Mapping experience: type, strength & frequency, engagement

 

How do we map our day-to-day experience?

It depends on the purpose. But a good starting point may be to include these facets.

The type of experience. Sad, happy, angry, content, elated etc.

The strength of the experience. Is it strong or weak? Overwhelming or barely noticeable?

The frequency of that particular experience. Daily. Every few days. Every hour. Every few years. Never. Once?

The level of engagement. How engaged are we with it? Do we engage and struggle with it and spin it into a number of other stories and emotions? Is it easy to see that it’s just passing and visiting, and allow it as is?

Type, strength, and frequency can be helpful to pinpoint emotional issues to find healing for. And the level of engagement shows us how wrapped up in it we tend to be. If it’s just something that’s passing, it doesn’t really bother or impact us much. But engagement with it may influence our experience and life quite a bit.

In everyday life, there may be faint sadness from reading a story in the news. It’s allowed, passing, and not engaged with. In a conventional depression, there may be frequent and strong sadness that’s strongly identified with. And in a healing or awakening process, there may be strong emotions and thoughts but they are allowed, welcomed, and not engaged with much. They are recognized as living their own life and passing.

Note: I have been aware of these distinctions for a long time, but it came to the forefront again  more recently. I have gone through a CFS diagnosis process in Norway, and it includes talking to a psychologist. In my case, I was given a questionnaire that only asked about the frequency of certain emotions and thoughts. And having explored mindfulness for most of my life, I am aware of just about any emotion and thought visiting most days and most of the time, even if extremely faint or just mirroring something in others or as a potential. So I decided to be honest and said “daily” for just about all of them. (Even if I knew it could be misinterpreted.) I assumed she would go through the questionnaire with me in person, but she didn’t and instead created assumptions for herself based on a very limited and one-sided questionnaire. It was a strange situation since, for me, the two other aspects – strenght and engagement – seem essential for being able to say anything useful.

 

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Initial notes…..

  • type, strength, engagement
    • when want to (roughly) map someone’s day to day experience
      • type of emotion/thought
      • strength + frequency
      • engagement with it
    • ….

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