The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World
Author: Maria Hill
When I read about The Emerging Sensitive, all that I understood was that it is about people who are overly sensitive. I decided to read this book because I am related to someone whom I have always thought of as 'very sensitive'.
I would like to believe that even my Sensitivity Quotient is a little on the higher side to be able to understand the sensitivity, rather than getting impatient over it or scorning it, which is what I have seen most people do.
'Sensitivity Quotient' - a term I thought of as I was writing this. To the best of my knowledge, the term doesn't exist otherwise.
The Emerging Sensitive is written is a simple, easily understandable language. It is also divided into various topics and sub-topics, which also helps to comprehend the subject.
I don't usually read self-help books. I don't have much patience for them.
I read this one though, and liked it.
There is a lot that I learnt from The Emerging Sensitive.
To begin with, I had no idea before I read this book, that the term 'Highly Sensitive People / HSP' existed.
Now I know that
"a highly sensitive person has a different nervous system and is therefore biologically different from other people."
"Highly sensitive people have been at odds with their world for an important reason: HSPs cannot avoid feeling in a world that suppresses feeling."
"Highly sensitive people absorb the energy around them like a sponge."
That would explain the moodiness of HSPs for sure :)
"One out of five people is highly sensitive."
More common than I had thought.
I had assumed that HSPs are always introverts.
"Most highly sensitive people are introverted but approximately 30% of HSPs are extroverted."
"I have spent many years educating myself - both formally and informally... I am passing on waht I have learned with the hope it helps other highly sensitive people have an easier time coming to terms with all of the different perspectives and energies they encounter in the world."
The book is divided into four parts:
- Understanding The Highly Sensitive Trait
- The Importance and Value of Frameworks
- Getting a Handle on the world
- Claiming Agency
HSPs are different, because of their Sensitivity Quotient.
They are capable of better understanding, but they also experience more pain.
I knew this, though I may not have said it in these exact words before.
After reading Maria Hill's The Emerging Sensitive, my sensitivity and admiration towards Highly Sensitive People has increased.
"Sensitivity, though painful at times, can become an important path to wisdom."
"HSPs have their own definition of success, they don't go by the concept that the world think is right."
Good support system, some understanding, a balanced social environment... and the world can be a better place for both HSPs and non-HSPs.
The Emerging Sensitive should be read by the HSPs. I think it is heartening and inspiring to realize that one is not alone in the struggle.
For others, The Emerging Sensitive can change their perspective towards the ones around them.
"The highly sensitive trait is a gift for energetic intelligence. The fundamental orientation of HSPs is energetic, which means that they listen to what energy tells them and then form their goals. Non-HSPs form their goals differently - perhaps based on more external factors like tradition, cultural values, goals, and incentives."
The book ends with How to get started creating a new life'.
Robin Williams in mentioned as an HSP. The book says that he "used his sensitivity and insight to help us all see the world in new ways."
But his end was mysterious, sad, and unnatural. Could it have anything to do with his sensitivity? Something I'd now read more about.
There is a beauty in being sensitive to our environment - the people, the nature, the animals...
What makes it difficult is the ugliness that is the bitter truth of our lives, and the insensitivity of others towards those who are sensitive.
Emerging Sensitive puts into words, in a systematic manner, how HSPs and non-HSPs can co-exist and learn from each other.
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The italicised text in quotation marks are quotes from the book.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Book
Having only been given a name for their unique nature a few decades ago, highly sensitive people, or HSPs, are finally able to identify their traits and connect with one another in new and beneficial ways. In her book, The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World, Maria Hill illuminates the path to self exploration and discovery for HSPs. Drawing on work of HSP expert Dr. Elaine Aron’s “DOES” model, Hill paints a vivid picture of the world as seen through the eyes of a highly sensitive person. She traces the roots of HSPs back to the earliest civilizations by following the evolutional framework of Spiral Dynamics as laid out by Don Beck and Chris Cowan. In doing so, she reveals the shifting roles of highly sensitive people in societies throughout the ages and exploring what the future holds as the culture shifts to a more HSP-friendly stage. Along the journey, Hill provides key insights and tools like the Whole Self framework of Bill Plotkin for highly sensitive people to take control of their lives and embrace their sensitive natures. With the guidance and resources contained within this book, HSPs can begin to discover and nurture their true potential.
Praise for The Emerging Sensitive:
“The Emerging Sensitive is an essential resource in supporting highly sensitive people in showing up in relevant ways, and not at a cost to them. The culture we live in has created many challenges to sensitivity and those who are more highly sensitive. Connection has created pain and therefore avoidance for many highly sensitive people. The cost to being present has been the sensitive self. But, it is changing. It needs to change further. I believe our culture will change the more highly sensitive people can join in and offer themselves genuinely, without compromise. I believe strongly in changing the way we all use sensitivity, and this book is a solid contribution to that effort. It is full of great resources to help a spectrum of highly sensitive people in finding their place and bring their gifts to light.”
--Ane Axford, Sensitive Leadership
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Hundreds of highly sensitive people (HSPs) have told me about their yearning to live fuller lives. They feel left out, distrusted, and at a loss for how to make a place for themselves in the world.
HSPs suffer from complicated challenges. Some of the greatest needs of highly sensitive people are safety and a belief that they can find a place in the world for themselves. Highly sensitive people often feel unwanted and without a social home because they are outsiders. As a result, they live with an unwelcome absence of place, which comes from just being who they are.
Some challenges of highly sensitive people are easier to handle than others. For example, stress levels are something a large number of HSPs learn to manage early on. Many of us know that we must slow down, take good care of our health, meditate, and reduce stress as much as possible. Even if we do all those things, we have no guarantee of the life we imagine and truly deserve. Goals like finding suitable work and relating to non-HSPs can be difficult to realize. We are different creatures. The world has not accepted us—yet!
The good news is that the world is changing, albeit slowly, and we now have the opportunity to take our place. This book will help you understand the special times we live in and embrace a well-deserved opportunity to become a part of the world. I hope it offers you a new vision for what is possible for you.
Being sensitive does not mean having purely soft, gentle feelings, although tender and empathetic feelings are an important hallmark of highly sensitive natures. HSPs have a unique nervous system, which takes in the complexity of the world, and as a result we can easily notice lots of unmet needs and want to address them. Because of our humanitarian instincts, we often focus on ignored issues in the world, which can make us seem like troublemakers.
When we evaluate ourselves by the embraced values of Western culture, we have a hard time situating ourselves in a world that devalues sensitivity. As a result, we may have difficulty discovering a positive vision and path for ourselves.
The challenges facing highly sensitive people are so complex that finding a way to make sense of it can be daunting. Highly sensitive people are gifted but often do not receive the support they need to bring their gifts into the world. The purpose of this book is to help highly sensitive people understand themselves better, come to terms with their outsider status in a positive way, find a new path for themselves that will work, and create joy.
The book is divided into four parts:
• Part 1: Understanding The Highly Sensitive Trait:
◦ The biological difference of highly sensitive people and the implications of that difference physically, emotionally, and experientially.
◦ The 'DOES' Model Of Highly Sensitive People created by Dr. Elaine Aron, which defines the key ways highly sensitive biology results in different ways of thinking and processing information for highly sensitive people.
• Part 2: The Importance And Value Of Frameworks:
◦ What frameworks are, why they are important and how they help us make sense of the world better.
◦ The evolution framework, the insights it offers highly sensitive people and how it can be used to make processing information easier.
• Part 3: Getting A Handle On The World:
◦ The structural reasons you feel out of sync with the world and find it hard to thrive.
◦ How the world is changing and why it provides fresh opportunities for highly sensitive people that will make life more fulfilling.
◦ New fields and opportunities for highly sensitive people to do work that suits their natures.
• Part 4: Claiming Agency:
◦ What is “agency” and why is it hard to claim agency as a highly sensitive person.
◦ Skills and tools that highly sensitive people need to harness their sensitivity for positive results
◦ Questions to ask to start investigating new possibilities for your life.
• Resources by section to help you investigate new ideas, opportunities, and skills.
I hope you find the book uplifting and helpful.
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About the Author
Maria Hill is the founder of HSP Health and Sensitive Evolution. She is a lifelong explorer of the sensitive experience and the challenges of bridging the difference between sensitive and non-sensitive people. Her interest in wisdom traditions, and new developments in the understanding of patterns of human behavior and living provides a unique perspective about the value of the sensitive trait and the needs of highly sensitive people.
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