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Development | mental transformations

nov_2015_developmentONES
Moving from resentment – paying attention to flaws so that nothing ever seems good enough – to perfection – the insight that everything is as it should be, and that even imperfection is perfect

Activity | When you become aware that you are continuously thinking about flaws and errors, think about one or more times when you were able to accept the perfection of all things as they are in their natural state, imperfections and all. Remember those moments, and relive what was occurring within you at those times. Sustain your memory of these times until you feel completely calm and accepting.

TWOS
Moving from flattery – the gaining of acceptance through giving compliments or other forms of attention to others – to free will – the insight that acknowledging oneself and one’s own needs leads to autonomy and freedom

Activity | When you realize you are complimenting someone frequently and/or giving him or her more continuous attention and focus than you truly want to give, think about one or more times when you were truly in tune with and able to acknowledge your own needs both to yourself and others. Recall those times and relive what was occurring within you. Pay particular attention to what you needed and how you expressed those needs, and also to any feelings of independence and liberation you experienced.

THREES
Moving from vanity – the strategic thinking about how to create an idealized image based on being or appearing to be successful – to hope – the belief that you can be valued and appreciated for who you are rather than what you do and accomplish

Activity | When you become aware that you are trying to impress others with how successful or desirable you are, stop for a moment and ask yourself, What if I were not focusing on creating a positive image and thought of myself as valuable for who I truly am, not what I do? Then try to remember one or more times when you actually believed in yourself, completely separate from any accomplishments. Stay in that thought, reliving what was occurring within you at that moment. Stay with this feeling of well-being about who you are, not what you do, for at least two minutes.

FOURS
Moving from melancholy – thinking continuously about what is missing, with accompanying thoughts of being disconnected or separated from others – to original source – the insight that nothing is missing and everything and everybody is ultimately deeply connected, because we all emanate from the same source

Activity | When you become aware that you are noticing what is missing or lacking in a situation and underplaying or ignoring what is positive, try to remember one or more times when you perceived both the positive and the negative in a situation and truly appreciated what you had as well as your deep connection with everything and everyone. Try to remember both ordinary moments and big events. Allow those times to come back into your mind, and relive what was occurring within you at those times for a minimum of three minutes.

FIVES
Moving from stinginess – a scarcity paradigm that leads to an insatiable thirst for knowing, a reluctance to share — knowledge, time, space, and personal information — and to strategizing about how to control one’s environment – to omniscience – the insight that only through direct personal experience and complete engagement can one know all things

Activity | When you become aware that you are thirsting for and withholding information, distancing yourself from direct experience, or engaging in extended strategizing about how to control your environment, remember one or more times when you understood that true wisdom can be achieved only through complete engagement with your direct experience. Allow those times to come back into your thinking, and relive what was occurring within you at those moments.

SIXES
Moving from cowardice – the thoughts of doubt and worry that cause you to continuously create anticipatory or worst-case scenarios – to faith – the belief that both you and others can capably meet life’s challenges, and that there is some certainty and meaning in the world

Activity | When you become aware that you are plagued with self-doubt and worry, and are creating worst-case scenarios, remember one or more times when a situation or outcome was uncertain, yet you had complete trust in yourself and others to rise to the challenges in a constructive and meaningful way. Allow those times to come back into your thinking, and relive what was occurring within you at those moments.

SEVENS
Moving from planning – the mental process by which the mind goes into “hyper gear,” moving in rapid succession from one thing to another – to work – the ability to direct and control the focus of one’s mental attention to the work at hand, and to sustain that focus

Activity | When your mind starts moving in rapid succession from one thing, person, or idea to another, remember one or more times when you were able to sustain your mental focus and change the focus of your thoughts at will. Allow those times to come back into your thinking, and relive what was occurring within you at those moments. Sustain your focus as you remember these incidents for several minutes.

EIGHTS
Moving from vengeance – the process of rebalancing wrongs through thoughts related to anger, blame, and intimidation – to truth – the ability to seek and integrate multiple points of view in search of a higher or bigger truth

Activity | When you find yourself thinking about wrongs that have been done and the injustice of situations, and begin blaming others or considering ways to stand up to or intimidate other people, remember one or more times when you were able to solicit and integrate points of view that were contrary to your own. Allow those times to come back into your thinking and relive what was occurring within you at those moments. Keep your attention on those times when your understanding of the truth was highly expanded.

NINES
Moving from indolence – the process of mentally diffusing your attention so that you forget what is important to you and also refrain from stating your opinions and positions, thereby minimizing your conflict with other people – to love – the belief that there is an underlying universal harmony in the world based on unconditional regard and appreciation for one another

Activity | When your focus becomes diffused, you begin forgetting your priorities, or you engage in any other behavior that helps you to avoid conflict, remember one or more times when you were able to sustain your attention and also recognize that there was an underlying harmony between people based on their deep regard and/or affection for each other. Allow those times to come back into your thinking and relive what was occurring within you at those moments. Sustain your focus, remembering these incidents for several minutes.

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. ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com

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