The Enneagram provides an operating manual for how you and others “work.” With a good operating manual and the right tools you can optimize your psychological health! Psychological health can be defined as the ability to respond to a given situation in the moment with openness and flexibility. Feeling reactive means feeling like you have no choice in how you respond in a situation. It’s like a knee jerk reaction. The Enneagram provides a map to help you navigate toward greater psychological health by describing the habitual patterns that can keep you inflexible and closed. In its brilliance, it also illuminates the pathway to what a more expanded and evolved YOU may look like.
The first step in changing your reactions is to become AWARE of the dominant pattern of those reactions. Awareness is the primary tool for transforming your life. Your habitual reactions are part of how you’ve learned to survive, to protect yourself and to navigate the world. You found a system that makes sense to you. But it also causes frustration. The Enneagram can help because it gives you the codes to your operating system.
By becoming aware of and present to our embodied experience in the moment, we tap into the open and expanded qualities of being. The Enneagram describes the energy that drives the personality, called the passions or the vice, and the gifts of our type, called the virtues. When we are AWARE of our reactive patterns, we can do something totally outrageous and move attention toward the very feelings and experiences that we automatically want to run or hide from, or want to fight against. For example, meeting the feeling of irritation with awareness and presence, like shaking hands with a new friend, we may find serenity arising in our being. The passion is like the invisible knot that keeps the pattern of the type structure secured. Developing the ability to be present with the energy of it, the whole structure begins to loosen and there’s room to move into the loving qualities of being, the virtues.
When we make “allowing” our practice, through awareness and heart, we begin to discover the Love that is inherent in our very depths. Under every experience you want to get rid of, there is the Ground of Being (Awareness, God, Spirit or whatever name works for you). We begin to develop kindness of heart toward ourselves and others. The world truly needs us to manifest more kindness.