I find color fascinating. The light frequencies we experience as color define our world in wondrous ways. Visualize an azure ocean, a verdant forest or a crimson sunset — these are all examples of color environments, which positively influence our emotions and restore our health.
As an interior designer, I know the power color has in defining a space and ‘creating a mood.’ We have all experienced that instant chill when entering
a ‘cold room,’ which has nothing to do with its temperature. Conversely, we automatically feel more relaxed and engaged in a warm-hued environment.
Think of a dining room painted a luscious burnt umber (dark red orange), such as Pantone’s color of 2012: Tangerine Tango.
I’m also mesmerized by the blue winter hues that abound right now and their accompanying reflections in snow — so dreamlike and otherworldly. This is the time of year we ‘go inside,’ both physically and figuratively. It is a wonderful time to do what the earth does: retreat deep within and cultivate inner renewal (hence, the perfect time for resolutions).
Unfortunately, it is also during these short days when many of us experience the ‘winter blues.’ Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is now recognized as a common
disorder, affecting some people severely. But there are ways, other than jetting off to a tropical island (which I also recommend), to make these cold days
- Light therapy is a proven treatment for SAD. Many studies show that most of the U.S. population lacks vitamin D, known as the sunlight vitamin, and light therapy can be a good way to get more of it. This nutrient is needed at proper levels for almost every tissue in the body, including the brain, heart, muscles and immune system. Supplements are another easy way to get the correct amount and start feeling better.
- Light a fire. Few things trigger passionate, primordial feelings in human beings the way fire does. We symbolically honor the return of the light and new beginnings with candles and fireplaces in our homes. Easy and romantic!
- Another great way to lighten up, both figuratively and literally, is to do more yoga! I incorporate a few extra Sun Salutations in the winter, which creates body heat and expresses reverence for the life-giving solar energy. It is impossible to feel cold with an open (warm) heart, which is what yoga is all about. The gesture/salutation Namaste means ‘I bow to the light in you, which is also in me,’ a beautiful truth that we are all one when we live from the heart.
It may be hard to believe, with this being the coldest month of the year, but sunlight is growing stronger day by day. The more we connect and honor the natural rhythms of the seasons, the more we increase the light within us. Let this winter be an extraordinary time to listen to your heart-fire and tend your own sacred light.
Warm Home Blessings.
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