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Sunset over Poppy Field

Enneagram 101

"Pretty much everybody lives in a broken story. The Enneagram can help you find out what that story is and how you can re-write it...If you've been playing the victim or the martyr your whole life, you know you can recast yourself as the hero of the story?"--Ian Morgan Cron, Enneagram Author & Speaker

The Enneagram is an ancient tool used to describe the different ways people perceive the world. In Greek,"ennea" is translated "nine" and "gramma" is translated "point", hence the nine-pointed figure used when the Enneagram is discussed (see above). As seen in the figure, there are three dominant centers through which we process our surroundings: gut, heart, and head. 

Question to ponder: Which of these 3 centers is my "go to" when making a big decision?

A simple way of understanding the Enneagram is to see it as 9 different pair of glasses, with each type having a completely different lens through which the world is experienced. If you include the 3 subtypes of each number, there are 27 unique lenses! Those with a biblical world view see the Enneagram as the 9 representations of the image of God and our capacity to reflect God while here on earth.

Question to ponder: What if I tried to take a look through someone else's lenses today?

Each number has access to two wings, which are the numbers on either side (e.g., an 8 has access to 7 and 9). Most people have a dominant wing but we are more balanced, like an eagle soaring, when we access the strengths of both wings. Each number also has access to a specific number when feeling secure versus when feeling stressed. Through coaching, I will help you better understand that your stress number is not a bad thing--it can actually act as a warning signal to create space or to pivot. 

Question to ponder: How could Enneagram coaching help me approach stress with a fresh perspective?

Unlike many other personality theories, the Enneagram gets to the root of who we are. Instead of simply describing what we see on the surface (behavior), it tells the whole story behind the behavior (our perceptions and motivations). This allows room for growth rather than simply putting someone in a stereotyped box. 

Question to ponder: What motivates my behavior (anger? fear? pride? joy? peace? courage?) 

Each type is associated with a different virtue, vice, and motivation. Two people of the same type can look very different depending on a variety of factors, including but certainly not limited to: dominant wing, subtype, level of health, stress, trauma, or family of origin. To learn your own type or more about all of the types, I recommend booking a session or doing your own intensive study (not just taking a free test online, which is often inaccurate). 

Question to ponder: How would my relationship to myself and others change if I understood and embraced my unique strengths and weaknesses? 

All types can struggle with the same problem for a very different reason. Let's take the example of asking for help. ONEs may not ask for help because they aren't certain it will be done the right way. TWOs may not ask for help because they don't want to burden someone with their needs. EIGHTs may not ask for help because they don't want to seem weak or powerless. Understanding this can produce grace for ourselves and others!

Question to Ponder: What if I realized others are struggling with the same things I do, but just for different reasons? 

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