Thursday, October 28, 2010

10 Weeks of Word Oracles - Coloring

© 2010 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

When I drew coloring as one of our word oracles, my first impression was similar to the one I had with drawing. It took me back to my coloring books and the thrill of a new box of 100 Binney-Smith Crayolas. Every Christmas I begged for a new set, the old ones by year’s end worn to nubs from overuse. Use of the most unusual colors became my quest. I liked magenta but I think burnt sienna stuck in my mind most of all for its similarity to the color of autumn leaves. In 2007, Binney-Smith morphed into Crayola, Inc. Five decades later, it rechristened itself after its most famous product and has many more colorful offerings today. I admit it; I still like to color in coloring books as an adult. (The last one I bought was a Harry Potter—and it comes in handy when real kids visit.) Check out how lucky kids are nowadays on the Crayola site. Download free coloring pages, including some very cool ones for the holidays.

Wonder what we’re doing here playing with words? See 10 weeks of Word Oracles #1

Eye for Color

I’ve always had an eye for color. Once when my choir decided to wear solid colors onstage, tops and bottoms, any single color being OK; I found a top first in a deep jade green. A week later with only “color memory” as my guide, I found a bottom the same color that matched within a hair. They looked identical. You could only tell the difference with a magnifying glass. The paint department and the chips at Home Depot are heaven to me, and I’m forever taking some home to dream about when I’ll have the time and budget to redo various rooms in my house. Colorstrology by Michele Bernhardt, which matches your birthday to a specific color with interpretation, is a huge favorite, and I plan on using it as my ultimate makeover reference, whether it’s my office or my psyche I’m redoing. In the latter case, I’ll surround myself with the colors that help me feel the most upbeat. (My personal birthday color is Misty Rose with the characteristics unusual, dynamic, and clever.) You might want to explore this book or one like it that deals with color psychology.


A discussion of coloring wouldn’t be complete without the seven chakras or subtle energy centers in the body. Starting from the bottom up, red is associated with the tailbone or base of the spine. It’s called the root or 1st chakra. These whirling disks of invisible energy move up the body as follows: orange at the 2nd belly or sacral chakra, just below the navel; yellow at the solar plexus or 3rd chakra; green at the 4th or heart chakra; blue at the 5th or throat chakra; indigo is associated with the 6th chakra at the third eye between the visible eyes; and purple is at the crown or  7th chakra at the top of the head. Our own energy fields are bathed in color. Chakra means wheel in Sanskrit. We carry our own color wheel with us at all times!


We talk often about someone’s coloring or complexion—light, dark, pale, olive, brown, black, yellow, ruddy. In Oriental Medicine, the color in a patient’s face is as important a tool as pulse diagnosis. It gives feedback about the person’s medical condition. I can always tell when my best friend is getting sick. She looks “green around the gills.” With my sensitivity to color, I can always tell when hers is “off.” I notice changes in facial coloring instantly. Color not only makes us diverse and interesting; it offers us important feedback about our health.

“Color My World With Hope …”

The coloring I most want to explore, though, is how we color everything we do with our attitude. We can be red with anger, green with envy, in a blue funk, or beaming yellow, the color of the sun and joy. The last line of the romantic lyrics to Color My World by Chicago says Color my world with hope of loving you. Others do color our world with their energy, attitudes, and love. We do the same. Why would we want to live under anything less than a rainbow?

What color is your world today? How are you coloring the atmosphere of those around you? Let your visual mantra be that 100-crayon box, knowing that every day, you choose your colors. “Show your colors,” we say, and expression that means your true self.

What color are you?

Meditation and Journaling on Coloring

Sit quietly in a meditative posture, whatever one works for you. Have pen and paper nearby.

1.      Take three deep breaths. Say “coloring” to yourself.  Let it rest on your mind, then let your mind speak. What does the word coloring mean to you?  Take plenty of time to let the thoughts form or memories come back to you. Let your memories or thoughts finish speaking. When they are done saying what they have to say, write down their message.

2.      Return to meditation. Read this thought, and then sit with it in the silence for as long as it feels right:  I will notice the color in my life and take joy in its diversity. I will choose my colors carefully, whether clothing, attitudes, or loyalty.

3.      When you come out of meditation, look at what you wrote about “coloring.” Take some time to contemplate it. Carry these thoughts and intentions into your week. Learn as much as possible about your relationship to coloring.  Write a few wrap-up notes before the end of the week and our next word.

Have a colorful week!


Next word:  Bother

Photo credits: Crayons © Susiew47 and 7 Chakras Color Wheel with Mandalas © Artellia, both from Dreamstime

Postscript: I'm a permanent mail-in voter. Today I finished my ballot for the Nov. 2 election, and I had a whole new insight about coloring. If I hadn't learned to color between the lines in my coloring books, I'd never be able to fill in those little bubble capsules on my ballot. Here's to early training for future citizens of America! Who knew coloring books were part of civics class?

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