The Enneagram and Spiritual Practices

Type One

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

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

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

What is a Spiritual Practice?

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

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

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

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

centering prayer

meditation

yoga

morning pages

confession

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

Enneagram Type One

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

The enneagram and spiritual practices

The Down River Practice for Ones

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

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

The Upriver Practice for Ones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

Are you an enneagram type one?

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

You might also like:

Grab an overview of enneagram type one in the shop

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…

What are You Chasing?

Do you ever feel like you’re going in circles? Overwhelmed by the cycles of life, and you never quite get to where you set out to go? It may be time to ask yourself, what are you chasing? Why is it that you feel this disconnect from wholeness? Today’s post will cover types 1, 2 and 3 on the enneagram and their specific chase.

We are all chasing something in an effort to feel seen, heard, loved and understood. The way we chase after these things however, looks very different for each enneagram number. We are motivated differently, and our subconscious sends us on the chase to fulfill a deep need within us.

When this need goes unnoticed, the chase remains as simply a distraction from life’s true meaning and purpose. In attempt to get our needs met, we can create some pretty destructive paths.

Identification

The first step to understanding your chase is to identify it. What is it you are after? Why are you on this path? Is this the best way to get what you want and be who you want to be?

These questions will help you pause and reflect upon what is really going on in your life. Many of us are stuck on “autopilot,” living each day like the one before… but what if there is more.

And by more, I mean less…

Let’s take a look at each enneagram type, their chase, and movement into growth toward their virtue. By understanding the chase, we can refocus, simplify, and move forward in transforming and beautiful ways.

Type one

Enneagram type one is chasing improvement and perfection. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? We need people concerned with making things better and striving for the best.

However, the chase of the one becomes dangerous when they elevate this desire of improvements over all else. They become obsessed and harsh, pointing out every detail out of place. Judging themselves, others, and their surroundings for short comings, consumes them. And the chase is on!

Here’s where the enneagram shines as my favorite tool…

We can give the struggling type one practical handles to grab hold of that will literally change their life from chase cycle to a path of contentment and ease.

Tools to derail your chase

Journaling

Ones need a place to channel their negative energy and critiques. Instead of tearing themselves and others down for the things that they see, one way to stop the chase in its tracks is to write these thoughts down. Get them out of your head and down on to paper where they can be put to rest for a while.

Beyond letting the critiques be known in a safe place, a type one really needs to acknowledge the good that is happening in their everyday lives. Journaling about what is going right is an extremely powerful move for ones. Name the ten things going well, and let go of the one thing that went wrong.

Movement

Literally moving their bodies is a great way for ones to get out some of their energy and fill their bodies with positivity. Exercising can also help quiet that inner critic as the brain is flooded with endorphins.

Letting Go

Making a mental note and personal goal to let go, for type one is a major growth move. There are many little things everyday that are hard to let go of. Letting go of the control in a few small areas will allow for more feelings of peace and harmony, and a new found freedom for ones.

Type Two

Enneagram type two is chasing affirmation and approval from others. We all want to be liked by others and love hearing that we have done well. For the type two however, they can turn this into a manipulative pull.

Subconsciously, twos chase this approval from others and prioritize it above all else. They give, give, give in hopes to gain likability in the eyes of others. Their chase feeds their ego which looks like pride. Two’s become martyr-like, sacrificing in ways beyond healthy boundaries that are both destructive and unwarranted.

Tools to Derail Your Chase

Pause for thinking

It is the two’s instinct to act on whatever feeling is going on at the present moment. They leave thinking behind, and do until they are exhausted. A helpful tool for twos in these moments, is to pause and ask powerful questions to bring up thinking.

Can someone else do this task?

Do I need to take ownership of this situation?

What am I saying no to, if I say yes to this?

These simple questions can help the type two really focus on what is important. Prioritizing and setting boundaries helps you live your best life, and move in the ways you were meant to without taking ownership of things that aren’t meant for you to carry.

Journal

When type twos journal, they tend to focus on other people. Instead, let this journaling time be about you, reflect on how you are feeling. Write down the questions from above for even deeper reflection on what you are taking on. Think about the why in your life. Why am I doing what I am doing?

You will be surprised at what comes up and the impact it will have on your life. This journaling exercise helps derail your chase by giving you back the power. It is easy to fall into dependence on others from their opinions to feeling obligated to serve them. You don’t need their approval. You are enough just as you are.

Words of affirmation

Furthermore, be your own encouragement. Find words that inspire you and choose a place to make them visible daily. Maybe you can write a powerful mantra on your mirror, or put a sticky note near your doorway.

Through the ebbs and flows of life, you need to know that you are enough, that you already have everything you need within you. People are going to let you down, and without their love and approval, you still have what it takes inside you to be whole and lovely.

Shower yourself with positive self-talk. This means tell yourself the words you need to hear. Steer clear of negativity and work at building yourself up. Say the things you would say to your dearest friend, and you’ll be right on target.

Type Three

Type three is chasing success and achievement. In one way or another we all want success, but for type three this is their end game. They will avoid failure at all cost, meaning if they have to cut corners a bit to come out on top, they will. In their chase, threes become chameleons in order to get what they want and to look how they feel they need to appear.

When type three is caught up in the chase, they have a hard time seeing reality and understanding even who they really are. Their road to wholeness can be a tricky one.

Tools to derail your chase

Confession

To begin the journey to wholeness, threes need to start by finding out where in their lives they are being inauthentic. This can be done through talking with a trusted friend. Being open about real struggles, and confessing where they haven’t been honest.

Though challenging at first, this practice of confession will become extremely freeing for the type three. They live their lives in a guarded way, afraid of rejection and failure. By taking this step in honesty and vulnerability, their chase will be thrown off course.

Journal

Yes, this is a recurring beneficial practice! Each type needs journaling with a slightly different focus. For type three, let your journaling time be the place where you are the most honest.

Community

When threes move into their healthier space, there is a shift from spotlight on them, to caring more about the group as a whole. This can be done intentionally. Shifting the focus from personal success, to what does the group need?

Not only can you lead the group with excellence as a three, but you can take advantage of what the community has to offer. Allow your community to support you, let them lead sometimes, and realize the gifts that come through dependence rather than being the lone wolf.

Life will continue to ebb and flow. We will constantly be at odds with the chase. But this doesn’t mean we surrender to it. Even simply being aware that we have a chase, makes us more likely not to fall into it’s patterns.

Be kind to yourself as you grow. Just try to make one positive step today that is better than yesterday. Move in the direction you wish to become.

I hope that some of these tools will prove helpful for you within your own type and that you will be on your way derailing your chase and living in wholeness.

Blessings! Thanks for reading!

Grab this printable pdf below, a quick glance at the 9 types passions and virtues. Our passions are the chase left unattended. The virtue is our path toward growth and personal development.

Want an overview of all 9 enneagram types?

You might also like:

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.

You might also like:

Enneagram Love Letters

Happy February Friends!

It’s the month we love to love! I also love February because my second son was born ten days before Valentines Day. Celebrating his birthday is always a highlight for our family. This year we are Celebrating with his favorite superhero, Spider-Man!

I don’t love the over-commercialized side of Valentines Day, but what I do love is the focal point of expressing our love for each other. This idea I can get on board with! Saying I love you to someone is important, and the way you say it, can mean the world.

I thought I would begin this month with a dedication to each type and why I love that type. I hope you enjoy reading this series, “Love Letters to the 9 Types.” My goal is that each type will “feel the love,” and realize that they deserve it! Please share these letters with someone you love. And last of all, read your type and embrace the words meant just for you!

Enjoy this week’s love letters to type one and type two:

Enneagram Love Letters

Want your own copy of this love letter? Grab it with the button below:

And now sending love to type two…

Enneagram Love Letters

Want a copy of the love letter for type two? grab it below:

Share the love! I hope you enjoyed those love letters and that you will spend some time this month intentionally giving love to those around you in a way they can receive it best.

Blessings!

Live inspired.

You might also like:

Enneagram Type One, and Fictional Characters

Recognizing enneagram types may be hard to do in our everyday lives, but in the exaggerated world of fiction, the types begin to stand out. Enneagram type one is usually easy to spot in fictional characters through their overly perfectionistic behaviors, desire to improve their surroundings, and pull towards justice and righteousness. Today, we are going to dive into the enneagram type one and fictional characters.

Can you think of a few type ones out in the fictional world?

Let’s start with a classic, and one of my personal favorite type ones:

Mary Poppins.

Come on… She is “Practically perfect in every way!”

Enneagram Type One, and fictional Characters

The whole point of Mary Poppins is improvement, a key element for type one. She changes the lives of the Banks family with her structure and way of being in the world.

She is always “put together,” proper, and orderly. Though she may allow some whimsy, and flourish imagination, she has a love of rules and what “should be done.”

Thinking more about enneagram type one and fictional characters, who else stands out?

Hermione Granger

Harry Potter’s, Hermione Granger in the first book is labeled a “know it all,” and “rule follower.” She always seems to know not just the right answer to every question, but the right and moral thing to do in every situation. She is very concerned with justice, and even finds herself breaking some of the precious rules for the sake of just cause. (Saving Buckbeak from an unjust and untimely death, helping a wrongly accused convict escape being captured, performing spells in order to serve the greater good).

Hermione also “mother’s” Harry and Ron, not in a gushy nurturing way, but in a ONE way. She reminds them of homework assignments, school rules, and comments endlessly on more things they could do correctly. She truly wants the best for them, and this is the type one way to show it, “I want to help you be the best you can be… by reminding you how you can improve yourself.”

Let’s consider one more type on our journey of enneagram type one and fictional characters.

Claire Fraser

Enneagram Type One and Fictional Characters

Claire Fraser is an English army nurse who finds herself 200 years back in time in the middle of hard times. When she is captured by a Scottish man who rescues her from assault, she is brought back to his clan. One of the men is suffering from a dislocated shoulder. She can’t stand to let the other men put the man’s shoulder back, the wrong way. She interferes even though she’s in danger, and has never met any of them before.

Because Claire is a type one, she fights for what is right, even if it is only fixing someone’s arm. We see this constantly, especially with the dynamic of her extensive medical knowledge from the future. She brings order to disorder, morals where there were none, and an overall improvement to every situation she encounters.

She is a present thinker (putting her in type one’s dependent stance). When she is caring for you, she is with you, compassionate and not distracted. Her black and white thinking and decision making allow her to have huge impact in her situation.

Seeing fictional characters through the eyes of the enneagram helps us understand the type a little better. Though real people may be more complex than characters we read about, or see on film, it helps us to identify and form language around what a certain type might look like.

And let’s face it, sometimes its just easier to talk about fictional characters than ourselves. Maybe you relate with Hermione, or Mary Poppins, and you can understand why they made the choices they made because you are a type one, motivated by justice, truth, and making a difference.

Can you think of an enneagram type one who is a fictional character? Let’s talk about it!

The Enneagram and Fictional Characters

Now available… A Packet Overview of all the types! This packet below, includes the format seen above, but for all 9 types!

Check out the enneagram for beginners video course! This is great to do with groups!

Enneagram for beginners video course

Behind the Scenes of Enneagram Type 1

If you’d like to listen to the blog post click here.

You’ll know an enneagram type one as the type that does things right. And they often let you know the right way to do things too. Today I want to take a closer look at this “perfectionist.” Let’s go behind the scenes of Enneagram type 1 and see what they are really all about.

Though type ones are in the anger/gut triad, you might not see this anger directly. They tend to see anger as a “bad” emotion, and don’t want others to relate that with them. More likely, ones will push their anger down, or fail to acknowledge that they are angry at all.

This stems from their need to be “good” at all times, and even for you to perceive them as good. Though this type is usually self-confident, they really appreciate you speaking into them with acknowledgement of how good they are and all of the great things they do.

Behind the Scenes of Enneagram Type 1

And to be honest, it’s not hard to find a true compliment when considering type one. They fill their lives with making the world a better place. Ones are always looking for ways to improve, not just themselves, but whatever community or place they are in. You can bet on ones putting their soul into causes, and standing up for what is right, and pushing for things to change.

This should make it easy for the rest of us to take notice. However, ones don’t want to fish for the acknowledgement they crave and rightly, deserve. When they go on doing, improving, and perfecting without notice, however… this is where that tucked away anger can creep up. “I am doing ALL of this… can’t you do it too?” Can’t you see how much I am doing well?

The type one’s critical side can be awfully cut throat. They have high standards not only for themselves, but for others as well. They expect you to at least meet them half way. When this doesn’t happen, their judgmental side will come out often fueled by resentment.

“Expectations are resentments waiting to happen”

Anne Lamott

How do one’s keep track of all those life goals and high standards to change the world?

A good “to-do” list!

Type one’s love nothing more than to cross off something they’ve completed well from their never-ending “to do list.” They are chronic planners, and list makers, keeping everything where it should be in space and time, and reality.

Enneagram Type 1 Behind the Scenes

Since this type is “thinking repressed,” they are often living in action and feelings. They Feel and do, and do and feel. Their lists help them feel like they are in control and doing it well. Then in turn, their feelings cause them to add more to their to do lists, and the cycle continues, of doing and feeling. Thinking is used to over-think, or simply ignored to stay in the cycle of control and comfort.

Of all the types, type one is the most concerned with ethics and morality. They value honesty and truth above everything. You can depend on this type for, pretty much anything. They are responsible, always follow through, and have heaps and heaps of integrity. They don’t like to “break the rules,” however they do have a fun side hidden behind the scenes.

Ones secretly long to let go. They would love a day of fun where they weren’t in charge for a change. They share a line with the fun-loving type sevens who are known for their spontaneity, and charisma. This means that with a little healthy nudging, ones can come into relaxation and silliness. In fact, they need to at times, and their is no better medicine then laughter to loosen them up.

If you are a type one, or you love a type one, it’s important to bring some levity to the scene. Remember the power of laughter, and playing. Doing something just for fun, is not type one’s “norm,” but when a loved one can encourage this, it brings out that healthy seven side of type one.

Also, remember not to criticize type one (if it can be helped). This type is already SO hard on themselves. They don’t need any more judgement going on. If necessary proceed with caution, honesty, and integrity.

I hope you have more insight into behind the scenes of enneagram type one! Without our type ones there would be far less goodness in the world, and change would move much more slowly. We are so thankful for enneagram type ones!

I hope you are inspired and encouraged!