Proprioception Problems – Push Against a Wall or Connect with Your Passion? Your Choice

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Heavy energy                                                           Vibrant energy

 

What is Proproception?

Proprioception is the ability to feel our connection with the world around us – whether that is the chair we are sitting on or the pair of scissors we are cutting with. Or is it? Could it run a lot deeper than that? Could it actually be rooted in our connection or disconnection with ourselves?

My son who is 11 and I both have proprioception problems (in terms of struggling to feel our connection with the physical world) but we both reject standard forms of therapy such as lifting weights or pushing ourselves against a wall. if we try these things we find we actually feel worse.  On a deeper level we seem to feel an emptiness and feel more disconnected than ever.

So what should we do?

We need to find a different way to feel connected. We need to stop being too concerned about the strange feelings of our struggle with proprioception and find better feelings. And the better feelings are always about connecting with ourselves. And they are always 3 things:

Connecting with our voices

Connecting with our hearts

Connecting with our power to be ourselves.

And when we do that there are things that we enjoy more than anything else and that fill us to the brim more than anything else and these are RELATIONSHIP and CREATIVITY.

When we are spending time with someone we find warm, engaging and interesting and are actively contributing to that experience we feel GOOD

When we tune into our intuition and do something creative straight from our hearts we feel GOOD.

So . . .push against a wall or connect with your passion? . . . YOUR CHOICE!

 

Sensory Processing Difficulties – The Healing Power of the Big Picture.

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Today we went for a walk with our ten year old son. We went to a beautiful park where there were walk ways and water and ducks and lots of lovely places to scoot. I was in a very ‘connecting’ mood and pretty happy as long as everyone was living on a feeling level!

We were just on our way back to the car when we discovered a new piece of path. There were brick walls either side and it was like an old railway embankment. The walls weren’t straight though. They were leaning backwards at about a 10 degree angle. As soon as I stepped onto this path. I felt discomfort. Where had my happy, secure feelings gone? I told myself it was just a bit of new path – something to get excited by, not scared of. However the feelings continued. I just didn’t like the brick walls. I think it was the angle that disturbed me. My brain just couldn’t seem to process what my eyes were seeing. My chest felt tight and my energy felt displaced. I really didn’t want to continue but my son was so happy scooting and my husband so happy exploring that I did. The only way out at the end of the path was a gate to a very busy road so we turned round and came back. This time I didn’t look at the walls. I just looked at the ground in front of me and although I felt restricted, I felt so much better.

Now at home writing this 2 hours later I am still processing my experience of the walls. When I was there my chest was tight. When I was driving home the tightness moved to my lower back. Now it is as if the feeling is trying to move out through my hips.

5 Minutes Later . . .

Amazingly when I looked for pictures to go with this post and I found the one above, the pain cleared from my hips and I felt I could breathe again.  Part of me didn’t want to look at the picture but part of me found it healing. it was somehow a relief to see the big picture of the sloping wall. I could now see at as part of the overall environment that it is rooted in. My brain at last could make sense of what my eyes had seen and my body could relax.

Thought . . .

We can spend a lot time focusing on every little detail of our life and trying to make it whole. However when we see the big picture we can relax and trust that although the details don’t seem to add up, wholeness can still be present.

So . . . wholeness isn’t dependent on every little detail being correct Keep looking at the big picture and a feeling a wholeness may surprise you!

New Book on Light Sensitivity “I Can’t Sit on That Red Chair!”

Hi everyone,

I have been investigating the relationship between light/colour sensitivity and sensory processing disorder.

My son and I both have an usual experience of seeing the coloured light waves in the atmosphere and we both have sensory processing disorder.  The way we see light affects our perception of colour and can give us multiple nervous system symptoms. By understanding what we see we are able to minimise unpleasant symptoms and better enjoy our relationship with light.

I have put all our experiences and insights into my new book ” I Can’t Sit on That Red Chair!” I hope you find it helpful.

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Click to Buy at Amazon – paperback 

Click here to buy for kindle

 

Being Highly Sensitive – When Everything is Too Much!

 

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There are times when the only thing that resonates with you comes from you. On those days everything around you feels too much for you.

Today everything around me is too much and if I was to describe the ‘too much’ I would have to relive it and that would be TOO much!

This is how it is being Highly Sensitive. Some people call it a disorder or a disease. For me it has become a way of life. 🙂

Highly Sensitive People – An Appearance of Anxiety – A Confession!

 

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How frustrating it must be for people who aren’t highly sensitive to watch and try to interpret the behaviours of the highly sensitive!

My husband and I are always having a discussion about when is anxiety really anxiety when it comes to high sensitivity.

To discuss this here lets first define anxiety

A definition I found:-

“a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.”

I would add that when we are anxious we experience physiological changes in our bodies causing us to feel and think in a certain way.

A Story

The other day we took our son aplaca walking.  I knew I was allergic to horses so don’t go horse riding but I thought I would test out alpacas to see if I was ok with them.  I felt pretty good walking them so assumed I had no serious allergy. Then when we went back to the farm to return the alpacas, there was a horse standing between me and the alpaca enclosure! My first thought was “Oh if I get near the horse, it will nullify my alpaca allergy test.”  So I stopped in my tracks and expressed my concern. I didn’t feel I had much time so I knew I would need to send some anxiety signals to people. This is quite simple. I just make my movements jerky and my eyes big. Inside I was as calm as a cucumber but nobody knew! Having deliberately moved 4 paces back from the horse I then calmly suggested to my husband he go and enjoy his cup of tea while I sit in the car.

I often use this anxiety signal trick. I use it when my husband says he is going to clean the bathroom sink with caustic soda! He says it has no smell but he clearly doesn’t have my brain! I have to alert him quickly that there is a problem and get him to take it seriously. My son uses this trick and probably learnt it from me. If a window is open and my son feels a fly may come in, he feels he has very little time to get the desired result of me closing the window. He has to react now and it has to be dramatic. “Oh no, the window – close it!” he squeals at the top of his voice. Or “Just get that crust off my plate!” He knows the crust won’t hurt him but something about it makes him uncomfortable so he has to send a signal.  I know essentially he is calm because two seconds later he is smiling and chatty.

So my secret is out!! Me and my son turn up the drama deliberately to get our needs met. I don’t think this is dishonest though. It comes from a place of desperation, a sense of knowing just how hard it is for us to live in the world with all the sensory stimuli around us. And it saves us lots of explanations and lots of words and lots of time.

So next time you see a highly sensitive person seemingly over-react,  look deep into their soul. Are they really anxious or are they just sending an anxiety signal to get the help they need?

 

Sensory Processing Disorder – The Prayer of The Highly Sensitive Child

Dear Mr God:  About My Heart

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My heart feels a bit empty sometimes. I can feel disappointed with myself. Life feels difficult and I seem to make other people’s lives difficult too. I am worried sometimes that I am not good enough and although I try my best I am scared that what I do – things like writing and drawing – may not be okay. I compare myself to other people a lot and often think that they are better than me. Please help me realise that I am good enough. Help me to receive praise and to let it into my heart. I think  that love is enough and that you just love me for who I am. I really like to give too. Giving makes me feel really good in my heart. Please give me ideas about how I can open up my big heart and give the love that is inside of me to my family, community and the wider world. 

Dear Mr God: About My Arms and Hands 

armsSometimes when I don’t have enough cuddles or spend enough time with special people my arms feel empty. Please teach me about intimacy and how closeness is so important. As I get older  I may not want so many cuddles but I know I will still like touch. Please help my Mum/Dad to remember to play wrestling with me and give me high fives. Hold me when I am sad and I don’t have anyone else to cuddle me. I want to be able to sleep by myself but please help Mum/Dad to understand that sometimes I need to feel  close to them to be able to relax enough to sleep. Show them how much I need to feel my connection with them as I feel my connection with you. 

Please help me to be ‘hands on’ with things. I know I am a bit cautious and sometimes hold back from playing with sand or paint or water but really I know that I need it and that it is one important way that I connect with the world. I don’t like touching all things but some things feel so good to me – the smooth bark on a tree, Mum’s furry coat, making dough, laying down in a grassy field. Help me work out what I like and what I don’t like and then me and Mum/Dad can really enjoy the things I like together. 

Dear Mr God: About My Shoulders

upper backMy shoulders feel a bit tight sometimes especially when I have been told off. Please help Mum/Dad to be gentle with me even when I have done something to displease them. When I get upset I feel so bad in my body and don’t feel I can breathe properly. It would help if they could use a gentle voice and not look scary even when they are not pleased with something I have done. Please teach me that I need a lot of support and help and that this is okay. 

 

Dear Mr God: About My Throat

throatSometimes my voice feels blocked. I know I have a big voice but I can’t seem to find it. I don’t like listening to other people that much. It just feels too much and that I can’t hear myself think and I can’t hear my own voice. I like it when I am the teacher and when I am the leader. Then I suddenly feel better and my voice gets bigger and I feel happier. I know I am a child so I can’t always teach and lead but if I can do it sometimes it helps. Please help Mum/Dad to have ideas for how I can teach and lead sometimes.

Please help me see that it is okay to ask for what I need. When we are out please help my Mum/Dad to be my advocate and tell other people that I am sensitive and sometimes need special things or to be treated in a particular way. Please also teach me to speak up for myself so I can become an advocate for other highly sensitive people.

Dear Mr God: About My Head and Neck 

headI don’t know yet really who I am like other children don’t know but sometimes I think I see clues about who I am. Please help Mum/Dad to listen when I try to tell them who I think I am and please help me find who I am and then equip me to be fully myself. 

 

 

 

Dear Mr God: About My Feet

feetMy feet feel stuck sometimes and like they don’t know what to do. They have no life in them. And then at other times I feel like I am not really on the ground – like my feet aren’t really contacting the ground at all. I want to feel like I am here on the earth and that I am safe. Please help Mum/Dad teach me about love because surely that is the biggest thing that we can experience. Help them teach me that my feet are rooted in love and about joy and peace too because these are my heart song. I live to feel love and joy and peace and so want other people to experience that too. I like mindfulness, and meditating is okay but really I want to know that I am always okay to be in the world. When I am meditating sometimes I feel I am in a blank space and I don’t like that. And then when I finish meditating I have to come back to the world which is funny as well – a shock somehow – like landing on earth with a bump. Really I would like to feel that I am okay all the time – safe all the time. Please help Mum/Dad show me that your love is enough to keep me safe. 

Dear Mr God: About my Upper Legs 

legsI sometimes don’t feel like I belong. I just feel too different. Please help me find my place. Show me that people are everywhere. They are in my family and then they come to the door with packages and we see them at the supermarket. There are people in the parks and in my group activities. Show me that people are all ages and all different and that it is good to just be part of the community. Help me find my confidence to talk to people, to say ‘Hi’ to the window cleaner or to ask the children at the park if I can play football with them. Please keep showing me that I will find my place if I just keep being part of community.

 

Dear Mr God: About My Lower Legs

legsI sometimes feel stuck in my life like other people are moving forward and I am not. Please help me see that moving forward isn’t about achievement and acquiring lots of things but that is about being open to the journey of my life. Help me see that we never really stand still and that just by getting up and getting involved in life I am moving forwards and growing up. 

 

 

Dear Mr God: About My Lower Back 

lower-backI sometimes feel a bit weak in what I believe. I am not sure about saying what I think and having an opinion. Being highly sensitive, life feels difficult and I feel things differently to other people. This means I probably think differently and I am scared sometimes to say what I think I know. Please help me to be strong in myself. Teach me that we are all unique and it is okay to be my own person with my own thoughts, beliefs and opinions. 

 

Dear Mr God: About My Middle Back 

middle backI don’t feel as strong as some other children. I seem to be more easily upset, bothered and frightened of things. Please teach me about vulnerability. I think vulnerability can be my strength. Although other people look tough I think it can be a mask and that really everyone has needs and feels weak sometimes. Please tell me that I have a very special gift because I have the desire to be authentic and fully myself.

 

 

Dear Mr God: About My Lower Abdomen  

lower-abdomenSometimes I just don’t know what to do to make myself feel okay. Please help me be creative. I don’t know how to do this because if I try to make something from a book or write someone else’s story or play someone else’s music I don’t feel too good. Please show my Mum/Dad that my creativity needs to come from deep within myself. Help them teach me how to look for inspiration in my life and the world around me on a daily basis. Help them show me the importance of my story.

Help me to try working with lots of different materials when I am being creative.  I really like the computer because it responds to me – a bit like another person really. Also the computer doesn’t mind me making mistakes. It just deletes them for me. I really need help to write my letters and draw something and use paint because I am frightened I don’t know the exact way to use these things and that I will make a mistake. Please show me that using my hands to make things and touching materials is a special experience that I need to feel good even though the materials may not be as responsive as a computer.

Dear Mr God: About My Upper Abdomen

upper-abdomenI sometimes don’t feel very powerful, when I feel unsure about myself and the situations I am in. Please help Mum/Dad show me that power isn’t about strength or control but it is really just about being myself. Please help me recognise the times when I am really being myself like when I am climbing trees with my friend or building a rocket on my special computer programme or helping Mum to make tea. 

 

 

Dear Mr God: About My Stomach:  

stomachSometimes I feel a bit empty as if I am continuously hungry for something. Please teach be about being content with what I have but always leaving a little bit of room for more. Help Mum/Dad teach me that the most important things are relationship, love, being creative and being true to myself because that is what I think you are showing me.

 

 

 

Sensory Processing – To Hide or to Be My Insecure Self in the World? – That is the Question!

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I have spent my whole life wondering why I have this tension in my body, I can’t always think straight and I feel sort of insecure a lot of the time. I have really worked my socks off to get to the bottom of this and I thought after 12 years of very intense therapy and working with my issues around the clock, that at least one morning I could get up and feel relaxed!

But no! It seems I was wrong! There is something more than issues or anxiety going on. And it is all about my senses and my difficulty with processing. I can find it difficult to process light, colour, sound, taste, touch, motion, temperature and mine and other people’s emotions.

So what do I do? Do I hide? Or do I take my insecure self out into the world?

Well, I’m done hiding! I’m done waiting until I feel sorted enough to make me feel worthy of being in the world. I’m done waiting for others to give me their nod of approval that says ‘Yes, You’re ok now, You’re good enough to be one of us!”  I’m even done waiting to feel secure enough to dare to step into the world.

I AM DONE WAITING!

I know I am quirky, I know I look tense, I know I can appear socially awkward, I know I can look insecure and scared. I know I can swing between seeming distant and a chatterbox.  I know I don’t seem like a teacher or a healer and certainly not a leader . . .

But I am . . . and I AM HERE!

 

 

Sensory Processing – Integrating your Senses through the Right Side of Your Brain

 

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Today I suddenly realised why when we go out as a family I can get quite cross because no-one else is excited like me by simply being out. We drive along and I see the fields, the sheep, the hills, the sky . . . and I am excited! I start to chatter about them and no-one really responds. Today I got it  . . . no-one else is really feeling excited like me. My son has a visual processing problem so he is really struggling with everything he sees at the moment. And my husband . . . well, he might need a little more going on in the environment to get excited! I mean he might get the same excitement that I get from seeing the sky, from seeing Victoria Falls. I, of course, in such an environment, would be completely over-stimulated!

It is one of the gifts of being highly sensitive . . . feeling so easily excited, and one that I think we tend to forget to enjoy. We are too busy calling everything ‘over-stimulation.’ I love the fact that I can feel happy so easily. Admittedly I can feel miserable pretty easily too but I can usually find my happy place again. I live on this sort of emotional swing.

Another place I went today was a supermarket – a nice supermarket – Waitrose! As soon as I step in there I am usually feeling for the temperature. Anther thing I find difficult to process is temperature change. I walk straight past the freezer aisles to the warm spot amongst the biscuits and the cereals and there I loiter. Today I thought ‘Oh, why didn’t I wait in the car?’ because we had already been out to a medical appointment and sat in a children’s centre consulting room cram-packed with every colour imaginable! But then I decided to embrace the situation. I jigged about a bit to keep warm and focused on the task in hand. I felt the bustle of a supermarket before Christmas – people and trolleys and loads and loads of stuff. And then I thought ‘To me, this is like a theme park. I could actually find it exciting!’ And my next thought was ‘I shouldn’t consider this a shopping trip – it is just an experience. I should just let myself be wowed by the colours and the activity. I shouldn’t worry how I look to others.”  And at that point I relaxed and became warm. Even though I could feel hot and cold currents of air, I seemed to be able to integrate my experience of temperature.

As I find time and time again, as highly sensitive people, we experience the world the best when we can relax into the right side of our brain!

Sensory Processing Disorder – There may be no diagnosis but it is Real!

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Today I needed to book an appointment for my son to see a dietician. When I realised that I had to go to floor 10 – the top floor of our local hospital – I broke down into tears.

Last time I had to go to the top floor of the hospital  I used the stairs because I don’t like lifts. As my husband and son needed to use the lift I asked someone to accompany me but I didn’t feel they understood my anxiety which made me feel worse.  

And what was my anxiety that day?  Was it the about light? Was it about the colour? Was it the echo of people’s feet and voices down the stairwell? Was it the feel of the cold hard walls? Was it the feeling of turning round and round too often for my brain? 

Or was it all of these mixed together and compacted into one big package of extreme sensory overload?

I think it was and this is why the memory of this day made me cry.

I wanted a way out so I asked my son how he felt about going back to the hospital? I was secretly hoping for an “I’m not going back to that place!” but instead he said “Oh yes, I think it will be fine.” Now I was on my own. I couldn’t phone up the hospital and say that my son had anxiety and needed help. I would have to own my anxiety.

After much procrastination I took the bull by the horns and phoned the dietician back and said those liberating words “I have a processing problem.” I explained I didn’t like lifts or stairs. The dietician was fine about this, even though I detected faint surprise in her voice! She simply said she would refer us to the community dietician who could visit us at home or a GP’s surgery

I felt 10 feet tall. I had faced my greatest fear and admitted my greatest need. I didn’t feel silly. After all who can say how the brain of another person makes them feel when they are on the 10th floor of a building? Who? Nobody.

So next time you don’t want to look silly and admit your greatest need, remember not to use anyone else as an excuse, to be brave and stand up for the hidden no-diagnosis condition which is Sensory Processing Disorder!