The Principle of Inside-Out: For People, Businesses, and Communities


As the founder of Laying Groundwork, I envisioned bringing a truly meaningful definition of what it means to be wholly well to businesses by working from the inside-out. This means we build health from the inside-out of the individuals who comprise the business to create an even larger picture of health in the organization itself, and the community it exists in. Here’s how it works.


The Principle of Inside-Out Wellness

One of the most obvious examples of health from the inside-out can be found in your skin. Considered to be the largest organ of the body, the skin’s health and appearance is not the sole result of the most expensive creams in the world or the latest spa treatments. While topical treatments can be helpful, even the very best of them cannot undo the effects of lack of sleep, chronic stress, or poor nutrition.  

If we take this concept of working on the unseen inside to support the seen outside, healthful components of a whole, engaged life become essential. Things like becoming a better communicator, moving your body daily, eating foods that support your health, and staying socially and emotionally connected become just as important, if not more, than simply focusing on a skin cleansing regimen. That’s because all of these things- and more- affect health in all areas of life.


Tapping Into Our Innate Intelligences

So, how do we apply the inside-out concept to our lives? We engage consciously in supporting all of our intelligences. Everyone possesses each of these intelligences; they’re components of being a whole, integrated human being:

Physical Intelligence:

is the natural ability of your body to function well by maintaining optimal chemical balances in response to the ever-changing world around us. We maintain physical intelligence through daily movement, eating nutritionally dense foods, and learning to manage stress.

Mental Intelligence:

is part of becoming self-aware individuals. We all have an innate ability to think critically, plan, and problem solve. We are also all naturally creative; creativity is our natural tendency to align our cognitive capacity to our desire to self-express and connect to the people and world around us. We support our mental intelligence when we engage in creative pursuits, stay open to new ideas and concepts, and learn from past experiences rather than getting stuck in a thinking-pattern rut. We are hardwired to grow, evolve, and build upon our learning.

Emotional Intelligence:

is the ability to manage emotion. As we become more aware of our emotions and the range of responses available to us, we can get better at managing our emotions. With better self-awareness, we can all learn to direct our emotional energy toward a more useful and practical outcome. There are many techniques, such as meditation and other mindfulness practices, that can help us harness our emotional intelligence to feel more empowered and less controlled by our thoughts and feelings.


Social Intelligence:

is unique to humans as social beings. We literally survive together, with each member of society both contributing to and drawing from a collective wisdom that has evolved over thousands of years. Connecting with and contributing to community is vitally important to our ability to be whole, healthy, and happy individuals. Practicing the tenants of Non-Violent Communication is one way to work in this area.

Building an Inside-Out Practice

  1. Consistency over time wins the race. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Stringing small steps together over time yields massive results. Working from the inside-out is a lifestyle practice and takes time to build. Staying patient, learning how to deal objectively with setbacks, and working consistently is key here!
  1. Keep it simple. Because the Intelligences are all interrelated, a change in one area influences everything else. Isn’t this great news? The interactive nature of our intelligences means it’s literally impossible to make a positive shift in any of the intelligences without also impacting the others. Change becomes exponential over time!

The inside-out approach is not necessarily convenient. It does require time, energy and practice. However, the return on investment is a life well-lived. The way humans find purpose and meaning in life is by strengthening these Intelligences and growing personally.

Laying the Groundwork

Laying Groundwork is committed to helping people, and businesses, build an Inside-Out practice. We know that the intersection of personal health and finding purpose and meaning in life is the way we work and contribute to the world at-large. We focus on businesses and organizations because aligning whole, healthy people to work that is meaningful and purposeful is what creates exponential growth – no matter what your organization’s mission is. 

The same way the Intelligences overlap in each of us, health in people and organizations also overlaps. Laying Groundwork has found that applying a foundational Inside-Out practice is possible in a business setting, and benefits employees, clients, and the business itself. Something magical happens when wellness in all three is achieved – that health goes out into the world to positively affect communities and impact wellness on a truly global scale.

But, first things first. We begin by Laying the Groundwork for this inside-out growth.

Kathy Mangan

Kathy Mangan, Landscape Architect

Founder of Laying Groundwork and the Learning Center at Red Willow in Missoula, Montana, Kathy has long been interested in health and well-being. She leans heavily on what she has learned from many years of gardening and being in nature. Since planting her first radish seeds at age 4, Kathy has experienced the natural order of things and learned valuable lessons about patience, control, and timing. She brings this timeless wisdom to her work.

As the Landscape Architect for Laying Groundwork, Kathy puts her relentless curiosity to work staying current on health and well-being research and helping to develop relevant curriculum in cooperation with experts in various allied health science fields. She is dedicated to making even the most complex content accessible to and practical for every audience.

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Laying Groundwork is a benefit corporation, legal tool that creates a solid foundation for long term mission alignment and value creation for business and stakeholders.

We turn businesses inside out, by offering fully customizable services focused on leadership and employee development and wellness, while working closely with stakeholders to support thriving communities.