The Dam Has Broken on the Enneagram

Sep 17, 2019

 

If you've recently heard about the enneagram and you've wondered 'what is that?' and 'how is it beneficial?' and 'where did it come from?' I can answer your questions!

I'm Linda Frazee and I've been an Enneagram teacher for 30 years. I now coach it and I teach it professionally and I'm also a trainer.

The Enneagram is an ancient system that's been refined through the ages. On the surface, it might just even look like just any other personality system. But if you look deeper, you can find awarenesses about yourself and about the people you love and work that can amaze you. This new awareness can lead to you taking things a lot less personally and also increasing your ability to feel less criticized by yourself and by anybody. Now why do I say the 'dam has broken' on the Enneagram?

Well, it appears that those of us who've been teaching it for a very long time, 30, 40 years, and those people who've been out practicing all around the world have finally created what's known as a critical mass. And what that means is that enough information has gone around to enough people that eventually it just seems to be everywhere! The current interest in the enneagram has jumped across the dam and flooded into every organization you can imagine. Now, I've been teaching it here in the superior court system for the last 15 years. So that isn't anything new to me. But do you realize that it's even being taught in prisons all over the United States? Just a few months ago it was taught at San Quentin. Not that you have to go to prison to learn the Enneagram! I'm just using it as an illustration of how many places it shows up.

So the system is based on a diagram that shows nine different types of people. That makes it look very simple at first. But I can assure you that it's not! There are various Enneagram types and focuses. The way we look at life is a little different based on each one.

And here you see the diagram. There are these nine in the circle.

The first one (9) at the top is a peacemaker and they seek harmony and avoid conflict.

One is a reformer - sometimes called the perfectionist - and they seek integrity and avoid error.

Two is the helper. They're seeking connection and avoiding their own needs.

Three is a performer - seeking productivity and avoiding failure.

Four, seeks uniqueness and avoids ordinariness at any costs.

Five seeks, acknowledgment and avoids depletion.

Six seeks preparedness and avoids helplessness.

Seven is seeking options and avoiding pain.

Eight is seeking empowerment and avoiding weakness.

Now you could look at all of that and say, 'well, I kind of do that with everything.' And there's a story to that. You see, the enneagram provides a map, a map of why we do what we do and why others do what they do. And as I said, when you just look at this diagram in the first place, it may seem overly simplistic, but I can guarantee you that it's not. So just look at those names and just kind of wonder. 'I wonder which one of those fits me best.' 'What have people said of me?' 'How do I see myself?' That's a place to begin. Now, if you're more interested in that, you can go to my website at WWW.LindaFrazee.COM and I have a paragraph about each one of these types and a picture that gives you an idea about it.

Each type is so different that it's really important to find that for yourself. And not only that, you see these nine types are in three different centers. It's as if we have three different brains! There's the feeling, the thinking, and the instinct centers. Now we have all three of course, but one of those is our default system, whether we know it or not. And immediately when there is something to be sorted, whether that's an experience or information, we immediately use one of our brains more than another. That's another way we learn to find ourselves to discover in this system which type we are. So how do you make your decisions? What are you thinking most of the time? And why do you feel more comfortable with some people than others? What really is driving your motivation and why do we get triggered about little things that don't even really matter?

Those are just a few of some very basic questions that the enneagram can answer.

Now, when I found the Enneagram, I was on the speaking circuit as a professional speaker and in my own private practice in Denver, Colorado. I considered myself to be well versed in my own personal growth and my spiritual development. I thought I knew myself pretty well, but you know, there were some pieces of my personality puzzle that were missing and the Enneagram - when I discovered it - put those pieces together.

So if you're feeling like you'd like to know a little bit about 'why do I do what I do sometimes,' 'why do I do these uncharacteristic things?' The Enneagram can give you those answers. So if you're curious about your own personality puzzle and how to find your missing pieces, the Enneagram is a good place to start. And if you're someone who wants to make a difference or change the world, I like Rumi, who says it best: "Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself."

So if you want to look at changing yourself and even understanding yourself more, please visit my website at www.LindaFrazee.com and take a look at the enneagram.

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