Monday, March 21, 2016

HSP Notes "Renovation," Updates and... a Change of Voice

A Day of Sidetracks

Sometimes, we just get sidetracked... today was such a day, for me.

If you haven't been by "HSP Notes" recently, you might notice that things look a little different around here. Even though it wasn't planned, I found myself spending most of today undertaking a much needed "modernization" of this web site.

These days, technology changes so fast I can barely keep up, and HSP Notes-- now in its 15th year-- was starting to look a little bit "dated." That... and I'd received a few messages that the site didn't present itself well on mobile devices.

So now we have a new look, and there's even a mobile friendly version of the site.

What's New?

Aside from a more modern appearance, quite a bit of site content has been updated-- and there's a lot more to come, in the upcoming weeks.

Meanwhile, I also want to draw your attention to the HSP Notes Bookstore which has been greatly expanded.

The bookstore attached to this site is a lot more than just "your average collection of amazon links from a web site." Instead, it is a large collection of handpicked books that are either in my personal library, or I have read, or have been recommended to me by people I know and trust... no "fillers," no "fluff."

There are hundreds of titles either directly about high sensitivity... or about topics that are near and dear to many HSPs. I hope you'll check it out!

Yes, I do earn "a few cents" from having it... but trust me, it's a few cents; If I'm lucky, enough to pay my annual web hosting fees. I mention this because some HSPs are put off by any and all forms of sales/marketing. I also mention this because-- absent those few cents-- I probably wouldn't be able to justify spending as much time as I do, doing this. So this site wouldn't even exist.

A Change of Voice

Last, but not least, what I publish here is going to change a bit. Well... the type of content won't change, but the way I write will. Here's the deal:

I started HSP Notes in 2002 as a mostly personal journal and place to share some ideas and experiences resulting from learning about this thing called "Being A Highly Sensitive Person." Back then, there wasn't a whole lot of information about our trait out there.

To be honest, I didn't really expect to get "a readership," but was certainly thrilled (and felt very validated) when others started reading these pages and shared that they could relate to my experiences.

HSP Notes was a very "personal thing" back then.

Somewhere along the way (perhaps inspired by "wisdom" from the greater blogosphere that blogs should fit niches and have a tight focus?), it seems that my posts became more and more academic and "third person."

As I was updating the site and looked over old posts, I became aware that I have increasingly "written myself out of the picture."

I won't comment on whether that is "good" or "bad," but I realize now that the increasing time interval between new posts could be attributed to the fact that the blog was no longer serving me-- as a cathartic journal-- and so I was less interested in writing.

Who do we do things for?

This made me consider the age-old question many creatives and artists have asked themselves: "WHO am I doing this for?"

Sure, I write in a public space because I hold an idealistic belief that maybe my words will resonate with and help someone, but ultimately I write because clarifying my thoughts in writing helps me solve problems and answer my own questions.

So not only will HSP Notes return to its more personal roots, I am planning to "free" some of the more "personal insight" posts I have written but kept private in the course of the past couple of years.

Of course, I still want HSP Notes to remain useful-- to which end I will be adding more book reviews and more web resources, as time goes by.

In the meantime, thanks for being part of this journey!


  1. I struggle with the same personal vs. impersonal blogging as well, and am always second guessing whether I should write that personal post I'm dying to write. I think it's great that you are willing to be personal as I know I learn from observing, so love to hear how others are really living their sensitive lives.

  2. Hi Peter!

    I am SO glad to have found your blog/articles/insights. I just discovered about a month ago that HSP was an actual thing...trait...and other people feel like I do. It has made me look at the way I am from a completely different perspective. It is so interesting...and explains so much about how I have navigated through the world and the struggles that I faced.

    I am going to ramble a bit and try to not overthink this message...if I let my perfectionist tendencies take over...I will likely not finish and say all I want to say. I think I have been trying to get over so many of these traits (along with my introverted ways) so it is SO COMPLETELY FREEING to find out I don't have to!!!! I'm wired this way...don't mess with Mother Nature...might as well surrender and enjoy the best parts of it. Like my LOVE for listening to's like a spiritual experience for's such a simple and easily accessible thing that we get to enjoy more thoroughly. So that's pretty cool. Lucky me!

    There are a bunch of things (for lack of better word)about me that I'm really curious if other HSP can relate to...

    1. My eyes water & I will get the chills when I'm really moved by an idea/experience/song/beauty that really resonates with me. It's hard to explain...but, I take it's a sign. Like something really special is going on...a clarifying moment. I will usually tell my best friend when it happens because it's like a sign we need to take notice of. A clue to a deeper meaning we don't want to ignore.

    2. I can not stand having dry addition to hating the smell of public bathroom soap that lingers...I very much dislike the way my hands feel dry & tight. I've been known to buy lotion asap..fragrance free, of I can finish shopping & move on with life. Sometimes I will use the lotion to get the soap smell off my wiping it off and reapplying it several times.

    3. I don't like having sticky underarms or the sticky feeling when I bend my arms...mainly at night...when I'm reading in bed. I have containers of powder all over the house to avoid this. My kids associate the smell of powder with me! (I'm actually surprised the smell of the powder doesn't bother me) I look a little crazy covered in powder...but, I obviously I don't care enough to stop. I don't leave the house covered with that is where I draw the line, apparently :).

    4. I can't wear hair clips or pony tails or hats for long...they are distracting and sort of hurt. Sometimes I won't even realize they are bothering me until I take them out & I feel the difference.

    5. One of my biggest challenges with being a mom is the amount of noise kids make. Not just the arguing and whining but, their weird play voices & squeals drive me insane. I feel bad because they are just being kids and having there is a ton of guilt there. If I had known about how sensitive I am to this I probably would have only had one kiddo...vs. two...but, I'm so glad I didn't know!!! This challenge is totally worth it. But, there is absolutely a ton of guilt and questioning of Mom skills involved in my struggle with this particular challenge.

    Thank you giving me opportunity to share...and thank you for giving of yourself for us to have someone to relate to. It feels really good to connect and compare.

    Take care,


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