I’ll tell you what all the fuss is about. It’s about this being a fabulous tool for understanding yourself and others. It’s about this being a great map for exploring your desires, fears and core motivations (just code words for personality type). And it’s about this being a way of awakening to who we really are (yes, something other than personality type), seeing others through a lens of acceptance and compassion, and even experiencing the world as a place where we all belong. That’s a tall order, eh? Well, I’m here to tell you, the Enneagram offers and delivers everything it promises.
In July of 2001, at the urging of a close friend, I took my first Enneagram book with me on a beach trip. Shortly after beginning it, I had this dream: I’m sitting in a lounge chair at the edge of the ocean, looking at a map with the word “Enneagram” written across the top in large letters. The territory on the map looks a bit like Tolkien’s middle earth. A man walks up to me and asks, “What are you doing?” I look up and because the sun is directly behind him, I can’t see his face. I say to him, “I’m discovering who I really am.” I’m not kidding. I really dreamed that.
Fifteen years, countless workshops and about 25 books later (not kidding about that either), I am still discovering who I really am with this remarkable matrix of human behavior. Through the Enneagram, I’ve learned to spot those behaviors which keep me going around in circles and to trace the painful patterns they can create back to where they began. Because the Enneagram helps me see and understand the natural human attachments which keep my personality intact, I’ve developed quite a bit of compassion for myself. Now when I see myself doing those things I do, instead of asking, “What in the hell is wrong with me?” I am more inclined to say, “Well, there I go again being me!” When something brings us this much understanding of ourselves, it’s bound to spill over into our relationships. Better than anything I’ve ever encountered, the Enneagram helps me get that everyone is operating out of the same kind of personality stew I am. It’s just that their stew is as particular to them as mine is to me.
Seeing where we get stuck within ourselves is just the beginning. The Enneagram offers a map for moving beyond these patterns. It points the way towards real personal and spiritual growth by guiding us towards that essence we came into the world as but have forgotten about. It helps us remember by showing us what gift we each bring to the human family and how we can awaken it within ourselves and express it in the world with awareness and choice, yet still through our own unique personality. Pretty cool, huh? We don’t have to give up being who we are in order to awaken to who we are!
You’ve heard the expression that the map is not the territory (if you haven’t, then you have now). Well, the territory is us. Who we are is really what we’re all trying to navigate here. This thing called us is a territory filled with smooth paved roads, bumpy curvy ones and sudden dead ends; mountain vistas and misty valleys; light-filled meadows and dark patches of woods; places we love and those we wish we didn’t even know about. When you decide to travel into this territory, I suggest you take along a good flashlight, a compass and a map. The flashlight is your commitment to being more aware, accepting and loving of yourself and others. The compass is your own north star leading you home to that essence which is waiting for you. And the map…well, there are lots of maps which can take us home to ourselves. The one I recommend is the one I’ve been following ever since the summer of 2001 when I went in search of who I truly am – the Enneagram. It never goes out of date, it never gets boring, and it never steers me wrong.
To learn more about my Enneagram offerings, click here: http://www.spaceforconsciousliving.com/the-enneagram/