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How My Enneagram Journey Taught Me to Be Proud of Myself

It’s not often that I feel particularly proud of myself. I tend to check accomplishments off my list and move on to the next thing without really savoring the thing I’m leaving. 

I wasn’t sure whether to write about this, but I’m going to write and see what wants to be said. Then, I’ll see what wants to be shared. If you’re reading this, you’re reading what wanted to be shared! 

I feel proud of myself. I feel a little tinge of awkwardness saying that, but it’s the truth. 

I have dabbled in Enneagram work since 1997 but started intentional, spiritual work with the Enneagram in 2017. I will forever be indebted to my teacher and mentor (now also friend, colleague, and sister), Jenny, for allowing this crazy lady (I’m the problem, it’s me) into her Enneagram courses back then. When I think about where I’d be now without working with her, I am humbled. 

At Jenny’s urging in late 2020, I applied to “The Enneagram & Conscious Living”, taught by Russ Hudson and Jessica Dibb, along with coaches and other leaders in the field weaved throughout the curriculum. Starting in March 2021 and continuing for more than a year, I sat through online class sessions and discussion groups three and four days a week which taught me how and supported me to explore the depth of my Being. This was what I have come to know as true soul work. 

The questions being asked and answered were the fundamental questions about what it means to be human:

  • “Who am I really?” 
  • “Why am I here?” 
  • “What matters to me?”
  • “How have I gotten lost along the way?”

 

I learned from many masters, teachers, and guides from different lineages of Enneagram discovery and evolution. Nearly every great scholar in the field spent time with this group over that year. About 250 of us from all over the world spent more time with each other than we did with our families some weeks. 

These classes were both didactic and experiential. I learned the material and I embodied the material. For a logical gal, this kind of learning wasn’t on my radar ten years ago but embodied learning changed me in ways that I didn’t know I wanted or needed.

  • I learned what it means to be conscious, present, and awake. And I also experienced consciousness, presence, and awareness. 
  • I learned the importance of developing a spiritual practice and how to do that. I also experienced a ten-minute consciousness practice every day (and still do). 
  • I learned how to do Breathwork and I experienced Breathwork.
  • I learned virtually every aspect of what is currently taught about the Enneagram (I think there is more to be discovered in years to come!) and I experienced the Enneagram daily.

 

When it was all said and done, I was different. Embodied learning changes the nervous system, and so it was, I experienced myself differently. I had shed parts of myself and found parts of myself (I’ll say it again), that I didn’t know needed shedding or finding. There was grief and joy and peace and wholeness. 

I am less reactive, more accepting, and experience more love as a result of that work. 

At the end of those 15-ish months, I applied to the Enneagram Teacher Certification course, also led by Russ and Jessica along with Gayle Scott, which was mostly an experiential experience of teaching myriad Enneagram topics in myriad ways. 

I taught in front of the class and our instructors and wrote three research papers, taking my best guess at the Enneagram Types of Tony Hsieh (the founder of Zappos), Sidney Poitier, and yes, Taylor Swift. Finally, I submitted a video of my teaching in the wild, with a real audience, Q&A, and experiential exercises. 

Most of the time, it felt like a bigger undertaking than grad school.

But in doing all of that learning and teaching, I was doing the work, too. The integrity of the program doesn’t allow for spiritual bypassing. I went deep and these programs changed me. Every area of my life improved and continues to improve as a result of this inner work. Grace is the word I’d use to describe it. Grace for myself and grace for those I saw as the source of my suffering. 

Newsflash: I changed and as a result, my world changed. No one else had to change for me to experience more joy in my life. Shocking, huh? 

I want to say something about “change”. Inner work doesn’t ask you to change. It doesn’t ask you to do anything different than you are doing right now. 

It does ask you to consciously and non-judgmentally observe yourself and the world around you exactly as you are. That’s it. 

From there, the magic happens. 

In January, I received the certificate and the confirmation that I passed the Enneagram Professional Teacher Certification Course. I am now seeking accreditation from the International Enneagram Association just to seal the deal. 

Why am I sharing this stuff about my academic and personal Enneagram journey? 

Mostly because it feels weird to keep it to myself now. 

In the past, I would never have shared something so directly. But I would have made it known in some weird, passive, way. I would have categorized this as self-centered and attention-seeking, but without that judgment, I’m just sharing something about myself that is true without the shame that kind of thing used to bring.

Wanting to be seen and acknowledged is part of the human experience but many of us have been socialized out of that. The longing is still there, but we just get it in weird and awkward ways. Hopefully, those days are over for me. 

I’m proud of myself and I wanted to share it with the people I care about and who also care about me. Thank you for being among those people. 

Christina Granahan

Christina Granahan

Enneagram-informed coach + therapist

I teach you how to use your Enneagram type to realize the relationships and success that you’ve been chasing at work, home, or school. Let's connect and see how I can help you.

You have one life. Let’s get you living it.

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