The Enneagram is an incredibly powerful tool enabling both personal and collective transformation. It provides a framework for piercing self discovery, guiding us out of our inner prisons towards new doorways to freedom.
What is the Origin of the Enneagram?
In 1305 the nine pointed symbol of the enneagram appeared in the work of Ramon Llul, a Franciscan friar and scholar . But it reappeared at the turn of the 20th century in the teachings of an Armenian mystic, Gurdjieff, who appeared to have learned about it in a secret Middle Eastern mystery school thousands of years old. So some point to Sufi roots and others to the early Christian mystics.
Gurdjieff’s version did not actually include the modern, personal psychological aspects that have now made it very well known and accessible. It evolved in the hands of Oscar Ichazo, a Bolivian philosopher, the founder of the Arica School, who in the 1960’s placed nine types of personality on the Enneagram, and the framework was further synthesized and developed by Claudio Naranjo, a Chilean psychiatrist and a pioneer in depth psychology.
What is Enneagram Coaching?
I use the framework of the Enneagram to help people gain in-depth insights about themselves as individuals, in groups, and as part of a collective. Emerging out of the structure of our Enneagram type is a path out of restriction into inner freedom and expansion. The process can be rather like gradually removing a straitjacket.
The basic Enneagram framework consists of nine different core archetypes, and therefore nine different paths. It’s not a one size fits all model, which is why this framework is so effective: Once you have decided which shoe fits , the insights from the Enneagram into our gifts and stumbling blocks are stunningly accurate. Each person is such a unique representation of humanity that typing oneself isn’t always easy or obvious. It can take a bit of mapping and some deep diving, but that is the beginning of the liberation process. Ultimately we embody all the archetypes but tend to lead with one.
Different schools of thought define the types with different emphases. I like these definitions:
- The Idealist/ Reformer
- The Promoter/ Giver
- The Performer/The Achiever
- The Creative Seeker/ Individualist
- The Thinker/The Investigator
- The Loyalist/ The Guardian
- The Optimist/ The Enthusiast
- The Asserter/ The Challenger
- The Mediator/ The Peacemaker
How can I Discover what my Enneagram type is?
There are a number of online tests and descriptions of the types that are easily accessible and this can be a good place to start. However, a verbal typing interview really is by far the most helpful way to arrive at a place of clarity. For some people their Enneagram type is blazingly obvious, but for many people it’s less clear. Very often people have typed themselves one way, but as they start to explore realize that they are leading with a different shoe. A clear knowing of which typology you lead with is the starting point of a new path in your life.
Each type leads with a different center of intelligence; head, heart or body; has its own strengths and weaknesses, and its own defense system. And then, there are the types within the types… it unfolds.
The psycho-spiritual and somatic guidance that comes with exploring the Enneagram in a coaching session helps us discover our superpowers and uncover our blind spots.
The open system perspective of an enneagram helps with self-awareness and discovering patterned behaviors. It’s an extraordinary road-map for personal discovery, helping us to understand the motivation for behaviors that either help to keep us imprisoned or set us free.
Consider the Enneagram itself to be a spiritual guide. Enneagram coaching is a spiritual guidance system that will help you to understand how to live more fully.
Each enneagram personality type has a different style of management, communication, and code of conduct in their environment, be it professional or at home. Enneagram coaching is a form of spiritual guidance that will help you build and improve emotional intelligence and interpersonal relationships.
Enneagram training offers you the tools to unlock your full potential. The Enneagram can be misused to box people in, and stereotype. The point, the aim and the gift of using this tool is to move out of our boxes.
We are all a mixture of all of the Enneagram types. Enneagram Typing is just the beginning of a process of unfoldment. Once you have discovered which type you lead with, you can move into an ever deepening comprehension of the core that defines your subconscious behavior patterns, allowing you to identify with the self that is much vaster than any psychological pattern.
Why Do You Need Enneagram Coaching?
If you find yourself on the hamster wheel of repetition, caught in the throes of the same pattern over and over again, or just completely stuck, there may something about yourself or your circumstances that you are missing. Something you cannot see. The Enneagram is a tool that is incredibly helpful for uncovering what’s really at play.
We can all benefit from perceiving ourselves in a new light, seeing how we impact other people, and how we very often unconsciously shape our own environments. Relationship dynamics are often challenging and working with the Enneagram can really help you to be more conscious of your behavior and more compassionate toward yourself, aswell as helping you understand someone else’s way of being, often bringing surprising revelations about how others tick. This work promotes empathy.
New awareness is Step one toward breaking habitual unwanted neural pathways. But awareness alone isn’t enough .To actually break habitual neural pathways – self-acceptance, somatic awareness and actually changing your behavior is key.
Many people have been jammed up against the wall during Covid lockdowns and unable to escape patterns of behavior in themselves and others that are excruciating. Enneagram coaching is massively helpful in terms of suddenly being able to hear the beat of someone else’s drummer, and the ability to pull oneself out of own defense system.