A Colorful Life
By Anna Beaumont

Living a rich and colorful life can mean that people will not always agree with you.  You will be the brunt of people’s jokes and will be talked about behind your back as ‘the person who does weird things.’  Oh well.

I have a friend who has changed her name I can’t remember now how many times now.  She has been the target of this kind of back talk.  I too, have had my opinions of this, to my dismay.  We say we want change and to live expressively and with freedom, but when it comes right down to it we are terrified of painting outside the lines and being shunned by the family, the tribe and the status quo of what is acceptable and what is not.  After all belonging is way up there in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, so it feels counterintuitive to do so.

Living with color, spontaneity and freedom means embracing messiness and maybe being kicked out of the group for swimming upstream instead of down.  Of course not all the time, but when we do this and they don’t like it, we are really just pressing on their inner agreement to stick with the colours they know.

I have been a singer in the public eye painting with color my whole life.  But here’s the thing, I’ve kind of been apologizing for it along the way.  Less so now, but my apologizing self and my Authentic Self are in the death throes.  I know who’s going to win.  I have tasted enough freedom and expression in my life to know which way the truth is facing.  I am facing this way.

This friend of mine, she doesn’t care at all what people think and she is my teacher for sure and she should be all of ours too.  When I get up there in front of people and sing my heart out I open myself to the kind of scrutiny that suspected criminals do in a police line-up.  Yes there are people in front of me listening to me and enjoying but sometimes it feels like they are behind the glass all talking about me and ripping me to shreds.  Oh well.  So be it.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you.  But it does matter what you think of you, she says sheepishly.

One step at a time, or, one line at a time, paint outside of them, take a different path and feel the life that bursts forth within you.  This can look like the simplest, smallest of acts in our everyday life.  A teensy moment to break us out of the routine of living like a robot inside of a beige colored box.  Try smiling at someone you don’t know.  Look into someone’s eyes at the checkout counter at Safeway. Say a bold statement in a group of people that just didn’t see that coming.  Do it anyway.  Tell someone they hurt you when they are just expecting you to brush it away, sweep it under the rug where all the other nice, polite people put their feelings.  Out of sight out of mind.  Go to a movie on your own. Sing in the car and don’t stop when someone pulls up beside you…

These moments are what I call ‘Acts of Existence’.  Moments that change our trajectory in our day ever-so-slightly, but enough to inject some loving fuel into our engine for the day, and for all of those around us.

Paint with new colours that liberates others from their own beigeness as well as ours.  Let’s do small acts of existence to prove to ourselves that the light is indeed the truth and the way.  We will feel the benefits of these colors inside and out.

It is brave to do these small and simple acts.  It’s brave because the dark parts have become squatters in our energy fields.  They just showed up and decide ‘huh this looks like a great place to stay for a while.’

Step outside and see the light of day, see all the colors of nature that are displayed before our very eyes.  Take that in and let what is natural paint you towards what is authentic and wild inside of you, and yes, people will say things.  They will have opinions.  Oh well. Do it anyway.