RED

The life of man is in the blood – Leviticus 17:11
The color Red in the Bible stands for blood and redemption.

We’re going to learn more about the color red this week.  Red is the first color of the rainbow spectrum. What do you think of when you think of the color Red?  What kind of emotions do you feel when you see this vivid color?  
Do you think of bright colorful berries in the summertime or beautiful red flowers growing on a vine?   Some might think of passion and love and others might think of assertiveness or even anger. Whatever you think or feel emotionally about this bright color, it is a color that definitely stands out and makes a bold statement.
Red is a warm, bright, and energizing color.  It has been shown to boost confidence, assertiveness, courage, and strength.  It is also strongly associated with love and passion and warmth and comfort. Think of Valentine’s Day with the color red.  Most cards and candies are wrapped in lovely red packages and bows because red is usually associated with love, sexuality, and strong emotions.  Red is an energizing color that has been shown to evoke vitality.
The color red is associated with the root chakra, which is located at the base of the spine.  In Ayurveda, (an ancient healing system of medicine) a chakra is a wheel of energy located in specific areas of the body.  There are seven of these wheels of energy, known as chakras.  The first one starts at the base of the spine and all of them flow through to the last one, located at the top of the crown.  When flowing properly, these seven main chakras assist in creating harmony in our physical, emotional, and spiritual body.  If a blockage occurs along one of these main energy points, then stagnancy, disharmony, and illness can occur.
Each chakra is associated with specific organs and a representing color. The root chakra, which we’ll discuss today, supports the blood, adrenal glands, kidneys, spine, DNA, skin, bones, and lower extremities.  The root chakra represents our foundation or how we build our life.  Our basic needs like shelter, food, sleep, and self-preservation are all associated with this chakra.  It also represents our fight or flight response, survival, physical identity, safety, and security.  The root chakra is meant to keep us grounded to the earth and to harness our energy to manifest and survive in this world.  It is the chakra that represents and connects us to our specific community and tribe.
The color red is associated with this chakra because it signifies confidence, security, strength, vitality, and stimulation of our instinctual abilities.  Our ROOT represents our relationship to our physical world.
When this chakra is imbalanced or not flowing properly, some physical symptoms could be constipation, back discomfort, weight issues, and fatigue.  Frequent colds, flus, and autoimmune system conditions can develop.  Adrenal issues, such as fatigue and tiredness can also be present as well.  Gout, joint inflammation, arthritis, and hemorrhoids can also be physical symptoms of an imbalanced root chakra.
When we lack energy in this area, we can also experience emotional symptoms, such as, anxiety, detachment, insecurity, fear, worry, and poor decision making, especially related to survival aspects, such as money or shelter.  Some might feel stuck in their life or stubbornly set in their ways.  These individuals feel unsafe, insecure, and lost without a community to support and confirm their identity.
Someone with a healthy ROOT has a healthy immune system with good energy and deals well with emotional and physical stressors.  Reserve energy is also available if needed.  They feel safe and at home within their being and environment and do not feel threatened.  They have a strong community or tribe to which they feel interconnected to in an emotional and physical way.
Let’s now discuss how the color red and eating red foods can assist in balancing our root chakra.
Red colored foods in the plant world are high in Vitamin C.  They are rich in lycopene and flavonoids.  They also have plentiful amounts of carotenoids and are chocked full of powerful sources of antioxidants.  These foods have been shown to be potent cancer fighters and have strong anti-inflammatory properties.  All these amazing properties aid in supporting the ROOT (foundation) of our being.  Our immune system is boosted with these healing foods, as well as our other organs and systems that the root chakra consists of.
Other important things to help balance and nourish our root chakra are to eat clean and organic foods. Avoiding pesticides and GMO’S in our food is very beneficial to our immune system health.  *For more information on avoiding pesticides, please read the article on my blog about the dirty dozen and clean fifteen foods.
Being aware of our stress levels, whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual, is very important to our grounding and our root foundation too.  Praying, meditating, proper sleep and rest, and exercise can help to negate negative effects from stress.  Connecting regularly with our family, friends, community, or tribe also aids in balancing our root chakra.  This keeps us feeling connected, accepted, and safe.
Besides eating red colored foods for health benefits, you can also use the color red in different ways for healing.  I’m going to encourage you each week to use each color we discuss in a creative way if possible.  You can wear red.  If you don’t feel comfortable wearing a red shirt or dress, wear red as an undergarment.  You can also wear a red scarf, red earrings or jewelry, red nail polish, or tie a red scarf around your purse.  Wrap yourself in a red blanket or sit under a red light. Place some lovely red flowers in your home or work space.
You can drink red pomegranate juice (very healthy) or enjoy a glass of red organic wine with your dinner.  If none of these appeal to you, then another wonderful way to use red is to paint or color with it.  Did you know that adding some red to a work or creative space can inspire creativity and energy?
Painting or creating something beautiful and creative with the color red is very healing to your whole being.  I truly believe when we do something creative, it connects us to our inner self and feeds our soul. Even just taking a brush with red paint over a canvas and swirling it however you hand leads you can be therapeutic.  See how you feel inside when you look at this vibrant color. Think about purchasing an adult coloring book and focus on using a red crayon, marker, or colored pencil. Research has shown that coloring calms the amygdala, the part of the brain that controls the fear and stress response, while stimulating other parts of the brain that are responsible  for creativity and logic. In recent studies, coloring is able to produce a similar effect to meditation in the brain. Using color in creative ways is very relaxing and healing emotionally, mentally, and physically.
You can even paint your own rainbow during this series by adding a new color each week to your canvas.  We will be going in order of the rainbow, starting with yours truly this week, Red!
Feel free to use red and all of these beautiful colors however you feel led.  They are available to all of us in so many ways and forms.  My goal is to make you more aware of how healing these colors are to our healing journey and how to use them in your everyday life to evoke beauty, creativity, health, vitality, and joy!
“Color is a power that directly influences the soul.”  ~ Wassily Kandinsky