The Enneagram is a great tool but it can not predict how easily you will get along with another type. The truth is that you can get along with any Enneagram type if you are both healthy. Problems begin whenever … Continue reading
The Enneagram is a great tool to help you have a healthier relationship with your spouse. Ideally, you both need to use this psychological—spiritual tool both individually and together to get the most out of it. You always start using … Continue reading
Good relationships are precious like gold. They turn your ordinary everyday life into something extraordinary. Are you hungry for one? What makes a good relationship work? They work when there is a deep commitment of two people to bring out … Continue reading
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:
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?
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!
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 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.
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.
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:
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 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:
· Teen years
· Moving away from Home
· Death of Loved Ones
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
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:
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).
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published at http://www.relconsultants.com/blog
Author: Roland Legge
Do you dream of the perfect relationship? I think most of us do. As children and teens, you dreamt of the ideal relationship. Just like it was portrayed in the movies. It was magical!
When you got older, you probably found that a healthy relationship between a husband and wife is never easy. It takes persistence, dedication, self-awareness, and faith.
I want to encourage you in you in your desire to find joy and happiness in the relationship you have chosen. Here are nine ways to build a good rapport between you and your spouse.
1. Get to know yourself:
How can you get to know your partner if you don’t know yourself? Getting to know yourself takes time and dedication. You might want to ask yourself some deep questions such as:
a. What do I want in my life?
b. What makes me happy?
c. What gives me satisfaction?
d. What makes me angry?
e. What do I want to be doing in ten years?
f. What makes me uptight?
g. What do I fear?
I invite you to reflect on these questions through the sensations of your body, the emotions of the heart and the quiet of the mind.
You can do something physical like yoga, dance, walk, run, gardening, sports to get in touch with the sensations of your body. Take time to notice what is going on. Your body will help you to acknowledge what is going on and is less likely to lie than compared to your mind.
Warmth and relaxation in the body suggest you are getting healthier. Tightness and a lack of energy indicate you are experiencing dis-ease.
To get in touch with your heart, notice what is going on in your chest area. Is it warm or cold? Does it feel relaxed or tight? How aware are you of your chest area? A warm and comfortable chest suggests you have an open heart. A cold and constricted chest suggests a closed heart.
To open it requires you to breathe in your chest area. Often guided meditation and yoga can be of great help. Stay open to what your heart is trying to tell you.
How busy is your head? Do you have lots of conversations going on in your head? Too much going on in your head can create a lot of anxiety. Decisions can be overwhelming because your mind has too much going on at the same time.
The best way to quiet the mind is to do something physical like walking, running, dancing, gardening or something else. Other excellent practices are meditation and taking time to breathe intentionally. Find out what works best for you.
2. Excellent Communication:
When you need to communicate with your loved one, here are some practices to enhance your communication:
a. Stand or sit at the same level of your partner.
b. Look each other in the eyes.
c. Be aware of each others body language.
d. Ask questions of clarification if needed.
e. Say in your own words what you heard your partner say.
f. Use “I” statements. Take responsibility for what you say.
g. Do not blame. Stay curious about what your partner is trying to tell you.
h. Keep communication open.
Make sure you are grounded before you talk to your partner. Take a few deep breaths if you are feeling upset; and if you can not talk now make arrangements to speak at another time.
3. Deal with Conflict Openly:
Conflict happens every time there are at least two different opinions in a room. Conflict is normal and can be healthy.
When there is a minor misinterpretation, and resolution is possible; you just need to clarify what each of you intended to say.
If it is a more complex debate, you will require more time to work toward a resolution that will be satisfactory to all involved. Intentional listening takes time, requiring open minds, hearts, and bodies that are grounded.
If you felt hurt by something, your love has said or done. You need to be clear with her or him as to what you experienced, felt and thought. Keep your conversation descriptive rather than judgmental. Give your partner a chance to respond.
If you did something wrong, admit your error and show your partner that you won’t do it again. If you didn’t do anything wrong, don’t appease your partner to make them happy. Appeasing is destructive to the relationship.
Working through conflict should be a win-win!
At the beginning of your relationship, it is always easy because you are in love. You can not get enough of each other. But as the relationship continues on you need to choose to stay in love. A good way to nurture your love is to play together. What do you enjoy doing as a couple?
a. Do you like to play games? What games do you like?
b. Do you enjoy going to live theater?
c. Do you enjoy reading out loud a book to each other?
d. Do you enjoy singing? How about joining a community or church choir?
e. Surprise each other with gifts such as a bouquet of flowers or a ticket to show.
Make sure you have enough time to enjoy each others company. Do it at a time when you both have the energy to enjoy it.
Are you thinking of sex when I talk about affection? Yes, sexual intercourse is one small part of being intimate. But there are many ways you can express/share that deep love with your life partner. Show love:
a. By looking into each other’s eyes
b. By holding hands.
c. By cuddling on the sofa and bed.
d. By kissing.
e. By listening deeply to each other’s stories.
f. By enjoying a candlelight dinner together.
g. By doing something, your spouse loves, and you don’t.
Let each other know what you need to feel loved. Let your partner know what you enjoy. Don’t expect your partner to read your mind. In the end be thankful they can’t know all your thoughts.
You need friends whether or not you are in a close relationship. No one person can provide all you need in life. Friends are the spice of life. They bring out different qualities in you that your spouse would. They are also there to give you another perspective on your relationship. When you are so close to another person, it can be difficult to see the truth.
You need a friend more than you need a spouse. As a human being, you are intended to live in relationship with others. You can not survive in our world without others. We are so interconnected that when one person hurts, we all hurt. When a person succeeds, we are all better off.
Forgiveness is one of the most misunderstood concepts. Forgiveness is a process. It can take a long time, even years. The goal of forgiveness is to release you from the negative experience so that the memory will cease to poison your life in the future.
In close relationships, forgiveness plays a vital role in learning from our mistakes. Forgiveness creates room for you and your partner to learn from your or your partner’s error of judgment.
If your partner is abusing you, first you need to get away to safety and later on and see how the forgiveness might look. Forgiveness could include staying with your partner if they take responsibility for their actions or leave the relationship for good if it is not safe to remain. Forgiveness is hard work!
8. Ability to Live Out Your Vocation
Over time you need to be able to live out your vocation. If your partner loves you, they will support you in living this out. You may not be able to do everything you like, but in the end, you need a relationship where over the long term you are going to be satisfied in how you are living your life.
If you keep putting your life on hold to meet the needs of your partner, this will eventually backfire. If you don’t honor yourself in the relationship, tension, in the end, will build up to the point that it flares into anger and resentment.
You and your partner need to find a way to honor both of you. When you are both happy, you have the best chance for a joy-filled relationship.
To do this you both need to express what you honestly desire in life. In the end, it needs to be a win-win solution.
To enjoy your relationship you need to take good care of yourself. You are your most happy when you take time to rest, eat well, get enough sleep, have a healthy balance between work and play and get enough exercise. No one feels romantic and sexy when they are exhausted.
So if you are missing sex in your relationship, you might want to check if you are both taking care of yourselves. If you are always fighting, you might both be too tired and stressed to think clearly.
If you find yourself stressed and tired; I encourage you to get, some help. See how you can better organize your life so you can slow down. Are you trying to do too much? Do you have a hard time saying no? What is blocking you from taking the time to care for yourself?
Then take one step at a time to add in self-care into your daily life. You might need to let go of things that you have no interest. The reality is that there is only so much time in your day to do what is important for you.
A good relationship between a husband and wife is never easy. It is a lifelong commitment. If you both are willing to see this as a great adventure, will be rewarded with surprise and joy. The moment your partner doesn’t surprise you, or you stop growing emotionally and spiritually suggests your relationship is getting stuck.
If you practice these nine tips, you are dramatically increasing your chances of having a long and satisfying relationship. Know yourself. Practice good communication. Deal with conflict openly. Don’t forget to play! Discover the type of intimacy you and your partner needs. Enjoy great friendships. Practice forgiveness. Find a way to live out your vocation. Lastly and not the least practice self-care.
A good way to get to know yourself and your partner through learning about the Enneagram. There are many books on the Enneagram. Here is a list of books you might like to read. The Enneagram will help you to understand each other better. It will help you to see your strengths and your growing edges.
Most of all take the time to enjoy each others company. Take the time to play. Make an effort to share with each other honestly. Accept responsibility for meeting your own needs.
If you are feeling stuck, don’t be ashamed to go for help. Talk to a friend, a spiritual leader, a coach, a counselor, or psychologist. Enjoy the one life you have.
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 email@example.com
This post was originally published on the REL Consultants Blog on September 26th, 2017