For those of you unfamiliar with the Enneagram - it's a very beautiful and powerful way in to understanding your own patterns and other people's patterns - the ones that are deeply built in to who we are fundamentally from the inside. It blends modern psychology with ancient insights, has profound depth, and can be thought of as a developmental map of 9 interconnected personality types.
I'm only just beginning to learn about the Enneagram (with Dr. Henrie Lidiard) therefore I have a fairly basic knowledge base about it so please read the following in its simplicity as I mean it.
Firstly, I know I am an '8' and my husband is a '9'.
'8's can often struggle with their weight. For me it's about this deep need of wanting more, filling the vastness that sits within me. I need things (like food, music, work) to be bigger so I pump them up, turn them up, do more, have more.
It has been a powerful force in my life, however, I'm learning the more present I am as a human, the less power it has.
Recently I've been more on autopilot on a day-to-day basis because I've been working too much so some old familiar unhealthy patterns have crept in: I've been working more, eating more and therefore moving less.
In the same house Iain has given up sugar (including his favourite sticky toffee pudding!) and cycles for 45mins/an hour each day. He looks and feels healthier than he has done in a looooong time and it's wonderful to see.
I was talking to someone recently about where I'm at, what I'd been avoiding, the things I needed to do to reinstate balance into my system again. I mentioned Iain and how well he was doing but also how frustrating it was that he finds this stuff so easy.
Now, one thing I understand about '9's is that they are not a fan of change which means they can struggle with momentum / inertia. But. When they do start they can become hyper focused as the stability of routine helps them feel safe. This has worked in Iain's favour with being more healthy, he's locked in on it and now this is how it is and needs to be.
The Enneagram isn't about just being one thing or about putting yourself in a box and staying there. It's about seeing what box you're already sitting in so you can step out of it.
I said to my friend: "Why can't I be a little more '9'?".
I've obviously been processing that statement because the reality is, I can. I can be a little more like '9' because we all have all of it in us, it's just about where we put out attention. Am I willing to wake up, do things differently? Check my patterns? Awaken my inner '9'?
So, I have. I have returned to the routine that I know helps me be kinder, wiser and more aligned. And it's easy, just like I see Iain finding it easy, it's easy.
If you have people in your life you'd like to be a little more like, wake up your own version that sits within you.
It may well be easier than you think.
"Community is much more than belonging to something;
it’s about doing something together which makes belonging matter"
~ Brian Solis