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A Joyful Colour Challenge - Part 1

Colour is energy, joy and light in action. There is so much evidence that colour is good for us, it can lift our mood, reduce stress and bring cheer to our lives. I am currently reading a book on joy by Ingrid Fetell Lee entitled Joyful, and so far the chapter on energy and our use of colour to bring joy has been so inspiring.

I love colour, especially colours that sit energetically alongside each other - red and pink, green and blue, fuchsia and turquoise. I sometimes dress with these colours but not often and in very small ways - like a scarf or bag, and if you look around my home you will see pale pink and aqua blue here and there amongst the cooler creams, whites and greys. In our first home I embraced colour - a khaki green kitchen with a bright pink wall rug, a baby blue feature wall and blood red rug in the lounge, deep purple and pale lilac in the dining room. But as I have become older I have chosen a subtler, more muted decor, preferring calming and quieter colours.

In the chapter on colour Ingrid talks about how people are afraid of colour, of making a choice and it turning out to be a mistake. She also says that our western culture has a bias towards sophistication and not joy. This is confirmed by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, critic, and amateur artist, considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era (so he must of known what he was talking about, right?) when he wrote in 1810 that 'savage nations, uneducated people and children have a great predilection for vivid colours' but that 'people of refinement avoid vivid colour...and...seem to banish them altogether from their presence'. Ingrid goes on to say that 'we dismiss colour and joy as childish and frivolous, prizing neutral hues as a mark of coolness and mature taste' basically we outgrow our inclinations towards joy!

When I read this, it struck a chord with me, and not a happy one at that. As a result, I have decided I want more joy, frivolity, light and fun in my life, wardrobe and home! The times in which we live are difficult and uncertain enough. The skies are naturally getting darker as the months get colder and wetter. The news and conversations we find ourselves in can bring us down. Days can be filled with fear, anxiety and negativity rather than joy, hope and fun. So, in light of this, I am going to seek out colour this week - I am going to find ways to surround myself with colour and see if it makes a difference to my mood and the levels of joy I experience day to day. I will record this, take photos and share my findings with you in my next post. I plan to embrace colour in my diet, fashion, home, garden and lifestyle.

If you have any tips and ideas on how to bring colour into my life, or ways you have found joy in your own, let me know in the comments below or on my Instagram page @iamsarahalexcarter - I love our conversations and your thoughts on my posts. You could join me in this joyful colour challenge too, share this with others and let's spread some joy together this week.

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