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Colour Your Canvas, Again

Uma Daga | January 7, 2021
Colour Your Canvas, Again

I found a postcard in the set of Faber Castell sketch pens that I had purchased for my colour therapy classes. It had a frog, the sun, some flowers and a tree that were waiting to be filled up with bright colours. If it was any other day, I would have thrust the piece of paper back into the packet and continued with my work. However, today seemed to be different. Let me put it this way, my state of mind seemed to be different.

I had attained what my mind needed

I took one long look at the postcard and instinctively reached out for the red coloured sketch pen in the pack. Now what could be red? I chose to colour the petals of two flowers before anything else. Red being my favourite colour, it was the first that found place between my fingers. I did not have to think twice or long before selecting it. Once done, I took a longer look at the postcard. There were many more blank spaces that had to be filled with appropriate colours. I chose to work on the sun as it seemed to be the easiest to fill in. So, yellow and orange were the two colours that were removed from the set of those 15 connector pens to proceed with my task.

The process continued until I saw Hansa, my man-Friday, peeping over my shoulders and admiring what I was doing. Taken completely by surprise, my first reaction was to ask him if his four-year-old had ever held colours. His answer was in the negative. I gave the incomplete postcard to him and asked him to remind me to get a set of wax colours before he left for home. As far as I was concerned, I had attained what my mind needed. It definitely seemed to be more aligned than before.

Colouring my mind’s black and white canvas

Sitting under the sky, on a mat stretched on the grass and a big umbrella to protect my eyes from the strong glare of the winter sun, I had experienced something different today. I found an interesting way of setting my current state of mind in the right direction – courtesy, those humble colours.

About two months ago, I’d completed an advanced Art of Living activity related to sketching and colouring on a blank sheet. My team had to draw and colour whatever came to mind and we were to be rated as a group. However, I did not understood the task’s relevance or benefits on that day. I could not derive the result that I got today. In all probability, during that session, my state of being was unprepared to do the task or know what lay in store. I could not relate to how my mind’s black and white canvas could be filled with the colours of choice to make my life more beautiful.

Then, I drew and coloured the only design that I had replicated since childhood. My drawing had a line of mountains with snowy peaks, the sun shining cheerfully, a stream flowing down to green fields, a little hut with two trees flanking its sides and a small red boat with two figures seated in it. That’s it. I have never managed to go beyond this design or created any other drawing so far. But today, there was no need to draw since I already had a postcard with black outlined figures. I merely had to start filling them with colours to note how my state of mind changed thereafter. And it did.

Paintings, relationships and life

In life, after you go through any nerve-racking or emotional turbulence, the painting that takes shape in front of your eyes is completely devoid of colour. You start seeing your relations, life circumstances and every other thing in black or white. You refrain from making it vibrant or colourful as your state of mind is not ready for the same.

You feel pained because of the hurt inflicted by ‘your own expectations of people. These people are generally your loved ones who may have behaved as ‘they wanted to’. Your ‘own’ thoughts and apprehensions (after avoidable actions have been performed by them) have probably left you cold, colour blind and blank. This happens to the best of us. We end up feeling miserable and low, emotionally drained out and at loggerheads with our own thoughts and that of others around us. Right?

Possibly, ‘those others’ have already moved on with their lives. When they are already elsewhere (physically, mentally or emotionally), you are still finding yourself in a maze of confusion, insecurity, worry, stress and sadness. These are all emotional triggers that are preventing you from getting back to who you are, what you are.

How long can you shy away from the palate of colours that can bring your life back to its normal state? You have to get a strong grip on yourself, neutralise your thoughts and bring back stability to your rocked boat.

Go with the flow and move on

The way forward lies in an emergent need to start nurturing your emotional health, and the process has to start as of now. Nobody else can heal the wounds of hurt that you have inflicted upon yourself. Stop blaming others or looking for a ‘sorry’ outside yourself.

You are solely responsible for your current state as no one else ‘has or should have’ the power to disturb your emotional state of being or internal happiness. Begin the process by asking for forgiveness from yourself. You have to be kinder and more loving to your mind, body and soul. No other ‘sorry’ will help or is needed!

It’s not as difficult to repaint your life’s canvas as it may appear to your eye. The trick lies in not trying at all. Just go with the flow.

Let me go back to the sketch pens and postcard. Just as I chose red as my first colour of preference, simply think of what you love best. It can be a favourite food recipe, a costume, much-listened to songs, motivational speeches, some alone time or anything else that makes you feel good.

Create a moat around yourself until your self-healing process falls in line and is complete. At this stage, don’t worry about what others will think or how they will react to your new behaviour.

It is important to recolour your own life before splashing hues around you

Thereafter, think of what else needs to be coloured and how. For instance, I took a look at the sun that had to be colored in yellow and orange in my postcard. To go through this second step, you have to slowly lift your eyes and gently explore the most proximate things that need some tuning.

You may want to arrange your room, detox your metabolic system, put flowers in places you did earlier, change the linen and let soft music flow in your environment. It will be easy to perform these tasks as you will be doing so at will and without looking for any guidance, instructions, appreciation or gratitude from others. In effect, you are in the process of getting some colours of choice back into your immediate environment, the one that you certainly cannot do without.

As you go about this step, slowly and steadily, nice vibes will start creeping back into your frame. Thereafter, you will find some difficult to paint features that are narrow, twisted, intricate or tiny. This is where your colouring skills will be tried and tested and will have to go through the grind.

Don’t hold back

By now, your fingers have got back the grip on the set of colours (read emotions). Your emotional quotient is at a different frequency and you are better placed to reach out for the trickiest elements in your life and living environment — people.

Just as you would colour the finer parts in any postcard—each one thoughtfully and skillfully—you have to handle those around you with care. I somehow managed to do the same (unintentionally) with my man Friday even though he had startled me and had behaved in an unexpected manner.

Truly, once you have revived the colours in your relationships, be it with your spouse, family, friends, peers, domestic help or any other person, your life’s canvas will be alive all over again. It is time to enjoy the results of your labour.

Having done the job to your satisfaction does not mean that you can get rid of your colours or palate once and for all. Keep them away safely to be used again for the time to repaint your life’s canvas may come back very soon!

Uma Daga

Uma is a nature lover by birth, life enthusiast by choice, and a content writer by profession. She loves to travel, mingle around, and read. She lives in Jalpaiguri – far from the maddening crowds – in the lap of nature and says, “You have to meet and spend time with me to understand why I am the way I am!”

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3 years ago

Beautiful thoughts which have been superbly written down my friend 😘

Gurjeet K Walia
Gurjeet K Walia
3 years ago

I can relate to your piece as I have done this myself in the past. Bravo, well written!

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