My Mission is to create psycho-spiritual tools to help human beings end their suffering. The simple concept is once we know ourselves deeply we can know other and the planet. The tools consist of individual therapy, talk circles, workshops, apps, games, interactive platform, talks, a book, etc., etc., etc.
On Saturday I attended Richard and Barbara Dash’s couples workshop using the lens of the Enneagram. They have been married for 43 years and they really walk their talk. It was a rich day full with “ah-ha” moments. One of the pre-requisites to the workshop was having an idea of your Enneagram type.
We spent a brief amount of time reviewing the characteristics of each type. We did a worksheet to explore how your type could enhance or interfere with your relationship. For example, as a 4 I can be very sensitive but also self-involved. And then we did another worksheet on how you can support your own growth, how you can support your partner and how you can ask to be supported. For example, as a 4 I can soothe myself when I feel like a victim, I can be gentle with my partner and I can ask my partner for more care in my sensitivity.
The most useful part of the day was having the leaders walk around and participate in the communication within the couple as they practice reflective listening and inquiring regarding the questions on the worksheet. It was so interesting to see how couples breakdown in ways of communication according to their type.
There were many ah-ha moments to be had in the day and it further reinforced to me that we all need to have compassion for others and give each other the benefit of the doubt since we are doing the best we can. And I also realized once again that if we can manage a lot of our own reactivity and ask for what we need then we can participate in much healthier ways in our relationship.
Tuesday night I hosted the IEA CO (International Enneagram Association-Colorado Chapter) at my therapy office. The speakers were Richard and Barbara Dash presenting effective ways to work with triggers relationally using the Enneagram. The idea is that each of us have our triggers in relationships and when we can really notice our body sensations and be able to self-soothe we can have a corrective experience. In addition, we can enlist our partners in helping ease our triggers as well. As an example, if you are an Enneagram 4 you love to be listened to and understand. And when you are dismissed then you may have difficult feelings like jaw tightening or overwhelming feelings. The idea is to soothe yourself while also asking the other if they would listen without judgement. This can allow for a new experience that is medicine for the old would.
Another observation at the meeting is the types really did respond in such a similar way. I had a full visceral body feelings as the 4’s were responding. It is as if they had a window into my own soul. Thus far the Enneagram is the best map I have found to show us how our core motivations and behavior generate an entire way to see the world and not see the world. Once we see through our blind spots we can open to the deepest sense of self beyond ego. And this is the path to end suffering.