The Enneagram journey is so much more in depth than I originally thought. When I was first introduced, I thought “great another good personality profiling system that I can learn some stuff about myself.” But oh how naive I was! It’s so much deeper than that. In fact, knowing the “quirks” of your Type on the Enneagram or the basics of all the other Types is only the tip of the iceberg. It can go so much deeper if you’re willing to explore. Within just knowing some things about yourself you can also reveal your path to your True Self which is really what most of us are searching for in the first place.
3 Contemplative Practices
Within each of the “triads” (gut, head, heart) one can uncover a specific contemplative practice that can help you on the journey towards growth. A contemplative practice is a specific posture you can take that will help you gain clarity, connect with others, and focus the way your Type needs to. If you’re a Christian, contemplative practices are like a shot of espresso as you connect with God. And, there’s three. I’ll list them here and then we can dive into each briefly. I’ll also show you which of the Types/Triads each practice benefits the most.
It’s not a complicated list; just three simple things that can help you in tremendous ways. But that’s with a lot of things that impact our lives, they are typically pretty simple.
Practice one is silence. Shhhhh! Just kidding. Silence is something that the Head Triad (5,6,7) will benefit from the most. They are typically the ones who are in their own head space the most with tons of things rattling around. Silence is a great practice to embrace. When we are silent, the white noise drowns out and we begin to recognize the important noise, which is typically a whisper. If you fall in the Head Triad, practice some silence! This could mean putting the phone down, shutting off the TV, relaxing your mind, stop asking “what if” and more. Just be silent.
Practice two is solitude. This is something the Heart Triad (2,3,4) must learn to embrace. This is a scary thing for them at first because the Heart Triad moves towards others and here we are telling them to practice solitude??? Yes! Because the Heart Triad often tries to find their own identity in others when they must learn that they actually do matter themselves. I enjoy solitude because it gives me time to catch up on thinking and be contemplative. This could be going on a solo hike, a drive by yourself, or simply sitting at a coffee shop with some smooth music for a few hours. Read, write, and just be alone to explore yourself more. It will take practice and it’s so worth it.
Practice three is stillness. The Gut Triad (8,9,1) really need to learn to be still. This is the hardest practice for me but that’s no surprise as an 8. I HATE being still! Nothing gets done, or at least that’s what I’ll tell myself. A common mistake of the Gut Triad is to think that they are the only ones that can get anything done. To be still means you aren’t the one leading the charge. This could be simply choosing to sit and not pace around the house. It could mean not filling empty space with more tasks. It could mean literally doing nothing. Just learn to be still.
Which one for you?
So which one of these should you practice? Which one could make a difference in your life? Which Triad do you find yourself in? This is another layer deep into the Enneagram journey and one that will pay dividends for you as you journey through life. Your leadership will be better, your relationships will be better, your mind will be better, and your heart will be better. Identify your contemplative practice and begin today.