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Graham Brown

FENG SHUI- Taking Colors Personally

With the new design of the IDD site a few months back I was struck by the playfulness of my editor’s color of the month photo. It seemed chipper and inspired me to give a little thought to how color affects my own life. Feeling that I should do more to explore this I hit the bookstore and the library to see what books were out there on the subject. Of all the books I liked Suzy Chiazzari’s - The Complete Book of Color. And, yes I must say that the recipe section was a factor in this love of the book. If one is to talk of the importance of colors around us - It seems logical that the color of the food you eat would also be a factor in happiness.

While an undergraduate some years ago in an east coast university I had a wonderful teaching experience on what not to do with food presentation. One Easter holiday those of left in the dorms went to “enjoy” the dorm dinner and were to find that almost everything they served that night was off white. As if being stuck at college during the holidays wasn’t bad enough -- They had to make us feel like prisoners in some Puritanical organization. There was a food complaint filed and we won. I hope the university isn’t hoping for any large donation from any of those of left to eat the white slop- I don’t think that even Scrooge would have recovered from such treatment even with all the visitation help he received. Yet, how many of us seem to give ourselves the Scrooge color treatment in our own lives? It’s not too late for our recovery.

Now I live in the Pacific Northwest - home to Microsoft, Boeing and spotted owls. Living here is like living in a sea of khaki slacks and blue or white button down shirts. It’s very exciting you can tell. Okay -- maybe not everyone dresses like they were a Bill Gates wannabe - but let me tell you there are a lot who do. They even seem to want to drive around in their very own blue Lexus just like he does. It’s a good thing I’m not Bill’s wife - I would be terribly tempted to want to get Bill to want to wear the most off the wall outfits just to see how many Microsofties followed “suit”. Could Bill single handedly bring Lime green slacks with light pink shirts into fashion? How long would it take for such a thing to sweep the nation and become the new high tech uniform standard? Luckily we shall never have to know - but it might be nice if he at least switched to black slacks.

Most of us work in professions where there are certain uniform standards of appearance or at least colors. Look at how wearing a red tie seems to be a presidential power thing. Check out how few power attorneys wear anything outside the safe conservative colors. Colors convey a lot and that is why so many choose to dictate what colors we wear on “their” time. This is fine and dandy I suppose when one has to make a living and play by the rules to get ahead. However, it can be difficult not to submerge yourself in the swashes of acceptable colors to the point that like actress Susan Sarendon’s character from the Bangor Sisters movie - "your whole wardrobe seems to match the Department of Motor Vehicles."

Sometimes other people are the ones who limit our color use - sometimes we do it to ourselves. A couple of years ago I had a color analysis done to determine what “season” my face and skin tone is. It was something I did to help me maximize my look. It was also such a girly thing to do I just had to try it at least once in my life - just to see if it made me feel any different. Sort of like the time I went skydiving.

During my consultation I was told I was deep winter and shown all the colors that were “mine”. Quite a few were already heavily used in my wardrobe - but some were not. Of particular note were the colors I was to avoid to maximize my look. I would say 80% of my favorite soft pastel colors were on that list. So with time I got rid of the “bad” colors and started bulking up on the “power” ones. I didn’t give it much thought at all till I decided to explore colors after getting all excited about i-d-d’s color of the month thing. Standing in line at my herbalist’s I noticed she had a whole selection of color baths. I figured okay this is cool let me give this a shot just to see if taking a bath in a certain color of water does anything at all. I bought several of the different color baths based on the various properties they were supposed to help you manifest or feel.

Turquoise was divine. Indigo rocked my world. Blue was soothing. Violet felt perfect. Then came pink. I found myself having the hardest time even trying to put my foot in the tub. It was like fighting some repulsive urge. I tried several times to sit in the tub of pink water but I just could not do it. I just had to get out before it made me ill. This pink water was supposed to help me accept universal love and all that gushiness. Instead it made me want to heave. My herbalist is convinced my aversion to pink is out of my fear of loving and being hurt. I wonder if it just isn’t that I know it isn’t in my “season” so therefore it isn’t a “power” color that others would think would look good on me. Maybe I have so embraced what I am to wear that trying to around the wrong thing is upsetting. Who knows? I did notice though that even in my home decorating I have switched to my power colors now instead of the softer colors that I once wore that I liked that others didn’t. Did my aversion to the softer side come before or after my color switch? Hmmm, it’s not something I had given much thought to. Looking around I’m starting to think I need to balance it more - soft touches to the power colors and filling in the “missing” colors I have neglected to have in my life.

I would suggest that you look around your environment - wardrobe - and such to see if you notice any color concentrations in your life and any missing colors. What might these tendencies mean for you in your life? Why do you feel drawn to some colors and less inclined to others? If you have neglected having a certain color in your life for a long time you might want to explore what meaning that color might traditionally hold and then look to see how that would apply in your life. I found that for myself the missing colors were yellow - orange - purple and pink. Yellow, orange and purple were colors I avoided once I was no longer a size 8 for fear people might mistake me for an orange/pumpkin, a lemon or maybe even a grape!

Desiree A. Krautkramer

More Feng Shui Articles: The Energy of Love | Using Scents | The Sound of Feng Shui | Color and Crystals
Science/Art/Superstition? | Storage Areas | Chi & Our Pets | The Use of Color | Furniture Placement | Living Plants
Hiring a Consultant | Chi on the Outside | Energies | Cleaning House | Books and Monsters | Crystals For Energy
Taking Colors Personally | Self Reflection | Bad Energy | Crystals | Stuff & Empowerment | Making a Home Altar
The Children Corner | The Career Corner | Buying A House | Selling A House, Part I | Selling A House, Part II
Mirrors | Setting Intention | Subtle Energies | Clearing the Clutter | The Marriage Corner

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