Saturday, October 26, 2019

HSP Ramblings: Not "Overstimulated," just Tired!

Sarah and I attended an event last night.

She was a live guest on the "Strange Brau" podcast; while I had a vendor table for my painted Alchemy Stones.

The event took place at a popular local hotel; there was a pretty good crowd gathered in the hotel dining room. It's an old building from the 1890's and the quarters were pretty cramped. We found an alcove to set up our vendor table that was out of the main traffic patterns.

Recipe for "HSP overstimulation?"

Well, not exactly. I enjoyed myself — as did she — and whereas we were happy to leave and get back to the piece and quiet of our house after about six hours of being "on," neither of us felt particularly overstimulated.

This morning, however, I feel like I have "the blahs."

In other words, both my brain and spirit feel "tired," like I just attended a four-day convention of some kind. Since we are both HSPs, we were both feeling this.

The Importance of Knowing What's What

As I sit here and type these words, I am reminded of the importance of we who are Highly Sensitive to be aware of "what's what," when it comes to managing the effects of our trait.

It's easy to fall into the trap of attributing everything in our lives to "overstimulation," simply because it's a popular buzzword that tends to be closely associated with our trait. But it's not always applicable, nor accurate.

In this case, Sarah and I are — quite simply — tired. So we're taking this day more of less off, as an act of self-care.

Part of what we gain from learning how we are affected by our High Sensitivity is an awareness of what we are experiencing, rather than simply "that" we are experiencing... which is why I always encourage my fellow HSPs to really learn all they can about the HSP trait.

It's not a "label," it's a life coping tool!

Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed your visit here! HSP Notes has been published continuously since 2002, and I do this entirely as a "labor of love." However, if you feel that this site is of value to you, please consider becoming a "supporter" of HSP Notes, via my Patreon Art Account

I have created a special $2 support level, being mindful that most HSPs are on a budget. Your contributions allow me the TIME to continue writing, rather than being forced to abandon the blog and use my writing time to pursue an additional outside job. Your consideration is greatly appreciated, and — as the idealist that I am — I believe the best way we can create a better world for all of us is to support each other's creative endeavors!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Reflection: Remembering Dr. Ted Zeff

It is with great sadness that I recently learned that Dr. Ted Zeff passed from this plane of existence on August 18th, following a long struggle with cancer.

For those who might not know, Ted was one of the early "pioneers" in the world of High Sensitivity, focusing extensive research and energy on the particular issues facing highly sensitive men. He was an author and wrote several books about the HSP trait, and would bravely step into the public eye with TV interviews and more.

I had the privilege of meeting Ted at an HSP Gathering Retreat many years ago, where we enjoyed several deep conversations about what it meant to be an HSP and male. He worked tirelessly to overcome the numerous societal stigmas attached to being sensitive when you happen to be male. In between, we had quite a few lengthy email "conversations" about highly sensitive men.

In many ways, he inspired me to not simply resign myself to a thought pattern of "this is simply how the world IS," with my own sensitivity. I am very grateful for that.

His soft spoken voice will be missed by many in the global HSP community.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Life is a Series of Constant Re-Inventions

We HSPs are generally not fond of change.

Or we may be fond of change, but still find it massively disruptive and overstimulating to deal with it.

The latter, I suppose, holds more true for HSS HSPs.

I have been absent from these pages, for a while...

Once again — at age 58 — I find myself in the process of "reinventing myself."

As my three readers might remember, I have spent most of my adult life engaged in some form of self-employment. This is generally a really good "fit" for HSPs... we get to do things largely on our own terms, which typically includes creating a work-life that allows us to keep the lid somewhat on overstimulation, and at least manage it.

Of course, even when things are working quite well, change happens.

In this case, I am facing the reality that two of my four home-based micro businesses that have been sustaining us for the past decade+ have been in steady decline for some years — one due to an aging and dying primary demographic, the other due to competition from inexpensive alternatives in S.E. Asia — and we have reached a place (financially) where steadily increasing costs of living have overtaken steadily declining income.

So much for being in your "peak earning years" during your 50s!

There is always a "tipping point" in these situations... very minor events set a much larger action in motion. In our case, it was our homeowner's insurance. The renewal policy for the same insurance coverage we've had for six years arrived. Normally, the premiums have been ticking up 2-3% a year, which is bearable. This year, however, the monthly payments jumped from $108.50 to $132.17, an increase of 21.8%.

We all know that inflation is only about 2-3% a year, so what gives? Well, our home "turned 40" this year, which means being part of a different "risk pool."

Meanwhile, the fact that the "equation" is no longer working means not only that changes have to happen, but that the overstimulation is ramping up again. Well... it has already been that way for a while. Being perpetually late on your bills is stressful and overstimulating.

"Stuff Should be Free!" is Bogus!

Bit of a side track here, for a moment:

It's a nice piece of idealism to suggest that we should do things simply because it's the right thing to do, but until the supermarket thinks it's "the right thing to do" to give me my food for free, I'm not convinced. 

Much as I'd love for it to be real, we do not live in a "Star Trek Universe!"

Certainly, I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't do things for each other and help each other out; what I am talking about here applies on a larger scale. I am talking about things we continuously bring to the world that most people find to be "of value," and yet we are never compensated for them. Ultimately... there is no reciprocity!

I am also well aware that simply "Being A Good Person" is not a marketable commodity. Whereas people might appreciate our "goodness" we aren't going to get paid for it.

Not so long ago, I was having a conversation with a spiritual teacher who opined that you should never give away that which you have the most talent at. 

I can assure you that most "starving artists" don't want to starve; they are starving because other people keep insisting that they should do their art "purely for the love of it," and give them lots of pats on their backs for their amazing creativity, yet the moment they put a price tag on that art those same people instead start judging and accuse the artists of "Selling Out."

I agree with my spiritual friend that such a line of reasoning is not only hypocrisy, but also garbage.

Anyway, now I am reinventing myself... again

And so, I am also kicking life back into this HSP Notes blog, which — after all — remains the oldest chronicle of my journey through understanding this "sensitivity" thing in existence. I started this in 2002, five years after reading Elaine Aron's first book. Hundreds of blog posts over a 17-year period chronicle experiences, insights, lessons and the journey, itself.

I stopped, for a while, because I quite simply couldn't justify spending the time I spent here... without compensation. I had to spend that time doing something income producing. I also was working with a couple of other projects — and a different blog.

More about those, later.

Cha- Cha- Cha- Changes...

As I go back to writing more frequent articles about life as it intersects with being a Highly Sensitive Person, I will also be changing how this blog works, a little.

For some time, I have had limited advertising as well as some Amazon product links here... but these have gradually become less and less capable of producing more than a few cents, so they are going to go away over the next few months.

One of the things I have been increasingly involved with is the principle of "Voluntaryism."

To clarify, Voluntaryism is NOT the same thing as Volunteering. Voluntaryism is more economic in nature, and centers around the idea that things are basically free, but if a "recipient" believes that what they are getting "has value" — either to them, or to the greater community — there is a "payment system" in place that allows those recipients (or readers, or beneficiaries) to voluntarily compensate whoever created the thing of value.

Accordingly, I have decided that some of the more elaborate and research-based posts here will become available only through voluntary subscriptions to a Patreon account. This Patreon account will also serve as the "front end" for my efforts of putting together a book I announced long ago entitled "Please Don't Yell At Me! An HSP's Journey," which I have partly written, but never finished.

Those who are willing to "co-sponsor" my efforts (basically, allowing me to spend time writing, rather than being at work during those few hours a week, making a living), would be helping me not only make the book possible, but they would end up having "prepaid" for their own copy, when published. Hopefully, it will be a win-win situation.

And no worries, we are talking about a monthly commitment of probably less than you pay for a cup of coffee or tea at your local coffee shop! And, again, it will be voluntary... but hopefully it will make you feel like you are doing a "right thing" for the HSP community, as well!

I am simply trying to make some things — things that are important to me, and to quite a few other people — functionally possible, in the context of my life.

Stay tuned for more frequent updates, as the process unfolds! At this point, I'm looking to have the whole redesign and new direction operational by June 30th.

Thanks for reading!

I want to hear from you! I grew up in the era of "social blogging," and I believe blogs should be interactive, like mini message boards. Thus, your comments, feedback, ideas and thoughts are always welcome here, and I will do my best to respond, as well!

Support My Patreon!

If you enjoyed your visit to HSP Notes and found something of value here, please consider supporting my Art and Creativity Patreon account. Although it was created primarily to generate support for my ART, there is a special $2 support level for HSP Notes readers! Look for the link in the right hand column... and thank you!