Life Balance and the Enneagram

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I recently spoke at a wellness event about life balance with reference to the Enneagram.  This is an important focus for me and hence the tag line under my business name.  There are many ways to look at balancing our lives and all of them will bring awareness because we are taking time to reflect on our own situation.  If we did this more frequently, we may even avoid the experience of spending long periods of our life out of balance!

For my presentation, I decided to once again focus on the wisdom of the Enneagram to bring insights on how each of us may get out of balance.  The Enneagram is a dynamic personality system that highlights 9 different ways of thinking, feeling and acting in the world as well as acknowledging the accompanying strengths and challenges each type connects with.  Previous blog entries have covered an overview of each of the nine types if you require more detailed information here.

What I have witnessed in myself and others, is that our gifts and strengths when out of balance, become our greatest challenge. I liken it to having blinkers on that the race horses are often seen wearing to keep their focus straight ahead on the track. When we have our blinkers on and are focused on the very thing that our personality tunes into with all of our energy, it is safe to say that there are aspects of our lives that are getting the short end of the stick.  That action typically does not act in our favour long term. It is a way that we get ourselves “stuck” so to speak.  Let me give you a brief run down for each type from my experience.

Type 1 – naturally notices what is wrong in any given situation in order to improve it. They want to ensure the details are correct before moving ahead with a decision or course of action to create the “best” outcome. Sometimes we don’t get to have all the details in life and need to move ahead anyway. One’s can get paralyzed and not see the forest for the trees.

Type 2 – naturally focuses on the happiness of others and takes a personal responsibility to support that end. If the energy is continually focused outwards and nothing is coming back to refuel the 2’s tank, they run themselves empty, unable to do what they desire most to do.

Type 3 – naturally focuses on gaining acceptance and recognition by achieving success in whatever they do. When all focus is on obtaining the goal and how that will bring them joy and the joy does not come, they connect with their inner feelings and wonder “what’s the race all about?”

Type 4 – naturally focused on being authentic to their inner truth and uniqueness, can get overwhelmed in the enormity of their feelings and become unable to move forward or determine what is really true in moment for them.

Type 5 – naturally focused on their journey of continuous learning and maintaining a self sufficient live style, fives can get disconnected from the outer world and their own basic needs to look after their body.

Type 6 – naturally focused on being well prepared for whatever their current life situation is requiring, can get lost when too many uncontrollable variables are happening all at once. They lose faith that they have all the skills necessary to handle whatever is present.

Type 7 – naturally focused on being spontaneous and joyful to the possibilities of each day, notice that when no discipline is given to what seems like menial tasks or commitments, can create too much discomfort around them. This is exactly what they wish to avoid.

Type 8 – naturally focused on being in control, creating their own decisions and making them work; can get stuck in an all or nothing mode. And sometimes they get nothing!

Type 9 – naturally focused on keeping inner peace, they also attempt to not rock the boat in their outer world.  Sometimes in order to keep the inner peace, they must rock the outer world and they can become stuck before deciding to do this.

For all types, it is important to “stop” the business of life and create more opportunities to “be”.  To connect with our wholeness, the mind, body and heart at one time. When we can find activities that bring a balance to our inner being, we will create balance in our outer experience. I would love to hear your stories of how you know when you are out of balance and how you bring yourself back.

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Until next time,




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