Friday, April 15, 2022

Everywhere All of the Time

 During my years of Enneagram coaching, new clients whose habits of attention landed mostly at point 4 were typically surprised when I said how lucky they were to see things that others couldn't see, to be in touch with their deepest emotions, to have a unique appreciation for beauty.

In addition to simply reframing, I was noting that the up-sides of point 4 are typically paid less attention than feelings. Emotional pain quite literally hurts, and makes it difficult to broaden our focus to what else is going on our world. In this way, point 4 shows us how all habits of attention tend to limit our perspective--we only see what we're used to seeing. 

So it's a good practice to to notice any "one note" that's ringing in our heads and ask "What else?" Whatever your typical point of fixation, identify what type of music your thoughts would be if they were musical? Then imagine yourself at each of the other eight points and listen for the music there. Is it a somber tone? A happy tune? A strong chord? A simple melody? Playful notes? Forget what you've learned about any given point, just listen to what themes are playing for you when you imagine yourself there.

Now imagine placing yourself physically at each point and allow in the sensations. Are you standing at attention with a bit of rigidity in your spine? Relaxed in an easy chair? Dancing? Chained to the Gates of Hell?

Now bring in the emotional aspect of all points. Notice the emotions at your most typical point of fixation--deeply breathe, allowing in. Breathe it in slowly and deeply, breathe it out slowly, allowing yourself to experience it fully. Now move around the Enneagram, slowly breathing in your emotions that arise at each point.

Over time, you will develop ease with being anywhere on the Enneagram, any time. When your Observer notes you've been obsessing over something, or your emotions are welling up, or you're physically overwhelmed, step back into that completely nonjudgmental place, see  how it's connected to one of the nine points, even if not the place you typically identify with, let it in. Feel it. Sense it. Know it.