I'm often asked how I got involved in color healing and so I thought I'd share my story here on this first post.

In the beginning, there were Crayons and I knew it was good. I received my first box of these waxy creations when I was about three years old, and it led to years of self-imposed coloring therapy. Whenever I felt inspired or just wanted to block out my noisy family, I'd empty the yellow box onto the floor and let the Crayons roll where they may until I caught them and laid them out in front of me like an exotic Oriental fan.

For hours I would lie on my stomach with my feet pointing skyward, immersed in my own little coloring world of castles and horses and everything girly. As a child, my favorite colors were Pink, Red, Magenta, Midnight Blue and Thistle. But there were some Crayons I didn’t like, like Flesh or Burnt Umber, which I thought were just plain gross.

Like many of you, I began my appreciation of color through nature. In school, I was that kid who chastised others for not coloring "correctly". No, pumpkins are not blue and no, the sun is not green. You're not doing it right, I'd insist. I probably sounded a lot like Hermione from Harry Potter. You know, "it's leviOHsa, not levioSA." But while I was quick to crusade for the "true" colors of nature, I sure wasn't adverse to trying a new color combination myself when I thought the other kids weren't looking. Like the day I colored a completely black horse with a thick, toothpaste-white mane and tail.

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I grew up in a military family. We moved every few years or so, to such diverse locales as Texas, Germany, Mississippi, Italy and Alaska. Now Alaska was colorful. If you've never visited our 49th State, you might think it was one glittery white snowball. It's not. I lived there when I was six years old and I remember the green trees, the blue icebergs and, of course, the beautiful rainbow display of Northern Lights. But I also remember a lot of yellow.

There was a neighbor lady who asked me to pick the yellowest dandelions from our front yard and bring them to her. She said she made butter from the dandelions and when she had, she’d invite me over for some nice hot bread and very yellow butter. I was a gullible kid and I suppose she was pulling my leg because I have never, ever heard of dandelion butter since. But I do remember how good that melted butter tasted on my bread and how very bright and yellow it was, just like the huge Alaskan sun.

Colorwise, Italy was quite a change. We lived close to Brindisi, in a small town called Latiano. Our house was called The Blue Villa, a powdery blue mini-mansion surrounded by acres of vineyards. The southern Italian land wasn't spectacular--mostly a dry-looking brown with specks of olive green--but when the persimmon trees were full, there was a symphony of orange.

Luckily, no matter how often we moved, I could always find some color to play with. In junior high, I abandoned my Crayons and tuned my color radar to my teenybopper wardrobe. In Home Ec, I made this awful--and I mean awful--geometric orange and hot pink mini dress, not unlike something "Marcia Marcia" or one of the other Brady Bunch girls might wear. But the truth is I wasn't a very good seamstress and so its shelf life was extremely short, since I couldn't actually wear it. I think it went to Salvation Army. Or maybe the garbage--I don't know 'cause when mothers get a hold of things, they just disappear, don't they?

I caught the disco fever when I reached my twenties, and not just on Saturday nights, either. It was the late 1970s, the era of shiny, multi-colored mini dresses and platform shoes--and was my closet full of them! I was particularly fond of wearing the Silvers and Coppers and Golds and when I was on the dance floor, the light from the revolving disco ball would cover me in rainbows!

One color I'll never forget is orange, mostly due to my then-boyfriend, Michael. His living room was completely dominated by a plush orange sofa. Now I'm not talking about a soft peach, orange sherbet or country harvest pumpkin hue, but a bright neon, in your face, I-can't-believe-they-make-that-color-and-you-actually-bought-it orange. Eventually, Michael dumped me but that's okay because there was no way I could live with that orange monstrosity. Besides, it had that gaudy, cheap-looking brass trim I can’t stand. Double yuck.

Collecting miniatures and building roomboxes and dollhouses was my new passion in the '80s, which allowed me to be both colorful and creative. One of my favorite creations is the Caribbean gift shop. It's the largest roombox I own and features an exotic island panorama and vibrant paintings on the walls. It reminds me of a shop Nick and I visited in St. Lucia. Whether earth, sea or sky, all the colors seemed much brighter there. Well, eventually, I became a real mini-maniac and built an Irish pub, a baseball diamond with bleachers, a riding stables, a doll shop, a zoo with a train, a seaside cottage, a Christmas shop and a haunted house. As much as I loved doing it, miniature-making is an expensive little hobby so I don't do it so much anymore. But maybe I'll go back to it when I’m an old lady and wearing purple.

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It wasn't until I was a professional writer in my 30s and was suffering from an unusual case of writer's block that color became my muse. One day I walked into a metaphysical bookstore in Rhode Island, with the intention of buying a few books, some music and maybe a crystal or two. There in a large, sunny window were over 100 square glass bottles, each containing two different-colored layers of liquid. This was my introduction to Aura-Soma, the holistic therapy which uses the healing energies of colors, plants and crystals.

After that discovery, I couldn't get enough color. I wanted to breathe it, drink it, eat it, wear it. This led me to years of studying and researching color, and eventually earning my certification as a professional color therapist and developing my own color therapy products, along with a new method of creative writing called Rainbow Writing.

Two days after the tragic events of 9/11, I found myself anxious, upset and desperately in need of the color green. At my local metaphysical shop, I discovered a beautiful opalescent apple-green stone and instinctively clutched it to my heart. Almost immediately, I felt happier. I didn't know it at the time but that stone was chrysoprase, which is considered to be a great healer because it eases sorrow and is emotionally uplifting. I've always loved green. When I read that hugging trees was therapeutic, I couldn't wait to try it. So one day when Nick and I were in England visiting Sherwood Forest, I found my tree and hugged and hugged. Did I feel silly? Yes. Did I feel better? Absolutely! (And I'll bet ol' Robin Hood was a tree-hugger, too.)

So here I am, today, enjoying my fabulous 50s and guess what? I'm back to coloring with Crayons! Only now I’m leading workshops on coloring mandalas (instead of horses) and my favorite Crayons are Blue Green, Caribbean Green and Hot Magenta. Of course, these days I require a good, solid desk and straightback chair for all my serious coloring work. No more on-the-floor coloring for me!

In fact, if you ever, ever find me lying face down on the floor, don't think I’m coloring. Call the medics, please, because I can't get up!

Author's Bio: 

A professional writer/editor since 1980, Eleyne-Mari is a certified color therapist who conducts creative writing, spiritual journaling and color therapy workshops for the open-minded. Visit her website at www.colortherapist.com.