yesterday, I saw a lot of orange.

Yesterday, I saw a lot of orange. The book I was reading had a sunset cover, I had chosen a chrysanthemum printed headscarf from early that morning, I’d prepared turmeric tea, and without purposefully sticking to theme, I was also diffusing orange essential oil throughout the day. Maybe I saw orange because I noticed it all at once – reading and drinking tea near the diffuser, hair wrapped in a silk scarf (otherwise, Sunday by the book).

I’ve heard orange is energy.

The day I arrived back to the states was the first cold day of Chicago’s fall season. I’d been coming back from three weeks in Cambodia’s consistently tropical weather. On a physical level, anything cold is without energy. On a subconscious level, maybe I was compensating for the sudden lack of energy around me.

When I was at an eco resort on the Cambodian island of Koh Rong, I met a couple: one was a tattoo artist and an energy healer while the other was an natural medicinal herbalist. The resort was $10 a night and we were on an isolated, pristine beach, using bucket showers and sleeping outside under mosquito nets. Meeting the pair at this point in my life could have been a pull of the universe, or equally likely, exactly who I should expect to find among the Angkor beer and mosquitoes.

He spoke of energy, negative energy, and rooms of negative energy and I asked, “should we stay in that room or leave it?”

“It depends – at that moment, do you need that energy or not?”

Intuition: something I thought I’d had,  but now I realize there’s another layer. It’s the intuition of knowing where your energy is at and what kind of energy you need. Something other than “today, you’re SAD – don’t do SAD things.” Even when I’m content, I’m still capable of mishandling or over-consuming negative energy and the negative effects aren’t immediate. Over time, though, I’ve sensed a loss of energy, maybe calling this “spirit.” It’s not a feeling of sadness; I still feel content, but my connection to the world around me is impaired – a feeling where music isn’t movement, it’s just sound. All caused by my misconception that, as long as I feel content and fulfilled, I am obligated to handle all negative energy in my path.

“There’s a South American tradition that practices taking in negative energy and productively absorbing it.” Quote is probably not verbatim, but captures the essence.

It seems that, like anything, you should be trained and practiced before handling heavy, potentially dangerous objects.

That being said, there is probably better language to describe that being said. I’m still here scribbling “yesterday, I saw a lot of orange” and for now, this is about as good as my understanding gets. My hope for this fall season is to practice more in relation to energy. Beyond stepping back from negative energy, what more can my body learn about food, herbs, yoga, colors, breath, aromatherapy, music, etc. and their ability to replenish energy? As for the mind, I’m waiting on a few holds I’ve placed through the Chicago Public Library – mostly books on wellness topics, but also one on house plants for good measure.

Now is good practice for a time when, like many people, for whatever circumstances,  I can’t as easily step out of the room.




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