UGP for Each Type

Applying the Universal Growth Process to Each Enneagram Type


The “5As” of the Universal Growth Process are the true path to liberation from outmoded, no-longer-useful and often destructive behaviors. They are also the key to relationships that truly thrive and flourish in love and regard. Recall the “5As” and work with them daily. By so doing, we build more flexibility, adaptability, spontaneity, and freed-up energy into our lives and relationships.

Type Specific Practices for the “5As”

You can do this practice a number of times each day, theoretically as often as you notice your reactivity, which naturally contains the core belief, ultimate trap and the deepest concern, and the ultimate avoidance. Note also that the “5As” are clearly embedded in this practice and recall that working with the “5As” is core to our development, especially the integration of our personality with the higher essential qualities.

You may want to substitute “I” for “You” statements in doing this practice and write it on a card so that you can readily read it to yourself and reflect upon it. You may also want to record it so that you can listen to it as part of meditation or centering practice. This practice takes only two to three minutes, including time to reflect. Lastly, try to realize that in committing to this practice, you virtually make mindfulness practice a key part of your life.

Here are the practices for each of the nine types:


Type 1, The Perfectionist
When I get upset or reactive, may I notice that it most likely concerns what is wrong, not correct, what is unfair, or irresponsibility. It is all fueled by my own tension, suppressed anger, and resentment. May I pause to collect myself, contain my energy of reactivity by breathing down into my belly. Through non-judgmental inquiry, may I become aware that my reactivity comes from my core belief that I must be right, good, and responsible to be worthy and avoid being so utterly wrong and bad that I end up totally unworthy. With discernment, may I realize that this belief most likely is just old habit of mind and gently coach myself into letting go and appreciating differences and accepting life as it is. May I also gently coach myself into outward action that is respectful to myself and others and integrates pleasure with healthy restraint. And I need to remind myself to notice and absorb how acceptance of self and others is received and welcomed.


Type 2, The Giver
When I get upset or reactive, may I notice that it concerns frustrations with my desire to help and the good feeling that, “I know best what is needed,” fueled by a feeling of pride and a sense of indispensability. May I pause to collect myself, contain my energy of reactivity by breathing down into my belly. Through non-judgmental inquiry, may I become aware that my reactivity comes from my core belief that I must fulfill the needs of others in order to be loved and approved of and avoid feeling utterly useless and hence dispensable. With discernment, may I realize that this most likely is just old habit of mind and gently coach myself into letting go, realizing that with relationships, it is just as good to receive as it is to give. May I also gently coach myself into outward action that is respectful to myself and others and openheartedly integrates my own needs as well as that of others. Then, I can engage with what is really needed, freely, and conscious of my own separate self. And I need to remind myself to notice and absorb that love naturally flows back and forth, from me and back to me.


Type 3, The Performer
When I get upset or reactive, may I notice that it concerns blocks to accomplishing my tasks and goals and with getting approval from the doing — fueled by my go-ahead energy that can interfere with my heartfelt feelings. May I pause to collect myself, contain my energy of reactivity by breathing down into my belly. Through non-judgmental inquiry, may I become aware that my reactivity comes from my core belief that I gain love and approval primarily through what I do and accomplish and how well I do at avoiding being completely unable to perform, rendering me an utter failure. With discernment, may I realize that this most likely is just old habit of mind and gently coach myself into letting go, realizing that love comes from being as well as from doing. May I also gently coach myself into outward action that is respectful to myself and others and integrates feeling with action. Then, may I notice my oftentimes impatient pace and the pressure I put on myself (and sometimes others) and slow it down, ease it up, and let my heart become receptive to my own true feelings and those of others. And I need to remind myself to notice and absorb that love is not solely dependent on what I accomplish or how much I am admired.


Type 4,  The Romantic
When I get upset or reactive, may I notice that it concerns the ache of what I feel is missing, lacking, that is of importance fueled by my deep longing and envy for what others seem to have. May I pause to collect myself, contain my energy of reactivity by breathing down into my belly. Through non-judgmental inquiry, may I become aware that my reactivity comes from my core belief that in order to be truly loved I must obtain the ideal love or ideal situation and avoid the feeling that I am utterly lacking and deficient. With discernment, may I realize that this most likely is just old habit of mind and gently coach myself into letting go, realizing that life and love are based on accepting what is present, not focusing on the disappointment of what is missing. May I also gently coach myself into outward action that is respectful to myself and others with a focus on what is actually there, not what is lacking. Then, may I notice that my intense emotions come from an inner sense of loss, of disappointment and lack, and steady myself in the present moment with what is here and now. And I need to remind myself to notice and absorb that wholeness exists in what I already am and in my acceptance of others as they are.


Type 5,  The Observer
When I get upset or reactive, may I notice that it concerns the frustration of obstacles infringing on my tendency to detach from my feelings and protect myself from intrusion. This is fueled by the energy of withdrawal and an avarice for what I believe I just can’t do without. May I pause to collect myself, contain my energy of reactivity by breathing down into my belly. Through non-judgmental inquiry, may I become aware that my reactivity comes from my core belief that I must protect myself from a world that demands too much and gives too little in order to assure my own security and avoid being utterly drained of life energy. With discernment, may I realize that this most likely is just old habit of mind and gently coach myself into letting go, realizing that the flow of life provides ample energy for me to fully engage with my feelings and participate in life. May I also gently coach myself into outward action that is respectful to myself and others and provides mutual support and engagement. Then, may I act in congruence with both head and heart. And I need to remind myself to notice and absorb how I am nurtured, not emptied, through this process of greater engagement with others and in life itself.


Type 6, The Loyal Skeptic
When I get upset or reactive, may I notice that it concerns my vigilance and my tendency to magnify hazards and mistrust what and whom I can count on. This is fueled by an under-current of fear and doubt. If I lean toward counter-fear, may I notice my contrary thinking and necessity to face challenges. May I pause to collect myself, contain my energy of reactivity by breathing down into my belly. Through non-judgmental inquiry, may I become aware that my reactivity comes from my core belief that I must seek certainty and security in a hazardous and unpredictable world and avoid becoming utterly helpless and defenseless. With discernment, may I realize that this most likely is just old habit of mind and gently coach myself into letting go, realizing that I have a tendency to lose faith in myself and as a result, want to put that faith and trust in others. May I also gently coach myself into outward action that is respectful to myself and others and provides trust-based support. Then, may I remind myself to allow the energy of my imagination, which can lead to my “negative spin” on life, to be turned into seeing the positives and viable solutions. And from a base of trust, I need to remind myself to notice and absorb that there is no substitute for real faith in myself and in that of others.


Type 7, The Epicure
When I get upset or reactive, may I notice that it concerns limitations on my freedom and my strivings to keep life up, stimulating and flowing. This is fueled by a gluttony of the mind, one that seeks positive options, opportunities, and adventures. May I pause to collect myself, contain my energy of reactivity by breathing down into my belly. Through non-judgmental inquiry, may I become aware that my reactivity comes from my core belief that I must keep life fun, optimistic and limitless in order to have an adventurous, pleasant life and avoid and escape being utterly stuck in pain, boredom, and suffering. With discernment, may I realize that this most likely is just old habit of mind and gently coach myself into letting go, realizing that the wholeness of life includes pain, challenges, and sadness as well as pleasure, excitement, and joy. May I also gently coach myself into outward action that is respectful to myself and others and openheartedly honors the all of life. May I remind myself to notice and absorb that a full life means embracing ALL of life, both its joys and sorrows, its possibilities, frustrations and limits. And may I deepen my concentration and focus on what is here and needing my attention, in the present moment.


Type 8, The Protector
When I get upset or reactive, may I notice that it concerns challenges to my sense of truth and justice and is associated with issues of power and control. This is fueled by my exuberant, excessive energy called lust. May I pause to collect myself, contain my energy of reactivity by breathing down into my belly. Through non-judgmental inquiry, may I become aware that my reactivity comes from my core belief that to gain worth and respect — and to not be taken advantage of, I must be strong, powerful, and invulnerable and avoid becoming utterly weak and powerless. With discernment, may I realize that this most likely is just old habit of mind and gently coach myself into letting go, realizing that my urge to take charge and impose my sense of justice is just my version of the truth and is the way I protect myself from being vulnerable, which to me means weakness. May I also gently coach myself into outward action that is respectful to myself and others and through awareness, learn to apply the force or energy befitting the situation. May I let myself be vulnerable and impacted and in the process, experience each person’s truth and worth. And I need to remind myself to notice and absorb that I am empowered by respecting boundaries, moderating my impact on others, and valuing others’ views too.


Type 9, The Mediator
When I get upset or reactive, may I notice that it concerns my resistance to being pushed into action or, to having to face conflict before I know what I want or need. This is fueled by my own inertia toward myself, one that results in my losing contact with my own priorities. May I pause to collect myself,  contain my energy of reactivity by breathing down into my belly. Through non-judgmental inquiry, may I become aware that my reactivity comes from the core belief that I’m not important or that I have to blend in and hence just “go along and get along” to avoid being too much trouble, which can lead me to feeling utterly valueless and insignificant. With discernment, may I realize that this most likely is just old habit of mind and gently coach myself into letting go, realizing that I need to love and value myself just as much as I value all others. May I also gently coach myself into outward action that is respectful to myself and others and takes into account both my own as well as others’ priorities and importance. May I remember to let myself honor my boundaries and limits. And I need to remind myself to notice and absorb that I must stand equally for myself as I stand for others. This is what creates authentic harmony in our lives, as well as a connection to our own important purpose.

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