Saturday, 10 March 2012

My many coloured days

Have you ever read the book "My many coloured days" by Dr. Seuss?

Can I tell you how wonderful it is?

We bought this book many years ago from a charity shop or some kind of second-hand sale or another. I can't remember exactly.

I want to share it with you, because no other book I can think of, describes so aptly, so beautifully, the different emotions we travel through, on different days. It's a comfort to see each emotion writ large, bold, solid, on paper, out loud - all valid and part of the normal jumble of human existence!

Naming them, and relating them to colour, is such a beautiful and simple way of getting to the essence of them, in a way that helps adults and children alike to put our days, and the extremeness of our feelings, into context.

I hadn't realised the full potential of this book until I started looking around on the web. It turns out, that this book is used in classrooms as a therapy tool to help children understand their emotional selves and if you type in the title of the book, you'll be sure to find a bunch of related material.

In a country where economic wellbeing is generally promoted over emotional wellness/wholeness, it's even more important to look after our emotional health. Too often in our culture, uncomfortable feelings are treated as pesky and annoying, something to be buried, conquered, ignored, but not surrendered to. Especially here in the country which invented the stiff upper lip!

 Our daily lives are often so busy, we have come to think of it as an indulgence, or overindulgence, to go around feeling things, as if it were a luxury. We are taught to do, do, do, and go, go, go, rather than feel. We are taught to get on with things. Get over things. Not to listen to these childish unruly things called emotion, that are so inconvenient! We intellectualise feelings to protect ourselves from things that hurt. I've done it to myself many many times when all I've wanted to do is just have a good cry.

We all have a cocktail of emotions inside us, they are our lifelong companions, and some of them we have come to think of as the enemy. Some emotions get a bad rap. We stigmatise them and shun them, putting them on time-outs in the corner of our soul. Yet they are part of us. Perhaps sometimes the best thing to do is to be on friendly speaking terms with our most negative emotions - without letting them become our best buddies.

To let them dance. To allow them a safe space to spill out, to control them only when and if we really really need to at that moment - put them on hold if needs must, but not to try and banish them altogether.

Here's a video of the book, set to the song True Colours, by Cyndi Lauper. You need to double click on the vid and watch it at the youtube page, otherwise only the sound plays, not the video.

Hope you're having a beautiful day - whatever colour it is!

Our day here is multicoloured :-)

Much love, and peace to you all,

Xx MF xX


  1. I have not seen this book prior to this post. Many thanks for sharing--it's gone on my list of cool books to have in the home library.

  2. How lovely and possibly just what a few members of my crew need. Will look at finding a copy x thank you!

  3. It really is a great book. I considered featuring the book "When Sophie gets angry, really really angry" but one small problem with it, for me, is that where I live, the kids can't just wander off on their own in quite the same way that Sophie does. We live slap bang on a main road in a village, on a pretty busy road. I don't want my three year old to get ideas about just running off somewhere to let off steam...

    Anyone know of another book about cooling off, aimed at youngsters?

  4. I haven't seen this book but my youngest is a big Dr Seuss fan. I read an interesting article about him last week on BBC news-did you know he was actually scared of children and didn't like to be left alone with them? How strange then that he wrote so many wonderful and true-to-life stories. Friday last week would have been his 108th birthday. I meant to do something to celebrate it but I forgot!! I will have to look out for this book, its so important for children to deal with their feelings no matter what they are. Mental health has such stigma surrounding it, it would be good if our generation of children grew up without that.

  5. Didn't like kids? How bizarre!