Journey 323: Color Me Orange

The past two days I’ve had the opportunity to be at home, practicing self care as I deal with November allergies. A benefit of getting more rest has been time to write and work on my assignments for Week Three in The Artist’s Way. I’m loving this twelve week course and delving deeply into my creativity. 

This week the focus is on recovering my sense of power. Part of that restoration centers around looking at my childhood. It’s been a fascinating week, as I’ve been guided to bring healing light into my distant past. I’ve been inspired by the artwork of Steve Head, who uses his creativity to tell family stories, and I’ve received insight from my own writing. 

Working on a seemingly simple exercise….”Describe your childhood room”…I uncovered something perplexing. I’ve shared before that I grew up with a lot of fear. Being alone at night in my bedroom brought terror. I learned to deal with it by suppressing all negative emotion…fear, yes, but also anger, sadness, grief and crying, which was the outward expression of those emotions. So in describing my childhood bedroom, what arose within wasn’t a physical description but emotions from long ago. 

The assignment didn’t ask “What do you feel…?”. It asked for a description. Detaching from the sense of dread that still lingers around thoughts of my old bedroom, I began to matter-of-factly describe the room. In its outward appearance, it was an ordinary bedroom. Windows, a closet, hardwood floors, a bed, a desk and a dresser. Very early on, I had a pink bedspread, pink curtains and rugs. But around age seven or eight, and continuing until age sixteen, I switched to the color orange. I wrote another sentence or two and then paused. 

Wait a minute. 

I sat thinking. Orange. Why the color orange? I don’t even much like the color orange. Blue is my favorite color. Blues, grays, greens. Orange is at the bottom of my list of preferred colors. And yet for years, my bedroom was decorated in orange. During my early teens, I even had a bedroom wall covered in floor to ceiling orange curtains, concealing the closet door behind them. 

I love when something catches my attention. My curiosity goes on alert. This year, I have learned to follow that curiosity and see where it leads me. What did Little Cindy instinctively know, that adult Cindy is just becoming aware of? I wanted to find out. 

What a fascinating study today, around the color orange. For years I’ve practiced energy work, familiar with the energy centers in the body called chakras. There are seven chakras that are located from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Each chakra is represented by a color. The color orange is associated with the sacral chakra, located just beneath the navel.

Someone with a balanced sacral chakra is open to the world around her. She has energy, compassion, grounded intuition, emotional stability and a zest for life. However, if she closes this chakra down, in an attempt to control what’s going on in her life, she can experience repressed emotions, timidity, depression, and the inability to act on, or speak, her thoughts. I wouldn’t have consciously known all that as a little girl.  

However, what’s interesting is the effect that using the color orange has on balancing an imbalanced sacral chakra. Using orange brings warmth and happiness into the room and into the chakra. Orange has a freeing action on the body and mind, relieving repressions. Orange illuminates new possibilities and other options in life, stimulates creative thinking and enthusiasm, and helps assimilate new ideas. It offers emotional strength in difficult times,  helps us to take account of our lives, to face the consequences, to take action and make appropriate changes, and then to move onward and upward. Using a light orange color, for energy healing, combats fear and gives courage. 

I am amazed at what I discovered today, about the balancing effects of the color orange and about my inherent wisdom as a child. As fearful as she was, and in spite of closing off a powerful energy center, Little Cindy intuitively used the very color needed to boost her energy and flood her space, and her body, with warmth and healing light.

As a child, I experienced great relief each morning as the sun rose. The long night was ended. Light won over the darkness. Today I read that orange combines the yellow of sunshine and the vitality of red to bring joy and life. How grateful and humbled I am, for the gift of the color orange. I had forgotten its role in my young life. I’ve remembered now. There will be orange in my home again. And how grateful I am to my young, intuitive self. The Artist’s Way is connecting me again with my inner creative child. I’m listening to her. It’s about time.