green, pantone, greenery, color of the year, color of the year 2017

Before you watch the video Pantone put together for the 2017 colour of the year, “Greenery,” take a moment to think about what the colour green means to you (and if you’ve already watched it, that’s OK, you can still follow along).

I can wait. We have lots of time. 

Think about green. What does it mean? What does it feel like? Where do you see it? What importance does it hold?

And if you have 45 seconds to spare, press play below to watch what Pantone thinks about all things green.

When I started researching why and how Pantone dives into the grand endeavour of choosing a hue to represent an entire year, I was not disappointed with what I found. 

According to wikipedia, every year in a different European capital, two “secret meetings” are held between “representatives from various nations' color standards groups.” These people give presentations and hold debates over what the colour for the following year should be. The chosen colour and the reasons behind it are published in, “Pantone View, which fashion designers, florists, and many other consumer-oriented companies purchase to help guide their designs and planning for future products.”

Secret meetings? Colour standards representatives? Deciders of fashion trends? Sounds like I circle I'd like to be moving in, even as just a fly on the wall!

What do you think of the concept of choosing a hue to set the tone for an entire year? 

In 2016 for the first time Pantone chose two colours to represent the year, those being rose quartz and serenity, a baby pink and blue combo reminiscent of melting candy and rosey cheeked babies. Very settling, secure colours, predicting a year of stepping back, seeking evenness, compassion, calmness (can't say they quite hit the nail on the head with that one).

For 2017, they’ve chosen one of the greenest greens of them all, reminiscent of a candy apple, kiwi fruit, fresh cut grass.

Green is the colour associated with the heart chakra in the ayurvedic system, also ruling the stomach. We think of green for growth, for nourishment, for balance. Green is the middle of the colour spectrum; it’s both warm and cool, although generally when the colour wheel is taught, it's considered a cool colour.

From Frederic Gros' A Philosophy of Walking “... the Earth's force is not transmitted only in the manner of a radiation climbing through the legs. It is also through the coincidence of circulations: walking is movement, the heart beats more strongly, with a more ample beat, the blood circulates faster and more powerfully than when the body is at rest. and the Earth's rhythms draw that along, they echo and respond to each other." (pg 105)

Every 365 days the Earth travels around the sun and we travel around our little corner of the Earth. We celebrate the winter solstice and the ringing in of the New Year. Then birthdays come, the snow melts, the first blooms of spring, rolling into the high heat of summer. Every year we go for check-ups, get our teeth cleaned, pay our taxes, try to save a bit, go on vacation. These are all very standard, mostly Universal routines (at least in the West), that give us the checks and balances required for our society to advance in an orderly fashion and keep the economy stimulated. And every December 31st, we feel the collective feeling, whether it be of angst, gratitude, or resistance towards the next cycle. But we tend to all feel it.

Green is the essence of the regenerative cycle. It’s an honest, bright and cheerful colour, bringing with it promise and opportunities of newness.

After a tumultuous 2016, and perhaps yet another year where things didn’t quite go as they “should have,” let’s take the fresh, new, seemingly bright opportunities presented by the energy of this rebirth to remind ourselves that each and every day when we wake up we are given the opportunity - the new opportunity - to live and be in alignment with our higher selves.

Every minute of every day we have that choice. Whether it be in terms of actions, thoughts, emotions or words. 

We do not need to wait another 365 days to do good.

Another beautiful passage from A Philosophy of Walking, “The Native Americans, whose wisdom Thoreau admired, regarded the Earth itself as a sacred source of energy. To stretch out on it brought repose, to sit on the ground ensured greater wisdom in councils, to walk in contact with its gravity gave strength and endurance. The Earth was an inexhaustible well of strength: because it was the original Mother, the feeder, but also because it enclosed in its bosom all the dead ancestors. It was the element in which transmission took place.”

Try this meditation/thought exercise centred around the colour Green to help ground you in your present state of consciousness and give you a new sense of focus and perspective to guide your days.

You can work this into a longer meditation practice, or simply spend 2 minute on your lunch break using this as an exercise to refocus and re-prioritize. A mini "New Year" if you will.

Start by sitting in a cross legged position on your bed, on a cushion, on the floor, or sit on a chair if that’s more comfortable. 

Coming back to your thoughts on green that came up at the beginning, focus the colour that comes to mind into a ball of energy located in the very middle of your stomach, the very core of your mid section. Imagine there being a fist sized ball of green, glowing energy. And from your stomach, move that ball of green light up into your heart, and hold it there.

Then move your attention down through your pelvis, down your thighs, your calves, your feet, and feel your connection with the surface holding you up, whether that be a bed, a pillow, the floor, outside on the grass, a chair. Feel the surface and your connection to it, right down to the space where your cells are touching. Then imagine there are roots that start to grow out of your feet, your calves, your ankles, that penetrate into the ground below you and work their way, twisting and turning, but cutting through all matter as easily as a hot knife through butter, right to the core, the center of the Earth.

Breathe deeply, filling your lungs, your chest, your stomach, with a new breath. Hold it to the count of six and then release it as slowly as you can. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

As you breathe in, imagine these roots that are so intertwined and a part of you and the world around you to be sucking up energy from the very core of the Earth, right up, up, up and back into the ball of green light you're holding inside you.

As you breathe out, imagine that all the negative, stale, unhelpful, resistant energy inside of you is released and makes it way back down through your body, through these roots, back to the Earth, where it is exchanged for new, fresh, vitalizing energy that you breathe back in.

Use this meditation to help calm, heal and soothe yourself from the inside out, and to remind yourself of the access you always have to choice, to asserting your will.

What's your favourite green thing, kitties?

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