I have wondered my whole life why my face appears so unrelaxed when I catch sight of myself in a mirror. And it is more than this – it is as if I am struggling to connect through my eyes. There is just the odd occasion when I look in the mirror and think ‘Oh, there you are, so you do exist after all!’
Now I know that it all has to do with my difficulty in always perceiving enough blue light. I am not talking about violet or green or any other colour – no, specifically blue. I always have this feeling at this time of year from half way through February to the beginning of April. I discern enough violet light (I know that because my brain is so active, intuitive and creative,) but I am struggling to perceive blue light. I know this because I can feel quite alone and struggle to be a team player.
As I see my own and other people’s energy, I am able to find clues to connection and disconnection, that others may not have. When I perceive too little blue light, I literally see a band of low energy going across my eyes. I find myself trying to connect with people through eye contact but not really feeling the connection I want. I feel open-hearted, but it is amazing how cut off you can feel when you struggle to connect through your eyes.
I have to learn other ways to connect – voice, feelings, touch, smell, taste, movement – whilst I am waiting for the blue light to come back!
I wanted to be balanced – I really did – but that is not my destiny.
I live in a nearly continuous state of imbalance because of my reaction to the light spectrum. In fact, if the light ever feels balanced, I feel quite lost and don’t know what to do with myself!
Today for instance – another cloudy rainy day in the UK. Thankfully I perceive enough yellow light to feel open hearted. However, I don’t feel grounded (low red light), I struggle to feel I belong (low orange light), I struggle to feel support (low green light), and struggle to feel part of a team (low blue light). I always have my friend, the violet light, though, energising, inspiring and pushing me on to higher and greater things.
I can do much with my perception of yellow and violet light. I can get to the heart of things and put on my analytical creative hat. I can work with data and make deductions and build theories. I wouldn’t become the crazy analyst if the light was balanced. I am pretty sure I would be doing something a lot more mundane!
Balance is nice if you can get it but maybe a little ordinary. It is imbalance that leads you into the extra-ordinary and and if you hold its hand, it will take you on the most exciting journey!
As my tendency is always to see higher violet light than is usual, I know now that I can sometimes see too little of any other colour on the spectrum.
This is happening right now at the beginning of March. With the high violet light, I am seeing too little blue light. I am feeling as if I am struggling to connect with anything. I have really high energy in both my hands and feet but that energy doesn’t feel connected with the rest of me.
My energy feels low in my lower arms and lower legs and the reason is that I see too little red light. I don’t feel grounded and present in myself. This energy pattern causes a block between my energy to do something (connection with the world being felt in my hands and feet) and my emotional connection (felt in my abdomen, heart and throat).
When I perceive both red and blue light as low, I feel a particular kind of disconnection. I find it harder than usual to connect with my purpose.
Signs and symptoms: I feel agitated, need people around but get stressed with much interaction. I think people are being abrupt with me when they are not. I feel grumpy, easily stressed and over-stimulated. My only release is to flit around doing a bit of this and a bit of that. I need to move when I think, walk when I speak, and am just about managing to stop my brain from whirring too wildly.
I wonder if this is a little of what it feels like to have ADHD. Are people with ADHD finding it difficult to connect with their purpose?
My solution: I do something that feels really meaningful to me like writing this post. Although I don’t feel fully connected, I at least feel the energy in my hands and feet, and I have to accept that this is my way of connecting today. I connect by speaking my truth.
I have been trying to get to the bottom of my issues with processing pattern for three years now. First I thought it was astigmatism, then I thought it was my binocolular vision. But something didn’t feel right about those ideas. It isn’t just lines or grids that I can’t process. It is the pattern of blades of grass and branches on a tree. Or looking at the shelf above our fireplace, the sharp edge of my desk, or the food on my plate.
Some days the problem is there and some days it isn’t. It all depends on my perception of the spectrum. If the spectrum feels more balanced, then pattern feels more integrated. If the spectrum feels unbalanced, then lines and patterns seem to stand out.
My experience of the spectrum is that if I perceive a little too less of one or more colours, then I have an unbalanced perception of colours around me. For instance, if I perceive a little too less red, then all colours will be affected and some of them , especially white, will lack warmth. A sky, for instance may appear more stark than it would do with more red light. This stark feeling is hard enough, but if I then look at a pattern of brown branches on a tree against the stark white, the contrast becomes too great and I feel disturbed by what I see.
My difficulty with pattern is more pronounced between the brighter months of February and October, although it drops off and things appear visually softer from around July. I can only describe the feeling like watching the television on a setting beyond high definition. It is not comfortable and confuses my brain.
If you relate to any of my experiences, I would love to hear your story.
Colour constancy is learnt when we see things again and again. If we see a red apple, our brain files that piece of of information. Next time we see a red apple, we recognise it. We don’t usually mind if it is a little more pink than the last one, or a little more crimson . We don’t usually mind if the light we are seeing the apple in, is a little more blue or a little more yellow. To most people, it is still a red apple because most people learn colour constancy.
But what happens if you don’t learn colour constancy? What happens if every time you look at an apple that someone else says is red, your brain challenges that suggestion. What if your brain says “Is that really red, or is that orange or even slightly green ?” What if your brain says “I know that apple is red but in that light it really looks yellow and in yesterday’s light, it looked orange.”?
Well, that wouldn’t be too bad if your brain was happy to just flick through all these colour possibilities, but it isn’t good if your brain just can’t process all the confusing information. And this is what it is like for me and my son. When we look at a colour, our brains tell us whether it does or doesn’t doesn’t match the light-waves. If there is red in a colour, but we don’t perceive enough red light, then our brain gets confused and we get all sorts of nervous system symptoms. These could be going hot or cold, getting a headache, a sore throat, feeling tight in our chest, getting indigestion or feeling knocked out of ourselves.
It is easy to think that these symptoms are just stress or some other health condition but we have tested this over and over again and they are always caused by the light.
Might you have symptoms you don’t understand? Could you have Atypical Spectral Sensitivity too?
We would love to hear your story.
When we find our voice to speak out who we are and can freely express through our bodies, we feel better about ourselves and our lives. We find it easier to give ourselves what we need, to self regulate and to embrace all that is good around us.
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I have been thinking about all the things that influence our state of well-being outside of our brains, and our own brains are challenging enough for some of us! Or – is there no such thing as anything outside of our brain because our well-being is all intertwined with our relationship with the world?
With or without knowing it, we are all constantly influenced by:-
- Our visual perception
- Our perception of sound
- Our perception of smell
- Our perception of taste and texture
- Our perception of touch
- Our perception of balance
- Our proprioception
- Our perception of colour
- Our perception of light
- Our perception of temperature
- Seasonal Changes
- The Weather
- The Moon
- Our Health
- Our Cycles and Rhythms
- Our feelings and thoughts
- The quality of our family relationships
- The emotional climate around us
- Atmospheres of places and buildings
We can’t really separate out these stimuli and and the affects of them on our well-being. I got up today and saw there was sheep on the hill ouside our bedroom window (that weren’t there last time I looked) and felt comforted. I went to the other side of the house and the clouds were as black as black. I felt slightly less comfort but a sort of excitement as the light was bright on the garden, but the sky was dark. Then someone used the tap downstairs and I felt less comfort again, and rattled, and closed the door of the room I was in. Then my husband came in and told me how dark the sky was (!) and I automatically turned to look at it, without thinking first. The colour hurt my eyes. Now I have the sound of hail on my window which sometimes I love, but today I am not so sure about.
And so my day will continue . . a mixture of influences from my own thoughts and ideas, to the weather, light, colour, my son’s feelings . . . I am intrinsically connected to these things. There is no point is seeing them as rude interruptions or nuisances. They shape who I am and what I am going to do. I need to welcome them with open arms and let them move and inspire me.
What I do know today is that this exciting weather is giving me the energy and inspiration to write this post.
We are not islands when it comes to our wellbeing? What is influencing you today?