Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Joy Project: Energy

In the first chapter of Joyful, author Ingrid Fetell Lee focuses on energy, and it couldn't come at a better time for me. For at least two months, I've been feeling as flat as an open bottle of New Year's champagne that gets pushed to the back of the fridge and poured out a week later. But what exactly does it mean to feel energetic? A good night's sleep, a caffeine fix, or a brisk walk all boost my energy, but what affects whether an environment changes my energy in a positive or negative way?

Lee breaks it down into two components: color and light.

If you look at your surroundings right now, I hope you see a burst of color. But if you're American, chances are you might not. We are, Lee writes, chromophobic, or afraid of color. Many of us run-of-the-mill Americans do not grow up in a culture of color. We learn to see bright colors as "childish and frivolous," whereas neutrals come across as "mature" and impart a message of "self-restraint."

This may be true, but I think a lot of us aren't afraid of color as much as we're afraid of using it wrong. I blame HGTV and the like for giving us so many messages of the importance of being on trend. Why would I want to commit to this year's blue when next year, it's going to be saffron yellow or whatever? We need to give ourselves permission to choose what we love, and kindly tell the color gurus at Pantone to kiss off.

The other component to energy is light. A great deal of research backs up the health benefits of sunlight or broad-spectrum artificial light, so I won't go into details here. Suffice it to say that light helps us feel happier, healthier, and smarter. Moreover, light is "color's power supply." When photons of light hit an object, the ones that are reflected back to our retinas are perceived as color. We see short wavelengths as the color blue, long ones as the color red, and so on. According to Lee, this "alchemy" between light and color lies at the heart of the energy aesthetic. 

Makes sense, right? Now that I have a better understanding about the importance of color and light, my homework is to implement them in a way that puts the bubbles back in my champagne, so to speak. Because I'm not a big project person, I have just a few small tweaks in mind for my writing space. I hope you'll come back next week to see what that looks like!






    



  

7 comments:

  1. Hi Jenny! You've inspired me. I'm going to paint at least one wall in my office...I'm thinking yellow because it's so cheery.

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    1. Hi Pat! Sounds like a perfect idea! *wink*

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  2. I love color! One of my favorite projects was a set of 50s metal chairs that I have. I painted each one a different bright pastel color and love how they look all lined up together. Good luck with your color project and getting the bubbles back in your champagne. Weekends In Maine

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    1. I love that your chairs bring you joy! It makes me want to paint some chairs :-)

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  3. I love colour - but I'm colour blind so it's a very different world for me :)

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    1. Wow, I hadn't even thought about colorblindness, and your comment makes me wonder how differently sighted people perceive their connections to color.

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    2. In our house only The Hub is normal-colour sighted. Both Barbarians and I are colour blind. But of course, we all have different levels of colour blindness.

      I'm the worst. Everything is apparently dulled down for me, so I have a tendency to go for bright colours. The Hub says my wardrobe looks like a rainbow threw up in it, lol.

      I also mix colours up a lot, or can't see colour (eg red flower on green tree). So my connections are very much affected by my skewed vision.

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