The Colors of Success | Feel Confident with Color | Increase Self Esteem | Improve Your Self Image |



Dec

31

No Resolutions this New Year


You’re off the hook. No New Years resolutions are required this year. Resolutions, no matter how well your intention, don’t work. They’re too big, don’t feel natural and sometimes daunting. There is a much more effective way to begin your new year, one that guarantees success.

surprised babyIt’s called a Habit. Now before you run through a litany of excuses, think of all the bad habits developed over your life time that have been impossible to kick.

Biting your nails.

Being late.

Embellishing the truth.

That just shows you that habits, once adopted do not just go away.

What about the good habits? At some point in your life a parent drilled into you the habit of brushing your teeth every day. Now you naturally perform that habit without thinking.

After being embarrassed by a college roommate when I hadn’t shaved my legs in a week, I decided to make shaving my legs every day a habit. That simple action became and still is part of my daily grooming ritual. It makes me feel better about myself.

So back to this New Year. There may be something in your mind. You know, if you did it every day, your life would improve. But how, in your busy day, do you fit in one more thing?

The secret to creating a new, positive habit is to assign it a time slot.

The easiest way to find time is to link the action to a habit you already have.

Say you want to read an inspirational or self help book this year. No time as you rush through your morning- or is there? Prop a book up in your bathroom and read a few lines as you brush your teeth. Totally painless because you’re standing there, thinking about something anyway. Your day will undoubtedly be more pleasant.

You may have thought of resolving this year to be a better conversationalist, or to meet new people. No time to join a club or church. Instead make a habit of speaking to everyone you see, in the elevator or passing on the street. Just a hello or small talk is enough to stretch your social boundaries. It will also make the recipient of your gesture feel better about themselves. No telling where this could lead.

What else would you like to do in the New Year? Be more grateful? Add that to your nighttime ritual, just before you turn out the lights. Jot down a note to someone you appreciate- just a line or two will do. That simple habit will release endorphin into your system and you will sleep peacefully. And imagine the smile on their face when they open the mail box.

Our habits create our life.  Only you create your habits.

 

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

Dec

29

Prediction for the New Year


As this year draws to a close, our final rainbow color, Violet, is reflected in December’s frosty view. The days grow shorter and daylight is precious. The long shadows on the snowy ground appear to cast a violet hue. Soft, tranquil, still.

 clock faceViolet, found on the lowest arc of the rainbow, is the color comprised of the shortest wavelengths of light that our eyes can see. Ultra-violet is the term for the wavelengths of light beyond our view.

Is it coincidence that the Color of the Year for 2014 announced this very month happens to be Radiant Orchid? You’re already seeing the hue in spring clothing and decorative home décor. This close cousin of Violet will grow in popularity, I predict.

Why? You see, Violet or Radiant Orchid, are colors associated with enlightenment. In Eastern belief, the Chakras, or power centers of the body are assigned a gradation of color, much like the rainbow. The highest color at the top of the head, Violet, is associated with the sixth sense.

The popularity of colors often reflects what is happening in the culture as well as the collective psyche of our planet. The color experts that predict the yearly colors and Pantone, the company that made the Radiant Orchid choice, have an uncanny way of knowing what we are or will be thinking about.

In the coming year I believe we are all ready for a more enlightened way of seeing our lives and responding to the needs of our planet. Uncommon Violet may be just what we need to see, to capture our attention and look at things in a new way.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”   Mark Twain

Sep

24

When Drama Delights


The Autumnal equinox signals the beginning of Mother Nature’s most extravagant color spectacle of the year. As daylight hours fade, ordinary frocks of green worn by deciduous trees magically transform into golden, crimson and bronze gowns that shimmer in rays of sunlight.

MH900407575All the rainbow colors we have explored each month of this year- red, orange, yellow, green and blue, paint the scenery of trees and sky on an autumn day. The color of September, indigo adds the necessary drama for this season of contrasts.

How brilliant the colors against deep indigo clouds of a looming storm!

Many representations of the rainbow omit indigo and transition directly from blue to violet. Pity. Indigo has a history as rich as its hue. Its roots are Indian as the name implies, the word indigo meaning “from India.”

We shall follow the indigo trail on another day. For today, appreciate the drama she provides as you enjoy the autumnal splendor.

 

 

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”   George Eliot

 

 

Aug

20

It’s True. It’s Blue.


Close your eyes and imagine a calm and restful place. Mmmm. What color did you see in your mind? Chances are, a soothing blue colored your thoughts of a perfect place for respite.

Sailboat Under Blue Skies off the Florida CoastA cloudless blue sky.

Gently rolling waves of blue.

We are accustomed to associate blue with positive feelings of contentment and tranquility. That’s why the color blue is often used in the branding by companies that seek to inspire your trust in them, such as banks that want to put you at ease when dealings with them.

If you want others to feel relaxed and receptive when around you, wear blue clothing. You will appear more approachable and friendlier than if you choose to wear stoic black.

So it is with the month of August. Who doesn’t relish the comfortable days of August? The rainbow hue of blue that describes this month reminds us to enjoy the fleeting days of summer.

Relax while you can. You’ve waited all year for this time of vacation, walks on the beach hearing sounds of lapping waves, lying back in the grass to behold the immenseness of the brilliant blue sky.

It’s not too late to grasp your blue heaven on earth.

It’s true. It’s blue.

 

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”    e.e. cummings

 

 

Jul

23

A Recipe for Summer Smiles


What is no longer green and yet not quite blue? The color of July is a transitional hue on the color wheel that melds the freshness of green with the watery depths of blue.

Is it bluish green or greenish blue?

Turquoise or teal?

Aqua or aquamarine?

IMG_1242 Whatever the name, July marks that time of the year we can all enjoy. The month of longer days, vacations and relaxation, July is represented by the artful blending of tranquil green and calming blue.

Imagine the color of calm water as the sand below adds a golden tone. The blue bends slightly toward green to reflect this summery hue. One of my most memorable aqua sightings is in the wake of a ship cutting through the depths. The foamy rush of trailing water produces a magnificent blue green color I’ve seen nowhere else.

Green and blue, two universally favored colors, combine for this favorite time of year.  It’s no surprise this greenish bluish combination is universally becoming on anyone who wears it.

Since color is an efficient barometer to predict our feelings, being surrounded by a hue that creates feelings of well being is necessarily reflected in your face.

Are you smiling now?

“More varied than any landscape was the landscape in the sky, with islands of gold and silver, peninsulas of apricot and rose against a background of many shades of turquoise and azure.”  Cecil Beaton

 

Jun

23

June the Month of Excess


The summer solstice of June guarantees excessive daylight of the longest day of the year. At no other time is the color green in nature so extreme.

vine leaf backgroundTraveling to northern climes, the color of June is unmistakable. Here, long rays of the sun coax leaf laden trees and dense grasses to display an exuberant hue I’ve missed in Key West.

Sure, palm tree fronds are green, as are the leafy backdrops to colorful hibiscus and bougainvillea. Yet, when the climate never changes, neither does the perennial green. The eyes get accustomed to the same multicolored views every day.

After months of bare branches and dried, brown landscapes, when bountiful warm sunshine calls all living things to “grow, grow, grow,” the enthusiastic summer celebration begins, clothed in resplendent green.

More daylight.

More green.

More reminders to notice life in vivid color.

Take time to see and appreciate the vibrancy of all living things- and that includes you. The sunshine is calling you to grow as well.

At this halfway point of the year, we are also half way through the rainbow colors of the year. We began with the warmest hues, variations of red, orange, and yellow.

As this month comes to a close, watch as the lively green becomes more subdued. Prepare for the cooling influences of the rainbow colors yet to come.  As with any excess, it is tempered by contrast.

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“What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.”

Gertrude Jekyll

May

15

As Bright as This Day in May


The clearest of all colors in the rainbow, the jovial hue of yellow heralds the month of May.  As sunshine begins to warm the earth this time of year, the color yellow has always represented that brilliant orb of the sun shining above in our earliest childhood drawings.Education

What other color evokes such a feeling of happiness? Could you imagine the smiley face icon as grinning purple? Just would not cause the corners of your mouth to rise in appreciation of the cheery yellow messenger.

Yet, yellow is not always viewed in a positive light.  There is a myth that yellow painted walls in the home cause babies to cry and couples to argue.

Like any perpetual legend, there is some truth to the story. Excessive exposure to this brilliant color contributes to eyestrain. Wouldn’t that make you cranky?

The yellow of May speaks encouragement. This primary color makes up two thirds of every imaginable color. It’s significance in the world, like your own importance, is critical.

The newness of this year is waning but not your commitment to your accomplishments.

Take this buoyant day in May to bask in your own light. Yellow is the lighthearted optimist. Take out your brush and paint a jaunty smile on your self portrait today.

 

“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.”  Pablo Picasso

 

Apr

25

We Live in the Golden Age


April is the most transformational month. If you’re in a Northern climate, the white and frozen ground is, one day, revitalized green with perks of lavender crocuses and happy daffodils flourished with a bloom of amazing color.

Not yellow.

And you wouldn’t call it orange.

daffodilsThat special color is reserved for April, the fourth month of our year long color journey. We began with the palest pink of January, the luscious red of February, and morphed, rainbow style, into outstanding orange during March. Let’s not hurry April as she takes center stage with the fascinating hue, reserved for a precious metal.

The fascinating paradox in Florida is that in spring, the leaves turn a golden hue and fall to the ground like bountiful piles of shimmery coins. Immediately they are replaced by fresh verdant green leaves to decorate the bare tree limbs.

Autumn transforms to spring and totally bypasses winter. I’ve gotten over my need to personally experience the four seasons. It’s not for everyone but it suits me well.

No matter where you are, April’s unique color contribution to spring warms and delights. Just look at last golden rays of a sunset. All the earth is embellished with the color of golden promise.

A glow that forever reminds us of the richness of life.

“All theory, dear friend, is gray, but the golden tree of life springs ever green.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Apr

01

The First of Many


Chirpy birds greeted me this morning as I opened the sliding door. My vista of blue skies and brilliant sunshine announced the glorious first day of April. My Birthday.

Two Boys and a Girl (8-12) Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday CakeGrowing up in Michigan, what the first day of April brought was not as predictable. Planning a Birthday party for myself and a dozen friends could mean outdoor games on the lawn beside the crocuses and daffodils. The warm spring breeze carried out shrieks and giggles throughout the neighborhood.

As we sat at the rickety folding table, on chairs decorated with crepe paper, I blew out the candles on my colorful cake, lovingly homemade by my aunt. After an off key rendition of Happy Birthday was sung, we devoured the cake with huge scoops of ice cream.

But just as common, an April snowstorm could keep we young revelers inside. The folding table fit snugly into the living room, leaving little room for play. We braved the cold for a snowball fight when we became too rambunctious inside. The friends did not mind the cramped quarters and the cake was just as good.

Today, I realize that everyday is just how we make it.

Sunshine or snow.

And my sister still called me to sing Happy Birthday, off key.

 

"God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well." Voltaire

Mar

27

Reason to Celebrate


Leonardo da Vinci described it as the driving force of all nature.  Not a day goes by that you and I are not intimately connected to its powers of refreshment and rejuvenation. Whether flowing from a pristine Artesian well or purchased in a three dollar plastic bottle, water is easily  attainable for most of us.

Or is it?

a toddler drinking water from a garden hose Unimaginable as it seems to our pampered way of living, access to clean, drinkable water is not an automatic right for all humanity. This startling fact is the driving force behind the compassionate and grueling work of charity: water.

This munificent organization is about just what its name says. It's sole mission is to apply charitable donations for the procurement of life giving water for all. In the most uninhabitable conditions, wells are drilled, often numerous times, until the goal of drinkable water flows from the earth to supply the parched inhabitants in all corners of the world.

As I watched videos of their Herculean efforts and witnessed the joy on the faces of the grateful recipients, it was easy to write a check as a way to join their celebration. It makes me appreciate my blessings every time I turn on the faucet.

Now I have the opportunity to extend the good feelings and celebration to you. Coming up on my Birthday in just a few days, I'm asking you to be generous- but not to me. Instead, I have pledged my Birthday to the mission of charity: water.

Visit this link, take a sip of your crystal clear water, and be generous.

I thank you on behalf of so many you will help.

Your generosity will ensure that many fellow citizens of earth will continue to have Birthdays, just like you and I.

http://mycharitywater.org/celebrate-water

 

"Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all."

Nelson Mandela

Tell Me More

Mary Ellen Lapp reveals how the colors we wear, and the colors that surround us, even the color of the car we drive, impact out self image and affects how we are seen by the people around us.

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