WEAR MORE COLOR: An Unlikely Lesson in Creativity

While reading, listen to Understanding! by the Sunbears!

Spring is on its way, at least that’s what I keep telling myself, as the pitter patter of rain continues day after day.

It’s around this time of year when my yearning for color, sunshine, and warmer temps begins. But, patience is a virtue - one I’m working on, so I suppose I will look for color in other places. The first and easiest one is my closet. Black and assorted greys are my typical uniform base, making this a fun challenge. I’ve always been a firm believer that what you put on the outside can actually have an effect on the inside.

So as I pick my pink Converse over the white, throw on a Crayola bright sweater, or even swipe some purple on my eyelids, an immediate lift in my overall mood and confidence occurs. Perhaps it’s the sense that I’m injecting some needed color and inspiration into an otherwise gloomy atmosphere,  like I’m really making a difference. Or maybe it’s all a figment of my imagination. At any rate, both frames of thought are usually the ingredients for a shifted perspective.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been more intentional about what I choose to put on the outside, as I’ve become a bit addicted to the inner rainbow it creates. Under my weekly goals, I’ve enthusiastically written WEAR MORE COLOR, and without buying anything new at all, have found creative ways to do it. You know how they say once you buy a certain car, you will begin to see them everywhere? Or when you adopt a particular dog breed, there’s suddenly a dozen more in your neighborhood? Well, I’ve found this to be true as well with color. Everywhere I roam, I see people confidently sporting canary yellow raincoats, donning cobalt blue handbags, and wearing hot pink lipstick like it’s their JOB.

Color seems to be following me, or maybe it's been there all along.

At certain times in my young adulthood, I’ve wished I was more minimal. I truly admire minimalist’s abilities to be so selective and modest with their lifestyle choices. One framed photo on the wall. Capsule wardrobes. Cleared countertops. Their self-control is remarkable! All over Pinterest and my Instagram explore page, I see homes and wardrobes filled with the same cream-colored linens, eucalyptus branches, and white...lots and lots of white. I appreciate it, and do draw some inspiration from it, but no matter how hard I try, I am no minimalist. I like bursts of color everywhere. I like things, collected treasures, little reminders of life and personality in all corners.

I’m not talking about clutter, but if my life were a type of art, I’d say it’s a mosaic.

And I guess I’m saying that the resistance is over. I’m wholeheartedly embracing that part of me that is less demure and a little more pigmented. I’m buying the bright red tulips, and I’m going for the green eyeliner. I don’t want to be too self-indulgent and call this a lesson in self-discovery, but I’m not saying it isn’t.

All too often, we become comfortable with allowing the influences, trends, and majority of what others are embracing and preferring, speak to and overpower what we would naturally like. Our default for getting inspired is no longer about looking within or putting the pieces together for ourselves...we simply ingest the art of others and call it ours too.

I’m all about getting inspired and learning from one another, but I’ve learned that our inner voice can grow quiet over time, and if we aren’t careful, we’ll lose that friend altogether.

So, take a moment every once in a while to turn down the volume of what’s popular out there...and listen to what’s going on inside. Who are YOU meant to be? What art do YOU want to make? What are YOUR likes & interests? As I asked myself these questions, I found inspiration in the simplest form: wearing more color. Life’s just too short to try and fit this curly-headed wild child into the proverbial round hole. I don’t fit. And friend, I’m okay with that.

It may take a little time to recover that inner artist...but I promise you, she’s in there.

Disconnect from the online universe for a little while and you’ll find the way. Break out some of those old, childlike practices you did simply because you enjoyed doing them. Watercolors. Read a fiction book. Watch the sunset. Put on a little fashion show and make the mirror your audience. Play at the beach. Go for a walk and take mental notes of every flower you see. Set a daily, creative goal and stick to it! Not only will your best work emerge from this place, but your most confident self will too. This pursuit of real, personal creativity is your long overdue breakup with striving, proving, and comparing.

Over time, and yet all at once, you’ll find yourself in a settled place: not just excited about what you bring to the table, but eager to add more chairs and welcome others too.

A new week proposes a fresh opportunity to express yourself and live in a way that is true to form. How will you listen to the you that’s inside & step out of the comfort zone you’ve been calling home? Darlings, your lease is up. It’s time to move.

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