Silence comes in many forms; it’s not just about the absence of externalized words. It is being silent and still in both your outer and inner spaces. It is a cultivated state of being, and here are some ideas for each Enneagram type to help cultivate this state of precious solitude and equanimity.
Enneagram Ones | Your inner state may be full of thoughts, opinions, beliefs, and frustrations, while your outer state may feel a need to respond quickly to external stimuli. But, you can cultivate more silent stillness. You will need to be patient, engage in gratitude for simplicity, and allow your inner discerning voice (aka the “inner critic”) to go “on vacation” during this time. “Inner critics” often like the beach, but sometimes they like the mountains. Ask your “inner critic” for where it might want to go, offering reassurance that it is just for a short period of time.
Enneagram Twos | For Twos, it can be really easy to be silent, yet it is also challenging. Obviously, you’ll need to not engage anyone else, either verbally or non-verbally, during your “still time.” At this point, you are left with yourself. Take a specific amount of time – for example, 15 minutes to start – where you are simply still and silent. This means no emails, no reading, not doing anything where you are thinking or feeling in any way. Simply stay in still silence.
Enneagram Threes | You’ll have to get over thinking that silence and stillness is doing nothing, because if you perceive being silent (and still) as doing nothing, you will be very challenged! The reason is that you will associate being silent and still with being idle, and in your view, useless. Change your perspective on this. Being silent and still is actually doing something very important for your development. In your still silence, allow your mind to quiet itself by just observing your thoughts, not figuring out what you should or should not be doing.
Enneagram Fours | To be silent, you need to allow your heart or emotional center to relax and just be. Luxuriate in the stillness and the silence, and if emotions arise, let them float by you and leave. Relax your attachment to your feeling states.
Enneagram Fives | To be still and silent in the way that allows you to access more possibility, you have to be engaged, not detached with the silent stillness. It might be easy for you to vacate every part of yourself except your mind. Instead, you’ll need to engage your whole body and your emotions and remain in the great spaciousness of silence. Enjoy!
Enneagram Sixes | This is your opportunity (and challenge) to keep it simple: to simplify your thoughts, your emotional reactions, and any tendencies to go forward or to withdraw. You might want to try being silent and still in nature because being outside there are few distractions. Fresh air can be helpful. If you want to walk in silent stillness, please do so, but keep everything internally and externally very, very simple. Reduce your inner and outer complexity, if even for 15 minutes!
Enneagram Sevens | Being silent and still – really silent and still mentally emotionally and physically – is the opposite of what comes naturally to Enneagram sevens, whose minds are constantly going in multiple directions, who get very excited emotionally when stimulated, and whose bodies like to move around, and even more so when excited or bored. But you can be still and silent, especially if you recognize that being still and silent is not only really good for your development, it can also be interesting. Start first being silent and still for 5 minutes, and do this in a place with no external distractions. Notice what occurs inside you as you experiment with being silent and still. Once you learn to be silent and still for 5 minutes, practice the above for longer increments until you can do this for longer and longer periods of time.
Enneagram Eights | Being silent and still may be easy or difficult for you, but this state of being can be near impossible once you get stimulated to take action, which can happen instantaneously. Thus, practicing silence and stillness can be invaluable for you, as it will build up your ability to do this when you want to move forward in a big way. It can help you to stop, pause, and reflect before you act. To be silent and still requires you to choose to do this. Just choose, sit, be silent and stay still. Experience what happens!
Enneagram Nines | The biggest challenge for you will be to remain still, silent and to stay present or awake while you do this. Sit or stand tall, breathe into your entire body, experience your entire somatic self, and remain still and silent, yet very awake. If you feel a big charge of somatic energy, this is a good thing!
Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of six best-selling Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs for professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications, and is past-president of the International Enneagram Association. Visit her website: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com. firstname.lastname@example.org