Take a Pebble

A stone hits the surface of a pond and sends out a circle of ripplesSensitive: The Untold Story is making waves. Gentle waves, in keeping with our subtle sensibilities, but discernible (to us, at least) nonetheless. How can I tell? Articles about sensory processing sensitivity are not only becoming more frequent, they are becoming more accurate.

Here’s one from Huff Post. The article is just a brief summary – the real content is in the video, which is a nice blend of first-hand account from an HSP, the scientific perspective, and then there’s the co-producer of the film, who isn’t identified as such, but she’s wearing the movie t-shirt.

Perhaps the distaste for being watched is more a trait of introverts than HSPs – I can’t really tell, being both. But other than that, there is not much to quibble at in the Huff Post video, which is rare and refreshing.

Cover of Kelly O'Laughlin's book, A highly Sensitive Person's LifeI’m not sure I’ve heard of Kelly O’Laughlin – the HSP in the video – before. Her memoir, A Highly Sensitive Person’s Life, came out earlier this year, and she’s raking in the positive reviews on Amazon. One reviewer noted that the book content is mostly from her blog, highlysensitiveperson.net.

I love that her most recent post is a self-described rant about a recent article on HSPS that also irritated the heck out of me. I never quite feel like I ought to be ranting, not that that ever stopped me. Thank you, Kelly, for modeling that it is OK for HSPs to rant, and feel good about it :)

BTW, Diana Hereld, the researcher featured in the video, is a grad student in music psychology. Check out her research page (scroll down for papers). HSP, right?

A drawing of a T-shirt with the words Sensitive, The T-shirt on the frontBefore I forget, I received an updated link to stream ($4.99) or buy ($9.99) Sensitive: The Movie. I just want to say again how much I appreciate that it is affordable.

If figuring out how to make a living is not your life issue, as it so inexorably is mine – first of all, take a moment to be seriously grateful about that! Then, ripple on over to the Sensitive movie merchandise page, and pick up a hat, mug, t-shirt or candle to support the Foundation for the Study of Highly Sensitive Persons in continued research and education.

The title of this post is also the title of an Emerson, Lake and Palmer song, which you can hear here. Kick back and take a meditative journey through the golden age of folk-rock. The video of which it is the soundtrack, though entirely unrelated, is an interesting journey too.

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Sensitive Movie Released

A screenshot from the website and trailer of Sensitive - The Untold Story showing two people standing together in a natural settings watching a sunsetSensitive – The Untold Story is now available on demand at the very affordable rate of $4.99 for 3 days of unlimited viewing, or for purchase as a digital download ($9.99). Here’s the link.

DVDs (with subtitles for several as-yet-unspecified languages) should be available before the holidays.

Here is an in-depth review of the film on HuffPost by Sezin Koehler, whose reactions were so similar to my own that I probably don’t need to write one. Like her, I felt some discomfort with random images of children of color in developing nations interposed among interviews with predominantly white HSPs and researchers from the U.S. and Europe, and with a somewhat bizarre enactment of a disagreement between a couple on how to respond to their son’s sensitivity.

It should perhaps be noted that the whole project was initiated by Elaine Aron’s African-American neighbor, Will Harper, who read one of her books and realized he was an HSP.

In any event, as Ms. Koehler says, while the film’s flaws must be acknowledged, we can choose to focus on the interesting and instructive aspects of the film, which are many. It’s definitely worth seeing, whether you are an HSP or not. If we make up 20% of the population, you probably know someone who is.

Update on HSP documentary livestream

An email I received from Elaine Aron’s e-list this morning announces that the streaming option for Sensitive: The Untold Story, will not jump from $20 to $30 today as previously announced, but will remain at $20 through the premiere date of the film. Go to the movie website and click “watch on livestream” to buy your virtual ticket.

The film premieres in San Francisco on Thursday, September 10th. It’s sold out, but you can stream the premiere in real time and for 48 hours afterwards for the above-mentioned $20. The film’s producers want to keep the film affordable for international viewers, especially since the DVD will not be immediately available.

I kinda wish I’d known about the streaming option when I bought my ticket, but it hadn’t been announced yet. The venue for the premiere is scenic (see above photo of the Golden Gate from the Legion of Honor grounds, which used to head this blog), but not so easy to get to and from. Well, I guess it’ll be a great opportunity to compare a roomful of HSPs to a busfull – and a trainfull, and another busfull – of everybody!

I confess I’m a little anxious about the film, as my attempts to discuss high sensory processing sensitivity with people in my own life have met with mixed results. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this documentary will make that easier, not harder.

Speaking of which, if you have a minute, I’d really appreciate your responses to the poll at the end of my previous post.

Highly Sensitive Movie, and a poll

Movie poster for Sensitive - The MovieThe Sept. 10th San Francisco premiere of the new documentary on high sensory processing sensitivity is sold out. Apparently distributors have balked (as distributors will) at releasing the DVD before Sensitive: The Untold Story has finished its theatrical run, but there will be a livestream during and for 48 hours after the premiere, which will allow you to stream it as many times as you want within that 48 hour period. The livestream is currently $20, going up to $30 on Sept 7th. You can join Elaine Aron’s email list for HSP-related news here. Hopefully we will soon hear something about other cities where the film will be shown.

I was discussing HSPS with a friend recently. I have always felt “highly sensitive person” was a problematic, if accurate, label, and proposed my own, “deep engager.” This seems equally descriptive but more neutral to me. My friend disagreed. Continue reading

Down Time Illuminated

Whether it's from being an HSP or an introvert, or both, the gigantic mismatch between the amount of down time I seem to need, and the actual time I have left after working and running a household continues to be a major issue. Continue reading

Valueless Lesson

A blank mask without a face behind itIt’s so annoying to have to leave a job just when you’re getting good at it. I’d like to at least know what happened with my boss. I have the distinct impression our conflict was about something other than it appeared to be. Unfortunately, Mr. Not So Nice After All Guy isn’t owning up. Is that fair? Yeah, yeah, life ain’t. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Supposedly, HSPs have superior intuitive and empathetic perception. I’m not entirely convinced on that point. I have been told more than once that I discerned things a person didn’t even recognize about him/herself, usually long after the fact (and mostly by water signs, but that’s another post). On the other hand, I seem to be singularly blind to red flags in an employment context. Continue reading

To Those Who Put Themselves Out There

Well, the axe fell. I’m a little frazzled, but feeling better about it than I expected. In fact, I’m feeling grateful – to all the HSPs and introverts who show themselves through videos and books and blogs and interviews, to help me learn that I can still feel OK about myself, even in moments like this.

Thank you. Thank you very much.