Vocationally I am a pretty multifaceted character, I've mentioned things in passing here but have never really gotten to the meat of what God is calling me to use my life for-- and frankly, to some extent I don't know. All I have is what's in front of me at the moment, and right now there are three: Creating/Making, Vintage Clothing, and Enneagram. The only one of those I've not yet mentioned at all here is the last, and it's really about time!
Disclaimer: this could get long.
I've started to write a post like this several times, and always stopped short.
The why is complex, ranging from not knowing how to address such a giant topic, to feeling overly nerdy (which I am). Today I decided to actually post however, about subject matter that I have been independently studying for a little over a year and a half: The Enneagram. It's my intent to be certified to teach it eventually because it's been such a useful tool for my own emotional and relational growth, and I so desire to help bring that understanding to others.
Many times when I first mention The Enneagram to people, the response is, "what's that?". In short it is a typological system, (think Meyers Briggs or Strengthsfinder, but more complex) that highlights an individual's motivations and dark side to create self awareness and promote growth towards health. One of the things I love most about The Enneagram is that it does not pigeon hole people. Other typology systems offer 16 options that you can identify with, or 34 traits out of which to determine your top 5 qualities-- how can they think that there is that little variety in the vast human race?
The Enneagram is much more specific but most people miss this about it! Though their are only 9 core types contained in the Enneagram, each has 2 wing options, 6 instinctual variant stackings, and 9 possible tritypes for each core! This means there are 108 different versions of each core type, and 972 different types of individuals-- now that's something I actually find realistic!
Though the system doesn't box anyone in, like anything it can be abused. This is something I try to be ever aware of, fully acknowledging that no one can "type" an individual but that person-- we do not know the why behind the visual behaviors of a person unless we know them well and have observed them closely. Also, the Enneagram is not a fun quiz, or method of defining or labeling people-- those that use it that way defeat the entire purpose (and enrage me). It is a serious tool that can help us understand ourselves and others in a deeper way, but only if we are open to truth.
This is why determining one's Enneagram type is not as simple as taking a test, that's truly just the starting line that helps to narrow the field. From there exploring the material is of utmost importance to compare the type descriptions to your own experiences, thoughts and feelings. I even recommend that people read up on all of the types (not just their own) to help them understand others, but also to make sure they've haven't jumped the gun and mistyped-- as many do.
Well there's the gist! It's a fascinating subject that I'd like to incorporate more here on the blog, since I do so much in my life. To write about all that I've learned in regards to the Enneagram would be ludicrous though, so I'm not sure where to go from here! For now, I'm just glad to have broached the gigantic topic that it is!
In the Fall I started the first part of a project based on the Enneagram which will be completed in the Spring. Once it is, I'll surely be posting it here! In the mean time I'm trying to figure out which organization is best to go through the certification process with, and continuing to learn. That's really what has shocked me the most, after a year and a half of book and internet based study (and I can be kind of obsessive), I am still learning!