I’m home with two sick kids today. Influenza A has struck our household and ruined a lot of plans this week. Sam and I took turns staying home with them, so today’s my day. I’m joining my Five Minute Friday community today while the girls sleep in cozy spots on the couch and while Boss Baby plays at a low volume in the background. This week our prompt is Laugh.
As an Enneagram One, I tend to take life and myself seriously. My expectations are high and unmet standards often lead to frustration. I get anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed naturally and don’t need much to go “off-plan” in order for those negative temperments to eclipse the joy and laughter that I often seek.
That’s why we aren’t meant to do life alone.
On our own, each of us can be a bit much. Maybe your struggle isn’t perfectionism, but something in your personality toolbox when left unchecked can bring you down.
God has gifted me with friends and family of every other Enneagram number that help bring balance to my personality type.
I need a Two to remind me that life isn’t about me. Threes help me to channel my energy efficiently. Fours encourage me to embrace my creative energy and thinking. Fives give me the power to question the world and my own motives–they also remind me to be calm in the midst of chaos. Sixes bring out some of the negatives in me, but also show such tangible loyalty that I’m safe to feel all things with the promise of their continued friendship. Sevens bring the party and help me to lighten up and live in the moment. Eights seek justice and challenge me to consider other ways of thinking. And most importantly (because this is my husband), Nines bring peace to all that wars in my mind.
I have a lot to laugh about today.
Poetic irony. Naive four-year-old worldviews. Silly moments in the classroom like getting called “Mom” several times a day. Friendship. Self reflection. Television shows. Books.
All of these things bring cause for laughter to my life.
May I not take myself so seriously. May this day at home with sick girls be filled with glimpses of joy and laughter between all of the napping and hydration. May laughter be the background noise to a mind focused on doing my best. May I learn to laugh when I am reminded that perfection is a myth.
While I am a One (The Improver) myself, I know many Threes (The Performer). These are the people who find identity in their successes and achievements. Of all the numbers, this is the one that western culture values most because these are the people who get things done efficiently. At times, we can all relate to a Three’s drive for recognition and status, but for a Three the performance is everything. I would go so far as to say that most Threes feel as though life is their stage and they are expected to give a flawless performance every night.
There are so many positives to being a Three.
When a Three is healthy they are great employers and leaders. They take pride in a job well done and so their performances are standout. Threes also encourage others to perform stronger in the workplace and in life. However, when stress and life complicate a Three’s ability to perform to their usual caliber, a great sense of fraud or fear can replace the confidence that was once the heartbeat of a Three. Because their performance is so closely tied to their identity, a Three is crisis is oftentimes unable to cope.
If you are a Three here’s a quick reminder today: You are not your latest performance.
Some of you are fortunate enough to be living in the healthy space. Life is good and you are rocking and rolling and slaying any giants that stand in your way to success. But if you are one of the Threes finding it difficult to keep your head above water today, remember that your identity is not in the performance–it’s in the journey.
You have permission to embrace every turn in the journey without fear or guilt. If you aren’t feeling your usual gusto that is okay. Welcome each day and what it holds for you and remind yourself that yesterday is over and tomorrow is yet to come. Stand in this moment in the most authentic way possible without guilt or shame of a poor performance.
It’s Friday and that can only mean one thing on the blog–Five Minute Friday! This week, I am joining friends from the link up to write according to our prompt which is Spontaneous.
Do you ever feel the urge to restart?
Right now, I wish I could crawl back in bed with my husband (and our daughter who made her way into our bed at some point in the night.) I woke up this morning after hitting snooze a few too many times. My preset coffee pot didn’t work and I think it’s actually broken this time. My head’s a little fuzzy from having stayed up too late watching Grey’s Anatomy last night. And my preplanned outfit for teaching on Constitution Day is wrinkled because my daughter saw it laying out last night and messed it up.
Despite all of my efforts to produce a smooth Friday morning it’s already shaping up to be anything but smooth.
I’m already running behind and I’m going to have to stop and get a coffee on the way to work. I need to iron my t-shirt, but I probably won’t if I’m being honest.
I just want to curl up in bed and restart.
It’s days like these that can make teaching a difficult job. I am an Enneagram One, and when my well-planned mornings don’t follow routine it can throw me off. I depend on the order and efficiency to start my day and when those things aren’t there I can get moody quickly.
Studying the Enneagram taught me many things about myself. It allowed me to recognize my habits and gave voice to my inner dialogue. Because I read about the Enneagram in Ian Morgan Cron’s book I also know that spontaneity is not natural for me. I thrive on planning and organizing my life as much as possible. But one thing I have learned about being a One is that as unnatural as it may be that being spontaneous every now and again can breathe life into the routines.
Today, I will seek out ways to be spontaneous in the midst of the chaos. Maybe I’ll try a new food or go for a stroll on a new path. Whatever may come today may opportunities to deviate from my plans bring the restart that I so desperately need.
I took a short hiatus from the Enneagram study to spend time catching you up with my travels and life. Today, I am returning with the next installment of The Enneagram series using The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron as a guiding text.
We all have that one friend who is an Enneagram Seven. These are the people who make us smile during tough times. They always seem to see the silver lining and pack their schedules full of events and adventures to indulge their desires as an adrenaline junkie. For me, some of best friends are sevens. Because (as a One) I tend to overthink and find security in following rules, I admire those who swallow their fears and live with a sort of lightness that I could never achieve.
As I read this chapter about Enneagram Sevens I am reminded that just because they seem outwardly optimistic, that Sevens struggle as all of us do with negative emotions. The difference between Sevens and the rest of the Enneagram numbers is that Sevens tend to use energy and experiences to mask the effects of pain, fear, and failure. I am reminded as I read this chapter that although I turn to my Seven friends for comfort in my difficult times that I must allow them space to be negative too.
Reading about Enneagram Sixes this week was difficult.
In the past, I have typed myself as a Six. However, when I’m feeling good and at my best I gravitate more toward a One. This week, personal struggles have brought out some of my most unhealthy traits. In the midst of conflict I tend to exhbit some of the unhealthy attributes listed below. This sentiment of being a Healthy One and Unhealthy Six is not totally aligned to the Enneagram as illustrated in The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron, but whether or not every page is accurate I am loving the way that this book is giving language to my emotions and experiences.
As I continue on my journey of understanding each of the nine Enneagram types, I cross the threshold of half-way this week . I am using Ian Morgan Cron’s book, The Road Back to You, as I explore the attributes of an Enneagram Five, also known as the Investigator.
My father is an Enneagram Five.
There is no doubt in my mind that my genius, computer programmer, quiet, and anti-social father fits the description of a Five to a T. He is the perfect balance for my emotional overloads as a One. Growing up with a Five as a father was amazing. I always felt heard and supported. I also learned to give him solitude and spaces where he could go to recharge. So all of the descriptions below resonate with me and helped draw up the image of my very first superhero…DAD!
Here are some other Enneagram numbers to check out:
This week I am taking a look at the eccentric and unique qualities that make up an Enneagram Four. Not only are Fours masters of creativity, but they long to fulfill a special role in their relationships. In their quest for love, Fours may come on a little strong,
they pack the emotional punch to follow through. Reading about Enneagram Fours in The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron has really helped me to better understand the best ways to interact with the Fours in my life to ensure that I am promoting their mental health by my responses to their projections.
The three weeks I have invested in studying the Enneagram have already been such a blessing in my relationships. Diving into the thinking behind each of these personality types has helped me empathize and understand the people around me. Reading each chapter of Ian Morgan Cron’s book The Road Back to You has helped me to not only add language to my own emotions, but helped me to better communicate with the people in my life.
Last week I explored the purpose of The Enneagram using The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron. You can read up on my Introduction to the Enneagram, but essentially, “It’s full of wisdom for people who want to get out of their own way and become who they were created to be.” (14)
Over the next several weeks, I will be summarizing what I have learned from this text about each personality type. I am a ONE, but it is hard to finally land on your correct number so I recommend reading the book (and not just my notes) before declaring your Enneagram type.
Enneagram Two: The Helper
Triad– The Feeling or Heart Triad (2,3,4)
Security Number– When Twos are feeling healthy and balanced they lean into the positive attributes of a Four (The Romantic)
Stress Number- When Twos are stressed and living in an unhealthy mind space, they take on the undesirable attributes of an Eight (The Challenger)