I frequently look after Jamie, a good friend’s four year old, either minding him at home, or going out and about on adventures. About six months ago we visited St Mary’s lighthouse at Whitley Bay, perhaps you’ve been there? It’s an impressive sight, a short walk along a causeway gets you to the surrounding buildings and the lighthouse itself. Although it’s no longer a working lighthouse the buildings are open to the public and we’ve been in a couple of times.
This time we wandered through into the tower and Jamie decided he wanted to climb to the top. I wasn’t keen, generally I don’t mind heights, mountains and rocks are fine, most of the other lighthouses I’ve been in are fine; but there’s something about St Mary’s that’s a bit disconcerting, the tower is quite wide at the base and tapers at the top. Perhaps it’s an optical illusion but it seems as though the steps lean in to the drop in the middle, so that you might easily slide off.
We set off, by the time we’d got halfway round the first turn of the spiral stairs I was feeling decidely wobbly, it occurred to me that fainting or throwing up halfway up a lighthouse isn’t good child minding practice. So I made some feeble excuse about having to get back to the car and Jamie (bless him) went along with it without complaint and we decended, when I got to the bottom I made a mental note to do some EFT or NLP on ‘St Mary’s vertigo’…..of course I forgot all about it.
Just before Christmas we were back at St Mary’s lighthouse, walked the causeway and I absent mindedly paid the entry fee and we entered the tower. Just as it dawned on me what was about to happen, Jamie said “Let’s climb to the top!”
Have you noticed that life and four year olds present lots of learning opportunities?
Jamie held my hand and led the way, I was a step behind him using my other hand to tap the EFT sequence as we went. There was no need to say any of the usual phrases the ‘problem’ was right there! “It’s high isn’t it Andy?” … “Yep” tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. We paused briefly whilst a grandmother parted from her husband and two grandchildren and made her way past, saying (in a way I completely understood) “I think I’ll just wait for you at the bottom”. I found, to my relief that I didn’t feel too bad, we resumed our ascent, Jamie leading, me tapping away behind him.
In the room at the top the views were fine and I wasn’t in the slightest bothered by the height. I’ve heard a theory that vertigo is a response to converging parallel lines rather than height itself, which is why the sides of mountains are fine and the outsides of buildings or the insides of stairwells are not, but knowing this doesn’t help when you start to feel vertigo.
As we started down from the viewing room Jamie said ‘We’ve got to be careful Andy because it’s very high", he got no arguments from me! In the interests of thoroughness, I got to tap again on vertigo from the perspective of looking down rather than ahead. By this time I wasn’t feeling too bad, and a few more rounds of tapping reduced that feeling still further … I was still pleased to get to ground level.
Last weekend, I went with Jamie and his mum to St Mary’s Lighthouse and naturally Jamie was quite keen to go to the top and I was keen to find out what would happen. It was absolutely fine, I did a little tapping but it wasn’t really necessary, the only faint feeling I got was from having to climb the 157 steps to the top!