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.  

Follow Up Friday: To Commit

by Elizabeth Newcomer in , , , , ,

Follow Up Friday is a series where I check in on the questions and issues that I introduced on Tuesday's blog.

To Commit or Not to Commit, that is the question.

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.   -Goethe

Well, it's day four of my journey on the Dukan Diet and so far, I haven't given up!  Here's an interesting thing I noticed about my commitment to the diet.  I am accessing my One resource point.  I have been able to accomplish my goal thus far by seeing it objectively.  My feelings don't really matter.

It hasn't been easy.  Temptations are always around the corner.  Last night, I worked an event at my restaurant.  At the end of the night we had several beautiful bottles of Sancerre that we had opened, but had not poured.  My manager decided to do something she never does...let us all take a bottle home!  I, of course, could not take her up on her generous offer, because I'm not drinking.  I expected to be more disappointed, but truthfully, I just felt like: oh well!  And I hurried home to my darling, proud that I hadn't caved. 

Then, tonight, I am meeting six of my best girl friends at a Latin Tapas restaurant on the Lower East Side.  I am sure that there will be margaritas flowing, and my favorite tapas (empanadas!) being passed around the table.  I have taken precaution, however, and already checked out the menu to see what I will be able to order.  And I'm looking forward to my sparkling water with a squeeze of lime.  I have a suspicion that I will be even more engaged with my best friends, able to put my focus fully on them and be completely present!

Now, all types can struggle with commitment, but here are some pros and cons of each type.  You may be able to access the positives of a resource point, like I did with my access to the practical, objective One!  

Ones, as I have laid out, tend to be very practical and objective.  They are also list-makers and doers.  Responsibility and following through on their word is important to them.  For example, my boyfriend, who is a One, after having smoked for 23 years read a book and in one afternoon decided to quit and hasn't touched a cigarette since.

Twos have an easy time committing, if the commitment is in association with another.  When it is a commitment to their own needs and self-care, they tend to shirk from completion.  Committing to one thing inevitably means saying "no" to another thing, so Twos can get caught up by trying to do a lot for others and end up saying "no" to their commitment to themselves.

Threes are doers.  Hands down.  Goals, accomplishments, success is all a part of their daily vernacular.  They are able to achieve almost anything they put their minds to.  However, they can overdo which can result in pushing themselves beyond their physical limits. 

Fours, as I discussed in Tuesday's blog, in general don't like commitment.  Their feelings come first and foremost and they never know how they're going to feel day-to-day.  Also, commitment can bring up associations with ordinary and routine, both of which are allergies for a Four.  If the commitment brings up close connections with loved ones, or deep experiences, the Four can gladly commit.
Fives can be incredibly non-committal to others agendas.  I once heard a Five say that if someone invited her to lunch on Wednesday, she would say "no" for fear that that same friend would want to go to lunch with her every Wednesday.  Fives are very possessive of their time, space and energy.  However, if the commitment is on the Fives agenda, they tend to follow through with ease. 

Sixes value loyalty and duty.  They show up for their commitments.  However, they may procrastinate when it comes to getting started on a project.  This is a result of them over-thinking instead of doing.  They may also get tripped up on their worst-case scenario analyzing.

Sevens are allergic to limitation.  And commitment can often feel limiting.  They also like variety and new experiences.  If the commitment is fun and brings them joy, they are more likely to stick to it.  Getting a Seven at the beginning of a project, when they can brainstorm new ideas and avenues is when they really shine.

Eights have a ton of intensity and energy, both which lend themselves well to commitment.  They also are their own boss and don't answer to anyone.  If something is important to them, they will get it done, no excuses, no question.  Getting an Eight to commit to a project that is out of their leadership may be a more difficult task.

Nines merge with others agendas.  When their loved ones initiate a commitment, they are able to follow through.  When it comes to their own commitments however, they often get distracted by the inessential.  They tend to make themselves less important and therefore, like the Twos, have trouble saying "no" to others and "yes" to their own agendas.

If you know your type, please leave a comment about what commitment means to you!  

Have a great weekend!

To Commit, or Not to Commit?

by Elizabeth Newcomer in , , , , , ,

After a week long of overindulging in The Big Easy, Michael and I have decided to start The Dukan Diet and today is Day One.  I hate diets.  I hate restricting myself and I hate depriving myself.  To me, diets = commitment.  And I have a very complicated relationship to commitment.

Why I am allergic to commitment?  Let's see, as a 4, I prioritize my feelings above all.  And when you make a commitment, feelings don't always get to have their say.  Then there is the element of routine, which I tend to avoid (even though I crave it).  This is not to say I am unable to commit.  If the commitment involves another person, I always follow through.  Be it a date night with Michael, a girls dinner with my besties, a lesson with my guitar teacher, or anything else that involves my loved ones, I am there.  No question.

It's when I need to make a commitment to myself, and the agendas that I deem important, that I tend to fail.  That list includes diets, exercise regimens, meditation, studying the Enneagram, practicing guitar, and any other self-care activity.  If I can enlist another to join me (as in Michael with The Dukan Diet), I know I'll have a fighting chance to keep my promise.

Moving forward, I am hoping that this joint pledge to the diet will open up opportunities for me to follow through with other commitments I've longed to keep to myself, mainly meditation and exercise.  Commitment has a lot to do with trust.  When we make the agreement to commit to something and we follow through with that, we have taught ourselves that we can self-trust.  When we fail to follow through, there is a part of us that doesn't have inner faith.

I am looking forward to self-trust and inner faith, and the sense of accomplishment and self-worth that comes with showing up for my commitments. 

How do you show up for your commitments?  Where are you most committed in your life?  Where are you least committed in your life?  What stops you from committing and what propels you forward?

As always, feel free to comment on the questions I've posed!  I'll follow up on Friday with more thoughts on the relationship other types may have to commitment.

Have a great week!