Enneagram Type 8 and Spiritual Practices

The best thing about spiritual practices, is that they add meaning to our lives. When practiced regularly, and with intention, they can really change your life. Throughout this series, we have been combining this idea with the enneagram. Using your specific enneagram type with all of it’s strengths and weaknesses, there is a practice that makes the most sense for you. Let’s talk about enneagram type 8 and spiritual practices.

First off, type eights are great at following a plan, getting things done, and moving forward. They are future thinkers, but more than that, they are “do-ers.” An eight could easily take on a spiritual practice in addition to all the other things they do, and “get it done.”

A spiritual practice is more than just something on a to do list. It is important for eights, just like the other numbers in the aggressive stance, to slow down. Seek to be grounded in the present. Getting things done efficiently is a great quality. However, the point of a spiritual practice is to grow, to add meaning to your life, and to feel purpose through that practice.

It doesn’t have to be efficient, or even “purposeful” in the way that you are “getting one more thing done.”

Simply being… is okay sometimes.

Spiritual Practices for Eights

Enneagram Type 8 and Spiritual Practices

Appointed Accountability

Enneagram type eight’s biggest struggle is vulnerability. They are used to being the strongest person in the room, the one who defends others. Showing their own weakness is something eights avoid at all costs. However, the only way to grow is to allow vulnerability.

The best way forward for eights, is to choose someone they respect and trust to be this person for them. Meet regularly with this person and share the deep things that you normally keep hidden. This practice will open you up in ways you never thought possible.

Ideas to achieve this:

-Meet up for coffee with you appointed accountability person every week

-Talk about feelings

-Review the things in your life that you struggle with

-Be honest about what has recently hurt you

-Revisit similar topics and questions every week

-Notice your progress

Journaling

If you don’t have someone you feel comfortable asking to be your accountability person, another great option is to journal. A journal can be a great tool to practice writing down your feelings, expressing things that happen throughout your week that cause you pain or hurt.

Notice every time you feel a big, intense feeling and write it down in your journal. After a few weeks, you will get faster at noticing those big feelings. You can also look back through your journal and track your progress.

Regular Volunteering

Type eight shares a line with type two, and moves to type two in strength and comfort. The high side of two is not only friendly, but a fantastic volunteer for helping in any situation. Practicing qualities of the high side of any number’s strength number, will help them grow.

For type eight, regular volunteering is a great way to get in touch with that high side of type two. It brings out their compassion and softer side we know is in there!

Once a month, is a great start to begin adding in volunteer work. This can be done in many capacities from your next door neighbor, to a homeless shelter in your city. The point is to get out of your comfort zone a bit and get creative.

Who needs helps in your community? Is there a group you could join or lead to help others? Eights make great natural leaders; a perfect challenge for type eights is to start their own out reach idea.

I hope you find these ideas helpful!

As always, thanks for reading and live inspired!

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Enneagram Type 7 and Spiritual Practices

How does knowing your enneagram type connect to spiritual practices? Any practice done with intention is beneficial. However, crafting a specific practice according to your enneagram type means your going to get the most “bang for your buck!” Your time will be well spent considering your needs and strengths within your type. Today, let’s look at enneagram type 7 and spiritual practices.

How does this type best connect to a spiritual practice, and what practice will help them grow the most?

Remember…

Down river practices are going to be the practices that don’t take much effort. Things that come easy to you, are in your comfort zone, or you are already practicing in this downriver style, are not what we want to focus on. I applaud you if you already have a steady, daily practice. Let’s build on it!

Upriver practices are where it’s at! These are the practices that challenge you, that make you uncomfortable at first, and also make you grow the most. You won’t naturally be good at them (it’s okay sevens, you can do these in private- no one will see you)! We know you like to appear to be good at things! This is a no judgement zone.

Sevens are in the aggressive stance, meaning they are moving forward in action. They often “move against” to get what they want, and are always focused on what’s ahead, not the present or the past. A practice that helps them slow down and stay in the moment will be best for type seven.

Daily Nature Walk

There are many practices that allow for a slowness, and a certain keying in to the present. However, sevens need more than simply being still to connect and grow.

A daily nature walk is the perfect practice for sevens. This gives them all the things they need, in all the ways they need them. The solitude helps them feel their feelings as well as bringing them in to the present. They are used to needing company and focusing outwardly. Things draws them both inward and outward as an observer.

Questions & Thoughts to consider during this practice:

What am I seeing that inspires me?

How does it feel to be on my own?

Are there feelings coming up that I have been neglecting or avoiding addressing?

What does it feel like to have my feet contacting the ground in a firm and rhythmic way?

Notice the sounds, sights, and smells all around you. Allow them to pull you into the present. Observe all that is good and life-giving.

Taking it a step further

My constant recommendation for every type- journaling!

This can be done on the nature walk, and would be a great add-on practice to really see great benefits.

Another great journaling tip for sevens:

Keep a feelings journal. On a day to day basis, write down any time you have a big feeling and how long that feeling lasts. This will make feelings seem less scary and help you face them more easily. Naming your feelings is the first step in managing them.

This practice also has the benefit of tracking. After journaling for a while, you can look back on your progress and really see how far you have come!

More reasons nature and solitude are so healing for type 7

Type 7 on the enneagram has a strength line to type 5. This means that it feels wonderful for type seven to move into “five space.” It takes little energy, and feels freeing and relaxing. (all numbers will feel this way when moving into the space of their strength number).

What does “five space” look like for a seven. It allows them to withdraw, go inward, become observers and learners. Nature and solitude really appeals to this side of seven. Time alone can actually recharge sevens when they embrace it in this way. Their connection to type five, helps them become reflective, and contemplative. Sevens need to use this space to grow, explore, and heal.

I hope these ideas are helpful for you or a seven in your life!

Thanks for reading!

Live inspired!

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Enneagram Type 6 and Spiritual Practices

I hope you’ve been enjoying this series on the enneagram and spiritual practices. It’s amazing how much deeper we can go when we practice something that intentionally helps us grow the most. This is why I have loved getting into connecting the tools of the enneagram and using different spiritual practices for each type. Today, let’s focus on enneagram type 6 and spiritual practices.

Sixes are known to doubt themselves, and are in need of something to constantly reassure them. There are several practices that come to mind when considering sixes, but the most helpful, is memorizing.

Memorizing as a Spiritual Practice

Enneagram Type 6 and Spiritual Practices

Memorizing what?

The possibilities are endless here, but the idea is something with deep spiritual meaning. It could be Psalms, Poems, quotes. Scriptures are often memorized to be recalled in times of stress or despair.

Sixes find themselves stressed and worried often. They think of worst case scenarios daily, and are in need of strong words to overpower their own overthinking tendencies.

The wisdom of those who have gone before, is a great place to find respite and a haven from worry. Words are powerful. They can be used like a mantra, repeated over and over.

The act of memorizing itself, is a form of meditation. Focusing on words, repeating them to yourself until they stick is a spiritual practice.

The 23rd Psalm is a common memorized chapter of the Bible. As a six, I have memorized this myself, and say it over and over on nights when I can’t sleep. It is a comfort, and works to push away fears and stress.

How to Memorize Inspirational Pieces

First, choose your piece. It should be something you connect with well, and makes you feel encouraged. When choosing your piece to memorize, think about the rhythm, and also the length.

Next, read your chosen piece over and over. begin to connect with it.

How do the words relate to what is going on in your life? How is this specific piece giving you strength, hope, or encouragement?

Write it down. There is something about writing things down that aids in committing them to memory. It uses a different part of the brain than simply reading something.

After writing it down, read it aloud several times. Notice where to pause, where to speed up, what parts make you feel strong and safe. Repeat it aloud until you can say it without looking.

Soon, you will be able to say it whenever you need it. Practice it as you go about you day. Whisper it quietly to yourself while your are driving or doing the dishes.

Other great practices for sixes:

Journaling

Yoga

Centering Prayer

Note: Since each enneagram number is connected to 2 numbers in either stress or strength, it’s a good idea to try some of the practices recommended for your stress or strength numbers. For type six, that would be type 3 in stress, and type nine in strength.

See the post on type 3 here:

Also, notice that types in the dependent stance (1, 2, &6) all greatly benefit from journaling. Since these types have a present orientation to time, they don’t often reflect back. This process of journaling also helps them get all of there thinking out. The dependent stance numbers are verbal processors, when this can’t be done, writing it down is a good second.

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Enneagram Type 5 and Spiritual Practices

In the nature of type five, let’s get right to the point. Fives are good with routine, and getting things done in their own time, and their own space. They appreciate directness and don’t like getting bogged down with feelings. Let’s talk about enneagram type 5 and spiritual practices that will allow them to grow more than they ever thought possible.

Predictability is something type fives love. They like knowing what to expect and having a plan for their day. How does this work into spiritual practices? Having the strengths of planning, researching, and being prepared makes type five more likely to plan and stick to a spiritual practice.

I wanted to make a note of this, because this is a huge positive that sometimes gets over looked. However, we are not going to stay in the type five’s comfort zone. Growth doesn’t live their. We want to seek out growth whenever we have the strength to.

enneagram type 5 and spiritual practices

Yoga

I know we just talked about yoga on the bonus post last week (you can read it here:)

However… it is worth revisiting, especially for type fives. The two things that type 5 needs most from spiritual practice is:

getting in touch with feelings

getting in touch with their body

Yoga combines these two things beautifully. Specific words are spoken to evoke certain emotions, combined with movement that allows you to connect with your body at the same time.

Type five tends to stay in their head. They enjoy researching, analyzing, and logical thinking patterns. The biggest move for fives is from head to body. It feels uncomfortable and foreign at first for a five to really feel connected and IN their body.

Yoga can assist this situation and make it feel more natural. The words give those head heavy fives something to think about and focus on. They can grasp onto yoga intellectually to begin. This is really a doorway to transformation.

The second biggest move for fives is from head to heart. Information is again, the way to their feelings. Viewing feelings as simply “more information,” can certainly help type five understand and get in touch with feelings. During a yoga practice, many feelings will come up. Welcome them. Get curious. Why am I feeling this way? What is this feeling about, or what is it leading me toward?

Breathe.

Yoga practice incorporates powerful breath that will help fives get in touch with their bodies.

What is deep breathing and how is it helpful?

Many of us forget to breathe deeply. You might catch yourself breathing shallow throughout your day, or even holding your breath by accident. Stress and anxiety cause us to breathe in these patterns that actually increase our stress and anxiety!

Taking just a few deep, full belly breaths can lower blood pressure, and tell the brain to stop releasing those toxic chemicals into our bodies that make us feel stress!

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing involves active, conscious, deep belly breaths that activate the diaphragm and allow for maximum air flow for each breathing cycle. It is also slower, and longer than unconscious breathing, and can be held between intake of breath and the release of the breath.

Breathing also encompasses a vital source- energy. Practicing deep breathing brings more oxygen to your body’s cells, in turn, creating more energy.

Benefits

There are many benefits to practicing deep breathing. Just to name a few:

reduced stress, lower anxiety, a boost in respiratory performance, promotes emotional well-being, and regulates the nervous system.

Any one of those benefits from this list are worth taking a few minutes to practice deep breathing. The practice of yoga and deep breathing is the perfect fit for enneagram type 5 (and definitely benefits all of us too)! Start your path to well-being with these practices today!

Three to five times a week is a good plan for a yoga practice. I know that those fives out there can do it! get out of your comfort zone and into your body today! Commit to giving this practice a chance! You are worth it!

Thanks for reading!

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5 Spiritual Practices Everyone Should Try

(Bonus Post)

There are so many spiritual practices, it is hard to just choose just a few to focus on. We have been pairing specific practices with specific enneagram types throughout this series, but today, I wanted to give you a bonus post. 5 Spiritual practices that everyone should try to incorporate in their lives. Of course, I could have added a ton to this list, but I wanted to choose just 5 that are deeply meaningful. Anyone can add one or more of these practices to see positive changes in their lives.

Forgiveness

Music

Yoga

Art

Morning/Evening Questions

Forgiveness

First, let’s talk about forgiveness. Everyone is familiar with the concept, but few are acting it out in their lives. What does it mean to forgive? And why is it so important that we include this spiritual practice in our daily lives?

Forgiveness is about letting go.

It’s also about YOU. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, when you say, I don’t want to carry this anymore, I’m putting this heavy thing down. I am free of it. The perspective and ownership of the practice is what makes it work, like many others.

You have the power to begin a healing process when you take control of a situation with forgiveness. It’s not about the other person. You will never be able to control them, but you can always control yourself. How you hold on to things, how you perceive things, and also how you put boundaries around things are yours to control.

Forgiveness allows you to let go of what is hurting you and holding you back. Boundaries allow you to be loved better, and to love others better. Forgetting is never the point. All experiences move us toward learning the lessons in life we are meant to learn. The sooner we embrace this, the better.

5 spiritual practices everyone should try

Forgiveness Practice Tip

If there is someone in your life who you are having a really hard time forgiving, I have a practice for you to try.

First, practice forgiving yourself.

How can you forgive others, if you haven’t forgiven yourself? Is there something you are holding on to that you feel shameful about? Where do you need forgiveness for yourself in your life? Is it around your parenting? Your relationships? Your workplace? Whatever it is… let go. Forgive. Be kind to yourself first.

Next, forgive someone you deeply love.

Forgiving someone you love comes pretty natural. You value this relationship and you want to make amends. Even if it’s something small, practice forgiving them. Don’t hold wrongs against them. Let them know that you are putting down whatever was between you. >>>Ahhhh… <<< sigh, that feels good. That weight is lifted. Relationship mended.

Now, move on to forgiving an acquaintance.

A co-worker who bad-mouthed you, someone at your gym who didn’t wipe down the machine, these are small instances, but shouldn’t be left to fester. As you practice forgiving even the tiniest things that felt harmful to you, something amazing begins to happen…

A “lightness” of spirit, a feeling of goodness washes over you. The more you do this, the easier it gets, and the more likely you will keep doing it.

Finally, it’s time to forgive that person who deeply hurt you.

This wasn’t just a snub, or a rude comment, this person did something that you had named unforgiveable. Can you do it? Really let go? Your practice will help, and experience tells you that you’ll feel better even though you thought this person didn’t deserve forgiveness.

Who does deserve forgiveness?

Do you?

Does the person you love deserve forgiveness?

How about that acquaintance, do they deserve it?

Remember, it’s not about them. It’s about YOU. And those gross, grudge feelings are getting heavy. It’s time to put them down. They aren’t serving you. Forgive. And then keep forgiving.

Just think, what a beautiful world we could have, if everyone put down their heavy burdens of wrongs done against them? What if we forgave everyone- everything?

You DO deserve it.

5 spiritual practices everyone should try

Music

I want to talk about music as a spiritual practice, because I believe it is one of the few lasting things that touches mind, body, and spirit. Even if you don’t have musical talent, music has the power to reach you on a very deep level.

Can you think of a song that made you cry?

What about one that made you dance, or turn up the volume with the windows down?

Have you ever thought about what is going on here? It’s about connection. The words the artist used, or the way the music sounded, or the specific beat, spoke to you. It made you feel something. You related. As if the artist described something in a way so beautiful and succinct, that it was like they read your mind and soul.

I know you’ve experienced this.

It can be even more moving, if you can create the music yourself. This isn’t possible for everyone, but if this is you… play every day! The mind, body, spirit connection here is so strong and beautiful.

At the very least, make yourself a few playlists. Choose one for each mood, or type of feelings you feel. Find songs that inspire you and put them all together. You could even incorporate this into some of your other practices. Pay attention to what feelings come up for you while listening to certain songs. Let this be a jumping off point for you to get curious about what is going on with you.

Music can be a great opener for awareness, and a release of emotions. Sometimes you won’t even know you were feeling something until a certain song comes on. And then, BOOM! it hits you! This is the moment. Ask yourself questions. Why am I feeling this? What is it about this song made me feel this way? Is there something else going on that I need to deal with?

Yoga

I am in no way a “Yogi.” But I do love yoga. I love that it is a forgiving, contemplative practice. It only requires you to show up, and try. This is great news in a world that seems to ask everything else of us. “Achieve,” “Be Perfect,” “Look Perfect,” “Be the Best,” these messages are not only discouraging, but impossible. Yoga, on the other hand, in it’s very nature is a practice.

Furthermore, with continued dedication, the practice becomes part of you. Some days you are more flexible than others. There is time to think, breathe, take in the good you want to keep within you. It can also be a time to let go.

The connection in yoga, is also one of mind and body. (This is important for everyone, but especially for enneagram types that are in the withdrawn stance- types 4,5, & 9). This practice will help you feel grounded, centered, and positive.

Art

Art isn’t just for the artistically gifted. The practice of art can be hugely rewarding for anyone. Paint. Doodle. Arrange flowers. Break some pottery, then create a mosaic. Frost a cake. Sew a pillowcase with lovely fabric. Color. Knit a scarf. Paint your nails. Try paper mache’.

It’s about beauty, but mostly it’s the experience of creating that reaches the soul.

Pick something, anything that gets you to use your hands and create. It doesn’t have to be perfect, or even good. The point is that you reach a particular part of you that needs to express through art.

As you know, there are many types of art. Choose the one that speaks to you, or try something you’ve never tried before. This will open you up in ways you maybe haven’t realized before. Connecting with something from the creative side is life changing.

This could be something you plan to do once a week, or once a month. Decide to try art as a regular practice however often you can. I enjoy using an art journal that gives me prompts on things to try. There is no wrong way to be an artist.

Morning/Evening Questions

If you have struggled to start a journaling practice, begin small with the simple idea of morning and evening questions. You could also add these to your already existing journal practice.

In the morning, think of two things only.

Pain, and desire.

What is causing you pain? Is there something heavy in your life? Are you worried about something or someone?

Write down your pain. It could be one word, one sentence, or a whole page. The important thing is to get it down. This practice alone, releases some of that stress and worry just by putting it down on paper.

Then, focus on your desire.

What are you hoping for your day? Is there something you are really looking forward to? Are there things you really want to happen today? How will you follow your joy and your passions today?

Write down your desires. If you could choose one thing you want to do, to be, to have, today, what would that be? Make this your goal, and your focus for the day. It could be as simple as a mindset you are striving for. Write it down. This will guide your day, and keep you positive, knowing you have a desire and a hope for your day.

Evening

When the day is done, its time to let go and be thankful. It’s over. You did the best that you could do. Take some reflective time and think about what you are grateful for. What made you smile today? Did a small act of kindness impact you today? Have you reached a small goal, or let go of something you were holding on to? These are things to be grateful for.

Keep it small. We rarely have days when some magnificent, sweeping, dramatic thing happens to us. It’s the little things that add up to a beautiful life. A look of love from across the room, the touch of a hand, the smell of your favorite flowers in bloom, you perfect drink- made just right, a close parking spot, a small accomplishment, a warm embrace, a cool breeze, your favorite song with the windows down…

And a hundred more tiny moments in your life that are worth noting, reflecting upon, and taking the time to be grateful for.

This practice will help you sleep better, and you’ll find yourself looking for the tiny blessings throughout your day that you will want to write down later.

Thank you for reading! I know this was a much longer blog post than I usually do. It is my hope that in giving you these bonus practices they will add meaning to your life no matter your number! I hope you will give some of them a try!

Live inspired!

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Enneagram Type 4 and Spiritual Practices

Spiritual practices enrich our lives in many ways. A practice can add rhythm and structure to your day. A daily discipline grounds you mentally, and continually gives you benefits from that initial place of centering. When you combine the enneagram with a daily spiritual practice, the growth and benefits sky-rocket! Today, we are focusing on enneagram type 4 and spiritual practices that will best fit this type.

It is my experience that type fours are quite familiar and comfortable with spiritual practices. More than other types, enneagram type four enjoys exploring a variety of spiritual practices. “Going deep,” is sort of type four’s specialty, so they naturally thrive in the area of spirituality. Nothing is too strange, taboo, or far fetched, for these hearty feelers.

I love and appreciate the openness of fours. Their attitude makes it possible for growth, and deep diving on many levels. In fact they are so good at searching through their own feelings and exploring their own soul, that the spiritual practice I am going to recommend is quite the opposite.

The Spiritual Practice for Enneagram Type Four

If you’ve been following the series, you know that we all have practices that come easy to us. We call these down-river practices. They are natural and comfortable, but don’t necessarily make us grow tremendously.

Practices that are uncomfortable and challenging, we call up-river practices. We want to focus on these up-river practices because they force us to grow the most. Each type has a certain practice that will help them develop into a higher, healthier version of themselves.

Check out previous posts in the series here:

Feasting as a Spiritual Practice

The practice I am recommending for type four, is feasting. How is feasting a spiritual practice?

Feasting is about celebrating. Usually the focus is on a certain individual, cause, or for a certain purpose.

Feasting develops three things:

1. Hospitality

2. Generosity

3.Community

Why is Feasting a good spiritual practice for fours?

Fours have access to hospitality, generosity, and community building, but it is often hidden. They spend a lot of time dwelling on their own feelings, as well as past occurrences. Fours are naturally inward focused, as well as past focused.

So then, the practice of feasting brings type four to the present, as well as pulls them out of their inner world. It allows them to bless others in a new and creative way, using their skills of relating, and deepening relationships through connection.

Furthermore, type four has a beautiful ability to sit with. Meaning, no matter what someone is going through, a type four can listen and not be scared off by big feelings. This comes in handy at a gathering, and becomes a blessing when the four allows it to be.

How to Practice Feasting…

Plan it.

The first step of feasting, is deciding who or what you are celebrating. This isn’t just a pot luck, feasting is all about meaning, honor, and being present. Who do you want to honor? What meaning to you want to bring to this gathering? How can you make sure you and your guests stay present to yourselves and those around you?

Decide What Matters To You.

What colors will evoke the meaning you are trying to initiate? Will there be music playing to add to the mood? Add special lighting, or light candles. What food will you make, and how will you present it? How will you serve the drinks to make people feel welcome, and feel honored?

Conversation.

To really celebrate, words need to be spoken, and honor needs to be given where honor is due. How will you incorporate this into your feasting time?

Depending on your purpose, you can also add conversation cards, or a game to help people stay on track or in the moment.

The key is in the connection, and the combination of hospitality, generosity, and community being developed.

Practice.

Add feasting to your weekly or monthly calendar. To make it stick, you need repetition. This will become something you really look forward to. You will begin to look for people and things to celebrate!

Thanks for reading! I hope you found these ideas about feasting helpful!

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Enneagram Type 3 and Spiritual Practices

Hello there! I am really enjoying studying the enneagram and spiritual practices together! I hope you are too, and that you are getting new ideas and beginning to think differently about how certain practices can impact your life! Today, we are going to talk about the enneagram type 3 and spiritual practices that will help this type grow the most.

Looking at spiritual practices through the lens of the enneagram, sheds new light on how we choose our spiritual practices. If you are already engaged in a daily practice, I applaud you! However, you might notice that the practice you’ve selected for yourself is one that really fits… it comes easy to you, and you enjoy this time. If you’ve been following this series, you know this is what we call a down-river practice.

In addition to this practice, it is extremely helpful to add an up-river practice to your day. This is what we will be focusing on here. Up-river practices take you out of your comfort zone, and allow you to stretch and grow in the most powerful ways.

Enneagram Type 3 and Spiritual Practices

Practices for Type 3

Confession

Threes are busy. They are getting things done ALL THE TIME! They can get lost in the chase of winning the task they are in. This fast-paced life has its pit-falls just like every type. What makes a type 3 great, is also their biggest struggle.

Since threes are motivated by success and winning, they sometimes cut corners, and let the goal of winning get in the way of being true to themselves and others.

The key here, is to slow down, reflect, and use the spiritual practice of confession.

A trusted friend or family member can be the source of this practice, allowing type three to also grow in the area of depending on others. Confession is done best with someone else there to support, listen, and sometimes offer advice or forgiveness.

It is very challenging for type three to “turn off their showmanship.” They are used to being the center of attention and showing up in a way that presents them in the best light.

Enneagram Type 3 and Spiritual Practices

In a sense, Confession is going to do just the opposite. Confession is showing your mistakes and downfalls, the things that might bring along shame and regret. Threes tend to shy away from sharing in this vulnerable way.

However, this is exactly why this practice is so healing and powerful for a type three. Being real and authentic about life, messy mistakes and all will move type three leaps and bounds upriver!

Journaling

If sharing with a friend is not an option, the next best thing is journaling. The key here, is to be real. Just like in confession, falsifying facts is only going to cause more pain and trouble. The practice is nearly the same. It requires: slowing down, being honest about where in your life you have not been authentic, and real self-reflection.

In addition, naming feelings in a journal is a great practice for threes. Feelings are hard to grasp, and threes often set them aside to get things done. This doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings, only that their feelings are repressed and need processing. A journal is a great space to name and process feelings. It also takes out the possibility for shame, which threes tend to avoid.

If you are a type 3, I hope you will give honest confession a try whether it is to a person or a journal. This will be so healing and meaningful for you!

If you know a type three, let them know that you can be a trusted friend with whom they can open up to. You could be the person that they come to with their heavy truths and realities.

Thanks for reading!

I hope these words inspire your life, and bring you closer to wholeness.

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How do you create a space for your Spiritual Practice?

As we are going through this series all about the enneagram and spiritual practices, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk about creating a physical space for this. How do you create a space for your spiritual practice? And what are the benefits of having a space that is dedicated to your practice?

Let’s talk about the top 3 reasons for creating your space.

Why?

Why is it important to have a dedicated space for your spiritual practice? Of course, you can take your practice wherever you go, but there is something special about creating this space for yourself. It is a way to honor a decision you made.

1.Consistency

The first benefit a physical spaces gives to you, is encouraging consistency. Knowing you have a physical place to go, is going to make you much more likely to show up there. Seeing your pillow on the floor, or your small area set up with candles just waiting for you, will both remind you and entice you to begin your practice. The physicality of having a real space keeps you more accountable. The more you show up for yourself and your practice in this space, the more you’ll want to show up. This creates a consistency in your practice and in your life.

2.Ritual

The very nature of having a practice is in itself a ritual. The repeated pattern of doing something, anything, can be considered a ritual. It is when we add meaning to our rituals that our lives begin to open up in new ways. Creating a space you love, adds so much to your ritual. It allows for all your senses to be involved: the scent of a candle, or sight of it’s flame, the soft pillow beneath you, the smooth stones in your hands, the sight of something beautiful…

These all add meaning to your ritual, which in turn transforms your ritual into something more. You might begin to long for this place. The rhythm of your ritual brings the gifts of grounding, self-worth, and honor to you and your practice. Ritual, also gives you a place to come back to, and a place to begin from. This is a beautiful circle of practice.

3.Connection

Thirdly, having a space for your practice is going to make you feel more connected. Connected to what? Well, that depends on what it is you are practicing. Many times in spiritual practice, it is ourselves we are re-connecting with. It gives us a chance to sync the mind, body and spirit. Often we get stuck, working without one of these and forgetting that we need all three to function best.

The body is always in real time. It can’t be anywhere else. The body feels things now, needs things now, and functions completely in the present. Our minds however, might tend to wander to the future, or past, but when we can align these, the spirit sings!

This is why having a place to experience such deep connection is so important. And the more you practice, the more aligned you will become with your mind, body and spirit. This is something to get excited about!

Where?

You might be thinking, I don’t have the space anywhere to dedicate to a spiritual practice.

You don’t need a lot of space.

The important thing, is that you have chosen the space, and that you will use it. It could be a corner in a room that isn’t being used. Another idea, would be using part of your closet, if its large enough.

In the photos I’m sharing today, you will see my own space. I’ve taken a stool that I absolutely love, and placed it in the corner near my closet.

You could use a chair, or whatever you have, maybe a small table.

This works for me because its in a location that is both private, and next to the closet where I need to access everyday.

What To Include in Your Space…

This is highly personal. I wanted to include things that make me feel inspired, comfortable, and positive.

My big cushy pillow, is perfect for sitting on as long as I need. I added a tray to my lovely stool, to keep all my things in order. This allows me to incorporate other elements as well.

Art and words inspire me, so I have a few small pieces to focus my time. My stress ball helps me occupy my hands while I’m thinking, meditating, or praying.

(I read somewhere that just looking at a plant can lower your blood pressure, so hence the plant)!

I love candles! There is something in the ritual of lighting a candle that makes any moment feel special, and honored. The light, the warmth, the scent, it all adds to the experience of making this space feel sacred and set apart. Essential oils are also a passion of mine, so I add my favorites in a diffuser, if I’m feeling it.

How do you create a space for your spiritual practice?

I really like my space to feel cozy, so as you can see… I have lots of pillows, quilts, and more pillows!

A pen and paper are also kept handy, in case my meditation time inspired something I need to write down. And I have a board to post lots of words of encouragement, inspiration, and people I might want to think about or honor that day.

I hope this has given you some helpful ideas on how to set up your very own spiritual practice space, and many positive reasons on why you should create one soon!

Make it your own! Yours will look completely different from mine, I’m sure, but I hope you feel inspired to enjoy this space all to yourself and continue your spiritual practice with new found vigor!

Blessings!

Live your life inspired!

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The Enneagram and Spiritual Practices

Type Two

Hey there, friends and lovers of the enneagram! Last week, we introduced the idea of using the enneagram and spiritual practices together. Both are great tools to add to our over all wellness, but using the enneagram to specifically choose a spiritual practice is completely fascinating to me. This gives us the most opportunity for growth in our awareness, in our own number, and in our lives. Today, we are going to be focusing on enneagram type two.

To check out last week’s introductory post as well as spiritual practices for type one, click the button below:

Let’s review…

What is a Spiritual Practice?

A spiritual practice is something you do regularly and intentionally to experience the Divine and grow in awareness and expansiveness. There are multiple ways to do this, maybe even endless ideas of practices. Spiritual practices help connect us to the path we want to be on, and help us become who we want to be.

Furthermore, a practice keeps us connected to our goals even when our heart is not in it. The structure of the practice allows for the ups and downs of life, while being that stable thing we can come back to. It works like a muscle, or a habit. The more you do it at the same time and in the same way, it’s going to get stronger and become second nature to you.

Goals and Beginnings

You might be wondering, how do I start a spiritual practice if I’ve never had one before?

It is important not to overwhelm yourself by trying to do too much too fast. The best way to begin, is with a small achievable goal. Set aside just 5-10 minutes to focus on your practice at the same time every day. By setting aside the time and sticking to it, you will really begin to see a change in your life. And you will look forward to this special time in your day, that you have made just for your practice.

For example, if you wanted to add a meditation practice into you day, don’t start out with a goal of twenty minutes. This might be your long-term goal, but on your first day of meditation, this is too steep a mountain to climb! Begin with two minutes for a week long period. When that feels satisfying and doable, add more minutes. In a few months you may reach you goal of a twenty minute meditation practice.

Enneagram Type 2 and Spiritual Practices

The hardest part for enneagram type 2, might just be setting aside that time for themselves everyday. Setting boundaries and taking care of themselves is a constant struggle for twos, but one they can win with some intentional effort. Twos need to know that they deserve the time to grow in the ways they desire, and that this is not self-ish.

Actually, spending time positively working on themselves in a spiritual practice is the opposite of selfish. The effects of this practice will not only improve their lives, but it will allow them to be the best they can be for the people around them. Which is what twos love best, taking care of others.

Twos- remember that you are worth this time! You deserve self care, and you deserve a space of spiritual practice that is just for you!

Upriver and Downriver Practices

I am for all spiritual practices because they add so much depth to your day, and essentially your life. However, as we are combining our enneagram numbers with the most ideal practices, we are thinking about what practices will allow for the most growth for each number.

Downriver practices- your downriver practices are going to come naturally to you. These are things you are so inclined to do that is feels like floating downriver on a sunny day.

Upriver practices- These are things you are not good at. It will take a great amount of effort for you to try these practices, but these will also produce the most growth and awareness for you on your journey. These will feel like paddling upriver through some rapids!

Practices for Type 2

The number one spiritual practice that I recommend for type twos, is centering prayer.

What is centering prayer?

Centering prayer, is a specific kind of prayer that is silent. The goal is, in the silence to experience God’s presence, and to prepare yourself to receive the gift of God knowing you completely, and loving you just as you are. It is an experience so deep and meaningful, beyond thinking, but being in the presence of God, the very breath of life.

The enneagram and spiritual practices

Why is this a needed spiritual practice for type two?

Type twos struggle with knowing that they are loved for who they are. Deep inside them, their wounded message is that they must earn love and acceptance from others by serving and doing things for them. This is the opposite of grace and the message of the Divine. There is nothing you need to do.

Twos need to know that they can show up exactly as they are, sit in silence and feel the Presence as unconditional full, and radiant love. This practice over time will greatly grow their capacity for self love, which in turn, moves into real relationship and love of others.

This practice develops the relationship with the Divine, the discipline of having intentional boundaries, and encourages the idea that being present is all that is needed.

This upriver practice challenges the type two’s desire to move and act. Twos are thinking repressed, meaning they function primarily through the doing and feeling centers of intelligence. Slowing down to sit in a space where nothing is expected of them, where they can empty out negativity, judgement, and poor thinking, is incredibly healing.

I hope you look into trying this upriver practice if you are a type two. And if you know a type two, encourage them to give it a try.

Continue with your downriver practices as well, those are your strengths and add so much to the lives of those around you as well.

Blessings.

Thanks for reading. Live inspired!

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The Enneagram and Spiritual Practices

Type One

Learning the enneagram can feel like a spiritual practice. There is so much depth to it, that I am always uncovering new layers and areas of growth for myself. I want to spend some time with you over the next several weeks exploring the enneagram and spiritual practices.

Today we’ll talk about what spiritual practices are, and specifically dig in to a few that are great for enneagram type one.

As each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, we are each drawn to certain practices naturally. The place I want us to land on, is understanding ourselves in our number (which is always a big goal here at Let’s Inspire Today), and finding a spiritual practice that allows for the most growth for our particular type and person.

What is a Spiritual Practice?

A spiritual practice is something you do regularly that connects you to the divine. This definition leaves open many options and opportunities. It really can be that simple. What do you do on a regular basis that brings you into the presence of more? When do you feel an expansiveness, an awe, or special awareness that is both beyond you and part of you?

The practices that come naturally to you, and simply flow out of you are not the ones you need to work on. It’s fantastic that you have found those, and you should keep doing them, but we are always looking to grow. The practices that will force growth are going to be the ones that we almost cringe about.

Challenge is always going to allow for the largest opportunity for growth. This means we have to practice the things that are hardest for us.

To give you an idea of some common spiritual practices here are some examples:

centering prayer

meditation

yoga

morning pages

confession

Now that we’ve defined spiritual practice and looked at a few examples, let’s shift to focusing on enneagram type one specifically.

Enneagram Type One

It’s important to remember when deciding on a spiritual practice, that it is practice. One’s tend to want to be good at things right away. The focus here, is that in practicing, you have already done what you set out to do. The goal is in the effort, not the result. Committing to your practice and sticking to it alone is enough.

The enneagram and spiritual practices

The Down River Practice for Ones

“Down River Practices,” are practices that are easy and natural to you. It’s like simply floating down river. This takes little effort, you are naturally good at it, and enjoy it. I didn’t want to overlook these kinds of practices, because it is worth noting that these are good and an important part of who you are. Keep doing these down river practices.

Ones, being present oriented and repressed in their thinking center, chiefly want something to do in the moment. This means they are naturally good at things that fall into the doing category. Many type ones find it easy to lead, teach others, serve or guide, and organize a group or cause. They interact with others well and find joy in making a difference in peoples lives.

The Upriver Practice for Ones

However, if you are in a place ready to grow, it’s time to move into upriver practices. These are going to be practices you don’t enjoy, that you are going to have to work hard at. It’s as if you are paddling upriver to get to where you want to go. Though challenging, these will be the most rewarding for you.

For Ones, these will be the quieter more contemplative type of practices. These could include: journaling, centering prayer, and meditation.

A big challenge for type one during these practices will be quieting the inner critic. This is the time to really work against the negativity of the inner critic by intentionally adding in positivity.

Through journaling daily, type one can focus on what is going well. This will really counteract the power of the inner critic’s constant judgement. Type one needs to own all the good that they have done. By writing this down daily, the negative voice will begin to get quieter.

This practice will also result in a less stressed type one, who feels good about the day ahead. Noting the many things in life that are going right, lifts the spirit and reinforces positivity.

Centering prayer, and meditation are also great choices for enneagram type one. These may be even more challenging because they require stillness and an emptying of thoughts. Quieting the mind can is definitely an upriver practice for a type one.

The best way to begin, is with a small, achievable goal. Choosing a time that works and an amount of time that isn’t too overwhelming, maybe only five minutes a day to start, working towards a goal of twenty minutes.

As always, remember that growth takes time. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Showing up for your practice is the most important step, and that alone is enough to build on. I applaud you on your efforts and encourage you to keep doing your best!

Thanks for reading!

Are you an enneagram type one?

What practices work for you? What practices do you find challenging?

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