VISION UPDATED in January 2023 - please see episode 13 for a full explanation. I started with a focus on high sensitivity but decided to zoom out a little and talk about designing inclusive performance - through a lens of high sensitivity. The scope grew a little bit and highly sensitive people much remain a part of what we are exploring. Wait till you see the number of guests who are #fellowHSPs!
Thank you for joining me on my very first episode of Happy Space Podcast. I am SO GLAD you are here. My mission is to inspire a more inclusive world where highly sensitive people (HSPs) thrive.
I invite you to listen as I share:
- 00:01:46 - Why I created this podcast
- 00:03:12 - Learning About Highly Sensitive People
- 00:04:30 - My Background
- 00:05:29 - Birkenstock and Pantyhose don't mix
- 00:07:41 - Hustle Culture
- 00:11:27 - HSP Trait Elements
- 00:13:56 - Marginalized to Humanized
- 00:14:24 - Mission of the Podcast
- 00:16:42 - Assault on our senses
- 00:21:12 - Executive Coach Training
- 00:25:59 - Upcoming Guests
- 00:29:33 - Understanding Key Elements in HSP Traits
Intuition by Jewel (you'll only hear this in the video/Youtube version. I had to rerecord the audio version due to poor audio quality and forgot to sing it in that recording. I'm truly learning as I go.)
This podcast is hosted by Clare Kumar. As a productivity catalyst, highly sensitive executive coach, and speaker, Clare cultivates sustainable performance in busy professionals so they can keep making rich contributions in all areas of life and achieve greater fulfillment. She inspires leaders, professionals, employees, and entrepreneurs to respect humanity and boost performance through marrying productivity and pleasure. After all, why shouldn’t you have fun while getting things done? If you're a visual learner, please watch this episode on YouTube.
Ready to learn more? Contact Clare here!
Clare invites you to leave a review and a heartfelt rating wherever you listen to this podcast! Don't forget to invite your friends to listen as well.
Song Credit: Cali by Wataboi from Pixabay
Clare: This is episode one of the Happy Space Podcast. Today, we're exploring the roots of the podcast and why I believe that everyone deserves a Happy Space.
Welcome to the Happy Space podcast, a place where highly sensitive people thrive. Not only will we learn how to better navigate life with our superpowers. We'll find ways to better manage the challenges too. We'll hear from product and service innovators, space designers and leaders who believe in creating an inclusive neurologically, safe world.
If you are highly sensitive or want to better understand and support someone who is then you are in the right place. I'm your host, Clare Kumar and I'm so very happy you are here.
Today's episode of the Happy Space Podcast is sponsored by ClareKumar.com. Not only am I excited to spearhead the Happy Space movement, I love coaching busy professionals to achieve greater productivity and wellbeing. The two go hand in hand. I also adore taking the stage. If you are looking for an interactive engaging event to inspire and invite action, whether it be on successful work-life integration, sustainable performance, organization and productivity, or expanding inclusivity, please visit ClareKumar.com and find out more.
Thank you so much for joining me for the inaugural episode of the Happy Space Podcast. It's been about a year in coming to fruition. I first started building the online community, which I invite you to join as well, that's the Happy Space Pod, and have been planning to develop the podcast to bring you some of what I've learned on my journey to find out I'm highly sensitive person, an HSP, and also to bring you insights and success stories. I'll tell you a whole lot more about what's coming up in a little bit, but the first thing I want to do is just to let you know, if you're listening into the podcast, if you enjoy a visual experience, I am preparing video for this as well. I'm shooting all my interviews with people with a review to recording them and for the solo episodes, which will kick off the first of the episodes every season, I'll be putting together a bit of a visual presentation for you to bring things to life. So if you're curious about that, you won't miss anything in the audio experience, but if you're curious about what the pictures are, or images to bring things to life, then you're most welcome to pop over to YouTube and at the ClareKumar channel, there is a playlist, the Happy Space Playlist. You can find all the links, of course, from the happyspacepod.com and everything will be there for you.
I'm so excited to bring this content to you. It's something I've been really moved to do because learning about the trait was really powerful for me personally, I think there's sort of an aversion to having labels sometimes because they can put us in boxes. But in this case, learning about the fact that there was a trait that meant that some of the way I showed up in the world felt a little less like I was the only one that perhaps chose not to read a book for book club because the paper was too rough or just found situations overwhelming. I know all of my HSPs who are listening right now can relate and have some kind of story about sensitivity that they would experience and it does, even within the highly sensitive community, show up differently which is pretty interesting to understand, but for me, identifying the trait and realizing it was a natural, normal way to be in the world and then powerfully that there are incredible elements to the trait, which I'll explain later, which are really to be celebrated.
But of course they come with a bit of a challenge. There's a bit of a shadow side to all of these things. And I'll definitely be talking about that a little bit later in the podcast today, but I thought I would first start by sharing a little bit about my background and sort of how this came to be and when I really realized. The challenges of operating in the world as it's constructed now were becoming a little much for me. And I want to take you back to the fall of 2007. And when I say fall, I literally mean fall. So I was getting ready for work, it was the morning of a dreary kind of November day, and I was getting ready upstairs, I was at the point where I was dressed and ready to go downstairs to the kitchen and I was tired. You know, at this point I had two small children, they were four and six years old and, beautiful, beautiful kids. And if you're watching along on YouTube you'll be able to see them. I was getting ready for work and I was wearing this combination, which I would highly advise against, Birkenstock and panty hose don't mix. So imagine me at the top of the stairs wearing Birkenstock and pantyhose, and all of a sudden I find myself, boom, tumble crash down at the bottom of the stairs. This was a big moment for me because over the next two weeks, I discovered bruise after bruise, after bruise, it was like, I would turn around and say, “Oh, I guess I got hurt there too.” Tumbling downstairs can kind of get you in a few places. You know, when I was putting this presentation together and found the image, the image of the stairs, where I actually fell down as on the video there, it prompted a thought, and this is something that happens, I think highly sensitive people out there, if you're one of us you're listening and you're going, “Yeah, I get this”. The connection of dots between things in our brains are really wired to understand and connect the dots.
Now I can hear in the background, that's one of my cats and I want to just say that from time to time, Theo and Elliot are likely to make an appearance.
I live in a condo with two Covid kitties that I adopted two years ago. Just a couple of days ago, it'll be the two anniversary of me celebrating these cats. And they will make themselves known from time to time. If you watch the video, I'm sure they'll pop in from time to time and they may be heard.
So hopefully my lovely editors will do their magic if possible and reduce some of that noise. And, if it's just a little bit, then hopefully we can live with that and maybe you'll get to hear some purring. So back to the thought of the stairs and connecting the dots, as soon as I thought of the stairs, I thought, “Oh gosh, that brings up culture club in that song.”
You know, “I'll tumble for you, I'll tumble for you, I'll tumble for you, I'll tumble for you”. But you know, I did not want to tumble for work. I would've taken a fall for my kids at any moment, but I did not want to be falling down the stairs because I was too tired given the lifestyle I was leading. So in the corporate world I saw, and I grew up through working in tech and working at a place where we would wear our all-nighters like a badge of honor and hustle culture and sort of an evolution in society where we are not living with friends and family close by necessarily. And, I think I see an evolution and I see this with a lot of my coaching clients too. There's a workplace myopia that sets in and all of a sudden life becomes about work. And you don't think about anything else much and it shrinks and our wellbeing, our relationships, a lot suffers. And so when I tumbled down these stairs I realized that something had to shift and that was the catalyst to make a big change. So, you know, and it was worth it. I wanted to have a better experience with my kids. I knew, I mean, actually, actually it took me a little while to really architect life a bit better, so I could really show up with greater presence. If you're checking out the YouTube video, you'll see a picture of my kids there. They're just the cutest things. This is when they were about four and six.
And it's funny because they have a couple of cat companions, stuffed animals that were always a big hit with them. And they're sitting in front of a fruit plate. And the fruit is dipped in chocolate. They put this together for me and their dad. We were coming back from a holiday and this was an attempt sort of to keep our relationship going. And ultimately our relationship was meant to end, but you know, the first thing that I really changed in my life was changing my relationship to corporate work and realizing that I needed to make a difference. Now my corporate job, I enjoyed doing the work. I enjoyed what I was thinking about, I enjoyed my colleagues, but the construct of having to be in the office every day when my job was 90% on the phone and my kids were in a daycare 20 minutes, one way and downtown was about an hour commute the other way. It just proved to be too much. And, back in those days, too, the people I knew at work were putting in their day shift, taking care of their kids, and then going back to work at night between nine and midnight, I thought midnight was a good round number to finish, you know, and then to be back in the office for nine, the next day meant being up at 6:00, 6:30 and it really didn’t add up, I was chronically sleep deprived, which of course led to the Birkenstock Panntyhose incident and tumbling down the stairs. And, no amount of lobbying at work, proving that I could work from home. I worked successfully from home for two days a week, but my boss was not a fan.
I had proved that I worked from home, asked Could I continue? “Hard no”. Did the analysis of my job and presented that 90% of work I did was on the phone. “Hard no.” Lobbied senior management, “Sorry, it's up to your manager and what they want to do. Hard no”. I tumbled down the stairs and took a stress leave for a few weeks, still “Hard no”. So then it was clear my options there were to either continue on the path I was on and moved towards burnout or opt out. And that's what I ended up choosing to do, negotiated out of that job and, you know, fast forward a few years and then I stumble on Elaine Aaron's book, the Highly Sensitive Person. And this was a profound moment, I think for many HSPs when you uncover the trait.
It's like this aha moment or some of my mastermind friends will say “a moment of duh”. Like it's just such a revelation of feeling seen and understood. And it was really powerful. So I felt validated and I started to talk about it and easily I've been talking about it in presentations for over five years now and it's really profound to me. Elaine Aaron's research says that, you know, it's between 15 and 30%, but let's land on 20% of people are affected by this trait. But the number of people who know is really low. So I urge you if you're listening to this podcast and you can think of somebody for whom the elements of the trait fit, I encourage you to share the podcast with them because it can be a real revelation and an opportunity to change significantly the way you're living and just be a real empowering thing. So just get the word out for sure and I've really decided on focusing on serving Highly Sensitive People, particularly through the podcast or the online community and through my talks and not only serving them directly, but also expanding the awareness in the corporate world, because now I'm privileged to be invited to speak quite often to leaders and to culture-shapers, and changers of the way we work. And I think it's important to expand this conversation around inclusivity to broaden it, to broaden even the common concept of neurodiversity and make sure that we are moving from marginalizing the 20% that like me have been invited to burnout, that we move over from marginalizing this population to normalizing and say, “Oh, this is actually a normal way of showing up.”
And, you know, even though it's not a “disorder” am I using air quotes there because a lot of the Neurodiversities may or may not be disorders technically, that it needs to be an experience and a way of thinking and being that is recognized and furthermore utilized, really, really validated. I mean, one of the great things to feel a fulfilling life– that was, if you could hear that, I don't know, that was one of the cats jumping on my desk. So they've come to join. They just seem to know when something is going on and that the camera's on, they're here for sure. Anyway, we need to move from being marginalized to normalized, through to being recognized and really utilized because having purpose and feeling like we're really contributing our great talents is really a great source of fulfillment.
And if you know any of my work you'll know that I believe we all deserve fulfilling lives and fulfillment can come from little big things and being valued is definitely one of them. So opting out and being pushed out of situations. It's just a necessary thing to have happen in many, many cases. And I want to lobby for that.
So coming to the mission of the podcast, it's to inspire an inclusive world where Highly Sensitive People are invited to thrive and make those contributions. So an inclusive world where Highly Sensitive People are invited to thrive. There's two sorts of aspects to this. There's the individual and then there's the environment that we're in. And it comes to the individual. We need to really build some awareness first. We need to understand the trait and how it shows up. We really want to understand the superpowers that we have and the struggles that we face. And we want to really navigate through building coping skills and that's going to really help us make sure that our gifts really come to fruition in the world. So the individual and empowerment is part number one and so you'll be hearing from HSP success stories. So I'm going to be interviewing successful HSPs for two reasons. One is, to bring their knowledge and wisdom because as the deep thinkers that we are creative people on the forefront of so much, that's really powerful, but also to get some of their own personal experience of how sensitivity has informed their life.
And I'm not going to lie. Some people have just found out that they're highly sensitive through me, perhaps inviting them. I kind of play “spot the HSP” now that I'm thinking about this all the time and I invite them to live with it for a little while and then come back and be a guest on the podcast and share their experience now they're thinking more concretely about the trait. So that's aspect number one to the podcast. The second aspect is the environment. And, you know, the environment is really challenging. And I haven't seen research on it, if anybody has please reach out to me and let me know. My email is Clare, at ClareKumar.com, but all the social media is out there for you to connect with me.
I'm really curious, you know, we talk about the information age and how information has doubled and quadrupled and infinitesimally grown. I think the assault on our senses has also been quite dramatically increasing over the years. I mean, if we just think of a hand towel then to a paper towel, then to a hand dryer, then to the xlerator hand dryer, then to three xlerator hand dryers in a ceramic room with hearing volumes that are definitely damaging to hearing and, you know, a feeling like it's fine to put those in a movie theater or an airport or anywhere. And, LED lighting and the intensity that's grown up. We've moved from having building codes, which say we need minimal light for safety. And now because LED light is so cheap there's no upper bounds to the amount of light we're being asked to absorb. And I'd love it if there's studies on a cumulative sensory assault that we're facing, but I think that's a very valid point and that we are absorbing it without really knowing the cost.
So I have like a huge mission in wanting to raise the awareness about some of these kinds of sensitivities, the overall impact on society. Many people who are not highly sensitive will tell me, “You know, I'm not highly sensitive, but everything you've said, when I think about it, I'm more comfortable if there's less noise, if there's less light.”
And so, you know, the highly sensitive person has long been as Elaine Aaron would say, the priestly advisor or some might say the Canary and the coal mine, we are the chief noticers. We are the people that pick up on so much and it's really worth us raising our voices now to invite, induce this more tender world that can be more comfortable for actually everybody.
And the interesting thing right now, too, as you know, as I record this, this is April 2022 and we are coming through turbulent emergence up and down after the COVID pandemic. And there is research coming out of the UK, which I have yet to get my hands on, but I've been told about this research from a very good source and I'm looking forward to reading it.
And it says that looking at MRI, NET imaging of the brain. The typical average brain in the UK is showing signs as someone who has suffered mild PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, and we know that post traumatic stress disorder is one of those situational triggers for high sensitivity, like traumatic brain injury would be as well and of course the hangover. So there are, you know, this audience, this podcast rather in the community. I'm really designing it for Highly Sensitive People who grow up with this trait and need to learn how to work with it, but it is equally useful for anyone who's suffering PTSD or TBI, traumatic brain injury. The hangovers, I'm probably going to leave that one alone and we can have a little conversation about alcohol and smart use, but I think it's just widely relevant now for the general population. So if you hear of something in the podcast that you think is worth sharing, don't be limited to whether the person is actually known to be highly sensitive or not.
This could be useful information for a lot of people. So one thing I do want to say is that I'm really motivated to reduce shame about feeling like there's something to be embarrassed about or hide here. Now, the word sensitivity, Elaine, Dr. Aaron says she would probably have renamed it, but HSP is out there so we're going to work with it because sensitivity has a bit of a bad wrap. And so I often introduce it as saying, you know, our nervous systems are highly perceptive. They're highly responsive, and sensitivity is sexy. So I'm trying to make it a superpower and talk about it very favorably. And I'm hoping we can all sort of make steps towards being comfortable to do that.
One of the things that I do is, you know, on LinkedIn, you have an opportunity to put your pronouns. I've put HSP in my pronouns. I do the same thing on my zoom calls and that's just my choice for what information I choose to share with that real estate. And I think whenever we're given real estate, we get to thoughtfully think about what messages we want to share.
So eliminating shame is one of the things I'd like to do. I want to be loud and proud about sensitivity and, you know, it comes with, like I said, the super powers, and the struggles. I do also want to say very clearly that I'm not a therapist. I am an executive coach. I've trained in coaching and I've been working in it quite significantly over the past– well, since 2015– Well, no, that's when I did my training, I was actually coaching people beforehand because people had recognized. That I was effectively using coach-like language and so on. And I didn't really know and they said, “You know what? I want you to coach me” or “You're coaching me in more profound things than organizing my space or helping me with my calendar”, which I still do and love by the way.
But it's more profound what you're doing. So I decided to invest in executive coach training. And I would say that it's wonderful to have therapy in your life and coaching. Therapy looks back and assesses what's happened before and if anybody's had a traumatized childhood and most of us have had some kind of trauma at some point in childhood, we'll be sharing of course, stories about bullying and racism and all kinds of different things that I've experienced growing up, but if that's present, then I urge you to definitely have therapy in the mix. And there are some wonderful HSP aware therapists and podcasts and things out there. And so I will hopefully be connecting with some of those people as well and bringing that view to you. But my lens takes, what do we have here? Now? Today? What do we know? And what can we work with to move life forward in a way that really supports you and unleashes your power and potential? I am looking forward to sharing all of that. I am looking also forward to having thrive circles start. That's something you can find out about in the HappySpacePod.com page. There's an opportunity to see the quiz, the pod, the online community, and the programs that I'm putting together. And, you know, being part of a group with other HSPs is really powerful. We can learn from each other. And I'm looking forward to really facilitating small groups there in discussion and hopefully that will grow and it can become groups of groups. And, we can see how we go. So whether it's the thrive circle or my affectionate name for it,” the pod squads”, then I hope that's something that you might consider and I might meet you there one day. Anyway, that's enough, I think about the background of the podcast, you get a sense of what I'm trying to do. And I want to just share a little bit now about a little bit more of my journey into the people that I'm going to bring onto the show and a little bit about my journey just coming up to the podcast. I mean, one of the most fun things I did and it was really memorable is in January, 2020 was my last trip before the pandemic. I had decided to fly to Manhattan and visit the opening of Sensitive and in Love. And this was my opportunity to meet Dr. Elaine Aaron and Art Aaron. And if you're watching the YouTube video you'll catch their pictures there. And it's kind of funny in the video you'll see, there's an orange circle at the bottom.
And, circles came in handy because right in front of me actually was a man, a baldheaded man with some spiky hair and I put the circle over his head, but you'll get to see Elaine and Art there. And Art is the wonderful creator of 36 Questions That Lead to Love. It was a piece in the New York times. So he's infamous in his own right. And the two have been such a duo in the forefront of understanding sensitivity and also relationship. So I went to see the movie, which was a drama, interestingly, Sensitive and in Love.. And so that was interesting to see their take on sort of telling a story of someone who was highly sensitive and someone who was not. So I went to the movie, got to meet Elaine, which was great. And then I gave myself a treat and I went to Broadway and I saw the musical Jagged Little Pill, and Alanis Morrisette is actually featured in Elaine Aaron's first documentary Sensitive: the Untold Story. So it was really a little Manhattan celebration of HSP people and work/creative expression, I would say. So that was a real treat.
Now, let me share a little bit about. The upcoming guests on the show, because I want to give you a taste for what's coming. First of all, I start by exploring the opportunity to have silent service in a hair salon and it seems like a small thing, but it's really sort of a profound offering that–and this is Samantha James Hair Design out of Winnipeg, Samantha and James partners. You'll meet them in the episode and they tell you the story of why they thought it was important to bring this service and go so far as to putting it on the menu and what it's done for their business. So you'll get some grassroots stories in here about people who have done bold things and why. You'll also hear from the likes of HOK design principles. I've got the fabulous acclaimed Kay Sargent and also Mary Kate Cassidy design principles with the firm who are going to share a bit about their work toward Neurodiverse design and it's really incredible because Kay will tell you, she noticed a gap in the research. You'll have to listen to the episode for all the gems she imparts there and Mary Kate too, she was studying, she was having trouble studying, choosing for her thesis. You know, do I go and work with a special needs community or do I really work in design and she's managed to bring this together so beautifully. We're going to be really indebted to the work that these two bring forward. Then you'll hear from a really interesting person. This is Jenn Turnham. She's a Highly Sensitive Person down in Australia, and I love doing accents from time to time. That might slip in and forgive me if I don't get them quite right. But you know, that's the mirror neuron thing going on. Right? I think it happens so that you'll meet Jenn. And Jenn is going to tell us, she makes a bold claim. She tells us there are no ambiverts. And I was like, wait, what sister, what are you trying to tell me here? But that's her claim. And you'll have to hear why she says that and how that relates to high sensitivity. It really was fascinating to me.
And then Sunil Godse, he is an intuition expert. He's written a book and he's going to help connect us to why intuition is really so truly important. And I know that myself, I kind of dismissed it and ignored it and made so many cerebral decisions over the years and some of them are really wrong. So, I urge you to tune into that one too, because Sunil is full of talents and treats.
And then you won't want to miss Andréa de Paiva. She is from São Paulo University. She's a professor of neuroscience for architecture, and I could talk to Andréa for days. That's going to be a really rich episode for anybody who's thinking about shaping an environment. So if you are a leader, a business owner, or even thinking about your house and the way you set it up, it's really worth paying attention to that conversation. Raise your and express your design sensitivities, and sensibilities in the way you create environments for yourself and for those in your family or your colleagues who might be highly sensitive. And now I want to just move for the last part of the podcast today to talk about.
The trait in more detail, as I promised, at the beginning, it's really kind of important to understand the key elements in the trait. And Elaine put the model together way back in 1996. So indebted to her work. She came up with a model with the acronym, DOES. And I found it not only a little challenging to remember for me right away.
I wasn't quite sure how to say it as it does or does in female deer, I wasn't sure what it was. So I started thinking about the model and as an organizer is want to do, I decided to reorganize it and present it just a little bit differently. So all of Elaine Aaron's elements are there, I've just presented it differently so that it's a little bit easier to remember. And I'm hoping you'll find the analogy just a little bit more positive and easy to remember. So the analogy that I like to work with the model, I call it the SEED model and it's describing the trait of high sensitivity and the four elements now SEED implies you've got everything you need. Within you, within that SEED, is that superpower to kind of harness and unleash. And so let me take you through what SEED means and I'm hoping this is easy to remember. You'll have to get back to me and let me know what you think the S stands for sensitivity. So easy to remember, right?
We're talking about high sensitivity SEED, S, sensitivity in our superpower mode with respect to sensitivity, this is when we are the chief noticers. We are noticing the subtle cues. We are the canaries in the coal mine. We are the trusted advisors. We will notice the expression on somebody's face, a fleeting glance We will notice why somebody's choosing– why somebody's laundry, for example, is ending up on a floor by the laundry hamper, instead of in it, we'll notice that the lid is the barrier and the laundry is never going to get in there. So we'll notice these little things. And I think honestly, that's what made me quite good at the organizing work that I did and still makes me really enjoy working with people from a coaching perspective, I will notice reactions. I will notice energy shifts in the person when they're excited about something. The corollary for all this noticing though, is that we continue to notice all the things and that at times it can be really overwhelming and can lead to some burnout.
And, I mean, I think of my commute to work back in the day and the subway ride in a dark space, noisy, the Toronto subway has 17 inch seats and in a down coat in winter, there's really not a rough room for even a small person in that chair. You compare that to the rubber wheels of the Metro in Montreal, for example and you add in broadcast messages on an outdated sound system that are hard to hear, and you're in a taxing work environment and you haven't even got to the office yet. So you can feel kind of burnt-out even before you've started. And then we look at our work constructs and there isn’t an opportunity for rest in the day.
So, you know, this overwhelming situation, we don't have an opportunity to recover from. I say that we pay taxes. Higher rates of tax really on our energy throughout the day than the average person you might have heard of the model of you get 12 or 13 spoons to spend throughout the day. And once they're gone, they're gone and you're depleted. And I think that when we get depleted, then it's easy to move from superpower mode into struggle mode, and we don't often express in the best fashion. So I'm a big fan of checking hustle. And, really respecting capacity and really proactive planning for rest and restoration so that we can really hold on to superpower mode as long as we can and in as many situations as we can. You will definitely be hearing stories from me where things go sideways and I was unsuccessful and I've learned something from it. And I'll bring all of that to you in different episodes of the podcast as we learn together. So just an invitation out there on social media, if you're listening or you wanted to message me, I love hearing stories or in the group, join the Happy Space Pod and share there. Whether you notice something, how your sensitivity is showing up, whether it's super power or struggle, there's room for discussion on this in a supportive group of people to really care, help carry you forward.
The first E in SEED is for empathy. And today there are a lot of articles and actually wide recognition that this is one of the hot in-demand leadership skills. So if you're a leader, listening to this podcast, think about your team right now, think about yourself. Is this something that you've got? Is this something that you're seeing? Because we definitely need more of this. We need to celebrate and cultivate this because if you've got empathy, compassionate action can follow on from that and this is one of the things that can really lead to employees to be loyal and invite their best work. We can facilitate the cultivation of trust and really build big strong teams. Now, empathy, that feeling and sensing what's going on for others. It's just a bit like all that stimulation. This is stimulation from other people's experiences. And if we're watching the news right now. There is a lot going on in the world right now. And it can lead to emotional exhaustion from caring so, so very deeply. So we need boundaries and we need to limit exposure to toxic energy, to be able to preserve our ability to go forward. We need to also be okay with feeling guilty about turning the news off or opting out of something because we're preserving our energy. It's really that oxygen mask on to make sure that we can look after ourselves so we can continue to look after others. And that's sometimes really hard for the people pleasing side of us.
So just, something to pay attention to there. The second E the third letter and SEED is Emotional Responsiveness. Now it's interesting, because I see reactiveness, I've toyed with emotional perception. What is the right language to really address the fact that our bodies respond to emotional triggers? Our emotions are right under the surface.
They're actually our brains firing faster. We have higher cues. We have higher reactions to cues scientifically. And so boy, I'd like to think of it emotional responsiveness rather than reactivity, because I think our work to do my personal work a hundred percent has been to be able to get that cue of an emotional or discomfort or triggering upset moment and be able to sit with it and nurture towards a more positive response.
And so I think emotional responsiveness. Is what I've decided to go with here, because I think there's opportunity and hope in there that we have the opportunity to choose how we respond rather than react. I think noticing our emotions is a real power tool for us, really looking at Brené Brown's Atlas of the Heart gorgeous book, by the way.
And oh, speaking of Brené, if you listen to a podcast, she put out with her sisters, which is really kind of fun to listen to. They have a lovely way of interacting. They're breaking down the book and she talks a lot about her childhood. She talks about being highly vigilant and my ears perk up right away.
Right? Not language I've heard about often with respect to high sensitivity and in part here, because they're difficult, challenging things that Brené has to pay attention to growing up, but that's not highly sensitive or high sensitivity. I'm not sure what it is? That's massive noticing. Right? Highly vigilant. She's on super alert all the time. So she made it really her life's work to tune into human emotion and has given us the gift of so much work. But this latest book, Atlas of the Heart is going to be a power tool, I think for highly sensitive people as is a new book I have not read, but just picked up emotionals– Emotional. Pardon me. How Feelings Shape our Thinking by Leonard Mlodinow. So Emotional: How Feelings Shape our Thinking, it's sitting right outside my office now, and I'm looking forward to digging into that. So, yeah, just so you know, that's the kind of thing I do. Avid learner, I'll be always reading books, probably several on the go at one time and trying to bring you things that I think are relevant.
So stay tuned for a lot of that. So our noticing, this emotional responsiveness, is great, but if we are too quick, if we are depleted. Then we're not thoughtful responders. We don't have this incredible, self-awareness; it doesn't just stop there. Then we can unleash. And, I think that's probably what we saw with Will Smith at the Oscars.
I think there was clearly a trigger there and there was clearly an unleashing there and I have a lot of compassion for what happened there. Not going to get into a whole conversation about that, but that's a fine example of unleashing. And I think I unleashed last week and I can talk about that sometime, it's something we want to avoid doing.
So we want to have those pauses in, but the propensity to react very quickly. And I mean, my mum used to say it was a very rapid mind to mouth connection. Inserting pauses is really, really valid. Now the D and SEED is for Depth of Processing. And this is our ability to think deeply and that leads to rich solutions.
I'm sure it leads to the higher creativity that I see in a lot of sensitive people, including myself. We like to ponder things, we might not have an answer always on the tip of our tongue. We might have a better answer if we're given time to noodle something and play with it. The corollary for that though, is that we can get stuck in some analysis paralysis. Right? We can just be, I don't know how to make a decision and kind of cycle spin through. So coming up with some ways and practices to simplify decision making, and have rules to go by all of that can be massively, massively powerful for that part, that struggle sense of that depth of processing.
So again, just going over the SEED model, we had Sensitivity, Empathy, Emotional responsiveness, and Depth of processing. And I'm hoping that that's easy to think about. And now, as you think about it, think about the people that you know, and love. And the people that you work with, the people that you want to support, and maybe people you don't know, but might be expressing some of the struggles or some of the superpowers out there.
And, I encourage you to share the podcast with people who you think might benefit from building skills in this area. And especially if there's a culture leader, a business owner, a designer, a product inventor to think about designing with sensitivity in mind. Oh, I'm so excited, I've just landed some interviews that I have to share now they're so exciting. We've got Dyson coming up with a sensitive product that is really going to be incredible. We've got HSBC and they've got quiet hours in the UK. And, Deloitte also just published some research, about neurodiversity at work and really supporting efforts around inclusivity there.
So I'm really excited about the guests coming up. I hope you're as excited as I am, I hope you'll join me on future episodes and I hope you'll, you know, do all the things podcast listeners do like, like the show, subscribe to the show and spread the love around. And by all means, you know, the podcasting world, I have been hosting for two years a podcast and I'll just mention this now, because there are some great interviews if you want to hear a little bit more of my interview style with some incredible guests, Gretchen Rubin is one that I interviewed and you can find them all at napopodcast.com. That's NAPOpodcast.com and the likes of Gretchen Rubin of Nir Eyal. I interviewed him about his book Indestructible which is a very very cool way to be I would say. Ron Friedman, Decoding Greatness, his book. So there are some amazing interviews there and we've explored actually high sensitivity, brain injury and, there are a lot of fascinating topics and that's of course the organizing and productivity communities. The national association of productivity and organizing professionals check out that podcast as well. It's called again, Stand Out. And, there's some gems there as well. So I've, you know, I took that role to really learn more about the interviewing process and to become comfortable. So I hope I'm bringing you content in a way that you'll enjoy. Let me hear from you please if there's something I can do to make the learning and listening experience even more enjoyable. Check out that YouTube channel if you'd like to feel like you're meeting all of these wonderful guests and following along with some of the visuals as well.
So that's it for today's episode. I really just want, thank you again for joining, and I'm going to hope and wish for you that you make beautiful choices as you go forward. I think I've just landed on what my close for the podcast is going to be for the upcoming season. All the other episodes for this season are done, but I think that my wish is that we continue to work together to make beautiful choices. All right, I'll leave you there and wish you an incredible rest of your day.
Thank you so much for listening, you can find all of the Happy Space Podcast episodes over at happyspacepod.com. That is also where you'll find a link to our online community. Please leave a review over at Apple Podcast, Spotify or wherever you tune in. And if you like what you heard, please share. After all, doesn't everyone deserve a Happy Space?