Pushing the pause button, even if for a second, allows us the space to interrupt our reactive and habitual responses and to make new and more informed, more effective, and more conscious choices. Without the pause, there may or may not be awareness, but awareness and choice are not the same. Here are some simple ways individuals of each Enneagram type can push pause.
Enneagram Ones are known for their ability to form fast opinions and create quite rapid detailed plans using their gut instincts first and then their minds. To push pause, breathe into your Heart Center to ask yourself this: What am I feeling right now?
Enneagram Twos move very quickly – that is, without pushing pause – when they care about someone or a group in distress, even if they may not even know the individuals or groups involved directly. Their heart gets activated, then their behavior takes over. To push pause, go into your Head Center and ask yourself this: Is what I am about to do what I really want to do and why? Is it good for me? Is it truly good for them?
Enneagram Threes are well known to move to action quickly. A goal they want to achieve emits a quick and efficient plan. An interpersonal response they like emits more of the same from them. A response they don’t like emits a quick alteration of behavior. It happens quickly and simply. They think they want or don’t want something – which is an emotion-based response – and their mind immediately wraps into a structure for how to achieve their desired outcome. To push pause, go into your Body Center and make your intention to fill it entirely, feeling your body from your toes to your nose.
Enneagram Fours respond emotionally very quickly with almost no pause. They may withdraw, they may freeze or they may say something or act quickly – sometimes with later regret and sometimes not – and all comes from the Heart Center. To push pause, pause your heart, then move into your body as fully as you can, and then ask your Mental Center: What other choices do I have in this situation?
Enneagram Fives may appear as if they are on a long pause, but don’t mistake their silence or thoughtfulness for a pause. There is often an active reaction under this stillness, even if it is not externally expressed. To push pause, breathe into your whole body, starting with you Head Center, then allowing that breath to move throughout and fill you entirely in a soft way.
Enneagram Sixes are known to be a quick reactive Enneagram type, moving into mental processing, what-if thinking, and scenario planning. Counter-phobic Sixes also move into action very quickly, as a way to prove their strength and courage. To push pause, some Sixes – particularly the self-preserving subtype and social subtype Sixes– need to go out in nature, take a walk and be in their bodies. 1-1 Sixes need to go into their hearts and ask this question: What do I feel right now?
Enneagram Sevens respond so quickly externally, unless they are highly introverted, but even introverted Sevens are thinking in lightening-fast time. To push pause, the key is through the breath. Sevens are often breathless because they breathe so quickly and shallowly. So slow down your breathing and breathe more deeply.
Enneagram Eights are among the fastest to take action quickly – for example, when they are excited or anxious, or angry or sad or feeling vulnerable or…. To push pause takes will and determination since the Eight’s call to action is so rapid. Change the way you perceive pause; see it as allowing more choice; define it as being receptive to even more possibility; see it as a challenge for yourself, a challenge you are strong enough and intentional enough to meet. Then, choose pause.
Enneagram Nines may appear to be on pause mode due to their easy-going, nothing-bothers-me manner. Inside is a different matter. Internally, Nines may be churning about something or they may be defusing their attention and fogging out rather than being alert. True pause mode is highly alert and, at the same time, highly receptive. To push pause, re-inhabit all of your body from the ground up through every limb and, your torso and head. When you do this, you will be in pure pause.
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