Learn the Enneagram to be free of the pains of the personality.
You are not your personality, your personality is in you.
This is such an important understanding. Many people including myself, initially resist the Enneagram personality system, because rightly so we don’t want to be put into boxes.
But the truth is, that while we remain unconscious and ignorant of the personality, the personality has limiting power over our lives.
The Enneagram doesn’t put us in boxes, it shows us the boxes we are already in! We can use this knowledge as well as the knowledge of enlightenment, which is a self-knowledge to free our minds and lives from the bondage of the personality.
At its highest expression each personality type is radiant and beautiful. It is only at its lowest expression, that personalities are painful distortions of love.
The true self is not contained in a personality. The true self is always already free of the personality. But ironically, it can help us to realize this, by studying the personality. By studying the personality box we immediately gain distance from it and see that we are not in the box but rather that the personality box is in us. Does that make sense?
When I first heard of the Enneagram many years ago, I was very resistant, I had no interest in this personality system. My friend and colleague Dr. Pam Roux use to always talk about people’s types, which sounded a lot like this, “Oh that’s because she is a type 4” or “He is an 8” or “She is a healthy 7.” And to be honest, although I love Pam dearly I really didn’t like labelling people in this way.
In a dream one night, I dreamt that Pam told me I was a 9. So I called her the next day to tell her, and she replied with a smile, “that’s a very 9-way to find out that you are a 9!”
A couple of days later I found myself in the bookshop browsing through the Enneagram titles. With Helen Palmer’s “the Enneagram” in my hands, I skipped to the chapter on type 9. I think I actually felt my ego being bruised, as I read descriptions about this Enneagram type. I remember thinking defensively, “But I thought that was me and not a type!”
Fast forward many years and the Enneagram has become one of the most helpful bodies of knowledge that I use almost daily. From raising my children, two navigating relationships, being a better coach and trainer to my students, to the growth of my Apple tree life expression, to helping me on the path of self-realization — the Enneagram has played a significant role.
I’ve seen many obstacles and a lot of confusion in the world of Enneagram coaching and training. The biggest mistakes that I’ve seen include:
- Relying on online tests to type the Enneagram — when these only have 50 to 60% accuracy rate, often leaving people confused and disillusioned about the Enneagram.
- Not understanding the essence of the Enneagram — which is that our Enneagram types have nothing to do with our behaviours, but are rooted in the reasons for the behaviours. Which is why I created a three pearls metaphor and system to teach the Enneagram more effectively.
- Not using the Enneagram to grow — the Enneagram is not an excuse it is a map for growth. When we use the Enneagram to help our personalities to rise to their highest expression, we can gain incredible gifts from our personalities and be free of the personality prison.
These dialogues posts (see below) are focused on my contemplations on the Enneagram, and especially how we can use the Enneagram to know ourselves and to find the true self.
I created a free “Discover the nine Enneagram types in 90 minutes”video course for you to enjoy. Here is the link.
Our family system does more to us than condition our minds and strongly shape our sense of reality, there are hidden influencing factors that most are not aware of. Did you know that you can carry known and unknown burdens from even a few generations past? We can...
In my journey to learning master coaching skills, I found something surprisingly wonderful in common between coaching (at the highest levels) and my intuitive dialogues with the true self. This is one of the many reasons that I created a coaching methodology, because...
Even though I usually paint wide open natural spaces, sometimes it's good to look more closely at the spaces hidden in small universes. This oil painting is of a raindrop about to fall from the petal of a red flower. A simple moment, a slice of time and space. What...
I think it's true that most artists are never 100% satisfied with any artwork, that's at least how I feel because it seems impossible to express in paint the depth and reality of the true. But we do our best anyway, for the joy of it, and sometimes because simply we...
If you want to calm a busy mind in order to use your intuition more accurately, or to be able to meditate deeply, or to practice mindfulness, or even to just experience more peace— you've probably already discovered how hard it is to still a busy or restless mind....
The still small figure walks in the beauty of the blue forest. Can we be alone and at one? The washes of light weave between strong vertical tree lines calling us in and upwards. We are called inwards and upwards to our highest calling.
I love places and spaces where you can see the sky touching the horizon. These open spaces invite us to remember that we are openness itself. We are the space in which the dance of light and form creatively expresses itself. This oil painting was inspired by a moment...
Even in the crazy busy world there is an invitation to find the sanctuary of the true self that lies within. This pen and ink drawing is of the inner garden atrium in my home. My home is often busy, with adult children coming and going, with staff, friends and family,...
On news of the passing of one of my loved teachers Dr Michael Newton, author of Journey of Souls, who I had the privilege of working with for some precious years, this abstract oil painting.
Oh what a miracle you are little dragonfly, light taking flight. Have you ever stopped, taken aback by the awe inspiring miracle of life, of natural things like dragonflies. How does this tiny creature navigate his world with such grace? A glimpse of the intelligence...