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Using the Enneagram for Lifework Clarity
If you live in Texas, call for a free 20-minute consult to find out how Enneagram counseling can support you as you or your loved one navigate(s) through a life-changing health event or condition.
Enneagram Counselor Beth Arnold defines lifework as the unique way we serve the world as we move through life and its changing circumstances. When you are interacting with the world around you in a way that engages your heart as well as your mind and spirit, you are doing your lifework.
When meaningful lifework seems out of reach or even hard to imagine, life itself can lose vibrance and joy. Ironically, what we are yearning for is often close at hand, but we can't see it because we lack something within ourselves: self-understanding.
Through the lens of the Enneagram we can start to see ourselves and the world more clearly. We begin to recognize the deep motivations underlying our habitual behaviors. These discoveries nurture self-compassion. We begin to see how confronting certain habitual patterns can free us to make new decisions that engage us in the world in new and refreshing ways. As we understand more about ourselves we also become more able to open up to others.
Enneagram work involves engaging the intelligences of the heart and the body along with the mind. As we learn to access all three centers of intelligence, we become more present in the moment, clear-headed and strong, even in moments of suffering, confusion and uncertainty. By observing and better understanding certain instinctual responses, we learn to take better care of ourselves, consciously connect our inner experience with the outer environment, and make deeper connections with those around us.
The Enneagram is an age-old symbol used world-wide. In the psychology of personality, the Enneagram symbol illuminates nine distinct ways humans relate to their daily existence in terms of thoughts, feelings and reactions. Nine distinct personality types manifest from the way these nine perspectives develop specific predictable habits and behaviors.
All nine types reflect various aspects of the human condition, so we can relate to every one of the nine types to some degree. However, upon reflection we begin to realize that one type stands apart from the others as the most reflective of our life experience. We identify that number on the Enneagram as our basic personality type. Observing and reflecting on the habits and patterns of our type leads to a compassionate understanding of why we think, feel, and behave the way we do. Once we can see and understand unhelpful patterns, we have the power to change them, which frees up the world in new ways.
As the work deepens further, we begin to move around the Enneagram to adapt and integrate the strengths and virtues of other numbers into our personality. Obstacles once created by our personality to defend against fear, sadness and anger start to fall away. Movement forward toward satisfaction of our yearnings can be deep and lasting when challenges are viewed through the Enneagram lens.