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what shade are you?

a can of paint

On a recent retreat, we asked the youth to look at themselves from a new angle. “Close your eyes. Think about your life in colors. What colors describe your life and experiences?“ The idea came to us after reading an enlightening article by Roxanne Roberts in which she invites readers to view our lives in a bright, new way:

“Think of your life as a can of white paint. Each significant experience adds a tiny drop of color: pink for a birthday, yellow for a good report card. Worries are brown, setbacks gray. Lavender—my favorite color when I was a little girl—is for a pretty new dress. Over time, a color begins to emerge.’”

While words give us one perspective, we discovered that colors reveal a totally different view. Reds, purples, oranges, greens. The vast spectrum of color gives us fresh dimension to imagine and play with. And it frees us to understand ourselves in new ways.

feelings are colorful

One girl told us that she looks like the ocean—her colors, like her life’s experiences and moods, constantly shift. Sometimes she’s buoyant, glowing a bright teal blue, light and clear. Other times she’s a cloudy and confused gray.A boy saw color from a different angle. “My happiness and joy come from natural colors—like those that surround me outside. Sometimes they get overshadowed by the bland ones, like colors of phones and laptops.” He sometimes turns to his phone as a distraction at times, too. But “when I can get myself outside, the colors surrounding me immediately make me feel better.”Another friend said he felt red frustration while having a hard conversation with his mom. It was remarkable because it was unfamiliar; green contentment and ease usually shades the way he feels around her.

find your palette

Only we can name and feel which color describes our memory or mood. This unique way we each view colors really makes them ours. What a potent gift! Why not dive into your palette? Start small. Close your eyes. How are you feeling in this very moment? Golden, or olive, or midnight? Trust your intuition, and notice the colors swirling just under the surface.


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