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What got you here won’t get you there | Part 1

Although this statement may sound counter-intuitive, over years of working with people and groups on Enneagram-based development, this has proven to be more accurate than not. Of course, working with the Center of Intelligence that instigates the challenging dynamic can be effective, it is simply more difficult. If the Head Center is the instigator, can the Head Center easily change course?  To clear the Mental Center, soothe the Heart Center, or calm or embody the Body Center, another Center of Intelligence can be called into service to help support the desired growth and transformation.

This 9-nine-part blog series will clarify this developmental idea for each of the 9 Enneagram types, starting with Enneagram type Nine, the core type formed in the Body Center of Intelligence.

A common type Nine development area

The need to find, honor and use their voice

Sometimes this development area is described as learning to say ‘no,’ being able to both access and be willing to share preferences and needs, stating their opinions directly, and more. The most obvious path, although not actually the optimal path, is for Nines to gain more access to their Body Center. The rationale for this approach is as follows; because Nines ‘put their anger to sleep’ as a way to maintain harmony and reduce tension, Nine unconsciously put their somatic selves or body to sleep as way to not experience their anger. As a result, doesn’t it make sense to wake up their bodies because their body is the ‘instigator?’

The answer is fundamentally ‘no.’ The answer might be ‘yes,’ but waking up the body (aka their somatic self) is a huge undertaking, especially for an Enneagram Nine. Why? Essentially, ‘anger that went to sleep’ as a description for the emotional aspect of Nines offers a clue. Anger is an emotion, as are fear, sorrow and joy. And every emotion has a location in the body: anger in the abdomen or even lower, sorrow in the heart, fear between the heart area and the belly, and joy throughout the entire torso.   When Nines unconsciously put their ‘anger to sleep’ as a way to maintain harmony internally and in response to their external environment, Nines turn down all emotional states and thus turn down their physical sensations.

A path to finding, honoring and using their voice comes more readily when they gain access to their Heart Center. Asking themselves – or having someone they trust ask them – what are you experiencing right now? What are you feeling right now? What are you wanting or not wanting right now? These questions are Heart Center questions. The answers come from their Heart Center and then finding the words helps Nines access their Mental Center. In addition, breathing into the heart area rather than funneling breath into the torso right below the heart area also helps upon access to the heart. And all of this helps Nines re-embody their Body Centers more fully.

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, author of eight Enneagram books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs and training tools for business professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications. TheEnneagramInBusiness.com | ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com

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