This week I attended a fascinating workshop led by Jack Blackburn called "Enneagram Applications for Bodyworkers."
An enneagram is a nine-pointed diagram, which depicts the nine major human personalities. These personality types (or archetypes) reveal our strengths/points of growth as well as our weaknesses/challenges. As you can see from the graphic above, I am a "4" or "The Individualist." What does this mean? Well, I'll get to that later.
While the enneagram symbol has been around a very long time, apparently a fellow named George Gurdjieff brought the enneagram symbol to the West around 1900. Oscar Ichazo, a Chilean man, was the first to create the symbol's personality types and his work was developed even further by psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo.
I am just beginning my process of learning this system, but I have already gleaned much from learning about my type as "The Individualist."
According to the Enneagram Institute website, at my best, I am...
"Profoundly creative, expressing the personal and the universal, possibly in a work of art. Inspired, self-renewing and regenerating: able to transform all [my] experiences into something valuable: self-creative. Self-aware, introspective, on the "search for self," aware of feelings and inner impulses. Sensitive and intuitive both to self and others: gentle, tactful, compassionate."
And at my not-so-best, I...
"Interiorize everything, taking everything personally, but become self-absorbed and introverted, moody and hypersensitive, shy and self-conscious, unable to be spontaneous or to "get out of themselves." Stay withdrawn to protect [my] self-image and to buy time to sort out feelings."
When I am stressed I may take on negative traits of "The Helper" and at my strongest I may take on the positive qualities of "The Reformer."
What type are you?
1. The Reformer (or Perfectionist)
2. The Helper (or Supporter)
3. The Achiever (or Motivator)
4. The Individualist (or Romantic Melancholic)
5. The Observer (or Investigator)
6. The Loyalist (or Devil's Advocate)
7. The Enthusiast (or Optimist)
8. The Challenger (or Leader)
9. The Mediator (or Peacemaker)
To take the free 36-question enneagram test from the Enneagram Institute, click here.
Scroll down just a bit and the questions will appear with multiple choice buttons to click.
Feel free to post your type here and your thoughts about it. Remember that knowing and understanding your type is not meant to box you in. I see aspects of myself in most of the types.
I look forward to hearing what you discover!