(This is the third in a series of four blogs about the Enneagram, a tool that can be used to become more aware of the person God has created us to be. Be looking for what might resonate with you in each of the types described We are on a journey together.)
At times of change and transition like we are living in currently, you may find yourself thinking, thinking, thinking. The question becomes “How productive is my thinking?” “Am I going around in circles or am I making forward progress?”
The self-awareness tool of the Enneagram is something God can use in these times of self-observation. The Enneagram is good at giving language to what we are feeling, thinking and reacting to in our own personalities.
In a previous blog,Growing from the Inside Out the Centers of Intelligence for the Enneagram laid the foundation for understanding the basic concept of the Enneagram. A core purpose of the Enneagram is to become whole. We may each have a particular spot on the Enneagram that we naturally find is a home spot. However, we want to find a point in each Center of Intelligence to help us grow and balance our lives more harmoniously and in a better state of health.
As you may have read before, the Enneagram has 9 different points, or different styles of relating, divided among the Centers of Intelligence in threes. This blog will focus on the Head Center of Intelligence – our thinking or mental faculties. A previous blog focused on the Heart Center Growing From the Inside Out – Exploring The Heart Types of the Enneagram, the seat of our emotions.
See if anything in the following descriptors apply to your current pattern of thinking.
The Head Center
The Head Center of Intelligence are the 5’s, 6’s and 7’s. Those of us in this Center usually say, “I think…… The Head Center’s main desire is to make sense of the world. They focus on thinking things through to gain certainty and be prepared. They are most concerned about their safety and security.
Head Center people love to gather information, generate ideas, engage in mental processing and contribute to lots of planning. However, they can get caught up in overplanning, overanalyzing and projecting the worst case scenario.
Because of the desire for safety and security, a common undercurrent here is fear, worry, or even anxiety. Often, this is because nothing is for sure. People here are always aware of potential threats to their well-being. However, each type in the Head Center approaches that threat to their safety and security in very different ways.
The 5’s – The Wise Person
5’s love gathering information. They are glad to work on their own and depend solely on their own resources. They are good at analyzing information for the purpose of developing preventive strategies. Their focus of attention is on what makes sense in the world.
One big fear of 5’s is being depleted of resources, either physical or emotional. They may mix with others for awhile, then draw back to regain their center of equilibrium. They can easily overanalyze situations they are placed within.
The 6’s – The Loyal Person
6’s are the people making those safety and security plans. They create continuous anticipatory scenarios in order to overcome potential problems. 6’s often go headlong into fearful or challenging situations to prove their own courage.
As 6’s prepare for the worst, they are fearing that what can go wrong will go wrong. They and others may not be up to the challenge. Therefore, they scan the horizon and their surroundings for the threats. They often experience that underlying anxiety.
The 7’s – The Joyful Person
In connecting with 7’s, they fear restrictions, limitations, pain and discomfort. As joyful people, they move away from these discomforts by imagining positive future possibilities- and generating lots of ideas.
The difficulties arise in overplanning, getting involved in too many projects. Or they may lose track of time by binge watching shows and escape discomfort in those ways.
Questions for you
This is our exploration into the Head Center of Intelligence.
Did any of the descriptors particularly resonate with you? How and why?
How can knowing that safety and security are important to you make a difference in your thinking patterns?
How might you be able to surrender fear and anxiety a little more as you recognize your own needs? What happens in that surrender?
Please let me know your self-observations in the comments below or by replying to this post in an email.
In the final blog in this series next week, we will explore the Body Center. It is an exciting journey, one that takes a lifetime. This is just the beginning and only the tip of the iceberg.
Join us on the journey
My friend, Amy Warner and I have started a private facebook group, Growing From the Inside Out, where we are posting weekly live updates on information about the Enneagram and practices for you to practice self-observation. These Enneagram practices give you an opportunity to explore the different points on the Enneagram and get to know yourself better. It also lets you have conversations with us and others on the journey. We hope you will join us on this journey.
Nancy Booth wants to create safe spaces for you, helping you find ways to have two-way conversations with God. She loves encouraging you to look for ways He is at work. Nancy is a spiritual director and writer. She would love to accompany you on your journey of discovery to hear and see more of the God who delights in you. Peace, hope and freedom could be yours Contact her today..