In Conversation with Russ Hudson

Russ Hudson is one of the principal scholars, leading teachers and innovative thinkers in the Enneagram world today. Co-founder of The Enneagram Institute, he is the co-author of best-selling books The Wisdom of the Enneagram, Personality Types, Understanding the Enneagram and Discovering Your Personality Type.

Here we share a snippet of the conversation Siewfan Wong and Paul Chan had with Russ on shadow work. Siewfan and Paul are the organizers of The Enneagram of Shadow and Virtues with Russ Hudson in May 2019.

SW | What is Shadow?

RH | The shadow is a concept that is generally seen as coming from the psychologist Carl Jung, who was a student of Freud. Simply put, the shadow is any aspect of ourself that we’re not aware of. So the idea is that most human beings, we are aware of some things about ourself, but there’s other parts of ourself we don’t know very well. Those could be certain feelings that are suppressed, or it could be motivations that we’re not aware of. Really, the parts of us that we’re not familiar with.

Sometimes, shadow is created by difficult childhood experiences. Painful emotions, or times where we were very scared or shocked, and so we can psychologically repress those kinds of experiences, but they are still influencing us. And you can know when that kind of shadow material is coming up because it can make us do impulsive things that we would not otherwise do, kind of hard to explain.

But you know, shadow material can also be positive things. Some people aren’t necessarily aware that they are happier or their life is better than they think it is.

So basically, most serious psychology, and I see the Enneagram as involved with serious psychology, is in some sense an investigation of shadow material. What about me do I not know about? If I already knew about it then, well, I could do something about it. But the Enneagram helps us see the parts of us that we don’t usually recognise, especially in the areas of motivation as I was saying.

PC | Many people talk about shadow work in psychology. How does the enneagram help?

RH | Well, it’s part of why, I think, the Enneagram is more effective but also not as popular as some tools because the Enneagram really is explicitly looking at shadow work.

When we talk about the passion of each type [of the Enneagram] related to the sins in terms of the Christian view of it, you know, envy and avarice and pride and gluttony and all these kinds of things, or the fixated view, the Enneagram is really helping us see both emotions or motivations that we’re not aware of, but also it’s helping us see how our perspective on ourselves and life is more limited than we would usually recognise.

When we have shadow material going on, we don’t know that our view is limited. And you know most of the time, for most human beings, our view is limited somewhat.

The Enneagram is helping us see how we’re limiting it. It’s helping us see some of the underlying emotions that we might be feeling or have covered over in some way. It’s helping us see motivations we might not initially recognise that we have. Things like working very hard for success because we want our parents to love us and approve of us. Probably when we’re working we’re not conscious of that motivation. But if we were to look deeper we’ll see it’s there.

So the Enneagram helps us to see what we’re really after, what we’re seeking, and also points to maybe better ways to get the things that we’re looking for on the deepest level.

The Enneagram of Shadows and Virtues with Russ Hudson

Listen to Russ Hudson on the Enneagram Types.

The World of Enneagram

Dear Siew Fan,

I am pleased to share with you my experience of learning the enneagram… Eager to understand more about others for the purpose of connecting better to achieve better results has pushed me to pick up my first book about enneagram.

After entering into the world of the enneagram, I realized that it is more beneficial to have better self understanding, self awareness and to work on myself. It is possible to overcome my limitations to be a better person. After we shape up, we will be in a better position to inspire and influence others to achieve better results together.

I realized that after resolving my hidden childhood issues, I am now able to appreciate and better face my fears. I feel that I have permission to be important and to belong. I am able to see things from different perspectives given the same situation. This improved version of me will be more ready to see more opportunities, overcome limitations and have a better outlook in life.

Best Regards, Soo Ying

An Enneagram Experience

 

“Personality is the sense of being separated from your essence; a sense of self created by us.” I had my jaw dropped at just the opening words of the Enneagram worskhop. Unlike most personality tests I have taken, Enneagram impressed me with its deep purpose and meaningful ways of getting to know myself. I have always thought that knowledge of personality types ends at knowing what sort of person I am, and who others are. I used to think that negative characters of certain types are ends in itself. I thought it was normal to stay behaving in certain negative ways because of our personalities. The three levels of each personality taught by Siewfan is good news for everyone. At every type, there are healthy, average and unhealthy levels. The best part is we are taught practical techniques on how to move up to the healthiest level of each personality type in us.

This Enneagram workshop enables me to relate and understand other human beings better, accepting everyone and seeing everything as one, especially after getting to know that each person possesses all types. We seek to understand one another rather than judging or criticizing.

I get to feel that personalities are boxes I choose to be in, instead of who I am. The practical exercises have enabled me to feel inner silence, away from the mind. The Enneagram workshop has given me the opportunity to understand better my spirit. It was truly a spiritual experience for me.

I intend to continue practicing tapping – a technique of tapping for your highest level and lessening the lower levels – attending to and integrating all inner child in me so that I become whole again.

I would certainly love to learn more about how to move up the highest level where we can feel our original essence and live our purpose by recognizing our desires and eliminating all sorts of fears. Knowing that Enneagram can help transform my self, there is no other thing more urgent for me than working on myself even if it takes a lifetime.

Thank you Siewfan, for the unique and most useful workshop I have ever attended!

Sincerely,
Faya

How does knowing your Enneagram Type help?

Enneagram Types
Enneagram Types

 

 

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

 

So I know my Type, now what?

Review the detailed descriptions at The Enneagram Institute.

 

This is all very interesting but so complex, now what?

Join our mailing list to be kept abreast of our Enneagram classes or contact Siewfan Wong for an Enneagram coaching session.

Heads up: We will have 2 introduction to the Enneagram classes, followed by the Enneagram and Transformation class in May 2013 taught by Tim McLean, from the Enneagram Institute.

 

Spiritual Tapping Enneagram Type Seven

This sequence is for Enneagram Type Sevens who want to do deeper work on integrating their personality. Please tap daily for about 7 days, either morning or evening, making sure that in each day, you find some quiet time for yourself to do this. Leave it alone for 7 days, then look at these statements again. You may have some new insights or memories relevant to the development of your Enneagram Type. You can tap on these or ask me if you need help.

If you are new to the Enneagram, EFT and tapping, please first refer to these sections:

EFT Basics

Tapping for Enneagram Types

——————————————

1. Please start the tapping with the point under your left shoulder (Reset Button,  “ouch” point), do 3 rounds of the following statements.:
“I am happiest when I am grounded in the knowledge that I can bring my  joy and freedom to others,  when I show  people that they can achieve their dream, while cheering people up,  sending the light of my joy into the world.  I am happy when I am in touch with the discriminating wisdom that knows what to spend time and resources on, and I go seemlessly from one thing to the next, when I am full of joy and humour, and at the same time be in touch with great depths.

I enjoy being fully engaged and grounded, living life as an adventure and being TRULY PRESENT.

But there are times I am not TRULY PRESENT, and I just need to be happy and satisfied, to have a wide variety of experiences, to keep my options open, to enjoy life and experience excitement, to escape anxiety. I want to do those things that will ensure that I have what I need to be happy, to be OK, to be safe…..

I am afraid of not having my needs met, and of losing my freedom, being unhappy

I have a basic desire to be happy, to be free and content …..`

And maybe deep down, I have a basic fear of being trapped in deprivation and despair, of being in pain ….

I want to escape into my computer games, my books, my music, my Tuesday night out…

I am scared of my emotional upheaval,  my emotional upheaval is  my ego experiencing itself in my personality. BUT I am more than my ego, I am more than my personality, I am more than my emotions, I am more than my thoughts. I am life beyond boundaries. I deeply and completely love and accept myself, I forgive myself, and anyone else who contributed to this situation.”

2.Now just do normal tapping, also 3 rounds:

These are the statements that reflect the emotions, and you can change or add as you feel. Just don’t do too many at one time or you might feel overwhelmed:

“I easily pick up new skills, new hobbies, new obsessions, but then I loose interest and don’t follow through

I can’t decide, I like having all the options, I don’t want to miss out.

I am the instant expert, I can shoot from the hip anytime, why can’t people keep up?

I feel trapped if I stay with something or someone for a period of time. I need to escape, break free.

I am living in anticipation of the next thing, the next experience, so much so that I miss the present moment, and miss the current thing that I am experiencing. And then I just want more of a good thing, more is better.

Sometimes I use excitement as a substitute for being happy and satisfied. I hate being bored.

Sometimes I feel like I will never get what I need, I’m starving and grasping all the time. I need more; more quantity, more variety, more experiences.

Sometimes I am feel like I’m trying to outrun my pain and anxiety. I’m trying my best to stay “up”

I hate being told what to do, being controlled/stifled, having no freedom.

I am impatient that this (healing ) process is taking so long. It should have been done by now. I have had enough of pain and anxiety, I am fed up with going there – get over it already!

I am impatient with others who are in pain, I don’t want these depressed people to remind me of my own pain – get over it already!

I make others feel what I fear most, being deprived and trapped in emotional pain.

I want to avoid pain, anxiety and unhappiness at all cost. I am not equipped to deal with depression.

I am tired of feeling this way. I am struggling with a cocktail of emotions that is not really helping me. I am reacting all the time with attachment and aversion. I have no control, no stillness.

“I now choose to that I have a choice to give up the FRUSTRATION of  NOT HAVING,  NOT BEING NURTURED, to give up DEPRIVATION, and PAIN, to be open to GRATITUDE for what I have, to experience my essential quality: that inner JOY and the expansive FREEDOM within. What would I be without that thought that I need more, that I am insatiable, that there isn’t enough for me? What if I was free to feel good about who I am and where I am now?

I now choose to know that working on myself, and ensuring that I am the best that I can be means that I can be FULLY here. Being FULLY PRESENT means that I can be open to the unfolding of the real ADVENTURE of life. I choose to be GRATEFUL for the gift of the PRESENT MOMENT, rather than regretting the past or fearing the future. Maybe what I have now is enough. Maybe there’s nowhere else I need to be, and I’m not missing out on something else that’s more worthwhile. I AM BEING TAKEN CARE OF. I appreciate myself for getting the help I need, and doing the work so that I can be at the highest expression of who I am.”

3. Now do 3 rounds of this affirmations to get in touch with your true nature:

“I now choose to release the conviction that I require specific objects and experiences in order to feel fulfilled.
I choose to be involved with things in depth, and shift my focus of attention from myself to the world. I choose to see that the world exists for purposes other than my own gratification, but that I am being taken care of. I now choose to be in touch with

my sense of abundance
my generosity
joy, inner delight
childlike innocence
spontaneity, free-spiritedness
sense of boundlessness, expansive freedom
contentment, sobriety
gratitude

I choose to know that I am being nourished by the VAST BOUNDLESSNESS of my own nature, and taught by this adventure we call life.,
As I witness the unfolding of creation itself, great JOY and AWE arise. I find PEACE in the deep HUSH and restful STILLNESS within. I rejoice in the SPONTANEITY of BEING, and being in touch with this PRESENT MOMENT, the immediacy of constant creation. I choose to be open to my natural state of SOBRIETY, a quality like the CLARITY and FRESHNESS of newly fallen snow.

I choose to appreciate myself for being in touch with the WONDERMENT and mystery of life. I respect myself for the journey that I am going through, and know that I am never separate from the JOY and EXPANSIVENESS of life
I choose to know that I am HAPPY and CONTENT, FULFILLED and FREE.
I choose to CELEBRATE this JOYOUS unfolding of reality, and be FULLY PRESENT to the GRATITUDE, JOY, and SOBRIETY within.”

Adapted from the work of Tim McClean, Don Riso and Russ Hudson of the Enneagram Institute