My teacher and friend, Chris Heuertz introduced me to some very specific ways that each personality type can recharge through silence, stillness and solitude. He teaches and writes about it in his book, The Sacred Enneagram.
By engaging some practices of growth and creating intentional pauses in these ways, I believe that each of us can set ourselves up for success in the new year in very specific and effective ways.
Types 8, 9 and 1 are so busy doing all year long.
Eights are busy fighting and protecting. The champions of the underdog, they are substantial and full of life, and can be powerful advocates. They can also become unnecessary adversaries, using conflict to understand intentions and build intimacy.
This holiday season, Eights can experience growth by allowing themselves times of child-like play and tender affection. Allow yourself space to intimately connect with the people with whom you are in positive relationship.
Nines are busy peace-making. They have a gift for being reassuring, calming and non-judgmental. Their adaptability can become self-forgetting passivity, and they may become angry at their needs taking a backseat to everyone else's.
Nines have an opportunity to develop and grow by deciding what they want to do and putting it on their schedule. Say no to everyone else during this time. Ask for support in this from your family and friends.
Ones are busy fixing. They show us how to live with goodness and with an upright moral code. Imperfection and wrong is a source of frustration for them. They are action-oriented, sensible, discerning and pragmatic. Their obsession with perfection creates an unattainable standard, and they judge themselves and others harshly and fear external criticism.
Ones can grow by allowing themselves grace and time to relax, let loose and goof off. The work is never done; so, don’t wait until it is to relax. Scheduling intentional time to just experience pleasure and have fun will return the One to their true self.
Each of these types must decide to slow down and create intentional space for STILLNESS. "Practices marked by stillness help dismantle the lie, ‘I am what do,' and loosen the addictive grasp that power and control have in a through this center," Chris writes.
Stillness recharges us in three restorative ways:
Stopping activity gives the body an actual rest,
Allowing a break helps to illuminate behavior that is over-doing it, brings to light the absurdity of our doing, and gives us perspective on the most compassionate and appropriate way to respond, and
Pausing helps us recognize the Divine’s love for us no matter what we do, and we awaken to God’s ability to care for the problems of the world as we rest.
Types 2, 3 and 4 are so deeply connected to the thoughts, feelings, and pains of others.
Two’s hearts are breaking at the suffering and needs of others. These givers demonstrate empathy and love in the world. They teach us to be giving of ourselves, kind, and meet the needs of others unconditionally. They experience a deep shame when it comes to their own needs and puts others first. They eventually experience hostility when others don’t meet their needs as they meet others.’
Twos set themselves up for success when they admit the truth of how they feel about themselves and others. Their opportunity to create time alone to do what they truly want to, in curated solitude and outside of what anyone else wants or needs from them.
Threes are striving for admiration. They model truth and honesty in the world for us. Quietly competitive, their high achieving is an example of possibility and hope. They can become over-identified with what they do and confused their value with the rate of success of their work.
Their opportunity is to make some time to experience something fun, new to them, outside of their skill set or area of work. This will give them a break from their image-consciousness and ability to see what is valuable and unique about them on their own.
Fours are longing for significance. They can speak to the beauty and significance of everyone and everything in the world. They are self-aware, creative and intuitive. They can experience a deep sense of longing and envy that causes them to withdraw, experience dark moods and assume that no one understands them.
The opportunity for growth for them is to spend some time acknowledging those in their life who love and fully support them. Creating specific and direct moments to acknowledge this relationship can remind them that they are uniquely loved and not abandoned.
Each of these types must create space to return to their inherent value and love through SOLITUDE. Chris writes, “Practices carried out in solitude combat the fears of not being loved, seen or understood; confront the lie ‘I am what others say or think about me,’ and loosen the addictive grasp that affection and esteem have in and through this center.”
Solitude recharges us in three empowering ways:
Quiets our emotions and brings us into the present,
Ushers in the Presence of the Divine and the truth that we are loved just as we are, and
Brings awareness of our true feelings about ourselves, others, and allows us to relish what is unique and special about ourselves.
Types 5, 6 and 7 are over-stimulated by facts, details, systems, and plans.
Fives are searching for certainty. Their gift is to provide wisdom and understanding to the rest of us. They have a deep curiosity about why things are the way they are. They consistently delve deeply into things and often test the truth of most assumptions for themselves. Their attentive focus to detail can be a source of self-defeating problems that distract them from their real-life challenges.
Fives can grow more deeply in true wisdom by expressing their affection and feelings to those that they truly love. They can also get into their bodies and enjoy some movement through walks, yoga, any movement activity.
Sixes are obsessed with safety and security. Loyal and committed, they can maintain relationships, and work in community. They are strong and resilient and play a supportive role, and when they do work against leadership, it is often to bring in better-equipped leadership. They experience fear in the form of anxiety and be trapped in their own self-doubting and lack of self-reliance.
The opportunity for the Six is to trust that what they want to do is good to do. These folks can make a list of affirmations and improve the quality of their self-talk and reward their diligent community building by doing what they want to do. Don’t second-guess or ask anyone else about your preferences, honor and plan to do what you are interested in doing.
Sevens are seeking freedom. Upbeat, energetic and spontaneous, they can be charismatic and engaging and pursue pleasure with a cheerful persistence. Sevens are afraid to be trapped in their pain and constantly brush off the past to focus on what’s next and can become overindulgent and harmed by the consequences of their overdoing it.
The opportunity of the Type Seven is to commit to and nurture a significant relationship this season. Their feelings of wanting to be nurtured and seeking satisfaction can be relieved by having simple, honest connections by investing in a relationship to which they are committed.
Each of these types must turn the volume of all their stimuli down and replace it with SILENCE. We confront the lie that “I am what I have.” Chris writes, "When we turn down the inner distractions and learn to listen to our breath, our body, our instincts and the voice of God, we can hear what we've always known: that we are enough, that we have enough and that God is enough.”
Silence recharges us in three reassuring ways:
We awaken to our “okay-ness,” let go of our fears and tap into the mystery and omnipresence of the Divine.
We encounter our fears around quiet and awaken to our own inner voice, designed and directed by our Creator.
We discover ways that we are actually content, happy, and places where we have restful joy.
How does this stir or move you? Talk to me about it!