About

A Few Words About HSP Notes:

"HSP Notes" was started in September 2002, mostly as an online journal where I could document some of my own musings and discoveries as I learned more about what it meant-- to me, as well as to others-- to be a Highly Sensitive Person. 

I never really expected it to become something "other people would read," except for maybe a handful of folks from the online HSP groups I belonged to. In 2002 I was already an active blogger, and my (now defunct) primary blog about "life, in general" had a broad following of mostly non-HSPs, so I felt a need to keep my "HSP musings" largely separate.

Although I didn't expect much to become of "HSP Notes," I was motivated to write by the fact that there was so little information available for HSPs when I first learned about it... and I wanted to help make things easier for those who were just learning, for the first time.

As I learned more about being an HSP and how the trait "interacted" with my life, my posts here also become more complex; in 2004, my first actual article about the trait appeared in Elaine Aron's "Comfort Zone" newsletter for HSPs. Subsequently, I have written dozens of articles about many different aspects of high sensitivity, for magazines and web sites.

As of this writing (September 2015), HSP Notes remains a "labor of love." Although I can say it is my true "Calling" to help other HSPs, to write about the trait and to "connect" HSPs with each other and with the information, services and products they are looking for... I actually don't derive any significant income from this endeavor-- perhaps a hands-on illustration of "HSP idealism" in action and how doing something that has a high level of "psychic income" can be just as important as having something with "monetary income." 

The HSP Connections "family" of web sites and online groups are kept alive (financially) thanks primarily to donations, along with purchases made from the HSP Notes Bookstore. If you found HSP Notes useful, any help is truly and deeply appreciated!

A Few Words About Me:

I am a 55-year old Danish national, now living in Port Townsend, Washington, in the US Pacific Northwest. I was born and raised in Denmark, but also lived in Spain, the UK and about a dozen other places before coming to the US to attend University in 1981. Here in the US, my time has primarily been spent in/around the Austin, Texas area... as well as Dallas, Phoenix, Portland, OR and most recently Port Townsend, since 2006.

I am ultimately a "cool weather person," and this small coastal city in many ways reminds me of my native Denmark (with a better view!)... and perhaps serves as a reminder that the "Power of Place" is a very important and strong influence in our lives. I don't plan to ever move again... of course "ever" is a long time, I know.

Like many HSPs, I have tried "this and that" in the way of work. I've worked in mainstream corporate America, as well as in small businesses. In what was a rather poor fit for an HSP, I spent much of my early life in the sales, advertising and marketing fields; followed by several years in the IT industry.

Since 1999, I have been self-employed full time, which suits me better than any other "career" I have attempted. I "make mine" as a writer, beach comber, eBay entrepreneur and periodic event and workshop facilitator. I might go as far as to label what I do as "a Calling" because I basically play with my hobbies for a living.

I became interested in psychology and the human condition while in college-- perhaps as a result of having felt like a "misfit" in this world since I was quite little. My mother-- and people around me-- periodically commented that I was "very sensitive," but I never really associated that "sensitivity" with my ongoing difficulties fitting into mainstream life. 

Until one January day in 1997....

A Few Words About My "HSP Journey:"

I learned about the concept of being a "Highly Sensitive Person" in 1997, shortly after Elaine Aron's first book was published. 

I found myself perusing the shelves at a Borders Bookstore in Austin, Texas... and came across the book completely by accident-- it had been misplaced in the Travel section, where I was browsing at the time. Something about it made me pause and scan the first few pages; then take the included "sensitivity self-test," and the rest-- as they say-- is history.

To be honest, I wasn't exactly happy about having this "Highly Sensitive" label, especially living in Texas where "Men Are Men, and Everything Is Larger Than Life." In fact, once I'd read Elaine Aron's book a couple of times... I decided it was probably all "New Age Mumbo Jumbo" and I really didn't "need" that definition.

That lasted about a year. 

The thing is-- denying essential truths that help make up the essence of your inherent nature is just plain stupid, and being this thing called a "Highly Sensitive Person" is just part and parcel of who I am. No denying it. Hiding it makes no sense. It really doesn't matter "what other people think."

In the 14-odd years since then, I have gone through a number of stages in my "relationship" with being an HSP... ranging from being an over-the-top "disciple" of the trait, and attributing everything in my life to sensitivity to a more minimalist "yes, I understand this, now let me forget about it," along with a bunch of in betweens. I ultimately made peace with the trait by embracing that I am simply a 50-something man who happens to be a Highly Sensitive Person... rather than "a Highly Sensitive Person who happens to be a 55-year old man." The trait doesn't define me, I define the trait, as I experience it.

In the course of my explorations and studies of high sensitivity, I feel deeply privileged to have met 100's of fellow HSPs-- one-on-one, through local groups, through large HSP Gathering Retreats and workshops. In addition, I have connected with thousands through this marvelous medium called the Internet. 

Sharing information about being an HSP is important to me. I know how much learning about-- and understanding-- the trait changed my own life for the better, and I hope to bring that understanding to others, as well. Although it often feels overstimulating, I teach workshops for HSPs (with a focus on Highly Sensitive Men), facilitate local and regional "Meetup" groups for HSPs and host/administrate a number of online discussion groups for HSPs.

A Few Words About the Rest of My Life:

When I am not busy "being an HSP," I am-- as I mentioned above-- "playing with my hobbies" for a living. That entails a couple of things: 

When I was a kid, the beach was one of my favorite places, and I have always been an avid beach comber. Since 2006, I have had a small online business selling "found objects" (sea glass, pottery, shells, driftwood, unusual rocks and more) to jewelers and artists all around the world. Second, my dad got me interested in stamp collecting when I was little, and I have been part of the hobby ever since. Some 20 years ago, I started actively trading rare stamps (and other paper collectibles) for profit. Occasionally, I also do some free lance business consulting and I help organize events and workshops in the spiritual and self-development industry. I can't make a living from any one thing I do, but added together, it becomes... "something."

Like many HSPs, I struggled mightily with relationships over the years-- many of those struggles related directly to really not having much understanding of this trait of ours... and how it can sometimes make us "difficult people" to be around. 

Some years ago-- in my mid-40's-- I reconnected with Sarah (we have actually known each other since we were kids) who is the great Love of my life, and we are now joyfully married. Although there is no such thing as an "effortless" relationship, I will say that being married to a fellow HSP has made a huge difference in both our lives... and we experience less "friction" in a year than most couples seem to, in an average week. After all, nobody "gets" what it's like to be highly sensitive... more than another highly sensitive person. And that really works for us, in ways we could not possibly have imagined.

As an HSP herself, Sarah works as a Spiritual Life Coach who specializes in working with HSPs; she's also a world class psychic and clairvoyant, as well as the host of Radio Nahmaste, on Body Mind Spirit Radio, a worldwide broadcast focusing on raising human consciousness. Together, we operate and manage a worldwide non-profit healing network called The White Light Express.

We make our home together in a rambling house with a view of the ocean... along with three cats, a dog and a couple of goldfish. Like most HSPs... we like things to be pretty nice and quiet...

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