The 4 Realms of Resiliency & Wellbeing Model
The 4 elements of resiliency and wellbeing model is a way for us to understand and focus on where we might be lacking what we need to stay clear, centered, calm, radiant, motivated and healthy and in these times.
It’s a way for us to understand how we operate as a whole person – no matter if we are at work, home, with family or with colleagues. We don’t check our heart at the door when we start work. And we don’t stop tending to our mind when we log off of work for the day.
You likely have heard of the term “mind/body/spirit.” Or noticed more talk and focus about mental wellness (which is great!).
And … there’s a big miss with both of these approaches. They leave out one of the core causes of a lack – or a strength – of wellbeing and resiliency – the Heart.
The heart is the realm of our emotions.
The heart is a huge source our intuition, and our inner knowing about what we need to maintain our wellbeing and internal strength.
So why is the heart absent? Why don’t we talk about both mental and emotional wellness, like a pair that cannot be separated, because one informs the other. Why even in conscious media and self-growth teachings do we lump the heart and our emotions into body, mind and spirit?
Simple: We are uncomfortable talking about feelings and emotions. We’d rather stay on the surface than dive into the depth and honesty the heart takes us to.
It’s easy to woo woo, poo poo and shoo shoo the heart. The business and professional worlds often deem them ‘soft.’ Which sure does not make them seem of equal power and credibility to the intellect and mental strength. But really is it about soft and hard? There is a lot of fierceness in the heart. The word courage comes from the french word for heart. Our emotions range in reality from fire to water, anger to compassion, grief to joy.
Feelings and emotions are just different than what we experience in our minds and bodies because they come from a different place within us. The place that makes us compassionate human beings vs. productivity and thinking machines. Our heart.
Here’s a few things wisdom traditions teach us that we don’t often learn or see in the mainstream:
ONE. There have always been at least 4 (often more) not 3 realms to a whole person’s wellness and internal strength.
4 is a number that the natural world works with to create stability and harmony. There are 4 major directions, N W S E. 4 quarters in a year divided by the Equinoxes and Solstices. 4 is also the number of stability in the material world – think chair and table legs.
Wisdom Byte: When we mimic the way nature works, our lives, beings, societies, relationships, organizations, teams and ways of thinking and understanding work better … all parts come into harmony.
TWO. We’ve been conditioned to put a high value and focus on what we can see tangibly and what we can measure, and a low validity and focus on what is intangible or invisible.
Yogic science and other timeless traditional approaches to wellbeing and resiliency teach that the physical body is the last place dis-ease shows up. By the time a lack of wellbeing has shown up in our body or our mind has become cluttered, and chaotic the source of the dis-ease has been hanging out in our heart and spirit for some time. We just don’t see it with our eyes.
THREE: The emotions and feelings in our heart affect the thoughts and perceptions in our mind.
The conscious and unconscious fear, shame, doubt, worry, frustration, anger, grief and sadness affects our thoughts, clarity and how we feel in our body. Our heart informs our head in other words. Our emotional environment and the thoughts that go with them get stirred up by the imprints and traumas (big and small) stored in our somatic physical and energetic bodies, our nervous systems, and our neural pathways and memories. If we want to heal and stay healthy, all on levels, we need to work with and be aware of both the emotional and mental realms.
FOUR: The state of our spirit is the source of our long term longevity.
There is a word in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for the spirit called Shen – I love that TCM and Yogic Science have names for these different bodies within us. Without language, they remain invisible.
What is Shen?
“Chinese masters say it is through Shen that we radiate ourselves into the world. This spiritual radiance manifests as our wisdom, emotional well being, and ability to see all sides of an issue. Shen refers to that aspect of our being that looks to the universe around us, and is not focused on emotions. Shen draws our attention to the divine. It contributes to wisdom, virtue, and calmness, and maintains our whole being in order.”
The state of our heart/emotions and our spirit/radiance often informs our physical and mental wellbeing and resiliency.
In summary. I think it’s safe to say we need all four elements of our being – Body. Mind. Spirit. Heart – for our system and self to work and thrive best.
What follows below are descriptions of each of the 4 realms of the resiliency wellbeing model I use in my work, methods, coaching and training. Take a read through each and rank which you are strongest in and which you are weakest in.
I also listed some resources below that can support you to strengthen each area, and learn more.
Your vitality, radiance, life-force, & energetic resiliency.
Your capacity to release tension, restore wellbeing & resist dis-ease.
Deep stores of energy and health that come from the small daily choices & big lifestyle choices you make.
Your sense of clarity, calm & centered neutrality.
Your capacity to be aware of your thoughts, transform negative & obsessive thinking, respond vs. react, and discern & make wise decisions.
Deep sense of internal peace & centeredness that comes from knowing your mind and consistent practices that calm & clear it.
Your sense of passion, purpose and possibility, which keeps you lifted up and your light bright.
Your capacity to trust, surrender, and keep faith in people & the process.
Deep resiliency that comes from being connected to something greater than just the self.
Your emotional stability, sensitivity, resiliency & sense of wellbeing.
Your capacity to move through heavy & unsettling feelings, and stay open to receive & give care, compassion & connection.
Deep contentment that comes from a foundation of healthy self-love & love for others.
- Organizations that have been on the cutting edge of marrying modern science and human consciousness with truly traditional (as in thousands of years old) wisdom traditions and sciences. Check them out: Heartmath, Institute of Noetic Science, Kundalini Research Institute
- Overwhelmed and Over It: Embrace Your Power to Stay Centered and Sustained in a Chaotic World – my fourth book which uses this model to provide practices and a way to shape how you live, work and be in a more sustainable way. Learn more here.
- Daily morning practice that connects you with all 4 realms of wellbeing and resiliency – Video + Booklet – www.DailyFlowPractice.com