Enneagram Type 8 and Spiritual Practices

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

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

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

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

Simply being… is okay sometimes.

Spiritual Practices for Eights

Enneagram Type 8 and Spiritual Practices

Appointed Accountability

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

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

Ideas to achieve this:

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

-Talk about feelings

-Review the things in your life that you struggle with

-Be honest about what has recently hurt you

-Revisit similar topics and questions every week

-Notice your progress

Journaling

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

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

Regular Volunteering

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

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

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

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

I hope you find these ideas helpful!

As always, thanks for reading and live inspired!

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Enneagram Type 7 and Spiritual Practices

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

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

Remember…

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

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

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

Daily Nature Walk

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

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

Questions & Thoughts to consider during this practice:

What am I seeing that inspires me?

How does it feel to be on my own?

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

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

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

Taking it a step further

My constant recommendation for every type- journaling!

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

Another great journaling tip for sevens:

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

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

More reasons nature and solitude are so healing for type 7

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

Live inspired!

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Enneagram Type 6 and Spiritual Practices

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

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

Memorizing as a Spiritual Practice

Enneagram Type 6 and Spiritual Practices

Memorizing what?

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

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

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

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

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

How to Memorize Inspirational Pieces

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other great practices for sixes:

Journaling

Yoga

Centering Prayer

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

See the post on type 3 here:

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

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Enneagram Type 5 and Spiritual Practices

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

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

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

enneagram type 5 and spiritual practices

Yoga

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

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

getting in touch with feelings

getting in touch with their body

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

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

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

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

Breathe.

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

What is deep breathing and how is it helpful?

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

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

Deep Breathing

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

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

Benefits

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

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