Who's Your Famous Enneagram Personality Doppelgänger?

by Elizabeth Newcomer in , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One of my goals in writing this blog is to bring the Enneagram down from an intangible spiritual concept and into a more approachable realm, and show how it applies to the real day-to-day world we live in.   The Enneagram can seem a bit heady, academic and even arduous.  But it can also be fun, interesting and playful, too.  Because there is so much tugging for our attention in these busy, complicated times, I find myself needing to engage in some low-brow activity, like flipping through pages of US Weekly or taking one of those "Which 90's Sitcom Character are you?" quizzes on Facebook.  So, in that vein, spin the wheel and find out "Who is your famous Enneagram Personality Dopplegänger?"

Are you…

principled and responsible
focused on making the world a righteous place, like Nelson Mandela?

nurturing and generous,  
focused on helping those in need, like Princess Diana?

hard-working and successful
focused on inspiring hope in others by all that you do, like Oprah?

passionate and empathetic,  
focused on making your unique mark on the world, like Johnny Depp

thoughtful and detached,  
able to express keen observations of the world, like Daniel Day Lewis?

warm and witty
focused on championing others, like Ellen?

bright and optimistic, 
set out to experience the adventures life has to offer, like Goldie Hawn?

confident and in control, 
with an insatiable, unquenchable lust for truth and life, like Lucille Ball?

peace-loving and inclusive
focused on uniting the world regardless of differences, like Abraham Lincoln?

These examples are drawn from Tom Condon's The Enneagram Movie and Video Guide, which I've also adapted and are included in my materials for my Introduction to the Enneagram Workshop.

Elizabeth Elkins, MFA, Certified Enneagram Consultant with Art of the Enneagram offers individual and group sessions, as well as workshops.  If you’re curious about how the Enneagram functions in your life, schedule a Discover Your Type session today.  Or sign up here to tune into the weekly blog and to hear about upcoming events.

Risking to Blossom

by Elizabeth Newcomer in , , , , , , , , ,

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.  -Anais Nin
About two years ago, I was on my way to perform in a play, walking through Central Park on route to the theatre.  At the time, I was reading Debbie Ford’s The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, which is about embracing all of who you are, including the “negative” or “undesirable” aspects and reclaiming your wholeness.  I started to look at the people I was passing and decided to play a game.  I would look at them and utter in my head, “I am you and you are me.”  It started off funny, imagining these people of different shapes and sizes as myself, and me as them.  But then, something amazing happened.  I could see it, I saw myself in the eyes, in the gait, in the expression of men, women, young, old, black, white, short, tall.  And I saw them in my proud walk, the fear behind my gaze, the expectation in my face, and the sound of my laughter.  I felt like I was not alone.  In some ways, I felt a higher aspect of myself emerge.
The Enneagram is a tool to help us understand others and ourselves in our life.  It brings up how we stand in our own way and the challenges each of our personalities may present.  And it’s also about the higher qualities of self that are available to each of us when our ego is not running the show. 
In honor of springtime, and as the buds are starting to emerge and blossom into flowers, what aspects of your higher self can you reclaim?  I’ve put together a list of the Nine Enneagram Types with their higher quality and virtue, followed by some questions and suggestions where your essential self is invited to arise.

1 Perfection / Serenity
In what way is life already perfect?  What is a “should” you can drop from your expectations?  Can you grant yourself a pleasure for pleasure’s sake today?  Is there a feeling or a thought, that you don’t feel safe expressing because it is “unacceptable?”  Can you express it in a way that wouldn’t be harmful to yourself or others?  For example, can you go to a boxing gym or can you express your “ugly” thoughts in the form of a sonnet?
2 Freedom / Humility
Can you spend some time alone today nourishing yourself and replenishing your well?  What is one need you can ask to be met by a loved one? The next time you reach out to help someone, can you check in with yourself beforehand and have a little conference about what you can realistically give without depleting your own resources?
3 Hope / Honesty
Today, can you slow down and be present with one of your tasks on your to-do list?  Are you able to do just enough and no more?  Can you identify one real feeling that arises when you slow down or cut back on your workload?  Can you feel your self-worth through a way of being and not doing?
4 Authenticity / Equanimity (Balance)
In what area of your life, do you feel like you completely belong?  Can you catch yourself when your attention goes towards what is missing and can you gently invite yourself back to the present moment and notice what is real and alive in the here-and-now?  Can you get into your body by going for a run or express your creativity by making a greeting card for a loved one?
5 Omniscience / Non-attachment
Can you participate in a way today that allows for real feelings and desires to emerge without attempting to detach from your experience?  Is there a person or an aspect of your life that you are avoiding for fear of being intruded upon?  How can reveal yourself to them while maintaining your fullness?  For fun, can you go out in the world today and occupy a little more physical space, wear a brighter color that might attract attention, and act as a witness to what emerges?
6 Faith / Courage
Is there a physical practice you can engage in today, like yoga or tai chi, someplace where you can quiet your mind and sense your natural courage in your body?  Can you change your “Yes, but…” to “Yes, and…” while moving into the unknown with the faith that you can face it?  What’s a spontaneous activity you can engage in without assessing the consequences? 
7 Work / Sobriety
Where is one commitment that you can follow through on today?  Instead of multi-tasking, can you choose to do one thing where you can stay the course from the beginning through the middle to the end?  And when it seems to bore you and bring up feelings that aren’t pleasurable, can you still come back to your one task at hand?  Do you feel the satisfaction that arises from completion and follow-through?
8 Truth / Innocence
If you find yourself gearing up for a fight today, can you let in the possibility that your “opponent’s” truth is just as valid as yours, and instead of bulldozing them with your argument, can you open your ear to hear them out?  Can you take your inner child out on a date today, to a park or a museum where you allow your curiosity and innocence to emerge?
9 Love / Right Action
How can you lovingly prioritize your own agenda?  If there is a task you need to complete, can you see it through to the end, without getting distracted by inessential activity?  Can you put yourself on a pedestal today, reigning as the Queen or King you are, making the rules and decisions and asking others to fulfill your own desires, wants or needs?  

Elizabeth Elkins, MFA, Certified Enneagram Consultant with Art of the Enneagram offers individual and group sessions, as well as workshops.  If you’re curious about how the Enneagram functions in your life, schedule a Discover Your Type session today.  Or sign up here to tune into the weekly blog and to hear about upcoming events.

What's in a Name?

by Elizabeth Newcomer in , , ,

What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet
-Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

I’m a sucker for good names.  I actually keep a (long) list of potential baby names on my notes app and update it whenever I hear another one I like.  My current favorites: Liberty and Valentine Xavier.  Concurrently, I’ve been debating about my business name for sometime and Enneagram New York City didn’t seem to fit just right.
Whereas it’s true that I live in New York City, and am currently building a community of Enneagram Enthusiasts here, I offer my services nationally, and ultimately envision the business having a Global Reach.
I also believe it’s important to choose a name that captures what the business is about.  The services I currently offer and intend to provide in the future are geared towards making the Enneagram a part of your daily life, showing how it is applicable to your own personal development, as well as in regards to your relationships, and even in the workplace.
When people ask me: What is the Enneagram?  My go-to playful response is: If yoga and psychotherapy had a love child, it would be the Enneagram.  It’s a process of self-discovery, a practice of mindfulness, and a journey of compassion.  It serves as a map to understanding yourself and others in your life.  It provides a framework to transform your life.  It’s difficult to define because it is both complex and fundamental.
Then it hit me yesterday.  I’m changing the name of my business to: Art of the Enneagram.
Art, as defined in The New Oxford American and the World English Dictionaries means the following.
art (noun)
·      the expression or application of human creative skill
·      the skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice
·      method, facility, knack
The Enneagram is not a quick fix; it’s not a magic pill.  It can be, however, the most effective tool to make lasting changes in your life.  As my teachers in the Narrative Tradition taught me, what the Enneagram requires is intention, attention, repetition and guidance.  When you make it a practice, like yoga, you start to peel away the layers of habits that no longer serve you, and blossom into the person you’re meant to become. 
I thought it would be fun to take a look at the names of the nine Enneagram types, as they each have variations.  I say, choose whichever one you think/feel/sense captures you the most.  

Elizabeth Elkins, MFA, Certified Enneagram Consultant with Art of the Enneagram offers individual and group sessions, as well as workshops.  If you’re curious about how the Enneagram functions in your life, schedule a Discover Your Type session today.  Or sign up here to tune into the weekly blog and to hear about upcoming events.