When we bought our first house as a family, our son Theo, then aged three, chose the colour of our front door: pink! I remember feeling really self-conscious about it at the time; I would have gone for a muted green to fit in with all the other mostly green/grey/blue doors on the small street of Georgian terraced houses in leafy south-west London. This year, eight years on, we decide to repaint the door and I (my mind) think, yes, I can have my muted green door at last. I mull over different shades of green, and a friend and painter, Neil, messages to say he can paint the door next week. I just need to confirm the paint colour.
The following day I invite Jill, my elderly neighbour, who lives opposite, over to see our beloved Ember’s puppies. As she walks through our doorway, she remarks on how lovely and cheery she finds the colour of our pink door. Well, this puts me in a spin. How can I tell her that I’m about to paint it green? Perhaps I shouldn’t. She, after all, living opposite me, sees my door as much as I do, if not more. Who am I to take away her cheer? But my mind has been so set on green.
I mention this dilemma to my Somatic movement client and Jill’s neighbour, Bev. She finds it hysterical and, after a good, shared giggle, assures me that Jill will cope with muted green (a similar colour to her door). Then our lovely friend and dog walker for many on the street, Marshall, pops round to see the pups and chuckles as I explain my predicament. He likes the pink, he says, but would go a slightly lighter shade. Or light blue. These lighter coloured doors are the ones that bring him most joy on his rounds. Green wouldn’t stand out as much with all the wisteria I have surrounding the door.
Oh goodness, what to do, and the deadline to choose the colour has been and gone. I message Neil, tell him of my conundrum. He finds it amusing and gives me another day. When Theo returns from school, I ask his opinion and he states green is boring, pink is ok, but how about gold or yellow! Wow, that could really brighten up Jill’s day! Gold feels too bold but yellow, perhaps this I should consider.
This seemingly minor dilemma is weighing heavy on my mind; Neil needs the paint colour to mix, so I must decide. The next morning, I ask my friend, Alice, who lives opposite, two doors down from Jill, if she could help me choose. Alice has a beautiful house and a good eye for colour. I explain my dilemma and she is surprised.
“But Chloe”, she says, “I’ve always seen your door as red!”
She tells me she had painted her door green. To me it looks blue. We laugh. Have I asked a colour-blind person to help me with this decision? We traipse up and down the street comparing shades of muted green and find one close to what I had been envisaging. She rules out yellow, thinks it won’t go with the cream colour of the house. I’m not sure but happy to let it go. We find a pink we like, the colour the door has faded to, slightly lighter than the original. I ask my husband, Tim, green or pink. He doesn’t mind. We choose pink to keep the most people happy. I’m relieved a decision has been made.
This door saga has been fun, and made a lot of neighbours laugh, even though my mind wasn’t happy with the play. Then, I look at the name of the colour on the paint chart: Blush. This makes me smile.
I see now what the Divine, this burgeoning feeling of Grace deep inside, is showing me here. In my life, self-consciousness has always been a huge barrier for me. From being the shy girl at school, the quiet daughter in a rowdy family, the student in muted coloured clothes or the employee reticent to speak out against a strong opinion, I’m not comfortable standing out in a crowd. This undue awareness of self has prevented me from speaking my truth to friends, family, colleagues, boyfriends, even at times my husband. Like a comforting fog I’ve unwittingly surrounded myself in, it’s smothered my inner glow, blinded me from owning my power and hindered me from fully stepping into life. Now is the time to let this go.
This saga has been such a blessing in reminding me that when I expand my point of view from what my ‘mind’ thinks is right and open up to the Divine in the moment, I create a wider channel for Grace. I imagine opening up to the Divine enough to Be Grace; transcending self-consciousness and other rigid barriers of my mind. Then, in bounteous reciprocation, the Divine would open the door to make this state of Grace my true home. Yay, what a relief it will be to drop this burden, this monkey mind, and let the true me shine through.
I now love the pink colour of our door and this saga raises a smile and a giggle from all involved. Jill, Alice and my next-door neighbour have all asked my lovely painter friend to do painting for them too.
To open to Grace in the moment is truly a gift—to be a vessel to channel this sacred flow of love and joy. Baraka Bashad!
Thank you for reading! If this story resonates with you, feel free to share in the comments.