The wave contemplates the concept of Source and its perception of self. It looks and sees that it is made of the water. And within itself it sees the sunlight and the wind. It looks deeper and sees that earth and space is there too. The wave is related to the lake and the lake is related to the clouds and the rain, and the grass that grows and the animals that eat them. It is the raging river and the frozen arctic ice. The ice cube in the lemonade and the newborn kitten in the kitchen. And the whole earth, the galaxy and all the galaxies in the universe, and all the other universes; unfolding, expanding, Source experiencing itself.
The wave knows that she is wave or not-wave, and snow and mist and thunderous waterfall; sequentially and concurrently. In the present moment a wave is writing on snowflakes that became a tree, drinking a glacier sitting on a cloud in the milky way. And in the here and now a wave is breathing and knowing, and channelling reality.
Nowhere to be except here. Nothing to do except smile.
Have you ever noticed the number of times someone says “I” or “me” in a conversation? What is it we mean when we say “I”? Who exactly do we refer to? Who do we define our “I”? What identity do we take on? Are we identified with our job or profession – I am a lawyer. Or our image – what I wear, what I do, where I go, whom I’m with, where I hang out, who I take photos with. Our emotions? Our bodies? Our ego? When someone says this is me or this is not me. Think about what part of ourselves we are talking about.
Chances are that a lot of times we operate in the world by reacting. Reacting towards: with desire, with attachment, with liking something and wanting more of it. Reacting away from: with aversion, with fear, with anger or dislike, and with not wanting it. In the study of the Enneagram, we also come to understand how operate when reacting against and reacting towards. We learn to recognise the patterns that we repeat from childhood.
In Enneagram-speak, the twin mechanism of the Basic Fear and Basic Desire in each of us create our personality. The personality is a program we run in order to cope with life when we are separate from our true selves. And in running the program we loose sovereignty over our lives – people and the environment press our buttons and we jump, we keep experiencing the same repeated situations, relationships and emotions. We are trapped on the hamster wheel, the faster we run, the more firmly we stay in place. At some point, particularly at mid-life, we all get this insight, that life is not all we think it is. We are not who we think we are. This is a good place to be, although it can be un-nerving and downright unpleasant.
Isn’t this just another personality typing system that puts people in a box?
The Enneagram provides a map of how the personality works, reveals our habitual self and shows the box we are already in. In addition, it shows us the way back to our true selves, our true essence. This last bit is not common knowledge even in the Enneagram world, but it is the part that makes the most sense.
So how does it work?
Step 1: Learn about the Enneagram Types and where on the 9 levels of your type you are at now. Learn about the Enneagram Types of the people in your life and how your relationships with them are like.
Step 2: Learn about the Essential nature of each Type
Step 3: Learn how to get in touch with that essential nature. There’s nothing to achieve, just stuff to release.
How do I start?
Click the Enneagram icon below to take the free Enneagram test
And I say that because unless you know what you are doing, you might cause more grief and hurt. Most of us get anxious around people who grieve because we are scared of loss ourselves, even if we are not conscious of it. Most of us don’t know how to behave around loss and grief, even if we have experienced some personal loss of our own.
If you really want to help, just be Present for them. People have their own grieving processes. Everyone is different. If need be, you tap for your own anxiety and helplessness around loss and grief.
Some of the LEAST helpful things to say when some one has lost a loved one:
Don’t worry, you’ll get over it, you’ll be all right.
It’s meant to happen.
Now you are the man of the house.
He has gone to heaven.
I know how you feel.
Don’t cry, it’s all right.
What did you do to make that happen…. why didn’t you….
Change yourself to change others….
If you have to say something, here’s a suggestion from someone who had recently lost a loved one.
“I dont know what to do or say but I’m here for you. I’m here to support you in the way that you need me to. I don’t have the answers and may be I’m scared that I will say/do the wrong thing, so may be I may seem uncomfortable. But I’m here for you.”
If you have some experience with personal tragedy, and have suggestions for people who want to “help”, please feel free to comment – what was most helpful? what was least helpful? how did you want to be supported?
We all have an identities we like to project. We become what we identify with – the “I am” – “I am responsible”, “I am kind”, I am ethical”, I am smart”, “I am successful”……. Then we have all that we reject – the “I-am-nots”. And the “I-am-nots” get pushed into the shadow. There they furtively exist, rejected, unacknowledged, denied, unlived.
Sometimes they slip out and add mystery to our ordered lives. The wise, from time to time, allow their dark side to show: the straight-lace accountant who has a weekend gig in a heavy metal band, the suburban housewife riding with a motor-cycle gang. For the most part the really bad stuff get pushed into the dark: festering, rejected, ashamed, furtive, craving, indecent – all that unconscious jealousy, greed, guilt, shame, anger, fear, defeat, hopeless despair……. There they influence our lives in unfathomable ways. Do you have impulses which are “not you”? Are there days where an uncontrollable anger takes you? Do you react in unsavory ways when under pressure? Do you have a secret life that you are hiding? Compulsive behavior and addiction? Mid-life transition, or mid-life crisis? You may have to journey to the dark side and do a little integration work.
Either we are in touch or we aren’t, but we all have dark sides. The dark side is a scary place when we are standing in the light. Our eyes play tricks on us and we fill up with fear. When we journey to our dark sides, they become illuminated. If we go arrive there without judgement, without fear and without presumptions, instead of an inner-demon, we notice a wounded child. When we heal our wounded children, we are suddenly less fettered to our identity, our personality, our ego.
Suddenly we become less bound by our habitual “I-am”, because we discover that I am many things in different contexts at the same time. “I-am-not” is part of “I-am”. In the end, perhaps, “I-just-am”. But if we don’t also know the dark, we will never really relax to the light.
The problem with cliches, is that they are horribly trite but generally true. Such is the dreaded mid life transition, usually labelled mid life crisis. I remember thinking, when I was 17, that life was generally over when one gets past 30. Then my 30s rolled around, and I liked that decade better than my 20s. Then came my 40s, and I liked that better than my 30s.
But then something morphed. A deep unseating, dislodging, unhinging. We journey into that long dark night of the soul. The ego is built up in the first parts of our lives. Then mid-life rolls around, and we begin that process of painful dismantling, uncomfortable realisations. We ditch things that no longer work for us: jobs, relationships, self-image.
Misery, confusion, frustration, struggle…. these are all going to be there. Like it or not, it will be more painful, or less painful, but pain is going to be there. On a scale of one to ten, it is generally at least a level six in terms of intensity.
The thing is to allow and embrace the changes (eventually) and be in touch with the unfolding of our own inner wisdom. Easier said than done. One needs direction. One needs context. One needs techniques.
Would anyone be interested to explore this issue? Drop me some comments please.