The stages of healing, transforming & awakening
Cliff notes version
Most of you have heard me talk about the “12 stages of healing.” The 12 stages of healing are what the structure of Somato-respiratory Integration (SRI) is built upon and represent stages of consciousness or awareness that a human experiences on their journey from separation to unity. This particular structure of the 12 stages of healing was based upon the work of Dr. Donald Epstein, however these stages of consciousness are universal and you can find them named in many different traditions or schools.
What is unique to them here is that their are paired somatic “exercise” that go along with each of the 12 stages and corresponds to a level of awareness. The idea behind doing the exercises is to more fully “land” or be in the stage that you are in. No stage is better or worse than another. We all experience all of the stages at different times or rhythms of our lives. Progression through stages is also not linear, meaning you don’t always go from stage 1 to 2 to 3, etc. There is also no defined amount of time to be in a particular stage. Some people may be in 3 different stages in a single day, where others may be in one or two particular stages for years.
So what are the benefits of knowing the 12 stages? Its helpful for many of us to have a roadmap or structure so that we can “know where we are”. Knowing where you are helps you create more coherence within your experience because you can better align your perceptions to where were are at. For example say that in your life you are behaving in ways that feel congruent to you, like maybe you are exercising or being helpful to others, meditating or eating healthy, but your perceptions (thoughts, emotions, sensations) you don’t really match it. There is an incongruence between the actions you are taking and your perceptions of life. This is where SRI can be helpful in bringing to light more of the perceptual consciousness shifts required to make your experience more congruent. Ultimately meaning that the actions you take feel 100% aligned with your feeling and thoughts.
The seasons of well-being
12 stages grouped
The 12 stages are further grouped into what we call the seasons of well-being in Network Care. To begin the 3 basic seasons are called Discover, Transform and Awaken. It looks something like this:
Season of Discover: SRI stages 1, 2 & 3
Season of Transform: SRI stages 4, 5, 6 & 7
Season of Awaken: SRI stages 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12
So what are these seasons and why are they important? The season of Discover is the self- discovery process of becoming aware of how you have kept parts of yourself separate from the whole of you. Said another way you discover how you have protected yourself from experiencing painful feelings, thoughts and sensations. Within this season the first 3 stages of SRI are included. Stage 1 (suffering) is the experience of discovering that you have been disconnected or at least a part of you has been disconnected. When you discover this you realize that you have been living in some level of separation and the experience of that separation or disconnection is suffering. In SRI stage 2 (polarities) you are aware that a part of yourself has been separated or disconnected, so you are not in full separation, but you resist this part of yourself. It’s the experience of “disowning” or rejecting those parts of yourself that you don’t like or can’t be with. Lastly SRI stage 3 (stuck in a perspective) is where you realize how you continually resist this part of yourself over and over and over and over again.
Next is the season of Transform. Transformation is ultimately the refusal to keep any parts of self separate anymore. It includes SRI stage 4, which is where you declare to include an aspect of self that’s not been included. It’s saying enough of separation of this part of you. No more are you going to not include this part. Enough of not including it. SRI stage 5 is merging past the illusion that this part is really separate. SRI stage 6 is a preparation into full self, absolutely nothing will ever keep this part separate again and stage 7 is the resolution of separation and a surrender of this part into all of you. It’s the full embodiment of self and realization that all parts of self must be included. We essentially go through these various stages of 1-7 discovering and reclaiming all the various aspects of self until everything is included. This is the healing/growth journey.
Lastly is the season of Awaken. Awaken is the knowing that nothing ever left the whole, nothing was/is ever separate. SRI stage 8-12 correspond to this knowing. As you become more familiar with all of these stages of consciousness you can begin to integrate various stages with other stages to help support and resource you throughout this journey of separation to unity.
Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado