The human experience is extraordinarily diverse, yet quite similar. We can observe this with our clients in how they navigate challenges, see opportunities, make choices, and integrate strategies to elevate the level of health that exists within them.
Within that human expereince we navigate both our external environments and well as our internal ones. We naturally feel more familiar and closer with the later as we have had decades of interactions, memories, emotions, choices, and feelings all of which we were intimately involved with. Our external environment is also very much a part of most of us, yet still feels at a distance in how we exist within it.
Why this matters.....
A great deal of celebration and joy in my life both as a therapist and as a coach has come from guiding others in finding results and fulfillment by looking inward. Sure, our clinical skills obviously have a tremendous impact, but ask yourself about those handful of clients over your career that stick out to you. They are the ones who overcame extraordinary circumstances by going WITHIN. There was some sort of obstacle that required them to dig deep and find a way. And that's what makes them remarkable to us even today.
A client that I have been working with recently was dealing with the ups and downs of a new business adventure and the associated emotions. What made the difference for her versus so many others that struggle and are taken over by the endless stories that we tell oursleves? She was willing to do the amazing work of getting to know herself and in that she was able to see the business she created was an expression of her most authentic self. Today she lives fully each day choosing her energy and commitments. She has let go of the need to control the external, as she finds the stability and abundance from within. And when a hiccup presents to her as a never before business owner, she exhales softly and became resourceful instead of fearful. She has confidence in simply knowing herself. In that she has further discovered the extent of her power. This is the foundation of a thriving future.
Knowing oneself can come in a variety of means. One resource that I have found great value in recently is the Enneagram. Ian Morgan Cron, author of The Road Back to You sums its value up, 'The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system that helps people understand who they are and what makes them tick.'
My journey with this instrument has been a bit of a roller coaster as I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to systems that attempt to classify complex humans and their behaviors and motivations. That said when I share with you that I am an Enneagram 5, The Investigator, you can make sense of why I continue my curiosity!
Obviously this blog is not intended to share with you the layers and nuances of The Enneagram, but instead provide a glimpse in how I use it to expand my knowing of myself whereas to nurture my experience in all aspects of life.
In Chapter 9 of The Road Back to You, the Investigator is described as having a long view of things, manage an appropriate balance between participation and observation, and engage with others comfortably. Fives also have a depth of knowledge in several areas of life and willingly share their findings. We see ourselves as part of the whole environment instead of separate from everyone and everything.
More than any other instrument or conversation with a friend or mentor, reading this chapter revealed the layers of who I have sensed myself to be. And as I explored my own relationship with the concepts, I very much felt it as the foundation and essence of my professional self. It is who I am.
Then life provided me with validation in a sense where that same coaching client shared with me their experience in working with me. And her words mirrored exactly what the Enneagram had clarified for me in knowing myself.
When I first started working with Kim, I wasn't sure of my goals or intentions. I knew I couldn't continue doing what I was doing forever, but I lacked vision and clarity in that vision. Truth be told, even if I had the clarity and vision, I was blinded by fear of change.
Working with Kim is an investment in yourself of the highest value, both personally and professionally. As I've gotten to know Kim, I've seen that her life is a true testament of the fire and intention she holds as Wisdom PT Coach. What better proof of success, vision and contentment is there than to see it coming to life in the person who is working with you?
As with many things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. Getting the most out of these times with her requires that I prepare for our time together, reflect on our time together and integrate her feedback into my daily life. Do not enter into this expecting for a simple fix or answer. Kim will push you, she will refine you, as is her gift. If you lean into it, take the chance on yourself and trust in the work you're doing and the investment you're making, the sky's the limit.
I am happy to say that I've transformed in the last couple years, in large part due to the work I've done with Kim. I went from someone with passion but unclear vision, to a purposeful, powerful entrepreneur! She has shown me strategies and given me tools to release my grip on fear, open up to the idea of change and embrace what I believe is my true gift and calling. Everyone deserves this - give this gift to yourself. - Jennifer L.
I share this to demonstrate the power of knowing yourself. Whether in be through introspection, use of an instrument such as the Enneagram, or by the reflection that people share with you in meaningful and powerful ways.
Live. Feel. Think. DIFFERENTLY.