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Enneagram Styles and Being


This blog was inspired by Ruth Landis’s insights about Being. You can read about how each of us, based on our Enneagram styles, can be in a state of Being, which is really allowing us to be fully ourselves.

Whether you are a leader, coach, consultant, trainer, parent, or friend, Being enables us to handle everything that comes our way with grace, dignity, and wisdom. Ruth Landis, Senior Member of the Enneagram in Business Network at TheEnneagramInBusiness.com offers the following Being activity.

Being Insights

Life begins in the stillness. Our real value rests in each breath we take and merely that we are alive.  All else builds upon that. Each hour during the day, can you pause for a moment and become still- still in the mind, still in the body, and still in the heart?  What do you have to shift in yourself to find that stillness?  Once you have found it, can you appreciate that this is enough?  Can you appreciate that everything you need to be is already here?

Being and Enneagram Styles

I’ve added the following to help us understand how our Enneagram styles can block our capacity to be in Being and how we can allow ourselves to be in Being.

Enneagram Style One

An Obstacle to Being: Controlling or structuring themselves and their environments so tightly for fear of making mistakes

How to Be in a State of Being: Give your discerning mind a rest, your opinions a vacation, your need to structure your life a temporary hiatus, and your continuous self-control a time to relax. Experiment with this for 30 minutes each day. This is Being in the now.

Enneagram Style Two

An Obstacle to Being: Getting out of touch with their inner lives without even realizing this, a result of focusing so much on other people

How to Be in a State of Being: Take real time for you. Allow yourself a minimum of one hour every week to do nothing but be with yourself with no other distractions, including other people, tasks, or things to do. Take a walk, watch a wonderful film, get a message, or enjoy your pet. As you do any of these things, be in the present moment at all times and experience what the present moment offers.

Enneagram Style Three

An Obstacle to Being: Being over-identified with socially acceptable goals rather than personal dreams and personal goals; intermixing who they are with what they do so extensively that they no longer know who they are

How to Be in a State of Being: Do you know the difference between Being and Doing? Most Threes find this question very confusing. That should be your clue that there is something profound in this question. Ask five people you know what Being is. Listen closely, ask questions, and see if there is some insight for you in their responses. Something that will help you start to be in Being rather than Doing is to be still for five minutes each day, doing absolutely nothing. Once you can do this, extend the time by five minutes each day. Remember that you can’t do Being; you have to be Being.

Enneagram Style Four

An Obstacle to Being: Confusing intense feelings for a state of Being

How to Be in a State of Being: Although you may feel most yourself when you experience intense feelings – this feels like being you to you – the state of being is less full of intensity and more filled with lightness. In a deeper state of being, there is a sense that the you who you know falls away and gives space for a profound quality of calm and balance. Think of this as being completely in the now. When your attention goes to the past, bring it back to now, and when your attention goes to the future, bring yourself back to the present, the now.

Enneagram Style Five

An Obstacle to Being: Relying so heavily on mental functioning without fully accessing or integrating the Heart Center and Body Centers

How to Be in a State of Being: Being requires integration; integration includes accessing and using your Head and Heart and Body. Being then requires full engagement, starting with yourself, then moving toward others. So start with more fully accessing either your emotions – ask yourself every hour what you are feeling and explore these emotions – or your body. Think of the latter as becoming more aware of and fully understanding your physical sensations, cues and gut-knowing. Once you more fully integrate your Three Centers of Intelligence, engage them on an ongoing basis.

Enneagram Style Six

An Obstacle to Being: Fretting, worrying, anticipating, preparing and other mental activities that distract from Being

How to Be in a State of Being: Most Sixes can’t command themselves to stop thinking, but they often find that grounding themselves in the Body Center helps dramatically. Risky physical activities that adrenalize you won’t ground you – they excite you – but walking, jogging, yoga, and other exercise will as long as you put your thinking aside when you are engaging in physical activity. Your physical groundedness then calms your mind and relaxes your emotional reactivity; this is fertile soil for Being.

Enneagram Style Seven

An Obstacle to Being: Needing chronic stimulation and activity, including constant physical movement

How to Be in a State of Being: To be in Being requires going inward, being still and focused, and this requires a dramatic shift in focus from you. The focus needs to be an inner one of physical, mental and emotional stillness. The key to this for you is to allow your emotions to reveal themselves to you and to explore them fully. Once you are able to do this – and it will take commitment, courage, and concentration – your mind will be more easily focused, your body will relax and less agitated, and you will be able to move far easily to Being, which is really about total focus on the present, the now.

Enneagram Style Eight

An Obstacle to Being: Being unwilling or unable to be vulnerable

How to Be in a State of Being: Being is a receptive state rather than an aggressive state. As a result, you’ll need to truly examine your need to move forward in big ways and understand your vulnerable feelings that lie beneath and are masked by the big action.  Remember that Being is not inactive; it involves totally receptivity to everything.

Enneagram Style Nine

An Obstacle to Being: Confusing blending and merging for Being

How to Be in a State of Being: It is easy and seductive to confuse blending or merging with Being. However, blending and merging are fused states in which there is no you present, only that which you are merging with. To be in Being, you have to be fully present or awake. To do this, you have to pay attention to your self and acknowledge how you feel, what you think, and what you really want.

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