Learn about a multi-layered approach to healing by watching the video, reading the corresponding lesson article, and do the exercise.
Then, plan when you'll do lesson 2!
Using The 5 Interdependent Layers of Healing & Growth
Multi-Layered healing is an approach to wellness that addresses ALL the components of a person.
There are 5 areas of health that make up who you are:
This means that not only our healing, but our GROWTH should be multi-layered.
When we don’t address these layers within ourselves, we see imbalances. We may be developed in one area, but under-developed in another which can cause us to find ourselves in what feels like unmanageable pain, confusion, or feeling “stuck in life.”
I’m sure you can think of someone who is well-established in the material, physical world; they have “the perfect” life (on the outside)-- a great body and looks, successful in business, the “picture perfect” family or partner and new shiny cars in their driveway. They may own multiple homes, and travel the world!- This person “has it all” and may even seem happy and fulfilled from the outside…
One day you find out this person kills themself.
Or you find out they have been battling with an addiction to drugs, sex, alcohol, or gambling.
It changes the perspective you have of them:
What was going on that we didn’t see?
Why were they able to do so many great things, but lost the internal battle with themselves? What void was missing that they were trying to fill?
Is it safe to say this person managed certain areas of their life, but not others?
Perhaps this person achieved so much due to a sense of lack, or unworthiness- emotions and mental aspects of themselves- that they never healed or learned healthy coping strategies to manage.
We see examples of this all the time.
There are many reasons why someone may find themselves “underdeveloped” in one area of life, while other aspects are secure.
One reason may be found in the way Western culture has valued external success over internal success (and perhaps this is about to change- In fact, I believe it is changing!).
When a child observes the messages from society or primary caregivers that looks and money matter more than emotional regulation and psychological work, it can create a shadow-aspect in the child that says “my emotions are too much, talking about my true feelings is dangerous” or “emotions are for the weak” and so they develop a belief (MENTAL) that external validation and material wealth will be their best bet for receiving love and attention. They have a mantra “negative emotions are not productive therefore a waste of time” and so they avoid feeling sadness or fear. Perhaps this person believes anger is okay, because it’s a “powerful” emotion.
They go on to graduate from a prestigious school, but hide their emotional needs from others due to fear of judgment and vulnerability (EMOTIONAL). This causes them to hide their true self with others, and avoid deep conversations.
Years later, they are the VP of a very well-known company with all the material success, and take excellent care of their health with blood-work to prove it. They are organized and on-top of their schedule (PHYSICAL), but struggle in their relationship with an emotionally abusive partner who shames them when trying to discuss the issues in the relationship.
The person is a bubbly, focused, impressive person on the outside, but inside feels a heaviness around them, like they’re living in a dark closet, alone, and they actually feel quite small and suffocated (ENERGETIC).
This leads the person to without a sense of purpose to their life, and they wonder what they’re doing anyways, how they got this far without even knowing who they are, or what the point of life is (SPIRITUAL).
Aside from this person suffering greatly in many ways, their happiness and energy affects their family, and co-workers. And that’s a whole other story!
This is just an example to illustrate why multilayered healing and multilayered growth is crucial.
Because if we really want to make an impact, be secure within and without, and truly embrace what it means to be self-empowered, we must look at ourselves as multilayered beings.
We have so many different aspects of ourselves, how do we bring them all together?
It’s natural for someone to focus more on one area of their development, over another; Some people are more comfortable in the material world, so it makes sense that they're going to grow their business andbusiness and and really build themselves up in a material way. On the flip-side, many people put a lot of focus on their spiritual development, but their physical body or their ? what word do you want here?, the material side of life is neglected. This might look like someone who does a lot of spiritual work on themselves or with others, but you find that their life is chaotic; They're ungrounded, their car is always breaking down, they're struggling with money every month, and their immune system is weak.
So, how do we look at all areas of ourselves?
First, review these 5 layers:
The main layers of growth and healing are…
1. Emotional health is having the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is important for a person to have healthy emotional skills in order to maintain positive relationships and effectively handle stress and difficult situations. This includes healing emotional wounds of the past, so that current triggers don’t continuously touch on those same wounds.
2. Physical/Material health is having overall physical well-being. This includes things like having a balanced diet, getting enough exercise, and taking care of any medical issues. But this domain also acknowledges material success; supporting yourself with external markers such as income, environment (living/home), and having physical comforts that add to a base-level of safety and security. This area also includes work/career, finances, and planning for goals.
3. Energetic health is an individual's energy levels and vitality. It involves taking care of the body's physical needs, as well as cultivating positive energy and maintaining a sense of balance, peace, and cleanliness across the main Energy Centers of the body (chakras), and not being enmeshed energetically with others or things. To be healthy energetically, we must know and sense our own energy, when it’s affected, and tend to it for balance.
4. Mental/ Psychological health means an overall mental well-being can be achieved even during/after stressful times. This includes things like having a positive outlook, being able to cope with stress and difficult situations, and having a healthy sense of self-worth.
5. Spiritual health includes having a sense of connection to something greater than yourself, and your sense of purpose and meaning in life. This layer is associated with practices such as meditation, prayer, and mindfulness and may include knowing your Spirit Team, guides, and Spiritual Gifts.
*When you combine all of these areas into your life, you are providing a balanced lifestyle for yourself, resulting in a growth-process that doesn’t have gaping holes or voids.
Second, recognize the one area you prioritize or focus on the most.
What area do you feel you are most developed in? Do friends, colleagues, family or clients go to you for support in one area, more than the rest? Knowing your strength is important because it might also reveal your shadow- the aspect of yourself you have neglected, kept hidden, or are blind to…and it will help you build confidence for the area that is not as familiar or comfortable to you (yet).
Third, distinguish the one area you forget about most.
This area may feel “untouched” or even dangerous, scary, or overwhelming to venture into. Is there a belief that one of the 5 layers of health and growth is a waste of time, too “big” to take on, silly, or less important than the others?
If yes, this is your clue that that one area is underdeveloped and causing imbalances in your life already!
Now that you know the importance of multi-layered growth and healing, and you defined the over-focused and the under-focused area in yourself- now what?
Write down why you believe the area that has been neglected got left behind. Try to keep your pen moving on this journaling activity- a solid 5 minutes of writing is great, or you can aim to fill 1-3 pages.
As you discover why this area is underdeveloped, you may come across wounds. So it’s important to not judge it, simply get curious.
Here are 3 journal prompts that can help you get started:
1. As a child, was this part of me allowed, seen, and supported? Why or why not?
2. What parent or caregiver seemed to neglect this same area of their life? What was my relationship to this parent or caregiver like?
3. What is a belief, thought, or philosophy that I have carried about this area? Is this thought currently helpful to or hurting me?
By now you know you have the power to focus on each area of your Self- continue on to the next lesson!