Monday, November 3, 2014

Oh My God! I am not crazy!

I received the Essential Enneagram by David Daniels and Virginia Price when I was at the lowest point of my life imaginable. I just hit the wall - suicide or transformation.  The Essential Enneagram invited me to Life. I read those nine paragraphs and thought Oh My God I am not crazy - there are other people out there who sense the world, think and relate to their emotions like I do. It gave me tremendous courage just knowing that I was not alone.

Then I started to attend the classes at the Franciscan Renewal Center. Gloria Cuevas Barnett and Carole Whittaker were the primary Enneagram teachers in Phoenix at that time.  In the many workshops I took Carole and Gloria invited each participant to explore our inner worlds. Carol provided the didactic structure and Gloria offered the experiential connection.  We meditated together. We shared the insights of our week. We opened our hearts to each other. In this way Gloria and Carole were able to create a very heart felt community among us. They led by example and walked their paths along with us.

During each class I gained profound, life changing awareness.  There was no going back to the old patterns of behavior.  I was no longer stuck. Sure the patterns didn't dissolve overnight. I will work with these patterns till the day I die but these patterns no longer have a tight hold on me. I am able to see myself, relax and let go a bit more. I also have compassion for myself and others because now I understand the fundamental blind spot and gift of each type.  I move in the world much easier thanks to the Enneagram.  The Enneagram in the Narrative Tradition is a spiritual path that I will continue to explore for the rest of my life.

Chris Power

Enneagram Classes are now held at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church, 4455 E. Lincoln Dr. Paradise Valley, AZ  85253; 602-840-8360 ext.142.

Contact Diane Shevlin at 480-367-1998 or for class info and to register. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

THE ENNEAGRAM - From a Type Nine

What is this thing
this thing that says I’m
a “Preservationist”
a “Peacemaker”
a “Mediator”
a type 9?

What is it all about?
I questioned it with doubt.

It knew all my secrets
All the little bits and pieces
Of my personality
Things I didn’t want to see

It knew I loved being lazy
Even though I stayed very busy
And that I accomplished and achieved
But when work was done I was so relieved
To know I could be
            Just me

I needed to learn more
            About this thing called an enneagram
            learn more about myself
            about things I never realized
but somehow always knew
about things I’d never named
but recognized when I heard it
            More and more and more about me
                        The me I wanted to
                                    Just be
I learned
            How I delude myself
            How strong my drive to avoid conflict
            How passively aggressive I am
                        I knew
                       It was true
How I am un-self-conscious
            And have always found
            Ways and reasons
            To not think about myself
                        I knew
                        It was true
How I avoid my own anger
and how important it is
                        to keep the peace
And how I don’t like
                        negative feelings
                        so much so that
                        I detach from myself
                        by ‘numbing out’
                                    which is withdrawing
                                    into a sleep
                                    deep inside myself
                                    where, neither you, nor anyone else
                                                can get me
                        A place where I can be
                                    peaceful, calm and safe
                                    And I can just
                                               be me
And I knew
It was true
So here it was
My wake up call
            Come you type 9
            Stop self forgetting
            Wake up to who you are
            Observe yourself
            Be present, in the moment
            Get angry, in the moment
            No matter how frightening
            I need to start ‘fighting’            
                        You know that’s right
                        And I knew
                        It was all true

And then came our holy idea
            Our essence
What the entire process
Of learning and experiencing
The enneagram
Is really all about
This is the point and purpose
Of the journey I’ve been on
            …to touch my essence
Unconditional love
                        Holy love
An essence that I’ve always known
            I’ve experienced it
            I have felt it deep inside
            And now, I’ve come home
                        to my essence
            And what a beautiful place
and space that is to be
            Where love
and faith
and hope reside
            Somewhere deep down inside
                        where I can find
the Divine
                        and I can be
                                    just me

Thank you
Carole, Gloria and fellow students
For leading me to that place.

by Judy Shoob

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Join us October 11 for an Enneagram Salon Event

As an organization the Arizona Enneagram Association is at another point of transformation.  Many of you know that our Founding Board Members are moving on to new adventures. They will still be active members of the association, but in the practical world they will no longer run the day to day show. We know that our Founding Mothers will continue to support and nurture the organization they brought into existence. 

This is a shift. As a community of practitioners we desire to ground ourselves in our precious history. And from this grounded presence open to new possibilities.

All possibilities involve questions. How can we attract young people to begin this work early in their lives?  How can we attract more men?  How can we bring diversity to our organization?  Where do we want to focus our energy in our community? How can we better support ourselves and each other in our own transformation?

To get this conversation going we are offering you a time to visit, to enjoy a good meal and share your ideas and open heart. Our intent is that this evening will provide the space for us to connect and allow fresh answers to arise.

Please join our Salon Saturday October 11, 2014 - all members and the general public interested in an Enneagram conversation are welcome to attend this free event.

You might wonder -- what exactly is a salon? Wikipedia of course has an excellent definition: A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. These gatherings often consciously followed Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "either to please or to educate" ("aut delectare aut prodesse est"). Salons, commonly associated with French literary and philosophical movements of the 17th and 18th centuries, were carried on until quite recently in urban settings.

 Evening schedule as follows:
            6 - 7pm Happy Hour - heavy Hors' d'oeuvres and drinks
            7 pm - Followed by an open conversation about the AEA's vision and work, and our stories of transformation.
or contact Chris Power at

 Invitation by the Arizona Enneagram Association

Saturday, August 30, 2014

OUT OF THE BOX . . . from a Type 1

I got stuck again in the box of my own mind.  Habit-of-mind is unique to each of us, yet follows the pattern of our personality.  (See Arizona Enneagram Association)
My name is Diane, and my Habit is Perfectionism.
About 1 in 9 of us have this core habit – the other 8 get to have something else.
My mind nags: “Gotta fix this, inside me or outside.  Things are not good enough.”
But they are good enough!  It’s just a scratchy old recording, telling me otherwise, and it’s untrue.  Why do I listen to it?
I deeply appreciate everybody and everything in my life – – except when I don’t.
I lose sight.  I slip-slide down the ungrateful path, the critical path.  Unappreciative.
My Inner Critic is tenacious and persistent, whispering those old Nothings.
The Critic lures me, unawares, into a box.
It makes me think I’m in charge of the world and I must get perfection.
It paints a beautiful perfect picture, unreal, on the floor of this box. And in I go!  Entranced by the glory of perfection, that pure fiction.  The image painted there.  I take the bait.  I’m hooked.
As I hook into my Habit-of-Mind, my Critic ever so softly shuts the box,trapping me inside. I barely notice, because this is me, my usual place, my fallback, my power and control, my ego at work. Getting it perfect is my job, after all.
I’m engaging the fake perfect picture.
Gotta get it right.
Be the best.
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing
Righteous.  Self-righteous.  Virtuous.
Lemme tell you a thing or two (says my blind arrogance).
Darkness spreads in the closed-up box, but I press on.
I pour on my gleam.  I can do this, I’m a saint.
Working the situation.  Pushing the river.
I still can’t see how fake the picture is, how it’s only a layer of paint, an illusion.
By now I’m licking the paint, that’s how much I believe in the picture.
But my belly begins to feel this place is no fun.  It’s isolated.  It’s dry and empty, and I can’t find a way out.
I mistakenly slipped into solitary confinement – – because, you see, I’m so damn good!
Yet I
still can’t get it perfect enough.  Frustration. Irritation. Can we say Anger?
Anger helps me discover I’m trapped.  Caught in my Habit Box.
Okay.  At least now I know where I am.
The paint tastes bad in my mouth.  I grope for my tools.  Feebly I try gratitude.
Forget it, I’d rather scream and whine.  But . . .
Heck, it could be worse . . . I’m glad I have air in my lungs, I guess . . . I’m thankful for . . .
Slowly bits of appreciation open my constricted heart.  A few millimeters, widening. Breathing deeper.  Reconnecting, coming out of isolation. 
Releasing the perpetual old bone my teeth like to bite.
 Opening to gratitude.  Stepping out of the box.  Ahhhh – relief.
It always feels like a miracle, because it is.
So.  It’s none of my business, but — What throws you into your box?
  Do you want to avoid conflict at all costs, and go submissive in order to keep the peace? (Type 9, Peacemaker)
  Afraid of boredom, so you’re running super-busy? (Type 7, Adventurer)
  Do you have a constant urge to give to others, but they don’t reciprocate, and you feel burned-out? (Type 2, Giver)
  Does everything look a bit threatening and untrustworthy? So many things could go wrong, you have to analyze a lot. (Type 6, Loyal Skeptic)
  What if deep inside, we feel competitive, we cannot fail, so we overwork ourselves? (Type 3, Performer)
  Maybe we fear shortages and we withdraw, keep our distance, so we’ll have enough time, space, resources.  (Type 5, Observer)
  Perhaps our Achilles’ heel is that, wherever we look, people/things seem lacking or disappointing. Something is always missing. (Type 4, Romantic)

Thanks to Diane Stallings for allowing us to repost this article from her blog-Joystreamhealth on word press. 

Do we have some other types that would like to reflect on their type coming out of the box?  Send your story to Andrea Andress at

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Touching Essence: Grounded presence

Terry Saracino and Marion Gilbert presented an enneagram conference: Touching Essence:  Grounded presence with somatic wisdom of the types March 29-30 at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church, Paradise Valley Arizona.

It was hosted by the Arizona Enneagram Association (AEA) and attended by 86 individuals from around the country and one from Italy.

We had time for individual parings for discussion.

Carole Whittaker introduced the AEA Spiritual Freedom Intensive curriculum to the group.  The Intensive will be held May 8-12 at Picture Rocks Retreat center in Tucson.  It provides advanced work for Spiritual Freedom and materials to teach advanced classes with the enneagram.   

Friday, January 10, 2014

What the Law of Three Means to Me

Terry Favour
In November of 2013, the Sedona Enneagram Study Group met at Robin Cameron's as is usual on the third Saturday of every month. That Saturday we spent a great deal of time talking about, in Gurdjieff terminology, the Law of Three. The Law of Three, as I am speaking of it, says that for any two opposing forces there is always present a third but initially unmanifested force that is the synthesis of the opposing two. It seems that everywhere you go these days the "Law of Three" is coming up. My way of getting a handle on this is to start with the play of opposites. Everything that is known to us, is known to us, because it is in contrast to something else. Some age old examples are such sayings as "we can't know joy without sorrow", or "we can't know cold unless we know hot". If we look into this far enough we realize that our consciousness depends on contrast, on limits...on dualism. 

Often we speak about our plane of existence as being a dualistic plane. No wonder our lives often appear to be a series of problems. If you think about it you can see that every action (or non action) that we take plunges us into some kind of interaction that is ultimately dualistic. Our #6's are acutely aware of this dynamism. We do actually move through our lives from one problem to the next. But is this what we are really doing? The Law of Three demonstrates that there is really something else at work.

So let's turn to something else for a moment. Let's look at creativity. What I mean by creativity is this: It is that which emerges completely from the unknown. It is not a rearrangement of that which is known. It is something without precedence. 

 A further look at our consciousness reveals that although our consciousness is dependent on dualism to exist, it is a living system. Here is a good definition of a Living system:
The Living Systems Theory   
of James Grier Miller
By definition, living systems are open, self-organizing systems that have the special characteristics of life and interact with their environment. This takes place by means of information and material-energy exchanges.
Our consciousness is aware of being conscious, it is also aware of dualism. This is exemplified in our #6's kind of  "knowing". This means that within everything or every situation, there is its opposite, and therefore a potential problem. When that impasse arises, when the opposites manifest, if each side of the problem remains true to itself, no move can be made. No movement is possible. But, consciousness is a living system, it interacts with it's environment which includes not only the reality of manifest things but the underlying reality of the unmanifest which is where undifferentiated potential resides, the realm out of which creativity emerges. The Law of Three symbolizes this truth; dualism manifests "form" but not without the "emptiness" that underlies it. And this is LAW. Whenever opposites arise a third element ALWAYS arises too (sometimes unrecognized), which is the never before known solution emerging as true creativity from the unknown. This is, as we can see, a return to wholeness. BUT WAIT!  It divides again as it becomes manifest consciousness, therefore dualistic in nature...and the spiraling cycle continues. 
So, what does this mean? I would like to suggest that if we look closely at our human nature that we can see that almost nothing brings us more joy than the "ecstatic sensation" that accompanies the awareness that we have expanded. That we have conquered a limitation. That we have grown, that we have moved from a lesser reality to a greater one. I propose that this is a big part of what makes us cling so tenaciously to life. Even when we find ourselves deeply challenged by this "life"...we seem to choose expansion and consciousness, whatever the price.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

“In the After Glow – Reflections on “Love, Spirit and Relationships” Part II with David Daniels and Russ Hudson

AEA December Blog – Robin Cameron – Part II
“In the After Glow – Reflections on “Love, Spirit and Relationships” with David Daniels and Russ Hudson

Interspersed throughout the Daniels/Hudson weekend were one-two-and three liners that themselves could be workshop-starters.  Here are my personal favorites:

When introduced to the Enneagram by Helen Palmer, I recognized the patterns that I already was discovering on my own.  DD

Early on, I discovered the typologies as what we do instead of being present.  I came to understand how my patterns take me out of myself, and how – when we meet those patterns with understanding, kindness, and presence – we don’t have to get rid of them but they transform.  RH

The hope for all of us is the personality becomes interwoven with the essential qualities, which allow us to live in the world relating with those higher qualities.  DD

We need to take in the implications of our patterns, which lead to the virtues and how we can stay awake to each other.  RH

The power of the Enneagram is enormous.  How do we live from presence, what does that require so that we become more whole?  That is what we are addressing.  DD  

The idea is to interrupt the fixations of these patterns so they can get to the real you.  It is not about fixing the other person!  RH

 Three basic aversive emotions are common to 100 million years of mammalian evolution: Anger (Rage), Distress (when you lose connection resulting in stress, pain, longing, shame), and Fear.  DD

We begin to understand our type is not our self.  We use our patterns and energy to manage the aversive emotions through distraction by reducing the frame of focus so we don’t notice something else; it shrinks down perception that was objectively overwhelming to us as kids.  It is good to know as adults where the volume control and on-off switch is.  RH

Personality tries to keep anger, distress, and fear away, thinking these things are wrong.  So we either amplify them or eliminate or run away from them.  The work is to get to what’s underneath.  DD

 So we learn ways to connect with ourselves to open up a field of awareness; we learn other ways of being with our aversive emotions.  RH

In life three great energies are always present – active, receptive and balancing/ reconciling energy.  In our modern life we go far away from receptive energy which is so necessary for presence and compassion. DD

When (our patterns are) running, our consciousness falls into narrowed-down, fixated, identified patterns and we’re caught in a dualized consciousness, which leads nowhere.  What the Enneagram teaches is the triadic pattern – that there is always a third component that drops out when we are not present.  The question then is what drops out when we’re stuck; and what drops back in when we are present?  Stasis is fantasy.  RH

We need good process with content, the 5 A’s:  DD (and RH)
Awareness – When we move out of the story into direct experience, we can work with our type’s pattern.
Acceptance – Operating from open heartedness in ourselves with grounded presence. 
Appreciation – When in our pattern and the conflict it produces, we feel no one appreciates us and feel put out.  The ego, wanting connection, creates more structure but not more connection.
Action – Action is where the content comes in through inquiry of the old no longer valid belief.
Adherence –  The hardest of all – the chance to practice and cultivate presence with devotion and regularity, to be awake to our reactivity, for the rest of our life.

The Law of 3 allows us to understand a different way of relating to ourselves out of stuckness.  When there is polarization within myself, if I can see/bring something else in, I soften and see the other differently.  Rigidity softens, I fall back into sacred mystery, sacred ground, and then the polarity softens from you/me to us.  And we’re opened to greater unity.  What we want to explore is how to do this in relationships.  Operationally!  RH

Riso’s rule/Hudson’s theory re what type is it best to be with?  Answer:  Healthy!  RH

The 3 centers (body, heart, mind) bring together three ingredients of presence:  sensation expands you out of your narrow view, the mind transforms, and the heart opens.  DD

Your direct experience is the only non-abstract thing here.  Everything else is an image in your head.  RH

In doing this work, the content is not complicated.  Self- observation is not thinking about the pattern but remembering to breathe etc. while the pattern is occurring!  DD

The more present we are the more there is neuroplasticity, and so more rewiring is possible.  Practice builds.  Befriending our reactivity is to invite presence back.  RH

Change the mind, change the brain.  The mind is relational. Patterns are reflected in the brain.  So that’s the hope of neurobiology.  DD

And coming fully circle – at the professionals’ meeting …
Owning our shadow stuff is how we take our place with each other.  This work can only go so far without a larger consciousness that includes forgiveness.  RH

The attribution theory says “My bad behavior is from circumstances.  Your bad behavior is because of your character!”  The problem goes from the individual all the way to the cold war. 
The foundation for Russ and me is that we have love and respect for each other.  We are fundamentally aligned.  DD

And so it was that for a memorable and historic weekend, we were called into that alignment and higher consciousness, with the invitation to this practice for the rest of our life.