Posts Tagged ‘Enneagram’

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

Thirty days of writing every day. Has it all been good? When my students ask me that question, I try to find something specific to say. “Look at this imagery you included. I can see a picture in my mind.”

Yesterday, my new little first grader was writing a poem to This Photo. He kept wanting to use words like pretty and nice, and I pushed him to specific description. “Why is it pretty? What is nice about it?”

What is good? The Lord looked at all creation and called it “Good.” Why?

Today my Enneathought begged the question “What is good?”

EnneaThought® for the Day

Type Four EnneaThought®

Today, see if you can do the opposite of your ordinary personality pattern. Acknowledge the many ways in which your life and relationships are good. See what happens.

The Enneagram Institute

Here’s my draft-list of good relationships:

  1. Forty years figuring it out every day with my life partner.
  2. Three daughters who welcome me into their lives.
  3. Stella yells, “I see Mamere!” on FaceTime.
  4. Friends texting photos of spring flowers.
  5. My principal has my back when a parent complains.
  6. My brother is caring for our mother every day.
  7. Charlie, my 15 year-old dog, still licks my toes.
  8. A. wants a hug at the end of every day.
  9. My mother-in-law is a wise advisor.
  10. My writing groups fill me with inspiration as they challenge me to be better.

What is your list of good relationships? How do we recognize and nurture what is already good in our lives?

A thank you note I made for the leader of last weekend’s Women’s Retreat.

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.

You’d think by my age I would know myself well, have it all figured out, and be sitting with confidence. I’ve got news for you, folks. You are always becoming.

During the labor for my newest grandchild, my two daughters convinced me (we had a lot of time for talking about stuff) that I am a Four, not a Two, on the Enneagram.

I decided to try on the Four for a while. I signed up for EnneaThought for the Day from The Enneagram Institute. The teachings of a Four have been pretty spot on. My mother-in-law told me she had me written down as a Four when we took the test years ago. I’ve always thought I was a Two.

A Two, to be brief, is a person who is seeking out love. She selflessly does things for others hoping to gain love. She usually does so many things for others that she loses herself and doesn’t take care of herself. She’s the one who will deliver a casserole to someone whether or not they asked for it or even need it. I’ve been taking care of three daughters for a long time. Pride is the negative trait of a Two, and I could even relate to that.

Now I’m trying on the Four and it fits better, feels better, is not as stressful as the constant attention on others. A Four is a romantic, often an artist or poet. Fours are commonly introverted and focus on their feelings. They need to get out of their heads and into their bodies. One of the recent posts from EnneaThought resonated with me: “Remember to stay calm. Emotional volatility and moodiness are not the same as real sensitivity. Keep this thought in mind today.”

The words “real sensitivity” stung. Is my care and concern for the way others feel real? Is my moodiness obvious to others? This message made me want to crawl into a shell and sleep on it.

I think it is a positive thing to keep open and discovering who you really are. Enneagram has to do with your most inner spiritual self. From what need do you function from? Do you need safety, love, a sense of accomplishment and success?

People are complicated. I’m not finished yet and don’t think I ever will be. And while I stew on whether or not my sensitivity to others is real, I read today’s thought:

Your key defense mechanisms are introjection, displacement, splitting, turning against the self. Notice if these impulses arise today. ( Understanding the Enneagram, 90)

EnneaThought® for the Day

Yikes! Maybe I don’t want to know my true self.

Photo by Ju00fcrgen on Pexels.com

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol at Carol’s Corner.

My Sunday Night Poetry Swaggers Group discussed the One Little Word tradition and found that everyone had a slightly different take on whether or not it was a good practice. Heidi challenged us to write about whether or not we word for the first Friday of the month. You can read their posts here:


I’ve been choosing a word each year for 7 years. I enjoy the process of trying to find the one right word to guide my year.

I’m a two on the Enneagram. That means I’m a giver, someone who spends most of their time trying to ingratiate others. The good side of a two is being helpful and selfless. The idea is to get better at being who you are. So I subscribe to an Enneathought of the Day. This came on New Year’s Eve.

Present has been my word before, but it continues to fit because being present is a constant goal. For 2019, my word was Grace. Grace goes beyond presence to actually live with the peace of knowing you are loved.

My word this year was suggested by my son-in-law who knows me pretty well. I wrote about Embrace in my Spiritual Thursday post yesterday.

I joined Michelle Haseltine’s #100DaysofNotebooking challenge and wrote about Embrace in my notebook. This challenge is not only a good way to restart a notebook practice, but it connects me to a new community of writers I can “embrace.”

I also received a serendipitous postcard from Irene Latham. The poem just makes me want to embrace her and embrace writing.

Writing in Winter by Irene Latham

Here is a second draft of my Embrace poem:

Embrace says yes to now,
holding on tight to this one moment
finding a heart full of love.

Embrace is a word of grace,
silently listening, open
for the world to fill.

Embrace is here for you
to welcome, knowing nothing
ever stays the same.


Margaret Simon, draft 2020

Do you choose a word? a resolution?

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See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life

EnneaThought® for the Day

Type Two EnneaThought® for March 4th

Everyone has positive qualities that they usually do not recognize in themselves. Today, can you see your own strength which is at the center of your love for others—and for yourself?

photo from Pixabay.com

I subscribe to EnneaThought for the Day from the Enneagram Institute.  The small messages come daily to my inbox.  It’s usually the first email I open expecting it to inform my day.  I’ve used the messages for writing prompts in my notebook, and today when a little stuck about what to write, I copied and pasted the message into the blank page in WordPress.

I know that everyone has positive qualities, and especially in teaching, I look for those in others.  But how often do I focus on my own positive qualities?  This message reminds me that my strength is at the center of my love for others.  Without it, I am useless.

Finding a sense of peace through forgiveness of myself is a daily exercise.  Nobody is perfect, but I tend to stew on stuff, especially if I feel I have hurt someone or given a false impression of myself.  Stewing is not productive.  It keeps me from moving forward.  It weakens rather than strengthens.

Writing helps me sort through the muck of my mind.  I feel strong and productive when I write.  When I wasn’t sure what to write this morning, I jumped into the page and just.did.it.  Is this the best I’ve got? No. But here it is and that’s enough.

Monday should be Forgive Yourself Day because we all need to start our week off with a positive outlook, a show of strength, and a sense of self-love.  Give that to yourself today.

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Haiku-a-day #18



Through your example
kindness echoes through the trees
on wings of love

–Margaret Simon


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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Yesterday I bought roses at the grocery store. I placed them in a vase. One broke off the stem. My cat is eating another one. This is not part of the plan. The roses were supposed to bring me joy. They were supposed to open up and shine like the sun in my breakfast room. But no.

I could fix this. I could rearrange them. Take out the messed up flowers. Place them away from kitty’s perch.

Mimi wants to eat my roses.

Mimi wants to eat my roses.

So it is with God’s plan. Roses in a vase that get messed up, fall over, die.

Why do we keep looking for a plan? There isn’t one. Sorry folks. The God that I know and love is not upstairs looking down with his clipboard checking off when I do something that is part of the plan. Nope. Not happening.

My mother gave me a set of CDs of Richard Rohr and Russ Hudson discussing the Enneagram and Grace. What they say about the human condition and God’s part in it makes sense to me. What God is about is transformation. God is already a part of each of us. His spirit is within us all. We are the ones who need to change. We have to sit quietly with God and allow his grace to transform us.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Someone I love dearly is in terrible pain. Her illness is not in God’s plan. I cannot accept that excuse. Pain happens. Tragedy happens. A deranged boy can enter a church and kill nine beautiful souls. There is no plan.

We enter the darkness. We enter the tragedy, the sorrow, the pain. There, we find God. Then we can crawl out on the other side. Then we can shine a light. Then we can be the resurrection.

I must make myself humble, the size of a mustard seed. Plant it deep in the soil of God’s love. Then I will grow. I will spread love. I will be transformed.

with a borrowed line from Kazim Ali “The sky is a bowl of dark water, rinsing your face.”

Blue Jay sings to the rain,
“See you. See you. Come. Come.”

The sky is a bowl of dark water,
The deck covered in crystal glass.

I step outside in the rain.
Let it rinse my face.

Join the bird in a song
that turns to a sad tune.

No matter. My face is wet
with God’s tears. I am the rain.
–Margaret Simon

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Holly Mueller invites you and me to contemplate our spiritual journey each week. This week she tweeted the theme: “Hypocrisy based on Matthew 7:1-5.” This verse is the one about taking the log out of your own eye before you notice the speck in someone else’s. Since I am already pretty good at beating myself up over the tiniest speck, I wasn’t looking forward to dealing with the proverbial plank.

I subscribe to a few inspiration emails. One is the Ennea-thought of the day which asks me to pay attention to the faults of my personality type. Some days this email just makes me mad. Others, I say “Oh, yeah, that,” and others days I carry the inspiration around with me. Especially when it is affirming. I liked May 11: “Remember, that at your best, you are profoundly creative and self-revealing.”

This one was not as affirming. “Remember that your key motivations are to be yourself, to find the meaning of your life, and to take care of your emotional needs before attending to anything else.” I like that I want to be myself and find meaning, but to meet my own emotional needs before anyone else’s seems a bit selfish. The speck is growing.

Then there’s this wonderful gift called Grace. God wants to be with us at every moment of the day. We cannot see this gift when our vision is clouded by specks. So I must not only be true to myself, but I must also be aware when myself is getting in the way of grace.

Holidays tend to be particularly difficult for my overly emotional self. I wallow in the should haves. Mother’s Day was becoming a sad day for me, and with no rhyme or reason. I am a mother of three beautiful young women. I have a mother who is healthy and wise and loving. I have a mother-in-law who claims me as her daughter and wants to spend time with me.

In the midst of my self-imposed sadness, I got a phone call from a friend who I haven’t talked to in a while. She’s been having a rough time. She lost her only son years ago and is currently going through a divorce. And here she was, calling me to wish me a happy Mother’s Day. I said, “This must be a tough day for you.”

She responded completely opposite of what I expected. (Who was I to call attention to that little speck?) She told me she was blessed to have been chosen to be a mother for 21 years. She was not mourning. She was rejoicing in God’s gift. May I be so wise as to rejoice in God’s ever-present grace each and every day.

From Richard Rohr's Center for Action and Contemplation

From Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation

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