Defining our terms: Ego and Essence

 

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Have you ever listened to an Enneagram teacher and they throw out some terms that you aren't fully understanding?? Today I am defining two terms: Ego and Essence. 

Ego = False Self
Essence = True Self

Before we go too much further let me just say that neither "self" is bad or good. They are simply two ways of being that do carry with them some consequences, but that's all. I don't want to vilify either of these two ways of being. Both belong. 

Let's start with False Self and Ego. I use these two terms interchangeably. It's the self that we feel that we have to be to make our way in the world. It's a self that is not our true essence, but something we have manufactured. Typically this is something that we create early on in our childhood. We perceive a lack in our "holding" (the environment in which we grew up) and when we perceive this lack we try to create balance by fabricating a...

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The Enneagram and Spiritual Practices

 

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Don't hear what I'm not saying (one of my childhood friend's dad used to say this all the time).

I do not believe the Enneagram can only be useful to ONE religious perspective. I believe the Enneagram transcends religion and can be useful and pulled into all religions and spiritualities. 

However, it IS a tool for spiritual growth, so we are going to go there. 

In my 5 Day Enneagram Challenge I talk a lot about how the Enneagram is a MAP. It's a guide to show us where we begin our journey, where we want to end, how we move and how we might plot a way to get there. 

All Enneagram work should end in freedom - transforming BEYOND our personality and finding that this persona, this armor that we carry is restricting us, it's causing us pain and it's no longer necessary. We begin to take off the armor as we make our way through Enneagram work. 

Removing the armor requires a spiritual...

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Rest and each Enneagram Type

I’m on vacation, and I’m SUPPOSED to not be working. But I can’t help thinking about REST. Why is it so hard for us to TRULY rest (not just numb and disengage…which is a side effect of NOT resting regularly and in a healthy way)?
 
Here are some thoughts around rest and each Enneagram type. 
 
I know for ME, when I am not prioritizing proper rest habits, I am in ego, I get close to burnout, I hold stress in my body and I am NOT my best, healthiest self. 
 
And…my compulsion to avoid rest stems DIRECTLY from the lie that MY type tricks me into believing is true. 
 
Oftentimes when we resist resting it’s a form of rejecting BOTH our divinity and humanity. Not standing in the DIGNITY and love that are ours by birthright, the divinity that our SPIRIT holds. 
And ALSO…
Rejecting our humanity, not allowing ourselves to have flaws, weaknesses, live in mystery or any other number of things that make us...
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The Humanity and Divinity of Each Type

We are made of both breath and dust. Divinity and humanity. The image of the divine, stamped in flesh and bone.

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We walk in full HUMANITY when we honor both of these elements.

We shrink as a shell of our true selves when we reject either (or both).

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This is what breath (divinity) affirms to us: “I AM.”

This is where humanity intersects: “I allow.”

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Take time today to ask yourself: “Do I see and honor the image of the divine in me? Do I believe I am held, supported, loved, provided for, protected, connected, safe, worthy and good?”

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Take time today and ask yourself “Where am I rejecting my humanity? Where am I refusing to allow for flaws and needs, discomfort and failure, chaos, love and mystery?”

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Ego refuses both breath and dust. Healing comes when we work to return and become FULLY HUMAN once more.

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If you are intrigued by this concept, and would like to explore where this refusal to step into both your divinity and humanity...

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Self Coaching with Compassion

 

 To listen to the podcast format, please click here.
 
One of the most important and very first things I do when I am coaching with a client is make sure that I meet them with empathy and compassion. 
 
When clients share with me their shame, their fear, anger, 
insecurities or frustrations, often times I can see they have already beat themselves up about it. 
 
All the “shoulds” come out. All the ways they “know better” but keep finding themselves doing the same thing over and over. 
 
In that moment, one of the most powerful things that any coach, therapist, mentor, etc can do is meet all of that lack with abundance. Abundant compassion, love and empathy. 
 
Compassion allows all the swirling emotions and energy to slow and settle. 
 
If you’ve ever had a glass bottle with water and sand or dirt in it, you know that when it’s swirling around and the sediment and sand are...
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Enneagram and Compassion

"When the Enneagram is not coupled with compassion it can become a weapon."

Read that again. 
One more time. 

Ok. Listen, this is true not only in how we use the Enneagram with others, but JUST as importantly, how we use it with ourselves. 

Compassion must increase along with our understanding of the Enneagram, or it will wound us. 

Here are a few simple ways you can practice compassion (and self-compassion) as you move along your Enneagram journey. 

1) Let the Enneagram meet you (and others) right where you are at. 

There is so much peace in admitting that you aren't ready for the Enneagram to be anything more than a fun tool for classifying yourself. 
There is so much space for simply using it to help you do better work with your team. 

If you partner doesn't care to learn more than just his/her type (or isn't even interested in that) that's ok.

Just because the Enneagram is a deeply spiritual and healing tool doesn't mean you have to be ready...

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Transformation Beneath the Surface

 

Behavior
Emotions
Thoughts

What I do
How I feel
What I think

What I'm angry about
What makes my heart hurt
What I'm afraid of

There is a hierarchy to human behavior.

Usually when we seek growth or transformation we are looking at our BEHAVIOR, we are looking at what we do and something about it makes us angry (or upset). We feel the pain of being stuck in our own actions or habits. 

I often am hired by my clients to help them deal with behavior.
But behavior is never where we start our work. 

Behavior is the RESULT of the layers beneath. 

We do what we FEEL like doing.

We FEEL because of what we THINK to be true, about ourselves, God and others. 

And so, if we want to change behaviors, there are a few steps we must take, and these steps seem to take us BACKWARDS and deeper INTO pain rather than forwards and out of pain, and this is often why we stay stuck a lot longer than we need too because the way out is THROUGH. Not around, over or away, but THROUGH. 

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Instinctual Sub-types and How Each Type Gets Their "Flavor"

 

What are subtypes and how do they influence your core type?

First of all, let's take a step back and consider the push back that is often hurled at Enneagram fans and teachers which is: "There can't possibly be only nine types that all humanity in the entire world fits in to. We are too diverse, and have too many varieties of humans for everyone to be categorized as one of nine types."

One way of addressing this concern, has been wide-spread but it's worth mentioning again, and that is to think of the color wheel. There are only a certain defined number of primary and secondary colors - the ROY G. BIV if you will - however, WITHIN each color there is a wide spectrum of shade and variations. Some of them look nothing alike, but still contain the same root color. 

But also, maybe the way my strange brain works will be helpful here, I like to think of this as a meal. Your Enneagram type is like the protein - there are only a...

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Three Reasons Why You Might Have Trouble Finding Your Type

One of the most frustrating parts of the Enneagram is when you can't seem to nail down which type you are. 

I want for you to get to experience ALL the amazing benefits of knowing and working with the Enneagram and you can't really do that if you aren't sure what your type is. 

Before I get into the three reasons why you might be having trouble, I want to say that this journey is YOUR OWN. No one can type you, no one can tell you what type you are, and even certified Enneagram teachers and coaches can only guide and ask illuminating questions for YOU to work through because this journey is your own. 

Ok, let's start into the first reason why you may be having trouble finding your type, and I say this with all the love in my heart: you may not know yourself as well as you think you do. It's not you, it's all of us. 

The way the human psyche operates is through patterned behavior. A situation arrises, we try out a response, if that response works we try it again,...

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Goal Setting for Each Type

As with almost anything, when it comes to goal setting, each Ennagram type will have it's strengths and potential for downfall. 

Our type gives us the best in us and the worst in us at the same time and of course, a deeper understanding of our instincts is what helps us live with awareness so we can chose with grater intention and move into health. 

Let's jump right in.

Type 1:

Type 1's are natural goal setters and goal getters. They love having a clear and measurable plan for self-improvement. Remember, the core motivation for type 1's is to be good and do what is right. Type 1's may get lost searching for the "right" goals to have. Searching and agonizing as to where they should try to improve and what is the best way to go about doing it. A great way for 1's to pursue growth is to realize that there is no ONE set of PERFECT goals for each person. There is no master list of self-improvement for all humanity. What would be a great goal for one person, may not be the best...

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