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In love, how much does compatibility matter?

A conclusion you’ve probably heard during break ups is this: “We were ultimately just not compatible.” This could mean any number of things.

That matter-of-fact sounding conclusion could mean:

  • We annoyed each other so much that we stopped feeling fondness toward each other.
  • We realized that we didn’t actually respect each other’s values.
  • We were baffled by complex conflicts and mismatches in our expectations.
  • We didn’t know how to stop hurting each other through our default approaches to getting our needs met.
  • It was hard to learn the lesson(s) that the relationship was offering to us.

What do we mean by “compatible?”
A dictionary definition describes compatibility as the ability to abide together harmoniously without problems or conflict.

In most long-term relationships, to expect a relatively consistent state of “compatibility” like this would be unrealistic and maybe even unnatural. Even in couples who don’t outwardly show their upset, conflict still exists. Continue reading “Are You My Type? Enneagram Compatibility”

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I’ve only seen lie detector tests in movies. I think they work by somehow measuring whether you believe what you are saying. If that is the case, a polygraph would not be helpful in revealing the lies that we believe about ourselves. Don’t worry, we have our friend the Enneagram to act as an instrument to help us uncover the lies we tell ourselves every day.

HOW OUR LIES DEVELOP 

Ordinarily, people lie to cover up or defend against something they think is bad or unacceptable.  Enneatype lies are both similar and different from this.  
Continue reading “Seeing Past the Lies We Tell Ourselves – Enneagram as Lie Detector”

In exploring “telling the truth on myself” it isn’t always straightforward to understand what’s true for me.  Sometimes it’s easier to start with determine what’s not true.

I might believe that something is true for me that is simply conditioned by my Enneagram type and/or my upbringing.  Is that true?  Is it necessarily not true? 

In this video, I offer a couple of thoughts on the slippery nature of understanding what’s true. I also offer a poem that can support our separating out what “big ideas” we take to be true, and an invitation for your discovering this for yourself.

In this short video, I offer a provocative question for you. This question rocked my world many years ago. And I found it in a most unlikely place.

This question woke me up to my soul’s longing, my ego’s fears and the capacity to be aware of them both at the same time. Let’s see what it does for you.

Enjoy!

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When things are difficult in our lives, we can be run even more tightly by our enneagram type patterns. Challenging times can also bring out the less enjoyable traits of our types.

Of course difficulty can bring out the best in us as well, but this is more likely when we have some awareness of how to turn toward it, rather than defend ourselves from it.

So how do we avoid getting played by our types in this way? How do we do something differently so that our default patterns don’t make things harder for us?   Continue reading “What to Do When Life is Difficult: 9 Blocks to Remembering the Truth “

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* Enneagram Burning Question:

I need help with how my style can feel intimidating to others. I love to argue and wrestle with an issue and some people find great engagement with that style. Others don’t. I need more tools in my tool box right now. 

Do you have any suggestions? I find the best way to get my brain working on transformation is to ask for help.

Thanks,

Exuberant Eight Continue reading “Eight’s Conundrum: Tigers with Butterflies”

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Aliveness is ready and waiting for us! But what are the conditions that invite us to show up for it? What supports us to dive in?

The summer before I turned 14, I had a soul-expanding experience that holds some clues for me in answering these questions. It also reminds me of what gets in the way of opening to this aliveness that’s perpetually beckoning to me.

I was one of ten girls with their two camp counselors, weary from a full day of paddling heavily laden canoes. We’d found our next overnight spot- a place the locals called “Gold Mine,” a pebbly beach with a wild, wooded hill behind it.

Continue reading “Your Naked Aliveness”


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One of the greatest temptations in working with our enneatypes is to judge or blame ourselves for having them. This is common, but futile. We all have types and we all have judgments. And we all have something more than either of these.

David Daniels MD holds that acceptance is the most difficult aspect of awareness practice for most people (and most enneatypes). I want to offer you some more depth and texture on this notion today. I will share:

  • What we mean by acceptance.
  • The three ways I realized judging my type didn’t work.
  • How you can orient toward your type in a way that helps instead.
  • A simple method to try as an alternative to making what’s happening “good” or “bad.”

Continue reading “The Trap of Self-Improvement”

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Mindfulness is a buzz-word these days, with doctors, healers, coaches, and gurus all touting its benefits. But it can be so hard to remember to be mindful.

You’ll likely agree that awareness practice sounds like a good idea, but that you’ll get to it later when you have time to focus. I’ve made that move. I know how hard it can be to get serious about supporting a change in my consciousness.

It can feel a lot easier to defer this kind of growth when there’s so much to tend to during any given day. And there’s also our faithful inner resistance to new ways of being that could disturb “business as usual.”

Even when our programs aren’t really working for us, they still insist that they are, and that we mustn’t stray from their mandates.

To stop the tyranny of our inner autopilots, we must find ways to interrupt them. And although they are wily and persistent, the good news is, a little bit of attention can disrupt them in a major way!

You can test this out right now. Continue reading “How to Disrupt Business as Usual”

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* Enneagram Burning Question:

I own my own business which has many elements to it already onsite and offsite, and I have begun developing it in new ways, including toward an online nationwide audience.  

I am able to create visions of swimming success in each area of the business. And yet, by myself, I am unable to advance them all simultaneously to the place of bustling busy-ness that I can so easily imagine in each of them. 
Continue reading “Seven’s Suffering”