The Holistic Life – Level 10


I’ve talked about a lot of the larger philosophic process I went through in creating Open Art. This stuff is all really great at providing a foundation from which to work from–but what about when it comes to the nitty-gritty of how to enact big philosophical ideas in everyday real life?

I’ve mentioned that in creating social change one cannot change the entire paradigm for society too quickly or cataclysmically without creating painful dislocations. So, even though total change IS required and necessary, it is ALSO necessary to proceed at a pace which does not in itself danger the society. This is true on an individual level and with individual change as well. When I turned my over-all focus from an outer, top-down approach to an inner bottom-up approach, I had to ask myself what this meant for my individual life and how was I going to live this in the everyday world with which we have to work. This is the center of where Open Art and the idea of living #OpenArted came from. What does living #openarted mean to me? I think that everyone can (and maybe should) live #openarted–but I also think that what this means is going to be highly individual. I can’t tell other people how to live with an open heart–I can only lead by example. I can show them how *I* do it, and give them tools to learn what it means for them. I truly believe that, if each of us chooses to make this journey, the world can be a better place overall. The way out is the way in.

     One of the biggest things that this means for me, is that I want (need) to live a holistic life. One of the “problems” I see in the outer world of society is the fragmentation and compartmentalization of whole beings into little tiny pieces. I see this way of living as harmful–spiritually, emotionally, physically and environmentally. Therefore, in trying to fix this outer “problem.” I asked myself, “How do I live as a ‘whole’ and not fragment myself?” In seeking wholeness, I seek to heal those fragmentations and to live holistically. Rather than a linear view of things (as a general rule) I most often picture the Universe as a circle or spiral. There is a large difference between those who see things in a linear manner (beginning, middle, end,) and those who see cycles and circles in the natural order.  Here is a definition:


– characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
-characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease.


     What I mean when I say I want to live a holistic life, is that my life can only be understood as an interconnected whole, to “live right” means to acknowledge this. That I wish to “treat” my whole person rather than just using a band-aid approach of working on “work” or “relationships” etc. This is merely another expression of the idea of “Oneness.” Once you see yourself as one integrated whole, it is only a small step to seeing how the Universe and all of the systems within it, all things, are ALSO one integrated and inseparable whole. Once you have this understanding you have a profound duty towards all other things–the same duty and reverence you would show yourself is now also due to the All.
     In every day existence, looking for my own personal holistic life and leaving outer concerns aside for a minute (remember, it will all come back around, you cannot work on the microcosm without working on the macrocosm and vice versa) I asked myself questions like: “How do I make “work” and “play” and “my social circle” into a whole, rather than segmented parts? How do I live a “whole” life, instead of wasting energy compartmentalizing? Finally, how do I integrate all the various pieces in a way that is healing and energy providing, rather than draining or exhausting?” People often talk about work-life balance–if I combine them so that work is play is life, how do I stay balanced and not exhaust myself or burn out?
     The funny thing is, in trying to figure out what my holistic (or “openarted”) life means to me, one of the most useful tools which I have found is the “Level 10 life.” Level 10 life originally comes from Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning. There are a number of his ideas that I’ve found super useful. However, I originally came across the idea (and the book,) through So much of what I have done and am doing I owe to Kara Benz’s site and Facebook group, I really owe her a huge debt of gratitude. For example, here is a link to her Level 10 life spread:
     It is ironic that Level 10 has been so instrumental in my recent forward movement. Ironic because the whole idea of the Level 10 life is to split up your life into ten categories and try to raise yourself ten “levels” in ten years. The trick here is to see how these levels integrate to make a whole (rather than being separate entities), while also using them to break goals up into smaller, more manageable, steps and ideas. Here are the ten categories:


1) Personal Development
2) Spirituality
3) Finances
4) Health & Fitness
5) Marriage
6) Fun & Recreation
7) Giving & Contribution
8) Physical Environment
9) Family & Friends
10) Career


     I use a slightly different order than the original–partly on accident, as I wrote them down that way–partly because this order (with “Personal Development” first and “Career” last) works best for the way I have my bullet journal set up. An important distinction for me in setting up a rubric to organize my holistic life is that for me “Personal Development” by definition means progress in any/all of the other levels. Similarly, since I am not married and believe that trying to get married is a little icky, I am also defining my “Marriage” category as “Personal Development.” The idea is that the best way to meet a great partner is for me to be at my highest possible level. I do this through personal development. Therefore working on “marriage” is simply working on “Personal Development.” That way, when the time comes, I’ll be in the best place possible to be the best possible partner (and hopefully this will also bring the best possible partner to me.) My “Personal Development” level is based off of an average of ALL my other levels. The “Marriage” category level is an assessment of my actual marriage level (which is zero, honestly, as I’m not even dating at this moment, and working on the other things instead.)
     Just as “Personal Development” refers to the balance of the whole, so too do each of these categories connect to and refer to each other. For example: I want my “career” to be one of giving and contribution connecting with family and friends in a positive physical environment that creates fun and recreation for all, feeds and is in line with my spirituality, takes care of my finances, leads to health and fitness (on all levels), and hopefully in which I can find a partner who is an equal match for me.
What does living a holistic life mean for you? How do you seek balance? What are your level 10 goals (or what is the rubric which you use to work towards understanding your own completeness?)
This is a part of a series of philosophical posts I’ve been writing about the creation of Open Art. If you’re curious to know more, START FROM THE BEGINNING. Scroll down to read posts in order.

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