Personal Development

The Enneagram and How
We Actually Change

How Do We Actually Change?

By Interweaving Good Process with Content

Of all of the treatment modalities I worked with across my career as a therapist, nothing came close to healing hurting hearts and relaxing ego defenses as when I used the Enneagram system.

Have you studied much of the good content available in books as well as on the Internet, regarding the Enneagram? It’s an extraordinary, incisive system and profoundly insightful. But just reading alone doesn’t seem to bring it home. If that were the case, I could have sent my clients home with an Enneagram book and awaited transformation. Why is it that we can’t seem to enact real change after reading one of the many great Enneagram books or by simply studying online? I observed that something else is needed. Just “studying” the Enneagram is not enough to create transformative personal change. Why is that? What I would like to suggest is that in order for us to actually experience personal growth, it’s necessary to interweave consistent and dedicated “practice” — process — with the study of great content. We need process and we need interaction, trial and error, and ongoing, repetitive dedication.

David Daniels on Integrating Enneagram Practice & Process into Your Studies is Essential for Universal Growth & DevelopmentI recall my time in medical school. I was studying content endlessly and hearing it lectured weekly from professors. I rarely received instruction regarding a process or method to incorporate the mountains of content I was exposed to. The only implementation seemingly happening was some practice with fellow students and on patients. I remember learning how to draw blood by first practicing with a fellow student — what fun. We didn’t volunteer for each other as a result of being instructed to do so by our teachers, nor was the notion suggested in our academic study. But something in me, and my fellow students, knew that while we had studied “how to draw blood” in our books, and had watched experienced nurses demonstrate it for us, we actually had to experience the task firsthand, which would include our own cognitive, emotional, and physical, skill-developing processes.

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A Separate Self and Love

On Having a Separate Self:

We Can’t Really Live With Someone If We Can’t Live Without Them, No Matter How Much We Believe We Love Them

Living on Borrowed Oxygen

We all need to develop a separate self with good personal boundaries. What does it mean to have good personal boundaries? It means having a distinct self with a sense of who we are individually. When absent or deficient, this easily overlooked core ingredient in relationships makes it difficult to work with all the other ingredients. Without this ingredient, we’re living on what I call “borrowed oxygen,” with the other person becoming, in a sense, our “must have it” oxygen supply. If you leave me, I’ll be without oxygen. So it goes from joy-mode to survival-mode, with me having to hold on to you at any cost. Borrowing oxygen from others keeps us from breathing on our own and takes away our own empowered ability to fully inhale and exhale – to truly give and receive – love. This is a set-up that leaves us limited, dependent, clinging, demanding, and even dominating. Just check out figures #1 and #2 below. I even have a saying that goes, “We Can’t Really Live With Someone If We Can’t Live Without Them, No Matter How Much We Believe We Love Them.” We each need to have, and be, our own definitive oxygen supply, one that the sustenance of our being, of our own aliveness, provides. As with the oxygen on our planet, as with the aliveness in our being, there is plenty of what’s needed for each of us.

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First Enneagram
Global Summit

The Shift Network's and David Daniel's First Enneagram Global Summit was an Important milestone for Spreading the Teachings of the Enneagram

The First Enneagram Global Summit 

 What it Means and How it Matters

The Enneagram Global Summit, sponsored by the Shift Network, has just come to a close here on June 5, 2014. This event has attracted over 10,000 participants worldwide. I was honored to have been asked to open the Summit with the keynote session, giving an overview of the series and, hopefully, I compassionately presented the power and importance of the Enneagram system, the nine fundamental types, and their paths of development. There were numerous other Enneagram teachers and authors who presented during the Summit, including our very own Enneagram Narrative Tradition faculty Marion Gilbert, Peter O’Hanrahan, Helen Palmer, and Terry Saracino.

You can also purchase the entire Summit, all that information is available too, simply contact The Shift Network. 
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