here I was, presented with a VERY clear opportunity to find the silver lining in a pretty cloudy situation. So I put my own advice to work. I know that it’s possible to find the silver lining because I have put the advice below to the test over and over again. It’s not just “think positively”, though that is a great tactic. It’s more about trusting that each and every moment in our life is there to serve us. See what I mean below.

Hurray! 10 Ways to Find the Silver Lining

1. Seek the truth. Slow down and ask yourself what is really going on, what is true vs. what you made up, and what opportunity this event or circumstance has brought forth for your growth and learning. “My life is ruined!” or “This is the worst EVER” or “There’s no way to fix this!” is not usually the case. So step back for a minute and ask what is really true. What really happened here? What is actually going on? What is really in your power to change or update?

The truth is, I got sick but I wasn’t really alone. I had a whole crew of professionals there to help me. And I wasn’t deathly ill. I ate some poison and my body was not having it.

2. Have a sense of humor. This is my FAVORITE way to say hurray and find the silver lining. When it feels like everything is going wrong, keep it from weighing you down by lightening up. Can you see the humor in this? Can you laugh at yourself for being human? Can you see how this may play out in a comedy or movie? Look on the bright side, and laugh with life. (Example: When bugs bit me during my photo shoot in a botanical garden in Hawaii. Laughing about it was way more fun than crying about it!)

When I look back at it, it’s quite funny that I got sick and made a very dramatic scene in one of the fanciest (most Instagram worthy) hotels on the beach. If you saw the way I fell to the floor in melodramatic fashion, and had 8 men assisting me at once, you’d realize this was MADE for a movie. 

Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.

-Allen Klein

3. Practice trust and faith. Trust that this is for your highest good. Have faith that it’s happening for you and not to you. This is a favorite takeaway from working with my own coach, and one that I offer to many of my coaching clients. Each cloudy situation is a possibility to practice your trust and faith that God, the universe, your inner guide, or whoever has your back. You can lean on that higher power for strength as you build your trust and faith muscles. 

Gabby Bernstein calls mishaps in life “a detour in the right direction”. Sometimes we believe that a blocked road is a massive disturbance or a plague upon our day. Wow. “Plague upon us!” seems rather drastic, I know – but alas dear reader, we often have this level of reaction when things do not go as we planned. Don’t even try to lie to yourself about this. I know it’s not just me. 

Wanna know a secret? You can find the silver lining in any situation. Kimmay gives tips on how to stay positive on the blog

In reality, most things are not a plague (unless it’s an actual plague) and are not as gloomy as we make them out to be. And (this part is important), even if they are that serious (which, yes, horrific and hurtful and sad things do occur), I wonder why it showed up on our behalf. Was there a deeper level of emotion we had the opportunity to feel? Did going through this tragedy give you a chance to be closer to someone or to yourself? Did you see the possibility to explore your own character, strengths, and needs? Sometimes the silver lining is that this bummer is really God getting us back on track.

Learning to lean on God was a big hurray for me in the whole food poisoning situation. I really had to trust that I was guided and supported, even when I felt alone and scared. In fact, the slowing down allowed me a lot of reflection time that I may not have taken otherwise. 

4. Show gratitude. I know this one feels odd, but if you truly believe that this is happening for you and not to you, it opens up the opportunity to be thankful for what’s going on. It’s all here for your highest good. I have an entire blog post on how to be thankful for the tough stuff, and I encourage you to read it and let me know what you think.

Believe it or not, I’m really thankful for the food poisoning event because it prompted me to finally go see a gastroenterologist. It’s been on my list of things to do for over a year, as I’ve been suffering with chronic digestive issues for that long. Thank God this was the reason I finally went in. Stay tuned to see what the doctor finds.

Why is Kimmay so happy? She finds the silver lining in any situation and she can help you do the same!

5. Find three positives. One of my coaching clients is working on bringing positivity into her life right now. I suggested this small practice of finding three positives for every negative. She calls it “three hurrays for every boo”. Go ahead and challenge yourself to find three positive things, right now, about your life or about a particular situation. Just three. That’s all that’s required. Start there and see what happens.

Three positives: 1) There was a woman across from me in the bathroom who went to get help and put a wet washcloth on me as I got sick. Kind people do exist! 2) This all happened AFTER the photo shoots were already done and in the books. 3) My sister pointed out that I was so fortunate that this happened in a well populated and high end location. There were teams of people ready to come to my rescue.

6. What did NOT happen? Ok so that bummer thing happened. True. But what DID NOT happen for which you can say hurray? What were you spared? What could have happened? When my husband fell from a ladder holding a very heavy air conditioner and split his head on a nightstand just before he was due to leave town, we could have focused only on the what-they-hey. Instead, I realized that he did NOT get a concussion. He did NOT gouge his eye out on the corner of the nightstand. He did NOT break any bones or sprain anything. Thank God! Did he need to go to urgent care to get stitches? Yes! But the list of things that did NOT happen was way longer. And for that I am so grateful.

What did not happen? I did not die. I didn’t have to go to the hospital. I wasn’t stranded on a remote beach. I wasn’t far from my hotel. I wasn’t alone. 

Check out the latest Hurray Kimmay blog about finding positivity even in hard times, Kimmay is pictured wearing LeMystere lingerie

7. Look for the opportunity. Part of finding the silver lining involves actively looking for it. Make the decision. Be the person who looks for the opportunity within the grayness. What is here for you? What is possible for your community? What’s this event or situation here to offer you and our world? 

The opportunities here are to take a deeper look at my chronic digestive issues, to slow down and rest after such a big trip, to care for myself x1000. 

8. What will serve you? This is an important question to ask. Because sometimes diving into the darkness and exploring your emotions around something tricky is really important. It can serve you in ways of understanding yourself and finding misunderstandings so you can evolve. However, dwelling on or focusing on only the negative is most likely not serving you or those around you. So when you find yourself in a bummer situation, ask yourself what will serve you here. Will finding the positive in the situation help you? Will seeking the truth serve you?

I know it served me well to look on the bright side of all this. It would only have made things worse to focus on the bummer of it all. 

Kimmay gives tips on how to find a silver lining, here Kimmay is in Hawaii in LeMystere Lingerie

9. Surround yourself with positivity. Misery loves company. Sadness wants others to feel as sad and alone and upset as it is, and it will seek out others to validate those feelings. You can consciously choose to put positive people, things, and thoughts in your life. Fill up your social media feed with positive people. Place positive mantras and reminders around your house and office. Make an intention to seek out and spend time with positive people in your life. Work with a coach to create positive practices in your life.

I reached out for positive vibes, fun memes and gifs, and support from my friends on Facebook and in person. Bring me all the hurray!

The big picture doesn’t just come from distance; it also comes from time.

-Simon Sinek

10. Give it time. Sometimes you’ll find the silver lining right away. Sometimes it takes time. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a hard time finding the hurray in something when you’re “in it”. Take a deep breath and allow yourself to feel what is going on now, with the knowledge that understanding and finding the silver lining will come in time. If you are actively looking for it, and keeping your eyes on the larger picture and not just this one incident, it will come.

I have been practicing positivity and finding the silver lining for awhile now, so I was able to do so in this case pretty fast. However, it still took some time to reflect back on the traumatic experience with perspective and humor. 

***

In the bigger picture, there are even cloudier things that we face. I know. And I hope that you’ll be extra compassionate with yourself and each other as we navigate those together. In our environment, our politics, and our communities, we are more likely to make positive progress when we work together, find the silver lining, and look at it all with a lens of love.

Your Turn: How can you practice finding the silver lining? In what areas of our life – on the inside, outside, and underneath – can you apply the tips and advice here? What other tips do you have? Share with us here in the comments!

PS: The images in this blog post were taken on the #HurrayVacay in Hawaii by photographer, Becky Yee. I never airbrush/retrouch my body or face. I show you the real deal – rolls, stretch marks, crepe skin, bug bites (yikes!)… and glowing beauty. Because you and I and everyone are beautiful just as we are. Bug bites and all.

 Sponsor Spotlight 

A huge hurray for bra and lingerie brand, Le Mystere, for helping me create this blog post for you! I have been fitting people into Le Mystere bras for as long as I’ve been a bra fitter – since 2005. They’re an honest-to-hurray go to brand for me when fitting my bra fitting clients, and many of their bras are in my own bra drawer, for sure.

They’ve been around since 1991 and are well known for making THE bra that Oprah recommended in her famous bra show in 2003. Since then, they’ve created some very supportive bras that mix pretty and practical in the most innovative ways. You may have seen me share them on The Rachael Ray Show, and will soon see them in a special video I made with Today.com at Saks Fifth Avenue. Hurray!

Want to try the bras and panties I’m wearing in this blog post? Check them out here: Comfort Chic Lounge Bra (I’m wearing a size 32DD/E) Comfort Chic Bikini I’m wearing a size Medium); Safari Bra (I’m wearing a size 32DD/E) and Safari Smoother Bikini (I’m wearing a size Medium)

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