Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Somebody? Nobody? The Enneagram, Mindfulness and Life's Unfolding

This book is a great contribution and resource
for those using the Enneagram on the path
of awakening.” — Russ Hudson, co-author,
The Wisdom of the Enneagram

By letting individuals speak through and about their personality styles, the book reveals their struggles and solutions. Plus it guides readers down their own road to growing and changing and living a more complete life. Tom Condon, The Changeworks
In Paths Beyond Ego John Engler wrote, "You have to be somebody before you can be nobody," suggesting we can't surrender our ego-patterns until we've developed a sense of self and can begin to see how that self operates. 

This strikes me as a great truth and explains what CJ Fitzsimons and I found in the interviews we offer and discuss in this book. Respondents typically grow into their personalities before they can begin to surrender. And having surrendered, these personalities mutiny again at some point. Indeed, people seem to go in and out of somebody and nobody, depending upon the particular aspect of self under scrutiny and the nature of their worldview and life experience.

One client said, for example, "My parents had been critical, and my husband cut me down all the time. I was miserable, even thinking about taking my life. But I realized, Hey I've got four children. I have to find a shrink! Until therapy, no one in my lifetime had ever told me I was sensitive and caring. That was transforming." She was clearly become somebody.

Another client with the same personality style said, "My worldview has become far more expansive. I've let go of a lot of control needs. I'm in a relationship predicated on health and respect for individuality." This sounds more like becoming nobody, but for all we know that could have been simply a peak in his lifelong trek.
Much like old friends catching up on a cozy couch after a long time of not seeing one another, Mary and CJ hold a space for you to share the journey of self-reflection with a gentle tug. So, pull up a chair, tuck in your feet, and bring yourself to this book with the presence of mind it implores. Inside, each human exemplar speaks with a candor that lends an utterly truthful tone to the telling of "type." You will find this a compelling avenue to bring you back inside yourself. Susan Olesek, Founder, Enneagram Prison Project.