Earlier this year, I was introduced to the concept of the Enneagram by my sister, Alena. Information here: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/
She let me browse through her copy of The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson, and I was immediately intrigued. I quickly purchased a copy of my own. It offers a transformative perspective on patterns of human behavior and personality.
In June, I listened in on some broadcasts of the annual Enneagram Global Summit and picked up several key ideas when it comes to understanding how the Enneagram is a tool for living a life with authenticity.
As Russ Hudson explains, awareness of type is an entryway into full-bodied humanity. We are all human. Living, breathing humans sharing this collective space, and we grow closer to achieving a more inclusive, spiritual way of being when we understand who we are and how we are living, and how those patterns of living impact others.
In turn, it is about understanding our own reactivity and exploring ways in which to bring awareness to those reactions. Importantly, one is not wholly defined by every trait or behavioral pattern typical of their type; we often tend to fluctuate through different levels within our types (healthy, average, and unhealthy). Much of the development in working with the Enneagram demonstrates how all nine types are connected in various ways, and how we can access and engage with features of healthier levels when we go through with inner work and choose to live a very conscious, intentional life.
“Remember, the Enneagram does not put us in a box, it shows us the box we are already in—and the way out.”
The Wisdom of the Enneagram
After somehow getting a rather mixed result the first time taking the test, I took it again (with my sister’s guidance) and determined that I am a type four with a five wing, operating at pretty average levels here. It takes a good amount honesty with myself while reading through this work to admit and understand when I am operating at unhealthy levels.
There are many personal fears and patterns I have been unwilling to address or admit, and it will require an extremely conscious effort to do so going forward.
Working with the Enneagram provides a way of breaking down the confines of “ego” and “personality,” and helps me to put forth the effort to seek true freedom and liberation. What I’m finding is a very harmonious view that is in-line with my own ideas and beliefs about spirituality.
Stepping toward this sense of lightness, I certainly want to continue learning and understand that simply knowing my type isn’t the ultimate goal. I want to allow myself to truly grow with and be transformed by my experiences overall, and this inner spiritual work is the beginning.