In my previous blog post, I wrote a little bit about the history of the Enneagram and the 9 different Enneagram personality types/expressions/points. I will go into each of the types in more detail in the future, but please read last week’s “Introduction to the Enneagram” for some background information.
Each of the 9 Enneagram personality types also operates in one of the three parts of a triad comprised of the Heart/Feeling Center, the Head/Thinking Center, or the Gut/Instinctive Center.
Finding your own center is the key to learning more and discovering more about your type; knowing your center makes finding your type even clearer.
Point 2 Helper/Giver (Externalizes Image): Two's motivation is to sense the needs of others in order to feel important, needed, appreciated, and loved. Twos want to present a loving image.
Point 3 Achiever/Performer (Represses Image/Neither Externalizes nor Internalizes): Three's motivation is to achieve recognition for accomplishments, to be successful with an image that looks good to others. Threes want to be seen in a good light.
Point 4 Romantic/Individualist (Internalizes Image): Four's motivation is to find love and deep connection, to be unique, and find meaning through self-expression. Fours want to be seen as original.
Point 5 Investigator/Observer (Externalizes Fear): Five's motivation is to protect privacy, limit one’s desires or needs, and to pursue knowledge to understand one’s environment. Fives want to find safety.
Point 6 Loyalist/Questioner (Represses Fear, Neither Externalizes nor Internalizes): Six's motivation is to feel safe, secure, and prepared in what is perceived as a threatening world. Sixes seek relief from fear.
Point 7 Adventurer/Epicure (Internalizes Fear): Seven's motivation is to not be limited, to protect the self from anxiety, and to not miss out. Sevens shun unpleasant emotions, including fear.
Point 8 Asserter/Leader (Externalizes Anger): Eight's motivation is to be powerful, independent, in control, and demand respect. Eights are not afraid to express their anger.
Point 9 Peacemaker/Diplomat (Represses Anger, Neither Externalizes nor Internalizes): Nine's motivation is to have peace and harmony through over-adaptation. Nines are agreeable and accommodating.
Point 1 Perfectionist/Reformer (Internalizes Anger): One's motivation is to avoid mistakes, do the right thing, and be ethical. Ones try to follow internally-created standards of behavior.
In future blog posts I’ll go into each of the 9 types in more detail, and over time we’ll look at the subtypes, wings, the direction of stress and integration, and levels of development.
I’ve also started an Enneagram Discussion Group local MeetUp in the Cannon Beach area, and we are actively seeking new members. If you’re on the northern Oregon coast and reading this, please consider joining us for a get-together!
Essentially yours ~
It was also during this time I learned about and fell in love with the Enneagram and became a student of the Enneagram for the rest of my life!
The Enneagram is a study of 9 different character types and motivations found in all people. It’s a dynamic system of personality, expression, and awareness. The Enneagram helps to explain why we do the things we do. The wisdom of the Enneagram lives in our very core.
Some people compare the Enneagram to the Myers-Briggs inventory; some approach the Enneagram from a more spiritual perspective. Some relate the Enneagram to Jungian psychology.
When I was first learning about the Enneagram, I was taught that it developed over 2000 years ago by Sufis and was handed down in the oral tradition. I have since learned that the exact origin of the Enneagram is actually not known. There are different theories about how the Enneagram came to be based on the teachers who teach it.
We do know, however, that the Enneagram was introduced in the United States in the 1960s. Well-known Enneagram authors and teachers include Robert Ochs, Richard Rohr, Helen Palmer, Don Riso and Russ Hudson. (Riso and Hudson are the creators and developers of the highly-respected Enneagram Institute.)
When you choose to learn about the Enneagram and take the system into your own being, there is no doubt that it is a valuable tool for improving relationships and points to areas for undertaking deep personal growth.
I am not an expert on the Enneagram by any means but I know enough about it and love the system enough to share the basics. I invite others to participate in local Enneagram discussions since study is deepened when a variety of people come together and feel safe opening up.
Later, I will also share about Subtypes which explore whether you operate more outwardly, inwardly, or in a position of self-preservation.
Additionally, each of the personality types has a backup called a Wing, which is the number found in the expression of the point next to your personality type, on either the right or left side in the system. For example, as a Point 4 Romantic/Individualist, my own backup or influence, so to speak, is either a 3 (Achiever) Wing or a 5 (Observer) Wing.
I will also go into the Wings in more detail, the levels of development, and the direction of growth and stress in future blog posts.
To start with, perhaps one of these 9 types feels true to you, just in saying the name given to each Point?
1 The Perfectionist (or The Reformer in some teachings)
2 The Helper (or The Giver in some teachings)
3 The Achiever (or The Performer in some teachings)
4 The Romantic (or The Individualist in some teachings)
5 The Investigator (or The Observer in some teachings)
6 The Loyalist (or The Questioner in some teachings)
7 The Adventurer (or The Epicure in some teachings)
8 The Asserter (or The Leader in some teachings)
9 The Peacemaker (or The Diplomat in some teachings)
As the saying goes, once you begin to explore the Enneagram it is like “peeling an onion.” The more you begin to understand how the system works, the more enriching life can be!
I plan to share many more blog posts about the Enneagram, so please don’t hesitate to contact me with a comment below or at Michele.EssentialBeingCoaching@gmail.comif you have any further insights.
Essentially Yours ~
I have been asked to re-post an article entitled “Why Epsom Salt After Deep Tissue Massage?” that I first wrote on June 8, 2013. Instead of re-posting it as it was written at the time, I have included it for the most part in this blog post with minor revisions and additions.
There is no denying the healing power of a hot bath! Water has energy! Water not only cleanses the body, it purifies the mind.
In some cultures, spiritual baths mark a rite of passage or are a precursor to sacred religious ceremony involving prayer. These rituals are either practiced either alone or in a group setting.
Epsom salt baths are beneficial for several reasons:
Epsom salt is made up of the compound magnesium sulfate. “Epsom salt” got its name because one of the earliest discoveries of magnesium sulfate took place in Epsom, England.
Magnesium and sulfate individually play essential roles in the way in which bodies function:
Taking an Epsom salt bath helps restore levels of magnesium and sulfate in the system because this compound can be absorbed through the largest organ, the skin. It is oftentimes recommended to soak three times a week for about 12 to 15 minutes.
A common recommendation is to add a cup or two of Epsom salt to warm water in a standard-sized bathtub; more salt is not necessarily better. Tepid water instead of hot, steamy water is best for the skin because warm water does not strip away protective oils like hot water does.
Before getting into the bath, make sure that all of the salt has dissolved so that it can be more easily absorbed (and not wasted when the water is drained). Additionally, any salt that has not dissolved in the water may dry or cake on the skin and appear on your body as an opaque white powder.
Dry, itchy skin is a common skin care concern for people of any age or those living in drier climates, and Epsom salt can help! Mineral-rich Epsom salt bathwater can help turn rough, dry skin into smooth, soft skin, especially if partially dissolved salt crystals are used to exfoliate dead skin cells and rough spots away. (I sometimes mix mine with almond oil or jojoba oil and essential oils.)
Taking Epsom salt baths regularly may help keep skin soft, but the key is to remember to rinse away any salt that is left on the skin after the bath. Pat the skin dry after exiting the bath and applying moisturizer after a soak may be necessary.
Epsom salt can be found in most stores and pharmacies near the first aid supplies or in the soap or lotion aisle.
Despite the benefits, Epsom salt baths are not for everyone. They generally are not recommended for people who have conditions such as heart problems, high blood pressure, or diabetes. If you have a neurological condition, then hot water may not support your system.
Consult a doctor first if any questions arise about using Epsom salt as part of your essential healing and self-care.
Essentially Yours ~
As I enter a new stage of life and add on more years, I am finding it even more important to slow down and check in with my body (and mind, heart, and spirit) and offer myself radical self-care!
Recently, though, I discovered there are many other ways of radical self-care that I have not been giving myself because I formed a belief system one way or another around them. I started recognizing when a need came up and what the thought or sting was around it and why I felt I could not take advantage of the opportunity.
Maybe some of these will resonate with you and together we can accept our basic self-care without any judgment!
Eat a snack:
I have bounced around with my weight since before I can remember, and I certainly have issues with food tied to my emotions. I was taught that snacking puts on pounds, and I tend to deprive myself and have erratic eating habits – I oftentimes skip breakfast. But every day around 3 PM it seems like I am going to crash. I now have healthy snacks (apples, carrots with hummus, celery, olives, granola, nuts) on hand that I can grab and not feel guilty about.
I also bought a cool water bottle that reminds me to stay hydrated!
I was recently in a weekend workshop and I immediately realized after I sat down, based on the configuration of the chairs in relationship to the instructor, that if I didn’t sit in the center of the half circle or directly across from the whiteboard that my neck was going to be contorted for the entire three days. Since I had driven 7 hours to get to the location and had a 7-hour drive to get back home, that would be two more days in a car with even more limited mobility. I was grateful that it was the type of workshop where I could sit or stand or move to the floor as needed. Taking care of myself really allowed me to absorb the course material fully without having physical pain distract me.
On the way home, I felt it was just as important to take frequent stops in the car and stretch, something I haven’t done in the past because I would just try to plow through in an effort to reach my destination.
Set and honor boundaries:
I have been an accommodator most of my life and I used to think that I could only be as happy as the least happy person around me. I realize how draining that can be!
Whether at home or work, I am now enforcing boundaries. Since I am self-employed, I am sticking to my posted work hours instead of offering to reschedule something I already had going on in order to “squeeze in one more session”.
A friend of mine once said, Michele, would you really ask your dentist to stay late because it worked better into your schedule?
Additionally, I had a talk with my husband about when we could discuss what I feel is a hot-button topic: politics! I asked him to save up everything he wants to say so we can talk about it on our daily long walk, that way I can work it off and move the energy while I am moving my body.
Since I have a home office, I also requested from my husband one hour of alone time in the morning in order to drink my coffee and write out my Morning Pages or do something creative since mornings are when my mind is sharpest.
No electronics day:
Not using my laptop or phone for the day has been a huge challenge. I am usually only able to accomplish this when I am out at a continuing education class or retreat. I have found, though, it’s easier to avoid electronics when I have things I want to do outside, although I sometimes take my phone with me to listen to music!
Checking social media can be such a time waster. It's like opening the refrigerator when I'm not really hungry.
I have a bucket list and as a visual person, almost 100 boards on Pinterest of things I want to do! The list was just getting longer and longer and the dreaming getting more and more out of reach. So I started tackling my incompletes and I feel like I am having more fun and accomplishing more!
I have wanted to learn how to play the piano for a long time but I didn’t want anyone to hear me practicing on the keyboard. I bought some big earphones that plug in and a beginner’s book – Here I go!
I have had several friends offer to help me make a perfect pie crust. I am still working on that parallel parking thing. And this fall when the days are shorter and the nights are longer, I am going to study geography. I had forgotten everything I learned in school about the world and borders are changing, too! Next up, the aurora borealis?
As you can see, it’s not always the big things like having a once in a while Pamper Day that we need to schedule or plan in order to honor and take care of our own essential being.
What do you do to practice your own radical self-care? I’d love to hear in a comment!
Once in a while, I would get into the junk drawer and organize it: twist ties and clips in a labeled plastic bag, turn on and make sure the flashlights worked, toss old expired coupons…just to have the drawer messy again in a few days. Our junk drawer was the classic IN BOX of the household.
In addition to a junk drawer, I personally was collecting too many gadgets in the kitchen, tons of square pillows for the bed or sofa, clothes I would find at the thrift store yet rarely wear, sentimental items that were gifted to me but had gone unused, unfinished crafts and unread books.
Don’t get me started on the “fix it” box of broken earrings and clocks that no longer ticked.
SO MUCH STUFF!
I’ll share with you some processes I have found in my efforts to Lighten Up that can make the task easier to unclutter your physical space.
First, be gentle with yourself. You have stuff because it invokes a certain feeling. And be gentle with the feelings.
Grab a glass of water to stay hydrated. Put on some music. And dive in!
Start with a small project, like a closet or a cluttered box or a drawer of underclothes. If you think it will take 30 minutes to clean it out, plan on 60 minutes. Overestimate the amount of time it will take! Only start and finish one project before beginning another.
Take everything out from where it is and have a different clean container with which to repack or store the items.
Have three <reused> boxes ready to go labeled DONATE, TOSS and/or RECYCLE, and KEEP.
As you begin, each item will talk to you. Hold it and interview it if necessary. Some items are begging to go into the trash. Some items are still useful and would like to be rehomed because you are not actively using them or deeply cherishing them.
What you’d like to keep, separate the items out into like/same/similar piles. For example, if you’re cleaning out a sewing kit, put all the needles together, all the spools of thread together, all the elastics together, etc.
If you’re not sure if you can part with something, put it in a separate box with other items you’re not sure about and when the box is full, seal it up and then date it. If it’s not used in the next year, donate the box -- without opening it!
I’d love to hear how your process is going!
And PS: We are now down to one storage unit instead of two since our move!
Up until recently, I believed I had adopted a minimalist lifestyle. In fact, during a particularly transient period in my life, I lived in an intentional community with 21 other people. After our dorm burned down, I transferred over to living out of a backpack from an RV for a number of months and then I moved into a “bigger” 330 square foot studio.
But somehow earlier this year I ended up having to rent a UHaul five times to move my belongings from one state to another.
I am currently in the process of unpacking boxes which filled two storage units into a new home. Even though I pared down a bit when I packed up my old house, as I unpack in my new location I am recognizing that not everything I have is worth keeping…not even as a memory arises for me about it being bought on sale or was a rare find. If an item is not actively used or deeply cherished, why do I have it and why did I take the extra effort to move across an entire state with it?
I am now committed to coaching myself on how to lighten up again!
Objects are meant to serve us or delight us. If an item is no longer serving you or the belief around the item is outdated, maybe it is time to consider getting rid of it. The most expensive thing, really, is the thing you never use.
My internal thought process definitely works better when I feel like I have my life in order, uncluttered by extraneous physical stuff. I get flustered if there is too much going on in my environment and my mind feels messy. I am discovering that simplifying is a great learned skill, it can be somewhat painful in the process of letting go but liberating and freeing in the end.
The main thing to evaluate is whether there is a deep desire to want something. An item should partner with you to create the life you want and to help you move with ease and flow. The name of the game is creating peace of mind, not necessarily having less-- which is more of a scarcity-consciousness mentality.
What are some of the things in your home that you have to step over, move, or find that gets in the way of your life force faucet flowing?
You might feel some of these constrictive feelings when your surroundings are cluttered:
Turmoil Worry Confusion
Guilt Conflict Embarrassment
Social isolation Inequality Overwhelm
But more expansive feelings that arise when you lighten up are:
In my next blog post, I’ll share some ways that I have learned on how to actually physically go through the process of getting rid of stuff!
Today’s post is about uncluttering the THINGS in our life to allow us to move with more ease and flow. In future posts, I’ll also write about uncluttering relationships, activities/schedules, thoughts, and prior beliefs and agreements.
In the early musings while the rest of my little world is still waking up, I have been thinking about the things in my life that I am passionate about and what I am good at that I might be able to share with others.
I’m not too keen about my photo being taken or appearing on videos so it seems that blogging is a great resource for me to reach out and connect with people!
Back up a bit. First of all, who am I? I’m Michele, a massage therapist and personal coach. I’m also a wife, mother, daughter, sister, auntie, and friend.
I’ve been offering bodywork for over a decade. A few years ago I became a RYT-200 yoga instructor, primarily so I could give my clients stretching suggestions to take home after a session or once in a while I’d do a pop-up type class in a fun location. I also found the breathwork and meditative aspect of yoga extremely beneficial.
In October 2017 I personally started working with a coach to help me transition my seasoned bodywork practice in a move across the state from Whidbey Island, Washington to Cannon Beach, Oregon.
In working with Laura Lavigne as a life coach, I became open to the possibility that I possess skillsets besides massage therapy that I can offer to others: I relate to others through my own varied life experiences, I have fine-tuned my intuition, I am curious and love to create, I am highly organized, and I see the big picture in most situations. And I crave deep and meaningful relationships based on trust.
I love to witness other people’s inner lights shine!
So I began training for a future career in personal coaching using Laura’s approach and in just a few weeks I will be one of the first to be certified in the Essence vs. Form (TM) coaching model!
As to this blogging project, my hope is to focus on what I call “the essentials” in life. Are you ready to learn and discover your own essential being? I also want to support others in "organizing and editing" their lives to find authenticity, clarity, inspiration, joy, and success.
In future posts, I’ll talk more about what essence is, lightening up, the Enneagram, and techniques that I have personally learned, developed, and used in my massage and yoga practice -- and snippets of what I teach in my coaching practice.
I’m aiming for weekly posts over the next 3 to 6 months as I get the hang of this. I hope you will subscribe and check back often to discover valuable life tools!
Since I’m brand new to blogging, I’m sure the format will morph over time. I’m always open to comments, social shares, and new ideas to write about. To contact me with questions, suggestions, or issues my work emails are Michele.SeaSpellMassage@gmail.comor Michele.EssentialBeingCoaching@gmail.com.
I recognize that there are a lot of blogs out there for you to choose from to read and I hope you find some value in what I have to offer.
Michele Duncan King