Painting with Meaning 4: Representation-Stacking
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“We’ve talked before about beautifying representations [<link; medium length]. By making an activity more meaningful, you can make it more attractive, hence more likely to engage in it.
One way to do it is by stacking representations – what I call representation-stacking.”
“Can you give an example?”
“Think of your Presence practice.
In order to deliberately practice something, you need to think of it. You activate it with a thought.
The likelihood of regularly engaging in it depends on how meaningful it is for you.
Why are you practicing Presence?”
“Because it’s beautiful.”
“In this case, you can activate it by thinking ‘Beautiful Presence‘ instead of just ‘Presence’, thus connecting it with the meaning of it.
Another question to ask yourself is:
How do you want to practice Presence?”
“So you can think of it as ‘Joyful Beautiful Presence‘. This is the stacking part.
As a side note, you can add more nuance to it. Beauty, for instance, can answer both the Why and the How questions. Beautiful Presence can refer to both the beauty of the practice, and to engaging in it beautifully, aestheticizing the practice.
Representation-stacking is a process of selection and amplification. Making an 80/20 selection of the representations that are most powerful for you, and sequencing [<link; short] them to make them build on one another, in order to amplify their effect.
For instance you can end up with something like ‘Loving Playful Grateful Beautiful Joyful Sacred Presence‘. It’s longer, but if it makes you always remember the essence of practice, it’s worth it.”