I’m very lucky to have a craft room in my house, an inspiring room crammed to the gunnels with colourful stuff. It’s full of tantalizing bits and pieces: jam jars of beads, bowls of buttons, and boxes full of textiles, wool, jewellery making supplies, found objects, paints, vintage paper, dichroic glass, altered books, canvases and various useful hooks, wires and thingumabobs. The room is a riot of colour and feels full of potential as there are so many things that could be layered, combined, or set next to each other in interesting ways.
This altered card shows a few of the threads I have in my room and got me thinking about what it would mean for me to be a bit more colourful.
I’ve mentioned on the blog plenty of times before that I am an introvert. I also have a bit of a ‘colour snob’ thing going on with a natural aversion to bold primary colours. As a result, I tend to be not only fairly reserved in conversations, with a tendency to fade out of people’s awareness even when I’m in the middle of a group, but even the colours I wear tend towards the subtle, discrete, gentle, unobtrusive side of the spectrum. Any colour you think of on the rainbow, I would tend to wear a dulled down version of: think greyed green, dull ochre, burnt orange, moss. These are all colours that suit me and that I like, but today I’m feeling the need to rebel against them a little because they just don’t reflect the full extent of who I am on the inside.
On the outside I am the quiet, reserved, supportive vicar’s wife/mentor/teacher/mother in an inoffensive, soft, knee-length khaki wrap dress and chunky boots. But I sometimes think of there being a wardrobe inside me, full of other outfits and personalities other people rarely see me wearing. On occasions I do an active imagination exercise where I ‘try on’ one of these personalities and dialogue with them, in an attempt to engage with my shadow side. There’s a hilarious foul-mouthed clown dressed in emerald green clothes and ruby red curly-toed shoes, sitting next to a super-efficient, slick-haired business woman in a fitted red dress and black patent high heels. I haven’t dared to look right through the wardrobe yet, but there could well be a flamenco dancer in dramatic costume, a flouncy ballerina in a froufrou sugar pink tutu, a monk in saffron robes, a Venetian masked reveller, and perhaps a floaty, floral-clad romantic poet or two. I’m sure all of them would have something colourful and interesting to say if I asked them.
It sounds like a weird idea, but there is something very energizing about allowing yourself to seek out the more colourful aspects of yourself that lay dormant and tucked away just below the surface. Who do you have lurking in there? What do they have to say and what colourful outfits are they wearing?
(If you are interested in trying out the idea of Active Imagination exercises, I highly recommend the book ‘Living Your Unlived Life’ by Robert A. Johnson and Jerry M. Ruhl.)