March 2019 – Important Lightwatcher Story

contented cat

I understand Spring is a common season for people to suffer with depression. You look outside and think how the days are getting longer and light brighter but you just don’t feel ‘happy’.

From my experience there is a lot of undulation around how much yellow light we perceive in the early Spring. One minute the blue light is bright enough for us to perceive more yellow light and the next it isn’t.  I find sometimes the sky looks slightly turquoise in the spring because I am picking up green (next to blue in the spectrum) but not so much yellow. (one colour down from green on the spectrum). When I pick up less yellow I find my mood goes down and I don’t feel so connected to my feelings, the people around me and the world.

I can also perceive less yellow in November and/or December but because there is a lot of red around I don’t seem to feel so detached. Red is a grounding light.

What to Do.

Find things that help you feel more connected. I find it is a good time to sort out the family videos and look back on happy memories.

Stay with positive feelings and input if you can. It is not good time to watch a really sad drama on TV!

Know that the feelings of detachment will pass and you will feel your lovely feelings of attachment again.

 

A Guitar Loop – Face the Blue Light Blues!

I can see too much red in the autumn and winter and too much blue in the middle of summer. Spring is only time when I feel I might be seeing the right amount of blue for my brain to be able to relax.

When I see the blue light of spring though, the light is starting to get brighter and my first instinct is to hide myself away. I think I can’t ‘do’ the brightness. But the brightness knocks away on the door of my heart asking to come in. I know really that this particular blue light of spring has enormous energy and power contained in it for me. I feel if I don’t do my best to harness it I might go crazy!

I hope you enjoy my loop. The pictures that I have chosen take you on little journeys we have been on as a family in our endeavour to face the blue light!

 

Autism Mis-diagnosed – Could it be Colour Sensitivity?

snow owl

My son is 11 and has a lot of sensory processing issues, his most challenging ones being visual and sound.  When we go to see doctors, paediatricians and occupational therapists no-one knows how to help us. They don’t seem to have seen this type of sensitivity before (especially the visual processing) and they don’t seem to have seen sensitivity outside of autism.

So . . . where do they refer us? Autism testing.

I told my son about the assessment and he was quite indignant that he didn’t want to be mis-diagnosed as having autism and so he he wrote a letter to the doctor.

Dear Dr,

I am Luca and I am 11. I have an appointment to come and see you and Mum and Dad say it is about behaviour and autism.

I don’t think it will help me to come to be assessed because I think lots of people are being mis-diagnosed with autism when really they are colour sensitive.

I am sensitive to colour and pattern. I see colour and pattern different to other people. And it makes my brain do funny things. I can’t think very straight when I am in a room of a particular colour. And when people show me things on paper or on the screen I might not be able to process them. Or when people ask me questions I might not feel well enough or have enough energy to answer them. I don’t even like looking at people’s faces much or do eye contact because of the colour and patterns on people’s faces.

When I am in a room of the right colour which is really a type of white, I can concentrate much better but I might still struggle if the light outside doesn’t feel right for me or if it is sunny or if there is a blue sky.

When I go for appointments to see doctors I feel like I can’t really be me. My Mum has to speak for me and I feel trapped by the colours in the room and on people’s clothes. I can’t really show people who I am.

I don’t really mind being assessed for behaviour things or autism but I am not happy to be assessed in a place that is not right for me and then get mis-diagnosed. I feel at my best in December when the light is dim, after dark and in my house which is all neutral colours and patterns.

My Mum helped me write this letter because of my processing problem.

I hope you understand and take me seriously,

Luca

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

wall            images (1)

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!

 

New Book on Colour 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.

Red Chair Image

Click to Buy at Amazon – paperback 

Click here to buy for kindle

 

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

sad

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!

 

 

 

Who Shall I be? ME – just ME!

flowerI have always wanted to BE something. I thought if I could just BE something then I would feel ok about myself and others would be happy with me.

So what should I be? Shall I be the music teacher as I have a musical gift? Should I be the artist as I have a desire to express my childlike spirit? Should I be a healer so I can feel part of other people’s positive change? What shall I be?

ME – just ME!  The person who gets up in the morning and says to God “What shall I do today?” The person who looks out of the window and gets carried away with seeing a flock of crows perched on the branches of our big tree or the pounding of the rain on our driveway . . .the person who may pick up a musical instrument only if it feels ok to feel the strings, sense the rhythm and hear the tones TODAY  . . .the person who is looking for a hug and kind words by 10:00 in the morning . . . the person who finds the green of the grass too bright some days, doesn’t like crowds or parties and loves chocolate truffles . . the person who likes to scoot around the park wearing her purple coat and summer beanie. . . the person who loves to help others when her own world is calm and organised enough for her to do so . . . 

Who should I be? – ME – just ME!

Highly Sensitives – Time to Let Ourselves Off the Hook!

fishing

Feeling insecure for a reason that feels outside of your control doesn’t always equal fear

Feeling easily stressed or overloaded by small things  doesn’t always equal anger

Feeling helpless and unable to change something doesn’t always equal guilt.

But it can appear as this to those that are close to us. Maybe they pick up that deep down this is how we are perceiving ourselves.

Is it time to let yourself off the hook?