Traveling with the Enneagram

A Type Five and a couple of Type Twos took a trip, and the some of the differences were text book.

On the plane, when a baby was crying the Type 5 picked up a magazine and gave them privacy, the Type Twos were twisting around in their seats trying to offer help and solutions…  the Type Five had researched the itinerary and had maps and suggestions in a folder, the Type Twos were so appreciative and the Type Twos offered help with luggage and shared their resources readily which the Type Five needed having packed minimally…  and when invited to a large gathering, the Type Twos arrived early and were trying to help set up and talk to the leader, and see what was needed, the Type Five was in the car, getting some quiet time before the (somewhat draining) main event…

What they enjoyed that the weekend, was the adventure, weather and outings with each other and the chance to debrief with someone who shared the wonderful experience.  What joy to have good friends that help us in our weak areas and appreciate our strengths!








Who am I? Part 2

“We are many parts of one body and we all belong to each other.”

When answering the age-old question, “Who am I?”,  we find there are different roles in different relationships (friend, daughter/son, boss, neighbor, in law, etc), and we even have different parts within ourselves. Have you ever felt, “part of me wants to do this, but part of me doesn’t”?

We each have different parts, different aspects of our personalities. In future blogs, I will explore some of the wonderful assessments that help define who we are and are not by how we learn and love, and what we value and want out of life. My favorites include the Myers-Briggs, which gives a framework of the four main temperament types, the Love Language test with the 5 ways we give and receive love, and the Enneagram a tool that highlights 9 different points of view and underlying values.

But today I want to focus on some of the Parts we each carry with us, like the Creative part, the Judging part, the Responsible part, the Loyal to family/tradition part and the Loving part. You might notice when next you’re clicking on all cylinders, lost in doing something that really engages you – that would be your Creative part. How about the times you feel ‘you should exercise’ (or stop eating, go to bed, not argue…), that would be your Responsible part speaking up. When you are hard on yourself, or feel let down or betrayed, most likely your Judging part is in the control room. When you feel life is worth living, or can see the other’s point of view, feel compassion or gratitude or connection – your Loving part is humming along.

For example, my Creative Part loves to learn and share stories like with this Blog, my Judging part would keep reviewing and editing the Post and perhaps never hit ‘publish’, my Responsible part wants to commit to some type of regular sharing, my Loyal to family tradition part is nervous when I talk about anything that invites conflict and my Loving part appreciates the opportunity to connect and share ideas of the mind, places in the heart and the mystery of the spirit with others.

Living and interacting in the workplace, at home and with friends, notice which part of you is most engaged. When you’re at your best, which part of you is stepping forward? When do others connect with you? Which part of you is rewarded, in which situations? Each part is important and tells us something about ourselves.

Next week – moving towards change, and how these different parts can gang up and make new action steps feel like mission impossible.

Who am I?

What is your current answer to this top ten-of -all-time great philosophical questions?

Which role or part will you describe? There are as many answers as aspects to each of us beautiful human beings, part saint /part sinner; physical, spiritual, emotional, relational, functional, vocational  …you get the picture.

I am a creative, perceptive, dazzlingly contradictory person – private but given to heartfelt sharing, curious and accepting but given to judging, artistic and moody but preferring a schedule and clearly stated expectations, open to new things but reluctant to let go of the past, musical to the bone but prefer silence to recharge, and on it goes.  Through this blog, more will be revealed but that’s the risk one takes when navigating the tribe vs. alone thing.

Thanks for joining this exploration.  This will be much like a river trip as seen in The African Queen, which (if the first few scenes don’t scare you off) was quietly engaging through the character study of two very different people who came to rely on, respect and deeply love each other as they faced life threatening challenges; from gunfire and swamp leeches to personal addictions and judgments, grief and deep personal loss as well as exhilaration (wonderfully visualized by Kate Hepburn’s character after surviving the rapids). It is a wonderful word picture for relationships in general and what we face in creating and cultivating them.

Welcome to this blog,  and your next step to better understanding the relationships in your life! Grab a paddle and let’s start navigating…