What is the Enneagram? Based on 9 different motivational energies, the Enneagram (literally 9-points) is a system of explaining why we do what we do – what are we avoiding due to fear, what needs are we seeking to have met, what lies beneath our behavior? By learning about our own particular Enneagram energy (also called “type”), we can celebrate the great strengths of this energy and also become aware of our shadow side and blind spots that are buried in the subconscious, often preventing us from having the kind of life or relationships we want. Learning about Enneagram energy also helps us develop compassion for others, as we begin to realize that not everyone thinks that same way we do (nor are we always right about everything, including issues around priorities, behavior, relationships, etc).
Over time, many fantastic teachers have collected the wisdom of the Enneagram and shared this dynamic, multi-layered system with the world, even adding to its dimensions. The Enneagram is quite complex, as are human beings. No one has only one Enneagram energy – we all have some bit of each of the nine energies in us – and the nuances of these combinations also manifests itself in our thought patterns, choices and habits in various ways. One can study the Enneagram for ages and not ever be finished.
We can work with Enneagram for many reasons but I have two favorites:
- I want to be able to choose how I show up (and not simply behave out of unconscious habit).
- I want to have more compassion for the people in my life
Understanding Enneagram is powerful for both of these.
What is Enneagram NOT?
- Putting people in emotional/behavioral boxes and leaving them trapped there
- Accusing people of being a particular type
- Using “my type” as an excuse for poor behavior or attitudes
- Claiming helplessness to change because of “my type”
You may be familiar with Enneagram already – there are indeed many many books and articles written about it, podcasts and all kinds of workshops. You may have borne the attack of someone using Enneagram poorly (in the ways described above) but I hope your experience has been positive and you are hungry for more – there is so much to dig into.
I am happy to work with individuals or groups – or a combination of both. Imagine this: before your retreat, everyone takes the assessment and receives the report. They also spend an hour with me (online or by phone) talking about their results, their hopes for working deeper and any concerns. During the retreat, as a group, I would teach about all 9 numbers, triads, centers of expression, etc. We share perspectives and do activities, learning about ourselves and others while utilizing the language and energy of the Enneagram.
The best way to learn is to play. Let’s play.