What's in the gallery?

We dissolve stuck and rewrite patterns. We apply radical playfulness to life (when we feel like it!), embarking on internal adventures (credo of Safety First). We have a fake band called Solved By Cake. We build invisible sanctuaries, invent words and worlds, breathe awe and wonder.

We are not impressed by monsters. Except when we are. We explore the connections between internal territories and surrounding environment to learn what marvelously supportive delicious space feels like, and how to take exquisite care of ourselves. We transform things.* We glow wild.**

* For example: Desire, fear, worry, pain-and-trauma, boundaries, that problematic word which rhymes with flaweductivity.

** Fair warning: Self-fluency has been known to lead to extremely subversive behavior, including treasuring yourself unconditionally, unapologetically taking up space, experiencing outrageously improbable levels of self-acceptance, and general rejoicing in aliveness.


I am red. Wishcraft-ing it up.

Second post in a short series …

But first I need to be all disclaimer-ey …

  • So I find most non-Jennifer-Louden-written self-help-ey books to be pretty insipid — but I adore Wishcraft by Barbara Sher (she’s @barbarasher on Twitter).
  • You can download the ebook version at no cost on her website — If you do, you’ll probably want to print it out so you can scribble all over it.
  • Personally, I’d say: buy the book. Totally worth it.
  • My duck and I went through Barbara’s wacky exercises while teaching at guest-teaching at Jen Louden’s fabulous Writer’s Retreat and now we’re sharing that process with you. That makes this is a pretty atypical blog post, but what the hell.
  • Last time we did the Five Lives exercise.

Barbara Sher’s smart question:

In Chapter Three.

“Choose a color that appeals to you. It doesn’t have to be your all-time favorite, or a color you especially like to wear — though it may be …

Now I would like you to role-play that color. That means you are going to pretend you are that color and speak for it, since it cannot speak for itself.

Now, in a few words to a few sentences, tell what qualities you have as that color — not as yourself.”

*And no, I’m not the world’s biggest plagiarizing asshat for giving away her content. She lets you download the entire book for free.

So you become that color.

And you’re allowed contradictions. You’re allowed to put down whatever comes up.

It’s not important if your vision of “I am azure” is different from someone else’s. It’s not important if you-as-you can’t own the qualities that your color does.

You just become the color. And you let it do the writing.

Pick a color! Step right up! Pick a color, any color …

Here’s what came up when I did it:

I am red.

I am strong and tough.

I can be aggressive if I want to.

I am confident.

I leave my mark.

I am noticeable. Ha!

I am ready. (hee, pun)

I don’t get tired.

I mix well.

I stand for things.

What I’m learning/noticing from doing this ….


This was actually (while I’m being all honest and stuff since that also seems to be part of owning my newly discovered red-ness) the exercise that I had least wanted to do.

It just seemed kind of … I don’t know, transparent.

I definitely wasn’t expecting to enjoy it so much (it’s fun being red!)

So it was actually surprisingly empowering. In fact, now that I think of it, I don’t normally let myself be any of those things, so that was … pretty outstanding.

What I’m thinking now is:

What can I do to bring more of these strong, tough, unashamed qualities into my life?

And is there a way I can do it without pretending to be red? Can I own these qualities as me?

And are there some other colors I need to play with in order to bring more aspects of the whole of who I am into play? Or even … into existence?

Also, the more pun-centric part of my brain couldn’t help finding a parallel between “I am red” and “I am read“, which relates so well to my Very Personal Ad this week where I asked for an agent for my unborn book.

I am red. I am read.

Do you want to play with me? Yay.

Because that would be awesome.

So … give it a shot. Again, it probably helps if you have her amazing book for context, but I think the exercise works pretty well on its own too.

And then if you want to share some (or all) of your results here, that would be really interesting! And fun!

And then I won’t be being all self-help-ey all by myself.

In terms of “comment zen” for these posts? I’m thinking … less of the “when are you going to get back to writing real posts” (ow, my stuff is coming up!) and more of the “this is what I’m noticing and experiencing” (aaaaaaaah, much better).

Wheee! Toys!

41 Responses to I am red. Wishcraft-ing it up.

  1. LindaH
    Twitter: lindiop

    Yeah – I did this just a couple of days ago after you reminded me about Wishcraft. I’m red too but mine is quite different to yours.
    I am dark red.

    I am warm and soft,

    You can sink into me like plush velvet.

    I am comfort and delight.
    .-= LindaH´s last post … Deep relief and thanks to @aroberts my b… =-.

  2. Lindley says:

    I am blue.

    I cannot be contained.

    I fill what contains me and flow over and around it.

    I am peaceful.

    I threaten.

    I am what I am.

    I make things lighter or heavier.

    Things seen through me are more clear. Or more distorted.

    Hm. I can’t separate blue from water in my mind. And air.
    .-= Lindley´s last post … Three jewelry artists to admire =-.

  3. Hiro Boga
    Twitter: HiroBoga

    This is fun, Havi! Thanks for inviting us to play with you! :-)

    sky in the belly of the earth

    mountain stream singing
    cool stones

    river-mind, cloud lake
    fish tail ocean tale

    spume whisper spray

    space-soft sky-free

    way-shower thirst-quencher

    diviner divine divinity

    sky in the heart
    of the earth

    bell bell bell-ringer
    magma scented

    carved by eagle’s wings

    infinite unbounded


    heart in the sky of the earth
    .-= Hiro Boga´s last post … Sunday Poem #3 =-.

  4. Lori Paximadis
    Twitter: Virtuallori

    (Without peeking at anyone else’s yet…)

    I am blue.
    I am peaceful and flowy and light.
    I envelop and support; I help swimmers float and birds fly.
    I reflect your best self back to you.
    I thrive in the sunlight.
    I can be stormy, but I’d rather be calm.
    I am happy to just be.
    .-= Lori Paximadis´s last post … tidbits: August already? edition =-.

  5. Natalia
    Twitter: nataliapresent

    Maybe wearing red can help you become those things, or internalize them. I used to wear a lot of black and blue to conceal myself, and I felt safer. When wearing white or bright colors, I felt exposed. So something as simple as the color of your clothes has the power to affect you.


    I am vibrant and fun

    I am carefree and light

    I am happy, outgoing, and friendly

    I am energetic, independent, and courageous

    I can be a badass or sweet, it’s up to me

    I am bold and have my own interests and qualities that I am not afraid or ashamed to show

    A little bit of me is good for everyone



  6. Briana says:

    Ohhh, I was just reading part of another book about color, interesting.

    I am Aqua.
    I am vibrant and all tropical-y.
    I am rich and saturated and full of life, supple like clear, fresh water.
    I am cheerful and bold.
    I am pure energy.

    Hmmm, these seem pretty obvious in terms of personality characteristics, but there must be some depth there somewhere. Ooh, like deep water. And also something about not watering myself down. I’m going to have to noodle it over some more.

    Thank you!
    .-= Briana´s last post … Comparisons are pointless =-.

  7. Lisa says:

    I am red
    audacious and unapologetic
    vibrant and sensual
    I am hot nights, and sweet fruit, and welling blood
    I am life.
    .-= Lisa´s last post … =-.

  8. Lean Ni Chuilleanain
    Twitter: leannich

    I am green.

    I am patient.
    I am thorough.
    I am alive.
    I am everywhere.
    I am the most open secret there is.
    I am zinging with energy.
    I am whole and self-contained.
    I am knowing – if I had eyebrows, one would be raised.
    .-= Lean Ni Chuilleanain´s last post … The Story So Far =-.

  9. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    Man, these are gorgeous.

    I love how each color can be so many things to so many people, depending on so many factors.

    “… If I had eyebrows, one would be raised” = AWESOME.

    Now I have to read these all again. Just beautiful.


  10. Chris says:

    I love this!

    I am ORANGE.
    I am zingy!
    I am flavourful and interesting.
    I have energy but also focus.
    I am not cheap.
    I am creative and original.
    I make people go “hey, wow!”
    I am sweet.
    .-= Chris´s last post … Teaching naked in the age of big education =-.

  11. Julie Stuart says:

    I did this exercise a couple of weeks ago and loved it too!

    I am orange.
    I am as bright as the sun.
    Self confident.
    Perfect acceptance.
    No one questions the sun’s right to exist do they?
    To shine brilliantly?
    Same with orange.
    And me.

  12. G. Romilly
    Twitter: deromilly

    Love Wishcraft. And Barbara (if you haven’t heard her speak and have the opportunity, do it). And am probably more ready in my life to actually get something out of this than I was at 25 when I tried it the last time… So.

    I am green.

    I am lush and growing,
    Trembling at the touch of rain and wind.
    I am giving.
    Bending gives me strength.
    I glisten in rain and shine in sun.
    I am fresh and open and dark and forboding.
    I am green.
    I live.
    .-= G. Romilly´s last post … My not-quite-a-UFO pile – Cats by Kelly =-.

  13. Barbara Sher says:

    This is wonderful. Many of us keep trying to find a way to have people get together and work through Wishcraft online, but you may have found the way. If a camera were on me now, you’d see me beaming at what you wrote and all the comments.

    One big reason I like what you’ve done here so much: isolation is the dreamkiller. When you work with others, you find the energy to swing into action. You’ve found a way to make that happen, Havi.

    If any here run into an obstacle on the way to your dreams, join us on Twitter at #ideaparty. It’s most active on Thursdays from noon to midnight ET. Tell everyone your wish and your obstacle and watch the ideas come. It’s very cool. I try to be there when I can.

    This is a great site.

    Warm regards,


  14. Mynde says:

    I am Sparkle (is that a color? – side track)

    Hung on a star
    Against Inky dark sky

    I hang out will all colors
    Making them feel special

    I will catch your eye
    And jump in

    I live in a TV toothpaste commercial
    I glint, bounce, leap and play

    Light, reflection, mirror-y flash
    Shine, spin, shine, play
    .-= Mynde´s last post … To Be A Warrior =-.

  15. leah says:

    Fun! Thanks for the opportunity to revisit this exercise with others, Havi!

    I am blue.
    I am fluid, flowing, calm, yet strong.
    I am life. And I am full of life.
    I am clear, not just transparent, but clear as in clarity.
    I am intuitive. I know things. I trust what I know.
    I am gentle, soft, mothering.
    But I am also a powerful force. Don’t forget it.
    I am healing, I hold space, I hold others with love.

    Interesting. Definitely qualities I want to bring into my life, particularly the calm/strong, clear, and fluid piece.
    .-= leah´s last post … CED Challenge Check-In: August 3rd – 9th =-.

  16. Lisa says:

    I am purple.
    I am fresh plums and and irises in the springtime.
    I am vibrant and mystical.
    I am lively, yet peaceful.
    I am reflections and windows.
    I am royal and inspiring, and gratefully inspired.
    .-= Lisa´s last post … Creativity = bravery in the face of not knowing what you’re doing. =-.

  17. Barbara J Carter
    Twitter: barbarajcarter

    I just did this exercise, and got totally confused by what came up.

    I am red.
    I am bold.
    I am outrageous.
    Everyone notices when I walk into the room.
    They can’t take their eyes off me.
    I am irresistible.
    I am passionate.
    I am the pulse of life.
    I take your breath away.

    This is so NOT me!! Definitely need to think more about what this means.

    But it’s fun!
    .-= Barbara J Carter´s last post … Good times at the gallery =-.

  18. It’s funny, because all you had to write, Havi, was “I am red” and I was so THERE before I even . . . erm, red . . . any further. :o)

    Because red is my color, too. I am red–always have been. (I’m also soft buttery yellow and deep, calm blue simultaneously, but those are other stories.)

    So what really fascinates me is now that I want to do this exercise, brown has just come forward asking me to be it for a while. All right, then, let’s see what comes up . . .

    I am brown.

    I am of the earth.

    I am solid, nurturing, comforting.

    I am fertile. Wonderful things take root within me and grow.

    I am soft and soothing. You can wiggle your bare toes in me with delight.

    I support you.

    I am rich and deep.

    I am unobtrusive, but comforting.

    I am deep, dark chocolate and the delicious cocoa in your mug.

    I am welcoming. You can wrap me around you and sink into me with relief.

    I am brown.

    VERY interesting . . .
    .-= Michelle Russell´s last post … An Invitation to Write Something Horrible! =-.

  19. Amy Crook
    Twitter: amysnotdeadyet

    I have to say, I think you do plenty of real posts — including this one! I look forward to your traditions every week, and the posts in between are always brilliant surprises. Just, y’know, sayin’.

    I am black.
    I am shadow, night, darkness.
    I am velvet and softness.
    I conceal.
    I support.
    I am flattering.
    I contain all colors, and reflect none.
    I am myself, but often I’m made of something else.
    I am mourning, and I am celebration.
    I am formal, and I am casual.
    I am versatile.
    I’m easy to spot but can make it hard to see.
    I am contradiction.
    I am storm clouds and dark moods.
    I am comforting warmth under blankets.
    I am essential.

    Hm, interesting and fun! I almost went for purple, but black really is my favorite and it was feeling unpopular. ;)
    .-= Amy Crook´s last post … Features, Benefits, and the eternal Why =-.

  20. Brenda Wong says:

    Hi Havi,

    I’m usually more a ‘watcher’ than a ‘player’ in these online conversations, but these wishcraft exercises are drawing me in. (I’m a designer, so these references to colour, ideas, concepts and ‘drawing’ are irresistable)
    Thanks for letting us play

    I am watermelon red
    I am neither pink nor red

    pink=soft, girly
    red= strong, stands out.

    I am both pink and red
    I am bright
    I am vibrant
    I highlight and enhance
    I am fun
    I am fearless
    I am strong yet easygoing.
    I can stand on my own, yet I match with others well.
    I have a story
    I am vulnerable
    I have depth

  21. Sonia Simone says:

    Oh, super fun. And how lovely to hear from Barbara S. (And Mynde, it is my firm belief that sparkle is a color.)

    For now:

    I am pink.
    I am happy and ridiculous.
    I am pretty.
    I am stronger than I look.
    I am the color of toys and candy and all those old desires we pretended to give up when we became grownups.
    I don’t have to take myself so damned seriously.
    I am shiny.
    I attract attention.
    I am indulgence.
    .-= Sonia Simone´s last post … Are You Sure Your Content MarketingStrategy Is a Good Fit? =-.

  22. Erika Harris says:

    I am Emerald. Green.
    The “G” of the rainbow’s: r o y G b i v.
    The Heart of the chakras.
    Herbs. Leaves. I am plant-plasma.
    I eat the Sun. And nourish those who eat me.
    I process Light and enliven. Everything.
    I am precious. As a gem or a salad.
    I am gardens and forests and moss.
    I am growth.
    .-= Erika Harris´s last post … Love is where we come from. =-.

  23. Charlotte says:

    I am blue.

    I am peaceful, serene and calm.

    I am strong and accepting.

    I am the color of oceans – deep and rich, teeming with life.

    I am the color of the night sky – high and aloof, fretted with golden fire.

    I am the color of plush velvet robes.

    I am the color of your beloved’s eyes.

    I am deep, imperturbable, unperturbed.

  24. Lynne Tolk
    Twitter: spiritmoving

    Wow! A mini-retreat, just when I most needed it! Thanks.

    I am gold,

    soothing sweet of honey

    dripping over hot bread.

    I am precious metal

    adorning bodies, temples, shrines.

    I speak of hot summer afternoons,

    swelling squash in autumn.

    I am sought after,



    fought over.

    But, really, my gifts are available

    to all who plant grain, pumpkins, corn, sunflowers;

    to all who honor and share beauty.

    I am of the earth and sun.

    I sustain life.
    .-= Lynne Tolk´s last post … Overwhelm – and a little help from my Higher Self =-.

  25. Marilyn says:

    I am Black

    I am dark
    I hold mysteries
    I am velvety and soft
    I absorb light
    I can be angry too if I want to
    I am black

    How wonderful to give permission to be angry sometimes… which I beat myself up for endlessly!! How delicious to be soft too… Thank you black!
    .-= Marilyn´s last post … The YOU behind “The Parent” =-.

  26. I’m green. A nice may green.
    I’m fresh like spring, quite warm like the first sunny days, but can still be cold in the morning or evening.
    I’m full of fun and relieve after the long cold winter.
    I consist of blue which is cold and a warm yellow.
    I’m vibrant and full of life and energy.

  27. Erika Harris says:

    Havi, you have the shepherding influence of Oprah.
    Thy rod and they staff, they comfort me :-)

    I loved this color-play so much, I’m taking another turn.

    I am gray.

    Without white, I’d be black.
    Without black, I’d be white.
    But I am the blended possibility of both.
    Bi-racial, if you will.
    The middle-road of both/and.

    I am smoke. Not fire.
    I am matte. Not shiny.
    Obsure. Not obvious.

    Look closer. Deeper. Past me. Through me.

    And you will find, beyond my gossamer veil…

    the perfect sky for napping…
    the perfect t-shirt for lounging…
    the perfect flannel for snuggling…

    I am the comforting duvet
    minus the worry of dirt
    as I am already so very close to dust-nature.

    No pretense.

    I am what you want to be in
    when you come out of those other
    “primary” colors. I am second, yet savored.

    I am practical. Whole industries
    cities and castles are made of me.

    Stone. Concrete. Slabs of strength.
    I am not to be underestimated.

    I am your very foundation.
    Trustworthy. Stable. Bedrock.

    Rest. On. Me.
    .-= Erika Harris´s last post … Love is where we come from. =-.

  28. Willie Hewes
    Twitter: williehewes

    I did this earlier with sky blue, but I can’t find what I wrote now. Hm. New colour:

    I am white.

    I am the colour everyone forgets. I am a blank, a nothing, a canvas covered in potential.

    I can soar high like fluffy clouds, like shrieking birds. I can dance on top of waves, or burrow secretly through dark decay; invisible filiments blossom into mushrooms, but only when everything is just right.

    I can be blinding and beautiful, I am a cold blanket over the earth, the softest fur on a tiger. I am paper, I am light. You think of me as nothing? I am the ruler of sight.

  29. Serena
    Twitter: LizardMixture

    ** Scrolling down really fast to not peek at anyone else’s! But I will look after I do mine cause I know you are all gorgeous.
    I am dark red.

    I shimmer darkly like a jewel or a glass of wine

    I lose myself in me and float… hiding and disappearing, then emerging to sparkle in the light.

  30. Stacy Reck says:

    I am Fuchsia:

    I am passionate
    Everybody sees me!
    I get things done
    I am soft and strong together
    I am desire
    I am texture
    I am the heart centered love of the world
    I am inviting
    I am loving
    I am playful
    I am creative

    I had done these exercises 10 years ago.
    They mean so much more now though. You grow and change and the difference is fun to see too. Still have my old note book. I was yellow last time. Power, control, soft.
    So glad I found you all.
    This is fun to do with a group like this.

  31. Pam Belding says:

    I am Pink.
    I am sweet and kind.
    I stand out.
    I am strong and attract attention.
    I say Yes without fear.
    I am gentle when I need to be.
    I am the awesome sauce poured all over life, dripping down, begging to be scooped up and finger licked.
    I am encouragement, hope and happiness.
    I am what makes life beautiful and worth living.

    Thank you Havi. You’ve made my day! :)

  32. Paul
    Twitter: venderleys

    I am blue.
    I catch no-one’s eyes, unless I am within one’s eyes.
    I am serene,
    Music is named after me. I reflect that music – a joy of mixed emotions.
    I am scattered.
    I am everywhere.
    I am the shield that obscures the darkness of the sea, the depths of the heavens.
    I am hope.

  33. Ruthy says:

    I am blue.

    I am calm.

    I am the ocean. I am endless. Yet I have boundaries.

    I am the flow.

    I am cool and serene. I have enough.

    I am the sky. You cannot see all of me at once.

    I am the newness of a baby’s onesie. Constantly recreating myself.

    I am necessary, solid. A good color for a school uniform.

    I am beautiful.

  34. Havi Brooks
    Twitter: havi

    These are … *amazing*.

    I can read each one over and over again. There is so much depth to each color. And so much power in claiming qualities that you would never otherwise own (or maybe just own with a bunch of apologetic disclaimers).

    Plus, I love how each color can me so many things, and how each person gets his or her own power back from the color.

    Very very very cool.

    That is all.

    Now I have to read these again!

  35. Sydney says:

    I’ve been very busy (yay!) so I’m behind on my blog reading.

    I am brick red.
    I am the color of the earth (in the southeast US anyway)
    I have been weathered.
    I support growth when treated with good nutrients.
    I am earthy and warm.
    With enough heat, I can become a sturdy structure that will protect you from the weather.
    I’ve seen much history and gone through many things to become this color.

    Thanks Havi. I started these exercises by myself, but they’re so much more fun with a group.
    .-= Sydney´s last post … Three Mockingbirds =-.

  36. suzanne says:

    Hi Havi,

    I’m magenta

    I am intense






    I love Barbara Sher too. Thanks for inviting us to play

  37. What a fun exercise, let me give it try! Will have to check out Barbara Scher.

    I am yellow,
    I am bright and shiny
    I am radiant
    I am the color of pretty spring and summer flowers
    I am soft
    I am strong, but subtle
    I am light

    That was fun, I want to come up with more but drawing a blank now. I have the overwhelming urge to go paint something all yellow!

  38. Lindsay McLeod
    Twitter: gurubody

    Whooeee.. thankyou for inviting us to play.

    There’s some background to this, but, whatever…

    I am Violet.

    I am soft and inviting.

    I am deep.

    I envelop the Earth like the night sky.

    I am regal.

    I am powerful.

    I channel the Divine.
    This is way too woo-woo for me to write at all comfortably and also directly related to where I’m at with Mark Silver’s Heart of Money class right now so thanks again for the invitation to look !!

    I caress you.
    Eek – the thought of voicing this as a potential aspect of myself – ergh ! It takes me directly here http://bit.ly/2f4O4K where there’s further woo-woo direct synchs with my own natal chart line-up. (This may not be the right place to put in links, if so I apologize, but whoever gets to veto it might find it interesting anyway !! Please feel SO free to edit or whatever is needed;)

    I learn and teach and teach and learn.
    .-= Lindsay McLeod´s last post … Silent Voice =-.

  39. Kate says:

    This was fun.

    I am purple
    I am royalty in all its facets
    I am passionate about life
    I stand out in a crowd
    I am daring
    I am courageous
    I am that which you desire
    and so much more
    .-= Kate´s last post … Full Moon Dream Boards =-.

  40. Josiane
    Twitter: kimianak

    I am dark brown.

    I am deep.
    I am solid as a tree trunk, but flexible as its branches dancing in the wind.
    I am timeless.
    I am ageless and old.
    I am the velvety chocolate milk of childhood.
    I am sweet and bitter.
    I am strong. I am soft.
    I am chic and homey, sophisticated and humble.
    I am so much more than that.
    I am. Period.
    .-= Josiane´s last post … Retreating to write – and being treated to so much more =-.

  41. cathyd says:

    What fun! I did this exercise back when this book first came out. And was Green.
    Now I’m Green, too — but found myself riffing on Black.

    I am deep and mystical.
    I am powerful.
    I am supportive.
    I am secretive.
    I am intuitive and prayerful.
    I conceal your secrets.
    The infinite and sacred Divine lives within me.
    I am a dreamer.

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