The Enneagram is a powerful tool for coming to know ourselves and others. Emerging in the mid-twentieth century and refined during the ensuing years, interest in it as a tool for aiding in one’s spiritual growth, understanding ourselves and others, helping to build workplace and other kinds of teams that work well together, and shedding light on the dynamics between spouses, partners, family members, and friends has steadily—and for good reasons!—increased.
In this four-part podcast episode, panelists Jana Riess and Jana Spangler, and Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon share about the Enneagram itself and their experiences with it, but focus most of their attention (beginning in Part 2) on its specific applications to Mormonism, especially the ease or struggles to “fit in” or be rewarded/recognized/valued that typically arise as various personality types and the spiritual development of its members meet up with the church’s truth claims, practices, institutional aspects, and Mormon culture.
In Part 4, the attention shifts to understanding the particularities of the types of spiritual work that would support each personality type as they journey toward wholenss. Each of us have a “shadow” that, beginning in childhood, was constructed to help us cope with a world that wasn’t ideal in every way. Throughout our lives, and generally only when we are “forced” to confront the pain and subtle or very toxic messages we underwent and/or intuited, do we begin to notice and begin to confront these hidden aspects of ourselves. In this process, either undertaken by oneself or through partnership with a trusted therapist of spiritual director, we get in touch with these things that are keeping us back, that cause us to repeat certain patterns over and over even though we know they aren’t serving us well, and, most of all, that hide ourselves from ourselves—our perfect, whole, and beloved and loving soul. It is through this “soul/shadow work” that we heal and see and feel, so much more than ever before, the joy and peace that is our birthright.
521—Part 1. Introduction to the Enneagram and discussion of Types 9, and 1–3
522—Part 2. Discussion of Types 4–8; Discussion of “church fit” for Types 1–4
523—Part 3. Discussion of “church fit” for Types 5–9
524—Part 4. Spiritual work and specific practices to aid all Enneagram Types; God and soul integration for all Types.
We wouldn’t put out a four-hour podcast if it weren’t as fascinating and terrific a conversation that the panelists and Dan had, nor if we didn’t feel the Enneagram were a wonderful tool and set of lenses through which we can better understand ourselves, our church leaders, our congregants (if leaders will listen in here), and, especially, the faith challenges (many specific to aspects of Mormonism) we and others face. Please listen in! As you get started, the prospect of a four-hour listen (over several segments of time, of course!) won’t seem nearly so daunting!
Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile, The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery (IVP Books, 2016)
Suzanne Stabile, The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships (IVP Books, 2018)
Don Richard Riso and Ross Hudson, The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types (Bantam, 1999)
Jana Spangler’s coaching link
Jana Riess’s blog, Flunking Sainthood