Psychology of Color


It began with a FaceBook post yesterday by a dear friend: Ok…if someone would let me borrow a fluffy pink tutu, a tiara, a pink teddy bear, and then spin me like a ballerina into a pool of PINK and GLITTER, drag me out and force me to watch a chick flick…Id really appreciate it. 🙂 *collapses*

From Various sources on the web I came up how pink might affect people and posted it on FB. That led to info about two other colors yesterday. Then this morning I took a deeper look into a wider spectrum of color effects and share the Cliffs Notes version here.

There are four psychological primary colors: red, blue, yellow and green.

RED is the most emotionally intense color. It stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing, gets noticed and makes the wearer appear heavier. Pure red is the simplest color, with no subtlety. It is stimulating, friendly and suggests strength, and warmth. At the same time, it can be perceived as demanding, aggressive, defiance, and straining.

BLUE is the color of the mind and is essentially soothing. Strong blues will stimulate clear thought and lighter, soft blues will calm the mind and aid concentration. It is serene and mentally calming and the color of clear communication. However, it can also be perceived as cold, unemotional, unfriendly, cold and aloof.

GREEN strikes the eye in such a way as to require no adjustment whatever and is, therefore, restful. Being in the center of the spectrum, it is the color of balance. We are reassured by green, on a primitive level. It brings harmony, refreshment, rest and restoration. It can also be the color of stagnation, blandness and boredom.

YELLOW is the strongest color, psychologically. The right yellow will lift spirits and self-esteem. It is the color of confidence and optimism. Too much of it, or the wrong tone can cause self-esteem to plummet, giving rise to fear and anxiety. Yellow is perceived as strong and creative, but also irrational, fragile, and depressed.

In combination the four primary colors create seven other secondary psychological colors: purple, orange, pink, grey, black, white and brown.

PURPLE – Positive: Spiritual, wealth, authenticity, truth, feminine, romantic. Negative: Introversion, decadence, inferiority, uneasiness, unrest. Rare in nature, purple can appear artificial.

ORANGE – Positive: Comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun. Negative: Deprivation, frustration, frivolity, immaturity.

PINK – Positive: Tranquility, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species. Negative: Inhibition, emotional claustrophobia, emasculation, physical weakness.

GREY – Positive: Neutrality. Negative: Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy. Only color that has no direct psychological properties.

BLACK – Positive: Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance. Negative: Oppression, coldness, menace, heaviness. (PS: It is a myth that black clothes are slimming).

WHITE – Positive: Hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency. Negative: Sterility, coldness, barriers, unfriendliness, elitism.

BROWN – Positive: Seriousness, warmth, Nature, earthiness, reliability, support. Negative: Lack of humor, heaviness, lack of sophistication.

For me this info will get filed mentally under “conversation starters”. It was fun and interesting to dig up. I am grateful for the simple comment of a friend that was the catalyst to go find this stuff. (Thanks K.!)

Each day has a color, a smell.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Primary source:

Quit Thinking About It…

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The advantage of a bad memory
is that one enjoys several times
the same good things for the first time.
Friedrich Nietzsche

In my 20’s and 30’s the cover phrase for forgetfulness was “I must be getting old”. By the 40’s and 50’s the rationale had morphed into “must have had a senior moment”. Now almost out of the latter age decade I notice memory lapses on a regular basis. So far my forgetting is nothing to get worried about. However, there are the pesky things like names and titles on the tip of my tongue that I can’t sometimes conjure up at will. With those come the overused statements “quit thinking about it and it will come to you” or “you’ll think of it at 3 o’clock in the morning”. Both have an element of truth.

…I began to study and categorize midlife mental lapses as if they were so many butterflies. There was Colliding-Planets Syndrome, which occurs when you fail to grasp, until too late, that you’ve scheduled a child’s orthodontist appointment in the suburbs for the same hour as a business meeting in the city. Quick-Who-Is-She Dysfunction surfaces when you are face-to-face with someone whose name stubbornly refuses to come to mind. What-Am-I-Doing-Here Paranoia leaves you standing empty-handed in a doorway, trying to figure out what you’ve come for. The Damn-It-They-Were-Just-in-My-Hand Affliction leads to panicky moments spent looking for your favorite new sunglasses, when all the while they’re on top of your head. And Wrong-Vessel Disorder results in placing the ice cream in the pantry rather than the freezer. Cathryn Jakobson Ramin

First hand experience is mine with all five of those somewhat whimsical names Ms. Ramin calls types of forgetfulness. I have stood a friend up for lunch, called an acquaintance by the wrong name, gone to the kitchen and found I did not know why, gone looking for my glasses only to discover I was wearing them and put ice cream in the fridge instead of the freezer. But then hasn’t everyone? If you’re middle aged or more, I can’t imagine the answer is anything except “yes”.

A momentary loss of memory is most probably not a sign of Alzheimer’s, or if so it’s a very distant one. People between 65 and 75 face only a 4% chance of suffering from that sad, destructive disease, vs. a frightening 50% chance for those over 85 (see Alzheimer’s box). Yet almost all of us will be tripped up by forgetfulness from time to time as we age. Memory may begin to get a little shaky even in our late 30s, but the decline is so gradual that we don’t start to stumble until we’re 50ish. Therese Eiben, Fortune Magazine

Now having done a good bit of research I feel better and am grateful for my good health and relatively reliable memory. If my habit of “I don’t need to write that down. I’ll remember it.” can be broken everything will be just fine.

Right now I’m having amnesia
and déjà vu at the same time.
I think I’ve forgotten this before.
Steven Wright

Tools of Their Tools


There’s never enough of the stuff you can’t get enough of.
Patrick H.T. Doyle

There is no memory when I first came across the website, but it became an addiction for a few weeks. Before you jump to a conclusion, let me tell you the site is an on-line auction of estate items in Southern Ohio. I’ve had “auction-fever” before but that was at a series of live antique auctions over a decade ago. Back then the realization arrived that buying for no particular reason except ‘I could’ was not healthy. It was easy then to think the necessary lesson had been well learned. In time that teaching feel dormant and needed waking up.

It was the feeling that I just had to win a particular auction that I noticed and jolted me back to reality of what was learned years earlier. I thought “you have too much stuff already and now you’re buying more. What’s up with that? You’re retiring soon. Shouldn’t you be a little more careful with your money?” The answer was an emphatic “YES”. At least the balance on my credit card stopped at about a thousand dollars!

Henry David Thoreau said “Men have become the tools of their tools…” I can relate. My symptom is similar.

…in affluent societies, where most have more than enough to live well, Thoreau would ask: ‘are the more pressing wants satisfied now?’ The suggestion is that, unlike the wise and prudent primitive societies, we are satisfying less pressing wants (for superfluous comforts, luxuries, and tools) and neglecting what are for us more genuinely pressing wants, such as a flourishing inner life. Thoreau claimed, ‘Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind… a man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone’.

Redemption for my buying spree was the realization that items purchased could be redirected as gifts to friends and family for future birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Once I decided many of the items and some I already had could be a gift appreciated by loved ones I began to feel better.

All my life I’ve been told I am too hard on myself and I have come to see that is frequently true. The difference now is I don’t beat myself up (as much). Instead when the self-examination begins I start to ask “where is this coming from” and “what can I learn from it”. Answering those questions softens my self-adminstered treatment.

The days are filled with many opportunities to educate myself about how to live a more fulfilled life. While I miss more than I grasp, an awareness of how frequently the chances to learn come is helping me grab onto an ever-increasing share of them. I am grateful for every opportunity to be a better person in my own eyes.

Wealth is not an absolute. It is relative to desire.
Every time we yearn for something we cannot afford,
we grow poorer, whatever our resources.
And every time we feel satisfied with what we have,
we can be counted as rich, however little we may actually possess.
Alain de Botton

What You Stand For


Before you speak,
Let your words pass through THREE gates:
At the first gate, ask yourself, ‘Is it TRUE?’
At the second gate ask, ‘Is it NECESSARY?’
At the third gate ask, ‘Is it KIND?’
A Sufi saying

My self-analysis:

“Is it TRUE?” Generally, yes. I am not a liar but am guilty of enhancement from playing up some parts of the story and playing down others. I am not innocent of embellishment either. It’s not an easy thing to step back, see and then admit what one sees. My guilt is sometimes not telling the full truth, but selected parts instead. And admitting that to myself is a healthy thing to do for acceptance is half the battle.

“Is it NECESSARY?” Now I start to get into trouble. An honest self-appraisal tells me quickly I frequently talk too much and listen to little. In expressing myself, I am certain the quantity of words used can be excessive at times. Oh, to be as good of a listener as those who have been patient to listen to me!

“Is it KIND?” It is in my general consideration for others where I am most proud of myself for the three gates. The majority of the time I can answer with a resounding “”yes” that I go out of my way to be kind and thoughtful. It’s not always appreciated, but it is never wasted. I benefit from what I give and it matters little how others receive it.

With the school year ending about now, it begs what my grades for the “three gates” might be.
#1 – “Is it TRUE?” A solid “B” is earned I believe.
#2 – “Is it NECESSARY?” The best grade I can give is a “C”.
#3 – “Is it KIND?” I am pleased an overall “A-” would be accurate.

Not bad and all passing grades. However, I’m grateful my standards for myself are higher. The person who truly tries to do their best, always benefits from the effort. Today, if even in the humblest way, I will do better than yesterday.

How would you grade yourself?

There is nothing better…
than for you to be at your best,
for you to be at your own peace,
for you to be showing them in every way
who you are, and what you stand for.
Steve Maraboli

To Love Life


Self-knowledge has no beginning and no end.
It is a constant process of discovery,
and what is discovered is true,
and truth is liberating…
Jiddu Krishnamurti

Once I became open to discovering the truth about who I was and how life really worked I became happier. That happened NOT because I was always pleased with what was found, but because what I discovered was the truth. There can be no happiness without self-honesty and a genuine acceptance of reality. Now I am grateful to have some knowledge about both.

…to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again…
Ellen Bass

Shines Brightest

8113823_origIt’ a beautiful Sunday morning during the Memorial holiday weekend which I increased to four days away from work by taking Friday off. After a couple of days of getting up without an alarm clock or a list of things I needed to do, I’m at peace and feeling mellow.

The healthy level of lethargy I have achieved through some serious decompression leaves me lazy and borrowing words this morning to post. Jack Karaksuer’s thoughts below remind me to daydream, live large, act boldly and fight ruts and routines. But that will have to wait. It will be time for a nap soon.

…make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt.

So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.

The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.

The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy.

But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. From “Into the Wild” by Jack Krakauer

Life is good. Slowing down and taking stock of it all from time to time is as important as any of my doing, doing, doing. It is in stillness that gratitude shines brightest.

Turn off your mind,
relax, and float
John Lennon


In honor of Memorial day, here’s a link to a G.M.G. post from a year ago:


Open Arms and a Grateful Soul

meander_way_to_light_by_the_arkzWhere you come from is gone,
where you thought you were going to was never there,
and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it.
Where is there a place for you to be? No place…
Nothing outside you can give you any place…
In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.
Flannery O’Connor

Having been a searcher for the majority of my days, I relate strongly to O’Connor’s words. I tried various jobs, living in lots of cities, and changing partners frequently in a quest to find myself. I chased happiness while not knowing what it looked or felt like. Knowing what being happy wasn’t covered the near full extend of my knowledge. Running toward and away simultaneously kept me stuck in the same spot no matter how much who and what was around me got changed.

It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth,’ and so it goes away. Puzzling. Robert M. Pirsig

There were moments when happiness was within me and love was in my arms, but I recognized neither for such things were strangers. It was impossible to embrace what I sought when there was no tangible idea in my head of what I was seeking.

What you’re looking for is already inside you. You’ve heard this before, but the holy thing inside you really is that which causes you to seek it. You can’t buy it, lease it, rent it, date it, or apply for it. The best job in the world can’t give it to you. Neither can success, or fame, or financial security – besides which, there ain’t no such thing. Anne Lamott

Once I was able to find some stillness within to be in one place mentally and physically, my chase of happiness, contentment and love appeared to be the impossible quest it was. Such things can’t be found, located or hunted down. The way to attract them I learned was to focus inward, find peace with who and what I was and come to grips with what I truly needed. Then the good stuff I sought started to arrive.

It’s written, ‘seek and ye shall find’. But first, ‘imagine what you seek’. Otherwise, you will end up searching everything everywhere forever. Toba Beta

An unchaotic mind, body and spirit was all I ever needed to come to know that being happy came through acceptance and allowing myself to be contented with what was. Grasping and grabbing was not the correct path, but open arms and a grateful soul were.

The search for happiness
is one of the chief sources
of unhappiness.
Eric Hoffer

How Much Love…

love copy“How much love have you let in today?”

That question crossed my path and stopped me in my tracks. Reading the article by Cheryl Eckl that followed the question hit me like a ton of bricks: giving love to others is only half the equation.

Being a good giver but a poor receiver of love makes me in part affectionately impoverished. I am so much better at expressing my feelings to others, but not nearly so good at receiving affection. Talk about a ‘lick up side the head”! No wonder there has always been a lack in my heart.

To let love in, you have to be vulnerable. Not a familiar or comfortable state, especially for us Westerners. Even if we walk softly through life, we still carry a big stick in the form of inner defenses, resistances, psychological walls, and separations. Social media make avoiding actual people quite easy, so that creating real, honest, heart-felt, physical connections is not something we do well. Because to be that open means that we might get hurt or inconvenienced. Or we might be exposed for the frauds we may secretly suspect that we are.

It’s a crummy way to live. And yet, we’re so accustomed to being closed off that we don’t even notice. That is, until somebody asks, “How much love have you let in today?” Then we have to stop and examine whether we even know how to open up. Do we really know what love is? And what happens if we actually let it in?

Allowing ourselves to be touched by another’s differences is to be truly open and powerfully vulnerable. Parents are often really sweet in accepting the crude drawings of a child, knowing them to be an imperfect expression of perfect love. But somehow we lose that generosity as we age, forgetting that inside each of us remains a child who wants her gift to be cherished and pressed to the heart of the one she loves.

It may be more blessed to give than to receive. But if we fail to receive what others uniquely and affectionately offer us, the circle of love is incomplete. The heart’s door must swing both ways if we are to find wholeness—if we are to ever live life to the fullness that a loving Universe longs to give. Taken from “A Beautiful Grief” by Cheryl Eckl

To expound any further would delude the impact a simple question had on me today. “How much love have I let in today?” will become a permanent part of my toolbox for better living. I am grateful to now have such a useful implement!

Treasure the love you receive above all.
It will survive long after
your good health has vanished.
Og Mandino

The Hungry Ghost

7698002802_b7995efa67_zA hand clenched leaves no space for anything else. That thought has been taught to me repeatedly until it became accepted fact. When I rebel against life and grab on, wanting it to stay the way it is, nothing is accomplished except the narrowing of my life experience.

Over indulgence in wanting, wishing and hoping moves me either into future tripping or on a tour of the past. Nothing alive is to be found in either. This moment, who I am now and what I have currently is where living is found. Stated many times, I will always continue to express such thinking for it brings me back to the “now”.

When we’re in a state of wanting mind, we’re never satisfied, no matter what we have. If we attain the object of our longing, we simply replace the old desire with a new one. If we achieve revenge, we feel worse than we did before. The problem is that wanting mind is rooted in the incorrect belief that something outside of ourselves is the key to lasting happiness so we look there for the solution. The reality is that no emotion or state of being, however strong, is permanent and that happiness can’t be found outside of ourselves only within. Buddhists call this phenomenon of endless wanting and dissatisfaction the “hungry ghost. Ronald Alexander, Ph.D.

It is a uniquely human condition to desire. It caused the creation of civilization itself, brought a need to express in art and writing and started most any worthwhile endeavor. Want precedes doing. Longing comes before finding. Aspiration foreruns accomplishment. Feeling nourished follows craving. Happiness i soften recognized by a yearning sated. Flourishing is always a product of making peace with struggle and difficulty.

Sometimes we must confront painful options or make difficult choices. On occasion, flourishing is playing the hand we are dealt as well as we can, given imperfect and even undesirable circumstances such as family crises or financial distress, job loss or illness – the new reality for increasing numbers of people. Flourishing is different from happiness and it doesn’t always feel good. Many of our most painful experiences – unrequited love, loss of a beloved relative, professional failure – clarify our values, sharpen our determination and deepen our compassion. Jeffrey B. Rubin

Gone is the belief that being joyful and cheerful should fill me all the time. Can you believe I once thought that was possible?!?! Accepting the trials, challenges, heartaches and uncertainties are always predictable parts of life has been a huge step. And I don’t mean the usual acknowledgement of issues I used to make (as almost every one does). It is in seeing the greatest hurts and difficulties as teachers of cherished wisdom that I began to find contentment.

Being happy and flourishing is a state of contentment, even if what is happening is not what I want or would choose. Throwing off unhappiness and accepting all of life as one package has turned being alive into an exceptionally enjoyable adventure.

Unhappiness is a dangerous thing,
like carbon monoxide.
You don’t smell it,
you don’t taste it,
it’s formless and colourless,
but it poisons slowly.
It seeps into every pore
of your skin until one day
your heart just stops beating.
Bella Pollen

A Day for a Daydream

2586027821_d30d0ccc79What a day for a daydream
What a day for a daydreamin’ boy
And I’m lost in a daydream
Dreamin ‘bout my bundle of joy.

And even if time ain’t really on my side
It’s one of those days for takin’ a walk outside
I’m blowin’ the day to take a walk in the sun
And fall on my face on somebody’s new mowed lawn.

I’ve been havin’ a sweet dream
I been dreamin’ since I woke up today
It’s starrin’ me and my sweet dream
Cause she’s the one that makes me feel this way.

And even if time has passed me by a lot
I couldn’t care less about the dues you say I got
Tomorrow I’ll pay the dues for droppin’ my load
A pie in the face for bein’ asleep before dawn.

And you can be sure that if you’re feelin’ right
A daydream will last along into the night
Tomorrow at breakfast you may pick up your ears
Or you may be daydreamin for a thousand years.

What a day for a daydream
Custom made for a daydreamin’ boy
And now I’m lost in a daydream
Dreamin ‘bout my bundle of joy.
John Sebastian

While those lyrics are about being in love with someone in particular, I related to this old Lovin’ Spoonful tune more generally to loving life and appreciating a new day. After storms for days, seeing the sun this morning and the green bursting forth after the rain caused this melody to start playing in my head.

I am grateful for the dreams I had last night, this new day, the smells of the morning and sun beams dancing through my office window at this moment. Label me corny or even delusional, but an inability to share in a bit of my feeling this morning is only your loss. Life is more than half attitude. What kind have you chosen this morning? Each is the creator of his or her point of view.

Keep your face always toward the sunshine
and shadows will fall behind you.
Walt Whitman