Colour Sensitivity – Me and My White Kitchen!

Luca Cooking

We have lived in our house for 20 years and in that time we have never had a new kitchen. Our kitchen was a sort of yellowy cream yellowing with age with wood trim, slightly pinky walls and a very geometric patterned floor in reds and browns. I know – it doesn’t sound to good does it?! But you just get used to these things.

When I tried to cook in our kitchen I felt a strange sensation in my legs, a bit like I was being pulled down into a swamp.  And I would feel less and less energy in myself until I would feel like screaming and giving up. Often I wouldn’t finish cooking a meal. My husband would have to come and rescue me! And then I would get very cross if people weren’t appreciative of my efforts because I had suffered so much to do it.

Now I know – I was feeling a sensitivity to the geometric pattern on the floor and the dark brown colour of our gas hob.

When I tried to wash up in our kitchen I would feel a jangly sensation in my body. I would also go very hot, would feel achy and my face would always itch. I tried using washing up liquid without perfume but it didn’t help.

Now I know – I was sensitive to the grey colour of the stainless steel sink and also to the finish of the stainless steel itself. When light falls on stainless steel especially brushed steel it moves in a certain way creating rings and lines that were giving me a feeling of unease.

When I tried to eat in our kitchen I couldn’t taste my food. I would keep saying to my baker husband “Are you sure you put salt in the bread?” because I just couldn’t taste it. I would choose sweet things sometimes just because I could taste them better.

Now I know – Firstly I was sensitive to the blue light in our fridge so even looking for food in the fridge made me feel unwell and much colder than would be normal for a person to feel with the fridge open. Next I was sensitive to the appearance of the colours of some of the packaging under the poor lighting of our kitchen. Next I was sensitive to the orange pine colour of our kitchen table. And finally I was sensitive to the green rim of our Denby pottery plates. No wonder I couldn’t taste my food!

Solution

We finally have our new kitchen. It is not all clinical white as that would be too cold and not good for us at all. We have light ivory cupboard doors that have a certain warmth. We have surf white work surfaces which make every coloured package on the top appear more to their true colour. We have a white composite sink and white tap. We have a white glass splashback and upstand and a white glass hob and white oven.  All the whites are slightly different – a little blue, a little green here and there – but I like this. Our floor will be a polished concrete effect vinyl and our walls F & B All White paint. Our lights are all dimmable.

Yes, it does look cool (!) but more importantly it feels amazing. I fully interact with the kitchen, happily going in the cupboards and drawers, using the sink and the hob etc. Whereas my kitchen used to repel me, now it it draws me in and hugs me. I feel very alive and I tend to do things more slowly than I used to as this feeling of calm overtakes me. I no longer rush to get out of my kitchen. I relish the time I spend in there and look forward to it taking me on many happy cooking journeys.

My son (11) who takes sensitivity to a whole new level and literally would spend no time in our kitchen and not even eat with us now goes in there and dances around happily wanting to learn to cook and do everything himself. It is the most amazing thing to see.

So . . . how do you feel in your kitchen? Is it helping you to nourish yourself or hampering you?

To read more about mine and my son’s experiences of colour sensitivity please see my book:-

I Can’t Sit on That Red Chair – The Relationship Between Sensory Processing Difficulties and Colour Sensitivity

 

 

 

 

Sensory Processing Disorder – The Prayer of The Highly Sensitive Child

Dear Mr God:  About My Heart

middle-back

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.