Help! I Have No Colour Constancy!

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.

We are not Islands When it Comes to Our Well-being – What is Influencing You Today?

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?

I Don’t Get to Choose How I Connect Each Day

Having studied all the emotional psychological connections with what I feel in my body, that I can, plus all my reactions to the way I see the spectrum, I am now convinced that I don’t get to choose how I connect each day.

I thought I could heal and become all things I wanted – to be open- hearted, enjoy intimacy, give my gifts to world, have a strong powerful voice, follow my vision, be happy to be vulnerable, work with my cycles and rhythms and find where I belong.

And I have achieved all these things to a point. But it wasn’t the point I was dreaming of! I thought if I could become whole, I could just get on with things!

But wholeness isn’t all about me. I can’t be whole by myself. It isn’t possible. So God made me really sensitive to the light spectrum just to make sure I knew that!

But, ever ambitious, I have had a similar attitude with the light spectrum, almost expecting to be able to outsmart my reaction to it. After all, if I don’t perceive enough yellow light, then I just need to be a bit more open-hearted. If I don’t perceive enough green light, then I just need to ask for a bit more support.

But how far can this new insight take me, I wondered?

If I just open my heart, could I get on the next plane to the Middle East and help refugees?

If I just let in trillions of support, could I foster a houseful of children?

If I do everything I can to make myself feel really secure, could I jump out of a plane?

Aaaargghhh!! NO, I CAN’T

I can heal myself, which I have done, but now I have to be part of the world. I don’t perceive enough red light in February so I don’t even feel grounded enough to bake a batch of biscuits, let alone jump out of a plane! I can’t make myself feel grounded. I can only do things that help to give me a greater feeling of security.

I can’t make myself feel anything. I can only be open to feeling. I don’t get to choose how I can connect each day!

Light-watcher Story February 22nd – Not Enough Green Light!

I wake up every morning and sense in myself what is happening with my relationship with the light, and how it is likely to affect me that day.

I have made a discovery this year about the green light. I can often find green hard to look at, and so assumed I had a tendency to see too much green light. However, I have come to realise that sometimes I don’t see enough. Just now in February as the light is not at its brightest, and I perceive a lot of blue and violet light, I don’t see enough green.

As I feel green light in my shoulder, neck and jaw, seeing too little green light can leave me feeling pretty crabby! I feel that I can’t relax my neck and shoulders and I have pain under my occiput. And worse than that, my sensitivities are heightened through the roof. I particularly can’t tolerate the sound of the taps in our house and today listening to my husband take a shower, felt like torture. I tried putting music on, moving somewhere else in the house, but nothing worked. I felt the sound like a drill in my head, sending a jangled feeling all through my body.

Even writing this post, I feel jangled by the sound of my keys and the light from the screen.

The good thing is though that I know now that my most jangled days are when I see less green light. And knowledge is power.

The hard thing is asking for help on a day when I struggle to feel support. And my day feels all about survival. How do you live in a house where there are everyday noises when you feel so sensitive?

I don’t like dragging people down into my problems. I like my family to be happy and to have a calm home. But on days when my sensitivities are extreme, the most I can hope for is that we support each other and help each other through our feelings of helplessness.

It is not my sensitivities that nearly break me on the low green light days. It is having to let go of my pride and my need to make everything OK and everyone happy all the time. I have to feel enough in my broken state.

Living with Atypical Spectral Sensitivity Keeps You in Touch with Your Needs

When I don’t perceive enough yellow light, I know I need to find a kind voice and a kind face, to help me feel more loved.

When I don’t perceive enough green light, I know I need to let myself be supported and actually let in the feeling of support.

When I don’t perceive enough orange light, I know I need to try to be a team player and find ways to help me feel that I belong.

When I don’t perceive enough blue light, I know I need to find special ways to speak my thoughts and opinions.

When I don’t perceive enough violet light, I know I need to find little ways to stay in touch with my intuition.

When I don’t perceive enough red light, I know I need to think things, say things and do things, to help me feel more secure.

When I do perceive enough yellow, green, orange, blue, violet or red light, I need to remember to indulge in feeling how good it is to feel connected to all the different aspects of myself!

Living by the Colours I See in the Light: The Joys and Challenges of Having Atypical Spectral Sensitivity

Anxiety – Does it all Really Come from Within?

If you had asked me the question – “Does all anxiety come from within?” a few years ago I would have said “Yes” without hesitation. And as a result of thinking this, I have had a lot of therapy and worked long and hard with my self development, expecting to resolve my insecure anxious feelings and thoughts.

A Story

Today I woke up feeling bright and breezy and decided it would be a good day to go with my family to a small seaside town and play mini-golf. Now, for our complicated family, it is amazing to just get out of the door, let alone make it down to the beach and participate in an activity! But I felt the light was good, my energy felt good and it was worth giving it a try.

As soon as I decided to go out, I felt my anxiety levels raise. I started thinking about all the things we needed – rucksacks, juice, chocolate, tissues, paracetemol . . .! I then told myself that this was just like any trip for us. We would take the same things for an appointment at the hairdressers! So I relaxed a bit. But I noticed I still didn’t feel as grounded as I had felt when I first got up. My legs were a bit achy and physical tasks like carrying things around the house were starting to feel difficult. I then realised the light had changed – I was perceiving less red light than when I first woke up. I wondered if I still really felt like going out. But of course, with a 12 year old who is excited about the prospect of mini-golf by the seaside, you don’t really get a choice. With the suggestion comes a commitment!

So . . I committed and off we went! When we arrived, I felt the same as I had done at home – happy, pleased to be alive but ungrounded. How does this feel? Well . . it feels like my legs aren’t as substantial as the rest of me. This feeling used to make me feel insecure but it doesn’t any more because I recognise it and understand it. At the seaside today, I knew I was safe and all was well and it was this knowing that I depended on. The real give away with how my perception of the light affected me, was just how much my legs ached when I had to climb lots of steps to get to the golf course. I felt as if I had run a marathon in the last 3 days, it was so painful. Also, when the energy is low in my legs, I have a tendency to pull muscles in my knees so I have to be super careful how I I use my legs and the rest of my body.

At the mini-golf I felt just OK. When you don’t feel grounded, it is harder to feel more than OK sometimes. it takes a distraction like seeing an amazing gull or getting a hole in one to feel more than OK. This feeling of just being OK can raise the alarm that something isn’t right but I am used to the feeling now and just stay calm and go with it. As I say, I know I am safe and that all is well.

My son, who is 12, has a similar experience to me. As he is a child and not always thinking rationally, small things can knock him off balance emotionally, and have massive impact on him physically. After the game of golf, we decided to go to the fish shop which was at the bottom of a very steep hill. I could see the pain on my son’s face as he walked down the hill, and the fear in his eyes that he might not make it back to the car. I remember this feeling so well from when I was a child. I would sometimes feel that I could not walk another step. But there is nothing wrong with our legs. Having rested a little on the drive home, my son got out the car and ran to check on his pet doves. I just got on with life as normal.

Not being grounded and having low energy in our legs does affect our daily life but it affects us much more when we try to go out and have some fun!

Anxiety definitely doesn’t always come from within. Sometimes we don’t know what is affecting us. We just know we don’t feel right. If that is how you feel, maybe it is time you start examining your relationship with the light!

We Can’t Really Find Connection. We Simply Have Connection!

Passionate about healing, I have always had ‘connection’ in my sights. I have been blessed enough to have a lot of insight about connection and disconnection and felt that in time it would all come together and I would feel truly connected.

However, this wasn’t to be my destination. I had to learn that no matter how much I healed, was self aware, stayed present with myself, none of it was enough.

I am not just me or not just me in relationship to others. I am also me in relationship to my environment. And this is where I get to feel what it is not to be in control. I can’t sort this relationship with my environment through therapy or self development. No, I have to surrender to it.

As a farmer has to surrender to their relationship with the weather and a fisherman to their relationship with the ocean, I have to surrender to my relationship with the light. I have to let it shape me and change me and bring out all the power that is within me.

I can’t choose to get up and ‘be’ creative. The light will make me creative or not make me creative. I can’t get up and choose to be a home-maker. The light will make me a home maker or not a home-maker. I can’t get up and choose to be a truth speaker or a leader. The light will lead me there or not lead me there. I am not in control. I can’t choose to connect with my emotions or with my intuition or with my more physical energy. And I can’t choose total connection.

Today I don’t perceive enough red or yellow light. This means that I can’t be really grounded or really emotionally connected, no matter how hard I try. I do perceive a lot of ultraviolet light that is giving me the energy to write this and a lot of orange light that is driving me to speak my truth.

Many of us are looking for total connection. We try to find it through yoga or exercise or the latest cleansing diet or using our breath. There is nothing wrong with these things but the truth is that there is no such thing as total connection when we are looking simply inside ourselves. We can try to apply all the latest health technology and fill ourselves with the latest super foods and vitamins and minerals but we will not find our place of total connection.

Connection is found in trust. When I can’t feel all the connectedness I want, I have to trust – I have to believe that connection is there.

Connection is found in knowing. When you can’t ‘feel connection,’ that can be frightening, make you insecure, and be disorientating. Knowing is FAITH that connection simply is there. It is more real than anything we can try to create or think we have.

No . . we can’t really find connection. We simply HAVE connection!

Video Snippet – The Grounded Feeling of the Red Light

Seeing more blue light and less red light most of the time, I am looking for the red light in the atmosphere to balance my perception of the spectrum. I notice if I see less red light, that I feel less energy in my legs and feet than I usually do. When I perceive more red light or I find I can wear glasses to either block blue or enhance red, I suddenly feel more grounded and more secure.

Video Snippet – Seeing Outside of the Visible Spectrum – Thinking Outside of the Box!

Some days the light feels very strange. The roofs I see from my window stand out in their darkness and other black markings on birds appear differently to how they usually do. On those day the light also seems very bright. This might happen on sunny days in the middle of summer but can happen when there is lots of white cloud at other times of the year too. I can find myself squinting inside, even on a January day.

I Bought Myself a Spectrometer!

Hi, I have been making a lot of videos about how I perceive light and colour in a different way to those around me. I have often wondered if I am ‘seeing’ differently or ‘processing’ differently so I bought myself a spectrometer!

My Discoveries & Thoughts

I perceive light differently I constantly perceive subtle changes in the colour spectrum in the atmosphere. For instance just looking at the sky I can perceive when there is an increase in violet light or decrease in red light. I have been testing my observations with my spectrometer readings, and I find that how I perceive the light does not always tally with what my spectrometer picks up.

My brain sometimes processes the relative intensity of wave lengths in a way that is atypical. This means that I might perceive some wave lengths as less intense or more intense than I see on my spectrometer.

(incidentally my colour sensitivity is so extreme that I can’t look at the intensity of a colour spectrum so my husband removed the colour and sent me a black and white line graph for my observation.)

I feel the change in the light as much as I perceive it visually. I know if there is more violet light because I will feel more intuitive or suddenly have a desire to eat crunchy food. I know if there is more red light because I will feel more grounded and have a desire to eat softer foods.

I live by the light meaning that from when I get up the morning I have half an eye out to check what the light is doing. How I see the light affects all my choices of the day – what I wear, what I eat, what I do and how I relate to myself and other people. When I perceive more violet light I am more creative and intuitive. When I perceive more red light I am more into my home projects. When I perceive more yellow light I enjoy relationship with other people more.

My imbalanced way of seeing the light moves me and shapes me. It sharpens my intellect, helps me tune into my emotions and heightens my creativity and intuition.

Living by the Colours I See in the Light – The Joys and Challenges of Having Atypical Spectral Sensitivity