For those of you who are just joining us, welcome to the University of Life. In the last two “classes” we laid the groundwork for this course—The Color of Wellness. In each of the next seven posts, including today’s, we’ll look at the properties of a specific color. Today’s palette features the color red.
Red is associated with self-preservation, survival, and physical wellness. It enhances vitality, energy, and courage. It’s the color of blood. Think of the mouthwatering strawberries, the inside of a ripe watermelon, flaming maple trees, iron-rich soils, a juicy beefsteak tomato, fire engine red, or the brilliant red of a cardinal against a snowy backdrop. Remember the sweet, rich taste of red licorice at the movies?
The positive properties of red are expressed as energetic, assertive, powerful, exciting, passionate, strong-willed, courageous, and self-motivated.
The negative properties of red are described as aggressive, domineering, impatient, insensitive, and self-centered.
The healing properties of red are stimulating and vitalizing and address physical symptoms such as tiredness, poor circulation, colds/chills, and negative states of mind such as apathy, fear, and lack of initiative. Red boosts brain activity and increases heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure.
When you need a boost in the areas of survival and self-preservation, indulge yourself with this color. Its frequency refreshes crucial earth energy by stirring the base chakra and stimulating all of the body’s energy centers. Like the deep root system of a healthy tree, red stabilizes our foundation and can help to bring our energetic body “down to earth.” It gives us legs to stand on. When our energy wavers or we feel used up or indifferent, red helps us ground and center our energy so that we can realize our goals.
Are you drawn to a true primary red? That’s a statement color, dramatic, vibrant, and stimulating. Or maybe you enjoy more muted tones; they’re cozy and intimate with just a hint of passion and romance.
What we do with our physical environment—our personal space—speaks to our heart and helps us to flourish. Buy a piece of red clothing. Add a splash of red to your décor with flowers, pillows, a candle, or a throw. Do something bold, paint your headboard red. Or take advantage of the healing frequency of red crystals such as garnet, red jasper, or ruby.
“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
– Laurie Buchanan
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be used in part, or in whole, without written permission from Laurie Buchanan.
Thanks for the advice Laurie! Not sure how much red I have to wear actually because of my flaming red hair. hahahha does that mean I have energy each day because it’s sitting on top of my head?
I better put it on now. I was up at 5:30 and did dishes and now I’m going out to garden! Gotta get those last green honeys into the ground before the frost comes.
Hi Beth – You are such a RED woman! It suits you beautifully. Have a great day in your garden (we just got back from a 30-mile bike ride in Boone County. We’re heading to HolEssence now for afternoon/evening clients).
Oh Wow! Yummy yummy red! I have been drawn to red but for some reason stayed away from it. Of course being a Leo and a dragon, Red and Gold speak volumes to me.
I always wanted to do a room Chinese Red for meditation or living in!! Hmmm?
Jeff – Ohhhhhhh, I can just seeeeeeeeee you in a Chinese Red room for meditation. Yes!
wow…without even reading your post, just looking at the pictures in email, gave me a surge of energy!
Cheri – I’m so glad you enjoyed the photos. These are some of the ones we thought I’d lost when my hard drive died back in June. Gratefully, 1,100 photos were retrieved — whoohoo!
Oh, how nice. I’ve been trying to get to your blog for several days now.
For the last week, I’ve been getting up an hour early to do a guided meditation type of Chakra Balancing Yoga. I will add images of Red to my mind, as I wake up connecting to the Earth in Downward Facing Dog each morning and get rooted.
In Love & Gratitude,
Deb – So glad to see you in class. I’m glad you dropped by! Your early-morning meditation practice sounds wonderful!
Thank you, Laurie. I found this exploration of red very interesting –epecially its healing qualities. I also enjoy your suggestions on how to incorporate it into my life.
Leanne – I’m so glad you came to class today, thank you. I’m tickled to know that you’ll incorporate some of the suggestions — whoohoo!
okay, now I love red just from reading about it; what chakra is it connected to? I know I could go look that up myself, but I am one of those lazy students who always asks questions in class and that is after I show up late. I have this feeling I am going to be collecting baskets of colors to make sure I have enough on hand at any moment depending upon what I need
Barbara – I’m glad you asked (inquiring minds want to know). Red is associated with the base (root) chakra. Just you wait until I wrap this class up to see (I’ll show a picture) what we do at home with all of the colors to insure that we have it on hand at any given moment.
I love red in all it’s forms, I will wear a red shirt when I need an energy boost, eat a red apple for the same reason. I can’t live with too much red, I’m not that kind of person. As a water dragon dragon I prefer cooler shades of blues and greens to predominate my color schemes but bright flashes of red can always be found to give things a zip. However, my new favorite cool weather color in my bedroom is cinnabar, one of the warmest, coziest colors around. Love your photos, they made me hungry!
Sandi – Like you, I love splashes of red here and there. And for those of you who may not be familiar with what the color cinnabar looks like, follow this LINK — it’s great! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, Sandi — I thought they were gonners when the hard drive crashed back in June, but the Geek Squad was able to retrieve 1,100 photos — whoohoo!
I have an over large red fleece that was David’s which I love to wear. I also have some scarves with red in them. I am looking around and see I have bits of red everywhere… but if you had asked me if I chose red very often, I would have said “no, not really.” I even have a new sweater being knit for me that is the most beautiful red.
Yet, I imagine that I mostly wear muted colours these days. Soft navy blue, deep greens… hum. I used to wear a lot of bright clear bold colours and red was one of them. Now I wear splashes of colour and enjoy the quieter tones… even in red. I have no idea why though. Hummmm will be back for more.
And I did snitch a piece of red licorice as it went by. Delicious!
Terrill – I’ve claimed a few pieces of both Len and Eoghan’s clothing over the years and they’re delightful to wear because they’re baggy and I practically “swim” in them. Red — in all of its shades — has a wonderful way of sneaking up on a person and sniggling into their lives.
[so those were YOUR fingerprints on the red licorice jar!] …
Sorry, sorry, late for class! (Gasping for breathing–had to run a long ways to get here…) I have actually been working quite intensely on the 1st and 2nd chakras the past couple of months. So reds and oranges are at the forefront.
Like Terrill, I like to wear muted colors. This is to the despair of my mom who insists I look the best in bright colors. I always feel too visible when wearing bright colors like red. Too loud. Too bold.
This is so interesting–my awareness is so diffuse and huge, it’s hard to consolidate into a definitive self. (I’m sure you wouldn’t know that from my blogging presence–which is actually an attempt to claim a personality, to claim a self.) Perhaps wearing red and orange and yellow would help the body claim a self….thank you for these thoughts.
Kathy – slow, Slow, SLOW down and take a deep breath. Whew — that’s better. Oh how fun to be focusing on specific chakras — that’s great! I agree with your mom that you would look good in bright colors, but I also agree that you look good in the muted tones as well. In other words, you’re a palette just waiting to be adorned with your heart’s color desire — wear what you’re drawn to. I’m glad you’re in class — thank you for your participation.
Jeff, this is a cross-over to Aura Soma but Red/Gold is a Lion’s bottle. It amases me every time how wonderful different energy approaches fit perfectly together.
Back to red : I have a soft red sofa in my living room. As to red : I like the Valentino-red very much and I eat very often tomatoes, no kidding, and of course my glass of deep red wine:)
Elke – I know your comment is to Jeff, but I wanted to jump in and say that we have a soft PURPLE love-seat down in the guest room in our basement. It’s sounds awful, but it’s really very nice.
This is the Valentino-red
Red is certainly an uncompromising color that is invariably associated with intense passion, anger and disengagement. It’s the color of the soul too and two works of the cinema have used it metaphorically to great effect: Ingmar Bergman’s CRIES AND WHISPERS and Roger Corman’s MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH.
Your magnificent discussion of the color red in our lives is definitive, and an immediate point of reference. I loved the use of it in the ‘healing powers’ section too.
This is certain to be a fantastic series, Laurie!
Sam – I love your contribution; it’s neat to see the color red through your cinematic perspective!
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My birthstone is Jasper and I wear a ruby ring that my mother gave me a long time ago. Red is the Aries colour. I need more red for those healing properties.
These colour pages are most interesting.
Kerry – We use a “chili pepper red” in “splashes” throughout our home. And love it!