I love color. I mean, I really love color. Color gets me out of bed in the morning when I am working on new paintings, excited to mix and blend and bring color to life. I often dream about colors, juxtaposing them in daring new ways. I almost always choose what I want to wear each day based on the color. Whether I am wearing it, blending it or surrounding myself with it in my home, color sets my soul on fire.
Perhaps it all started with the colorful butterfly mobile my mother hung over my crib. I remember it vividly, delighted when the sun poured through the window and lit up the butterflies with electric blues and pinks and oranges. I was eventually drawn to art in college, despite my father’s advice to pursue something more practical and grounded in reality. But color called, and I was obsessed. I married young, and had two boys. My color obsession drove me to produce over seventy paintings during my first year as a new mom. Then my obsession turned to furniture, walls and anything and everything that could be transformed by the magic of color. My home oozed color from every corner.
I once had a house saturated with color. The pale lemon washed living room led into a deep periwinkle kitchen, that led into a coral ragged dining room, and down a soft lime hallway, past an aqua sponged bathroom, into a bedroom washed in pale sky blue. There were wall niches filled with swimming fish, and the door to the garage became a trompe l’oeil french door leading to flower garden. The apricot stairwell led upstairs to the lavender guest room and my son’s bedrooms, one a rain forest jungle full of animals and the other a tropical beach with surfers on the waves. The outside of the house was painted in a soft gray. The day I was painting the shutters an island turquoise, the neighbor strolled over and said he hoped that was my primer color. Several years later when I put the house on the market, all the realtors strongly suggested I re-paint all my walls with a nice neutral color if I ever expected it to sell. I had an offer on it within days before I had even confirmed my asking price, and it sold. The buyers just loved all the colors telling me they couldn’t believe how good the house felt, and how happy it made them feel.
Color is queen. It has a direct affect on our emotional body and our feelings. Our emotional development precedes our mental development. Our hearts come before our minds. Every one of us experiences the vibration of our mothers heart in the womb long before our minds are at work thinking. We are seven years old before we embark on the journey of mental development. Prior to that, we are being emotionally blueprinted for life. It seems that once we get on the mind train, the world of feeling becomes the caboose. Ironically, however, as we go through life, it is really the world of feeling that is driving the train. We just aren’t aware of this most of the time. We are too busy thinking, not feeling. It is only when we begin to experience uncomfortable feelings coming up from the depths, over and over again, that we return, or not, to the world of our feelings. Our emotional blueprint has made a home in our subconscious, and the mind has never known what to do with this neighbor. At some point in our life, if we are going to be able to really feel our feelings, we have to invite our hidden emotions over for dinner so we can introduce them to the mind, get to know them and integrate them as friends. Then we can consciously create our lives.
So what does all this have to do with color? Color is healing. It helps us to feel, and when we feel, we heal. Colors vibrate, and each one has its own unique vibration. The human body is also composed of seven major energy centers called chakras. Each chakra vibrates to a specific color. Energetically, we are color. We are vibrational light beings. We totally respond to color because we are color. Therefore, using color in our lives can have a profound affect on our feelings and well being. This concept is so powerful that Rudolph Steiner, the creator of the famous Waldorf School, used specific colors on the walls in classrooms to affect the children. You can use color in your own home, or office, to create a healing environment.
Here are the basic attributes of color:
Red- energizing, passion, strength, motivation, adventure, active, grounded, security, survival, vital
Orange- uplifting, stimulating, joy, excitement, movement, creativity, sexuality, spontaneity, fun, pleasure
Yellow- power, lightness, control, refreshing, emotional, sensitive, clarity, focus, vulnerability, sense of self
Green- balance, harmony, earth, heart, healing, honest, stable, compassion, comforting, loving kindness, sharing
Blue- calming, clear, protective, soothing, cool, communication, expression, tranquil, crystal, truth
Violet- meditative, introspection, confidence, intuition, perceptive, self-respect, elevating, dignity, gentle
White, pink, gold- pure, romantic, love, feminine, warm, caring, nurturing, wisdom, divine, transcendence
With just this basic information, you can transform your home into your own healing sanctuary by surrounding yourself with colors that heal. You can calm your hyper-active children with a blue bedroom or play room. You can bring more harmony and balance into your family with a green living room. You can bring your kitchen alive with more joy and fun with a shade of orange. You can create a romantic, warm bedroom with shades of pink and gold, and accent with green for balance and sharing. And all the same applies to wearing colors as it does to surrounding yourself with them, even more so.
I remember a Sting concert many years ago where he had a huge screen behind him on stage that was strategically blending different shades and combination’s of colors that changed with every song. The combination of his music with all those colors was incredible. It must have had a big impact because we all stood for the entire concert, and never sat down.
The power of color, like many gifts, resides in our mindfulness and awareness. One can go for days or weeks numb to the beautiful blue sky above until you suddenly stop and notice, and allow yourself to feel the blue. Color in our life is a gift we simply have to choose to receive. If you do, you will be utterly amazed at the impact it can have on your whole well being. It will help you feel more deeply, and we all need more of that.
So get out those paint chips and your brushes and go for it. Be brave! Don’t be afraid of color. Let it be your guide.