New Visual Thinking Book by Dr. Michele Mercer

I’m so very pleased to recommend the new book, Visual Quotient, by my colleague Dr. Michele Mercer-Lee! This workbook is geared towards visual practitioners on several levels: practical skill building, a unique theoretical basis, and an expansive view of why we need to include visual thinking in our design thinking and business/organizational communications. Michele is a strong advocate for the need to enter “messy” creative spaces where transformation may occur and where ideas and innovation are born. Blending the creative with the critical, always a synergistic relationship, Visual Quotient is the best new book on visual and design thinking in some time.

More on Michele:


2021 is underway now and we are past the beginning of year optimism and New Year’s resolutions that no one manages to keep going very long. Now, we can get real…

Looking forward to a busy 2021, we all need to address self-care. 2020 was a harsh year emotionally and physically for many people. Too many people have seen their physical activity levels decline as they work from home and all of the moving that they would normally do, as a simple matter of daily activities outside the home, is suddenly missing.

We need to, first, lay out an accurate perspective regarding exercise and movement. In the US, exercise has become a huge industry with associated monthly costs and intensity levels that can be hard to maintain. Let’s do away with that notion and make it all simpler! You don’t need to pay for a special gym or facility. You don’t need a trainer to teach you how to move your body. You shouldn’t think of exercise as a vanity project with having a “perfect body” as the end result. Those are all fake notions of health and attractiveness.

What matters is the fact that we engage in frequent MOVEMENT, not the type of movement. Sitting, according to this article, isn’t even as bad as have been taught, as long as manage to get up frequently and MOVE. Do you see my theme here? It’s about MOVEMENT.

In my life, I choose daily brisk walking as my preferred form of movement. When I am not intentionally walking for exercise, I find myself working at the computer for a bit then getting up and needing to move. So, it’s do some work, get up and move around. I have stairs in my home, so a trip downstairs is a strength building exercise; one that when we moved here was a challenge but soon I built up muscle and endurance and go up and down with no effort.

How you choose to move your body is inconsequential, just that you do. You could ride a bike, swim, dance, hike, run, power walk, stretch, work out with weights, build something, or just putter around the yard. Everything counts when you are moving because it engages your muscle groups and keeps everything functioning.

Not only will movement make you feel better physically, it will make you feel better emotionally, as you learn to care for yourself. Simply taking the time for yourself and going for a walk is an act of self-care, self-love, and self-compassion. Take time for yourself and know that the world will still be waiting when you get back. Nothing will fall apart while you take some time for yourself. Claim that bit of time for yourself because it can really help with self-esteem, confidence, and overall well-being.

How will you MOVE more in 2021?

Empowering the Sensitive Male Soul

Thrive: The Highly Sensitive Person and Career

Thrill: The High Sensation Seeking Highly Sensitive Person

Day 15 of the 2021 Empowerment Guide For Sensitive People – Tips For Parents During Turbulent Times

Day 15 of the 2021 Empowerment Guide For Sensitive People! Today’s article from Megghan Thompson explores strategies for parents during challenging times like the ones we are in.

About Megghan Thompson

Megghan Thompson is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor and a Parent Coach/Mental Health Consultant. She has been working with Highly Sensitive Children, teens and their families for 10 years, and owns a group private practice in Maryland that specializes in working with HSCs, HS teens and young adult HSPs who engage in life-threatening behaviors like daily meltdowns, aggression, suicidal actions, promiscuity and self harm. Megghan’s mission is to defeat the statistic that HSPs make up 50% of the population that seeks therapy but only make up 20% of the population. She’s doing this by building an army of parents equipped with the support and accountability to rapidly transform their relationships with their children. Connect with Megghan at her website, or on Facebook or Instagram. For more support on what helps to break down the meltdown cycle, and truly support your child as an empowered parent.

Day 14 of the 2021 Empowerment Guide For Sensitive People – Is Everything Okay?

Day 14 of the 2021 Empowerment Guide For Sensitive People! Today’s article about the impact of the pandemic is from Jacquelyn Strickland.

About Jacquelyn Strickland

Jacquelyn has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 1993, having worked exclusively with highly sensitive people since 2000. She is one of the very first pioneers, with Elaine Aron, of what is now an international movement connecting HSPs around the world. Jacquelyn & Elaine co-founded the HSP Gathering RetreatsSince 2001 , and there have been 36 and counting, national and international retreats. We will be celebrating the 37th retreat as soon as it is safe to gather, and possibly we will gather virtually as well. Jacquelyn’s background in Social Work, Women’s Studies, cultural diversity and a graduate degree in Counseling have empowered and informed her work since first finding out about our HSP trait in May of 1996. Her psychotherapy practice included therapeutic orientations, coaching principles, mixed with a client’s spiritual foundation. She has been trained in hypnotherapy and loved her work as an EMDR, Level II practitioner. She has been certified to utilize Myers Briggs Personality Assessment since 1991, and is also well versed in the use of the Enneagram, using both of these modalities, when helpful, in her work. She now connects with highly sensitive people around the world as an HSP mentor, coach, educator and retreat & workshop leader, including the HSP Gathering Retreats, and her Nature as Teacher and Healer retreats held in beautiful Colorado where she lives. She is an expert on Sensory Processing Sensitivity and a member of ICHS – International Consultants High Sensitivity, a group of international professionals trained by Elaine Aron in 2018. Jacquelyn has been married to a non-HSP introvert since 1978 and is the mother of two grown sons, one an HSP, and one simply very kind. She is the grandmother of three delightful grandchildren, ages 3, 4 and 6. One granddaughter is almost certainly a sensitive extrovert like her grandmother. Connect with Jacquelyn at her website or on her Facebook page. Sign up for her newsletter, HSP Highlights & Insights – website

Day 12 of the 2021 Empowerment Guide For Sensitive People – Protection That Comes From Inhabiting The Body

Welcome to Day 12 of the 2021 Empowerment Guide For Sensitive People! Today’s article from Mary Kay Parkinson, a long time HSP coach, is about listening to the body.

About Mary Kay Parkinson

HSP Mary Kay Parkinson is an energy healer and life coach based in Maryland. Her site offers information about the HSP trait, and many articles about living well as an HSP. Mary Kay is an energy healer and coach in spiritual development. She has a BA in Psychology, and has studied at the Center for Intentional Living, Barbara Brennan School of Healing, Mentor Coach, Bert Hellinger Institute USA, and the Potomac Massage Training Institute. Connect with Mary Kay at her website, on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

Visual Quotient – Book Recommendation!

I would to like to recommend a new book to you, which I do not often do, by a dear colleague of mine, Michele Mercer, Ph.D. Michele’s new book is on visual thinking and how we might come to use easily acquired tools of visual note taking and visual communications as leadership tools in fast-changing organizations and companies.

Visual Quotient is a big 8×10 beautiful book that Michele has lovingly crafted in full color to bring her concepts to life and provide practical tools to develop visual skills. The book is set up as a workbook that is suitable for use in training, teaching, and referencing a broad and far-reaching articulation of four distinct mindsets that break down the way we think, learn, lead, make sense of information, and communicate with others.

I’m so incredibly proud of Michele for taking on the enormous task of creating a significant addition to the evolving and emergent field of visual thinking/design thinking! I might add, as well, that Michele is a HSS/HSP!

Day 11 of the 2021 Empowerment Guide For Sensitive People – Energetic Boundaries: The One Thing Most HSPs Don’t Know About But Desperately Need

Day 11 of the 2021 Empowerment Guide For Sensitive People! Today’s article from Brooke Nielsen explores energetic boundaries: what they are and how we can maintain them.

About Brooke Nielsen

Brooke Nielsen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and founder of the Therapeutic Center for Highly Sensitive People in Boulder, CO. With advanced training in trauma therapy and relationships, she’s spent thousands of hours helping Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) thrive. She’s also the founder of Intuitive Warrior, an online learning community which guides HSPs to discover the gifts that lie hidden in what they thought were the worst parts of themselves. Learn more at Intuitive Warrior.

Day 10 – 2021 Empowerment Guide for HSPs – The Pandemic Effect On Overarousal, Limits And Boundaries For HSPs

Day 10 of the 2021 Empowerment Guide for HSPs. The COVID19 pandemic has surely been a disruptive force in society to say the least as workers found themselves suddenly confronting being at home and, either, being unemployed or working from home for the first time. This unintentional “experiment” has allowed many to get a taste of what it might be like to work from home, including the challenges and opportunities. Some HSPs will simply love the newfound freedom and time and space to think and process, while others will miss the interactions in person and the exterior life of moving about in society.

In a real sense, the pandemic has fast forwarded us to new ways of thinking about work, career, and how we accomplish work. Going forward, as the vaccine rollout unfolds throughout 2021 and society begins to navigate how to return to a new reality, the learnings for HSPs are not things we should casually toss aside as work again calls.

If you have benefited from working from home you should work towards setting up a situation where that may be your longer-term arrangement, even if it means changing companies, industries, even your whole career focus, if you have one. 2021 is the time when you need to speak up and ask for what you need, without fear and without equivocation, because now you have likely demonstrated that the same work may be accomplished while working from home, to the same or better level, and companies and organizations have seen these results as well. The coming fight is for worker’s rights and for the ways we perform at our best when our needs are met.

Maybe that means you need to be self-employed or work as a contractor, or maybe it means you need to retool your skills or gain some marketable skills. Whatever you need to do to make your life work for you, do it now and stop hesitating and procrastinating. The opportunities of the 21st century are there to be had. Now is the time to make your life work you as a highly sensitive person.

Today’s article is from my dear ICHS colleague, Elena Lupo. Dr. Lupo does incredible work in Italy to raise awareness of sensory processing sensitivity, as well as teach coping and healing strategies to HSPs and their sensitive children.

About Elena Lupo

Elena Lupo, Ph.D. is a Psychologist and Psychotherapist based in Italy. She works in a body-oriented approach (Biosistemica) with highly sensitive men, women and children investigating and advocating coping strategies, psychosomatic issues and supporting the healthy parenting and teaching of highly sensitive children. She is the author of “Il Tesoro dei bambini sensibili”, 2017 and leads workshops about having boundaries using the body oriented approach. She is a member of the International Consultants on High Sensitivity. Connect with Elena on Facebook or Instagram.

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