From ALTAR YOUR SPACE by JAGAT JOTI KHALSA

COLORS: SETTING THE TONE

We’ve known for ages, since long before the advent of color therapy, that various colors express and stimulate diverse moods, reflections and responses. Colors can energize and stimulate, calm and refresh, and even inspire and heal us.

Red famously draws attention and stimulates decidedly energetic, aggressive or erotic responses. Matadors wave red flags at bulls to provoke aggression. It's no coincidence that sexual zones around the world are called red-light districts. Statistically police pull over more red cars annually than cars of any other color. Blues and greens tend to relax, soothe and calm, which is why talk-show guests often wait in a "greenroom" before going out to face lights, cameras and audiences.

decorative pillows

Because colors do affect us, it's important to choose carefully the color schemes in our living environments. Colors can soften or mute a room, tone it down. They can make a room warmer and cozier. They can energize a room, making us feel more awake, creative and alive. The key to choosing a color scheme for any room is knowing what we want to experience and how we want to feel in that room. Then we can explore the range of color options and pick the right colors for the right room.

The primary determining factor in any color choice is what you like, whether strong, flamboyant colors, rich primary colors, airy pastels or simple conservative shades. Experiment with one wall or area of a room. Be creative, even playful. Liberally paint your chosen color there or roll wide swaths, vertical or horizontal, of possible colors on different walls. Then let it dry. Sit with it for a while. Sleep on it. See how it looks in various shades of light at different times of day or night. Notice how it draws your eye, how it makes you feel.

pillow

Below is a brief general description of the basic effects of colors on the human psyche.

Pink: Physically, mentally and emotionally soothing. It enlivens compassion, love and purity.

Yellow: Awakening and mentally activating. It stimulates intellectual activity.

Red: Stimulates the mind and body. It encourages sexuality and passion. It can be extreme and very powerful. Use it wisely and sparingly.

Green: Brings balance, encourages growth and instills calm.

Blue:    Enhances creative expression. It is peaceful and expansive, like the sky.

Purple: Has a hypnotic effect. It encourages intense emotions, from anger to sublimity. It should be used very sparingly.

Orange: Activates optimism and refuels energy reserves.

curtains

  

TEXTILES:

TEXTURE MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

All humans respond to touch as is reflected in textile grades and values. We have silk, satin, fur, velvet, wool, cashmere and cotton. We have brushed, waffled, ribbed, rough or raw.

Personally, I think we ought to pay as much attention to what we wrap around our bodies as to what we put into them. Most of us unwittingly wrap or cover ourselves in materials that have been heavily treated with toxic pesticides. Traditionally cotton sheets are the norm for bedding. They are more body-friendly, more comfortable and of better quality than synthetic fabrics. But shockingly, in the United States, one fourth of all pesticides used are applied to one crop-Cotton. According to www.sustainablecotton.org, roughly a third of a pound of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are used to grow enough cotton for a T-shirt. And cotton grown in third-world countries isn't much better. Scary, isn't it?

window curtains

I recommend supporting healthy, eco-friendly businesses and reducing the health risks for your family by purchasing organic cotton sheets and clothing. A number of organic cotton sheet sets with thread counts of over six hundred are available for under a hundred dollars. Thousand thread count organic sets are available for the luxury shopper. For the sake of my family, I want every item and bit of energy in the bedroom, and especially on the bed, to be energetically and chemically positive, peaceful, healthy and pure.