Wednesday, June 15, 2011


As usual, when I post a lot of things for sale I get fed up with my blog becoming a superstore and not a service... or at least not both! I took some time off today to continue unpacking. I know, we've been here a month but I'm so obsessed with getting our "lives on track" money-wise that I'm actually forgetting to like what I like to do. Color is a huge part of that and when I unpacked my first box of the day I found a favorite book by Suzy Chiazzari (The Complete Book of Color) about color as it affects us emotionally and physically. Color is a part of what connects the work I do with flower essences and the work I always have done as an artist and graphic designer.

How is that? What does color have to do with flower essences? And what could it possibly have to do with personal growth and development?

Well, as I'm sitting here today in my backyard in Chico, CA, I am aware that I am totally and almost constantly now surrounded by the color GREEN. Hospitals use green in a pastel shade —almost too much — because studies have shown that green, particularly paler shades of green, calms people down when in very stressful situations. The doctors wear green, pale blue (another calming color) or pale pink (empathetic healing) scrubs almost exclusively these days. The halls and patient rooms are almost invariably painted those colors. Green has a balancing quality on the physical level: it helps regulate circulation, stimulates the pituitary gland and works with the sympathetic nervous system to relax the muscles in our chests to help us breathe more deeply and slowly. Green is cooling and all we have to remember about that is how the words "cool it" or "chill" are used in slang vocabulary. "Chill out"=calm down.

Chico, in my experience so far, is the land of CHILL. On Paul's blog today he included a video of people being interviewed about what they like about Chico. Trees, nature, friendly relaxed people, eating good food, drinking beer. They seem to like it fine but notice something when you take a peek: they're not gushing enthusiastically. They're not "inspired" or terribly energized as they would be if they were interviewed, say, in Santa Cruz, another place where we have lived. Chico's predominant environment is heavily influenced by the major river that runs through it and the lush abundant trees. Unless you journey a little further out (not very far) to upper Bidwell Park it's hard to get a longer view. Santa Cruz, on the other hand, is heavily influenced by the ocean and, therefore, surrounded by long beautiful views. The colors are bright blue, green-blue, pale yellow and white—the colors of ocean, sand and sky. Mental stimulation, spiritual insight and a bright optimistic point of view. People pay anything to be in this environment. The cost of their tiny apartments might keep them sleepless at night but a lot of them gush enthusiastically about how it's worth it. We might love resting in green but most of us need to balance that with more inspiration and a long-term view.

I typically use green sparingly in my life because I like feeling more energized. But when a couple of people need healing after a traumatic set of experiences it's really the perfect environment in which to be. Which brings us back to the healing power of color in choosing flower essences. When people have had their life's trajectory severely interrupted regrouping requires remembering one's heart's desires in balance with ALL the needs of one's life. Learning to reconnect with the earth is part of that so I've been using Green Cross Gentian. It's a newly released flower essence that's for having the courage to grow and change and carry on in situations so challenging you might lose hope. Traditional Bach Flower enthusiasts would use Wild Oat for connecting with one's higher purpose while in the process of that change, Scleranthus for supporting hard decisions, or Hornbeam for those times when the burden of carrying on might get you down. All of these feature green or partly green flowers. Paul has his photo of a local variety of Wild Oat on his blog right now.

Green in energy healing circles is often associated with the balance point in the human energy system—the heart which knows what you want and lies exactly halfway between higher spiritual insights and the ground we walk upon.

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