Love. What is it?

What is love? Some would say love is caring deeply about someone. Others might say, putting the needs, desires and wants of others above your own is really what love means. What if love is attention? Then we have to ask, what is attention?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines it this way:

  1. The act of close or careful observing or listening.
  2. The ability or power to keep the mind on something; the ability to concentrate.
  3. Notice or observation.

Sounds a lot like the way we think of love doesn’t it? What if we took this idea and applied it to the enneagram types and their specific needs? Many of the types are gifted naturally at these skills of careful observing, listening, concentrating on what or who is in front of them. If this isn’t in your natural skill set, these are actually things you can get better at.

Since everyone desires attention and careful observation in different ways, I have written a love letter to each enneagram type expressing what they specifically would like to hear. What better way to let someone know how much you care than by giving them a love letter?

Right now you can grab the bundle!

This includes love letters to ALL 9 types! And at the special price of only $25

Love. What is it?

Click the image above or the button below to get your love letter bundle:

Remember to give those around you the care and attention they deserve… it really does show the love they crave. Find out what message they need to hear from you. Spend time this week expressing your love in all the ways you can!

Positivity really can change the world! It truly has a ripple affect!

Thanks for reading, and keep on living life inspired.

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What does community really mean?

I feel like I can’t talk enough about community. We need to slow down and get better at loving the people around us. In a time when we are desperate to connect with each other, most of us are connecting only with our devices. Why aren’t we better at being in community? And what does community really mean?

Let’s get a little nerdy, just for a minute and talk about meaning. I love words and finding out their sources and depth of meaning. So, the word “community,” comes from the Latin communitas. Comm, meaning collectively, all of us, or in association with. And unitas, meaning obligated to, responsible for.

Knowing the meaning of this Latin root makes an impact on how we might view community. It helps us define community in more real terms than simply saying, all of us that are here, or us together makes community. What this definition implies is that there is more to community than simply a group of people.

It’s that last part of the word that packs a punch. Unitas- what are we as a group, obligated to, or responsible for, collectively? What drives us, as one? Answering those two questions will refine how you feel about your community and what it really means to be a part of one.

what does community really mean?

Are we working together toward a common goal? That’s community! Are we responsible to and for each other? That’s community! And reminding ourselves to check in with how highly we are regarding our community has never been so important.

It’s easy to take groups and associations for granted when you aren’t really invested in them. I would say then, you are not in community in those scenarios. The only way to feel like part of the community, is to become a real part. Take ownership, claim it as your place, and then walk along side people toward that common goal.

What else can we do to get better at living in community?

Self-evaluation

It’s always best to start with self-evaluation. You can’t change anyone else, but you do have the power over your own goals, intentions, and behaviors. So, take a look. What are your goals? Are they in line with your current community?

Safety

Another element that is key to a great community is feeling safe and secure within that community. You should be able to be completely you, show up with all of your rawness and authenticity and find love and acceptance. Communities are places of support and safety. this is what binds groups together as they walk toward their goals as one.

So be that kind of person for others in your community. Live with openness and compassion, avoiding judgement and comparing. This doesn’t mean that you can’t speak your mind, only that respect is what makes a place feel supportive.

Reciprocity

The natural give and take of community is a beautiful thing. This adds to the big picture of what it really means to be in community. You are accepted, nurtured, and loved, others can expect the same from you. You give of your time and resources, you can expect others to give of theirs as well.

I hope this gave you some new insight into the meaning of community. It is always my hope to spread positivity and inspiration. Take time today to really invest in your true community and reap the benefits!

Check out this loving the 9 types cheatsheet below. This can help you love the community you’re in by quickly seeing what they need most! Click the button below to grab the PDF printable.

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Even more on community:

Is Your Enneagram Passion Controlling you?

You might not know it, but deep in your core you have a passion that drives all other things in your life. You may even think you have control over it. But I’ve got news for you, this passion will be your life’s struggle. Today I want to talk about the passion of the enneagram types and why our inner passion has control over us.

Do you know what your passion is?

Let’s start there. Passion is usually associated with drive and positive asperations. This is not what we are talking about here. The passions of the enneagram types are more like a vice. That thing which causes us to repeat downward spirals and negative patterns of behavior.

Your passion is your subconscious, underlying motivation for why and even how you do everything. Most likely, you are unaware of it until you really start doing work on yourself.

This is the part of learning the enneagram that makes us a bit uncomfortable because seeing our “dark side,” not only makes us feel vulnerable, but also a bit embarrassed.

However, seeing this side of the types will help you identify your type if you were struggling before. It’s like direct honesty cutting through all the fluff and revealing your deepest darkest secret.

Take a look at the passions below. Does yours make you want to run and hide, or disown it altogether? Most people have that reaction.

The passions of the 9 types

Type 1: Anger

Type 2: Pride

Type 3: Deceit

Type 4: Envy

Type 5: Avarice

Type 6: Fear

Type 7: gluttony

Type 8: Lust

Type 9: Sloth

enneagram passions

Virtues

We can’t talk about passions without also talking about virtues. I like to think of the virtue as what each type was before the world told them who they should be. Before the patterns were learned, the defense mechanisms, the baggage, or lack of boundaries given, each type would have looked like their virtue.

The way it is though, we have to work hard to reach our virtues. They are there buried inside us somewhere, but they aren’t always easy to dig up and it takes boundless effort. The goal in learning the enneagram is to turn from passion to virtue a little here and a little there. With Intentional awareness, beginning to notice you have it in you to silence one and step forward in to another.

Most of us will see our virtue come out when life is good and we are doing well. We move into our strength number on the enneagram, which is usually where the virtue can shine easily.

For example: When a type one moves to the high side of seven, they have let go of perfecting things, they feel calm and content, some might even say serene.

Take a look at the virtues below, they will have the opposite affect of reading your passion. Can you just imagine a world where everyone reached this full potential… the best version of themselves? Think of being surrounded by these powerful words- all such gifts and forces of good.

So what are the virtues?

Type 1: Serenity

Type 2: Humility

Type 3: Honesty

Type 4:Contentment

Type 5: Generosity

Type 6: Courage

Type 7: Sobriety

Type 8: Innocence

Type 9: Action

passions of the 9 types

I hope you enjoyed reading about the 9 types and the passions and virtues. It is so fascinating to me!

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Want an overview packet of all 9 types?

Each page includes the basics on everything for each type.

Here’s what they look like:

Is It Just Me? The Enneagram and Loneliness

At different phases of my life, I have felt strong waves of loneliness. The waves are beginning to rise again; I can feel them coming. But I’m not lonely necessarily for company. I’m an introvert who longs for time alone. So how can I be lonely if I like being alone? I’ve come to the conclusion that their are different kinds of loneliness. Today, I’m going to talk about the enneagram and loneliness. Maybe it’s not just me, maybe we are all feeling a little bit lonely together…

the enneagram and loneliness

Different Kinds of Loneliness

The kind of loneliness that craves interaction with people is probably what most think of when thinking of loneliness. This includes: a longing for company, the discomfort of isolation, and an overall sense of being alone. This is not the kind of loneliness that I feel most often.

The other loneliness is less physical and more psychological. The root of both I would say, is the same. Both are unwanted, and unchosen, and come from disconnection. As a type 6, I value connection very highly and it is this disconnection that makes me feel lonely. I am lonely for others to be on my side, to feel the deep connections of understanding one another, and the reassurance that we are in this together.

I don’t need someone to physically be with me to feel that kind of connection. Though at times a real in person interaction is refreshing and comforting. I think the common core to all kinds of loneliness is lack of connection.

The enneagram and loneliness

Enneagram and Loneliness

What types feel lonely the most, you might wonder? It might be a tie between fours, sixes and twos. Type one might fall as a close second.

Fours

I want to talk about type four first because fours feel everything strongly. They also have this deep longing to be understood, and a feeling that something is missing in them. This combination can cause extreme loneliness and feelings of disconnection with others.

Sixes

Like I mentioned in myself, value connection deeply and when that isn’t happening in their lives, they begin to feel lost. Relationships matter to sixes more than you might think. They do play it safe for the most part, but once you are a friend of theirs, they want that deep connection with you, and will do anything for you in order to protect that.

Twos

Twos think about others and relationships more than any other number. They want to do things with you and for you and think about you all the time. They crave both a physical connection and a connection of understanding. This type will start to feel down and lonely when the important relationships in their lives are not nurturing them and appreciating them.

Ones

Ones are good at getting things done all on their own, but they start to miss interacting and connection with people when they’ve been on their own too long. In fact, ones need others to pull on their fun side and help them loosen up. When this is lacking, ones begin to feel that solitude creep in and wake them up to the need of their good friends.

Let’s talk about the other types that might not feel lonely as easily or as deeply.

Sevens

Sevens definitely want an audience to share their stories with and a sidekick to come along on all of their adventures. When this type is alone too long, they get restless. They might not be able to pin point that what they are feeling is the lack of connection with others, but they will fall into a downward mood.

Eights

Eights are known to trailblaze paths and sometimes leave people behind, but they truly value the people they love and need intimate time with them. This type also has a hard time naming and recognizing feelings, so they might not be able to say that they are feeling lonely. However, when they haven’t connected with those they love for too long, it shows.

Nines

Nines can get lost in their own world and substitute other things for human connection. They forget that their is a world out there full of people who could positively influence their lives. They sometimes choose not to be influenced at all, which inevitably leads to loneliness.

Fives

Fives are in the withdrawn stance along with type nine. They easily move inward and fall asleep to their own need for connection with others. They can get caught up in researching their current interest and forget to reach out to those they care about. A feeling of loneliness might creep up on a type five unexpectedly. But in my opinion, they might be the least likely type to feel lonely.

Is Loneliness a problem?

Loneliness, if not addressed, can become crippling and even cause health issues. That deep feeling of isolation causes us to consider our worth, our belonging and our purpose. When we don’t connect with others we can begin to lose our way, falling down a deep hole of depression.

We all feel lonely at times, and we all need connection with each other. It is important to check on those we care about that might be a different type than us. We all need to know that we hold a special place in the hearts of those we love and that they desire connection with us, just as much as we desire it from them.

What can we do when we are lonely?

Being aware of your own feelings and patterns is the most important first step. You can catch yourself before you enter that awful pit of despair. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Have I connected with my friends lately?
  • Do I have someone with whom I feel understands me completely?
  • Am I taking the time to have real conversations with the people around me?
  • Do I race through my day without “seeing” the people I am with?

These questions will give you a starting place. You might find that your answers are eye opening and you haven’t been taking good care of yourself and your relationships. Staying connected with people involves investment in both time and energy. But it is so important to your well being and your overall feeling about your life.

If you are feeling lonely, try not to sit in it too long. Make a positive step towards connecting with someone as soon as you can. Call a friend, make plans to meet up with someone this week. Start a group that meets on a regular basis so that you can be confident you will get the connection you crave.

Is it just me? No, everyone feels lonely.

It is my hope that you will live inspired and spread the goodness you have inside you with others.

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Wondering what to say to someone? If you know their type, here are a few phrases each type needs to hear:

5 Words Each Enneagram Number Needs to Hear Most

Each enneagram number is motivated differently and has a desire to hear certain things from the people that care about them. What if you knew 5 words that would be exactly the thing they need to hear? Today I am going to share with you 5 words each enneagram number needs to hear most.

Enneagram Type One

One’s care a lot about doing things right and doing them well. They want to make a difference in the world. This type is also strongly moral and highly ethical. So what does type one want to hear most?

“I see goodness in you.”

Enneagram Type Two

Two’s are friendly and helpful, but what they are really searching for is that friendship and love in return. They are deeply sensitive and dependent on others for their self-worth. What words do they need most?

“You’re loved no matter what.”

Enneagram Type Three

Three’s strive to succeed and achieve above all else. They are always performing and using their charm to get ahead. This power number feels they must earn love by doing. They need to hear these words…

“You are loved for you.”

5 words each enneagram number needs to hear most

Enneagram Type Four

Four’s are deeply emotional and expressive. They often feel misunderstood and out of place. Am I too much for you? They want to know. Fours don’t shy away from big feelings. What 5 words do they need to hear?

“I am here with you.”

Enneagram Type Five

Fives are extremely capable and responsible. They like figuring things out on their own and in their own space. It is easy for fives to forget that other people in their lives can help them. What do Fives need to hear?

“It’s okay to have needs.”

Enneagram Type Six

Sixes are often anxious, scanning the horizon for possible catastrophes and worst case scenarios. They feel unsettled when they don’t know what to expect or when their is no consistency in their lives. What 5 words do sixes need to hear most?

“Everything’s going to be okay.”

Enneagram Type Seven

Sevens don’t like being put in a “box,” or trapped. They love new opportunities, trying things they’ve never done before, and adventure that they get to plan themselves. This enthusiastic type longs for freedom. So what 5 words do sevens need to hear most?

“Let’s plan a trip together!”

5 words each enneagram type needs to hear most

Enneagram Type Eight

Eights are strong, confident, and a little rough around the edges. They highly value honesty and directness in communication. This type has a wall built up around their most vulnerable parts and only allows a cherished few inside. What do they need to hear most?

“I will never betray you.”

Enneagram Type Nine

Nines get lost in a crowd easily because they are happy to go along with anyone. They merge with whomever they are with, and often don’t stand up for themselves. Their self esteem suffers when they can’t articulate their own thoughts, feelings, and opinions. What 5 words do nines need to hear most?

“You’re presence matters to me.”

Knowing these simple phrases will help you understand each type because they cut right to the core desire for each one. I hope you will use them, contemplate on them, and be inspired by them.

Thanks for reading!

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Loving your community through the enneagram

Want a printable of the 5 words that each enneagram type needs to hear most? You can get it below:

Want to study the enneagram with your friends? This video course below is perfect for small groups!

Want a printable workbook to go through all the types together? This one below, covers all the basics!

50 page enneagram workbook

Loving Your Community Through the Enneagram

Many years ago, in my first psychology class, I remember being amazed that we all think differently. It was a big awakening moment of understanding that the people around me, weren’t thinking the same thoughts as me, or doing things for the same reasons I was, or feeling the same things I was feeling. Today, I want to talk about these differences and how we can love our communities through the enneagram.

We all know how important is is to love others. But what does that mean? Does everyone need the same kind of love and want to be loved in the same way?

I think we all know the answer is, no.

So if we all need to be loved in different ways, how do we go about loving each other?

Who is your community?

In a broad sense of course, it is everyone around you in the place where you live. Loving all of these people would be hard to do in the deep intentional way we are going to discuss today. Kindness can always be shared to everyone, but I want to talk about real love. The people who will get the benefits of your love are going to be the people in your “inner circle,” the people you claim as your group, who you belong to and they belong to you. (Read more about why we need community to thrive, here).

Maybe its your family, maybe its your church group, or maybe its the people you gather with in a coffee shop every week. Whomever you include in your community, the first step in loving them well, is knowing them well.

This is where the enneagram becomes the most useful tool in your toolbox.

The enneagram first shows you how you see the world, and then shows you how other people see the world. When these two ways of seeing come together a lot can happen. Compassion grows for yourself, and others. This changes your relationships in only positive ways. You begin to understand why people do what they do, instead of simply reacting to what they do.

So how does loving your community through the enneagram work?

Learning the enneagram is going to help you understand yourself.

Beginning with yourself is always the best place to start. After all, you can only control your own actions, reaction, and decisions. When you learn the enneagram, you will begin to notice your patterns of both positive and negative motivations. You can practice pausing before you would normally make a negative reaction, or begin down a path you didn’t intend to go.

Once you have learned about yourself:

Your motivations, your core needs and desires, and your fears and patterns of disintegration…

It is your job to teach others about yourself. This knowledge is power. The people in your community want to love you well, but it is not intuitive. Understanding how to love people the way they need to be loved is a complicated matter. It takes time and intention to do this well. So, why not spell it out? Take some of the mystery out of this complicated life.

Once the people around you know your number, it’s time to start learning theirs. This is going to be an eye-opening experience. Dynamics will begin to make sense. You will start to understand why people do certain things, why they express themselves the way they do. The enneagram will show you exactly what each type needs.

Why learn the enneagram with a group?

This will only bring your group closer together. It may even help heal wounds, and provide a forward path for the future.

Self growth is accomplished best when supported by a group. This is a key opportunity for everyone to do together. (And it might even be fun)! Taking the time to learn about each other shows that you care deeply about one another too!

Grab this “Loving the 9 Types- The Cheat Sheet” below by clicking here, to help you understand a quick overview of how each type needs to be loved.

Loving Your Community Through The Enneagram

The discovery kit below is a great place to start your journey. It has information on all 9 types and is perfect for a group. Grab it here.

loving your community through the enneagram

Below you will find a beginners enneagram VIDEO course! This is a great tool for groups, and only takes 45 minutes to go through! Perfect for a night together learning about each other. Grab the download now!

loving your community through the enneagram

As always, it is my hope that you have an inspired day!

Thanks for reading!

Enneagram 101 (the enneagram self-discovery guide)

Who Are You? An Enneagram Discovery Guide

Have you ever wanted to understand yourself better, or to understand the people in your life a little more? Wouldn’t it be amazing if you knew why you do what you do, and beyond that, if could understand what motivates the people around you? The enneagram self-discovery guide is the beginning of your journey.

Today I am sharing with you a printable guide that will help you and a group of friends dig into the enneagram together.

I am so excited to share this information with you!

The enneagram has so many levels to it, and is full of so much wisdom for growth and movement towards awareness in our lives. This enneagram self-discovery guide is a perfect jumping off point. It gives you the, “Enneagram 101 version”, the bones of the wisdom, without overwhelming.

“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”

-Socrates

The gift of knowing yourself opens up so many doors in your life. This is my hope for you and this enneagram self discovery guide. I want you to experience self-awareness and in turn, transformation into the person you truly want to become and were made to be. The enneagram not only shows who you are right now, but who you can work towards becoming.

The enneagram self-discovery guide

What is the enneagram?

The word enneagram, comes from two greek words, “ennea,” meaning “nine,” and “gram”, meaning, “symbol.” No one quite knows the origin, but it has been studied for thousands of years. It is an old wisdom of people and why we do what we do.

If you want to read over the basics, the summary of each type, take a look at this post (An Enneagram Introduction).

The enneagram self-discovery guide

Here are a few of the many benefits of learning the enneagram:

  • Learning your basic emotional structure
  • Understanding your stress patterns
  • Understanding your strength patterns
  • Learning your access points to numbers beyond your basic number
  • Growing in compassion and empathy towards others
  • Appreciating who you are in your core number

Here’s the deal:

I am offering readers this beginners guide to studying the enneagram at 45% off right now! It is packed full of lovely printables that go into depth for each type. Including:

  • An overview of each type
  • A questionnaire for each type
  • Identifying wings
  • What each type looks like in the phases of average, healthy, and unhealthy

This beginners enneagram self-discovery guide is perfect for a group who is just learning about the enneagram. Also, having a group or community around when you are making an effort to grow is very important. The support they can provide is monumental in your success. You can keep each other accountable and share in the ups and downs of learning about yourself.

While going through the guide you should be able to identify with the type that sounds most like you. Pay attention to motivations, rather than behaviors. But take note, it takes some people a while to find their number and that is okay. This is just the beginning of a long journey.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Lao-tzu (Chinese proverb)
Who are You? An Enneagram Self-discovery Guide

Grab the Enneagram Self-discovery guide here. It’s 45% off right now in the shop!

The Enneagram self-discovery guide is a great resource for groups to do together! It includes all the information for all 9 types, and would be a wonderful way for any group to better understand each other!

I hope you take advantage of this deal and that it truly teaches you (and your group) about yourself and others!

Live inspired!

3 Secrets to Stop Falling into Your Old Habits

We all have patterns that we keep repeating, good and bad. What happens when you can’t seem to stop falling into your old bad habits? These cycles turn destructive and make you feel out of control. Today, let’s talk about 3 secrets to stop falling into your old habits. It can be done with the help of my favorite tool, the enneagram.

Self-Reflection and Awareness

First, you need to identify what your pattern is. This takes the secret of self reflection and developing awareness. What is real self-reflection? Being honest about what is really going on. Watching yourself and your behaviors.

When you want to change anything in your life, or reach a goal of any kind, you have to begin by knowing where you are.

This kind of brutal honesty with yourself is the beginning of healing and growth. Each enneagram type has specific destructive cycles that repeat, when left unchecked. After self-reflection, you naturally become more aware. You will notice, “oh, I’m doing that thing again.” This simple observation- the pause before the reaction, is a powerful tool to adopt.

3 secrets to Stop Falling into Your Old Habits

What are some enneagram habits you might fall into?

Type one might catch themselves overly perfecting things, and criticizing themselves when things aren’t good enough.

Twos might continually forget boundaries and help, when help is not what is needed most.

Three might forget to take off their mask and engage in real relationship.

Type four might continually compare themselves to others and spiral into a downward cycle of feeling somethings is missing from their own lives.

Fives pattern of keeping their needs to themselves and their “fences” high, inhibits growth in relationships.

Sixes might continually doubt themselves and struggle with trusting their decisions.

Sevens might miss out on the moment, while impulsively moving on to the next most exciting thing.

Eights might trample over people in their boldness in effort to hide their vulnerability.

Nines might fall into patterns of merging too often with the desires and opinions of others, and become passive aggressive.

(want to learn more about the nine enneagram types? check out this post.

Pause and Pivot

The great news is, that once you’re aware of your patterns, you can move into new ones. This brings us to our second secret to stop falling into your old bad habits, which I like to call, the pivot. You see the thing you would normally do about to happen, but instead of doing it, you pause and you pivot. This small move is what will change your life when repeated regularly.

Viktor Frankl put it this way:

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

I know we are not taking advantage of the space often enough. Pausing is an art lost to the modern world. We feel out of control because we are not using our power to choose our responses. We are simply moving through life on autopilot. But that is no way to live.

Every enneagram type falls into these issues one way or another. This is why the secrets to stop falling into our bad habits are universal. As we’ve discussed already, First we must self-reflect and awaken to our own realities. Then, embrace our power to choose our own responses through pivoting from old patterns.

3 ways to stop falling into your old bad habits

Notice the good and repeat.

Lastly, notice the good and repeat. It is so important to recognize our successes no matter how small. Neuro-pathways are created in the brain when you repeatedly think the same thought over and over. Wow… I hope you are thinking good thoughts! I hope you are feeding that power with good.

Just imagine yourself going through the process of these secrets throughout your day. Observing your behaviors. Being honest with yourself. Pausing in the space before reacting and choosing to pivot to a new response. Then, realizing that you made the better choice. Doesn’t that feel good? Feed your brain, body, and soul with all that goodness! I promise it will make you smile!

You will begin to feel un-stuck, in control, and free!

Don’t you deserve that for yourself?

I know you do.

I hope you will put these words into practice and move in the world inspired.