Map of Me - Do You Know Your Personality Type?

PersonalityYears ago when I discovered my Enneagram personality type, it was as though someone had scanned my internal processing, the part that only I know, then offered me a map of how my inner landscape worked. This map revealed the filter through which I view reality and receive information, my blind spots and what my filter misses.

Additionally, the map indicated my particular energy and what makes me reactive, along with information relating to my nervous system and stress response patterns. The experience of seeing myself through the Enneagram was, and continues to be, life changing. I know where to look when limiting internal stories and patterns hold me captive, and how I might free myself from them. I understand my inherent strengths and what happens when I overuse them. Each  type has a particular way of resisting self-care. Now that I’m aware of the faces of my type’s resistance, I am kinder to me.

 The Map



The Enneagram map identified my preferences and propensities, not my every move or what decisions I would make or how I might act in a given situation. Humans are mysterious, and we can’t predict how we will be in a certain relationship or particular work setting. The Enneagram didn’t box me in or pigeonhole me, but supported me in deepening my self-awareness, becoming more curious. Curiosity, I have discovered, is a doorway into expanded perspective and compassion.   The Enneagram gave me information I needed to make more informed choices, and to find the “choice point” between living on automatic (and missing my life!) and living awake to my life.

The System

Keep in mind that the Enneagram system isn’t focused on behaviors but on nine unique perspectives and motivations that drive behaviors.  

For those new to this system, it’s important to understand that this isn’t about “getting a type” but about the journey to our hearts as we deepen our capacity to receive and give love. We are more than our personality, yet we need one to survive and we have a deeper self, an Essence, through which we offer tenderness and compassion to ourselves as well as others.

A deeper dive into the Enneagram unveils our Essential Selves, the spiritual dimensions of each of the nine types, their virtues and enlightened spiritual perspectives. I refer to our virtue as the “narrow gate” into spiritual experience that opens the divine landscape to us. When we relax into our virtue (it’s the core of us and our life force), we become present and receptive. Then our Essence has space to emerge. When I’m so full of myself, there is no room for mystery.

The Big Picture

Our enlightened perspective can’t be earned, instead simply allowed to arise. My “southern” experience of this is, “We don’t order grits on our breakfast plate, it just comes.”   This weaving of spirituality and personality reveals a more full picture of our dance with life.

In my years of working with the Enneagram system with individuals, couples, organizational staffs and teams, I have witnessed significant insights and shifts from patterns that don’t serve so that a claiming of greater potential emerges. For me, the great and final frontier of exploration is our internal landscape where we can travel for hundreds of miles waking ourselves up to the full experience of “me” and “me in relation to you.” Now that’s a journey worth my effort and curiosity!

the ENNEAGRAM / A nine panels  workshop with Sandra Smith, MDiv   October 7-8, 2017 Baton Rouge, LA