I first discovered the enneagram while on sabbatical at the Abbey of Gethsemani in 2016. It was Mother’s Day day and I was obviously expecting Sterling while trying to practice silence, stillness and solitude for the first time. My favorite Monk, and now dear friend, sat beside me, and in a wild and powerful act of love, broke the rule of silence right there in the middle of the library.
He encouraged me not to focus on what I’ve done or what’s been done to me, but rather, allow God to do something entirely new for me during my stay. He handed me an old ragged book on the sacredness of the enneagram.
Like most people, I clung to my number “2” for a while and then became preoccupied with other people’s number. Over time, and through hardship more than intention, my ego began to slowly fall away.
As I’ve put in the work towards mental, physical and spiritual healing (a life long process, I’ve learned) I’ve begun to see the wholeness that’s meant for me.
I practice turning down the volume on those things I’ve habitually clung to for safety and turn up the momentum in the areas of my self that I have ignored or abandoned for a false sense of safety.
Jerome D. Lubbe’s book @wholeidentity is a great resource if you are looking to take your knowledge of enneagram and self to the next place.
For me, that’s meant becoming less helpful “2” and afraid of what others think “6” while working diligently to increase my understanding & clarity “5”, boldness & visibility “3” and joy & adventure “7” as a way of leaning into the wholenes of my creation.
This is a portrait of Michelle Howell, a hardworking farmwife, mother of five, author, and advocate. On the left side of the bust you can read text from the poem “Anyway” that was on a wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India. “If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.” “The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.”
Leslie Nichols, Artist