After almost forty winters of running around New York City, I have made a pact with myself to slow down, not be so busy.
Admittedly, my slowdown began more through circumstance than by conscious decision on my part. The yoga studio that had kept me most busy closed a location, lost old teachers, took on new ones, and changed their whole structure, leaving me with more time, and, luckily, because of my teaching shift with them during covid, a decent number of online clients.
So now I have the time sit back and notice things.
I’ve finally realized that my New York apartment, which was gutted and completely redone twenty years ago, is in dire need of paint. Between my three pets and general wear and tear, the moulding is in pretty bad shape, and the radiators could use some love, too. That’s not to mention the walls in the hallway and living room that need attention.
I already knew I wanted to use ECOS Paints, which had been recommended by a past New York city student who worked with us at Sewall House one season, and I chose a neutral white for the radiators and the moulding.
But what about the walls? For some reason, even though green is my favorite color, I was drawn to blue.
On Black Friday Weekend (is that what it’s called, the weekend?) I took the plunge and purchased the primer and paints, choosing a blue called Acapulco Dive. After the fact, I wondered what the color blue meant as a wall choice. So I did some online searching.
The first thing I found was that blue is the most popular color! Secondly, I read several articles that made me feel my choice had been truly intuitive.
The first article reported that blue is often associated with feelings of calmness and serenity, and that studies have shown that blue color schemes can lower stress levels and encourage relaxation. Nice!
The next article about a Swedish study took it even further, saying that blue is a cool color, a relaxant for anxious people that helps decrease blood pressure, lower heart rate, relieve tension, and alleviate muscle spasms.
Blue, it turns out, coincides exactly with my intention this winter of slowing down, really slowing down, making a true shift. I mean, I want to slow down in lots of ways, especially in my thinking, which can lead to impulsive choices that truly do not serve me.
Because I have leaned toward anxiety my entire life — coping with the tools of yoga, meditation, and clean living — I have observed that I make my worst decisions when I am living in the high-intensity energy of New York City.
My apartment has always been my haven. It’s in a small building on a treelined, one-way street. I am lucky to have it.
But for some reason I have kept myself for too long on a treadmill of adrenaline, thinking that being busy running around the city is going to help me accomplish everything I want to have a balanced life. Now I know that’s just not true. Running with that high-intensity energy has not served me well, and I have finally proved that to myself.
So it’s time for a change, a real change.
Don’t be as blind as I was. See what’s not serving you and stop it! Identify and then change what isn’t giving you the results you want! That’s what I am working on this winter, and, so far, so good.
As I spoke about the blue this morning with an online kundalini yoga client who recovered from throat cancer years ago, I reflected on how blue is the color of the throat chakra. I said to her that when we live in truth we feel clear. When we are clear we feel calm. That’s all part of the throat chakra being balanced: clarity, honesty, purity, patience.
Blue is definitely a cooling color, so I look forward to my new blue walls helping to de-stress me and ease my anxiety. I have made the choice to slow down and smell the flowers while in the city—or, if I can’t find any flowers, at least notice that my apartment needs paint.
I understand that as I nurture my chakras, I nurture myself. I am looking forward to blue walls.
Donna Amrita Davidge owner of Sewall House will offer a Special Retreat, A Journey Through The Chakras, the first week of August 2024 at Sewall House.