Trump and the 12 stages

Anxious?  Depressed?

Don’t be!

How the 12 Stages of Healing can bring some
perspective on life and politics


doctor katie ray chicago

Hello, New Day community!

Thank you for opening this message!  Because at this point, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably wincing at the prospect of having to read yet another (upsetting, annoying, or fakely cheerful) political analysis.

Please, prepare for the possibility of reading something inspiring here!

Last week was the culmination of a months long cultural phenomenon known as the presidential election, and it has left many of us exhausted, depressed, confused, and perhaps cynical and bitter.  It proved a fruitful week for healing, as many practice members experienced emotional releases during their sessions as the country recalibrates for what’s next.

Trump’s victory brought a sort of “aha” for me personally and as a healer and practitioner of Dr. Donald Epstein’s work (Network Spinal Analysis and the 12 Stages of Healing).

Now normally, I write my blogs about the spine, the health of the nervous system, and the importance of consistency over time in creating and maintaining results in your health.  But the magic of Donny Epstein’s work is that it applies to healing in the body as well as healing in our external experience.  So here goes my breakdown of the current political scene.  Bear with me here, I think this read will be worth your time!

So much of what we experience as politics and political engagement falls into the category of Stage 1 or Stage 2 of Donny’s 12 Stages of Healing.  The Stage 1 experience is the prototypical stage of breakdown. Pain, suffering, and the inability to understand our pain as anything beyond something senseless and unfair happening TO us.  Stage 1 has us sad, disempowered, confused, and with a fundamental distrust of ourselves and others in the healing process.  We are in a place of despair and “why even bother?”  Sound familiar?

Now to remind you, Stages 1, 2, and 3 are the stages of healing that we work within in Level 1 of Network Care.  When I work with you chiropractically, I am helping your brain and your nervous system find and reorganize the disconnection (Stage 1), polarity (Stage 2), and stuckness (Stage 3) that is tying up energy in your body, tying up your focus, and generally keeping you from being in the energetic state needed to experience deeper healing and resolution around your symptoms and complaints.

sri workbook

Stage 2, Polarity, comes to us as a major relief after the sense of disempowerment we felt during Stage 1.  Now we continue to intermittently identify with the sensations, feelings, and thoughts of Stage 1.  But the rest of the time we experience relief and a sense that we now know what is to blame for our problems.  The thing that we are blaming, inevitably, is something outside ourselves that we may experience as a name for a symptom or a medical diagnosis, or in the political realm as the foe that threatens to take everything away from us.  As long as we can defeat him or her, we feel that we can finally experience what we want.

The thing about a Stage 2 experience is that while we experience polarity, extremes, all-or-nothing, good vs evil, etc, we are identifying all our anger at something we regard as opposite to ourselves and our true nature and what we want.  We don’t identify what it is inside ourselves that perpetuates this way of experiencing, because our focus is OUT THERE.


Without a full resolution in stages 1 or 2, we are likely to bounce back and forth between the two indefinitely.  Suffering, sadness, upset, anger, frustration, suffering, sadness, frustration, etc.  On and on and on.  Culminating periodically in our bodies and our desire to “fix” what we think is wrong with us, and politically as our desire to save the country from the apocalypse of one candidate versus the other.  Or at the very least to make the “better bad choice.”

When Trump won, many were sent into a tailspin.  On the other hand, I saw the opening for a greater healing that we might not have otherwise experienced.  What would it look like, if instead of bouncing between suffering and polarity every 4 years, instead we would have to, as a country, fully come to grips with how freaking STUCK (Stage 3) we are?  Stuck with how we have approached change, stuck with how we have viewed politics, and stuck with how we have seen our role in the political system.  Whether it was going Hillary or Trump, it’s time to see clearly how stuck we’ve been, and how our refusal to recognize how stuck our perspectives are is keeping us in a cycle of Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 1, rinse repeat.

The results of this election allow us to look at ourselves and the political system fully and unflinchingly, in a way we might not have otherwise.  I can honestly say that I trust the wisdom of this outcome as a true reflection of where we are as a society and cumulatively within the construct of the 12 Stages as a way of understanding healing and change.

There have been a number of commentators, especially in the world of health and healing, who have wanted to take the results of this election and jump into a consciousness of love, acceptance, and “can’t we all just get along?”  The beauty of Donny’s conception of the 12 Stages is that there is work to do in all the stages to move us forward.  We can no more jump from a place of fear, anger, and disassociation to a place of love and community as we can jump to love and acceptance for our metastatic cancer from a place of fear and denial.  There is work to do in the stages of healing that will have us draw a line in the sand, take our power back, and move toward a powerful resolution where we get to be the cause in the matter of our lives.  To attempt to skip ahead to a place where “it’s all love” is to attempt an escape.  It would likely be short lived, in my opinion.

The best thing to do right now, no matter what candidate we voted for, is to find and focus on where we have been in Stage 3 (Stuck) and prepare for Stage 4 (Reclaiming our Power).  What would it look like to take full responsibility within ourselves for where we are stuck, politically and otherwise, and what possibility might that open us up to?  The major breakthrough 0f Level 1 of Network Care is to connect our external experience to our internal experience and to find where our stuckness in our perception has held us back.

If you are new in care and this a new (and possibly scary) concept for you, know that the work I do with you every week when I adjust you is to help your brain find what is, and to reorganize what is to where it needs to be now.  Trust that you are moving in the right direction, as you do the work, and I am here to be your biggest advocate.  We are only anxious and depressed when we are in our heads and not connected and feeling in our bodies.

By the way, if you want to have some major breakthroughs for you and your community in resolving stuckness and taking your power back, come to the Level 2 SRI workshop THIS Saturday!!!

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