The Journey Is Long (Part II)
Pick a color. Any color and make it your favorite color for the year. Arbitrary is a good way to go. Put names of colors in a hat and pick one. Think in that color. Dream in it. For one year at which point it expires and you have to pick another color. It will be like a semi-permanent tattoo, worn everywhere, shed in a year. Change it on your birthday, or New Year’s Day. Avoid brown. Let your selected shade or tone or spectrum item be there for you when high emotions threaten to overwhelm you. Orange intrudes on any setting quiet well. Note: it is not the word or its spelling, but the overall ambiance that wallpapers the mind and lulls or lifts the emotional state. Try it for one year, or a week. Changing the subject emotionally can and will get you through.
Think about the idea. It is a great way to pause before making a comment, give yourself time to think and not make a faux pas or a blustering idiot of yourself to be mocked and even scorned. Think of you reputation. Before you blubbered on and said thoughtless things, now you are scholarly and unstoppable as one who assists or invents, creates, or defers until the crisis is past. Mantra like, one word becomes a safe haven when conundrum comes to visit. When people are screaming and running from disaster, you fill your mind with “Beige! Beige! Beige! Beige!” timed to your footfalls as you get clear of danger or walk towards open arms and a waiting kiss.
The blood pressure eases, nothing else penetrates the thoughts that are being usurped by events of extraordinary intensity. Bringing control back to the moment could save your life, and well may because you have a secret weapon. A moment or two to consider a course of action arrived at calmly and rationally, not emotionally and ten ways wrong. Unless you are about to fall off a cliff. Think nothing other than get back or up and over and away so as not to fall by reaching safety. If trapped, hanging onto the side of a mountain, if secure, then maybe, before deciding how to get help or how to best move, calmly.
Like a wine taster clears his pallet with a sip of water, everyday there is a series of events that distract and detour the task of the day or hour or minute. A glass falls and breaks, chant during the clean up and move on emotionally even following the shattering. Horrible events, take your choice of horrors, will cause adrenaline rush and sweating, fast heart rate, a racing pulse. Encounter a dead cat on your porch one morning. Shock enacts. Get a phone call, they died. Shock and that stream of thoughts, ideation that is programmed in to match tears or forces them to the surface past everything else.
Enter a small stream of colors, like small feet coming across the setting to take over the mind that loses contact with reality. Let the repeated chant of “Purple, purple, purple,” bring you down and back to permit the necessary ritual to begin. Of course, there is no substitute for a good cry; natures way of inserting a mantra of emotion to protect the psyche from horrors of pain, terror, grief, scorn, hatred, loss…you know the list. But, if the house is on fire and the only exit closing fast, tears won’t help, screaming just adds to the drama. Help may or may not be on the way.
Repeat after me, “Rose, rose, rose, rose, rose, rose …” and take the leap to the balcony and start climbing to safety on the ground. Physiologically, it serves as a temporary stop gap, a diversion self imposed to allow defense mechanisms to articulate and save you a mountain of unnecessary negativity. If possible, quiet place with eyes closed, a choice to commune with your color.
The flip side is the joy factor. Just proposed to by the mate you adore, “Aqua, aqua, aqua!” No blubbering, no tears, you are ready for the “Yes!” to the question you have longed to hear forever. Demeanor is everything in such moments. Poise returns and the leaping on furniture is avoided. Balance is the point, restoration of evenness to any trauma or blow, good or ill.
This will, inevitably, require a review of colors so that you can select one that appeals to you at a deep and stirring level. Avoid colors you hate or associate with real events that helped to shape your into the wonderful person you are today. Three times thought should do it. Not a great investment in time and eventually the calming affectation will come instantly. Feeling down and can not find the cause. As humans we just dip from time to time. “Pink, pink, pink…” to refocus the cogitation systems, increase the breathing to relax constricted arteries. Blood flow to the brain happens. Trust it. It works. It does not cost you anything, it does not bother anyone around you. Boss giving you the dressing down. “Tan, tan, tan, tan…” throughout and watch the angst vanish. Stop only for questions, be brief, then return to “Tan, tan tan…”
Monks have known about this means of tapping the calming factors of the human mind for centuries. Singing has a similar affect which is why there is singing in church. It enhances the mood, raises whatever you define as “spirit” or “soul” or “group conditioning”. Priests and preachers and clerics know the best way to bring a human into a realm of otherness, a peace to calm all storms. Nuns should use this technique. As it is said, too much of anything is not good for you. Actually, its not great for society and other aggregates. Sometimes you have to pay attention totally, as in while driving or during surgery.
For one year the tone and shade of the world will be green or orange, pink, or blue. Never grey. It is the default for everything; celebrations and defeats, setbacks, and victories. “Everything is ochre!” Better than gray or black that are excluded from the hat’s offerings. Someone crashes into the side of your house or car. “Everything is chartreuse!” A new baby is held, you burble the nonsense people utter over newborns: “Cerulean, cerulean, cerulean!” Psychologically, it takes on the aura of a mantra, a way to cleanse the mind of too much emotion or to enhance it, if required, depending on the situation.
My color for next year, as this one is almost gone, will be olive. Covers all the season. Even in snowfall, something the color of sweet peas will peek through. If you squint, grass might be olive. Certainly a plant or shrub somewhere during your morning constitutional will be the color of fruit that grows far away, no pimento added, of course. That would be olive and red. The idea is to not bemuse any “thing”, just the color. It is the one color rule.
I suppose thinking in two colors is possible, but for this exercise, choose only one. Remember, not black, not gray, not slate. Navy blue and dark purple are out too. Lavender…lavender…lavender… so mellow. Last year’s color choice fades and like the turning of leaves, the color morphs into a new way to paint the view. It is helpful if you select a brilliant color like yellow or sky blue; easier to visualize.
The trick is not to envision everything around you in that color, simply a state of mind shading to distract from pain or whoop up when laughter abounds and smiles tear into your day. An example for use: A four year old is hit by a car, the heart pounds because you witness this act and there is blood and screams. You freeze and must act, call an ambulance, the police. Adults are upset and regret expressed profusely, ambulances are called, witnesses gather, the child is inconsolable. Run to help, chanting “Olive, olive, olive.”
Or, the Christmas tree is decorated and the lights come on, children ooh, old folks aah and you think “OLIVE!” Silly? Think about it. Life is one enormous puzzle with questions getting harder to answer. Simplification is one route to elect calm. Whatever word you select is fine. Eventually, it will evolve into a phrase as in, for sooth! “Everything is olive!” Technically, it is called bio-feedback. Transcendental seems to cloud the practice for the secular mindset.
The purpose of the exercise is a small way to point the world toward world peace (oh if only that were so). Your color is a secret. You must tell no one. Otherwise, the magic goes back to where magic lives until you choose another pixel combination and tell no one what it is. Olive, obviously, is out for next year. Note: If this year’s color worked, stick with it for the rest of your life. You may have found “your” color. 😀
Just having a bit of a sharing. In times of great distress I will meditate by saying my secret “koan” over and over to induce calm. Trust me. Transcendental meditation has impact. As a habit, a good many emotional side trips are walled off and everything, absolutely every thing existing around you forms a harmony. Grief or thrill, humor or pathos, no matter. Pulling oneself back to middle ground to take control of what you feel and the way you view the world at this moment is the point.
Don’t knock it. Try it. Vascular pressure eases, you can feel it fade, and your relax totally. You will live longer. Your body will thank you in unexpected ways. We could use a world that is calm and full of mentalities that are alert and paying attention. If that fails, grab a pint with a mate and call it a day.