How was your St Patrick's day? Your 'green' weekend? Hope it was as filled with 'real' green like walking on the grass outside & tucking into your Spring veggies as it was with 'plastic Paddywhackery' - balance in all things is good after all.
At this time of year, wth our Irish patron Saint's day on March 17th & also Spring in the ascendancy, green is all around us. It's the colour of renewal, rejuvenation, of hope, of love even (more about that anon); it's vital & life-affirming.
I came across the stunning images in this post just yesterday; they are a selection from the Pantone 2017 Colour of the Year "Greenery" & the choice of Green as this year's colour by Pantone is summarised thus:
Pantone's Leatrice is sure speaking my language!
Who doesn't want to feel rejuvenated & revitalised?
Who doesn't, deep inside, want deeper connections with nature & with those around us?
Who could argue with the need for a larger purpose, one that serves & nourishes us all?
A larger purpose like for e.g., taking better care of the planet & of each other;
by reducing our intake of animal products & increasing our intake of fruit, nuts, seeds & veg;
by leaving the car at home more & upping our use of public transport or even our own legs;
by reducing our reliance on foreign imports & increasing our purchases of local & seasonal produce;
by reducing the time we spend alone online (alone even when we're in the presence of but not company of others) & increasing the time we spend chatting with, eating with & interacting with each other?
And the thing is, the really really great thing is, if & when we do this - we feel better.
We eat better, we move better, we sleep better, we work better, we interact better, we just do better. We do better by ourselves & by our 'home' - we & our planet (like the stunning image of Mefjord, Lofoten islands, Norway below) are all made 'better' by these small, simple & (NB!) enjoyable steps that are all within reach of most of us.
It is no coincidence that the colour green has been used so often in hospital settings; it is strongly associated with calm, relaxation & healing. It is the colour of balance & harmony & can, therefore, be helpful in times of stress. Even just looking at images of green & nature has been shown to help calm the central nervous system, reducing blood pressure & boosting overall wellbeing.
Be inspired by GREEN. Go GREEN. Try GREEN.
You can even introduce Green into your Yoga, mediation & wellness habits.
Green is also the colour associated with the Heart (aka the Anahata) Chakra.
Green helps people with forgiveness, compassion, trust, love & balance so you can understand the association with the Heart Chakra. It's important to remember that this chakra relates to both love & to self-love, i.e., our ability to give & receive love unconditionally. When we are balanced, we're able to give love to those around us
but first, we must be able to love & nurture ourselves; that is, showing compassion, love & kindness to ourselves.
I've written about a lovely & very simple practice for helping enable this love for ourselves recently, the practice known as Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM). You can read about it here.
Please try that short but powerful LKM practice again but this time, incorporate the following into it at the end or even just try the following visualisation at the end of your Savasana (Relaxation pose):
Take a few minutes to allow the effects of your LKM practice to reside in the body, then begin to visualise vibrant beautiful green energy pulsating out from your heart centre through your body to wherever you need it………
throughout your mind & spirit…………
allow the beautiful emerald healing light of love, compassion & healing to flow out from your heart & radiate warmth & energy……
see this green light, radiating out from the centre of your heart into the rest of your body especially feeling this energy flowing out into your arms & hands & then flowing back into your heart.......
gently release the palms & turn them outwards with elbows bent, shoulders relaxed & your chest open......
feel or visualise the green light love energy flowing out of your palms & into the world....
you can direct it towards specific loved ones in your life or to all sentient beings......
to end, inhale the arms up towards the sky, connecting with the heavens, then exhale & lower the palms lightly to the floor, connecting with the earth.