What color is your parachute?

I recently ordered yoga bolsters for a bunch of my students from Halfmoon, an excellent Vancouver-based prop maker. The bolsters come in four colors, so I had to ask, “What color do you want?”

“Oh, any color,” a couple of them replied. I insisted that they make a choice. Others indicated their preferred color without my prompting. One provided a second choice, and another ordered two types of bolsters in the same color.

The color question reminded me of my long-lost friend Dan, a San Francisco lawyer. When I knew him a decade ago, he was working at a large firm. Slightly older than his peers, he was hard-driving, yet palpably less stressed than the typical overworked, bitter associate. I remember him as eccentric, upfront, and always smiling.

Once, the topic of favorite color arose. “I don’t have to think about it,” he said. “Green. When I see the color green, it feels like home. It feels like me.”

I immediately pointed the question to myself: what color is me?

Why, I had multiple favorite colors! I could identify the definite no’s but which felt like home? I couldn’t help qualifying my choices: I liked one color for clothing, another for kitchen wall paint, another for yoga props!

I was slightly vexed that no single color leaped out at me. If I didn’t know my favorite color, surely I didn’t know myself. After a misguided detour into law, how could I find the right path if I couldn’t even choose a favorite color? (Note: Those career books like What Color Is Your Parachute? were compelling in concept but ultimately useless.)

Today I am clearer in my likes and dislikes, and I’ve found a compatible path in yoga/writing/editing. I’m not a snap decision maker but I’m negotiable: no answer is set in stone and maybe that’s okay.

Images: Crayola Crayons, www.colourlovers.com


  1. i was thinking that not having a favourite colour or not being able to select one thing over others can be seen in the negative, as indecisiveness. it can also be seen positively, as inclusiveness, and closer to abiding in the oneness : )


  2. In years past, I rued that I would never get to walk into a bar and have a bartender call out “The usual?” And apparently I’m never going to be a woman who can be identified by her “signature” perfume. I’m all over the map on drinks and scents and colors as well as other things, and that’s just fine with me. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” y’know (even though there may be some debate about what qualifies as foolish).


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