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The Enneagram and Presence

Read about how each of us, based on our Enneagram styles, tend to move away from presence, blocking our capacity to be all of what we are capable of being. Whether you are a leader, coach, consultant, trainer, parent, or friend, presence is the most important gift we can offer others and a key factor in our success and satisfaction.

Presence Activity by Ruth Landis, Senior Member of The Enneagram in Business Network:

Being intentionally present means standing fully in the moment – just as it is – with full awareness. Our attention expands to taking an inventory of our physical sensations and body position, our emotional status, and the observation of our thinking patterns. We are a vessel that holds awareness without judgment or preference. We see what is. Out of this presence, all else can flow. Try practicing presence when you are walking, while you are in meetings, when you are eating, and even with your emails, and see how much more of yourself engages in these activities.

Presence and Enneagram Styles

I’ve added the following to help us understand how our Enneagram styles can block our capacity to be fully present and what we can each do to be more open to presence.

Enneagram Style One
An obstacle to presence: Preoccupation with own opinions and judgments
To be more present, breathe deeply and say to yourself: Everything is okay just as it is, and I am fine as I am.

Enneagram Style Two
An obstacle to presence: Focusing so much on others that they are not present to themselves
To be more present, breathe deeply and say to yourself: I also matter, so let me pay attention to my feelings, thoughts, and needs; what am I experiencing right now?

Enneagram Style Three
An obstacle to presence: Being so driven by goals and plans that they neglect being present to anything else
To be more present, breathe deeply and say to yourself: Let me slow down and be still; everything will still get done.

Enneagram Style Four
An obstacle to presence: Focusing so much on their feelings, as if nothing else exists
To be more present, breathe deeply and say to yourself: Let me get beyond my own experience right now and objectively pay attention to what is really occurring around me.

Enneagram Style Five
An obstacle to presence: Being present only through their minds and, therefore, not being fully present
To be more present, breathe deeply and say to yourself: Let me listen to what my heart has to say and what wisdom my gut instinct has to offer.

Enneagram Style Six
An obstacle to presence: Anticipating and reacting so strongly to what might possibly happen
To be more present, breathe deeply and say to yourself: Let me just sit back and watch the movie! Popcorn, anyone?

Enneagram Style Seven
An obstacle to presence: Distracting themselves from being present by excitement, ideas, and energy
To be more present, breathe deeply and say to yourself: Pure stillness can be as thrilling as anything I’ve ever experienced; let me focus on being still.

Enneagram Style Eight
An obstacle to presence: Being afraid to be fully alive, present, and vulnerable
To be more present, breathe deeply and say to yourself: Let me be fully present to all of myself.

Enneagram Style Nine
An obstacle to presence: Being asleep to their feelings and reactions, thus creating harmony, but not presence
To be more present, breathe deeply and say to yourself: Harmony can be false presence; what am I thinking and feeling right now? Knowing this brings me closer to true presence.

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