Maria Hill is the founder of HSP Health and Sensitive Evolution. She is a lifelong explorer of the sensitive experience and the challenges of bridging the difference between sensitive and non-sensitive people. Her interest in wisdom traditions, and new developments in the understanding of patterns of human behavior and living provides a unique perspective about the value of the sensitive trait and the needs of highly sensitive people.
Her latest book is the self-help book, The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World.
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About the Book:
Having only been given a name for their unique nature a few decades ago, highly sensitive people, or HSPs, are finally able to identify their traits and connect with one another in new and beneficial ways. In her book, The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World, Maria Hill illuminates the path to self exploration and discovery for HSPs. Drawing on work of HSP expert Dr. Elaine Aron’s “DOES” model, Hill paints a vivid picture of the world as seen through the eyes of a highly sensitive person. She traces the roots of HSPs back to the earliest civilizations by following the evolutional framework of Spiral Dynamics as laid out by Don Beck and Chris Cowan. In doing so, she reveals the shifting roles of highly sensitive people in societies throughout the ages and exploring what the future holds as the culture shifts to a more HSP-friendly stage. Along the journey, Hill provides key insights and tools like the Whole Self framework of Bill Plotkin for highly sensitive people to take control of their lives and embrace their sensitive natures. With the guidance and resources contained within this book, HSPs can begin to discover and nurture their true potential.
Praise for The Emerging Sensitive:
“The Emerging Sensitive is an essential resource in supporting highly sensitive people in showing up in relevant ways, and not at a cost to them. The culture we live in has created many challenges to sensitivity and those who are more highly sensitive. Connection has created pain and therefore avoidance for many highly sensitive people. The cost to being present has been the sensitive self. But, it is changing. It needs to change further. I believe our culture will change the more highly sensitive people can join in and offer themselves genuinely, without compromise. I believe strongly in changing the way we all use sensitivity, and this book is a solid contribution to that effort. It is full of great resources to help a spectrum of highly sensitive people in finding their place and bring their gifts to light.”
–Ane Axford, Sensitive Leadership
For More Information
- The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World is available at Amazon.
- Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
I’d like to know more about you as a person first. What do you do when you’re not writing?
When I am not writing I am usually working on my website, Sensitive Evolution. It is a large website and so takes quite a bit of my time. I also enjoy being outside in nature, which I find refreshing. I also enjoy travelling when I can.
What do you find fascinating about your genre?
I like self help because it is a wonderful way to help others feel better about themselves. We live in a very critical world – sometimes too critical and unrealistic in its expectations – so if I can help people be more grounded and compassionate in their self perceptions I am happy to do so. I think that the world is gradually becoming more compassionate and I am happy to do my part to make the world a kinder place.
When was the adrenalin rush – writing that first chapter or the last and why?
I would say the last chapter gave me the adrenalin rush. Since The Emerging Sensitive is my first book I did not know how long it would take. I think all first time authors stick their tow in the writing waters without fully knowing what they are getting into. So completing the book gave me a lot of satisfaction.
What is the most important thing about your book that we as a reader should know?
The Emerging Sensitive helps highly sensitive people gain perspective on their trait, their history and how changes in the world are creating new options for them. It is a very positive and optimistic book about the future for sensitive people. It is also a good book for people who work or live with a sensitive person who may be struggling finding a direction in life.
Can you give us an excerpt?
Here is a sample from the section on the sensitive trait.
Why Sensitivity Is Important
Sensitivity gives you the ability to connect with all creatures and beings
in your environment. You can listen to the world from your inner being
and connect beyond the spoken word. You can see the real being in
others, human and animal. You hear with your nervous system what is
said and unsaid.
The highly sensitive trait is a gift for energetic intelligence. The
fundamental orientation of HSPs is energetic, which means that they
listen to what energy tells them and then form their goals. Non-HSPs
form their goals differently—perhaps based on more external factors like
tradition, cultural values, goals, and incentives.
Looking at individual characteristics of the sensitive person is helpful.
However, the real magic of sensitivity comes from the combination of
- The HSP’s sponge-like nervous systems make them present,
which sometimes feels awful in a world that seems to be stuck in
the past or focused on the future. It is one of the reasons HSPs can
feel so alone. Being alone with the world’s energy gives them a
window on the magnificence of life, which puts them in touch
with awe and therefore gratitude. It lets them invite others into a
new world beyond the mundane and seek new solutions. It brings
out their creativity.
- Being present means being present to everything, which is like
having a live thermometer as part of your nervous system. HSPs
feel the immediacy of the pain, joy, yearning, and unmet needs in
others and themselves. When you feel so much, you become
tender to life in all its forms. It brings out your conscientiousness
and desire to make life better.
- Being present with their energetic intelligence gives HSPs a level
of intimacy with the world that puts them in a different place,
often creating distance with others and loneliness for themselves.
It lets them observe subtle distinctions about other people which,
when revealed, can cause others to feel understood or
uncomfortable and exposed.
- Since HSPs experience the entire disharmony in the world,
harmony is what they naturally seek and what informs many of
their choices. The drive for harmony is behind their
- Gentleness is a precursor to delight because to be gentle is to be
open to wonder. Wonder leads to questions, which leads to new
ideas and creative solutions.
- The desire to put a smile on someone’s face is an important
motivator for sensitive people with a “positive valence.” When
you take in all of the world’s energy, the only direction possible is
a constructive one because you cannot knowingly contribute to
the world’s pain.
- Being present to all energy means that you search for the sweet
spot in meeting the moment: the right solution, the best choice,
because your nervous systems tell you how important it is.
- Being present and conscientious activates your creativity so that
you can find the best solutions in any situation.
Each of the characteristics of the “DOES” model provides highly
sensitive people with an important talent for energy sensitivity, and
HSPs may be pioneers in the development of more sophisticated human
intelligence through their sensitivity. Being energy sensitive lets you see
beyond the many narratives about social roles and social identity as well
as the “shoulds” and “oughts” that occupy our social space, as Dr. Aron
says. This ability lets you develop a big-picture perspective that can be
useful and freeing. It lets you see beyond created differences of sex,
race, and religion to a larger transpersonal and inclusive view of others.
It lets you see yourself in others.
What’s next for you?
I have developed some courses that supplement the book, The Emerging Sensitive, so I will be getting them off the ground. In addition, I have some new books in mind, but first I will take a breather.