The HSP World Podcast Ep: 20: Highly Sensitives and Creativity Boosters

This podcast is brought to you by the HSP World Mastery Program dedicated to inspiring and empowering HSPs.  

Thomas: Hi and welcome to the HSP World podcast. I’m your host Thomas. And we usually invite a guest with the HSP trait to have a conversation about a burning HSP-related question that they have.

But with this episode, we’re doing something a bit different. My co-hosts Rayne and Robyn are taking some time off from podcasting duties, but you will hear from both of them today because as it turns out, I’ve had some great conversations with them on my very own The The Creative Shoofly Podcast Podcast.

That podcast is my exploration into the creative process. I know that many HSPs are very creative and I think you might enjoy hearing about how we approach creativity. 

In the first half of this episode, I will be highlighting portions of my conversation with Rayne about the HSP Trait and creativity. In the second half I’ll pick some gems from a conversation that Robyn and I had about being a multipotentialite. I’ll explain what I mean by the term multipotentialite when I introduce the second half.

But let’s start with my conversation with Rayne.

Rayne: There’s a movie that I found when I was running an HSP Meetup group, um, we would have showings of her movie called “Sensitive: The Untold Story” which is an amazing resource for people who maybe aren’t sure if they have the trait or not. Or, if they have recently discovered they have the trait and they’d, you know, like a little bit more information on it, but they don’t want to dive into the book yet, “Sensitive: The Untold Story” is a, is a great movie to watch. 

Thomas: I’m glad you mentioned that because one of the people in the movie is singer songwriter Alanis Morissette and she identifies with the HSP Trait and has talked about it quite a bit. And for people who are interested in learning more about the HSP Trait, she has a wonderful podcast where she interviews Dr. Elaine Aron. She and Dr. Aron go over something called the D.O.E.S. acronym, which stands for Depth of Processing, Overstimulation, Emotional Responsiveness and Sensitivity to Subtle Stimuli. So I highly recommend that. Alanis is an amazing artist and this sort of is a good segue into my interest in creativity and how the HSP Trait relates to creativity.

How do you relate creativity to the HSP Trait? 

Rayne: Well, to me from, from what I can gather so far, when I look at how creativity kind of works for me and how I’ve noticed it work for other HSPs are,  one of the things HSPs are good at is noticing patterns and then noticing anomalies in patterns.

So, um, and sometimes those anomalies are subtle and HSPs process information differently. So I think that’s something to, you know, to, to that, you know, it took me a little while to kind of feel into that one and, and understand it. Because of course we can, you know, we’re, we’re coming, we’re always coming from only our own perspective, right? 

Thomas: Right. 

Rayne: So realizing that, Oh, Okay now, okay… So everybody else doesn’t process information like this. But maybe, you know, 15 to 20% of the population process information somewhat like this, similarly, essentially.  So I just find that, to me because HSPs process information differently, so noticing the subtleties, noticing any anomalies in patterns, that gives way to such a rich plethora of ways that they can then express that.  So if you think of it in terms of music, there’s—music chords are patterns essentially. Right? 

Thomas: Right, right. 

Rayne: And sometimes those anomalies add really interesting twists and can bring up really powerful emotions in us.   

Thomas: I’m curious about the anomaly part. What are you thinking about there when you’re saying that? 

Rayne: Mm. Okay. So one year, for three or four months, I drove to Alaska and I worked there for about four months, during the late spring and in the summer, because I, I don’t want to spend a winter there.

So with that, of course, there are different smells. There’s different trees, there’s different plants. Some are similar, you know, and some are the same as where I’m from, but some are different.  Of course, different humidity levels, which you can smell in the air. Um, you know, all that type of thing.

And one day I was working in a cabin and I could smell propane and it smelled quite strong to me, you know?  And I noticed it about two minutes after I walked into the cabin and I thought, Hmm. So I waited a moment, because I knew that someone else was going to be coming along shortly. So I could ask them because you know, that’s a danger sign.

And, uh, yeah, a few minutes it’s later, someone came along and opened the door and I said, can you smell propane? They said, no, they couldn’t smell propane. And I thought that’s really odd… hmmmm. And I knew another person was going to be coming along shortly after. So they came along and I asked them, can you smell propane?

And they said, no they couldn’t smell propane. And they were both really good. They both, you know, stood there and, you know, really smelled the air and they couldn’t smell it. So after the second person, I thought, well, this is ridiculous because it’s all I smell. You know, it’s so strong that I just don’t understand why they’re not smelling it.

So I told both of them, there’s a propane leak. I know there’s  a propane leak and I can smell it really strongly and, you know, can we check it out? And, uh, so they went and got some water and some liquid soap, and the propane tank was sitting outside the cabin, right next to it, but outside of it and, using some, a bit of water and some soap, they put it where the hose connects to the propane tank and sure enough, there were big bubbles, big bubbles. It was really, it was leaking very badly. So that’s what I mean by anomalies. 

Thomas: When things are out of the ordinary. 

Rayne: Out of the ordinary. Absolutely.   

Thomas: Rayne and I had a great discussion about inspiration. Here’s an excerpt from that conversation.

So I want to explore the topic of inspiration because I think that has some relationship to the HSP Trait.

Do you, do you think about how inspiration arrives to you? 

Rayne: Well, yes, I do. Because, you know, it’s funny… and I believe a lot of artistic people are like this or, or draw their inspiration from this.  And to me, it’s about states of consciousness because I don’t, I don’t believe, I mean, I’m just a vehicle.

I’m just kind of a physical vehicle here and, and that’s coming through me. It’s not really, you know, mine. Like it is, but it’s not, you know? 

Thomas: I have read so many artists say that exact thing. Like they’re just the vehicle. They’re just the, like, almost like the translator. 

Rayne: Absolutely. Absolutely. And it’s a very different experience, to, I guess you could say devote yourself to that. Because it does take discipline.

You know because, you know, I, I have to say my first understanding of different states of consciousness, and I didn’t realize it at the time, but it came at a young age from when I drowned.

It was kind of confusing to me growing up, because I knew I was different and I knew part of that was the HSP Trait. But I think also part of that was from having experienced those different types of consciousness. 

Thomas: Right. 

Rayne: Right? 

Thomas: Yeah. 

Rayne: When I am, like that with my practice of connecting to that state of consciousness, where it was just all energy, for me that’s where a lot of it… It doesn’t, it doesn’t happen… The inspiration doesn’t come when I am actually enjoying myself there, you know?

But it might be afterward when I go for a walk, and I’m just on a walk not thinking about anything and then all of a sudden an idea will pop up. Or I’ll see something and it, or I’ll read something or have a chat with somebody or whatever it is.

And it’ll be like, Oh! Wouldn’t this be cool? You know? And that’s where the different inspirations pop up. So it’s not like I expect these inspirations to come to me when I’m in that state of consciousness, because I don’t, I’m just enjoying that state of consciousness. And, using it as a way to allow that energy to use me as a medium, I guess, or a tool. 

Thomas: But it sounds to me that you are very open to hearing the inspirations when they do come, when you’re not thinking about being inspired when you’re just doing your walks or whatever you might be doing, you say, Oh, look at that, there’s something that came out of nowhere. 

Rayne: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yep. And it’ll usually come up… Oh, wouldn’t that be cool! You know? Oh, do I want to try that? Yeah, let’s try that. And then, and then trying it. Yeah, absolutely.   

Thomas: Lastly, I ask Rayne if she could see any downsides to having the HSP Trait and how that might affect creativity.

Do you, do you perceive  any downsides to having the HSP Trait and creativity, you know, like, like burnout or… 

Rayne: Well, I think the most common thing for HSPs is that they try to behave and live their lives as non-HSPs. 

Thomas: Oh yeah. 

Rayne: And that is a big creativity killer to me. Because we require a lot more downtime, a lot more processing time. You know, being highly creative you, you have to create those pockets and enough space for you to actually do nothing. As weird as it sounds, do nothing.  You know, I think there’s, you know, there’s been studies done where by reducing work weeks down to 30 hours a week employees are far more productive than employees working 40 hour weeks. 

Thomas:  I’ve heard that.

Rayne: Right? And, you know, and these are scientific studies that have proven it. And so you add that on top of, because that essentially is telling us that that’s an unhealthy lifestyle basically, right? Because to be productive, you know, if you’re productive, then that’s, that’s what, you know, what we want right?  

And for an HSP,  you might as well double that, you know, you might as well double that because, they can be highly, highly productive. I mean, when I get on a creative thing, I mean, that’s it, like, I’ll go for 16 hours a day, you know, like nothing will stop me. Like it’s just… you know 10 minutes to eat maybe, you know what I mean?

Because I am so enjoying what I’m doing and I’m so loving it. And I’m so just in it, you know what I mean? So that after that “whatever” has been created, that’s it.  I’m exhausted. I’m done for awhile. You know, like I’m gonna relax, you know, I’m going to relax and rest. And then, connect, connect to you know higher consciousness and that next inspiration will come to me. And then away we’ll go again.

You know, so it’s, it’s very different from, say a nine to five job where you do-do-do-do-do, you know, it’s not like that. That’s very kind of monotonous, whereas when you’re in a creative way of being, it’s more like waves, you know? 

Thomas: Yeah.

Rayne: They really are more like waves that you go up and you’re highly, highly, highly, highly productive. And then it’s like, okay, because it’s like, it just has to burst out of you. You know? It’s like, it’s like, Oh, this is so cool! You know, and all these ideas are coming to you. And so you’re just so excited and it’s just so cool and… 

Thomas: Pretty much me all the time. And you’re so, you really hit the nail on the head its like, I know for myself, I do not give myself enough time to just sit and do nothing. Because there’s just that, that, that energy that’s just there. 

Rayne: Yeah, that expectation that you must be productive at all times or producing something or whatever it is, you know, it really comes down to, well, you know?

Yeah. I could produce something, but will it be the quality that I know I’m capable of? That I’ll be like, Oh, this is so cool! Like that I know I won’t care what anybody else thinks about it. I’m just in love with it, you know? Like, I think it’s the coolest thing ever, you know?

And then, you know, like doing it for your own enjoyment. Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s one of the things that’s the biggest, the biggest thing for HSPs is to, yeah, just understand that, giving yourself that time, yeah. 

Thomas: You need that downtime. 

Rayne: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. It’s downtime because you’re actually processing information in that downtime.

There’s a lot of information we’re taking in that we don’t realize we’re taking in that we’re processing and, and giving ourselves that space where we can just to allow ourselves to do that. And, that could mean, just relaxing doing nothing, listening to music or not listening to anything, or reading, or, you know, like you say, painting or drawing—I mean, it’s all basically just finding what works for you, you know?

Finding that nice, nice, good rhythm. It’s a rhythm, really. Yeah. And then when you find that rhythm, you know, stick to it, stick to it, which means having a good, healthy boundaries and saying no to other things and you know that kind of thing because, creativity is just an absolutely amazing outlet for HSPs.

Thomas: It really is. 

Rayne: It is, it’s healing, it’s engaging, it involves our imaginations, it involves our senses, you know, all the things that we’re, I mean, everybody’s blessed with those things. But HSPs, you know, basically if we have to put up with the downsides of having the Trait, which is getting overstimulated and you know, all these kinds of things, then we might as well enjoy the good things about it. Yeah, absolutely, yeah.

Thomas: If you would like to hear more of our conversation, including more about Rayne’s near death experience and the states of consciousness she experienced, you can find it on any podcast player like Apple, iTunes, Google podcasts, and Spotify by searching for Creative Shoofly. My conversation with Rayne is episode six.

Coming up my conversation with Robyn on being a multipotentialite right after this.

Our podcast is brought to you by the HSP World Mastery Program with a mission of inspiring and empowering HSPs, so they can use their natural creative abilities to co-create an amazing and hope-filled future. The HSP World Mastery Program uses data-driven positive tools and methods that support each HSPs growth in a way that’s gentle, thoughtful, and caring with an emphasis on positive impacts and results on HSPs daily lives. You can learn more about the HSP World Mastery Program by visiting hsp dot world forward slash mastery. Now let’s return to our podcast. 

In my conversation with Robyn we talk about being a multipotentialite. If you haven’t heard that term before, it’s a person who has many interests and creative pursuits in life. You may have heard them called generalists, polymaths, passion pluralites or renaissance souls, and like HSPs they can have many challenges, both from inner struggles and from cultural conformism.

When I first learned about multipotentiality, I was struck by how similar I felt to when I learned about the Highly Sensitive Trait, you know, the sense of relief and joy that you feel in finding a community of like-hearted people, people that just get you?

I felt that way when I joined the large Facebook group for HSPs and then a couple of years later, again, when I joined the multipotentialite forum at

I was also struck by how many people in the multipotentialite forum knew about and identify as Highly Sensitive. 

I actually have a guess about why that might be. Multipotentialite’s tend to be curious about many things, and if you look at Dr. Aron’s D.O.E.S. acronym for HSPs, the D part—deep processing, plus the S part—sensitivity to subtleties, seem to me to be at the core of curiosity.

I don’t doubt that many HSPs are also multipotentialites and vice versa. In this first segment, Robyn and I talk about how we both came to understand that we were different than others when it came to the number of interest we have.

Thomas: I’m curious when do you, did you first sort of sense that you had all these interests that are more interests than other people did? 

Robyn: Yeah, um, I can’t put my finger on one specific place. I think I actually knew for awhile. I think I even knew as a teenager. I’m reminded of how when I was applying for different programs at university, or thinking about what I would apply to at university—a lot of people were were telling me, Oh you should go into med school, you’ve got good grades go to to med school—be a doctor right?

Because people equate good performance at school with an ability to succeed in the medical world and they’re not necessarily the same thing—but that’s just kind of a stereotype that was floating around. I remember my Dad, who really is quite a laser focused specialist, he’s a scientist, and he looked at me and he said no Robyn shouldn’t go into medicine, you need a lot of passion to be in that field and she doesn’t have it.

So he was right about one thing and he was wrong about one thing. He was definitely right, I mean I don’t know right? It’s a life I didn’t take, I didn’t go to med school. I think he’s right that I didn’t have the single minded focus that it would have and commitment that it would have taken um for me to get through med school. I mean I see people who, even just the process of applying, who will spend years of their life doing whatever it takes to get into the program.

And that’s just to get in, right? And so I mean that’s a level of commitment to one area of expertise that, I, he’s right, I just did not have that.

But where I think what he said wasn’t correct it’s not at all true that I don’t have passion. I just have too many passions that don’t necessarily translate into one career. Um, that would take me in in different directions.

And I was more, I was more passionate about seeing where what connections can be made. I used to love doing that. You know when you’re in school… I liked, one thing I liked about school is that they would allow you to take all sorts of different courses, right? Especially in like kind of pre university courses. uh, we were I was in a science program but I have to take philosophy classes, english literature, language, sports. We had to do all of that.

And yeah, I remember really enjoying that that mix and and wanting to think, Oh okay, here’s this, here’s this question about the human condition. How do, the how did the psychologists answer it? And oh, how did the philosophers answer it? And I would love like playing with the same idea back and forth and seeing it from different angles.

I ended up going into university in a program that was half arts, half science, and then I finally settled on psychology, which for me was like a nice marriage of the two, but then you know I didn’t settle on that either. And then I, I mean, I won’t get into my whole story just yet, but um yeah I think, uh, I think right around that age that you start having to think seriously about what your career path is going to be. I was already resisting uncomfortably.

I didn’t feel, I didn’t feel good about it right? I didn’t want, I didn’t want to be someone who was doing multiple things. I wanted to be the single minded, uh, you know expert type. I would, it probably would have been easier if I had just, you know, said oh okay it’s very clear I don’t know, chemistry is for me and I’m going to study that forever. I’m not saying that it’s easy to study chemistry, it’s just it would have been clearer and simpler.

But, um, there still are advantages. And I think I think they crop up later. I think it takes longer, right? When you’re planting a more diverse garden it takes a little bit longer for everything to grow in. And and to see what shape it’s going to take and how the different… I can’t keep going on this metaphor about a  garden, but anyways, just to see maybe just see how the different colours fit together. I don’t know, um, I think it I think it takes longer to to reap the benefits but there are definitely, there are definitely some.

What about for you? When did you put your finger on that narrative? 

Thomas: Um, you know for me it’s, it’s been sort of slow in coming. Although I already sort of knew when I started work, out of, out of college that, that I was a generalist, and that I wanted to be a generalist.

What’s so funny about how you were talking about, you know, getting that laser focus. When I went into high school I was absolutely convinced that I was going to go into some sort of life science—biology, zoology, something having to do with animals, maybe microbiology. I don’t know but it was like that’s what I wanted to do.

I wanted to work with animals. That was it. And, and I had sort of designed my, my high school coursework in that way, to be heavy on the sciences and all that kind of stuff.

And in my sophomore year a friend of mine pulled me aside and he says, so this is now 1976, he pulls me aside and says I’ve got to show you what’s in this closet over here. And so this is on the third floor, which is the like the math and science floor in our high school, and we go in this closet and there’s a teletype and it’s connected to a computer across town. And a bunch of kids got together and formed a computer club and they were renting this so that we could actually sit on a computer, like a real live computers in 1976, right? This is you know in the era of mainframes and stuff like that. And it didn’t take me like a week or two to decide, oh this is what what I’m going to go into. I’m into computers now, forget biology, I mean who, who’s going to make money in biology?

That was one of the things that was in my mind, right? Because I was sort of steeped in that, you know, go get, you know, go get a job, a career, whatever. And by the end of high school I had already started tutoring other kids on how to program and all that.

And, and when I got into college I decided, you know, I’ve had enough of software, I’m going to get into electronics. So I actually got my degree in electronics. So, so now that I’m thinking about it I definitely had that multipotentialite flexibility of just like changing on a dime, like, ooh this, this is interesting, let’s do this. And then, oh look it over here, you know?

So I ended up working in Silicon Valley as a test engineer, as opposed to being like a hardware designer or something like that. And test engineers are generalists. We basically get whatever we get and we have to figure out how to test it so that we can sell it. And so there was a lot of macguyvering and, you know, working up solutions on your own to figure out how to do this.

But it was around that time when I was in, maybe a couple of years into my career, and I thought you know this is what I want. I don’t want to become a specialist in anything. I want to actually stay a generalist. And I was able to parlay that into vastly different jobs, you know? I went from from test engineer to software configuration management. Then I became a consultant and then I became an IT director and then went on my own. And, and now I’m everything. Sort of… 

Robyn: So I mean there’s a couple of things that stand out there for me.

One is I think kind of a good takeaway for anyone listening who identifies with this profile is, you know, pick up a generalist skill. In your case, I guess it was being a test engineer, right? And then in my case, um, well it’s teaching. These are things that you can then kind of pour out into different contexts and keep it interesting without starting entirely from scratch each time.

So, I feel like if you if you are embarking on a career and you’re like, well I don’t see myself fitting into one thing where I get interested in so many things.

If you if you can pick up a skill set that can be used in more than one context, I think it gives you a good chance to to feed that side of yourself. 

In this next clip Robyn and I talk about some resources that were helpful in understanding multipotentiality.

Thomas: There, there are a couple of books that I’ve been reading, one is called, “Refuse To Choose” by Barbara Sher and the other one is, “How To Be Everything” by Emilie Wapnick.

I haven’t gotten very far in Emilie’s book yet, at least in the beginning it’s more focused on careers, but I’m really, really enjoying Barbara Sher’s book “Refuse to Choose” because one thing we haven’t spoken yet Robyn is about the challenges of being a multipotentialite, which there are many. 

Robyn: Yeah. Oh yeah. 

Thomas: And the “Refuse To Choose” book is really been an eye-opener for me, because Barbara Sher goes through and describes so many variations, or styles of being a multipotentialite. And there’s one style that I particularly identify with. She calls it the cyclic scanner.  She refers to multipotentialites as  scanners, and that is someone who will go back to certain interests over and over again. And that describes me so well. For me it’s, you know, it’s trains, and then it’s fishing, and then it’s mushrooms, and it’s music and dance, and I’ll just, I’ll always come back to them. I’m always coming back to them. 

Robyn: I can relate to that too. In my case, I think it’s, uh, so I’ve had, I’ve always had interest in psychology, philosophy, language, literature, education and teaching and personal development, and then also dance and music. And these have always come back and in, in different forms.

And like, when I was saying that it may take longer for us to reap the benefits of this profile. I think sometimes it’s because they may just take us awhile to notice the pattern and see the cycle, right? I’m actually coming back to… I’m closing a loop that has been kind of open for a long time.

I spent the last eight or so years as a language teacher. And just this session I got offered a contract to teach psychology, which was my undergrad. So, you know, several years later I’m actually drawing on this. I had never lost my interest in it. I was continuing to read books and listen to podcasts and lectures on the side.

But it was always like this weird, you know, I was painting my room and listening to lectures on ADD, and my, uh, my roommate was like, what are you doing? You know, okay. That’s weird!  But it was because it was an enduring interest, that now I don’t do. Now I’m not listening to psychology podcasts because I’m preparing a course on it. So then I’ve cycled away from that habit because I’ve put it somewhere else in my life.

Yeah, I think that that pattern is there. I am a familiar, a little bit more with the Emilie Wapnick book. I’ve read that one and I’ve started getting into Barbara Sher’s book. I like, yeah, I, I think, um, Barbara Sher says more specifically, or it goes a little bit more in depth about the different profiles, or the different  types of scanner that you could be.

I think they both share a general message that, you know, people may have a sense that there’s something wrong with them, because it comes with certain challenges. And then both are trying to say, well, you know, here’s maybe a different way to look at this profile.

So instead of just saying, oh, you can’t commit, or you’re scattered, or you never finish anything, instead of saying that saying like, well maybe… I like the way Barbara Sher puts it, and she says, well, maybe what your objective, your goal or your reward in doing something is different than what a specialist would be looking for. A specialist would be looking for, okay, how can I find out as much as possible about this? How can I, you know, reach a certain level of knowledge or skill or expertise that most people don’t have, because I love this thing so much.

Whereas for the scanner the objective could be very different. It could simply be, you know, let me find out everything I can about this area. And then once I’ve found everything, I can let me find out several things about it. And then once I can, once I found out that, let me move on to the other thing, you know? So if you’re interested, if you have a more general interest, let’s say in, in learning and education, and so you stay in one area and you think about, okay, well, how does knowledge about biology… What does that tell me about learning and education?

Okay, great. Now let me go find out. I don’t know. Let me go look at arts education at home. Okay? How do you, how do you learn art? How’s it different from learning science at home? You know, or, or what do I learn as someone who’s becoming an artist? What do I notice about my process of education and growth in this area? So it’s, it’s less about, let me learn about biology and more like, let me take what I need from this. 

I think this is a really good metaphor. So I think my reading habits reflect what it’s like for me to be a multipotentialite. Even, even the fact that I’ve often internalized a negative view it. So I’ve always said I’m a bad reader, in the sense that I have so many unfinished books on my shelf or books that I’ve kind of, you know, meant to read, but didn’t really get to, uh, well just read a couple of chapters at the end, you know, or in the middle and then kind of left for something else.

And then I realized, I noticed at some point that it’s not that I was, you know, picking up a book, getting bored and leaving it. Sometimes that happened. Other times I’d be…. oftentimes times I keep coming back to a book and I would say, okay, now I’m going to read chapter three and four. Okay. I’m done. And then, ah, chapters, I don’t know, six and seven are catching my interest.

Oh, let me go read it. And then two years later, I ‘d say, you know what? It’s time to really read that book like religiously. And then I’ll go back and read the whole thing, start to finish. And I noticed I did this with a lot of books. And again, I think it’s that cyclical nature coming out. And I think it’s because I often, I was, I was looking for whatever was relevant.

I was getting whatever I needed from the book. I wasn’t a slave to the book, you know, I wasn’t there to say, oh, what does this author have to say about this point. I was trying to take what was relevant to me from that book. And if something wasn’t relevant, okay, maybe I’ll, it’s noted in my mind. I know it’s there. Maybe I’ll come back to it and maybe I won’t, and often I do. 

Thomas: I so appreciate that she put it in that language, she put it in that way, that you go, you get what you need and you get out. And that describes me to a tee. I don’t know about you, but I have probably close to 30 books that are lying next to my bed.

And they’re all partially read, right? I haven’t read, I haven’t completed a one. I mean, I’ve completed a few, but you know, sometimes there’s something that’s  so wonderful and it reads well that it holds my interest. It’s just a joy to read, but for the most part it’s like, yeah, I’m getting in there and, and I’m reading this one chapter about this specific thing. And it’s like, oh, that’s interesting. That leads me to think about this other thing. And now I’m in a different book, you know? 

Robyn: Yeah, exactly. 

Thomas: Yeah, so Barbara Sher’s book has been a great help for me specifically in, the suggestions that  she gives in how to, how to make the most of this profile. I used to drive myself nuts with making plans, like here, I want to do this project. And then I would, make a checklist and all that kind of stuff.

And lo and behold, I would start out and do some of it and then, uh, put it away and it’d be sitting then for two months, three months. And I would feel bad because I’d looked at all these checklists that were just, you know, a few things checked off.

And now I’m doing something totally different. I’m taking just a portion of all these different things that I might want to complete. For cyclical scanners, she says, develop a 15 month goal calendar. 15 months! But I did that and sure enough, I have maybe a dozen things on there that I’m wanting to accomplish in the next year. 

And so, the metaphor she uses is like the school day. Like, you know, you get to go to different classes, like five different classes, right? So I have my, I do it in the terms of a weekly, I call it my weekly sprint. But I pick just certain tasks from all these different goals, my 15 month goals and, and put them on my weekly list. And now I’m finding that I’m, I have a lot less stress about it because I’m completing stuff.

I’m actually going through and it’s like, oh yeah, let’s do this little chunk here. And let’s do that little chunk here. And tonight I’m going to work on this. And tomorrow night I’m going to work on something totally different, but it all comes from my, that 15 month calendar.

So I really appreciate some of the suggestions that she’s come up with to work with it. 

Robyn: Yeah. One that I got from the book was the idea of having this, uh, I think she called it a daybook, but you can call it a dream book or a potential project book. And I have this book that’s just full of little tabs and every time I have a new idea for a project, I start a new tab and I jot down what I think would be involved. And potential resources that might be in there. And then I leave it and I come back to it as often as I want or need to.

And it’s nice because it feels like everything, it feels like there’s a place for it. And it allows me to worry less about, am I, am I going to get there, right? Because it’s there, it’s written down. So in case I do come back to it. 

Thomas: It’s not going to get lost. 

Robyn: Exactly. It’s there for safekeeping. But also when I see the number of projects that I have there, it’s also is a nice reality check. And I tend to not beat myself up as much for, for not doing it like, oh, okay I came up with 10 projects. I only got two of them done this year. That’s okay. You still got something done. Did you really think you were going to do 10 projects in one year? Again it depends what you’re talking about right? 

I know some people can accomplish 10 projects in one year, but, just, I think that’s something that helps as well is just seeing how many places our mind is taking us and accepting that it’s okay not to get everything done at once.

Um, so doing this method, like on the one hand, it’s a reality check. It allows you to not feel bad about not doing everything. And then it also gives you a more workable way to come back to the things that are important. Because I have seen that when things come up again and again and again, I do find ways to get to them.

I had been thinking about doing a podcast for a couple of years and I was taking notes and basically it’s just timing, right? It’s just waiting for the right opportunities to come along. Sometimes we have to go out there and seize those opportunities. But other times, especially if it’s something creative, you kind of have to let go of the control a little bit and let it, let it come to you.

And actually, interestingly, that’s what happened with our other podcasts there, HSP World. And, um, I was starting to look around at ways to get it off the ground and Rayne just came to me and said, Hey, I’m getting a podcast going and would you like to be a co-host? So I think had I not already been clear with myself and had a section in my book dedicated to that, it would have been maybe a bit harder. I would have had to think about it more.

But, yeah, it was, it was easy and it was like, huh, okay! I guess this is, this is done, you know? And I know also one day I’m going to move on. This is another thing, right? You start building in this expectation, one day, I’m gonna, you know, say, oh, I don’t feel like doing this anymore. Or I don’t feel like doing this topic anymore. I don’t feel like doing this in this medium anymore.

And it’s not, I already know that it’s not personal. It’s not a failure, right? So maybe setting a goal about, you know, how far would I like to get, but then also not really having your, in your head yourself into it too much, either right? Thinking about thinking more, more broadly, maybe not quantitatively, right? Maybe it’s not about saying like, okay, I’ll get out when I’ve done a hundred podcasts, but like, I’ll get out when I feel like. 

Thomas: You’re done when, when it’s done. 

Robyn: Yeah, whatever it was. Right? Like, whatever it is, whatever your reason for getting in was, once you accomplish that reason. And sometimes you can’t necessarily put words on it until it happens. 

Thomas: Right. It’s just a feeling it’s like, oh, you know, this is done now. And it may just be because there’s so many other juicy, wonderful things pulling at you, at your interests. You know, and that’s, that’s been one of the things, one of the wonderful learnings for me is like, this is, this is who I am.

This is, I just, I’m interested in a lot of stuff and there’s nothing to apologize for. 

Robyn: Yeah. Yeah. There’s nothing to apologize for. And I am going to be, I know that if I move on, I’m not moving on because… I’m not moving because, I’m not moving on for bad reasons. Like I have, I have valid reasons and I’m probably moving onto something else that’s also worthy of my time and interest.  So I agree. That was a very, that was a very helpful realization to say, well, it’s not something to, it’s not something to fear. It’s something to start building into your life. 

Thomas: So that’s it for this podcast. I hope you enjoyed these excerpts of my conversations with Rayne and Robyn. If you would like to hear the full conversations, you can find them on any podcast player like Apple, iTunes, Google podcasts, and Spotify by searching for Creative Shoofly. My conversation with Robyn is episode four and my conversation with Rayne is episode six. You can also visit Creative for the full episodes and transcripts.

I hope you’ll join us for our next episode of the HSP World podcast, where Rayne, Robyn, and I will be having another interesting HSP conversation with a guest.

And to any highly sensitives who have a burning HSP-related question, big or small, we invite you to ask it on the HSP World podcast, just email

Our thanks to the HSP World Mastery Program and to all of you who support our show by subscribing and listening to our podcast, reading the blog posts on our website at, and chatting with us on our social media channels.

Your support is contributing to the upliftment of HSPs around the world. We’re very grateful. 


Music credit: Intro and Outro music from the YouTube Music Library. Song is Clover 3.

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