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!

 

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Dots in review

God – self – others

body – soul – spirit

nutrition – cognition – locomotion

past – present – future

triangle with triangles

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There are so many connections in our lives, and many of them have three sides like a stable triangle or the ‘three legged stool of health’ my beloved grandpa use to rehearse with us – Sleep well, Eat right, Exercise. Bless his heart, he was onto something but the soul and spirit of the triangle didn’t get a mention and I wonder how that played into his struggle with depression…

Self care can seem overwhelming, especially as we age – things like sleep and stretching and good nutrition become necessities if we want to enjoy vim and vigor, chasing our midlife dreams and those grandbabies around. Increasing my exercise and decreasing my carbs has helped my energy, and recently I added hot water with lemon and raw honey to my mornings.

What self care routines nourish you?

Jane Austen, PhD in personalities

Jane Austen Fairfax-xmas-08-18

Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often
used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to
our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.
  -Jane Austen

Before modern personality assessments, there was Jane Austin. Her observations on the different behaviors and motivation are really perceptive.  The people that she creates, complete with history, preferences and values, make for some well rounded, unforgettable characters. She seems especially fond of exploring the difference between the task oriented and the heart oriented, between the practical and the romantic (idealist, adventure – not necessarily flowers and chocolate).

From Pride and Prejudice, I feel most akin to some Elizabeth and some Mary characteristics, I do love to read and discuss, and it must be for love and deeper values that everything is done, but I can be a party pooper and melancholic about issues/events that others enjoy.

What is your favorite Jane Austen book/movie?  To which character do you most relate?

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Cutting out the negativity, 30 day challenge

The Zero Negativity Challenge  was mentioned in a previous blog… a 30 day promise of NO negative messages conveyed through words, body language or tone. My family was game, willing to try after a discussion about humor and talking styles.  It builds a safety zone through respect, and encourages self awareness for needs and wants as you learn to ask, and not demand, things from others. This means that the two people, or in our case four, who sign the agreement will let the other know if they feel respect and understanding, and likewise if they hear/see/notice put downs, criticism or dismissive comments.

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True story – our two young adult kids who live at home were both enthusiastic about signing this agreement with us. Thirty days we would all watch what and how we said things to each other. And as our kids and I turned to leave the den, signed agreement in hand, there broke out a discussion that included some criticism regarding a mutual friend accompanied with eye rolling and the works…  after waving the newly signed paper and they quickly added, “this starts tomorrow!” which got quite a laugh from all of us.

It is really difficult to go a day, yet less a month without letting hurt, disappointment or resentment creep in via criticism or sarcasm. This agreement is really a challenge to self regulate, or as the ancient philosopher said “know thyself”. In your day to day, when are you being dishonest and saying Yes to something you really don’t have the energy or motivation to fulfill? When are you past the point of hunger and your blood sugar is wavering or you’re tired and instead of taking a break, you soldier on? Then within moments your voice tone gets snappy or louder or feeling resentful/put out the criticisms or put downs come sliding out because your feel overwhelmed and underappreciated?

Come on, try it. Just for a day – encourage each other and build each other up. It’ll make them wonder what you’re up to. 🙂

Heroes series – Terrence Real

There are people who observe, people who write about change, people who do the change…  in the world of therapy there is an author who has observed couples over the years and written about change, AND he has also lived that change with his own marriage and relationship with his father.  Terrence Real is one of my relational heroes.

T Real autograph

“I Don’t Want to Talk About It” is a ground breaking book about relationships, depression and how it shows up in men especially in covert ways, often overlooked.  Such good stuff, stepping back to take in the American world view with the limits and repression of the patriarchy that has shaped our society for so many years. Splitting off certain qualities into more worthy (doing, accomplishments: masculine) and less worthy (being, relational: feminine) has diminished us all and led to some very dissatisfying and often destructive relationships over the years. He gives theory and action steps to develop and nourish exciting, vital relationships.

He encourages the women to speak up with savvy and respect, to go toe to toe for what they need and want in the relationship, which calls the man to be who he could ultimately be.  Revolutionary steps for those of us raised to be loving by not speaking up/disagreeing with others.  And equally revolutionary for those who feel safe behind their tv remotes and sports chatter to step out and engage from their heart.  The following quote sums up this change from safely uninvolved to growing honesty and joy filled connection:

“In twenty years of practice, I have encountered many unfortunate women who, afraid to make reasonable demands on their depressed husbands, wound up, years later, being left anyway. Most wives do not fully contain the resentment that they rightfully feel.  And even if they do, the relationship itself eventually loses vitality by virtue of the lack of honest engagement.  Conversely, unless the patient has already decided to leave his family, I have rarely encountered a man who was willing to set foot in my office but unwilling,with coaching and help, to pick up the challenge of increased relational skill.”     “I Don’t Want to Talk About It”, pg 318

 

Back to the future

Sometimes you have to go back, touch base with your roots…  experience something from your youth to get perspective…

corner of Dennis Rd & Rich Rd

 

This week I am road tripping with a dear friend, it is part sacred mission and part nostalgia that leads us into the farm country above Dallas, and then onto Baton Rouge, New Orleans and now into Oxford, Mississippi (home of Ole Miss University). First stop, burying her precious momma’s ashes in the family cemetery just off the same farm that four generations have lived, ashes to ashes and dust to dust.  But what glorious dust when the Spirit has breathed life into, and the recipient is sharp and aware of returning to the Love that birthed her.

 

side porch                    kitchen of the Farm                side sun  porch

Several decades later, so much is the same – the farm house, the barn, the front porch and the beauty of the country, but so much has changed – the little kids who are grown up, some have married and have their own families, all of them sharing the legacy of this land. The cycle of life, living in different states now except for one uncle and aunt who have tended the place for this generation.

Life, travel, families, dear friends, memories…    sometimes, life is a highway…