The Twelve Stages of Healing: Understanding Growth and Evolution

How can I use my pain as a tool to evolve and grow?  Pain is often the doorway to personal transformation.  Many of my clients have accused me of tricking them.  One client said, “I came in for back pain and you helped my life change. You did not have that on your brochure!”  So, I’ll say it right up front.

Here at the Holistic Healing Center we use many cutting edge techniques to gain the secrets and wisdom locked in your body.  If we can connect through the pain rather than run away from the pain, we can often get to the other side.  If we run away from the pain, like the old saying goes, “what we resist persists.”

Dr. Donald Epstein, my mentor, has developed many tools to understand growth and development as well as how to achieve it.  He has created masterful techniques that help us read what our body is telling us, connect to it and come out on the other side more fully connected, empowered and grateful.

Dr. Epstein observed that there are 12 states of consciousness from suffering all the way to wholeness.  These 12 states are categorized into 3 distinct groups or seasons which, as Dr. Epstein says, “captures the timing that is essential to true healing.  When something is “in season”, it is ready, ripe and its’ time has arrived.”

These three seasons are called Discover, Transform and Awaken.  And since there are 4 seasons in nature, the fourth is called Integrate, where we integrate one season with another.

Each season is made up of different stages or states of consciousness.  We go in and out of different stages all the time.  We might be in a state of grace in one minute and then crash into suffering in the next minute.  See if you can classify what state of consciousness you are in.


When you are in the season of Discover you “have the opportunity to discover how…  you have learned to move away from pain and [then] find the peace of connection,” say’s Dr. Epstein.

Stage 1:  Are you in pain and suffering?

Stage 2:  Are you judging others or blaming yourself?

Stage 3:  Are you stuck and unable to move forward?



In the season of Transform you learn how to transform your pain, suffering and tension into “fuel and opportunities for growth.”

Stage 4:  Are you so sick of being stuck that you are determined to reclaim your power?

Stage 5:  Are you clear of what stories have been running your life in the background?

Stage 6:  Are you gearing up to make huge changes?

Stage 7:  Have you had the breakthrough of your life and changed things forever?



In the season of Awaken Dr. Epstein describes that you experience “the energy and grace behind the illusion of a solid body.”

Stage 8:  Are you in the peaceful emptiness after the transformation?

Stage 9:  Do you feel the energy or light behind the physical?

Stage 10: Do you feel union with the creative force of the universe?

Stage 11: Do you feel filled by the universe and serve others with grace?

Stage 12: Do you feel the interconnected aspects of our community and humanity?


The Story of Healing

You might notice that Stage 1 is suffering.  When you are in pain, can’t stand it, make it wrong and want to “fix” it, you are in stage 1.

As you evolve through the stages, the pain may or may not change.  However, who you are does change.  You may blame the pain and make it wrong (Stage 2).

You may get so sick of being stuck in the pain or stuck in a perspective (Stage 3), that you demand change (Stage 4The beginning of transformation).

You take your power back.  In so doing you start to notice the subtle voices that where telling you to believe that you were not good enough (Stage 5).

You decide that it is time to change this pattern once and for all! You gear up and take new action steps to change your life. (Stage 6)

When this pattern is fully resolved (Stage 7), you are completely free of it forever.  This is the dawning of a new era in your life as you move into a state of grace no longer held back by old beliefs.

Stage 8, (The beginning of awaken), is the emptiness that is created by the transformation of letting go of the old while waiting for the beginning of the new.  You are sitting in between the old self and the new.

As Dr. Epstein described, Stage 9 is “from our place of emptiness and gratitude, we can truly appreciate our energetic fullness.”

You feel the energy of the universe that shimmers through all of life and you feel union with the universe (Stage 10).

You are filled with grace, light, forgiveness and love that you serve others with gifts of your soul (Stage 11).   As Dr. Epstein says, “At times I recognize that we are each other’s medicine, and that first, I must be my own medicine.”

You learn to connect to those parts of yourself that you once disconnected from and reconnect to become whole and in community with all of your parts.  Then you bring your wholeness to the greater community as we are all interconnected (Stage 12).

And thus this is the story of personal growth and transformation.  Join us if you dare.


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