3 Tips to a Better Community

Did you know that belonging to a community and engaging well, is part of personal self-care? It might seem counter-intuitive, after-all isn’t community about others?

Yes, and no.

Community is about the whole, you and them. This reciprocal relationship is vital to our personal well-being and success in life. Our deepest longings have to do with being known, accepted, heard, and loved. None of these things can happen without community. You can’t do life well all on your own.

So let’s talk about 3 tips to a better community.

Tip #1: Learn your enneagram type

The oldest wisdom tells us that first we must know ourselves before we can understand the world around us, or the people in it. How can we expect others to understand us, if we don’t even understand ourselves?

You are probably familiar with the following quotes:

“Know thyself.”

-Socrates

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

-Aristotle

“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”

-Charles Bukowski

These quotes all point in the common direction of discovering who you are. The best way to do that, is through the wisdom of the enneagram. Unlike other personality typing systems, the enneagram looks deeper than behavior. The enneagram is based on your inner motivations, which only you know, or are aware of. Many of us might act the same way on the outside, but inwardly we are motivated by very different things.

Understanding your own motivations, means you know why you do the things you do. The puzzle of the world begins to make sense because you can finally see where, and how you fit into place. Not only will the enneagram explain your motivations, but your key longings, your core fears, the way you connect with others, and many other deeper meaningful aspects of the human condition.

The enneagram is the beginning of the journey of a lifetime.

Still aren’t sure what your type is?

Once you discover your true self, you begin to interact with others in new ways. Why?

You are more self-aware. This makes you see the patterns you get caught in, the ways you pull back, or push forward, and how you are harmful or helpful in any given situation. Seeing yourself clearly, allows you to grow and improve the way you do life.

Tip #2: Intentionally working on your own weak spots

Sorry, there is no shortcut.

If you want to improve your relationships and engage better in your community groups, you actually have to work on things within yourself that are not serving you or others. As we just pointed out, your awareness is heightened through knowing yourself. The enneagram is like a map, showing you paths available to you. You can use these paths to grow, to avoid your typical pitfalls, to lean in to your strengths, and to overcome weak spots.

Start by asking yourself good questions.

Why do I feel this way?

What is motivating me?

Is there something I am missing?

Am I jumping in, when I should be holding back?

Who am I doing this for?

If I don’t do this, what will happen?

Am I over-thinking?

Am I getting stuck in the past, and forgetting to move forward?

What feelings are behind this action?

Is it okay if I don’t pursue this?

Will this action harm someone?

Invite a friend to join you on your journey.

Only you know what your true motivations are, the thoughts inside your head, and the feelings inside your heart. However, a good friend can be crucially important to walk alongside you, as you dedicate yourself to working on hard things.

Share what you are struggling with, and become accountability partners for each other. Through this sharing you will experience growth, as well as opening up a space of vulnerability for your friend to feel comfortable growing along with you.

Tip#3: Take it to your group/community

I once heard this story about how a boat party works that really made me think about the way community works:

First, the largest, heaviest boat drops anchor. This boat serves as a building block for other boats to tie up along either side. The lines are tied as tightly as possible to minimize motion between the boats. It is important for the joining boats to alternate sides as they join to keep the balance.

With the anchor in the middle, there is equal tension and the least amount of swing. Now that all the boats are tied together, they become like one large vessel. They are connected so well, that people can walk from one to the next, as if it is the same boat.

I’m sure you see what I’m getting at.

You can be the one who drops anchor first. Knowing yourself, gives you the wisdom to lead others, connecting them in ways they never would have dreamed. You can be the building block of your group, keeping the balance, advising through equal tension, keeping space for everyone who wants to join. This is what community can look like.

And if you don’t see yourself as the anchor, maybe it’s your friend who you’ve been sharing your journey with. I love the picture of coming up alongside another boat, and tying yourself to them tightly. It’s a statement of “where you go, I will go. Whatever may come, I will be beside you. We belong together.”

If that’s not beautiful community, I don’t know what is.

“People are most impacted by being known and accepted.”

Let someone know today, that you see them, that they matter, and that they are loved and known by you. Think of how big your “boat party” could stretch if you begin with an open heart and a hand outstretched in kindness.

I hope these 3 tips help you engage better in your own personal communities, and that your life is enriched along the journey.

Blessings!

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Interested in learning more about the enneagram and sharing it with others?

Check out these beautiful print outs below. There is one for each type, or you can grab the bundle of all nine types! These are available to you as instant digital downloads, so you can start using them right away!

Grab the whole set! Great for sharing with friends or groups!

How do you make decisions based on your enneagram type?

Have you ever thought about what goes into making a decision? It happens automatically. We make thousands of decisions everyday, without giving much thought to the process. Did you know that even how you make decisions is based on your enneagram type? Let’s dive in to the realm of decision making, and why we decide the way we do.

Firstly, it’s important to know what the word “decide” really means.

The word, decide, basically means, “to kill off.”

Does this surprise you?

Let’s go deeper. The first part of the word (or the prefix) “de,” simply means “off.” But the other part of the word, “cide,” is found in words like: homicide, suicide, and genocide, and means “to cut,” or “kill.” So together we come up with a succinct definition: “to kill off.”

Does this definition ring true for you and your experience of deciding? Do you think about decisions as killing off all the other options, and moving forward in the direction you have chosen?

Whether you think of it this way or not, this is actually what is happening when you decide something. When you say “yes” to one thing, it means you are saying “no” to something else. You are “cutting off” other opportunities in order to give your, “yes.” This is the cost of making a decision.

Now how does the enneagram come into play with decision making?

Our decisions are closely related with our key motivations and how we process information. Each enneagram type will subconsciously follow a pattern of decision making based on these two components. If you are looking to improve your decision making habits, this is a great place to start. By being aware of our patterns, we can then decide to change them. So how do you make decisions based on your enneagram type?

Enneagram Type 1

When it comes to decision making for ones, they want to make the right choice. This is the key motivation behind almost every decision that a type one makes. They are usually pretty quick decision makers, and know instinctively what the right choice is, based on their own set of personal standards and systems they have set up for themselves.

However, they can get into trouble with how they process information. Ones are primarily anchored to the present, and also have a repressed thinking intelligence center. This means that ones can get stuck in their head, over-thinking, or over-criticizing themselves and the decision.

Enneagram Type 2

Twos are greatly motivated by how received they are by others. This impacts their decision making because they want to please the people around them, as well as receive their love and approval. They make most decisions based on the perceived needs of others, and rarely consider their own wants or desires.

This self-neglect gets them into trouble. They might even end up resenting others for not reciprocating care.

Enneagram Type 3

Threes are motivated by success, or even the appearance of success. This influences their decision making by what they allow, and do t allow. They are also extremely driven, and value efficiency, which adds another element into decisions.

If the decision reflects well on them, helps them achieve their goals, and can be done effectively – it is a definite yes for threes.

They get into trouble when decisions become more about pretense, than authenticity. Deception can look grey to threes, as long as they are getting the results they want, they may be unaware at what cost.

Enneagram Type 4

Fours are motivated by deep longings to be significant. This colors their decisions through self-expression, as well as how they show up in the world. Fours would never want to appear fake or phony. Their decisions center around their truth and their own identities.

However, fours get stuck in the decision making process of actually moving forward. Since fours are anchored to the past (being in the withdrawn stance) they have trouble moving into action. Fours are “doing repressed.” They are great about dreaming up fanciful ideas, and beautiful plans, but sometimes the follow through just isn’t there.

Enneagram Type 5

Fives are motivated by a desire to be capable, as well as to gain knowledge. Their decision making process involves extensive research, as well as logically processing, and thinking through how well they can prepare. Fives are usually steady decision makers who don’t take risks. They are measured, and weigh out possible outcomes.

Similarly to type fours, fives are in the withdrawn stance and sometimes struggle with taking a plan into action. They love the research part of decision making, and may spend all their time dedicated to learning more and more about the current topic. Fives are not quick decision makers, and need time to process feelings and facts around the decision.

Enneagram Type 6

Sixes are motivated by security and safety. They are also concerned with what is best for the whole group. These motivations are at the core of how sixes make decisions. Will it be safe? Will everyone benefit from the decision? Sixes want to make sure their decisions will be supported, as well as connecting in a relational way.

However, sixes get stuck in over-thinking and anxiety when it comes to making a decision. They doubt themselves, and their own instincts toward making the right decision. They will often seek guidance outside themselves before making a decision, asking a trusted friend, or looking up answers from other trusted sources.

Enneagram Type 7

Sevens are motivated by satisfaction, and enjoyment. They are usually up for anything and always want to be included. When it comes to decision making, their first instinct is, “yes, let’s do it!” They might over-extend themselves, by agreeing to do everything. They are quick decision makers, and clever enough to sometimes make this work for them.

However, sevens may experience burnout easily by taking on too much and doing too much. They need to carefully consider what they are saying yes to. Being in the aggressive stance, sevens are very action oriented, but also feelings repressed. It’s important to slow down, and consider the feelings around decisions.

Enneagram Type 8

Eights are motivated by not being controlled, and by justice. They are quick decision makers, and know instinctively what needs done, and they do it. This type has confidence in their decision making skills and has no trouble telling others what the decision is. It is easy for them to see clearly, without a lot of time needed for discussion, or planning.

However, eights sometimes bulldoze over others in their quick powerful decisions. They are also in the aggressive stance, meaning they take in the world through instincts/ the body, and support their decisions with thinking; completely skipping over feelings. Some of their decision making also occurs as a result of them not wanting to be controlled.

Enneagram Type 9

Nines are motivated by inner and outer peace. They might have the hardest time with the decision making process. Nines often “merge” with those around them, agreeing to what everyone else wants in order to keep the peace. They also have a hard time prioritizing actions. All tasks and decision can look of equal importance to a type nine.

Nines are in the withdrawn stance, which looks like distraction for them. Instead of doing the important task, or making that important decision, a type nine might keep busy doing other things instead of those main tasks. This shows their tendency toward being “doing repressed,” and greatly affects their decision making. A reminder app, or special “to do” planner can be helpful for nines.

Wasn’t that fun? I hope you enjoyed learning about how each enneagram type handles the decision making process. We are all so different! Isn’t it fascinating?

Want to know more about each enneagram type?

Check out the 9 types enneagram packet.

This packet includes a page for each enneagram type, covering all the basics to understand that type!

Bring the enneagram to your group! Start seeing better connections, more compassion for each other, and clear understanding.

The enneagram improves relationships of all kinds.

Check out the offerings below:

Harry Potter and The Enneagram (types 5, 6, &7)

We are continuing our series on Harry Potter and the enneagram with types 5, 6, & 7! I am enjoying this series extensively and I hope you are too! Seeing the types through fictional characters often helps us see ourselves more clearly, and others too. It’s that aha moment of, “ oh, so that’s what a type 5 is like!”

Severus Snape: Type 5

I see Professor Snape as a classic Enneagram Type 5. He is one of the most skilled and educated wizards of his time. His extensive research and knowledge/love of knowing, “how to bottle death,” etc. show his dedication and five-like qualities. There isn’t a potion too challenging for him, or an herb he doesn’t know. Snape is more than “book smart.” Remember, he’s the half-blood prince?

Type five falls into the withdrawn stance on the enneagram. This means that Snape and all fives, are looking back in the past, dwelling on things gone. We definitely see this with Snape. His whole life is about the past. Promises he made to those long gone, wrongs done to him, and memories both good and torturous are what occupy his present.

He doesn’t allow himself to get close to anyone, keeping his heart guarded and his emotions locked away. His dedication is to the cause, the only thing he has left of the one he loves.

Neville Longbottom: Type 5

Neville Longbottom, a favorite if mine, becomes obsessed with Herbology. Fives often choose a topic at a time and go deep until they know everything there is to know about it. Neville is found in the library among the plant books, and has received high praise from Professor Sprout, the Herbology teacher. He excels in this class because it becomes a passion and curiosity for him which he must learn to the best of his ability.

Fives are also known to be rule followers. Neville abides by the rules, and expects others to also. When he discovers Ron, Hermione,and Harry sneaking out after curfew, he demands that they stop breaking rules. He’s also concerned about them as a whole, Gryfindor House, losing house points due to the rule breaking.

Lastly, fives tend to be observers rather than joiners. they have a keen understanding for things going on around them, but prefer remaining in the outside. This distance from others is a way to keep themselves safe, as well as preserve energy.

Remus Lupin: Type 6

In general, Remus Lupin is just a “likable” guy. He’s authentic, doesn’t try too hard, and actually cares about teaching the students. He is well prepared, practical, and responsible. These are all typical six qualities, and make him a great teacher.

The Fear Triad (head triad)

Professor Lupin lives out of a unique type on fear. He is hiding the fact that he is a Werewolf, and he fears above all else, losing control and hurting others. He can’t trust himself, because he actually becomes something dangerous. This feels very six-ish. But don’t let the Werewolf identity muddy the waters too much.

Being in the fear/head triad, Lupin is hyper-vigilant at times, defensive, and at his worst, self-defeating and rigid. He has good intentions, but is wary of things he can’t trust or control.

Loyalty

The type six is well known for this trait of loyalty. Lupin has this in spades. In every inner circle he is a part of, he shows nothing but loyalty to the group. From James Potter’s group of friends growing up together, to The Order of the Phoenix, to Hogwarts, and to Harry and his family, Lupin is a constant grounded pillar of dependency and trustworthiness. He obviously holds this standard as the highest of values.

In addition to his loyalty, Lupin is also compassionate, witty, and supportive. It makes sense why he was relied upon as a friend, leader, and teacher. He gives Harry hope and direction when he needs it; he is the friend and leader that stands up with preparation when others are not ready.

Ron Weasley: Type 6

Similarly to Professor Lupin, Ron Weasley showcases loyalty as his best quality. He becomes fast friends with Harry, and instantly is dependable and thoughtful. Throughout the series, Ron is reliable, steadfast, and stands up for his friends.

As a head type, we see him use his critical thinking skills many times to get the trio out of a tough spot. In the first book, we see it in the “best game of wizards chess ever played!” He sees what needs to be done and takes action.

Other times, his doubts, anxieties and fears get the best of him. The forbidden forest with the spiders, the devil’s snare that he just can’t relax into, are both perfect examples. Sixes are known for “over-thinking.” Being smack in the middle of the head triad, makes Ron especially prone to taking in information with thinking and getting stuck there.

Sirius Black: Type 7

Sirius seeks the most out of every situation. He hates being alone, as most sevens do, and has the advantage of turning into a dog whenever he wants. I think all sevens would love this idea! Dogs represent much of what a seven is all about: joy, companionship, and adventures!

FOMO (fear of missing out) is the real deal for type sevens. Sirius risks being seen in dog form in order to say goodbye to Harry. Did I mention sevens are huge risk takers? They are fearless, future oriented thinkers. At their best, they are wise confidants. Harry seeks advice from Sirius numerous times.

The big disconnect for type sevens are emotions. They don’t mind the positive emotions, but anything painful or perceived as harmful to them, sevens avoid at all costs. Sirius went in an opposite direction from his family, but he rarely speaks of it. It’s as if he wants to pretend those hurtful things are not a part of him. Instead, he plunges forward into dangerous heroism in hopes of defeating Voldemort.

Ginny Weasley: Type 7w6

When we first meet Ginny, she presents as an introverted type seven. It is fascinating to see her character grow and blossom throughout the series. As she gains more confidence in herself, she becomes a girl who knows who she is, what she wants, and what she stands for.

She becomes bold, and a striking person that others love to be around. Her quick wit and cleverness make her a type seven (with a type six wing). Though she’s not quite “the life of the party” like some sevens, her six wing makes her a bit more cautious. Her core desire is for contentment. She adds balance to “Dumbledore’s Army,” and is charming, productive, and enthusiastic.

I hope you enjoyed my take on these Harry Potter characters! Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts. Who are your favorite characters? What type do you think they are?

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Want to know about your type? This overview packet is ideal for getting a handle on all 9 types! Take a look!

It’s Okay

Do you ever feel like you aren’t enough? Like no matter what you do, it could have been better, you could have shown up in a way that people need you to, or put more thought into the moment? It’s okay. You’re not alone. We all have moments everyday when we let ourselves down. I want you to know that it’s okay… we have a lot to let go of.

Why are we so hard on ourselves?

Do we always feel like we have to show just the good stuff, the polished, best stuff to the world?

What about the rest of it?

Life is messy. Chaotic. And sometimes REAL UGLY…

And it’s okay.

I want you to come to a place where you are comfortable with the vulnerable imperfections of our every day lives. In the mess, there is beauty to be found and gifts given.

Here are my truths for you:

It’s okay to make mistakes.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Let it go. Second chances mean you get a clean slate to try again. But there is also joy in midst of doing it wrong. What?! Sometimes happy accidents lead to the most brilliant adventure, or surprise occasion. Embrace the mistakes. Move on in positivity and growth.

It’s okay to say, “No.”

Many of us struggle with the power of good boundaries. Boundaries help us love each other better. They mean, “This is mine,” and “That is yours.” When you understand your boundaries, you can say yes to the right things, and own what you need to, to live your best life. This means saying, “no” to some things, so that you can say. “yes” to the things that matter.

It’s Okay To Ask For Help

Sometimes we think we have to figure things out all on our own. What will others think of me if I can’t do this? Well, actually asking for help builds bonds- it doesn’t destroy them. Doing things independently can be more efficient at times, but it can also be isolating, and cause burnout. Let someone know you would appreciate their help, they will be glad you asked! And you’ll be surprised at the closeness formed around this encounter.

It’s Okay To Not Know Everything

Being well-informed is fantastic, however trying to know everything can be hindering in many ways. Not only is it exhausting, but it keeps you from opportunities and relationships. Most people don’t care if you have researched every angle before you talk about something, so take a risk and add a little spontaneity into your week.

It’s Okay to Be Unprepared

Sometimes stress in tied to how much we have prepared, this makes us feel like we have some control over certain situations. The reality is, we have little control over anything. Preparing gives us something to do, but will never fix problems or cover everything. The future cannot be seen; Eighty percent of the things we worry about never happen. It’s better to spend time doing what is necessary and then enjoying the people in the current moment.

It’s Okay to Be Yourself

Is it scary to show up as yourself sometimes? Maybe people won’t like you if you aren’t what they want or need in this moment. These are fears that all of us face at times, but the truth is, we want to see you just as you are. The people that love you don’t need you to perform, or put on a mask. Show up as the real you, and see what happens.

It’s okay to Not Be Okay

When we are stressed, or feeling a lot of emotions, sometimes we tend to hide this from others. What is the worst that could happen if we fall apart, and admit that, “I’m really not okay?” Most people respond to honesty with compassion. This is a huge plus, right? This means we should share with trusted others when things are rocky in life.

It’s Okay to Be Vulnerable

Sharing something that is close to our hearts feels scary. Once we let it out there, we no longer have control. It is unknown how others will react, what they will think, and what it will mean for our relationship. However, there is a sort of magic to being vulnerable with someone. Did you know that in most cases, vulnerability creates deeper relationships, allows for positive growth, and helps others let their guard down as well?

It’s Okay to Let Your Chaos Hang Out

Trying to keep the peace ALL the time is exhausting! Not only will it tire you out, but it is an impossible goal. The peace you really need to make is with yourself. Release the too high ideals, the striving for no conflict, and embrace the chaos of life. Sometimes things are just messy and hard, and full of noise and disaster. And that’s okay. Breathe in… breathe out. You will survive.

I hope you found these words encouraging. Maybe you saw a little of yourself in them. Is there something you need to let go of?

Take a moment today for yourself. Think about the things you have not been facing, or choose to embrace the mess of life that is right in front of you.

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Fall Daydreaming

I’ve been “Fall Daydreaming,” for weeks, but now that it’s around the corner, I just can’t wait! It’s my favorite season! And to celebrate, I’ve made a fun Fall Checklist to share with you!

Grab your FREE Fall Checklist Here!

Mark one thing off your list by reading the poem below.

October

BY ROBERT FROST

O hushed October morning mild,

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;

Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,

Should waste them all.

The crows above the forest call;

Tomorrow they may form and go.

O hushed October morning mild,

Begin the hours of this day slow.

Make the day seem to us less brief.

Hearts not averse to being beguiled,

Beguile us in the way you know.

Release one leaf at break of day;

At noon release another leaf;

One from our trees, one far away.

Retard the sun with gentle mist;

Enchant the land with amethyst.

Slow, slow!

For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,

Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,

Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—

For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

The image above looks like pure October bliss!!!

Speaking of October Bliss… I would love for you to be part of our Enneagram Fall Wellness Retreat!

It’s going to be a blast! 3 days and 2 nights of enneagram workshops, great food, yoga, meditation, nature walks, and relaxing in a beautiful boutique hotel!

Check out the Retreat info here!

Short and sweet today, my friends! I just wanted to put some positivity out! I hope you enjoy the Fall Freebie! And more importantly, I hope the beginning to your Fall Season is a beautiful transition… a time when we are reminded that change is good for us!

Live inspired!

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Everyone Needs the Enneagram

Did you know that the enneagram is widely used and credited for helping thousands of individuals and company’s better themselves? It’s true, this ancient tool of wisdom is providing professionals, and everyday people with the help they need to be successful at life! Everyone needs the enneagram! Check out this article from Forbes explaining the enneagram and how it is changing the game for many.

Click here to read the Forbes article.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the Forbes article! I guess I’m not the only one obsessed with the power of the enneagram! Their article is “just the basics,” but it hits on some great major points.

Why does everyone need the enneagram?

Before we understand ourselves, we are walking through life, “asleep.” Our minds, bodies and emotions are in a state of reaction on auto-pilot. We have patterns that repeat themselves over and over, until we make the choice to observe ourselves, and begin the process of awakening. This isn’t a “quick fix,” however. The journey to waking ourselves up lasts the rest of our lives.

Furthermore, our personality is not who we really are. This may come as a surprise, but what we think of as personality is just a cover. It can be thought of as a combination of defense mechanisms we developed as young people to survive. There comes a time when we need to let those patterns go, and grow into our higher selves- who we are really meant to be.

How does the enneagram help us reach our potential?

The enneagram is designed for the purpose of both understanding and growth. Each type has touch points to two other numbers that help them grow out of unwanted patterns and into a new way of thinking, acting and being in the world. It begins by observing yourself just as you are today.

By watching the behaviors and patterns you have now, you can identify your motivations, and in turn your enneagram type. This is the beginning. Getting a handle on your type can take months. It is only after you understand who you are right now, that you can begin to move towards who you want to be.

Psychology Today, refers to the enneagram as a tool for conflict resolution and personal growth. Read their article here.

We all need help in those to key areas of life, and the enneagram gives us the road map guiding through. It looks different for each enneagram type, but we all begin by looking honestly at ourselves and working hard through the things that seem impossible.

Is change really possible?

Yes, change is possible for those who want it, and will work hard to make it happen.For some of us, conflict is the personal battle we never want to face. Other types refuse to be vulnerable, admit they’re wrong, or face their own emotions. These are just a few of the traps and pitfalls we have to overcome. The enneagram helps identify them in a way that feels authentic and pure.

I can’t identify with a problem I don’t know I have.

When I own my enneagram type, I have to own all of it: the strengths and the weaknesses, the positive and the negative patterns. By accepting my whole self, I can begin to work on the things that need extra attention, and lean in the my superpowers allowing them to shine.

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Want to learn more about the enneagram?

Maybe you aren’t sure what enneagram type you are. I have some great tools to help you!

Check out the quiz packet below to get an idea of your type quickly. This is fun to do with friends and groups too!

Enneagram Quiz

Learning about the types can seem overwhelming. There is a lot of information to cover. A simple way to get a handle on all nine types in through my overview of the 9 types packet. Each type has there own page with a simple format, cover all of the basics.

What is Your Hazard

Hey there! It’s officially road trip season, and I know a lot of you are anxious to get out there. Maybe some of you are heading for high elevations. Have you ever driven in the mountains with high rock formations, and you see those signs, “Hazard ahead, look out for falling rocks?” This situation can be really dangerous, right? Today, we are talking about the hazards in your life that keep you from getting where you want to go and how the enneagram both defines these hazards, and gives us a road map to work around them.

what is your hazard?

It’s not the rocks themselves that are dangerous. A rock is just a rock. I like this analogy because it allows us to see the power of perspective. None of our personal hazards are dangerous all on their own, it’s the power and perspective we give them, and the situations we allow to form around them, that make them so dangerous.

Using the enneagram, we can define our hazard through our core number. This will be the trap that you continually find yourself in. The pattern of your core number keeps bringing you back to this self destructive behavior and situation that doesn’t serve you well. The key to getting out of this trap is by connecting with your strength number and the high virtues you have access to through that number.

Let’s look at some examples.

Type one

One’s hazard has to do with control. Their key motivation is to be good, also meaning they don’t want to be bad. This might seem over simple, but it is full of complication. They feel like if they can keep out anything labeled as “bad,” they won’t be corrupted by it, therefore keeping them preserved, and good. Are you seeing the blind spot here? This is an impossible feat. No one can be fully good and keep out all wrong.

Type One’s Strength Number: Seven

The road map for type one means connecting to the high side of seven. The virtue one’s need to strive for is sobriety. This is the acceptance of “what is.” Not wanting things to be better, more, or different. There is a peaceful balance here that gets one’s out of their cycle to improve and control. They realize they have control of very little in reality, and there is a gift in understanding that balance.

Type Two:

Two’s hazard is around acceptance and needing to be liked or loved. Doesn’t everyone want to be liked or loved? Well, yes, but none of us hold a candle to the deep need of the type two for this acceptance. They will go beyond boundaries and logic to please others, subconsciously wanting a reciprocal love and helpfulness to come their way. Their challenge is keeping boundaries, and authenticity. Their blind spot lies in overstepping and saying yes to everything and everyone.

Type Two’s strength number: Four

The road map for type two means connecting to the high side of type four. Fours might just be the most authentic type on the enneagram. Twos need to key into this as well as the awareness fours have around their own emotions and feelings. They can also connect to the fours ability to have good boundaries based on that genuineness. The best decisions can be made when a two knows how they feel and what is theirs to do.

Type Three:

Three’s hazard is around self-importance and their blind spot has to do with succeeding at all costs. They are efficient and block out feelings to get things done. Just like every number, a strength easily becomes a weakness when it is in excess. Three’s can trend toward workaholism, doing only what will allow them to win or reach their goal.

Type Three’s Strength Number: Six

The road map for type three means leaning into the best qualities of type six. These include: loyalty, steadfastness, faithfulness, and compassion. When type three can let go of their success mask, and pick up truth and loyalty, they will avoid many hazards on their way. Slowing down, is key for threes. Dare I say it: being unproductive is okay! Threes need to learn to sit with feelings, their own, as well as others, allowing them to have both self compassion and compassion for others.

Type Four:

The hazard for type four, is focusing too much on what is missing. Fours are idealistic, and want things to be a certain way. They instantly notice what they don’t have, what they are not, and get stuck in a cycle of comparing and feelings. All the while, fours truly miss out. Life is happening around them, but they can’t seem to get out of their inner world, that tells them they aren’t enough, they need to be more special, more like…

Type Four’s Strength Number: One

The road map for type four is through the high side of type one. The structure, follow-thru, and dependability of type one lends stability to the type four. Through type one, fours can find clarity, and also a path to get thing done. They move away from comparison syndrome, and into a place of realism and serenity.

Type Five:

The hazard for type five centers around independence, capability, and personal boundaries. These characteristics on their own seem quite positive, but like we’ve said, attributes can easily become unbalanced. This is why we experience hazards in our lives. Fives in particular, become overly guarded and closed off. They want to figure everything out for themselves without allowing for help. This hazard keeps fives from interaction, as well as relying solely on themselves for everything.

Type Five’s Strength Number: Eight

The road map for five’s is through the powerhouse of type eight. This positive move from five to eight allows fives to be direct about how they feel, and ask for what they need. It also activates the doing center for fives, who often stay for long periods of time in the planning, thinking, reminiscing stage. Eights are known for action, as well as their boldness. This brings fives back into balance, and actually helps them connect better with others as they are communicating needs, and desires.

Type Six:

The hazard for sixes has to do with anxiety and over-thinking. Sixes are motivated by security, and tend to spiral into worst-case scenario thinking, or over-thinking in general. A major blind spot for sixes is doubting themselves. This hazard affects every area of their lives and decision making. “But what if…” is constantly just under the surface for sixes. They are always wondering, and planning for everything.

Type Six’ Strength Number: Nine

The road map for type six is through the peacemaker- type nine. Going to the high side of nine feels like a soothing remedy to sixes anxious mind. To let go of the worry, and embrace the easy going attitude of type nines is so healing. The “what ifs,” are gone, there is a calm acceptance that everything will be okay. The peacefulness of nine allows sixes to get out of their heads and into their bodies, to feel the reality that 80% of the the things they worry about NEVER happen!

Type Seven:

Seven’s hazard is around avoiding feelings, and fear of missing out. The kings of stuffing feelings might just be the type seven. It’s not fun to feel those feelings sometimes, so why not just pretend they aren’t there and distract yourself with something exciting? Yes, sevens fall prey to this unhealthy distraction tactic and many others that allow them to not feel the pain of deep feelings. Another blind spot is around FOMO (fear of missing out). If there is fun to be had, a seven wants to be there no matter how reckless or ill-timed the event may be.

Type Seven’s Strength Number: Five

The road map for seven’s is through the high side of type five. This move grounds type seven, and helps them establish healthy boundaries. They stop saying “yes,” to everything, and start considering time to with drawl alone as something to look forward to. The five’s independence, and self-reliance gives seven’s balance, and courage to face some of those hard feelings in their own way.

Type Eight:

The hazard for eights, centers around control, as well as anger. This strong body type does not want to be controlled by anyone, and holds anger right at the surface. Eights speak their minds openly without worrying about whose feelings they might hurt. These blind spots mean they are often in conflicts with others, challenging constantly on every side. Their sharp edges are deceptive however, protecting a deeper vulnerable side that just want to love you.

Type Eight’s Strength Number: Two

The road map for eights is through the high side of type two: the helper. The positive qualities of twos give the eights needed connection to feelings, compassion, and humility. When Eights access type two, they present softer, considering others opinions, and not challenging as frequently. This awareness helps balance type eight, allowing for the possibility of seeing that vulnerable side.

Type Nine:

The hazard for nine is centered around merging, and avoiding conflict. Nines rarely speak their mind, they agree with those they are with, to avoid conflict, when they really might feel differently. This creates a passive aggressive attitude, making problems hard to solve. They desire peace within, and peace outwardly, and will do anything to achieve this. Managing all of this feels impossible to the nine, and they might give up.

Type Nine’s Strength Number: Three

The road map for nines is through the confident type three. When nines lean into the decisive type three, they can speak their mind, say what they mean, and feel comfortable doing it. The three energy also helps nines achieve their goals, and get things done. Type three allows nines to realize that some conflict is good and healthy and it won’t kill them.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed talking about our hazards. Remember to lean into your strength number to get out of some of those spirals, you really can do it! You always have access to your strength number!

Live inspired and keep growing!

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Looking for printables for each enneagram type?

Check out the overview printable packet below!

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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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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Want to learn about the enneagram types?

Check out the all inclusive packet below. Who Are You: A Self-Discovery Enneagram Packet! It is fantastic for beginners and includes details for each type, explaining motivations, strengths, weaknesses, stress, and how to treat each type.

The Enneagram and Motivations

Why you do what you do makes you who you are. This is the key to knowing and understanding your type. Two different types may have the exact same behavior, but they are working from completely different motivations. This is fascinating to me, and the real core of the enneagram. So let’s go through the enneagram and motivations today!

I’m going to do just a quick summary of each type on the blog, but I am also releasing today some beautiful printables that I think you will love! To get the entire summary, you can now print each type in the fun printables below. They are colorful and formatted simply on one sheet, while including all the points about each type’s motivates and a peek into their character. If you want all nine types in a packet format, they are available in the shop along with a ton more information on each enneagram type…

If you want a specific number, click the buttons for each type to find it in the shop! Or you can always browse the shop to find all of the enneagram products and printables that I have created just for you!

What Motivates Type 1?

One’s are innately motivated by righteousness. What I mean by this is, they have in their mind a definite right way that things should be done in any given situation. They strive to do things this way, and avoid doing things, what they consider the wrong way. They judge themselves harshly in how well they are keeping up with this black and white way of life. One’s are keenly judgmental, and hold these standards so high that they are constantly disappointing themselves. This effort to do and essentially be good is the type one’s main driving force.

Grab the printable about type one below:

What Motivates Type 2?

The top motivations for two always come back to their relational side. They are in the heart triad, after all, meaning they feel first. However, their feelings are focused outwardly on others instead of what is going on with themselves. Much of their motivation comes from a deep place of wanting to be loved and accepted by others.

Of course, we all want love and acceptance, but for the type two, this desire motivates them into action in a very specific way. They seek to provide needs and help others in hopes that this will in turn earn them love and the acceptance they so desire.

Below is a complete sample (using type 2) of what the motivation sheets look like and include. Aren’t they fun? The blue boxes on the side, give a quick glance at the key motivations, while the right hand side is written out in descriptive detail about how our motivations make us and what that looks like in each type. I hope you enjoy these printables!

The Enneagram and Motivations Type 2

What Motivates Type 3?

Type three is motivated by success. This will look different for each three depending on what their definition of success happens to be. Many three’s idea of success has been shaped by the influential people they grew up around. This would be parents, teachers, coaches, etc. who gave them an idea of what the “winning ticket” looked like.

Threes naturally want to please others, this ties in to their motivation to succeed. If a parent stressed the idea of getting good grades as the picture of success, a type three would do everything in their power to get good grades. They have a strong will about them, that allows them to go after their desires in an almost cut-throat fashion.

Find out even more about type three below…

What motivates Type 4?

Fours are motivated by authenticity and beauty. This type does not put up with fake of any kind and cannot stand surface levels. Fours are deeply motivated by being their truest, raw versions of themselves, finding beauty in everything, including in pain and darkness, and desiring the same authenticity from others.

They know that they are different and they wouldn’t want it any other way. Fours pride themselves in being their own unique expression of who they are, and will even go out of their way to make sure that they aren’t like everyone else. They don’t want to stand out in a “look at me- showy” sort of way, they just want to be themselves and be loved for who they are.

More about fours…

What motivates type 5?

Fives are motivated by independence and personal capability. If they want to know something, they are extremely fulfilled in figuring it out themselves. This gives them confidence and inner pride. Fives are also motivated to learn and research their interests. They will spend hours lost in discovering what they want to know most.

This motivation of independence is carried throughout everything they do. Their inner world is so rich and multi-level that they can sometimes forget to let others in. Think of an iceberg, you see only it’s tip above the water, when in reality it’s bulk is hiding underneath the surface. Fives rarely share all the information, and especially if it is personal.

More about fives…

What Motivates Type 6?

Sixes are motivated by finding and keeping security. Security is this overarching theme that in seeking for it, causes sixes to also live with anxiety. This anxiety can get twisted into type six’s motivation where the anxiety moves them to do things in the hopes of then having security.

Sixes often choose the “safe” thing, or the thing that they have the most support for. Since they often don’t trust themselves, sixes look to others for approval, help with decision making, and ultimately for support or a sense of security.

More about sixes…

What Motivates Type 7?

Type Seven is motivated by satisfaction. They live this out in many different ways that can look like chasing “fun,” but it more than that. Being future oriented, sevens are always looking for the next thing that will make them happy or fulfill them.

They want the experience of feeling satisfied in every aspect, delicious foods, travelling to new places, trying and seeing things they have never seen before. Seven’s love going to events and it truly is all about the experience no matter where they go. If they are at a restaurant, they want the food and the environment to be positive and exciting.

More about Sevens…

What Motivates Type 8?

Eights are motivated by being in control. They hate others trying to control them or telling them what to do. This isn’t just because they are stubborn or difficult, eights have a true sense of how to manage things well. They have such a strong confidence and a way about them, that they really rarely need someone to tell them what to do. They’ve already thought of it and figured out the most efficient way to move forward.

Eights are also highly motivated by justice and protecting those who have no one on their side. They see an underdog like a personal mission, and have no problem saying or doing what is needed to stand up for others. When this type is at their best, they are natural leaders who move mountains, stop bullies, and make real change.

More about eights…

What motivates type 9?

Nines are motivated by their keen desire to have peace at all times. They see a flawed world full of waves and turmoil, and all they want is calm waters. This desire motivates everything they do… and everything they don’t do. Nines constantly try to “keep the peace.”

This can mean mediating between to opposing sides in order to keep a larger argument from breaking out. They also have this keeping the peace methodology internally. Nines want both peace on the outside and a calm inner world into which they can retreat. They are willing to bend and do what is needed to allow for this sort of peace to happen.

More about nines…