The 12 Stages is a model that can be used to explain human consciousness and behaviour. Each stage is associated with different physiological states, energy levels, and also different thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Everybody has a a baseline stage, where they tend to gravitate to, but within an individual day could express aspects of all stages.
The exercises we associate with the stages are designed to help us truly know ourselves, even the parts we push down and avoid, and to help us develop new strategies for healing and living.
As you move through the cycle of the 12 stage exercises you learn a huge amount about your relationship to each stage. Some stages are easy and come naturally, others are a challenge. And what most people find surprising is the we don’t learn one stage and then it’s done and we move onto the next. Instead each time you practice a stage you discover something about yourself, and that raises your conscious awareness, and then every stage you visit from that moment on is coloured by that knowledge. And so on. It’s like a spiral and each time you move through the stages you get to know yourself better, and then the next time, better again. We find that certain stages are easy and they can be come resources, and others we are challenged by. Some people may resonate with stage 8 and 10, but are challenged by stage 4. Others may love stage 5 and 6, but not stage 1 or 2. We are all different and the exercises enable us to explore who we are and to make the unconscious conscious so that we can grow and heal.
As you move through the stages you will explore how you disconnect from your body, how you deny what is going on and how you limit yourself, to reclaiming your power, observing how your mind both supports and messes with you to connecting to the grace and awesomeness that is the human body, in all it’s perfect imperfections.
The first 7 stages are about exploring how we disconnect from (and reconnect to) our body (stages 1-3) and how we transform our body and learn how to grow and change (stages 3-7)
Stage 1: Suffering, Disconnection and What to do about it?
When we suffer, nothing works. We feel helpless and most of us will do anything to avoid this feeling. In this stage we learn that there are times when we feel there is nothing we can do, but if we can learn how to connect to our body in those moments we can draw upon resources we didn’t even know we had.
This can be the most powerful of all the stages because we can move from hopeless back to a point of hopefulness, and that is the first stage of healing.
Stage 2: Polarity
When there are things we cannot accept about ourselves, our situation or our life we tend to look for magical solutions or something to blame. This disconnects us from our bodies and our resources.
In this stage we learn how to connect to different parts and how to increase our resourcefulness when we feel that things have been done to us or someone else can “fix” us. And that then enables us to connect to and to own the parts of us we have been wasting so much energy avoiding….
Stage 3: Stuck in a Perspective
Ever feel like it doesn’t matter what you do, nothing is ever going to change? It can feel so yucky and overwhelmingly frustrating, because whatever you do nothing seems to change or move forwards.
In this stage we explore how our mind can hold us in a pattern and how to connect to that part of us that is stuck and limited. Connecting to how we hold ourselves stuck in an embodied way, creates the possibility of change and growth and frees up resources to support this.
Stage 4: Reclaiming Your Power
There are times in our lives when we realize that something has to change and that something is us.
In this stage we recognize how we have given our power away and how it has limited us and we step back into ownership of who we are and what’s possible. We learn how to claim back our personal power that we have been giving away for such a long time, and that supports growth and healing.
Stage 5: Merging with the Stories
Have you ever told yourself that you just can’t change, that this is how it is or that is has to be and will always be this way? We often limit ourselves with beliefs, and often they’re not even our beliefs, we just picked them up along the way.
In this stage we reconnect to that the stories and illusions we have created and start to rewrite our stories in ways that serve us more productively.
Stage 6: Preparing for Resolution
Do you ever feel so ready for change and want to build up the energy even more?
In stage 6 we connect to our resources, build energy and get ready to discharge that which no longer serves us.
Stage 7: Resolution
This stage is associated with discharge of the patterns that no longer serve us. Discharge can be noise, screaming, yelling, laughing or muscular moves. It is associated with a sense of accomplishment, peace and inner strength.
From Stage 8 onwards, this work becomes more spiritual and less about getting rid of changing limiting beliefs and patterns. These descriptions are useful, but nothing replaces doing the exercises and feeling how the body can expand and unfold.
Stage 8: Emptiness in Connection
Following discharge we feel empty. But that emptiness if full of potential, full of possibility. We enter a stage of gratitude, vulnerability and connection to possibility. Trust comes naturally and serendipity is a regular occurrence.
Stage 9: Light beyond the Form
We become aware that we are more than just our physical body, and can become aware of the energy flowing within us and around us. Some experience an energetic connection to others. Accompanied by feelings of awe and joy for the process.
Stage 10: Ascent
There is an awareness here that we are not just an intelligent form but we are intelligence itself. Here we transcend the limits of the self, recognizing that we are united with the force of the universe.
Stage 11: Descent
We are renewed beyond our limits and sense of self and enter into the world again. We know that we are part of all we perceive and responsible for what we know. We live without being attached to our situations. We love and serve life and others. We communicate with ourselves and others “through” our wounds instead of “from” them.
Stage 12: Community
We experience our involvement with humanity and recognize that wholeness comes from bringing our gifts of individuality into community. We receive the gifts of individuality, from within ourselves and from others. We recognize that all of our choices are spiritual ones, and affect the entire globe of beings. This occurs in our internal and external communities. Eventually, we recognize that the limits of what we can bring to community stem from our own lack of wholeness. Therefore we seek to re-experience the rhythm of Stage One.