Embrace Your Inner Troublemaker!

Maria HillEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development, Stress6 Comments

Being a troublemaker is not something we necessarily associate with highly sensitive people, those gentle souls who are loath to hurt others. The label, troublemaker, is not something that we usually generate for ourselves either. It is usually conferred by others when they encounter something uncomfortable in themselves courtesy of another person. Have you ever been called a troublemaker or treated like one? Highly Sensitive And A Troublemaker? Highly sensitive people are usually very conscientious, cautious, perceptive and empathetic. Highly sensitive people often see what others cannot because they operate from an atypical perceptual reality. When people think differently, many assume that is is an ideological difference that is being expressed. In the case of HSPs, however, what is being expressed is a biological difference. Highly sensitive people have nervous systems that absorb all the stimulus and energy around them. Their nervous systems are like sponges, which makes them uncomfortable and other people as well. Highly sensitive people notice when someone is uncomfortable, sad or angry no matter how much someone attempts to hide their feelings. They notice when something is not working very well, differences in perception and reality, mistakes of judgment and an other energetic event. Highly sensitive people necessarily have values that support their sensitive natures including kindness and fairness. They are able to see the pitfalls in a competitive social structure and are unlikely to support the destructive aspects of it. People who do not understand the highly sensitive nature may feel uncomfortable around HSPs and even think of them as troublemakers. Characteristics Of Troublemakers Why would anyone be labeled a troublemaker? Aren’t we all in this together? The label suggests that there is something to protect against. It suggests that the group is dependent on the existence of certain behaviors, beliefs and ideas to sustain … Read More

Duality And The Mastery Of The Exquisite

Maria HillCreativity, Emotional And Mental Health0 Comments

Source: Flickr Duality is something that many of us embrace as a way to develop perceptual sophistication. You know… …love vs. hate… …light vs. dark… …yin vs. yang… …good vs. bad… …masculine vs. feminine… It’s a start! Duality Can Be Like Fool’s Gold Discovering duality can be exciting. It is a way to start to grapple with the world. We can see differences and we have a way to think about them. We have a way to make sense of what we see and feel. We are in control! Too many people treat duality as the last word on reality when it is really just the tip of the iceberg. It is not the last word in our quest for perceptual honesty and truth. It is only the beginning. Duality Is A Window Duality is like a window. It is a way to begin to understand differences. But differences are not fixed. They exist in relation to other characteristics and contexts. So duality is not a way to understand something concrete. It is how we begin to understand factors that are always changing. Duality gives us an opening to learn about and understand the energy of differences. It lets us be with differences so that we can begin to understand their value. Light is not just one value, and dark is not just one value. Each offer us many rich variations and different levels of opacity, intensity, and subtlety. When we engage with dualities we can begin to see what we miss. Holding The Tension Of Dualities The creative process provides us with a tension between what we want and where we are currently. When we hold the tension between the two, possibilities then show themselves to us. The same is true with dualities. When we hold light and dark … Read More

Starved For Passion? Top 10 Passion Killers For The Highly Sensitive Person

Kate StefansEmotional And Mental Health, Personal Development6 Comments

Many say that the opposite of love is fear. I believe that the opposite of love is apathy. In an apathetic or indifferent state, passion flat lines and numbness reigns supreme. A once technicolor life fades to black and white and well, what’s the point? If I were brutally honest with myself, I would say that wallowing in apathy is an activity that has become habitual. I tend to drop into indifference when I am subconsciously starving myself with what I call passion killers. Simply going through the motions of life is excruciating not because its painful, it aches because it does not feel like anything at all.  It’s not enough to invite passion back in. Been there, tried that. Recovering Passion From Passion Killers Passion killers are like weeds that take over our lives. If we want more passion in our lives, we must remove these so-called passion killers. Chances are, you may not even know that they exist. I didn’t. They hide deep in our subconscious minds and if you are a highly sensitive person such as myself, your predisposition to these passion killers may be higher than most. The top 10 passion killers (in no particular order), are as follows: Indecisiveness Kills Passion – I am starting with indecisiveness because as highly sensitive people we tend to be vastly irresolute, and for good reason. Sensing life on a deep level allows for a more robust vantage point making choosing anything a challenge. We often have to own and  grieve the choice we do not go with which can prevent us from moving forward with any decision at all. But here’s the thing, when we do not choose, we do not get the opportunity to stand fully behind something. We live in this wishy-washy, spiritless land of letting others … Read More

A Reexamination Of Comfort Zones And Creativity

Maria HillCreativity, Emotional And Mental Health5 Comments

Being in one’s comfort zone or not seems to be a marker of all sorts of wonderful traits including creativity and progressiveness. I can even be a path to success and wealth! I consider myself a creative person. However, I find many ideas about comfort zones, and getting out of them, to have very little to do with creativity and creating a good life for yourself. Since I perceive quality of life something that we can and need to create for ourselves, I think that reevaluating comfort zones is a necessary step before it is possible to actually improve your life. Distorting Comfort Zones Current ideas of comfort zones, in particular getting out of one’s comfort zone, are very much tied to the growth model of economic progress. Getting out of one’s comfort zone appears to have become somewhat of a cultural ideal and I think that is problematic. Being uncomfortable is not necessarily better than being comfortable. It is important to be able to know when to step out of comfort zones and when not to. Here are some reasons, a society might value having people move out of their comfort zones: if our comfort zone is “bad”, we will seek continuous self-improvement. Although there is nothing wrong with learning, it is better when it is for healthy reasons rather than to live up to a cultural ideal, we buy and consume more, in particular more than we need. If living in a smaller house and having fewer possessions makes sense for us, it will be demeaned in a consumption based economic system. “Enough” is just a synonym for your comfort zone. it can be thought of as supporting the hypermasculine culture of Western civilization with its emphasis on markets, competition, conquest, and expansion. Nurturing and sustaining activities are … Read More

Humility And Creativity

Maria HillCreativity, Emotional And Mental Health3 Comments

Creativity and creative people are often revered especially in the arts. Unfortunately, we often put creative people on pedestals when creativity is natural to all of us. If we realize how important humility is to the creative process we might find that being creative is something that is available to all of us. How Creativity And Humility Are Related The minute you step into your creativity you are also stepping into your humility – which is actually quite wonderful when you think about it. Creativity is a very different way of living because it is a different way of engaging with life.  It’s a process which includes trial and error curiosity about what we do not understand openness to the many ways life can manifest. Creativity is a natural part of us that is activated by our curiosity and sense of wonder. When we wonder, we become open to that which we do not know. Humility has an important place in our creativity because it helps us be receptive to new information and ideas. Humility helps us wonder about how something might be different. Creativity works best when we are open to options – not when we have the door of possibility closed. We can be more effective when we do not operate from simple, fixed answers or demands for “output” or productivity. The creative process has a life and pace of its own. We do better when we are humble enough to be in tune with its natural pace. Creativity is evolutional and in sync with the constant evolution of people and the universe. It is about the learning and growing. When we recognize that, we can see that creativity requires that we are relaxed about it. We are going to make mistakes because we are supposed to. The … Read More

The Importance Of Uselessness

Maria HillCreativity, Emotional And Mental Health, Personal Development18 Comments

Being useless feels awful. Being useful feels good, doesn’t it? It is nice to feel valued and know we are valued. It helps us to feel secure. It also means we are supported to others and that we are welcome in the world. Is There A Stigma For Being Useless? As a highly sensitive person, I suspect that the highly sensitive suffer more from being perceived as useless because: we need more rest and frequent breaks we are not handy for dramas and emergencies since we operate more slowly we question a lot of things including others view of what is useful – like I am doing now! Busyness often seems like much ado about nothing. The Problem With Being Useful We live in a very strange time. People are expected to be highly productive. However, in spite of it we are often replaced by machines. We are filling up the planet with huge amounts of garbage – the residue of our productivity. We are becoming sicker and sicker from our efforts to survive in a system that makes us obsolete. Being productive does not mean taking good care of ourselves. It does not mean developing greater self reliance. It means participating in the consumption business: supporting it, making it work and reaping rewards from it. In other words, being dependent on it. This is one of the observations that highly sensitive people will make about our current system and the idea of being useful: we are really making ourselves dependent. Busyness Is NOT A Sign Of Intelligence Busyness has a fatal flaw. It keeps us engaged tactically and removes us from considering the big picture. As a highly sensitive person, I notice when the big picture and present activities are at odds. In fact, I notice when anything is at odds. Busyness … Read More