Subtle Shifts

enneagram Mar 12, 2020

When it comes to REAL lasting growth, it's less about forcing ourselves into some new, unfamiliar ground and more about allowing ourselves to make shifts at the deepest levels of our consciousness. Redefining who we are in the most profound ways. 

When this happens, at the very root of who we are, life-long transformation is possible. 

When we focus on changing external manifestations, it's only a matter of time before it all goes back. 

Here are a few shifts that each type can consider and make and I promise you, if you make these shifts, parts of you that you NEVER thought could change, will transform right before your eyes. 


All ones can do self-evaluation around WHY there is a need to create perfection or excellence. When you find that the root of this compulsion is based in a fear of being defective, then you can press into a deeper love that reminds you that you are ok, and this breeds compassion, which changes EVERYTHING.

You don't need to stop being a can see what's wrong in the world and fix it (in fact, that's what you are here for and a BEAUTIFUL thing!) but you can also do all this fixing from a place of compassion and tenderness rather than resentment and intensity. 


Twos, our self-reflection revolves around the SOURCE of love. Is it coming ONLY from you, or from somewhere deeper? Are you trying to create love and manufacture a sense of well-being for yourself and others? Or - are you resting in a deeper love as the source both for you and others?

This subtle shift changes everything as you bring the depth and fullness of your heart into the world as a way to connect others to the deepest love of the universe that we ALL need. 


Threes you will always need to do work around evaluating where your sense of identity lies. Is it from external feedback and responses or from within? Are you rooted in who you are and what you feel (without re-framing difficult emotions and situations, without finding the silver lining or the "lesson")?

Knowing who others need you to be is easy. Knowing who you are takes some work, and slowing down, and sitting with yourself. It's hard work, but will bring about that subtle shift that re-orients everything. 


Fours you can feel like Enneagram work is no big deal, looking within for a greater degree of self-knowledge? Sign me up!! However, be careful when you are doing your self-exploration, you don't fall into your type's habitual pattern to ONLY fixate on the dark, the tragic, the sad and in doing so, trick yourself into seeing yourself through only that one view point and believe that is all you are. 

Remember, your ability to hold space for the darker emotions doesn't lessen or remove your ability to hold space for the bright shiny ones as well - every weather of the heart is welcome. 


Fives, your mental capacities are SO STRONG and you can rely on them for SO MUCH that it's easy to believe you don't need anything but that amazing brain of yours. If, however, you press into the truth that you are safe and let that allow you to reach into the other centers of intelligent (both of which require contact with the world and others) you may find the satisfaction of true knowing that you crave. 


6's it can feel so natural to believe that keeping yourself "keyed up" (that's such a great phrase right?) and on high alert at all times is the way to maintain safety. I would submit another tactic might be more beneficial and less taxing on your nervous system (which cannot distinguish between the stress of an actual emergency and the stress of anticipating an emergency). What if you REALLY worked on engaging your mind to what you know is true - looking to the past and seeing your capabilities, your community's support, your survival and even (dare I say) thriving in this life. 

Stability comes through deep breathing, deep thinking, deep faith, good spiritual practices for us all - and a great place for 6's to start their work. 


Each of our types TRICK us to believe things that aren't true because of where our attention goes. If you stare at one portion of a painting too closely, you can trick yourself into thinking the other parts of it no longer exits. This is what happens to type 7's when they believe that they will never be satisfied, preferring to pace back and forth in a cage of their own lack of self-control rather than sitting in peace on a wide open beach. 

Choosing to believe that everything they crave for feeling safe and secure lies within allows type 7's to slow down and sit in the beauty of the moment that currently exists. The need to move on, create more, seek satisfaction "out there" slowly fades away. 


I used the word "addiction" in his graphic because I know 8's can take it. The truth is EVERY type is addicted to their own patterns of behavior. It's what we THINK we need in order to move through life and survive. 8's think they need intensity to feel something and to feel in control. Control means eliminating the risk of being hurt or betrayed. 

However, the truth is deeper. When a type 8 turns it's objectives from not being hurt, betrayed or controlled (defensive) to being willing to be affected at their heart level and using their power on behalf of the weak and powerless they go on the offensive and find that love no only fuels their purpose but allows them to move through even the most painful situations with resilience. 


9's life feels "too much" for a lot of us. Most of us probably. Every type hits that moment of overwhelm and then defaults to their type's instinct. I think it's important to remember what is feeding your instinct to disconnect: A lack of valuing who you are as a person. 

To believe that disappearing is the answer to life being too much is a sign of a low valuation of your person-hood. The balancing energy to that is remembering that you have a PURPOSE. Your life was MEANT to make an impact. Might be in a big way, or a small way - but I think we've learned enough in this life to say - it's impossible to gauge how big even the smallest of impacts can become. 

An amazing mantra for you when you feel like disconnecting is: "I have a purpose, and it is to be present and embody love to the people around me. I matter to them because I matter."


When we allow ourselves to consider - because that is ALL I am asking you do to in this moment, simply CONSIDER - an alternate way of thinking and being, it stars to tickle our minds, it gets our curiosity going. 

"What IF I tried to see things that way?" we wonder. 

Even if if FEELS uncomfortable (like most growing up does), what if I gave it a chance. 

This is what these subtle shifts do - they invite us to interrupt the status quo, hard worn pathways in our minds and hearts and call us to expand. 

If you are looking for more ways to expand and use the Enneagram for Growth, I invite you to check out 10 Days 10 Ways, ten free video trainings on a variety of subjects that can help you understand how to grow in your type. 


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