Did you ever scratch your head and kind of squint, and say to yourself, “I can’t believe he did that?” And it was really impossible to even imagine why?
I know you know this, and it’s true. We don’t all see the world through the same lens. For some people, everything is great. This kind of person will turn anything into a positive. Other people have the same experience and see themselves as a victim. And the same events become a struggle.
It’s been so useful to learn and understand the Enneagram. Ennea means nine in Greek, and the Enneagram is a personality system that describes nine lenses through which people see and experience the world. Each personality type has particular gifts and strengths and when stressed, predictable ways of “acting out.”
Here’s my own example of “acting out.” I used to cringe, and want to hide and escape as soon as possible if someone raised their voice at me. Anger was not an emotion I could be around. Not my own, and not someone else’s. If someone else got angry at me, even if they were wrong, I didn’t know how to speak up for myself. I shrunk, became invisible and got out of there as soon as possible! If I were angry at someone, it was almost as bad. I’d pretend not to be. It might take me years to let that person know—if they were still in my life—that they had hurt my feelings. Did I like it? NO! Could I change it? NO! I tried and tried and tried, but apparently I didn’t know how!
I’m glad to tell you things finally did change for me. And it was not only because of learning the Enneagram but because of embodying the different personality types. This has been useful in probably at least a dozen or more ways. I’ll tell you a couple of them —about my anger, and about when someone else is angry at me.
My anger. Now, if I’m hurt or get angry, instead of getting small, not saying anything, disappearing and holding a grudge, I hold my ground. I’ve learned how to embody the energy of the personality style that can take charge, be direct and decisive, and let people know what I think and feel. And if I do that reasonably, we can actually have a conversation about what happened, and we both end up learning something about the other person. It’s a way to cultivate and nourish a relationship, instead of challenging or even destroying a relationship.
Now, instead of holding a grudge, I hold my ground!
Someone else’s anger. If someone else gets angry with me now, my reaction is not to get defensive, not to get angry back, not to run away, but to listen. It could be that person was having a bad day and their anger had nothing to do with me. Or, they have a strongly held opinion which I didn’t know about, or that I disagree with. Either way, I’m able now to stay in the conversation and find out why this happened, and again, we both end up learning something about the other person and can more easily find a good resolution.
These are examples of increasing emotional intelligence. I believe emotional intelligence includes having the ability when challenged to respond in a way that reflects your best and highest self, and honors the best and highest of all involved. This often requires that we respond in a way differently than we usually do, in a way that is outside our “comfort zone.”
Most people think that’s difficult if not impossible to do. I disagree! To know more, go to https://sunriseranch.org/eqx-july-9-2016/
Andrea Isaacs is called a “master of change.” She is the creator of two Body Wisdom techniques that promote and support your best next steps for the change you want in your life. Her system increases emotional intelligence, connects you to your best and highest self, teaches you how to shift emotions you don’t want to with resilience, ease, peace and joy, and combines deep learning with a lotta fun. She became a founding faculty member for the Enneagram Institute in 1994, was co-founding editor-publisher of The Enneagram Monthly, and is Director of Special Programs at Sunrise Ranch. An international speaker, empowering facilitator and transformational coach, she’s been traveling the world since 1994 teaching people how to manifest their hearts’ desires. Read more at www.EnneaMotion.com.
How do the things that we need manifest in our lives? Here’s one example of what worked out for me. A few years ago it became clear to me that I needed to move. I’d been living in the same apartment for over ten years. During this time the company that owned the apartments had mushroomed as an organisation, acquiring more and more properties, and it was feeling more and more impersonal. Also, there was no communal space in the apartments where tenants could get together and socialise. So the complex was lacking in community spirit. I felt the need for accommodation on a smaller scale— more informal and friendly. I was living in an attractive suburb of Birmingham, with lovely gardens and parks, and was keen to stay there. But I didn’t see how this could manifest, as to my knowledge there were no other apartment buildings in the area. And renting a house was beyond my means.
At around this time, I occasionally passed a man in the street with a very friendly presence. He was of a similar age, and felt like a kindred spirit. We smiled as we passed, but never spoke. Eventually I saw him at a local event, and seized the opportunity to go over and speak to him. I told him about my need to move, and he told me about the place where he was living. I got really excited, as it sounded like an ideal place for me. It was a house divided into four self-contained apartments, with a friendly atmosphere and a garden shared between the tenants. It was run by a Quaker Trust and I already knew that the Quakers had a strong presence in the area. It was originally intended for retired Quakers but sometimes when a vacancy arose they were unable to find a Quaker to fill it, so would take other people. He told me the name of the Trust before I had to go.
This was quite a revelation! I knew the place he was talking about, it was only just down the road. It looked like an ordinary house from the outside but now I knew different. And there was hope! Though I expected it would probably take some time before a vacancy arose, maybe even one or two years I had people to contact. I could get in touch with the Trust and felt I’d likely meet this man again and could check with him regarding any upcoming vacancies.
Six months went by and I never saw the man once! Also, I didn’t follow up on contacting the Trust. I didn’t think anything would happen very quickly, and I was busy with other things. Also, in my haste to leave after meeting the man, I’d forgotten to ask him his name. I did consider going to the house and ringing one of the doorbells, but didn’t feel comfortable about doing this as a complete stranger who didn’t know this man’s name.
Then one day while out walking I was surprised when a car suddenly pulled up alongside me. Was it someone needing directions? No, it was the man again! To my astonishment he told me there had been a vacancy at his place for several months. They’d advertised it locally but hadn’t been able to find anyone and they were now about to try advertising it nationally. He urged me to get in touch with the Trust as soon as possible and gave me a contact phone number. At that moment it was like a huge sign appeared in the sky proclaiming “THIS PLACE IS FOR YOU!” I also found out that the man’s name was Terry.
Things then moved fast. I got in touch with the Trust and a viewing was soon arranged. The apartment surpassed my expectations. Since the previous tenant, an elderly lady, had passed away the place had been renovated with new wiring and plumbing and was also completely redecorated. What’s more, the monthly rent was actually less than I’d been paying! Normally when viewing an apartment I won’t agree to take it right away. It’s such an important decision that I think it’s best to allow time to reflect on it first. However, on this occasion I had no hesitation in taking it on the spot.
More surprises were in store for me! I found out later from Terry that the elderly lady had passed away just two weeks after our conversation. So things had moved quickly. But as she’d been living there for some time, they’d decided to take the opportunity to renovate the place before letting it out again. Even so, the realisation dawned on me that that if I’d followed up on contacting the Trust I could actually have moved in sooner. I learned a lesson from that. While it did indeed look like this place was meant for me, in theory I could have missed out on it. So I vowed that in the future I would always follow up on such opportunities, even if it seemed they’d be slow in manifesting, or indeed might never manifest. I don’t know what’s happening out there. All kinds of things could be moving in my favour. But some action is also required on my part!
The main wonder for me regarding this manifestation was that it all began in such a seemingly insignificant way, just passing a friendly person on the street. But maybe that’s the wrong way to look at it. Maybe sensing oneness with any person, anywhere, is really significant any time it occurs! There’s great potential in that. And the help that we need in any situation may come from an unlikely source. Life knows what it’s doing!
Brian’s hometown was Plymouth in the south-west of England. He trained as a teacher in London in the 1960s, majoring in English and Drama. Soon afterwards he decided to emigrate to Canada. It was while living in B.C. in the early 1970s that he met the Emissary ministry. He also received further training in teaching Drama through improvisation. After completing the Emissary training, Brian returned to the UK in 1978. He felt he could be most useful there, helping to support the UK’s first Emissary centre in London. He retired from teaching in the 1990s and now lives in Birmingham, England’s second city. Two lifelong passions of his are poetry and natural history.
Consider these words from the Teleconference Service on Sunday, August 4, 2013:
Mother and Father God know what to do with our burden, with our unresolve. And at some
point in our life we have to come face to face with the fact that we don’t know what to do
with our burden. We can’t handle our unresolve ourselves. We’re not made as human beings
to handle it. If we’re young enough and inexperienced enough, it’s kind of reasonable that we
think we can. But I don’t think you have to go very far in your life until you find that you
cannot—you’re not made to. You’re not supposed to handle your unresolve, your
disappointment, your grief. There is the reality that can handle it. You can give over that
burden to Mother and to Father God.
— David Karchere
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