I wrote a couple of In Between Sundays reflections on being present (and my struggle to do so), back on August 17, 2021 and September 24, 2021. I had the aspiration to better align with my personal value of presence, and in revisiting these reflections I sense my anxiety and curiosity about how I might do that. I now see what I was beginning to understand and where I was hoping to arrive.
What my inner voice was pointing me to was that I’d need to work on embodiment, it turns out. In order to be present in the moment I’d need to work on my ability to keep my mind, heart, and body in connection to one another, and my nervous system better regulated so that I wasn’t enticed to retreat into and operate from my natural place of dwelling, my inner world of emotions and thoughts.
This has ended up becoming a not-so-tiny spiritual exploration and test that I’ve created for myself.
I’ve shared before that I’m an Enneagram 4 – The Individualist. This means I care a great deal about expressing myself authentically. For those that are appreciating the Enneagram weeds, I’m more specifically a 4w5 — although my 3 wing is also strong and proud of itself. Whether you’re familiar with the Enneagram personality typology system or not, what this boils down to in this context is that I naturally operate from and live in my heart and mind, rather than my body. Primarily, I feel things deeply, and I also think about things deeply. For all of my life, up until recently, I couldn’t even imagine what it would be or feel like to operate from and be in my body. What did that even mean? How could anybody do that on a consistent basis? What?
According to the Enneagram — which is such an insightful AND fun healing modality — there are three groups (called triads): the heart triad (feeling/heart center), head triad (thinking/head center), and gut triad (instinctive/body center). Enneagrams 2,3, 4 are in the heart triad. Enneagrams 5, 6, 7 are in the head triad. And Enneagram 8, 9, 1 are in the body triad.
In my exploration of this world of the Enneagram, what became interesting to me is that an Enneagram 4 in growth (aka exhibiting signs of personal development), takes on traits of an Enneagram 1 — The Reformer. Enneagram 1s are in the body triad and operate from their gut, their instincts, and this is what informs their decision making rather than thinking or feeling. How curious that my deep desire to be present would reveal itself this way via the Enneagram. I want to be more embodied, so I will have to work on my ability to grow into my Enneagram 1-ness. I must make a lifelong commitment to not letting my feelings and thoughts run the show and overtake me, and find ways to be conscious of my personality patterns and the ways I can get stuck in them so that I can be present and act to bring my authentic voice into the world, with my values aligned with my voice.
Starting Sunday, November 5 after service I’ll be leading a six-week discussion series on the Enneagram and I hope you’ll consider joining me! As you can see, I’m spiritually nerdy about this healing modality, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity for us all to learn more about ourselves and others in an effort to better understand and work with the beauty of our human diversity. I look forward to the ways the Enneagram might challenge us personally, and collectively, to live our values and inspire meaningful growth and new ways of being in the world.
With lots of heart,