Monday, February 1, 2016

A Bookish Conversation with Maria Hill, author of 'The Emerging Sensitive'

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.

For More Information

Title: The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World
Author: Maria Hill
Publisher: BookBaby
Pages: 150
Genre: Self-Improvement

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.

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

Like many people today, work takes most of my time. When not writing my book, I am developing my website, Sensitive Evolution (, writing blog posts, creating courses and an app. Because I work many hours one of my favorite things to do is go outside with my cat, Kelly. She is old now so we go out and sit and enjoy nature together. It gets me away from the computer and always refreshes me. Like most highly sensitive people I am most nourished when being in nature so walking around the yard with Kelly, listening to birds and feeding the feral cats and foxes is very enjoyable. We have so many different kinds of animals to enjoy since there is a large forest behind our house. One day a huge group of starlings visited and they did a murmuration for us. It was thrilling to watch!

I do a lot of reading related to self improvement and the current changes in the world especially the effort of human beings to change ourselves so that we can make the world a better place. I also read about alternative health and am a Reiki master.

In addition, I am an artist and although I have not been painting recently, I love to paint abstract shapes. I am especially fond of exploring color and my creativity with color is one of my painting talents.

When did you start writing?

I remember writing a short story in high school which was based on Guy de Maupassant’s story, The Necklace. The teacher and class loved it and that was the first time I began to think that I could write. I have taken a number of creative writing courses and have always done exceptionally well with them. I think it is because I am very creative.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

I think the last six years have been particularly important. My blog has been so well received and helpful to people that is has given me a lot of confidence. It is one thing to write a good story once, it is another matter to consistently write good articles that add value and that offer a unique perspective.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I think a creative community would be great. I would love to have a small house either in the woods or close to a beach with enough solitude to be able to work uninterrupted. Being in nature is the most nourishing for me. I think Provincetown MA or Woodstock NY would be excellent.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

It would be luxurious to sit on a beach with my cat and enjoy watching the surf come in.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I like Europe a lot because of its rich history. Salzburg is one of my favorite cities in Europe and would be a good choice. I am also interested in the beautiful old cities of Eastern Europe like Budapest. There are so many beautiful places. I would love to visit China or New Zealand.

Back to your present book, The Emerging Sensitive, how did you publish it?

I self-published through Bookbaby.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

I traveled through the internet. I do a lot of reading and that is the main source of my research.

Why was writing The Emerging Sensitive so important to you?

I was on a coaching call with a young woman who was uncertain about her work direction. At the time I had completed a number of large surveys of highly sensitive people. It struck my how often sensitive people said that they were concerned about their ability to find suitable work and to survive. The Emerging Sensitive book is meant to explain to sensitive people why they have had difficulty and how the world is now creating new opportunities that are perfect for them

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I think that my ideas come mainly from trying to solve problems or trying to understand something that does not make sense to me. I have always been curious about why the world is as messed up as it is sometimes and that can create good material for writing.

Any final words?

I think our most interesting work comes from grappling with challenges in our lives and writing about the solutions we find so that others can benefit. If I can take some worries or concerns and offer a new perspective that makes that person’s life easier I am a happy person.

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