and share your true colors.

On Tuesdays, I have my Zoom yoga class—pandemic style. This past week, I was having a particularly good session of deep breathing, long stretching, and strong poses. For those of you who do yoga, you know some sessions feel better than others. Some days your body seems to be in a duet with your mind, and other days they’re sniping at each other like combative siblings. This was a good day.

At one point, after several pyramid poses, half-moons, and seated triangles the reward of relaxing stretches at the end of the lesson was announced by my teacher, Gretchen. I think I was doing a reclined eagle pose at the time—picture the kind of twist that negates all those hours of pandemic TV binging on the couch. Not only did my body feel grounded to my yoga mat, but in front of my gently closed eyes popped a beautiful, solid purple circle. I love to report such experiences immediately to Gretchen—she is an angel of affirmation.

“I see purple!” I blurted out like a delighted child. Gretchen confidently responded, “You are seeing the God chakra. You are experiencing God. Wear that purple crown, Becky!” Less than a minute later my floating circle changed color. “Now it’s orange!” my student enthusiasm bursted forth to my teacher. She reflected, “Orange is the chakra of creativity—you’ll have a great day of creating!”

It was a full day of creating in my kitchen; my usual rhythm of writing and cooking seemed to flow more easily. More importantly I felt more attuned to what was happening around me (was that the purple influence?)—like volunteer projects that needed my attention, friends who needed listening ears, prayers that needed to be said, and a beautiful life mourned and celebrated through a virtual funeral. Ordinary and extraordinary moments that some days could have gone unnoticed or undone. It might have been easier to stay in child’s pose all day but my energy directed me to more depth and breadth.

My work in faith community nursing taught me to look at each person as a whole being—body, mind, and spirit. Sometimes I need to be reminded to look at my self in that same way. My yoga practice today, with all its deep breathing and bright colors, reminded me of a favorite hymn tucked into the firm foundation of my heart. I can still hear my dad, Juel, along with his sister, Lorraine, cousin Lester, and the other close knit members of Bethany Lutheran Church singing . . .

Breathe on me, breath of God;
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love all that you love
And do what you would do.

Hearing this familiar verse filled my lungs and heart with fresh air and fresh words. It also made me curious to learn more about those purple and orange hues I was seeing during my yoga practice today. Each God-given breath I take seems to have the power to fill me with new life, new colors. I had to text Gretchen. She responded:

“Indigo is representative of wisdom, insight, prophecy. Violet connects us to God, to spirit …it represents our awakening! The orange color connects us to our creativity . . .think about birth and rebirth. The birth of new projects. New energy infused into projects you are currently working on. Creativity in every area of your life!”

She went on to explain with enthusiasm that every color of the rainbow is represented:

“Think about the rainbow symbolizing God’s promise to us. The colors of the rainbow are the colors of these energy centers in our body which help us connect on a deeper level to our spirit. God is with us always and all ways. Now go color your world!! And shine forth in LOVE!!!”

Her text ended with my favorite emoji—blue hearts. In her words:

“Blue hearts . . . blue is the color of communication . . . the ability to speak truth . . .  the ability to speak and also to be heard.” 

I’m enjoying this coloring lesson. A bit of quick Google searching shows the colors of the rainbow and their corresponding energies. For example, red is safety, survival, and grounding. Yellow is intellect and green is compassion.

When our oldest son, Ian, was in first grade we moved a few miles into a new school district. On Ian’s last day at Horace Mann Elementary, his first grade class said its goodbyes at the end of the day. One little girl named Rosie placed a plastic bag of broken crayons on Ian’s desk. As we looked at the bag after returning home we noticed that each crayon was perfectly broken in half. It was evident that Rosie had broken each of her 96 box of Crayola crayons in half and gifted them to Ian. What a sacrifice for Rosie. The rest of her first grade year would be spent using short little crayons to do her worksheets and art projects.  She had shared her colors.

Now it is already Friday. What colors did I share this week? Some blue of truth, some green of compassion, some red of rootedness? I hope so. Do you need some colors today? Are you feeling gray in a black and white world? Take some deep breathes and breathe in God’s rainbow of life anew. I believe you’ll have true colors to share.

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8 thoughts on “Breathe, just Breathe

  1. Beautifully said, as always. It’s a colorful world, but now I realize colors may lead us down paths of enlightenment. I love the fresh, compelling thoughts you stir up in your readers. What a gift!

  2. Our former Pastor said, “Be sure you are paying attention when people show their true colors.” I feel strongly that this is true in both negative AND positive situations.
    I enjoyed reading about what is associated with the various colors. Thank you!

  3. This is so beautiful, Becky! First, I was glad to sing through that hymn again. It was a staple of my childhood, too. Where did it go? And how touching that someone so young would cut her crayons in half. I wonder what colors I can share today, with God’s help?

    1. Where did that hymn go, Matt? I was tempted to add all the verses and maybe should have. Really powerful words. No doubt you will be sharing your colors today in colorful Hong Kong!

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