Until recently, I thought I had come to a place of really truly understanding myself.  I would have claimed a sufficient amount of self confidence, self awareness in times of trial, ability to cope effectively with twists and turns….I  was in a good place internally.  And then this book entered my life and started to unravel all those “truths” I had convinced myself of.  Anne Bogel is my go-to book queen.  She reads for a living people.  This may sound treacherous to many of you, but it’s a coffee by the fireside dream in my world.  Naturally, when she announced her new book, I not only pre-ordered it, but also joined her book launch team.  I wanted in on whatever she was teaching.

Her subtitle, “how seeing the world through the lens of personality changes everything,” spoke true.  In the book, Anne highlights all the major personality typing systems succinctly and effectively.  I learned about my highly sensitive nature, which eased the shame I’ve always placed on myself for being just that.  And toward the back of the pretty green book I learned about an ancient system that would become a game changer for me.  The ENNEAGRAM friends.  It’s as complicated and delicious as it’s name would suggest.  I feel strongly enough about its power that I’m dedicating my weekly words to it.

Since starting my Enneagram reading and research, I’ve mentioned it in just about every conversation I’ve had.  With neighbors, my hair stylist, friends near and far, colleagues, mastermind group, and maybe our teenage babysitter.  Start early girl!  What I’ve found is 90% of my unsuspecting audiences have never heard of the Enneagram.  Naturally, I launch into why they need to know it and offer my recommendations on where to start. Ian Morgan Crone and Suzanne Stabile’s book, The Road Back to You was my starting point and it has proven effective and non-threatening.  Here’s what they have to say about their book….

“The Enneagram is an ancient personality type system with an uncanny accuracy in describing how human beings are wired, both positively and negatively. In The Road Back to You Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile forge a unique approach―a practical, comprehensive way of accessing Enneagram wisdom and exploring its connections with Christian spirituality for a deeper knowledge of ourselves, compassion for others, and love for God. Not only will you learn more about yourself, but you will also start to see the world through other people’s eyes, understanding how and why people think, feel, and act the way they do. Beginning with changes you can start making today, the wisdom of the Enneagram can help take you further along into who you really are―leading you into places of spiritual discovery you would never have found on your own, and paving the way to the wiser, more compassionate person you want to become.  By challenging us to bravely explore who we really are, the Enneagram helps us recognize and overcome self-defeating patterns of behavior and to become our most authentic selves.”  

So far, a majority of the people I’ve verbally vomited upon have purchased the recommended book and taken the $12 online test.  Now we’re talking about our relationships in new and invigorating ways.  And it’s awesome.  I was over-confident in diagnosing myself as a #8, only to find out that I’m NOT what I thought I was.   Turns out I’m more complex than I was giving myself credit for.  My husband and I are having more effective conversations about our frustrations with each other than we’ve had in our 16 years of wedded bliss.  His type (a 7) describes him to a TEE and explains to me how he slowly processes all the emotions that come so naturally to me as a #2.  I’ve been able to dig into my childhood to better determine why and how I see and feel the world, my relationship or lack of with God, the way I internalize things not meant to be internalized…it’s been fascinating and eye opening.  Most importantly, this information has helped me look at myself as a mom and how I relate to my little people.  It’s guiding conversations with my husband about how we parent differently and why.  With that comes empathy and unity.           

Tim and I are convinced that Enneagram should be a required course in every Senior year of high school and offered in every college.  Marriage counselors should utilize it’s power.  Counselors of all types really.  Had we understood ourselves better WAY back then, our career direction and relationship history could have looked so much different.  That’s not to say that our paths haven’t been a blessing, but the enlightenment of the Enneagram would have only blessed us further.  We already are able to view humans in our lives in more healthy and compassionate ways and not be so quick to judge or make assumptions.  This has come after just scratching the surface of the Enneagram.  I’ve purchased the next book Ian recommends and there are a LOT of words in it friends.  I might have also hired a new counselor who specializes in this phenomenon.  What can I say – I act quickly and swiftly.

If you’d like to dig into the Ennea-What, my recommendations for getting started are below.  God speed friends. Let me know how it goes.