The HSP World Podcast Ep. 29: Opening Up To Creativity

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. With each episode, we invite a guest with the HSP trait to have a conversation about a burning HSP related question they have. We’re not coaches or therapists. We’re HSPs holding space with you. I’m one of your hosts, Thomas and your other hosts are;

Robyn: Robyn. 

Rayne: And Rayne.

Robyn: Welcome back everybody to the HSP world podcast. Today we have something extra special for you.  We have a special guest and a special topic. We are going to be talking about creativity today.  We did talk about this in episode 20, but we want it to go a little bit deeper with it. 

So you’re maybe wondering what is the link between HSP and creativity?

We had a little bit of a discussion about this before jumping onto the podcast. And, it turns out that Elaine Aron herself, the grand master of all things of HSP research, is not able to say if there is a strong connection between creativity and HSP. And in part that’s because, you know, it’s a, it’s a pretty difficult thing  to measure, right?

It’s hard to know exactly if people are creative or not.  However, there’s a couple of important things to keep in mind here. First of all, there are elements on the HSP questionnaire which she calls aesthetic sensitivity. So being more effected by the arts, being very moved by music, there are a lot of HSPs who are going to rate themselves higher on that aspect than non-HSPs.

And I mean, it’s almost something of a cliche, right? The sensitive poet or actor or writer.  So I, I do think the connection between  creativity and sensitivity has been represented a little bit in our culture and of course in the creative professions. But there’s something else that we wanted to get in here today too.

Maybe you’re listening and you say, well, I’m sensitive and I don’t consider myself a creative person, but that does actually seem to be a common HSP experience. Elaine Aron actually writes that, “…in my experience, sensitivity is associated with creativity, but only in those HSPs who have had the confidence to express their creativity in real life. Since many HSPs have low self-esteem, this can interfere with their expression of creativity.”

So, what we’re going to be talking about today is how do you overcome that?  If you’re a highly sensitive person and you don’t feel that you’ve tapped into your creative gifts,  how can you get into that?

So to help us approach this question, we’ve invited creativity expert Melissa Dinwiddie.

Melissa is an author, a speaker, a creativity consultant. She’s the CEO and founder  of Creative Sandbox Solutions. 

Melissa helps organizations, communities, and individuals harness the power of play to achieve their goals.

One of her specialties is turning boring, virtual trainings and events into creative, interactive, playful experiences that their attendees rave about. So thank you for joining us today, Melissa. 

Melissa: Thank you for having me. I’m delighted to be here. 

Rayne: Melissa, I had a question for you… taking into account everything that Robyn  just related, do you find when you are coaching work teams, do you find that you have to use different techniques to basically get them out of the “logic” zone and more into the creative fun play zone?

Melissa:  Do I need to use different techniques with work teams, as opposed to with individuals, you mean?

Rayne: Yeah. 

Melissa: Not really because what I like to use with anyone, and this really comes from my own experience with myself, and then discovering later that this is actually what science shows is effective, is play. 

That play I, everything that I use is very play-based and  the experiences that I design when I’m designing a session for a team, is very play-based.

I have a process that I use that I call a fun method. It’s an acronym F stands for find the flow. U stands for unlock the meaning. And N stands for name the change. And that F find the flow, what that stands for is that we start by, I lead people through a short engaging activity that feels like we’re just playing a game.

Because when people are engaged in play, it allows them to just let go of the outside world and people connect and they bond.  There’s a decreased sense of hierarchy that occurs.

And they are able to like, let go of  the sense of, of competition. I mean, it might be, you know, as possible maybe a competitive game, but whatever competition is happening outside of the space of the game of the play space drops away.

People are able  to relate to each other as  you know, co-humans.  And they’re able to tap into the kind of creativity that they had when they were kids.

You know, they’re, they’re able to tap into that, I like to call it the inner four year old. And you know,  we’re able to get to that space through play. And that’s what I discovered myself when I was stuck in, um, my own before, before I ran my consultancy, I was a professional Artist. And before that I was a person who believed that I wasn’t creative. 

Robyn: Hmm. 

Melissa: Completely.

And the way that I  finally tapped into my own creativity was through play. And through that mind space of being  a four year old again. I call that playing in the creative sandbox.

Being in that space of being a little kid, you know, imagine for yourself what it’s like to be a little four year old kid playing in a sandbox.

What do kids do when they’re playing in a sandbox? They don’t think, oh, I need to make something amazing, so I can impress people and win awards and make money. They’re just exploring. They’re just making messes and because it’s a sandbox, they know that it’s going to be knocked over and it’s not, it’s ephemeral, right?

It’s pure experimentation. It’s pure. It’s making messes for the sake of play. That’s the, that’s the mind space that I seek to create in you know, whatever session on designing for our corporate team. 

Thomas: And  implicit in that play space is you sort of get rid of that second guessing that happens. That second guessing that like, oh, you know, like you said, I have to make a really good, or I’m going to, be comparing what I’m creating to what I’ve seen other people create.

Melissa: Absolutely. I call that the comparison trap and it is, I call that a gremlin. It’s one of those, you know, voices that lives inside your head. It’s my personal, like worst gremlin of all.

I, you know, we all have those, those inner critic, voices, those gremlin voices. We all have them. They’re lots of different variety of  gremlins. That one is my personal worst and you know, no good comes from that comparison trap.

And the reality is it’s still going to be there even, even when we are in that creative sandbox, mindspace, those gremlins are still going to pop up.

But when we’re in that creative sandbox mind space, then we’re better able to acknowledge those gremlin voices when they appear. I like to, I learned this from one of my mentors, Tara Moore, to be able to acknowledge the gremlin and, you know, we don’t, we can’t kill the gremlins.

We can’t kill those, those voices. We can’t make them go away, but we can acknowledge them. And I like to thank them for their concern and then send them off to get a pedicure. 

Robyn: So I think probably a good  thing to get clear on is, for you when you talk about creativity or somebody being creative or considering themselves creative, what does that mean, would be like a bit of a working definition, Melissa?

Melissa: I think about creativity as the ability to solve problems.

And it’s, it’s something that all humans are able to do. I mean, we’re, we as humans, that is, that is what we do. Is that is like what humans do. Is simply what we do.

And sometimes the way sometimes we solve problems in the way that we, you know, make a design on paper. With a paintbrush. Sometimes we solve problems by the way that we are, you know, making a website or solving a math problem or figuring out how to fit things into the trunk of our car, or, you know, there are all sorts of ways that we solve problems. And  that is human beings using our creativity.

Robyn: Interesting. 

Rayne: It’s really like a muscle. 

Melissa: It is absolutely. And you know, it’s a great way to think about it because the more we use that muscle, the more creativity generates creativity.

So, for example, I have not been making a lot of art lately.  Even before the pandemic, I was just kind of in a, not-making-art-space, but when I have been in a place where I just sat down and, you know, been in regular practice, whether it’s making art or playing my ukulele or writing songs or whatever the creative mode is.

The more I’m in that creative mode, the more, you know, it, it sparks ideas and I want to create more and that sparks more ideas and I want to create more and that sparks more ideas. And I want to create more. Creativity generates creativity. It very much is like a muscle.

Robyn: This is really interesting because the definition that you gave, because  it departs a bit from our traditional notions of creativity, right?

Where we think, oh, well, it’s the artist in front of their easel, or  someone coming up with a brilliant, I, don’t know, mathematical theorem that no one’s ever heard of before. Right?

How do you see  an artistic endeavor as problem-solving. Like, if someone’s painting or writing a poem, in what way do you think it could be solving a problem?

Melissa: Yeah, well, I mean, a problem isn’t necessarily like a dire problem or a it’s a, it’s a challenge say, so, you know, finding a solution to a challenge, the challenge might be, what do I want to do with this white piece of paper?

How do I want to take this white piece of paper and turn it into something that’s interesting to me. That might be the problem that I have in front of me. Does that answer your question? 

Robyn: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I’m sure there’s  a few problems that could be solved, as many problems as there are pieces of art. Right? 

Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. I, you know, it’s, it’s interesting. I started  my first business that I had was as a professional Calligrapher and Artist. And I was the work that I was doing for clients was creating art to their specifications, art and design.

So I might be designing a wedding invitation or making  a piece of art for a wedding. I did a lot of Jewish marriage contracts. So there a specific piece of art that’s  part of a, a Jewish wedding ceremony. That’s a required document for a Jewish wedding ceremony. It’s called a ketubah.

And so it had certain parameters that had to be filled. Right. It had certain amount of texts and certain words that language that had to be included. And then the client would have certain imagery that maybe they needed. They wanted to have included. And maybe it needed to be a certain size in order to fit on their wall. And, uh, you know, they, they wanted it to be maybe square. Maybe they wanted it to be round and maybe they wanted it to have be certain colors or something.

So as an art, as the Artist and designer I needed to fit these certain specifications and parameters. And also I needed it to fill my artistic desires and it needed to do, like, I didn’t need it to look good in my own eyes. Otherwise I would be very dissatisfied and I needed the client to be, to be satisfied so that they would pay me. Right?

So it had all of these requirements. And I had to solve the problem of how do I make a piece of art that  checks all those boxes. So that was the problem that I had to solve as the Artist and Designer. You know, when I, when I was a professional artist.

And I got to tell you that, that burned me out as an Artist, always making art that had to fill all of the specifications for clients. But I was never spending time just playing in the creative sandbox, just messing around and not letting my inner four year old, just mess around with proverbial sand and just go, I just want to build a sand castle just for the sake of it and see what happens.

You know, I never let myself do that because I sort of was following this story that I’d built up in my head that I didn’t have time to do that. I couldn’t possibly do that because everything I made, so the story went in my head, everything I made had to bring in money. If I was going to make a living, when the reality was really not giving myself permission to play around in the creative sandbox was starving my creative expression. 

And, it’s like, I wasn’t letting myself fill the well so that we, you know, what, what people were attracted to in my artistic expression, was that inner four year old, you know, mucking around and, and exploring and, and playing.

And, and, I was starving that by not giving myself the opportunity to play. So I ended up getting burned out and leaving, quitting, retiring from being a professional Artist as a result.

 Robyn: This is really interesting,  putting these two  the stories that you’ve told us together. So this idea of creativity as, you know, resolving a problem.  

And, and then these jobs that you were doing, where you actually had quite a few problems to solve in the sense that, you know, you had to keep meeting your clients’ expectations. And yet something about that was not satisfying to you creatively.

Would it make sense to say that if someone is struggling to feel creatively inspired or to see themselves as creative, is it that perhaps they’re not putting enough, giving enough importance or giving themselves permission, to attend to the inner problem of creativity, right?

Because there’s, there’s that outer problem of, oh, my clients want this to look a certain way or the art form requires me to, to, make use of a certain medium or something like that. And then the internal problem is what, what do, what makes sense to me?

What inspires me?

What is it that I’m trying to get out?

Melissa: Yeah, I like that question a lot. I think what happens with so many of us, myself included is that we live in a society that prioritizes places of really high value on money and fame and certain things.

And so if you are expressing yourself creatively in a way that is not getting rewarded in those ways, you’re not getting rewarded for your particular creative expression through, you, know, money and fame, specifically, then you are basically being told that your form of creative expression is not valid. 

It’s not important. It’s certainly not valued. 

So if you like to say garden, if you like to cook, if you like to solve math problems, if you, I don’t know, like to work on your car, you know, there’s so many different ways of being creative in the world that are not identified as being creative.

Because what we see as valued and sanctioned creativity are you are an A level Singer/Actor. If you can draw representationally. 

If you know, that that for some reason has taken off like that, we all learn. If you can draw representationally in a way that people can recognize, like if I can draw Thomas and everybody can recognize that it’s Thomas, then I’m considered to be creative.

And yet drawing is a skill. Drawing is not as quote unquote creative as some other ways of solving problems, even with art necessarily. 

Thomas: After the break, I pick up on the idea of the connections you make, when you share your creativity with the world. We’ll be right back, after this.

Our podcast is brought to you by the HSP World Mastery Program with a mission of inspiring and empowering Highly Sensitives, so you can use your natural creative abilities to co-create an amazing and hope-filled future.

The HSP World Mastery Program uses data driven, positive tools and methods supporting your growth in a way that’s gentle, thoughtful, and caring with an emphasis on positive impacts and results on your daily life. 

You can learn more about the HSP World Mastery Program by visiting forward slash mastery. Now let’s return to our podcast.

Thomas:  I like what you’re getting at here, because I know for myself, I have, I’ve thought of myself as creative for all my life and yet,  a few years ago when I was working on,  actually was going to be my first art show, I had the greatest trouble calling myself the a word. Artist. Right. And I actually had to work with a coach for several months to, to sort of work, you know, inwardly to find out what, what is it

that’s  preventing me from calling myself an artist? Where I, where I could call myself creative  all day long, you know?  And you’re getting right to the point. It’s like  our culture, our society has named some of these things. And yet what it’s not naming is the idea that creativity can happen by itself.  Just alone with us or it can happen between two people. 

Melissa: Yeah. 

Thomas: You know, I can, I can create something, I can paint something and it doesn’t matter what it is. And show it to someone else. And they can be  affected by positively effected by it. And therefore create a connection.

And, and this is something that we don’t say enough about creativity is that it really is so important that we should all share our creativity. Because what I found out is that even if I just share it with one person, I’m creating an, an amazing connection.

Melissa: Amen to that. I’ve written a couple of blog posts on that very topic that if you never share what you create, it’s like there’s an open loop. Yeah. There’s a process to creativity that, I mean, I’m as a creativity instigator, which I was before I started my consultancy, I was an Artist. And then I helped other people get creatively unstuck for a long time.

And in that role, one of the things that I was always sort of preaching and evangelizing about.

You know, you want to get creating, you want to do your thing, whether it’s making visual art or making music or whatever. But if, if you never share what you make, if you never put it out there and share it with at least one other person, put it on social media, whatever it is you’re going to do, if you never do that, then something is really lacking.

And people are so afraid, so afraid to share what they’re doing. But the thing is, you never know how your work is going to touch somebody, but there’s one thing that I know. And that is that when you share your work, you are going to touch somebody and you do not know how you’re going to touch somebody, but you will.

And you don’t believe me. You probably don’t believe me that you will, but you will touch somebody and you may never know how you’re going to touch somebody, but you will touch somebody, but you will never touch somebody if you never share your work. And I encourage people to share their work before they feel ready. 

Rayne: Oh absolutely. Well, I, you know, if you’re not used to, if you’re not used to it. I mean, you’re never gonna feel ready. 

Melissa: That’s right. And what’s so amazing is that you know, people are so afraid of rejection, right? You’re afraid that people are going to, you know, make fun of you or say nasty things or, you know, there’s just so many fears. 

I started a practice years ago of putting something out there on Instagram, in process, crappy work, just sharing something on Instagram. And for a long time, I was doing that every day and it was scary. It was so, so, so scary, but what was so fascinating to me and believe me that the goal here was to just put it out there, let go of the outcome completely.

It was not about look at me, look at me, look at me. Give me lots of likes. It was not about that at all.

That was very important to let go of any expectation of what I was going to get in response to my sharing. I just put out my crappy in process work. And what was fascinating to me was that strangers would pick up their thumbs and tap the like button.

Blew my mind and what that experience gave me, because I separated myself from the outcome and the expectation from getting any response was it allowed me to take off my gremlin glasses.

Cause I looked at my work and was like, oh my God, this work sucks. It’s so crappy. It’s so awful. And because other people were having the like button and I was getting all these little hearts, I was able to think, Huh!

They like my work there, they see something of value in my crappy work. Which must mean that there’s something of value to see in my crappy work, which enabled me to take off my gremlin glasses and put on neutral glasses and see my work through somebody else’s eyes. And that was invaluable to me. It gave me the ability to see my work through neutral lenses.

Through somebody else’s eyes and have more compassion for my own work and for myself. So that has been a huge, profoundly helpful practice for me. Now, again, the key is the mindset of sharing to social media, to be able to let go of the expectation of getting anything in return.

So if I noticed that my mindset is, Are people gonna like it? Are people gonna like it? Then it does not work.

But if I share with I’ll let go, I am releasing any expectation. It is not about the outcome. And it’s not about what people think. I am putting this out into the world. I am letting go of it. Then I am able to take off my gremlin glasses and see my work through somebody else’s glasses.

And that has been profoundly helpful. Now at the same time, social media does pull us into that comparison trap. So I have to, also, when I get onto social media, steel myself kind of arm myself for like, okay, walking into potential comparison trap situation. How am I going to protect myself? Because that’s my biggest gremlin. 

Thomas: Yeah. I can relate to, a very similar experience. I, I once was posting various doodles every day and I made this doodle of a bunch of Christmas trees.

And there was this one Christmas tree that looked like it had eaten Santa Claus. It was like big fat in the 

middle. And, and and I thought, oh gosh, that just didn’t turn out the way I thought it would turn out, but I posted it anyway. And I just made a comment on there that said, I don’t like that tree. And I got several comments back that were like defending my art from me. Right. They were defending the Christmas tree from my comments of my own comments, you know? 

Robyn: Yeah. 

Thomas: And that really showed me  the value of, of just posting and putting it out there, because you don’t know, you don’t own how people are going to react to your, to what you make and what you post.

Robyn: Yep.

Melissa: I’ve had people actually actually offered to buy paintings of mine that I’ve put out on social media and thought to myself before posting I am going to jesso over this piece and paint over it. Cause I hate it so much. It’s so goddamn awful.

And then somebody commented, how much is it? I, want to buy it. So you just never know.

Robyn: Yeah. 

Thomas: Can you, can you, Melissa, could you say a little bit more about what you do to avoid the comparison trap when you go to Instagram? Because that’s one thing that I do struggle with when I go to Instagram, I’m always saying like, oh, wow, look at all these wonderful artists and how much they’re producing and I’m not doing anything and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Melissa: It’s it’s an ongoing challenge for me, Thomas. I don’t have, like a magic bullet for it. What I can say is  you know, like all of my gremlins, I acknowledge that this is a gremlin. And I see it and that it is just a gremlin. And that, that gremlin I, you know, I’ll tell you a story.

Years ago. I was many, many years ago when I was a young, early baby beginner Calligrapher. I hadn’t been doing calligraphy very long and I went to workshop. And my table partner did the most beautiful work.

And I looked at her work throughout all of the first day of the workshop. And I thought the whole time her work is so amazing and gorgeous.

And I wish my work was like hers. 

I loved her work so much and my work, everything I did  that day, I just felt like my work sucked.

And I almost didn’t come back the second day, but I did. I went back the second day and we had all our work out on the floor. We were looking at all of our work and I was standing next to my table partner. And I was thinking how beautiful my table partner’s work was. And she’d been doing calligraphy much, much longer than I had.

Anyway, end of second day, we’re standing there and I’m thinking how sucky my work is and how beautiful her work is. And she turns to me and she says, Melissa your work is so cool and interesting and beautiful. I wish my work was like yours. 

And I like my, my brain exploded. I could not believe it. I mean, I, I remember thinking like, is she insane? But yeah. It like, it was a total paradigm shift for me because it made me realize that other people’s work is always going to seem on some level more cool and interesting than your own work. Not because it, it is it’s, it’s all subjective. Right?

But because they live in a different brain. And they come from a different, you know, they have a different subconscious than you do. And so it’s, it is going to be cool and interesting. Cause it’s just different. 

Robyn: Yeah.

Melissa: So I try to sort of remind myself of that and just remind myself that what I think about my work, my work feels like boring and stale and old and sucky and whatever. But to other people, my work feels interesting and fresh and special and unique and whatever. And they’re thinking about their work probably the same thing that I’m thinking about my work and we’re all on our own paths. And it’s not about a comparison.

I just have to keep reminding myself that. It’s not about a comparison and I can be inspired. Like it’s not a competition, it’s a party. 

And thank goodness, you know, thank goodness that we all have something to offer at this party. Yeah. 

Thomas: Yeah. 

Robyn: Yeah. 

Rayne: I think that that’s really well said, Melissa. I know for, for me the latest hobby, um, mine intuitive collaging. I never would have known about it if I hadn’t seen somebody posting about it. 

Melissa: There you go. 

Rayne: Never would have thought to try it or anything. And I, I, 100% enjoy it, you know?

Melissa: There you go. Yeah. 

Robyn: And maybe that person thought, ah, you know? This sucks, but I’m going to put it out there anyway. Thank goodness they did right? 

Melissa: Right, right. 

Robyn: Because if, if they said this sucks and they didn’t do it, then you wouldn’t have started this whole thing. I think I really like that point about, you know, you never know what your creative expression is going to do to someone else.

And it’s, it’s almost, it’s almost a spiritual thing of like, who are you to say  that you’re not good enough. Who are you to say that you should be exempt from participating in this, this part of life? Right?

You just put something out there and yeah, some of the times you’re going to put something they’re not all going to be winners, for sure. 

I’m thinking about my own creative  development in, in dance. And, not all, not all the moves are good, definitely not. Um, and they’re not all inspiring other people. But sometimes it’s there. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I can see other people are like, Hey, I really appreciated that.

And it’s not, I think I like what you were saying too about, you know, not attaching too much to the outcome. Obviously we’re interested in improving ourselves and being able to continue to develop our skills and be able to express new things. But at the end of the day, you’re not doing it for any individual specific moment.

You’re doing it so you can get to the point where you’re in that flow, where you’re in that conversation of like, Hey, here’s what I feel or what I see, or what’s inspired me or let’s try it this way. And then it gets out there and eventually at some point it will come back to you. 

Melissa: And remember we need the crap to fertilize the good stuff. 

Robyn: Yeah.

Thomas: Okay. 

Robyn:  I have, uh, a different struggle to share though. And I’m thinking maybe this will apply for other HSPs experiencing overwhelm and overstimulation, right? That’s kind of a constant in our experiences.  I know that when things are going well, and my life is balanced and you know, I have enough time to devote to my creative hobbies.

I’m able to, I feel good about it and I’m able to get into that flow and kind of, um, you know, just, just put it out there. But there’s times in my life where maybe the stress level is high or I’m, I’m dealing with more immediate problems in my life. And  I mean, I think it’s a, given that anyone in that situation might have less time, so  be less concretely able to, to create, to produce something creative.

But I noticed that there’s a shift in my thinking as well. It’s not just, it’s not just about a lack of time when I’m going through periods of high stress and overwhelm. It’s as if something like physically shuts down a bit. And there’s almost a resistance of, I don’t want to do something creative and playful. How can I, how can I, how can I have fun when I’ve got so much stuff going on or, or I’m just, you know, maybe I don’t even say it consciously.

But I’m wondering if you have any thoughts for people who, get caught up in, in busy-ness or external overwhelm and stress and how can we, how can we get back to a place of flow when you’re, when you have that experience?

Melissa: Yeah, I, I very much relate to that and I’ve struggled with that myself as well. I think, you know, the very first thing that I will say is self-compassion. You know, the, the worst thing we can do is beat ourselves up when that happens. And first of all, just acknowledge that that happens and it happens to all of us and we get to be really gentle and loving with ourselves. And it’s not gonna help anything to beat ourselves up when we, I call it, When we fall off the wagon.

And science has shown that the people who achieve their goals, whether that goal is getting to the gym or writing your novel, or, you know, having a body of work or whatever your goal is, the people who achieve their goals are people who have a self-compassion practice.

So, and that means to forgive yourself for being human. To acknowledge that this is something that happens to everybody that, that this is a part, this is common humanity. This is something that happens to everybody and to treat yourself kindly. 

And to, and, you know, use mindfulness basically.

That’s those are the three components of self-compassion according to Dr. Kristin Neff, who is the world’s foremost expert on self-compassion. She wrote a book of the same name, Self-Compassion.

And she has a brand new book out that I have not read yet called Fierce Self-Compassion, which I’m really looking forward to reading. In any case.

So that’s the first thing. And then, you know, with everything in life, it’s so much a matter of figuring out what is the, the structure, the formula that is going to work for you. And that is going to change probably depending on your circumstances in this particular moment. And so it’s really like trial and error.

And I’m in the middle of that right now, of figuring out what is going to work for me. Before a few years ago, what worked for me was tiny and daily, like 10 minutes a day, 15 minutes a day. First thing in the morning. That was the best time for me to do my creative practice. It worked brilliantly and it’s not working. That’s not the thing that works for me right now.

So I’m in the middle of figuring out what does work for me. And I don’t have it dialed in right now. So,

Rayne: And practicing self-compassion. 

Melissa: And I’m practicing self-compassion as I figure that out. And I, I’m in a place right now where I don’t even know what I want my creative practice to be, that will make me optimally happy. I’ve been playing with crepe paper flowers, which I’m really enjoying, but they’re not scratching my  creating, uh, 

I’m not even sure how to describe it.

Like creating out of nothing. An itch there, I’m like kind of following a template, so I’m not solving problems enough. And I like to make things,  that haven’t been made before, rather than just, you know, following directions to make something that somebody has made before. 

Rayne: Hmm. 

Melissa: And I’m enjoying making the crepe paper flowers, but it’s not scratching a deep enough itch for me.

So, and I don’t know what I want to do. So, and the way to, I know what I do know is the way to figure that out is to start doing things. And yet just like you, Robyn, I’m having a hard time getting myself motivated to do that. I feel like there’s a, I don’t, I think part of it is I can blame it on the pandemic. Let’s put it that way. I could blame it on all sorts of things. I’m just having a bit of a hard time getting motivated. So I, I don’t have an answer. Yeah. It’s rough.

Rayne: Well, and I know sometimes for me too, when it comes to certain creative things like different projects, um, you know some are just meant to come along at certain times. The inspiration is going to come up. you know, when it comes up, I’m not… it’s like trying to control a muse, really can’t.

Melissa: I agree with that. And I also know that when we create space for the muse, intentionally, the muse shows up. So when I like, if, if were to do a better job of creating a daily space for the muse to appear, then the news would, would, happily show up and I have not done a better job of creating a date, like a regular practice. 

And it’s okay. Um, I can be self compassionate for myself for not, doing that, but I would like to do a better job of creating a regular creative sandbox space or my muse, to show up, you know, to show up for the muse, so my muse can show up for me.

It’s a challenge. It’s I struggle with it just as much as everybody else does. 

Thomas: Melissa, I want to thank you so much for talking about this with us today, because I think it’s, it’s such an important thing to talk about.

And I really want to acknowledge you bring playfulness to it. I love your approach. I love the fact that you give yourself permissions. I love the fact  that you’re compassionate with yourself and, and just the, your willingness to continue looking and learning.

So thank you. Thank you for joining us today.

Melissa: Thanks so much for having me. This has been such a delight. 

Rayne: Yeah, I really enjoyed the conversation, Melissa. Thank you. 

Melissa: Thank you.

Robyn: You did too. And, I just want to highlight one of the words  that Thomas said there,  permission. From talking to a lot of HSPs, I think that’s one of the things that holds us back. We don’t always give ourselves permission  to be ourselves, to be sensitive, to be different and to be creative in whatever form that takes.

So, thanks. Thanks very much Melissa, for coming to speak with us about that today. 

And of course thank you to our listeners. If you would like to contact Melissa or see more about her work, simply go to Melissa Dinwiddie. That’s M E L I S S A D I N W I D D I

As for us, please join us for our next episode where we’ll be having another interesting HSP conversation. To any highly sensitive out there who have a burning HSP-related question, big or small, creative or not, whatever you think-we invite you to ask it on the HSP World podcast, just email info@hsp dot world and a friendly reminder to visit the hsp world website at

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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