Tuesday, 18 November 2008

the red t-shirt


pen & coloured pencil in A4 sketchbook
click on image to enlarge



today's lesson was aimed at owning all of our parts and to take responsibility for the choices we make in life. that i can handle, however, denise then speaks of a 'shadow' self. for the most part she suggests that, if i encounter someone who is angry and nasty, it is supposed to mean that these are aspects of my 'shadow' self reflecting back to me....repressed anger and nastiness that i have locked away???? i'm not too sure i believe that. when i meet someone like that, i believe they have had a bad day or they have their own demons to deal with. okay, denise says if i am only observing this negative behaviour in someone else, then it's NOT a projection of my 'shadow' self. it's only when i judge someone that those traits would suggest a reflection of my shadow self. hmmmmmmm........so if i see someone doing something wrong and i speak out and tell them so, why should this mean that i have those same traits hidden away? maybe i'm missing something.

denise says that self-criticism is a part of the shadow self....that i do get. to me, the shadow self is basically the ego self that eckhart tolle speaks of. it constantly tries to control you and knock you down.....it's all about power. who needs enemies when you have your ego-self living inside your head day to day?

actually, i had an argument with my ego-self this morning when i thought i would try one of the tasks from yesterday. i've never owned a red t-shirt or any other piece of red clothing until just a couple of days ago when my son sorted through his clothes and was discarding a bright red t-shirt. it was new but.....it was red, a colour i have NEVER worn. it's just not me! i kept the red t-shirt with the intention of using it as a blending tool in the art studio or maybe even a mop up rag.

so....here i was, this morning, actually considering whether or not to wear the red t-shirt for the day as the task suggested you do something completely out of the norm for you.

my ego-self quickly responded with, "are you stark, raving mad, woman?! you KNOW there's a reason you have never worn red.....it's sooooooo NOT your colour and it will make you look downright ugly."

i replied with, "surely just one day couldn't hurt?"

my ego-self retorted, "well that all depends if you want to be seen as one of those, in your face, neon glow sticks shouting 'look at me....look at me'......or, better yet, a heavily decorated christmas tree."

"i'm going to do it."

ego self yelled, "you will look like a fool and you will feel like everyone is watching you.....don't say i didn't warn you."

so.....i wore the red t-shirt...

....and i have to say, while i still don't see it as my colour....i enjoyed stepping outside of my comfort zone. maybe it won't end up in my studio as a mop up rag after all.


  1. Red is a loud color and need some getting used to if you’re not accustomed to it. Anyways, you look perfectly fine in it :)

    *Well, Serena, no matter what you think I don’t think you can top my appearance last Sunday ;D

  2. That's so "Oh My Gosh - You too?" Red always seemed like a "Look at me" color - this year I finally got a red t-shirt because it was "girlie" and soft and on sale - it is now a favorite.

    I think the phrase "shadow self" has everyone on edge. I think of it more as the "in house" nag - the idea, I guess, is to get to know yourself and accept you, warts and all

  3. Way to go standing up to the inner critic. Imagine, it not even LETTING you try it on, the nerve! Plus, I think red looks good on you. Shows just how much that inner critic knows, LOL. I love seeing your strength and courage. In that way red REALLY suits you.

  4. I LOVE your red T-shirt! And your cool dragon too by the way. It's funny how we have ideas about colours we should or shouldn't wear. As if anyone else is really going to think less of us because we're wearing the "wrong" colour.

  5. I think the red looks marvelous on you!

    Red is the color of passion. Red is the color of daring! Red is the color of fire!

    Look at you! All fiery and beautiful! :)

  6. haha - LOVE it!
    The red T-shirt looks great! You can do it!
    As I'm lagging behind, I find this "shadow people" post fascinating. I haven't yet got there but it gives me something to think about.

  7. and oh my gosh - I LOVE that drawing! Your talent is incredible!

  8. My hubby is the same way! No bright red. He wears browns, greens, dark blue....I swear he's trying to just blend into the background.

    I admire that you stepped out of your comfort zone. YAY YOU!

    Cool dragon btw.

    ~Sea Breezes~

  9. Oh, I LOVE red. It's so "here I AM!" I also love being at the back of the room in a corner so I can what's going on. A bit diametrically opposed but then I'm an Aries on the cusp of Pisces and I blame everthing on that. And that dragon: AWESOME! LOVE dragons!

  10. Love your thought process on the whole shadow thing.

    The red goes really well with your dark hair. Red stands for passion and power and the first chakra. I am glad you did not use it as a mop.

    Awaken the Giant within!

  11. I think you look just fine in red, but I understand about that off feeling when you wear a color you don't feel right in. There are so many shade variations, maybe a deeper, velvety red would feel better.

    I do believe that we all serve as mirrors for eachother, and that if we don't have a "sensitive spot" to something within ourselves, it just wouldn't get triggered by someone else. I don't think it's necessarily that we have that "same" trait within us, but there's definitely something within us that pisses us off about it. Like electricity, if we don't have the proper "socket" for it, we just couldn't get "plugged in to" by someone else's doing whatever it is that's triggering a reaction. I think you'll find the same concept in Buddhism.

  12. I think it looks nice one you, the colour looks fine :)

  13. OMG I cant believe you did a dragon. Daya decided my sketch of the cat from last night was a dragon so I was going to do a real dragon tonight!!

    I think you look very good in red...it looks so nice with your pretty dark hair.

    Also, I know what you mean about obnoxious people being reflections of ourselves...I think sometimes it is true and sometimes it isn't. If someone has issues and flings crap at me I'm not going to blame myself, especially when I can "feel" the energy of that person and understand where it is coming from within them. Their behaviour is not my fault or my responsibility. Although we are all interconnected sometimes people are just plain out mean- they'll be fuckwits forever and no amount of loving-kindness meditation will change it.

    What I *do* think is that sort of thing is people flinging their shadow at others because that's easier than seeing their own shadow. So if someone constantly treats you poorly it says a lot about their relationship with themself. But you still don't have to stick around and let them fling crap at you.

    I also firmly believe that it's very important to love and tolerate everyone, know everyone is of the same divine origin, look for a spiritual solution to everything, and also that sometimes a girl just needs to bitch and feel pissy and that's ok too.

  14. Red suits you and yes it does need getting used used to ...but I like it....Again another beautiful pic I must post my art work.

  15. serena, I think red IS your color, although I can see why you think it is bright, it IS bright....I have heard red is the new black and am not sure I buy that but I do love red...

    the soul coaching/ego back talk thing, I hear you on and agree with you, although I have not yet read the book(had to order it)-I think a grouchy person is a grouchy person not you seeing the grouchiness in the person...for what that's worth...

    loved your dragon and was wondering what the symbol said?

  16. Red is your color--hehe! Looks so good against your dark hair! It does feel very bold to wear, doesn't it?

    A good book about your shadow self is "Dark Side of The Light Chasers" by Debbie Ford. At least, I really enjoyed it. Lots to contemplate and ponder! :)

  17. I honestly think red looks great on you - I certainly would never have guessed how you felt about it if I saw you wearing it, or that it wasn't supposed to suit you! Hmm, I don't agree with that shadow self stuff, as in a way it's taking on board other people's problems or baggage and some how owning it. Much better to accept one's own flaws - which might have been the purpose of that exercise originally? It seems to presume we all have those bad things we see in others in ourselves (i.e., have a lowest common denominator) but we are all different. Interesting post, Serena!

  18. What a beautiful painting. I have been following your soul coaching and it has been very interesting. You are doing such a great job with it all.

  19. I had a struggle with the day's exercise too.. but I followed my Sacred Contract that I had made and I was very gentle with myself!

    laughing at your conversation with the ego.. xoox

  20. Serena, I think you're a perfect red person with your dark hair! Red definately say's "look at me...aren't I great?" and if we're not ready to be seen, it's a huge leap...but I secretly think it's your time to shine!

    I'll put on a red shirt today too, just to be brave along with you!

  21. Hi! I came to your blog thru Leah's Create Every Day blog. I looked through all of your artwork and you are a very talented artist. I love your style! I will be back.

  22. you look good in red-- and i am having some of the same reactions you did to her interpretation of Jung's shadow concept---don't see it her way at all...

  23. Way to kick butt and get out there and do it!

    And honestly, I think you look gorgeous in red! I know it's just a t-shirt but I think a red dress, red lipstick and you would be on fire, lady!

  24. Enjoyed the self talk with your ego, sounded so familar, ha! And personally, can't understand why you don't think you can wear red...with your dark hair it looks good on you.

    I can't wear yellow...so there..ha

    Your drawings everyday are incredible and I always wonder how you come up with them, the patterns, ideas, etc...very creative you are.

  25. I like you in the red...I think it's beautiful with your hair color! I don't wear red too often...but I always feel very aware of myself when I do. I do have to be in that mood to wear it though.

    Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone to put it on!

  26. I real had a hard time with this one.
    But after I did mine and read some of the post I began to understand the pro and cons of your shadow self.

    Coffee is on.

  27. it seems to be a consensus, you look good in red! :-)

    as for the shadow self, i don't think it's always about when you see someone doing something wrong and tell them so. for me, i've found that when i get annoyed with someone's behavior, if i stop and notice it, i can often see a reflection of a part of myself that i find annoying. it's not necessarily an exact reflection. If you notice someone is rude all the time, it doesn't mean you're rude. There may simply be some part of their actions that mirrors a part of yourself that you're not so fond of (which may be why their behavior is so annoying to you.) but again, i think it's just about noticing and certainly not judging yourself for any of it either way. it's simply another tool to get deeper in to the parts of ourselves that we aren't as proud of, so that we can accept our whole selves. at least that was my interpretation! use it if it's helpful or toss if it's not! :-)

  28. I think red looks great on you Serena, with your dark hair. It can be a hurdle to start wearing bright colours. I used to wear muted colours like creams, khakis, browns, till around the time I started painting. I wear all colours now depending on my mood, even green which has never appealed to me before, now I head for the bright colours in the store, it makes me feel alive! Red is fantastic, I love red scarves!

    I'm enjoying your posts Serena & your drawings are fantastic!

  29. You never cease to amaze me...Your dragon rocks...You rock..."you wild woman you in the bright red shirt"! Amazing journalling! :)WOOHOO!

  30. Thanks for all the wonderful input! I enjoyed reading all your comments.

    Linda, apparently, the symbol stands for 'dragon'.


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