Aging and the Enneagram: How to Unlock Your Energy

Nov 11, 2019

As you age, your energy changes.

There's no doubt about it. And for some of us, it seems like it's changing even more, than it seems it is for others. Barring any chronic disease, or any drastic kind of physical experience, there is still a reduction in our energy - and how we manage that as we age is a really important thing.

My name is Linda Frazee, and I've been working with people for 40 years to improve their success and their satisfaction with their lives as they are - and possibly, going forward.

And as I grow older, I'm working more with older people. Helping them understand how they can enjoy these last years without so much fear and trepidation.

So let's talk a little bit about that. One of the things that's important to understand is that whatever your model is for aging - that's changed -- a lot! What I mean by that is, it's true, now, 50 is the new 30 and 70 is the new 50!

You know, our lives at this age really has changed from what our grandparent's and great-grandparent's view of life and the life they lead was. However, these ideas are still stuck in our heads. So how do you go beyond  that view?

One of the things that I use in my teaching is a system called the Enneagram. There are nine personality "types" on the Enneagram. Each one of these have various challenges and great strengths.  Unfortunately, these challenges can get in the way when you're aging, if you don't watch out.

I want to talk a little bit about these.

A number 'One' is a perfectionist and are called the "Reformer". They've spent their lives being very motivated, getting things done, feeling good about themselves, and probably keeping themselves in good shape and order most of the time. And then, suddenly, maybe their body is just not cooperating in the same way it did before.

That can create resentment within them - resentment towards their body. And when you're in resentment, that creates an energy block. Forgiving yourself and being able to say, "well, that was then, this is now", is very important.

Being grateful for where you are is good for everybody. But particularly for 'ones'.

'Two' - they are the "helper "on the Enneagram. They have been so focused on everybody else's needs, that they haven't attended very well to their own (unless they have learned to do so). But as they age and they have to slow down, they find that they don't have as much energy to put out there for other people and that they have to "come home" to themselves. They must learn to relax, and really look at what is it 'I want to do now?' Maybe it's time to just have fun. That would be an interesting thought.

And that's also true for their next door neighbor, the 'Three', the "performer". They've been so busy performing and out there producing and achieving, that their biggest challenge throughout their life (especially as they age) is to just pull back and let there be space in between activities.

Let them relax, to quit holding their hand up and saying, 'yes I can do that' (because, they really do think they can expand themselves). And you can except that as you age, you don't have as much energy as you used to. So therefore, you have to conserve and be thoughtful about how you spend it.

Now the 'Four' can get all trapped in their feelings and feel like, "Oh well why does it matter anyway?" And that can trigger that sense of chronic depression and melancholy that a four can get into. Fours are called the "romantic", sometimes the "tragic romantic". They have to learn to get out of themselves.

I've often said, "beware of a four who's not exercising because that increases their drama". If you're a four and you're aging, start exercising, even if it's running or walking around the block, it will move the energy. And that helps.

The "Five" is called a "mental center" and they're called "the observer" because they are very often, not always, but very often introverts. They like to stand back and watch life go by. Only stepping in when they have it all figured out and it feels good to them. So very often, a five's big breakthrough in their life (and with their energy) correlates with moving their body (at any age).

Now this might sound like I'm saying the same thing over and over about all types. And there is an element of that, because moving your body is essential for increasing your energy.

And when you're depressed or you're sad or you're not feeling well, it's hard to get yourself to get up and get out. But it will make a difference. For these two types - the four and the five - moving your body is really an essential element in having more energy.

The 'Six' has to really come up with some hard rules. The six is called the "loyal skeptic". And they are either going against authority or trying to avoid authority. And sometimes that's their own authority!

So even if they join the gym and then they don't go - that's their own resistance that they're working on. This resistance reduces their energy because they beat themselves up because, they're not going to the gym. So a six needs to really align with their own inner authority and that helps them with their energy.

The "Seven" is a whole different character. They're called, the "adventurer" and they're all about doing fun things and doing great activities.

Sometimes as a "seven" ages, they continue to have more energy than everybody else. So then the other types will look at the seven and say, "what's wrong with me - look at them! They're off on another cruise! Why am I just sitting here trying to figure out how to even make reservations on the cruise line! And there they are. Now they're in Italy, they're going on a river cruise!"

That drive for adventure has been with them all their life. And if they've retired or they have more time (and energy), that energy very often gets directed into activities. However, even they have to learn to be more conservative, so that they can continue to have a good time. That's a big incentive for seven.

The "eight" with their big energy can drive themselves to exhaustion. Very much like the three, but not so much about activity or achievement, although they do like to achieve, they're called the "boss" or "the protector", but they're all about being strong and being out there in the world and doing what they want to do with all their energy.

And it really aggravates an eight that they can't do what they used to do. Usually they do it anyway - sometimes to the point where they hurt themselves! Learning to be more aware of all that big energy - that insists they go forward and to gradually learn how to hold themselves back will help an eight age more gracefully.

And for the "Nine", the nine who gets distracted is called the "mediator" or the "peacemaker". They get so distracted with other people's agendas.

This is a time that as you age you begin to say, "what is it I want - what would I do if I mattered?" And then, actually let their energy follow their own inner desire.

If you're interested in any of this. if this sparks any attention in you, please go to my website, and check out all the offerings that are there.

There's a five part video that you can watch for free. It expands on all of these nine personality types.

And that's the beginning of your understanding more about the Enneagram!

Linda Frazee

Free 5-Video Series: What is the Enneagram Anyway? 


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