How do we feel colour in our lives?

Colour Circles CardsColour is a magical and wonderful element in our lives. Imagine a monochrome world .. and remember too that is some people’s experience.  Colour creates textures, patterns, images that allows us to make sense of the world around us. Since before we were born our bodies including out eyes and brains have been swamped by electo-magnetic magnetic radiation emitted by our sun. We humans have eyes and visual centres in our brains that can receive and interpret this information. 

Very early on we learn to name the main colours we encounter and associate its name with the colour our brain perceives. This helps us as we learn to speak to describe what we see. It helps us communicate with our parents and siblings, our grandparents, teachers, friends …. but colour has so much more significance in our lives than that!   

Looking for Meanings .....

Many animals show great curiosity about their surroundings. They need to feel familiar, to know ‘what’s what” so they feel safe. It’s really all about survival! Us humans use our senses in much the same way but we also     

Colour meanings stem from psychological effects, biological conditioning and cultural developments. Some colour meanings are deeply rooted in our brains because they’re visible all around us, like red as the colour of fire being associated with warmth, or green with nature.

I can place an image here of a shades and tones of the colour BLUE. each one of these taken separately will, if you pause and really feel into it, create a different sense of how it affects you. These feelings you have affect, sometimes in quite subtle ways, how you behave or think. For example you may say, “This shade of blue makes me feel so chilled out”. SO next time you feel maybe anxious if you consider what options you have of clothes to wear you may choose some item in this particular colour. 

I’ll explain this in greater detail later when I discuss colour choices! 

These meanings can become SYMBOLIC in our lives and some of these have indeed become deeply embedded in our culture. It is intriguing to pause an look at this sense we have of meaningfulness of a particular colour. And as always this is something I love playing with in my creative art but also something I would like to share with you here: 

Here are two of my cards from a set I use with clients when we are considering colour choices we make. In any moment there is always a reason why we chose one particular colour / hue over another. I LOVE this work as when I work with client we learn together so much about ourselves. And I never stop learning about how others perceive colour in their lives.   

As one client recently said as we completed a playful session exploring her “favourite” colour … PINK. It’s not just her head that likes pink but her heart feels so happy when she embraces this colour. It’s softness and warmth, it gentleness and femininity, but also its beautiful energy. 



What do Psychologists and Psychotherapists do?

The word psychology comes from the Greek word psyche, which means the vital breath/human soul (from the Greek goddess Psykhe, the goddess of the soul). The American Psychological Association (APA) defines psychology simply as the study of the human mind and behavior.

Psychology encompasses all aspects of the human experience, and the study of psychology encompasses all the elements involved in understanding behavior, and more precisely, the factors that motivate behavior.

Psychology is the study of mental processes, behavior, and the relationship between the two. Mental processes in psychology refer to learning, motivation, reasoning, and emotion, among others. In other words, the study of psychology involves learning how humans think, feel, learn, interact, perceive, and understand, whether alone or when interacting with other people or the environment.

Psychology is both a natural science concerned with innate factors and primal drives that align with the laws of nature, and a social science concerned with the study of behaviours, feelings, and thoughts, and the environmental factors that contribute to them.

Unlike other disciplines that typically deal only in the realm of the physically tangible, psychology is concerned with thoughts, emotions, memories, and perceptions, bringing a unique level of nuance and complexity to psychological study, research and practice.

Gene Gendlin : a beautiful man who deeply influenced my life

Gene Gendlin 1926 - 2017

Gene Gendlin was a wonderful human being. I could label him as a psychologist but he was also a philosopher whose curiosity as to what it meant to be human led him to create a whole new modality called ‘Focusing’.  Focusing in a few words is a way of being with another human being or even yourself where you are fully connected to your body as well as your mind and spirit. 

Some may call this Deep Active Listening which was an ingredient that Gene noticed was missing from the practices and teachings of Psychologists and Psychotherapists.  He noticed that client repeatedly returned with the same behavioural or psychological issues over and over again.  In those days such therapy was led by the ‘experts’ and there was no space for the client to really sense how things were for them nor to express this. His practice of Focusing changed the whole way of being with a client: sessions became Client Centred. The numbers of clients returning with the same issues immediately diminished. The clients felt as if they had been truly heard 

I worked with Gene Gendlin himself and later teachers of his work from 2008. Indeed I had heard about and read his book back in 1995 when I was teaching. His work impacted me then and changed the way I was with the children I taught and their parents.    

How Gene's work affected my relationship with colour

Colour has played such a significant part in my life and I never expected that to change. But it did profoundly, as I engaged in this way of ‘deep listening’ both with myself and others. As I learned to slow down and take more time, to be really PRESENT with others, so that I could hold a safe space in which there is no judgement. This just allows whatever arises to be there and be heard.

I also felt this mirrored in how I was with my self. I also listened to me more deeply. As I did so, I gradually found all my senses were heightened. My sense of sound, of colour, of smell, even my sense of touch and of taste, all enhanced. It was as if my life was brighter … the subtlety of colour was so clear. It was like seeing everything with a fresh pair of eyes.

This affected every aspect of my daily life, my living, my being. My art work underwent a substantial change as did my photography. Even my garden seemed to take on a different enhanced energy. I have always talked to my plants! But now there was a much deeper, beautiful connection with nature.  

His influence on my whole way of being with others … of listening … of being present with others … has been such an immense gift in my life. I now pass this on to others when ever I get the opportunity.  I am now a teacher of Focusing .. of Deep Listening. However it also forms the basis of all aspects of my work and relationships. The best way to show you a little of his work is to let you read some of his more well known quotes!  There is so much more on You Tube and in the books he has written and those who have translated his more academic style into easily understandable books.