Now we are going to take our wisdom studies to the next level by adding a visual component to our hilltop rituals. By using charts to supplement our notes, we can see trends that may not be so obvious to us in our written reflections.
These charts appear in a few pages. Feel free to check them out now before I explain them. Over the years, I have experimented with the design for these charts, and here is the best I have to offer at this time. I have designed a scale that goes from -10 to +10. You can picture it like an emotional thermometer.
Here is the basic scale of what each range of numbers means:
+8 to +10 … Almost manic, invincible, exuberant, so high that you forget the ups and the downs. Note: for some people this very positive end is no problem. But for others, like me, being this far to the positive end is not ideal. If I were to label my emotions as +9, I would consider myself over-stimulated, emotionally hyper in a way that often leads to a crash.
+3 to +7 … Great optimism. This is the ‘life is good’ range. Here one feels joyful and hopeful, but not ecstatic. This is a great place to be.
-3 to +3 … Middle of the road, awareness of both the good and bad, generally content and at peace. -3 to +3 is a place of balance. Life is fine. I am not sad or overjoyed, I am fine. I might be a little positive or a bit negative, but all in all, I am in balance. I am content. I am good.
-3 to -7 … The storm zone. Great pessimism; sadness or down-feelings dominate. Being in the -3 to -7 range is not disastrous, but this is a tenuous position and one must be aware of the storms and have some clear ideas of how to respond.
-8 to -10 …The danger zone. Extremely negative, hopeless, feeling that things are permanently bad, that things will never improve. The danger zone requires immediate attention.
Please note that the specific design of the charts will resonate with some and not with others. If you enjoy the concept but want to design your own charts, this is encouraged. While teaching this method to a close friend, she did not resonate with the charts, but she saw the merit in the concept. She wanted to keep track of her emotional states by using a color system. So she designed her own visual system for charting her emotions for six weeks. (I will happily post well-designed alternative visuals on the Urbanmonks Thinktank website.)