THE 7 IDENTITY LAYERS FOR THE ULTIMATE WELL-BEING TEST
You have probably already noticed for yourself that your being consists of a combination of different layers. Every layer is part of who and what you are, as a human and as a being.
In order to get to a holistic concept of your “well-being” I provide you in this article with the different layers that make up… you. You can assess each layer and determine for yourself where you are in your life with respect to each layer, and adding up all 7 layers to get a wholeness view. As a kind of well-being test: which layer do you really feel comfortable with and which layer for you comes with more of a “aha, I hadn’t looked at it that way but now I understand myself a (good) deal better”. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom… and also of all changes in your life.
By truly understanding yourself you can bring about true change, real transformation. On the path towards the best version of yourself, to live and experience the best version of your life and world.
Real transformation works from the inside out.
This article provides you with a short overview of (i) the 7 layers which together form your being and (ii) the questions you can put to yourself in their respect to arrive at a better and deeper understanding of yourself. On the road to conscious self-direction & self-management and equally conscious transformation. Read on, but when finishing do take pen and paper to write out these 7 layers and to determine for yourself how you are doing when it comes to each layer, how much you know about yourself with respect to the theme of that layer, how you live this particular layer in your life and what score you would give yourself on each layer (on a scale from 1 to 10).
The below picture sets out the 7 layers and what they relate to in your being
I. THE 7 LAYERS
In what follows I will briefly describe the 7 layers. You can already let each description sink in somewhat, and assess how conscious you (already) are of each of the layers.
It concerns the following 7:
1. Your physical or bodily self. No, you do not “have” a body, as a kind of possession. You “are” your body. Your body is one of the 2 mirrors in your life which indicate exactly and perfectly how you are doing in your life. The other mirror, next to your body, I will not deal with in this article but is described in detail in my book on “Mirroring”, freely downloadable from this website. It is really worth learning to listen to your body, rather than turning off its alarm signals time and again, ignoring these. Listen to the whispers of your body, so you will not have to hear the screams. Being totally present in your body is the road to freedom, to being free.
I go deeper into this under point II. below.
2. You are not just physical. You also have a feelings- & emotions-side. Allow me to clarify the difference between these two. While “emotions” always started as “feelings”, not every “feeling” becomes an “emotion”. How so? Well, feelings simply “are”. Feelings flow, like water in a river. Feelings come and go without being, or getting, stuck. That is where the difference is to be found with an emotion. Emotion is a feeling that is trapped, that got caught and crystallised in your being, connected to a certain event that was experienced as unpleasant. The water of feelings has turned into the ice of emotion. In that way emotion contains a charge, a heaviness, which holds it fixed in your being… the initial feeling no longer flows, no longer simply passes through, it remains stuck as an emotion. Emotion is feeling that got trapped and which is aroused time and again when your system thinks it sees a similar event occurring like the one which resulted in the crystallisation of feeling into emotion;
3. Next to your physical and feelings level, there is also your ego-layer.
I do not use the term “ego” here in its usual negative “big ego”-connotation. I am talking here of the centre named “I am”. This concerns your centre of power. It represents (your capacity towards) a healthy and balanced “I” in your life, self-esteem. To act in line with what you truly stand for in your life, instead of what others say you should stand for and do in life. This is after all your life. This layer relates to how easily you can act from your “I am”, dare to act from this layer, to act according to what you wish to represent in your life, for what you truly stand for in your life. Of course, in order to be able to do that you need to have figured out what you want to represent and how you define your “I” in your life;
4. As I wrote in my book on “Mirroring” you are, just like every other human being, a web of relationships. All the people who pass through your life, you connect with, no matter how long or brief your encounter is or may have been. This is about the layer in your being related to connection, connecting with yourself and connecting with everything and everyone with whom you enter into contact. You can interpret that “contact” very broadly: people who are physically in your world just as well as people who live on the other side of the planet but with who you skype, call, with who you get into “contact” or “connect” in any which way. This is also about more than just “conscious” contact, conscious connection. You have a lot more connection than you “think”;
5. As a human being you have the capacity to speak, to put into words that which you wish to communicate, to express as a means to externalise in words. The expressive layer. It is not without reason that a great many books of the different religions reference the creative power of words. This layer deals with your creative-expressive aspect, your ability to put into words what you think, feel, experience, wish, understand, are capable of etc. You might state this is all evident, but it would be good to contemplate the analysis which follows below, to determine for yourself how creative-expressive you truly are in your life, when it really matters;
6. With every higher – this in no way indicates a value judgment, every layer has its merits and is necessary towards your wholeness (of being) – identity layer we come closer to the bigger questions of life. This layer relates to what you see and how (!) you see. Clearly, you have 2 eyes… to look! But it is really your brain that sees. Yes, your eyes are more like receptors while your brain is the imager. So there is a difference between looking and seeing. This layer concerns “seeing”, a very spiritual approach as you will notice from the further analysis in point II;
7. The seventh layer relates to something that sets humans apart from the many other life forms on this Earth. Though as a human you are not the only life form on Earth that can think. There are primates and other mammals such as dolphins who also have strong so-called “cognitive” capacities. We can as yet not say much about what exactly goes on in the consciousness of these beings but that is not necessary for the purpose of this analysis. We are talking about your ability to understand yourself, and by doing so understanding your world and what you experience in it. As a human you are capable of “knowing”, knowing to arrive at understanding and wisdom. You can analyse, yourself first and foremost, in order to get to that important self-knowledge. You know, the type of knowledge that is the beginning of all wisdom as Aristotle put it… and the end of a great many illusions, including for the spiritually inclined reader the Big Illusion or “Maya”.
II. THE THEMES & THE BLOCKING ASPECTS OF THE 7 LAYERS
Above in point I. I briefly described the different layers for you.
In what follows I will explain how you can analyse these different layers using the themes linked to each layer, and the so-called “blocking aspects” as the aspects which hinder the flow in your life when it comes to the themes of the layer concerned.
1. Physical layer, body
The theme that is connected to this layer is “BEING”. This relates i.a. to your grounding, how grounded you are and how present you are in your body. Personally, I like to walk in the forest, in Nature. There I experience a complete inner peace, as if in trance at certain moments. I connect with my body, I feel my feet when I walk, my legs, my entire being. I focus on my breathing. I feel connection with the trees, the plants and the animals. I feel totally “present” in my body then. These experiences I take home with me, so I can relive them as and when I like to. And so can you, maybe by another means, something that appeals more to you; though Mother Nature is a really good environment for increasing grounding. Just “be”, where and how that may be. Truly experience your body.
I also mind what I eat and drink. Things of which my body indicates “rather none of this (again)” I leave; foodstuff and beverages I know to be no good for my bodily self I don’t touch. I don’t just put anything in my mouth in terms of food and drink. I take into account my body; after all my physical self has to process it all.
The questions here are: how grounded are you in your life, how present are you in your entire body (instead of just in your head, thinking)? How well do you understand your body, its signals? How good are you at just “being” when you wish to, simply being and enjoying what arises, enjoying being in your body?
The blocking aspect is “FEAR”.
What does fear do to you? It results in a total freeze, doesn’t it? It stops all flow; there is no flow when there is fear. As if petrified. This is something ancient in humans, a reflex which results in a total freeze when we sense (our) life is in danger. But nowadays we mainly “think our life into danger”, when there are no more bears, wolves or lions behind that tree in that dark forest or that rock. We make up all kinds of new and above all imaginary bears, wolves and lions which induce fear. Fear prevents life, prevents you from living, it is as simple as that.
So ask yourself: how fear-full are you in your life? What do you fear? And why is that?
2. Feelings layer
The theme connected to this layer is with little surprise “FEELING”.
It may sound strange but this also includes your sexuality. True, pure sexuality is after all a deep level of sensing, of feeling. I am not talking about the sexuality which is burdened with guilt and shame, and neither about what some mean when they talk about “sex”, which is usually just a reference to the search for a fleeting moment of pleasure and letting off steam. I am talking here about the true coming “two”-gether of 2 people, in an act of affective connection next to a physical connection. Again, we are talking about a healthy sexuality and a healthy view on sexuality.
The questions in this respect are then: how satisfied and open are you when it comes to your sexuality? What is your view on sexuality? What does the thought, or the image, of your parents creating you do to you? Can you approach this image serenely or do you have more of a reaction of ***? That says a lot about how you view and think about sexuality.
This layer also relates to, in line with what true sexuality is, the trust in Life.
How much trust do you put in Life, to bring you what is best for you? How easily do you walk through Life, in trust? Above all, how vulnerable can you be in your life? “Vulnerable” these days is nothing else than (daring to) say what you feel, what hurts you, that you experience pain when someone else says or does this or that, what you find unpleasant in your life. Some interpret this as showing your “weak spots”. But know that those who dare to be vulnerable in their lives, dare to indicate what hurts them, are truly the strongest of all. To what extent do you dare to express what hurts or hurted you to the other(s) involved?
The blocking aspect here is “GUILT”.
Guilt is something that eats at you. It takes from you the ability to really enjoy. Everything you do that is laden with guilt, has no pleasure to it. All pleasure has been removed, buried under the guilt. Even if you allow yourself to enjoy for just a brief moment, you pay it dearly afterwards with the guilt that lingers. Guilt also prevents to be and remain in the flow. It is as if any form of pleasure and enjoying is locked up, which usually causes frustration as an added “non-benefit”. It is such a common thing that in English there is the term “guilty pleasures”. I like the response by people like Alison Goldfrapp and Tom Hiddleston who rightly pointed out: “I have no guilt about any of my pleasures” or “[t]he thing is I never feel guilty about pleasures”.
Ask yourself: to what extent do I allow myself to enjoy in my life, really enjoying without “but” or “this isn’t allowed” or “I shouldn’t” or “is this okay for me, to simply enjoy” or… undoubtedly you can think of some other guilt objections.
3. Ego layer
The theme connected to this layer is “DOING”. As mentioned above, this does not concern the negative connotation-ego. This is about the “I”, standing firm in your centre of power of “I am”. Yes, you are allowed to be! You are. Ego here does not concern the temporary collection of emotions, (recurring) thought patterns, conditioning and convictions; it concerns “ME”. It is about self-determination. This layer is all about a healthy and balanced self-image. And acting from this, the actions, the “doing” in your life. Doing, acting, requires power, standing firm in life. Going for it; from your power and your belief and freedom to self-determination.
The questions are: To what extent do you stand firm in your “I”? How well do you withstand the winds of “opinions, expectations, demands etc. from others” when these pass in your life? Are you more of – what they call – a “big ego” type? Or do you have problems to say “no” when you want to say ”no”, a “small ego” type … because you so much want to please the other(s) that you forget yourself, because you don’t really dare to go for what you want yourself? In short, to what extent can you set your boundaries and stick to these, from the determination of who you are? Do you dare to “shine” as the Sun in your life?
The blocking aspect is “SHAME”.
When you are ashamed, you shrink, don’t you? You wish to crawl into hiding, so no one sees you. When you are ashamed or have shame, you find it hard to “do”, to “act” in your life. And definitely not from what you truly want in your life. The person who is ashamed does not go for it.
Ask yourself: to what extent do you dare to go for what you want, and act accordingly? How timid or ashamed are you, e.g. when you have to speak in front of an audience; imagine that and check what your reactions are at the thought? When you do something, how convinced are you yourself, or are you preoccupied with what other (might) think of you?
I conclude with these 3 layers in this article. The themes and the blocking aspects of the other 4 layers I will describe in my next article. Let’s take it step by step. For now you can already go to work on the 3 layers described above and their linked themes and blocking aspects:
(i) Ask yourself the questions and formulate your answers;
(ii) if you wish you can already do part of the test. Give a score on a scale from 1 to 10, where the values represent : 1 = truly a problem (layer) & 10 = the ideal for this layer
(iii) After my next article: together with the other 4 for which you will be able to provide a score, you add up to obtain a total score and divide the obtained result by 7. That score out of 10 will indicate your general well-being score.
Assess for yourself your situation, for that much needed self-knowledge. Being mindful in life, to align your thinking, your view on your life, your words, your actions, your feelings and your being… for the best possible version of yourself, and for the best possible life you can imagine for yourself. If you wish to know more, you can read my book “The 7 Seals”, available through https://www.life-coach-healer.be/boeken-1
In the book I describe in more detail what the “7” represent.