How to Manage the Most Common Challenges of Life Transitions

Right from birth, you are going to experience transitions in life. It starts at the beginning of life at birth.

Can you imagine the shock you must have felt being birthed into the cold world from the cozy, safe home of your mother?

After birth, you go from one transition to another. They include: Your first steps. The first time you rode a bicycle. The first time your parents left you with a babysitter.

Then there is the first day of school. Puberty, when your body starts to go through many physical changes. First serious relationship. Leaving home. Going to university. Marriage, becoming a parent, being fired, moving to a different community, empty nest, retirement and death are all part of life’s journey.

Your goal is to manage the challenges of life transitions as best as you can. Continue reading

How to Connect to God in Your Every Day Life

Who is God for you?  God is more than any one of us can imagine.
It is God who gives you life. It is the Spirit that connects you to all people and life on planet earth.  It is Holy Oneness that gives you direction in life.

Connecting to God in everyday life is possible. It is possible because God resides right within us and around us. Continue reading

What Are the Enneagram Tritypes and Why Are They Important?

Are you hungry for greater satisfaction, purpose, happiness, and ease in your life? The Enneagram can help you to enhance your life. Enneagram tritypes help you to see the similarities and differences between the nine types.  You will find the … Continue reading

Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk–Until You Understand It

The inner critic is part of your ego. Your ego is your personality. You could not survive in the world without it.

In the first few months of life, you take on one of nine different personalities. Your personality gives you a way to engage with the world. It helps you to know how you are different from others. It helps you to make choices in your life. It helps you to stay safe.

Your inner critic is a big jerk! The trouble begins when you reach maturity. If you do not become aware of your personality and how it impacts you, you will miss much in life. You will also get yourself into trouble because of uninformed choices. You will lose opportunities in life because you are stuck in old habits and thought patterns that no longer serve you.

Your inner critic is the part of the ego that tries to keep you safe by keeping you stuck in your personality.  It wants to be your friend.

The trouble is that the inner critic prefers the familiar rather than uncharted territory. The familiar being the automatic habits that you do without thinking. If you remain imprisoned in your personality, you are going to be miserable.

With practice, you will start to notice when your inner critic is talking to you. The inner critic is that negative voice that is always telling you that you are not good enough, that you are stupid, and that nobody loves you.

Each personality type has particular issues that the inner critic likes to attack.

Type One:criticism

The inner critic for the One is always complaining that you are not doing it correctly. It is always telling you that you need to improve. You need to do better.  It can put a lot of pressure on you by saying to you that something terrible is going to happen if you don’t get it right.

When the inner critic is getting harsh with you, you are more likely going to get tough on others. The One fears that the poor choices of others are going to reflect poorly on you. They are going to interfere with all the excellent work you are doing to make the world a better place.

Type Two:

The inner critic of Two is always trying to tell you that you are not loveable. It wants to prevent you from being hurt by working extra hard to be accepted.  It will also tell you that you have to earn love from those around you. It will keep insisting that you need to go out of your way to help others.

It further insists that if t+e people don’t respond in the way you would like them to you need to go and tell them off.  The inner critic will encourage you to confront anyone who is not obedient to you. The inner critic wants to make you feel like a Queen or King and that everyone around you should treat you like that.

In the end, the inner critic will lead you to self-hatred telling you off that the person left you or didn’t do what you wanted because you were not good enough. You were not worthy of their love. It can leave you in a sad place.

 

Type Three:

The inner critic for the three is always evaluating your success. It wants you to notice if people are acknowledging how hard you are working. Have you met your sales goals? Have you done everything possible to be the best at what you do?

Whenever you try to slow down, your inner critic will keep pushing you to work hard.  Trying to take an afternoon nap is almost impossible.

Whenever you achieve your goals, your inner critic will push you to do something even grander. Every new task you take on you will need to work harder. You will need to change your behavior to fit whatever business/project you are working on.

 

Type Four:

The inner critic for the four is always trying to compare yourself with others. It keeps insisting that you will never fit in. It will tell you over and over that nobody will ever understand you. It will emphasize that you need to prove to the world how different you are.

The Four’s inner critic will encourage you to indulge in your favorite emotions. Your moods will reflect back to you what your inner critic is harassing you to think.

It will try to convince you that only through your moods you will know that you are indeed alive.

The inner critic is a big jerk. The inner critic forgets to tell you that your feelings are always changing. It avoids mentioning to you that staying stuck in depressive emotions for long periods of time only leads to misery for yourself and those around you.

 

Concept of accusation guilty unhappy businesswoman person

Type Five:

The inner critic for the Five is always calling on you to retreat to your inner self.  It wants you to stay safe by learning a topic well. It wants you to learn all that is possible to learn and do not talk about it until you feel knowledgeable enough.

The inner critic wants to instill in you a fear of being found out that you don’t know enough. It doesn’t want you to be embarrassed. It doesn’t want you to be humiliated. So to do this, you need to very cautious about what you say and to whom.

The Five inner critic is only concerned with your mind. It will continually dissuade from paying attention to your body and your heart.

The danger for a five is that you can become an island to yourself disconnected from family and friends.

Type Six:

The inner critic for the six is keeping you alert for all the dangers you and your loved ones face. It will try to keep you hypervigilant watching carefully for any threat that might come your way.

The Six inner critic will get you to question your abilities. It will get you to check out any decisions you are about to make with friends, families and so-called experts. You will be compelled to get as many opinions as possible.

Your inner critic will judge you for experiencing anxiety. It will get you to try and fix yourself making the anxiety worse and worse. The inner critic’s judgment will cause you to try and fix others making you feel even worse.

When feeling threatened, your inner critic encourages you to protect yourself from being hurt through cynicism.  Your cynicism will turn friends, family, and colleagues away from you.

Type Seven:

The inner critic for Seven will do everything in its power to keep you busy, having fun, going on adventures. This is all to keep you from feeling any emotional and/or physical pain.

The seven’s inner critic is desperate to keep you away from any problematic emotions. It causes you to get bored quickly. It lets you off the hook if you are bored with a task. It invites you to abandon the job because there is always something more exciting to do.

The inner critic of the seven lets you off any responsibility for completing any task.

The inner critic makes it clear that any person who tries to force them to slow down or force them to complete a task is no friend.  A friend of a seven is someone who joins them on their adventures and does what they want them to do.

 

Type Eight:

The inner critic for the Eight wants to protect their vulnerable feelings, emotions, and heart. The inner critic is only too happy to help you to put up protective walls to prevent you from being emotionally hurt.

The inner critic is also there to ensure that no one will stop you on any of your projects. It is there to help you to force your way ahead even if means hurting others.

The eights inner critic is a force to be reckoned with. The inner critic will blind you to the power you are using. You will have no idea of how others are experiencing you.

The inner critic is a big jerk. Your inner critic will make it difficult for you to slow down. It’s the only language is power and force. It thinks that confrontation is the only way to go. It is nervous at any time for inner reflection.  It doesn’t’ want your heart to be hurt ever again.

 

Type Nine:

The inner critic for the nine energy is trying to keep you safe by convincing you that you are unimportant. That no one really cares about you. That the only way for you to survive is to keep everyone calm at any cost to you.

The inner critic will try hard to make you feel insignificant. If you have no importance to others, you are not going to create any conflict.

The inner critic will get angry with you if you are allowing any conflict to happen in any group you are part of. If there is a conflict, there is a danger. If there is a conflict, you had better fix it.

The inner critic will make it difficult for you to speak your mind because it is too risky. It will insist that calm is more important than expressing your needs.

The trouble is that eventually after days and months of not having your needs respected and wants to be taken seriously you explode.  You easily become passive-aggressive.

 

You have an inner critic. The inner critic wants to keep you safe.  It tries to keep you safe by insisting you stay in your Enneagram type which it knows best. Fighting your inner-critic will only make it worse.

Woman breathing fresh air outdoors in summerYou can find freedom from your inner critic by learning to notice how it is impacting the decisions you are making in life. The inner critic is a big jerk – until you understand it. The Enneagram can point out to you through your type, how the inner-critic is operating in your life. The more you are aware of it, the more you are free to choose different options.

The inner critic will never disappear, often showing itself in stressful times. But with practice, you can befriend your inner critic by paying attention to it and letting it know that you as an adult are most capable of making right decisions.

The more you stay grounded in your three energy centers the inner critic will have less need to mess around with your life. When your three energy centers heart, body, and mind are working well, there is no place for the inner critic.  It knows you are safe and in good hands.  It recognizes that the universe will take care of you.

Roland Legge offers life/executive coaching and Enneagram workshops through REL Consultants.  For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by emailing Roland Legge at rolandlegge@relconsultants.com  or book your appointment online Please click on “Discovery Call.”

This Article was first published in the  REL Consultants (Roland Legge) Blog

Eight Ideas for How to use the Enneagram for Business Success

No matter what type of business you run you want it to be successful! You want to make a difference in the world. You want to do what you enjoy. You want to make a comfortable living.

There is a great tool available called the Enneagram to help you to bring out the best with owners, management, and staff. The Enneagram for business can help you and your organization to be at its best.

The Enneagram is a tool to help you to learn more about yourself and your colleagues. It helps you to understand yourself. To answer the question, what makes me tick? Why do I see the world the way I do? Why do I get along better with particular people? Why do others annoy me?

The Enneagram shines the light on your habitual patterns which become a problem when you act them out unconsciously.

There are nine different personality types.  At an early age, you are given a personality to survive in the world. You could not survive without an ego. The trouble begins when you become an adult and remain unconscious of your automatic patterns. The Enneagram can help you to discover your personality type, giving the tools you need to move beyond the limitations of your personality.

The Enneagram points to where you get stuck. It is not an excuse to behave a particular way. The good news is that it shows you a way to freedom helping you to get stronger in all nine personality types.

The healthier the people in your business are, the more profitable your business will be. Here are eight ways for how you can use the Enneagram for business success:

 

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1.     Self Awareness:

Self-awareness of each member of the organization is crucial to the well-being of any group. If you are not self-aware, you are more likely to make poor decisions.

The Enneagram can help you to become aware of habitual patterns that no longer serve you. Here are some patterns that each type can identify.

Type One: The Reformer: You always need to get things perfect.

Type Two: The Helper: You have a habit of Ignoring your own physical and emotional needs

Type Three: The Achiever: You are preoccupied with the need for approval

Type Four: The Individualist: You often  get stuck in a favorite emotion

Type Five: The Investigator: You have a tendency to isolate from those around you

Type Six: The Loyalist:  You have the challenge of seeing problems where there are none

Type Seven: The Enthusiast: You get bored quickly and have trouble finishing what you start.

Type Eight: The Challenger: You can come across as overly forceful

Type Nine: The Peacemaker: You need to watch out for your tendency toward passive-aggressive behavior

 

2.     Communication:

The more you learn about your type and the types of those around you the better you are able to communicate. As you get to know yourself better, with compassion, the more you are able to do this with others.

The Enneagram helps you to understand why each of us sees the world differently. Getting to know what another person’s type helps you to become aware how that person sees the world. It helps you to understand the struggles they face when they are feeling under pressure.

The Enneagram helps you to be more present. It helps you to let go of your fears of the past and future. It helps you to open up your three brain centers, the body, emotions, and mind. This helps you to be a better listener.

The Enneagram gives you clues to how you can best communicate with each other. For example, if you want to talk with a type eight personality you will need to be upfront and honest with them. It will be important for that person to know that you are there to help them achieve their goals.

If you want to talk with a type six, it would be helpful to emphasize your loyalty to what they are doing. It is essential for you to take the concern of your colleague for safety in the organization seriously such as physical, relational, and spiritual health.

Working with the Enneagram helps you to own your own issues. It helps to prevent you reading into other people’s behavior. It reduces the chance of serious conflict. It challenges you to focus on yourself rather than blaming another person for your own insecurities.

 

3.     Conflict Resolution:

Anytime you have people in a room with different ideas you have conflict. The challenge is to use conflict constructively. The Enneagram points each type to see where they get stuck. It gives you tools to free yourself from your own stuff that often get in the way of resolving issues.

Think of a time when you were misunderstood. So much conflict arises from poor communication. Part of it is that we need to communicate our ideas in an open and nonjudgmental way. The other is that we need to become better listeners. When we are in our world of our personality, it is difficult to hear what are the issues.

When you are stuck in your personality, it is difficult to resolve any conflict because our bag of tools is limited.  Imagine that you only have one-ninth of the tools available to you when you are stuck in your personality.

As you get healthier in all nine types, your life toolbag expands to deal with the complexities of interpersonal conflict.  You get more able to hear what your colleague is trying to tell you. You have the skills to deal with difference of opinions and find win-win solutions that benefit everyone.

 

4.     Self Care

Have you ever wondered why you have such a difficult time balancing your needs and obligations in life?  The Enneagram can help you to understand why you have particular challenges in finding balance in your life.

For example, if you identify with the type two personality called the helper you can become so focused on helping others that you forget that you have your own needs.  If you recognize with type five personality, you might remember your need to take care of your body with exercise and good food.

Self-care requires you to find harmony within your three intelligence centers. Your body needs you to pay attention to it because it will tell you when you are out of balance. You need to pay attention to your heart because it will guide you to love yourself and those around you. Your quiet mind will help you learn to trust your inner guidance system.

 

5.     Organizational Structure:

A healthy organization requires people to use their gifts. Most jobs in an organization relate closer to a particular Enneagram type or at least one of the tri-types such as body, heart or head.

The specific type of jobs requires people with particular personality types. For example, you probably don’t want a person doing customer service to type eight personality. They might quickly overwhelm the customer. A type nine the peacemaker or a type one who is really good at details might just be the best for the job.

This is not to say that only specific types can work in different jobs. A healthy person who has strengths in all nine types could work in just about any job position.

Each person will find different jobs more appealing because the position requires the skills that come most readily to them.

A healthy business requires a diversity of skills and personalities to help the organization work as a whole. Then the Enneagram provides you with tools to help people get along with each other.  When you have the right people in the positions, the organization is more likely going to work together harmoniously. A harmonious team is a more profitable firm.

 

6.     Management Style:

A healthy manager is one that knows themselves well. The Enneagram helps each manager to be at their best. This tool helps you as a manager to identify your strengths and weaknesses. It provides you with suggestions as to what you need to work on to be a more productive leader.

A manager who knows his or her team well will find the best ways to encourage each of their employees.  A manager with a type three worker will want to draw on their ability to be a great mentor in the organization. A manager with a type four worker will want to connect with their sense of heart and beauty. Type fours are some of the most creative people in the world.

When you are able to live in the moment, all your three intelligence centers will be open. Thus giving you the tools to help bring out the best in each of your employees. When you are stuck in your personality, you will miss much because you will be so preoccupied with yourself.

With the help of the Enneagram, you will learn to find the best ways to work with each of your employees. Each person, depending on their personality and their emotional health will need different skills. You will discover the strengths of each of your employees and be able to encourage them to continue working on issues that are holding them back.

 

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7.     Bottom Line:

All businesses are concerned with the bottom line. A company that has a group of healthy of leaders and workers are going to be ones who make the most money and have the satisfaction of making a difference in the world.

Healthy and satisfied employees will require less sick leave. They will be more efficient. They will do great work. Customer service will get stronger.

Employees will stay with your organization longer because they are happy and satisfied with the work they do. You will lower your need to find new staff as often as you have before. Fewer new staff require less job training.

A healthy staff that does excellent customer services is going to become popular with customers. Return customers always add to the profit line. They become your most significant advertisers because they recommend you to friends and family.

 

8.     Visioning:

The Enneagram helps you to vision with a body that is present, a heart that is open and a mind that is calm.

Visioning requires you and your staff to be present. Anyone that is stuck in personality is going to get in the way of the company’s health.  Team players who are stuck will allow their own personal issues get in the way of their ability to do their work.

The Enneagram helps you to connect with your higher self. When you are open to the wisdom within you, and around you, new ideas emerge that have the potential to take you and your company in new and exciting directions.

The Enneagram for business can help you and your organization to be healthier, happier, meaningful, responsible and productive.  The Enneagram will help you and your management and staff with self-awareness, communications, conflict resolution, self-care, organizational structure, management style, bottom line and visioning.

When you and your staff are bringing their best forth into the organization self-confidence improves, creativity is brought to the forefront, conflict is more easily resolved, mutuality is honored, and work becomes a fun place to be.

When you use the Enneagram in combination with coaching, it becomes a productive long-term program. It helps owners, management, and staff to be self-aware, and also to be in the best position for them, and the company.  It supports all in the business to have excellent skills in communication.

With time and dedication, through working with the Enneagram, you will help you and your company a happy place to work, and it will enhance your profits. It improves your earnings through increased productivity, enhanced creativity, honest and helpful feedback from all staff and excellent customer service.

 

Roland Legge offers coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478, or you can email Roland at rolandlegge@relconsultants.com

 

Originally Published by REL Consultants http://www.relconsultants.com

Nine Incredible Valid Reasons Life Transitions are Hard By Roland Legge

Life is full of surprises!  What was your first significant change? It was probably your birth into the world.

Life transitions are hard. The moment, you arrive in the world you experience your first significant change.  It must be a shock to all the senses being forced out into this alien world. The process of birth is just the beginning of your adventure.

Life transitions include:

 

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Birth:

Can you imagine being in the comfort and safety of your mother’s womb? It is nice and warm. With all your needs met, you are secure. Then imagine suddenly without warning being pushed out into a foreign world.

For the first time in your life, separated from your mother you are alone. Can you imagine the sense of abandonment you felt? You have to cry to get your needs met.

If you could remember this part of your life, it might leave you with some unsettling dreams. Coming into the world Is a massive change. Any change takes a period of adjustment whether or not you label the transition as good or bad.

It might be like being kidnapped and thrown out of a plane with a parachute into a jungle where you have no idea where you are. How would you be feeling?

 

Childhood years:

How much of your early years do you remember?  Some of what you remember may come from stories that your parents told you. Now imagine what it was like for you to learn to walk? What was it like to learn to ride a two-wheeler bike? What do you remember?

You are learning to become more independent. These are never easy years. Imagine how many times you fell over before you were able to walk on your own. Learning to walk, is like most new things you learn to do, takes a lot of practice.

Do you remember learning to ride a two-wheeler bike? Did you first start with learners wheels?  How many scrapes did you have before you were able to ride down the street without falling off the bike? Give your child self-lots of appreciation for all the risks they took to take their place in the world. Learning new skills is not easy!

 

Teen Years:

Take a moment to reflect on all physical, social, emotional and hormonal changes that happen during these exciting years. Your body changes so quickly it can be confusing for you to know how to behave.

Sexual desire in you comes to life! You enjoy these new feelings, and yet they baffle you. You pick up from the adults in your life that this is something to feel ashamed.  You are mixed up. How can something that feels so good be so wrong?

You might even feel growing pains in your bones because you are changing so fast. You are not quite sure if you are still a child or an adult.

Peer pressure at school can be challenging. You want to be cool with your mates.

Life transitions are hard. If you are not one of the cool kids, you can feel very isolated. You can feel invisible. Bullies can make your life difficult. Anxiety can overtake your life because you feel like there is something wrong with you.

 

Moving away from home:

Do you remember moving away from home for the first time? It probably is one of the most exciting times in your life? Yet, leaving the safety of home is perhaps one of the most stressful times in your life.

For the first time, you have to take care of your own needs. You need to wash your own clothes. You need to cook your own meals. You have to manage your own schedule. Even if this feels good, change of this magnitude takes a lot of energy.

If you moved to another city, there is the stress of learning to get around a new place. Where do I need to go to get groceries? How are you going to get around?

Then there is the stress of money. When you lived at home, your parents took care of most of your needs. You will have to learn to budget. You might even need to find some part-time work to help you to make ends meet.

 

Marriage:

Marriage is one of the most significant decisions you will make in your life. Once you get past the falling in love stage where everything seems exciting; the success of your marriage will depend on your commitment to growing individually and as a couple.

Your relationship will find strength, depending on how well you are able to know your own needs, show a willingness to compromise, seek to bring out the best in each other and communicate well. Communication is probably one of the most significant challenges you will face.

It takes time to get used to living with someone else. You need time to find your new rhythm as a couple. You will need to find ways that honor the needs of both of you. You will need to experiment until you find a balance that works for you both.

One of the many challenges of marriage is that you get to see each other in the worst and best of times. You get to experience each other’s peculiarities. Maybe the things that you once thought to be amusing is now annoying.

Do you like conflict? I am guessing you don’t. There is guaranteed to be conflict in your relationship. Conflict happens when there are two people with different opinions. You as a couple need to find a way to talk so you can see solutions that will work for you both. Trying to impose your point of view may fix things for the short time, but it will eventually backfire when the person who was imposed on pushes back.

 

Having children:

If you think getting married is complicated, then having children is even more challenging. When a child arrives into your life your world dramatically changes. It is your child/children who are the center of your attention.

There will be a time when you get little sleep. You will no longer be able to do as you please. If you want to have a date you need to find someone to care for your child or children.  Your children will be on your mind for the rest of your life no matter what they do good or bad.

If you haven’t had any conflict about the division of labor in your family having children will likely raise it. Hopefully, you have thought about it before the child arrives. Are you going to equally share the work including child care, cooking, cleaning, shopping, outdoor work and more?

Sharing the labor doesn’t mean you have to divide all tasks in half. But you need to come to an agreement that is fair to both parties.  Watch out that the women don’t take on more than her fair share.

Life transitions are hard. Make sure you take time to care for yourself, besides caring for your children and partner. A healthy you is the best gift you can give to the family.

 

Divorce:

There is no such thing as an easy divorce. Even the most respectful ones take a lot of energy. There is nothing shameful about getting divorced. I hope you would have tried to resolve the issues before you made the final decision.

Sometimes your relationship needs to come to an end for many reasons from the loss of trust, affairs, domestic violence and sometimes people just grow apart.

Divorce impacts the relationships you have with the friends and family you shared with your partner. Depending on how well the relationship ends will determine who you are able to stay in touch with.

Divorce impacts your children. No matter how well you do it, the children’s lives are going to be changed forever. If you are your partner were not getting along,  the divorce will still be better for the children.

All your routines get changed. Tasks you used to share you have to do yourself. There is no one to ask about your day. There is no one to share something important that took place at work or at home. Money can be a problem if you are the one that stayed at home with the kids or you had the lowest paying of the two or more jobs.

During times of divorce, your emotions will be up and down. There will be days when you will find it hard to get out of bed. One moment you will be crying, the next laughing and the subsequent angry. It is like being on an emotional roller coaster.

 

Death of loved ones:

Grieving takes a lot of energy. When someone that is close to us dies, it is never easy. It especially tricky when a person dies young from disease, accident, murder and/or suicide.  Even when a person dies after a beautiful long life, we all must go through grief.

There is no way around grief. The only way is to go through it. It can take up to a year to go through the cycles of loss. Our lives will never be the same, but you will find a way to move ahead in life. Here is the process we go through, not always in this order:

·         Denial

·         Anger

·         Depression

·         Bargaining

·         Acceptance

You may be tired. You may be moody. You may be angry. You may have a hard time accepting what has happened.

Give yourself lots of time to move through this. This is not a time to make big decisions. Find friends, religious leaders, counselors and coaches to help you to explore these intense feelings. Grieving is hard work but so worthwhile.

 

Retirement:

Retirement is all about transition. Do you know what you are going to do when you retire? You might decide to start your own business and work, only, when you want. There may be organizations that you have always wanted to volunteer for and have never had the time.

If you are one of the people who has spent the majority of their working life focussed on their job, retirement could be a very stressful time. You may feel a loss of identity. You might feel depressed. So it is better for you to start volunteering and finding other interests before you retire.

You are likely to have more time with your spouse. This may be great, but you may find your spouse driving you crazy. Does it feel like they are under your feet too often? Each of you will want to discover your own interests so that each of you has time apart.  You will also have different experiences to share with each other.

You might find it challenging to organize your day now that you are retired. There is no longer any requirement for you to be at work at a particular time. You might want to set a regular schedule for yourself each week. Like when you are going to get up?  What are you going to do?

It is at these times of significant changer in our lives we are more likely to face depression and other mental health issues. If you are getting down don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Give yourself time to get used to your new life. Remember life transitions are hard. Make the best of this season by seeing this as an opportunity to re-focus on what is really important to you.

 

Your life is full of transitions. No matter what change you are going through it takes time and energy to make the adjustments.

You may be one of many who do not realize the energy it takes to go through:

·         Birth

·         Childhood

·         Teen years

·         Moving away from Home

·         Marriage

·         Children

·         Divorce

·         Death of Loved Ones

·         Retirement

 

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Life transitions are hard! So during these times of change, you may feel like you are going crazy. I assure you, you are not going crazy.  The only way to get through these times of change is to fully experience the ups and downs that your body, heart, and mind will take you through.

Give yourself space to make your ways through these vulnerable times. Let others know what you are experiencing. Allow yourself more time to sleep. Eat well. Enjoy time with good friends and family. Cry when you need to. Laugh. Seek support when you are feeling alone.

Congratulations, you have made it this far in life. You have been through a lot!

You have become a stronger and more compassionate person through all of your life experiences.  You are the amazing person you are because of all the ups and downs you have faced.  Go and celebrate each moment of life. Be kind to yourself, with gentleness, when you are facing difficult times and truly celebrate the good times.

Roland Legge offers presence based life coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, and organizations to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478 or book your appointment online at   https://www.relconsultants.com/coach-roland-legge  Please click on “Discovery Call.”

 

Originally Published by REL Consultants  http://www.relconsultants.com

 

A Fascinating Overview of How the Enneagram Personality System Works

Seven years ago I began learning about the Enneagram Personality System. It has changed my life for the better. I am much more compassionate and forgiving of myself. I have a lot more patience and compassion to work with people who experience the world differently from me. I am a healthier and happier person. It has helped me so much I want to share it with others.

This is a story of how the Enneagram the Enneagram personality system works.

Ennea means nine, and gram means figure in Greek. So together it means a nine-pointed figure. What is its history?  Here is a short synopsis:

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The symbol dates back about 2500 years. The actual date of its beginning or where exactly it started is unknown. It is a coming together of the wisdom of many different spiritual traditions. Much of it has come from Christianity, Buddhism, Islam (especially Sufis) and Judaism.

Much of this spiritual wisdom, was forgotten for hundreds of years. In 1875 Gurdjieff re-discovered the symbol in his search for the knowledge of the esoteric religions of the past. He formed a group called Seekers After Truth.  He and his friends traveled through Egypt, Afghanistan, Greece, Persia, and India.

Gurdjieff used the Enneagram as a tool to help his students to find their way in the world through dance and movement.

He explained that the Enneagram has three parts that represent the three central laws that describe divine law which governs all existence.

The circle represents unity, wholeness, and oneness and symbolizes that God is one (Hudson, 1999).

The next symbol is the triangle. In Christianity, this is referring to the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or in the Enneagram world, the Law of Three. This symbolism found in the Kabbalah, an esoteric teaching of Judaism. The ancient traditions do not see the world as a place of opposites but of non-duality. Hence the world is full of many hues of color rather than black and white (Hudson, 1999).

The third part is the hexad, referring to the Law of Seven. It demonstrates to us that nothing is static. Our world is continuously changing, recycling and evolving or de-evolving. The Periodic Table and the Western musical octave are all based on the Law of Seven (Hudson, 1999).

The modern Enneagram as we know it came to life in California in the 1970’s under Claudio Naranjo.  Naranjo and many others since him have woven psychology into the Enneagram to bring it into the modern age. He used panels of each type as one way to teach the Enneagram.

Today the Enneagram teaches that when you are born into the world, your ego chooses one of the nine fundamental ways to survive in the world. These represent the nine Enneagram types. This is how the Enneagram personality system works.

You could not have survived without the ego type your inner self chose. No one knows why we choose the type we do. It is probably a mixture of genetics mixed with early life experiences.

Our personality can begin to get in the way when we become adults if we do not become aware of the limitations of our nature.  When you are stuck in your personality, you are only using one-ninth of the tools given.

All the things you do without thinking are your personality speaking. When you begin to be aware of your limited pattern (type) talking, you then become open to responding in new and different ways.

I always say to my clients that when you can notice your personality acting out, you then have the option to respond in ways that are more appropriate for the situation in which you find yourself.

The Enneagram is like a map. It shows you when you are healthy, and not so healthy. It points you in the direction you need to go to get healthier. It warns you when you are getting stuck in old habits that no longer serve you.

When you look at most Enneagram images, you will see arrows pointing in the different directions of integration and stress (disintegration).

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The Enneagram is never static. The health of your personality is never static. Each day you go up and down depending on how much stress you are experiencing.

There is movement on the Enneagram as you move to ether your integration point or your stress point.

The integration points you toward the functional aspects of another type when you are dealing with life well. When you are integrating, you are living beyond the trappings of your personality.

There is nothing wrong moving towards the stress type. The stress point is a safety valve. It prevents you from moving down to a lower level of health than you have ever been before.

Just to learn the types can be a fun thing to do. It can be a great party conversation. But it is only of use if you commit to learning through this tool through workshops, reading, reflection, counseling, and coaching.

The only person who can tell you who you are is yourself. For many people, it takes time to discern what type you are. It is easy to misidentify when you are not self-aware.

The Enneagram is no excuse to behave in a particular way. The gift of the Enneagram is that it points out to you the personality box in which you find yourself. A healthy person will develop strengths in all nine types. This is how the Enneagram personality system works.

Learning the Enneagram together with someone that knows you well such as your spouse can be a lot of fun. Your partner can help you to see who you are. When we are so close to ourselves, we can easily deceive ourselves into believing our desired image of our self when in reality people around us experience us differently.

The Enneagram teaching is an excellent tool for any group such as spouses, a whole family, congregation or business to learn how to get along better with each other. You begin to understand your differences because of how you see the world through your different lenses.

I expect at some time in your life you assumed that everyone thought the same as you did—until you got a rude awakening.  We all have different ways of seeing and experiencing the world.

You will discover that most people don’t want to annoy you. They just see the world in different ways and have different priorities.

The nine Enneagram types divide into a triad of gut, heart, and head. These are our three energy centers. Your type suggests which one of these energy centers you either avoid or overuse. It just means this is where you are most comfortable but to be healthy, we need to keep all three of these wisdom centers open.

You can also use another triad of assertive, withdrawn and dutiful.

The assertive types of people move out into the world with force and conviction. They are a force to be taken seriously.

The withdrawn types when under stress like to withdraw into themselves to recharge. They are usually great observers of what is going on around them. They are easy to get along with.

The dutiful types when under stress feel responsible for taking care of everyone around them and making sure everyone stays safe. The dutiful types can often feel overly responsible.

The Enneagram is all about finding ways to live with as much presence as possible. Presence is the ability to stay open to the wisdom of your three energy centers: the gut, heart, and head.

The Enneagram is meant to help you move out of the fog of life. When you are stuck in your personality, it is easy to go to sleep to your true self. You live out your image of yourself without any self-awareness. Your life becomes more and more limited unless you find the courage to discover who you indeed are.

Using the Enneagram takes time and intentionality. It is a tool that will give you new things to learn each day no matter how old you are. It is no quick fix.

If someone claims you need fixing with the Enneagram, run away as quickly as you can. These teachers are dangerous!

I love the Enneagram! I hope it can help you as much as it has and continues to help me. I learned that being a type six explained why I had had lots of anxiety issues through my life. I have a lot more compassion for myself. I have learned how important meditation is for me to quiet my mind.

The Enneagram can change the world!

Learning that I am a type six has helped me to acknowledge my strengths such as my ability to look for problems before they become serious.

It has been a blessing in my relationship with my wife, Jen. She is a type five (the investigator). She thinks everything through before she says anything. She finds it difficult to express herself especially when she doesn’t feel that she has enough information.

I am the opposite. I think out loud. I learn through my conversations with others. We have had to learn much. I have learned to give Jen lots of time to think. She has learned that she needs to tell me what she is thinking, especially when it is a decision that affects both of us. We now laugh together instead of cursing each other.

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I invite you to try out the Enneagram. It is a productive tool that reflects the complexity and holiness of each person.  It shows you where you are right now and where you need to go to get healthier.

This fantastic tool helps you to find your true self or God self. The Enneagram shows you a way to be aware of your sensations that are full of wisdom. The Enneagram shows you a way to remain open to your emotions through your heart. This is how the Enneagram personality works.

You learn that your feelings shine the light on how you are experiencing the world in each moment. Then your mind, when quiet, helps you to connect with your intuition.

Please join me on this journey to new life. May it be full of surprises, wonder, and hope.

 

Roland Legge offers coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, families, and executives to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478, or you can email Roland at rolandlegge@relconsultants.com

 

Originally published at http://www.relconsultants.com/blog

Author: Roland Legge

 

 

Nine Powerful Tips for How to Manage Transitions

Conceptual tree in summer and autumn

Life is full of transitions. Right from the beginning of life, you experience change. Your life changed when you left home for the first time. Your life changed when you graduated from College or University.

Your life changed when you got married.  Your life changed when you had your first child.  You experience these changes throughout life. The challenge is how to manage life’s transitions.

I am going through significant change. I left the full-time congregational ministry position in the United Church of Canada to start a Life Coaching business in my mid-fifties. I have been a minister for twenty-five years, and so much of my identity is with congregational leadership. I loved my job, but I had come to a ti

me when I was experiencing a  call to coaching. I had been feeling this for a while, but fear of change prevented me from acting until recently.

Changing my career is one of the most difficult things I have done.

I want to work with people who want to better their lives. It is such a thrill to experience people growing through coaching. My job in the congregation was no longer meeting my needs.

For the good of my health, I needed to make a change.

But this new path is requiring me to learn a lot of new things from going to coaching school and learning the tools to become an entrepreneur. It is both exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

Not everybody understands why I am doing what I am doing. I keep having to tell people I have not retired, I am merely going into a new field.  I am learning to be okay with it.

This experience taught me Nine powerful tips to manage life’s transitions.

 

1.       Ground Yourself:

Grounding yourself is all about the practice of living in the moment.

What do you find helpful to relax your muscles? Do you like to practice yoga, play a musical instrument, walk, get a massage? When your muscles are relaxed, help you to enjoy living in your body. Get comfortable with paying attention to your body. Your body offers you great wisdom every moment of the day.

What are you feeling in your heart? You need to be careful that you don’t confuse thinking with sensation. How do you know the difference? You might ask these questions: Does your chest feel open or closed? Does your chest feel warm or cold? Are you feeling happy or sad? Are you feeling hopeless or hopeful? Are you feeling calm or frazzled?  With practice, you will notice the difference.

To stay grounded you need to acknowledge your emotions without any judgment and let them go. There are no bad feelings. They come and go. Each different reaction will give you a clue about your well-being and how you need to respond to staying fully present in the world. A healthy person will be aware of the many different emotions you feel each day. You are not your emotion!

There are many ways to quiet the mind. Have you tried to guided meditation or breath exercises?  An excellent meditation App is called Insight Timer and is available on Google Play and at the App Store.

Listening to classical music can calm the mind. Going for a walk is great for our mental wellbeing if we treat it as a form of meditation. If you love gardening, this is an excellent way to become more present. Do something you enjoy doing that helps you to calm your mind.

2.       Pay Attention:

When you are grounded, it is much easier to pay attention to your inner and outer world because you are living in the present.  You have been blessed with vast spiritual knowledge if you just pay attention.

Stay attuned to your body. If you are feeling sore, tired, uptight, and strained are signs that you need to make changes in your life. Maybe you need to rest more. Perhaps you need to get more exercise. Maybe you need to spend more time with family and friends.

These sensations may be pointing out more significant concerns.  Maybe you need to get help for your relationship or end it.  Perhaps you need to get a new job that is more suitable for your well-being. Possibly, you need to see a doctor, a counselor or coach.

When you are grounded in the sensations, emotions, and thoughts of our bodies, there is much wisdom to be learned. The knowledge from our inner selves can help us to make smoother change throughout our lives.

 

3.       Share what is going on in your life with a friend, spouse or family member:

As human beings, we are intended to be in a relationship with others. You might think you can do life all yourself, but this is impossible. We need each other.  We need each other for companionship, play, work, and survival.

Your friends, family, and colleagues are often able to see things in yourself that you can not see yourself.

When you are going through challenges in life, it doesn’t seem as dark when you have someone else to walk with you through the ups downs.

In the end, a good friend is a person who over a period of years is there for you as you are for them. If someone consistently is sucking the life out of you. You either need to define some boundaries or end that relationship.

 

4.       Exercise:

Exercising helps you to remain connected with your body, heart, and mind. It helps you to move into the present. Being focused at the moment,  helps you to stay open to the universal wisdom of the earth.

When you honor your body, your heart and mind, everything begins to work in harmony. You know what you need to be about in life. Life becomes one of a surprise because you never quite know where each day will take you. The big difference is that you find this exciting instead of scary.

If you are driven to exercise, you are probably not living in harmony with yourself. But if exercise becomes a daily practice of caring for yourself then you are moving in a healthier direction.  You will not feel forced and desperate. You will feel satisfied each day even if you are not feeling at your best.

Exercise will just feel right!

 

5.       Play

Can you imagine a world without play? When you were a child, this naturally came to you. Games were how you experienced the world. The game is how you worked out conflict. The play is how you stayed fit.  This how you enjoyed the company of other people. Playing is how you learned.

Managing life’s transitions through play is an excellent way for you to weave your way through the ups and downs of life. How do you like to play?  Here are some ideas that you might enjoy?

·         Golf

·         Tennis

·         Bowling

·         Painting pictures

·         Photography

·         Singing

·         Dancing

·         Hiking

And much more!

I encourage you, along with me, to reclaim the gift of play. Life will become more fun and enjoyable. You will be more fun making you desirous to others. You will stay healthier. Moving through life’s transitions will become easier. When you are working, you will probably be more efficient, happy and satisfied.

 

6.       Befriend Your Fear:

You are programmed to be fearful of dangerous things that can hurt you. If you were a hunter in the early human era, you were afraid of wild animals who could kill you. Mothers in ancient times stayed attuned to their physical environment with its many dangers.

You were fiercely protective. The trouble is that we have moved so quickly into the modern age to a sedentary way of life our nervous system has yet to adjust.

So today your nervous system is activated when you don’t need it be. With breath work, bodywork and exercise you can manage this old automatic response by befriending your fear. All you need to do is allow yourself to feel the fearful sensations, emotions, and thoughts. When you can be with these painful vibrations,  emotions, and beliefs, they gradually begin to lose their power over you.

Claim your freedom and roar like a lion!

 

7.       Learn Valuable Lessons:

You are always learning!  When you stay as present as you can there is so much to learn each day. There are no mistakes, only opportunities to learn more about yourself and the world. When you can learn through the trials and tribulations of life each day gets a little more comfortable.

Your ego is always trying to protect you. The trouble is that the ego usually likes the status quo. So if you still listen to your inner critic, that part of you that wants you to stay safe through staying with the tried and true; you are going to miss a lot in life and have great difficulty dealing with the surprises.

When you do try on new learnings, it takes practice to live them out. Be gentle with yourself as you try living in new ways. Celebrate every achievement no matter how small it may seem to you.

The more you practice lifelong learning in your life the easier and more exciting it will become!

 

8.       Take Time for Rejuvenation:

You live in a busy world. With all the time-saving devices you are given the illusion that you can do more. Finding balance in your life is an on-going learning. A right place for you to start is to learn how to say NO  to activities/jobs that are not in your best interest. Life is short, so you need to use each moment well.

No matter whether or not you are introverted or extroverted you need to find the right balance of time for yourself or with companions.  Locate the balance for you that is regenerative.  You need balance, and you are the only one that will know what you need.

Slow down and smell the roses!

 

9.       Be Yourself:

Most of all,  be yourself!  Don’t try to be anyone else but yourself.  You are the supreme gift to the world when you bring your particular gifts and skills to the world.

When you can be yourself, you do not need to be in any competition with others. All you need to do is allow others to be themselves and don’t let your ego trick you into thinking you need to be someone else.

You are the most fantastic person in the world! But don’t forget every person is the most amazing person in the world.

So go out and be you in all the fabulous you can be!

 

How to manage life’s transitions is one of the most critical skills you learn.  We do it by grounding ourselves, paying attention, sharing with a friend or family member, exercising, playing, befriending your fear, learning valuable lessons, taking time for rejuvenation, and being yourself.

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With perseverance, you can begin to name the habits that are no longer benefiting you. Once you become aware of patterns that are no longer serving you, then have the choice to develop healthier ways of being. The more freedom you feel helps you to manage life’s transitions with greater ease.

There is a better way to live! Go and enjoy your life.

 

Roland Legge offers presence based life coaching through REL Consultants for individuals, couples, and organizations to help them to be the best they can be. For more information, please arrange for a free 30-minute discovery call by phoning Roland at 1 306 620-7478 or book your appointment online. Please click on “Discovery Call.”

 

This article was first published by REL Consultants