Susie: Chopin and Yellow Silk

ChopinSusie, a woman in her forties had learning disabilities and was limited in her ability to express herself.  Her mother, with whom she had lived,  had passed away two years earlier and since that time Susie had lived in a residential home with four other women  she hadn’t previously known.  Susie was referred to me because the care staff in the home were unable to cope with her angry outbursts after a period of withdrawal and had put her on medication for depression.  I spent several sessions getting to know Susie; she loved the swathes of rainbow coloured silk that I brought with me on each visit and chose to wrap herself in a silk of sunshine yellow.  She would then stand infront of a full length mirror, admiring her reflection.

We can feel the specific vibration of a colour as well as see it because each colour vibrates at a specific frequency on the rainbow spectrum. We are intuitively drawn to the colour we most need to redress any imbalance within.  Our choice of colour is indicative of our emotional and mental state at that time.

  Sunshine yellow, Susie’s choice,  is the colour corresponding to the energy of the solar plexus in health .  The solar plexus is the junction box of the nervous system and  Susie’s intuitive colour choice would help to bring clarity to her mind.  As well as using colour, I wanted to gauge Susie’s musical preference and played a wide variety of music and songs to her, both pop and classical and from different cultures, in an attempt to find a piece of music or a song that would resonate with the feelings that she was unable to express in words and to help her through the grief process.  The music that visibly brought her the most solace was the music of  Chopin 

As Susie listened quietly, Chopin’s music transported her to happier times as she snuggled into the sofa wrapped in yellow silk, eyes closed with a hint of a smile on her lips.  I felt that she was aware and capable of much more than her care staff had originally thought. I explained what was happening at a staff meeting and  individual staff members made time to sit with Susie and talk to her and share some of their own feelings, in an attempt  to build a relationship built on mutual trust.

Susie hadn’t experienced this kind of interaction since the death of her mother with whom she had been close.  On these precious occasions with staff members, Susie wore her mantle of yellow silk whilst Chopin’s music played softly in the background .  Gradually, in a limited way, Susie began to respond to questions about her mother and said that she felt sad.  There had been no opportunity to share feelings  in this way before because of assumptions made about Susie’s inability to communicate and understand feelings. A freeing up of emotion unlocked Susie from her prison of isolation.  New words emerged as the repressed energy around her heart gradually melted away .

Regular review sessions with staff guided them gently through this process.  They developed compassion for this woman who was plunged into  despair after the loss of her mother and removed from the only home she had known. At last, wrapped in sunshine and bathed in music, healing tears were shed. Over a period of months, Susie’s depression lifted and angry outbursts subsided. She began to accept her new home and to build relationships with those with whom she lived. Whenever her mood darkened, she withdrew to her room, her music and her yellow silk.

Those interested in knowing more, will find an understanding of the principles of healing in the introductory Training Manuals at the Living Memory Research  Trust, which are now offered as free downlads

Jennifer may be contacted via email: