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The Power of Color and Opposites
One day I learned I was dying. I had so many clots in my lungs that they couldn’t count them, and any ONE of these could have killed me by moving to my heart or head. I reached for the light and wisdom anywhere I could find it.
I latched on to quotes like I was hearing whispers from every age of time, all the brilliant people who had gone through pain. I became obsessed with finding quotes and, while doing so, discovered a secret. In the coming paragraphs, I’ll share that secret with you.
Incidentally, I was recently scanned head-to-toe at a hospital and learned that every single clot is gone.
In 2010 or so, I decided I wanted to gift the world for being given another chance at life. My goal is to create 10,000 graphics from inspiring quotes. Since then I’ve made about 1500 or so, maybe more. Great Advice from Wise People
One of my first graphics.
Quotes are like our wise elders at the village fire, saying the right thing exactly when our hearts need to hear it. I learned a lot by nearly dying. I wanted to find a way to articulate and share this knowledge.
The ancients believed there are three stages of life:
We don’t lose the maiden when we enter the mother stage. She becomes part of us. We don’t lose the mother when we enter the crone stage — we are now all three. Mother is not literal. It is about creativity and wild exploration, the time of the “succulent wild woman” (Sark). Crone isn’t a hag. It doesn’t mean weakness. It means incredible wisdom and power. This is the stage I’m entering. For the first time in my entire life, I feel ready to step into who I am.
As a crone, one of my sacred duties is to listen, and (when asked) to offer succinct advice. Crones have their shit together by now and if they don’t, they put it away. It’s served its purpose. That’s not to say that current lessons aren’t teaching. But the need to be understood by the world at large has passed. It’s time to understand.
Crone women, wise women, however, need each other. We are all always learning. So we look ahead, to those who are walking the path before us; with their wisdom, we can look back with a new understanding; and, always, we stay present and grateful for every moment. We take nothing for granted, not even our next breath.
Great Advice from Wise People
One of the things we all struggle with on a daily basis is negative, toxic people. When people are unkind, it’s unpleasant. It may ruin our day. When people we love are unkind, or use words like “disappointed” it hurts a hell of a lot more, and the hurt may last a long time. I learned something that helped me with this. Disappointment and judgment is the choice they make and the price they pay for expectation.
“Trade your expectations for appreciation, and the world changes.” A.Robbins.
THE POWER OF COLOR AND OPPOSITES
Feelings have colors for me. Years ago, I discovered a way out of a clinical depression — the result of being prescribed the wrong drug by my doctor — using color, and opposites. It took a long time. It also took a dear friend telling me it would get better. During that time, I felt like I lived inside a dementor — as if all my feelings were stripped from me and “I’d never be cheerful again.” Once I healed, I still dreaded (for years) the wisps of feeling that the dementor was back. Eventually, even those feelings went away too.
Here’s my color list for feelings. After each, I explain why it feels that way. So to start, make a list of colors and assign an emotion to each one and, if you want, a reason why it feels that way. Your list may be quite different.
Hope, my hub, is spring green, and…
is the color of the forest,
of the grass after rain.
bright sunshine, open eyes,
far horizons, clear skies,
new growth in Spring (forsythia first),
a color that is good
for a piece of fruit or an old cat
in the afternoon sun.
Everyone knows that anger is red.
Bloodshed red, but…
rage is scarlet, a deeper hue…
an anger that cleanses instead of drains.
is the color of coffee
and tea and chocolate,
of the soil in my little window garden.
Brown is beautiful.
is a non-feeling, a Twilight Zone
where no colors exist at all,
a two-dimensional, flattened-out world
where you can’t even feel own presence,
let alone anyone elses
is for fear –
fear is the deepest opposite of love.
Edited for clarity.
“The Colors of Depression”
Songs from the Dark Side of the Moon, Moonsongs.net
(A forum for survivors of RAI – Coming — again — soon)
The Secret of Opposites / Color
The secret of opposites led me to find an opposite quote for every bad emotion, and these are the quotes I turned into graphics for Rx-for-Healing. This became a book called The Power of Opposites. It’s a long term project because I’m doing all the artwork and photography for it. And all the quotes have to be Public Domain to avoid copyright infringement. The book will be softcover. It will have tabs and will be color-coded according to mood (sound familiar?) = ) and each tab will direct you to illustrated quotes about the opposite.
Half the profits from sales will go to buying artist packs and (I hope) creating Gallery shows in cities around the world. The book is meant to be written in by hand or used interactively (recently working on learning interactive books). Each contributing artist and volunteer will receive a free copy as thanks. I’m really excited about this project.
In case you are curious, the other half of the profits will repay under1000skies‘ biggest financial contributor, my patron-of-the-arts and best friend (my husband, Michael).
HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN COLOR/OPPOSITES WORKBOOK – 7 EASY STEPS
Create Your Journal!
You can make your own workbook right now.
Make a list of negative emotions you normally feel.
Write what you think is the opposite of that emotion.
Assign a color to each positive emotion you are feeling. You chose which words and colors you want to use. This is just for you.
Get a notebook with tabs. Put pages between the tabs for writing quotes. Use color tabs, or pages, or artwork as dividers. Let your imagination soar here.
5. Organization – Tabs.
Under each tab, save a quote that speaks to your heart. Say, for example, you have a list of negative emotions:
- The opposites of those, you decide, are:
In your notebook, you now have three color-coded tabs. Put a number of blank pages in between these tabs to write on. This is where you’ll write all the great advice from wise people over the ages that speaks directly to your heart.
Go to Google and type: “quotes about (emotion)” for ideas. For example, type “quotes about joy,” and click on the link. Usually, Brainy Quote or Good Reads come up first. Both have a big selection of great quotes.
Copy down a quote you like for the emotion in your search. If you write just one quote a day, you’ll have at least 365 in a year. If you write two a day, you’ll have over 700 in a year.
8. Read until you feel better.
Whenever you’re upset, identify the emotion, then figure out its opposite. Then, tab to your favorite quotes and read until you feel better. This works really well. I’ve used it repeatedly over the years to turn my mind away from anger, pain, worry and all the negative emotions back to the light.
That’s the key.
☼ What we focus on grows. ☼
I wasn’t too good at making graphics at first, but this Lifetime Aspiration (10,000 graphics) has made me realize that trial and error and practice is a great way to learn.
Here are some examples of graphics / opposite emotions. You may feel completely different about what the opposite of these emotions is.
Example 1: Loss/Let Go
Opposite: Let Go
Example 2: Hate Job/Build Your Dream
Emotion: I hate my job.
Opposite: Build your dream even it it’s only 10 minutes a day. It adds up.
Example 3: Meh/Appreciation, Awe, Wonder
Opposite: Appreciate Art and Beauty Everywhere
If you start an emotion “notebook” you’re welcome to share it. I’d love to see it. under1000skies has always been about connection and providing inspiration, and about sharing our favorite artwork, writing, photography and quotes. These all uplift our spirits and help us when we’re hurting. I look forward to your creations.
Rx-for-Healing started in 2012.
A few years ago I heard Dr. Christiana Northrup being interviewed by the makers of Hungry for Change. She spoke about how she helps her patients go from being their own worst enemy to best friend. This inspired me so much that I began Rx-for-Healing to share my graphics aspiration with my friends.
For years, I sent out two quotes a day to remind some friends to do mirror affirmations. You go to a mirror and say this:
“I accept you and love you exactly as you are right now.”
If you do it this affirmation twice a day for 30 days straight, without missing, Dr. Northrup said, you begin to change. She was right.
Warning: It is hard! It takes enormous courage. It may take you longer than 30 days to see a difference. It took me months and months. But then, I was fully committed for most of my life to self-destruction. Lucky for me, “I’m not that person any more.” (Ian Sheppard).
The Rx-for-Healing origin story is here. If you accept this challenge, the site includes some (free/forever) tools.
I hope you find this useful.
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
June 8, 2018 Update
Today I created my first Chapter Sample Page. One of emotions I have experienced the most in the past few years since Ben disappeared has been fear. I needed to find a way to heal from big illnesses and diseases that got worse after Ben left. I needed to get stronger and to continue my heart-songs. Most of all, I needed to be useful to my family. I wasn’t functioning. Every day without news, it got worse. The fear was, quite literally, crippling me. So I spent a lot of time focused on finding quotes about the opposite of Fear: Hope. Love is the opposite of fear too. So is faith, but my faith is tied up with old tapes. Hope was far less complicated. (The “faith” and “love” chapter sample pages are coming soon. Probably 50 percent of my favorite quotes are about love.) ♥.
The Power of Color and Opposites
by Niki Flow
Photos by Niki Flow