Happy New Year!

by Elizabeth Newcomer in , , , , , ,

The Enneagram

Happy 2014!  I wanted to start the year off by taking a minute to introduce the Enneagram for those of you who don’t know it and as a reminder of the beauty of it to those who do. My hope is that more and more people understand and engage in this system, as I believe it is an awesome tool for developing more compassion towards ourselves and each other, and who doesn’t deserve a little more compassion?!
So, what is the Enneagram? 

The Enneagram is a personality system that describes nine different ways of seeing the world involving fundamental patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting.  The basic idea is that when we were born, we had a closer connection to our essential self.  Then, throughout childhood and growing up, we developed certain patterns in order to survive and seek satisfaction.  In other words, we were once able to see the world from a 360 degree perspective, and in an effort to protect ourselves we sectioned off most of that, ending up with a mere 40 degree outlook on the world.  Tunnel vision, you could also call it.
The Enneagram provides a map of each type’s 40 degree perspective, including:
  • What is the essential truth that they lost sight of
  • What they came to believe instead 
  • Where their focus of attention turned to, as a result of this new belief
  • What is the number one fear they avoid
  • What makes them personally reactive
  • What this costs in their daily lives and relationships
And then, unlike other personality systems, it offers an opportunity for spiritual growth by:
  • Identifying your blind spots
  • Offering practical applications in order to let go of old habits and develop new patterns
  • Reclaiming more of your essential self; or getting out of the box you are already in
What interests me most about the Enneagram, and one of the primary reasons I became certified, is the idea that there is so much more to see, to do, to participate in and the Enneagram provides a way to shrink the blinders and see more of the 360 degree perspective.
The first step in applying the Enneagram to your life is Discovering Your Type.  
This session is a one-on-one process where I will guide you through a series of questions, in order to help you discover your type.  These questions are designed to help you look at the motivations behind your actions: why you do what you do.

At the end of the session, I will give you feedback on your answers and how they match up with the Enneagram, narrowing down your likely type. 

The purpose of this interview is to engage in a process of self-discovery.  To help you continue in this process, at the end of this session you will receive a free copy of TheEssential Enneagram (a $12.99 value) by David Daniels, MD and Virginia Price, PhD to help you further explore your type.

Sign up today

Elizabeth Elkins is a Certified Enneagram Consultant.  She offers individual, partner and group sessions, as well as workshops.  For more information, go to www.enneagramnewyorkcity.com.  

Counting My Blessings

by Elizabeth Newcomer in , , , , ,

My Official Enneagram Consultant Certificate!
A lot of Enneagram excitement has happened since my last blog.  I attended the EANT Conference in San Francisco in mid-October, where I felt honored to be a part of such a beautiful community of seekers.  At the end of October, I became a Certified Enneagram Consultant in the Narrative Tradition.  And in early November I launched my new business: Enneagram New York City.  Woo hoo!

In the final week of my certification process, I attended the Enneagram Intensive in Montreat, North Carolina.  The second half of that week is about growth: how we can all grow using our types as a guide.  So, the question posed to us as we sat on panels of our type was: What is your next step?  My answer: To focus on what is present rather than what is missing.  As a Four, my natural focus of attention goes toward what is lacking or what is missing.  This leads me to favor feelings of longing and melancholy and is summed up perfectly in one of my favorite quotes.
True joy lies not in the having but in the desiring.  The bliss that is eternal; the delight that never fades, is only yours when what you most desire is just out of reach.
-C.S. Lewis
So, this next step will be a particular challenge for me, as there is juice in longing, in desiring the unattainable, and in being attracted to what is missing.  I have remained comfortable in this pattern, of dreaming about my castle in the clouds rather than taking action towards materializing that dream.

However, that pattern is no longer working for me.  There are many things I want to accomplish in this life and I am aware of how fleeting it can all be.  I am tired of being disappointed by my dreams not coming to fruition...by thinking the deadly phrase: If only...

I am excited about the prospect of growth.  I am looking forward to taking action.  I want to embark on this next step.  And I have a feeling that when I start focusing on what is right in front of me, on the blessings I do have, I will realize how much my life is already dream-like.

As I've mused over what "focusing on the present" really means, I am drawn to the concept of gratitude and counting my blessings.  I bought a Gratitude journal at least two years ago and it is so difficult for me to write in it.  I'm not sure if it's because I think I have to write a long entry or something profound, but it sits on my shelf weighing heavily with bare pages.

My Gratitude Journal

My boyfriend, Michael, pointed out to me that I have a tendency to make grand gestures when I want to effect change.  New Year's Resolutions are a big deal for me...starting things on Mondays...going on juice cleanses when I want to drop a few pounds.  Let's just say I tend to tackle things in extremes.  Go big or go home.  I have more difficulty with taking small, sure, steady steps.

However, in thinking about counting my blessings and expressing my gratitude as a way of staying focused on what is present, I am going to try to start small.  I'll share via Twitter and Facebook three things that I am grateful for as they come to me.  And I'm going to start right now.

Guitar Lessons with John Berenzy

Counting My Blessings

1.  Guitar Lessons
2.  Hot Showers
3.  Walking in the park with an old friend

What are you grateful for?  Can you count three blessings that you currently have in your life?  Please share in the comments below.  I look forward to reading!

Elizabeth Elkins is a Certified Enneagram Consultant.  She offers individual, partner and group sessions, as well as workshops.  For more information, go to www.enneagramnewyorkcity.com.