Colour Sensitivity – Lightwatcher Story – February 24th 2019

hiding from glare

February and the light is getting that little bit brighter. In fact it feels suddenly a lot brighter . . . because the violet light has woken up. Violet light is there in the beginning and middle of winter too but there is nothing like the violet light of February. It feels ‘harsh.’

The reason the February light feels harsh is that seeing more violet light when the light is still generally not at its brightest means I see less red light to soften the blue. As the light gets brighter the red light appears in my perception again around May only to disappear again as we head into the brightest month of June.

How Does This Affect Me?

Colours look at their best

At this point between the darker light of winter and brighter light of midsummer.  Even though the red is low for me, I can still see enough red to perceive colours very well except for perhaps acid yellow.

My other sensitivities are at their highest.

I am particularly sensitive to sound and white noise drives me crazy – the filling of our water tank after a bath, the fan of my computer, our kettle, the rattling of plastic bags. All these sounds make me feel jangled.

I have a lot of energy!

My brain feels like it is going at 100 mph and there is nothing I can do to slow it down!

What Do I Do?

  • I celebrate the beauty of the colours
  • I examine the things that causing me disturbance in the house. For instance we changed the water pressure to make the sound of the header tank filling up more bearable.  And I am trying to find a new kettle!
  • I try to focus on one thing at a time.
  • I try to filter out any clutter whether that is thoughts or physical clutter in my environment.
  • I ask other people to be as calm and slow as they can with me and to not give me too much information at once.
  • I eat food that feels comforting and has a softness to me.
  • I wear clothes that have a soft colour to me.

Most of all I enjoy my crazy flitty intuition that can lead on me exciting little journeys!

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Colour Sensitivity – Lightwatcher Story – February 1st 2019

 

Snow – wonderful snow!

For me and my son, snowy days are the best days.

We woke up to about 4 inches of snow today and Luca wasn’t really feeling that well so I guessed we wouldn’t be going out. But at about 10:00 Luca suddenly said he thought he should go out – that he would feel better if he did. He started doing that sudden needing things all at once thins that children do when they are excited! I feel like I am suddenly being blown around by a whirlwind!

Anyway we wrapped up warm and ventured into the snowy wastes! It has been a slow burn over the years for Luca liking snow. As a toddler, he disliked seeing us sledge down the slope away from him and burst into tears. As a smaller child he didn’t learn the art of wrapping up warm and so was always grumpy with cold. When we had ice he seemed quite distressed which we only understand in the light of knowing about his visual issue with water and glare. So this year is very special. Luca has decided that he REALLY LIKES SNOW. And more than that – snow makes him feel really good as I find too.

Outside today I noticed that Luca’s eyes were open wide and I could see their real beautiful blue in the light. And his pupils were small, as were mine and my husband’s. Usually Luca’s pupils are bigger that ours’ as he is trying to shut out the light. He appeared wide open to the experience of being outside in the snow. He was even happy to have me look at his eyes and happy to look at the camera. This was so unusual.

Now as a light theory person I have a theory. It is simply that white reflects all the colours of the spectrum and so looking at white is our most balanced experience of the spectrum. When we perceive the spectrum as BALANCED our light sensitivity disappears.

Colour Sensitivity – Christmas Day Cloud Therapy!

IMG_0664

Why did the light change yesterday?!

I have been sailing on through November and December thinking the light is good. I have been able to project manage our home improvements. I have even been able to sort CD’s and books and tolerate the constant chaos of stuff around us.

Then yesterday . . . my mood suddenly changed. And it wasn’t because it was Christmas Eve! I looked around me and realised I wasn’t seeing so much yellow but was seeing more orange in the light.  This usually makes me feel a bit downhearted. I was gutted, realising that is would likely be another struggle of a Christmas Day.

And here we are  . . Christmas Day . . . and lot of black cloud!!  And grumpy wife and mum.

What can I do to cheer myself? 

Sit in the only light there is and do my jigsaw puzzle that is full of whites and neutrals. This is the best Christmas Day Cloud Therapy there is!