Winter may not be most people's favorite season, but in the cycles of life which correspond so closely with Nature's rhythms and seasons; Winter is very important. It is the time of year to listen to your heart, to reflect on your successes and aspirations, to nurture and care for your family, and equally as important, to nurture and care for yourself. Winter is a time to plant the seeds of new beginnings with confidence that they will be followed by a Spring filled with blessings for an abundantly joyful life which will then be followed by a Summer ripe with a full and balanced life. How exciting is that?!
While most people tend to clear out clutter and edit their possessions in the Spring, I find Winter the perfect time to pare down. Clearing clutter is the first and most important step toward turning your home into a sanctuary. Not only do our living spaces need room to breathe, but we need to get rid of the "old" to make room for the "new".There are three easy things to consider when deciding to throw something out: Is it beautiful? Is it useful? Does it make you feel good? If it is not something you treasure, or something that you use often, then toss it (i.e. give it away).
When it comes to clothing, if you haven't worn it in a year; it's highly unlikely you'll ever wear it again, so give it to someone who will.If you have trouble tossing out your possessions, I highly recommend reading the book "Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui" by Karen Kingston. By the time you read about all of the negative energy that attaches itself to clutter and unwanted possessions, you'll have no problem filling those trash bags! If the task seems overwhelming, just start with one small area, like a drawer. Once completed, you'll be amazed at the satisfaction you'll receive which will give you the energy to keep going.
Another book I highly recommend --especially this time of year, is "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Breathnach. It contains a 2-3 page chapter for each day of the year to inspire you to "go within", find your "authentic self", and live your "fullest essence". She has a theory which I find incredibly simple, yet so true:The six steps to abundant living: Gratitude: Reflecting on all that you are grateful for, which leads to Simplicity (paring down excess possessions), which leads to Order (i.e. when you lose all the clutter, you tend to organize your possessions) which leads to Harmony which creates Beauty which then leads to Joy! Think about it. Try it! I swear it works--even my eight year old daughter loves it when I clean out her room and organize her things. She'll keep it that way for at least a week. She especially enjoys it when I enlist her help before Christmas so that we can give outgrown toys to those less fortunate, thus making room for Santa.
Harmony is something we all strive for--especially in these trying times. In decorating, there are several ways to create harmony: As mentioned above, order creates harmony. Repetition also creates harmony. This can be repetition throughout a room with colors, materials, shapes or objects. Balance and symmetry create harmony. While we don't have to go to the extreme of creating a Japanese-like style, there is something to be said about its soothing, Zen-like qualities which we can imitate to some degree.
In my last two newsletters, I discussed different colors and the emotional responses they invoke in people. However, below are a few colors that I didn't cover:Brown, which promotes stability and groundedness, is similar to green in that it is a ray of balance. Brown carries with it a person's natural desire for comfort, home and security. It typifies home and hearth and the satisfaction of basic human needs. The color of living wood and the earth, it can be rich yet subtle--extraordinarily restful to look upon. It creates a feeling of coolness and warmth at the same time.
Gray at its highest silvery hue is the ray of peace. In interiors, it creates a timeless, contemplative and relaxing mood.
Rose lies behind the violet end of the spectrum and has in it a greater understanding of the life process than does red. This color manifests not solely as physical energy, but as a driving force directed along more disciplined lines. The purpose of this color is to harmoniously blend spiritual understanding with physical manifestation, turning visions into realities. Rose is able to bring the ethereal and spiritual into physical form. Rose used in the environment promotes love and contentment and helps bring out optimum potential.
Magenta is born of two invisible rays which together become visible. This blend of ultra-violet and infrared is a mysterious newcomer into our realm of sight. It inspires achievement through love of family, friends or an ideal. It promotes inner satisfaction from that which is well done.
Indigo is the most protective of all colors. It removes fear and promotes practical idealism. Indigo is a powerful vibration and is one of the dramatic, independent colors which promotes absolute integrity and reliability. With indigo, spiritual understanding unfolds. It stimulates a sense of unity and expresses an unqualified love and desire to serve. It promotes intuition, introspection and levelheadedness.
Did you know that our personalities also resonate as a color? It's amazing to me how everything is so interconnected. Based upon the theories of Pythagoras, the sixth century Greek philosopher, we acknowledge the vibratory relationships between numbers, colors and our alphabet. By studying our name through color-number analysis, we have a means by which we can learn about the energies predominant in us. From the "number-colors" of our own being, we can discover the color vibration our name carries. Below are the numbers and letters which correspond to each color: