Recently, I swiped left—not on Tinder, but on my iCal—and all I saw was red. Immediately, I started rearranging my schedule for the coming week. Then, I looked the following week to make sure I had not set myself up for stress.
In my calendar, red means work, of which I have a tendency to do too much. A few years ago, I turned into one big yoga geek and color-coded my iCal to create more balance in my life, based on the system of the chakras, the subtle energies of the body. It worked so well that I started recommending the system to my yoga and Ayurveda clients. My type A, overachieving clients need to see less red and more green; clients who procrastinate should insert more red or dark blue on their calendars.
It’s less work than it might seem and down the line makes your life easier. Blend the colors of the chakra system with your smartphone to lead a more centered life, not one that’s busier, more stressful, nor monkey-minded.
How the Colors Stack Up
When colors of the light spectrum, ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet), combine in equal parts, they create a pure white light from the energy-giving sun. These colors are based on the Munsell color system, based on equal steps for human visual perception.
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In yoga, when these same colors, which correspond to chakras, are brought into a sweet balance and mix, it’s said we feel more pure, ergo the concept of “balancing the chakras” to feel peaceful, calm, clear, and alert through asana, pranayama, and more.
How to Interpret the Chakra Colors for Your iCal
Label the events in your schedule with appropriate colors that map back to your chakras, and you can see immediately which energies are dominating your schedule and whether you’ve set yourself up to feel balanced, or stressed. The colors indicate certain energies of their corresponding chakras, which means you can plan your life activities to support overall balance.
Red, the Muladhara (Root) Chakra
- Energy: Needs, survival, feeling safe
- Label: Work, because you need it to pay for food and shelter
Orange, the Svadisthana (Sacral) Chakra
- Energy: Creativity, your pleasure center
- Label: Activities that fuel your creativity and inspire you to explore your passions
Yellow, the Manipura (Solar Plexus) Chakra
- Energy: Power, transformation, working toward something
- Label: Concrete actions that will help shape your future
Green, the Anahata (Heart) Chakra
- Energy: Unconditional love, compassion
- Label: Personal activities you love or time with people you love
Blue, the Visshudha (Throat) Chakra
- Energy: Expression, communication
- Label: Activities that allow you to express what’s in your mind and heart
Indigo, the Ajna (Third Eye) Chakra
- Energy: Focus, intuition, clarity
- Label: Tasks that need focus and clear minded action
Violet, sometimes identified as white, is for the Sahasrara (Crown) Chakra and can be an extra color you can use for your own purposes… since it stands for your highest consciousness. You’ll know what to do with it.
How to Create a Colorful Balance
When you see what’s dominating your schedule, you can take action! Start to reshuffle your activities, making choices that support your well-being.
My most frequent imbalance, as seen above, comes from working too much, so when I see too much red, I know I’m on track to work too hard and will quickly get cranky, exhausted, and not feel well. When this happens, I schedule in a little more yoga (orange), actions that fuel personal growth (yellow), something enjoyable and/or relaxing just for me (green), and items that need to get done, like organizing travel plans (dark blue).
For me, taking yoga classes and workshops fuel and inspire me, so they are labeled orange. Partner meetings to develop future business, or time researching topics for personal growth, are labeled yellow. Everything I do with my husband, family, friends, is in green. Discovering new recipes for cooking helps me express myself, so that’s in light blue. All errands and tasks are in dark blue, because staying on track with those types of things is really hard for me, and I need to be fully focused and clear that they need to get done. It’s almost like a meditation for me when I’m in the errand zone.
Some of us love to have fun, so green will dominate, but eventually, the lack of balance might catch up to you in the form of money stress or feeling stuck about your future aspirations. Add red (work) and take care of your life’s duties (dark blue) for balance. In the calendar above, I feel more balanced and ready for the week ahead.
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You won’t be able to integrate colors perfectly every week, but the idea is to try. If you work at an office job all day, you can allow yourself a break to get an errand done (dark blue), or have lunch with a co-worker who’s also a friend (green) and talk about fun things instead of complain about work (which would be red and imbalanced). If you are a single parent, of course you are spending a lot of time taking care of your children (maybe this is a red/yellow/green combo), but it would be wise to reserve some time for a 15 minute bath with an essential oil of your choice—that’s 100% green and needed. Those things count, and it also supports you to acknowledge them.
Let’s face it. Your whole world is now in your smartphone. One report revealed the average person checks his or her phone 46 times per day. Should we wave the white flag on unplugging and digitally detoxing like so many wellness experts suggest? How about we acknowledge what’s real life now, and work toward a spiritually enlightened white light in a modern world?
Start now. Change the color labels of scheduled items in your iCal. If you don’t know how, I’ll bet you know someone who does (and by the way, that meeting would be yellow, in this case), or you can head to tech support, which often has free classes on this sort of thing (still yellow, but maybe dark blue, too).
When you start to see your life in full color, you can easily visualize how you’re setting up your day-to-day life. You want to make efforts and work to support yourself and those you love, but you need to create ease and exploration, too. This is also practicing yoga.
If you’re going to be obsessed with your phone anyway, use it to make your life better, happier, and more balanced at a glance. Who knows? You might schedule digital detox time for yourself (pick a color based on what you would do with this time), set a calm alarm like a harp, and give yourself the gift of peace at a glance.