Can we develop a sensation compression process?

the story we tell as we compress our sensations is the story of life and who we've become.

We’re wired to compress. We can't help it. We must sense and quickly assess and prioritize our environment. It's basic survival, right? Whether we're suddenly aware of a potential predator or crossing the street phone in hand, if we can't compress sensory information quickly, the system will overload.

But how do we decide what to compress, what to remember, what sensations to fully feel and which to abandon?

There's so much sensory information to take in, how much are we already missing? And how can we adjust the aperture to take notice of the things that matter to us? How can we adjust the levers so that we connect to the sensations that open us up, that expose us, that make us really feel alive, and potentially lead beyond mere survival, and help us thrive?

We can't help but compress, but if we develop a system to compress consciously, deliberately, we can preserve those sensations that matter most, we can catalog them in a meaningful way, we can build a structure with our memories, and organize them in such a way that allows us to unwrap them, to step into, occupy, and inhabit them, to wander within them again, to feel them fully, whenever we like.

So how do we compress consciously? First, we have to pay attention to the balance. We can't compress our sensations in the same way music files are compressed (are they still compressed this way?). We can't remove the high highs or the low lows, we need those to help us identify the boundaries of our sensations, to feel every bit of the joy and the grief, to know what we are capable of.

If we can understand the boundaries we can eventually push beyond them, we will eventually feel more. We can improve our ability to feel and compress and still access those compressed memories.

But the success of our sensation compression ultimately comes down to how open we are in the moment. The more we experience the intensity of high highs and low lows and everything in between, the more rich sensory data we have to work with; the better we're able to consciously compress in an organized fashion.

So understanding the intensity is essential, but the timeline, the catalysts, the construction, the exploration of the sensations and the process of feeling in the moment are just as important. When we develop a process for feeling, our ability to compress improves because it comes down to the story we're telling ourselves as we compress, and later decompress.

The story we tell as we compress our sensations is the story we’ll later tell as we open ourselves to what once made life life, and us who we are now.