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



Mar

17

A Terrifying Day


This day of the "Wearing of the Green" is a terrifying day for someone who doesn't like green. Yes, that's me.

st. patrick's day backgroundEverywhere I look, shamrocks, leprechauns, and green festoons. And that's only what's decorating the people that insist on wearing a wee bit of green so as to not get pinched today.

Never been a fan of green for most of my life. No green in my closet. Not a tint of green on my walls or furniture. Even my plants are more brown than green. Why is that?

Especially this year, with Emerald being the Color of the Year, why do I continually avoid it?

Through the years, as I've studied the effects of colors on our feelings, I noticed that whenever I'm around green, I feel a tinge of nausea. Nothing uncontrollable, just uncomfortable.

Doesn't happen in a forest or in a verdant meadow, but only when the color green is introduced in my immediate environment. I just don't feel right.

All of our feelings about color have their beginnings in our early color memories. To get to the source of my aversion to green, I concentrated on my earliest memories about the color.

That voyage into the color recesses of my brain took me back to a grade school memory. Whenever I had a headache or upset tummy as small child at school, I was sent to the clinic room to lie down until I felt better.

I would lie down on the little cot, already feeling queasy, and look up at the ceiling and bare walls. Back in the day, it seems all institutions were painted a certain shade of, yes, green.

You see, in my sickened state, feeling badly, I was surrounded by a color that, even to this day, brings back those uncomfortable feelings. "Sickly green," I call it, and do everything I can to avoid it.

This terrifying day will be over soon for another year. I wonder if there is a place on earth that does not celebrate this holiday.

You'll find me there next year, tickled pink and not green. 

 

"That's what the holidays are for- for one person to tell the stories and another to dispute them. Isn't that the Irish way."  Lara Flynn Boyle

 

Mar

03

A Year of Color, Month Three


Just as with anything new, the year began with the delicate hue on the very top edge of the rainbow. A wisp of color, pale pink to introduce new possibilities and our color journey this year.

Next, the intensity of commitment described by February's radiant red, the color of love. There is no turning back, this year is vibrant like the most dominant color on the crest of the rainbow.

Close-up of a gerbera What now, with March? The longer days, the warmer sunshine, the grip of winter subsiding, we are encouraged by the next phase of color, brilliant orange. How appropriate for March, as orange is joyful and happy. Think of your own appreciation of this month's activities.

Spring break.

Flowers peaking through the cold ground.

Colorful clothing emerging from your closet.

Orange is the color of hospitality. This month create a warm and hospitable place in your life to celebrate how far you've come so far this year.

We've many more colors to experience, yet savor this month of new growth and bask in the orange glow of your accomplishments.

 

"When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out- because that's what's inside. When you get squeezed, what comes out is what's inside."
Wayne Dyer

Feb

26

Amazing Color


If you caught even a glimpse of the yearly parade down the red carpet to Oscarland, you were treated to some amazing color. Yet, you may have blinked and missed it amid the dresses as colorless as the faces of the woman wearing the designer frocks.

Couple in Formal Attire The pale brigade, the ivory, the gray, and not quite gold, were saved only by the contrast of their neutrals against the red of the carpet. If these too subtle ladies were looking for a statement dress, it was more like a yawn.

And for the truly undecided about their color voice- never, never, never wear black. Too severe. Too aloof. They just looked drab and oh so sad. Unless paired with dazzling silver. Now that added some class!

No, give me rich royal blue, sumptuous red, breathtaking plum, captivating coral, tremendous teal, saucy melon. The resurgence of lively hues gladdens my heart. These ladies are fearless as they announce their color confidence.

No need to wait for your red carpet debut. Every day you have the opportunity to speak in your own color voice.

Are you whispering too subtly to be noticed?

Do you return to the severity of black and are drowned out by the cacophony of sameness?

Or do you proudly announce yourself with vibrant color that you love?

The choice is yours- everyday.

 

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma- which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."
Steve Jobs

Feb

19

What’s New?


Can you even make it through the day without hearing this common question as a form of greeting, "What's New?" Not even considering a possibly engaging answer, your automatic reply is, "Not much."

How boring!

Couple Dining Think about it. When was the last time you experienced something "new"? 

Creatures of habit we are. Going to the same restaurants, ordering the same favorite entree every time, pairing it with the default drink of your choice.  

"But I like it," I say as I defend my selection of the Spaghetti Norma, yet again. I'm sure you have similar menu justifications.

Do you remember the first time you tried that favorite dish? I do. Eggplant, ricotta, in a luscious, rich tomato sauce. Ahh, that was something new to my taste buds.

It had to be new and different because I had never visited that restaurant before. I had never been in that city before.

So logically, new must involve an unfamiliar experience. That's what makes new so rare, so untouchable. We must experience the unknown. How much more comfortable it is to know, and to have our expectations met.

New doesn't have to be scary or uncomfortable. It's all in the way we look at new. What if new is just another word for exciting? A new restaurant in town, how exciting!

New environments breed new experiences. Pretend you've just arrived in town. With the eyes of a visitor, what looks appealing to you? You have no choice but to experience something new.

Sorry, Norma, I have a new favorite. But it won't be a steady date. There are too many new and exciting options to try.

Besides, now I have a more interesting reply to that question- What's new?

 

"You can't make positive discoveries that make 
your life better if you never try anything new."

— Josh Kaufman

Feb

03

Bleeding Hearts and Others


bleeding hearts Look closely at this marvel of botanical nature. A favorite of my Grandmother's, this delicate flower held a place of prominence on her front porch. Surrounded by greenery and blossoms of every description, nothing could compare to the Bleeding Heart.

A confusing name to me as a small child. I watched it closely for red droplets like those I saw when I scuffed my knee. The tiny, heart shaped blooms hung precariously from the stem, but did not bleed.

As we enter the second month of this year, we leave the pale pink of the new year, that top edge of the rainbow. Like the edge of the Bleeding Heart transitions to deeper hues at its center, January's newness leads us in to the red month of February.

How appropriate this month our thoughts turn to hearts of another sort, Valentine hearts of the reddest hue. There are roses and heart shaped boxes of chocolates to look forward to this month. Are they going to be pink or red? Red is a deeper commitment than pink.

Pink is puppy love.

Red is passionate love.

Pink looks cheerful.

Red is powerful.

You started this year with thoughts or even resolutions about how you want your life to be. They were delicate pink in the beginning. Now, it's February. Have your intentions deepened? Are they fully formed and powered by the red of your passion?

I've noticed some of mine have drifted like pink feathers in the wind. Those I categorize as "wouldn't it be nice" intentions. Pretty to look at, yet weightless.

But February has a way or sorting priorities. What you are still doing by February to advance toward your dream, now that is where your heart lies. Your Bleeding Heart holds firmly to your core values.

Count your delight in shades of red.

 

"The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed."
Jiddu Krishnamurti

Jan

20

Red on the Horizon


You've had three weeks to ease into this new year. Attracted by the palest pink of dawn, we've begun on a year long color journey at the top edge of the rainbow where color begins.

calm seaBut look at the horizon. The color is getting stronger. No longer pastel, no longer so new, January has set the tone. Are new habits in place? Are there boulders in the way?

Success requires commitment.

To an idea.

To a lifestyle.

To a color.

We each have color memories from childhood. The fond ones become the basis for our favorite colors. Unpleasant remembrances of color can form a lifelong feeling of detest for a certain hue.

A happy color memory for me is the amazement I felt as my aunt, an accomplished cake decorator, starting with pure white frosting, carefully added drops of deeply colored liquid that produced a magnificently colored result.

My favorite was the single drop of ruby red liquid that transformed the ordinary white to the most luscious shade of deep pink. She created bountiful roses, Cinderella's dress, and an Easter bunny's nose with this amazing color, festooned on cakes for every occasion.

No surprise ruby red and deep pink are two of my most revered colors.

Look at that horizon again. The hue of late January is almost there, deep pink. That's what keeps me going this month, the realization that this color journey is getting ever closer to a place of contentment.

What do you see on the horizon for yourself?

 

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."
 Audrey Hepburn


Jan

13

How Soon We Forget


Oak Trees In the Snow at DawnAs the January thaw visited many parts of the country this past week, we are reminded how nature has the power to delight us. The rise in temperature, the rays of sunshine, restore our faith that winter's bleakness is not forever. As if to say, it's only temporary, glimpses of green peak through the thinning blanket of white covering the landscape.

Yet, a drop of a few degrees, jogs the memory and brings a shiver to the body. Oh yes, it's still January. The moisture on the bare tree limbs is transformed to sparkling frost. This month of new beginnings is not half over so there's plenty of time to forge your path through snow or not, into 2013.

Revisiting my intention for the new year, I prefer intention to resolution, I'm eager to assess, how am I doing?

I've learned that unless an intention, a goal, or even a good idea is kept in the forefront of your mind, it tends to disappear into the trivialities of life. It's only been a couple weeks. Hmmm. How soon we forget. Now what was that intention? Oh yes…

Let's live a fun and fulfilling life.

What has been fun so far this year?

I'm happy to say I have added more fun to my daily routine this new year. Spending time with friends, going to an amazing play, trying a new restaurant, making travel plans, beginning a book I've wanted to read. To me, all fun activities.

Yet without a conscious effort to make time for pleasurable pursuits, I have, in the past, let many opportunities pass me by.

I'm too busy.

Something else is more important.

Maybe next time.

You know what? You always have time for fun. You need to make time for fun. Fun is the magic elixir that takes care of the other half of my new intention.

Have I felt fulfilled by my life?

What feels most fulfilling to me is making connections with people who remind me of my purpose in this life. To make your life more enjoyable. If you're reading this, I hope I've done that for you because, if I'm true to myself, I am fulfilled.

How are you doing on your resolution or intention or your wish for this new year? Remember what it is. Hold it often in your mind and in your heart.

Let's have a fun and fulfilling life!

 

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget that you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Maya Angelou

Jan

08

A Week of Progress


Doesn't seem like only a week ago, we were toasting the New Year and, with bright eyes, we were looking forward to the new possibilities for 2013. How's that going for you?

woman on dockOther than writing last year's date, have you released all that held you back, the doubts, the "what ifs," the can't be done attitude you repeatedly retreated to when confronted by a new idea?

Or is this first week of the new year a continuum of last year's excuses?

If I only had more time.

If I didn't have these other responsibilities.

The flip of the calendar page means nothing if you're not ready to turn the page and begin the next chapter of your life. 

Taking the lessons learned in the previous twelve months, garnering the best advice, and listening to the still small voice inside yourself, your new year will take you far beyond the last. For many years I have followed this significant tradition.

On New Year' Day, I excitedly open my new planner and record the pertinent information from my last planner. Birthdays, anniversaries, and other dates to remember are filled in, along with appointments and schedules committed to in the future.

I then review the notes I made in the previous year; ideas, observations and goals.

Are they still relevant?

What was accomplished?

What needs more attention this year?

This January ritual is helpful to organize the coming year. Yet it is also an exercise is congratulating myself for what I have done and how I have progressed over the past year.

I am eager to fill in the new pages with my plans and to document each day's accomplishments. Acknowledge all that gets you where you are today.

Remember this New Year is only days old. The dawn is still barely lighting your morning sky. Be kind to yourself and begin today to plan your life this year.

This calls for something new. Be new.


"Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes."
Carl Friedrich Gauss

Jan

06

Up In Flames


A New Year tradition at the Unity Spiritual Center is a ceremony called "Burning Bowls." In this early part of the year, as we tend to look at our life with the intention of improving, our self inspection also calls attention to frailties of character and bad habits that have impeded our progress. New Year's resolutions, after all, are all about making changes.

abstract fire on blackThe only way to improve is to change.

The best way to change is to release the things in our life that do not serve us.

The tradition of the Burning Bowls is a three step process. First, write down on paper those thoughts and feelings that have gotten in your way the past year. What, if no longer in your life, would free you to be the person you want to be?

Some examples may be-

Self doubt

Fear

Criticism

A sense of lack

Make your list truthfully. It's for your eyes only.

Next, light a flame in a fireproof container, a burning bowl, a fireplace or chiminea. Consciously and with intention release the paper into the fire.

As your words are consumed by the cleansing flames, feel the lightness in your body. Those troubling thoughts and feelings have been released. You now have the space in your heart and in your conscious mind to replace what held you back with what you intend to create this new year.

Write a list of the things you will accomplish. With nothing to inhibit your progress, what unlimited goals can you create? Include the attributes that you now claim as your own to help you on your way.

Confidence

Courage

Gratitude

Abundance

This list describes the new you, free from whatever used to hold you back. A new You for the New Year.

The final step is to write a note of gratitude to yourself and to a higher power for the accomplishment of all you intend to be and to do. Write the note with the feelings and enthusiasm you would have in reaching your goals.

Seal this note in an envelope to be opened at the end of this year. Tuck it away with your holiday decorations, or give it to a friend who will return it to you eleven months from now.

Why? To experience the sense of amazement and gratitude when you read your note. The person you aspire to be is the person who will be reading your thank you note.

A few weeks ago, I opened and read the note I wrote to myself in January of last year. There are no coincidences. What I sought and was grateful for receiving at that time, is now in my life.

What you imagine, what you intend, you create.

Release what does not serve you and create the life you choose. Let the power of the flame obliterate the obstacles.

Your own power to create is limitless.

 

"Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge."
Don Henley

Jan

03

Fourth Floor Release


Riding down the elevator on New Year's Day, the elevator stopped at the fourth floor. A casually dressed man got on, carrying a laundry hamper. I assumed he was on his way to a laundromat on his day off, even though the building is equipped with laundry facilities.

Abstract compositionWhen I mentioned that possibility, he said no. He and his wife were separating and he was taking his clothes and moving out. Oh. What a way to begin a new year.

Yet there is no better time to let go of what is not working in your life. January is a time of new beginnings and necessarily ending of the old to make room for new possibilities. Once ended, it makes no sense to revisit the past and hold on to what was.

Release is the natural progress that January requires of life. This month is new and translucent like early morning frost on the window. The way is not clear, yet the intricate patterns of possibility are mesmerizing. And shining through, lighting your way is the soft color of the dawn. Yes, you're facing the right way, forward.

 

"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."
Bill Vaughan

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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