“What we are is God’s gift to us; what we become is our gift to God”
I wish you a very peaceful and joyful Autumn. I had a fun start to my day. I rode my bike with
my husband at 6:30am, took our doggies for a little walk, picked apples off of our abundant
backyard tree and prepared then with a little cinnamon and real maple syrup. Soon a delicious
scent filled the kitchen that announced “Autumn!” Sometimes it is just the simple things in life
that bring joy.
“You have to make your own fun,” was a favorite saying of my mom, and how true it is.
A funny thing happens when you are making yourown fun; more joy or fun seems to find you.
This month’s newsletter brings you some insights on, Type 7, the JOYFUL type, also called,
the Joyful Epicure, or Joyful Adventurer on the Enneagram of personality types.
(each month a we’ll review one of the universal types) The Joyful type brings “to the table,”
a lightness of being. Maybe you have one in your family or are one yourself. Called an optimist,
the “Tinkerbell” of the Enneagram, the Joyful type, likes to see, and follow the light. The light,
spirit or essence has great appeal for the Joyful Type and so they are often referred to as
“free spirited.” They like to en-lighten, (as in unburden,) us and perhaps their greatest gift is
their immense capacity to feel gratitude.
Each of the universal types on Enneagram spectrum has within it, their gifts and challenges.
Within their unique personality that falls within agiven type, is what I call, a wellness map.
It is also called, our points of integration and disintegration, but I call it a wellness map, because,
it is each of us in every moment, who makes the choice for our emotional wellness. We can be,
as a therapist once called me, “decidedly better,” or not.
I am not one to say it is always easy. I like Scott Peck’s first line in the book, The Road Less Travelled,
which is, “Life is difficult,” however, it is in naming it, and claiming the difficulty, or challenge,
that we begin to tame it. The Enneagram can help you with a deepened awareness, and truth around a
certain challenge. We cannot change many things in life but we are so very capable of changing our
reactions to what presents itself. The wisdom of the (your) Enneagram shows you how it looks and
feels for you, very specifically, in stress, tension or discomfort, and how it looks and feels for you in
states of security, safety or comfort. When the Joyful Type 7 is secure and safe, or said another
way, when centered and connected, they feel their joy and contentment, and feel resourceful.
They are operating out of the “higher end” of themselves when a challenge presents itself, and they
choose to not run from the limits, helplessness or pain,in the challenge.
They know that at the “low end,” their tendency might be to run from the limit or challenge and look
elsewhere for the light. Although they mightlike to avoid the limiting challenge facing them, they choose
to stay with the it and work it through. They might tell themselves, the easiest way out is through.
They know if they accept, or tolerate the difficulties, or feelings of helplessness, they can get to a
“This too shall pass.” position, or, a “This too will transform” place. They ultimately get to the “big picture,”
of it all practicing a healthy detachment in the process
It is not fun during the “staying with it” process and certainly doesn’t feel “light,” but this is practicing
emotional wellness for the Joyful type 7. When they are in this pain or limited place, healthy choices
include not impulsively covering their pain by filling themselves up with some kind of light-filled pleasure.
When they work through the pain or limit, practicing patience, where they observe and feel the problem,
instead of running or distracting from it, they find they are managing their driving energy or emotional
passion of gluttony or “filling up,” or distracting with anything that feels easier, that has more light.
At their low end, with the stress of life unchecked, can come a downward spiral into the gunk, and for
the Joyful adventurer, generally it can look like this; there can be a kind of scattering, which is
rooted in running from pains, feelings of helplessness or limits. A filling up on light (pleasure,)
distractions, and, hearing internal criticisms and perfectionisticthinking which only further contaminate
the helplessness the 7 feels. And so the wheels spin.
Time to hit the internal GPS course correct button, and the healthy “tape,” from the old Jerry Seinfeld
series ….and remember his line that says “Don’t go there.”
In every situation, we get to choose our behavior, and with a deeper understanding of who we are, and
what our patterns look like, we can better weaken the oldbehaviors that do not work for us.
Ultimately, with conscious work- and practice- we can and do break the old unhealthy patterns. By
accepting limits and pain and working them through, sometimes very s l o w l y, Joyful types, or
anyone in this “mode,” can get better at managing their driving energy of “filling up,” with all kinds of
pleasures and plans to distract themselves from the limit or pain.
With patience, the Joyful type gets back to the intersection of their true joy and wise observing,
with its healthy detachment and non judgement… back to their heaven on earth.
Stress is inevitable in our humanness, but moment to moment it is all our choice how we respond. Whatever
the challenges are that you find within your unique personality, the Enneagram can help you with your healthy
responses, which ultimately may have a cumulative effect on our overall health.