In a second extract from Judy Bartkowiak’s new book, we are sharing her thoughts on colour and how we can use it to access the subconscious mind, and to understand our children and what they need without asking direct questions. In this extract, there is also a simple exercise which can be adapted to suit the child or situation. Judy’s book is packed full of easy-to-understand exercises just like this one.
“You only need to think about how we feel in the winter surrounded by the dark colours and the lack of light. Then in the spring as the beautiful yellow daffodils and spring flowers emerge, the green shoots of new life, new beginnings, our soul sings. Colour brings up emotions. Our eyes, circulatory system, nervous system and digestive system are all affected by colour. It is the language of our subconscious mind and is readily accessed. We instinctively know the colour of our emotions and the colour we need to bring in to lift and lighten it.
Exercise: Ask your child to draw something they fear or something that makes them feel uncomfortable. It may be a spider for example, I have helped lots of children with a fear of spiders. The chances are that they will use black and make the spider very scary looking. Now ask them what colours they need to add to take away that scary feeling. They will add yellow or pink. They will add eyelashes, a smile, a funny hat or something to make it seem more fun. The same creative powers they use to make a spider scary, they can also use to make it friendly. It’s all in the mind.
As coaches, therapists, or practitioners, think about the colours you wear. Dark colours absorb energy so you will pick up your client’s energy. Instead, wear light colours to reflect it back. Blue is a great colour for communication, which is obviously good in any work with children and teens. I love wearing blue, and my therapy room is blue and looks out onto the garden which is very green, the colour of the heart chakra.
Notice the colours your client wears, the colours your child loves to wear. What do they tell you? What colours do you need to wear for you to feel connected to your world and at your best? Parents, think about the colours you use in the children’s bedroom. Red will energise, motivate and could trigger anger, whereas green will be more about harmony and balance so would be a better colour for somewhere they sleep.”
Understanding Children and Teens: A Practical Guide for Parents, Teachers and Coaches by Judy Bartkowiak is out now