Seeing red
As part of the #inspiredNovember challenge that I’m currently running on Instagram, I decided to start with the root chakra. The root chakra is our sense of grounding and stability and is also associated with the colour red.
As part of the challenge I invited everyone to observe the colour red as they went about their days. The result of this always amazes me. (I did something similar with a creativity challenge I ran on my IndieBerries account a while ago.)

For most people, (myself included) when you are asked to ‘just observe’ the colour red, it suddenly starts to appear all over the place. Yesterday I saw red buses and red post boxes everywhere (obviously), but then I also started to notice other red things that were suddenly very obvious to me, that I had never noticed before. I have taken the very same path to a yoga class for more than a year now and I have never noticed the three red doors en route before. I also saw a bright red wheelbarrow, a red polka dot backpack, red poppies all over the street lamps, a bright red jacket, red street signs, red poppies pinned to people’s chests, red paint, red cars, red bicycles, red leaves, red prams, red fire hydrants  and almost as if it was some kind of joke- three different people wearing red trousers all standing in a row. As if by magic, RED was just suddenly EVERYWHERE. I was seeing it everywhere I looked and everywhere I turned.

The truth is though, that RED did not just suddenly appear out of nowhere. Those RED things have been there all along. (Ok, maybe not the three-trousered-people, but you get what I mean). Those red doors, red postboxes, red cars, red bicycles, red jackets would have been part of my day regardless – BUT having my awareness “switched on” to be receptive to them – made them suddenly visible amongst all the other riot of colour that makes up our day.

What makes this practice so powerful is that it is an example of many other (more subtle) things in our lives. Take gratitude for example: If we tune our awareness onto the things we are grateful for, (just as we tune ourselves to observe the colour red), suddenly the things to be grateful for begin showing up. And they show up again and again and again and again. And what is even more important to note is that these things are not necessarily suddenly sprouting into our lives – they have been there all along. Just as that red door has always been there. It’s our attitude, our awareness and our observance of these things that suddenly ‘bring them into being’. And particularly with a practice of gratitude, the effects are cumulative and compounding: The more we are aware of the things to be grateful for, the more they appear and the more things that appear the more we have to be grateful for, and on it goes.

This is the same for the practice of kindness, love, calm, peace, stability, security, patience, grounding, creativity – whatever it is in your life that you are searching for, know that it is already there. And then observe it.

I was sitting on the bus the other day thinking about this challenge, and then thinking about the next chakra which is orange and about asking everyone to observe the colour orange. I suddenly had this thought in my mind, “well orange is a MUCH less obvious colour, it’s not going to pop into everyone’s awareness as frequently and as easily as red does. What if this detracts from the entire thing I am trying to show?”  And then, as if by magic – a car pulled up right next to the bus with it’s indicator on: BRIGHT FLASHING ORANGE directly in my eyeballs.

ok universe, I got it.

By becoming aware of these colours and then suddenly seeing them can feel like this miraculous magical thing. When really, those things were there all along. It’s not actual ‘magic’ at all.

But I’ll leave you with something from Albert Einstein, which I had heard many times before, but only REALLY began to understand once I began to deeply understand the power of what is already within us:
‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.’”

I know which way I’d like to live.