Dark cloud over your head? Go out anyways.



For many of you, winter is fast approaching if you’re in the Northern hemisphere.  For me, at Latitude 9, we’re wrapping up our rainy season.  There’s been a lot of rainy days lately so I thought I’d talk with you all today about storm clouds – that dark cloud that sometimes lingers over our head – and why we should all go out and get drenched in the rain.

fiery billed aracari, drenched in the rain, dark cloud over my headWe all have difficult times in our life, challenges that keep rolling in like the afternoon thunderstorms we get every day, here in Costa Rica.

And for many, Costa Rica seems like paradise – the perfect place to live. But, at least for me and for a lot of people I know, we have struggles, each and every day. Just like all of you.

Even when the sun is shining, there is often a dark cloud lingering overhead… but it teaches me to dig deeper, to grow, to learn, to challenge myself to find the light amongst the dark.  To not accept status quo or live in neutral.

Even with a storm cloud looming my life is still beautiful.

We’ve All Got Rain Clouds

Yes, it’s there, that dark cloud over my head.  I see it.  Mine have a few different names: discrimination, manipulation, being seen as an object…not as an equal.  It can also be demeaning, abusive and bad-mannered.

Maybe your storm cloud is health issues, loss of a loved one, or getting divorced.

When we notice our rain clouds overhead we have a choice. Be stuck right where we are, sheltered indoors. Or we can choose to acknowledge it, embrace the rainy day and take the necessary steps to move forward.

A bit of a side story: There was a fun and lovely young woman, in her early 20’s, who I met when I first moved to Costa Rica.  She told me how she was going back to the States for a quick trip and did I want her to bring me some galoshes for the upcoming stormy season.  I had to laugh, I had no idea what galoshes were – I was a California girl after all.

Having been here a few rainy seasons, I now understand why she recommended galoshes. I’ve learned to grab an umbrella and some rain boots – more often figuratively, than literally (flip flops are still my shoe of choice even in the rain) – to find my way through the storm and into the light.  To make a rainbow in the darkest of days…  As you might remember from Chapter 14, it is totally possible to make your own rainbow.

Life sucks at times.  It does for everyone. No one’s life is perfect.

But some people can still show up and thrive in our imperfect world. That is what I choose to do and that is what I want you to do.

Battling My Own Clouds

My life is beautiful because it has meaning to it, purpose, and I choose to live in the present, rather than complain about the past or spend all my time dreaming about the future.

I choose to see all the beauty, the light, the hope.  I choose only to work with people who see me as equal.  I choose to associate with people who want more out of their life than just a mundane, survival-based existence.

That dark cloud still hovers nearby, but I choose not to let it dictate who I am or how I show up in the world.  I choose to continue to show up, every day, even when it’s a tropical storm for days on end. Last rainy season, we had nearly 40 days of nonstop rain.  I seriously considered building an ark.

In all seriousness, by doing so – not actually building the arc – but by showing up, I make my own rainbow.  I’m able to feel so much more joy and happiness and appreciation because I know what it feels like to be down in the muck, sopping wet with nonstop thundering clouds overhead.

To truly experience LIFE and not just live in neutral, we must experience both the good and the not-so-ideal.  To find the light amongst the dark.  To make our own rainbow.  To look within and be happy with who we are and to show up as a bright light, even when the world is crumbling.  Because we’re strong, courageous and, we choose to live in the present moment.  We choose to make every moment meaningful.

That young woman I mentioned, her bright light was extinguished not too long after our galoshes conversation. She was senselessly killed, the details still today I cannot understand. But I hold our chat that day, her warm smile and kind offer in my heart and know that her brightness touched so many others as well. Her death acts a reminder as well, to live life each day to its fullest, even in the midst of tragically stormy skies.

What dark cloud hovers over your head?

How is it preventing you from living a full life?

How can you acknowledge its existence but still find the light, the rainbow? To get out of feeling stuck under the cloud and instead embrace the falling rain?

Share the love…

Share with me… what are your dark clouds and how will you choose to show up and make your own rainbow? Accepting both the rain and the sunshine. Leave me a comment below…

Until next time, be Simply Sanguine.



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chrissy gruningerChrissy Gruninger is an author and mindset coach. She mentors people on how to live their ONE beautiful life, wherever they may be. Her latest book, Lost and Found in the Land of Mañana explores her life in Costa Rica and both the challenges of working and living abroad as well as the beautiful life we can create from those experiences.

She loves her rainforest beach shack in Costa Rica, the sunshine and the rain and passionately believes that through intentional actions we create more happiness, health and harmony in the world. 

Her goal: to empower others to thrive in an imperfect world.