Thursday, August 15, 2013

Misplaced Energy

The enneagram number I identify with most is the 7. 

Sevens are extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous. Playful, high-spirited, and practical, they can also misapply their many talents, becoming over- extended, scattered, and undisciplined. They constantly seek new and exciting experiences, but can become distracted and exhausted by staying on the go. They typically have problems with impatience and impulsiveness. At their Best: they focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied.

Exploring my enneagram number has been enlightening in a way I never expected. I signed up for the "enneathought" email daily, from enneagram institute and received this note a few days ago:

"As a Seven, you identify powerfully with a sense of excitement coming from anticipating future positive experiences at the expense of recognizing your own personal pain and anxiety. Notice this tendency in yourself today."

I have read, and reread that paragraph for days on end. It applies directly to my pattern of excitement, futuristic planning, social endeavors and eventually - anxiety. I fill up my calendar with outtings, events and tasks in a manic sort of way for a week, before I realize I am wrestling with something that is causing me pain or anxiety. Unfortunately, no amount of writing lists in notebooks, or adding events in my iphone will assuage my concerns, fears or emotions.

I am starting to find power in these admissions. I am learning that in order to better myself internally, I have to see myself fully. I need to acknowledge and accept my weaknesses in order to develop the emotional strength I am seeking.

Consider searching yourself for a pattern, a tendency or a need that holds you back from personal growth. We waste too much time wallowing in our established negative patterns and not enough time finding how to acknowledge and correct them. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


The theme of this summer has been Rediscovering Enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm for relationships.

Enthusiasm for work.
Enthusiasm for faith.
Enthusiasm for health.
Enthusiasm for aspirations.
Even enthusiasm for the monotony of daily life.

I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was I have been working towards for the past three months, until last night.

I was driving back from walking my dog on the beach with a new friend and Delilah's easy listening station stopped me on my radio scan. Usually, I can barely stomach 5 minutes of Delilah's optimism and syrupy sweet musings and advice.

But what stopped me was the content of her sticky-as-molasses thought. She was telling her audience to find enthusiasm for life. She discussed how easy it is to lose track of our optimism, our excitement and our joy.

I used to find myself overwhelmed with enthusiasm and thankfulness in Fort Worth. Since moving to Jacksonville, I have let that slip away.

I do not want to let routine, responsibilities, age or my career rob me of that. It is my job to maintain my enthusiasm. It is my job to appreciate my life for the big and the small things. It's your job too.