9 Enneagram body-centered ways to grow

Type 1

Let go of the need to say: “I should improve myself by…,” when it comes to your body. Become aware of how you judge the food you eat, aspects of your body, and all other physical ways you restrict and even punish yourself. Accept yourself as you are. Your body with everything that you view as being “imperfect,” is who you are. The way you are is the way you’re meant to be.

Type 2

Care for yourself. You’re great at caring for others, but today, ask what you’d most like for yourself: a massage, time in nature, a special food… If you’ve set aside the day for yourself, be prepared for that call asking for your help and create that boundary that allows you to say: “I’m not able to help today, but would be happy tomorrow.” If the person asking really loves and cares for you, they’ll accept this.

Type 3

Take time to smell the roses. Sounds simple enough but for motivated, busy Threes it can be much harder to be than to do. Unplug the laptop and without your mobile, go into nature, practice deep breathing exercises, or meditate. You could also take part in a non-competitive sport. Or, read a book that isn’t related to work or self-improvement, (as in The Top Five Things You Can Do to Achieve your Goals).

Type 4

Create a structured routine. While the idea of waiting for your creativity to arise before you take action may appeal, in reality, it’s simply procrastination. (Read the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert it’s brilliant at addressing the issue of avoiding expressing our creativity.) My artist husband sets a timer for himself to paint, otherwise, he quickly distracts himself by daydreaming about what he’s going to paint, etc.

Type 5

Get that body engaged in an activity. Being a great thinker is wonderful, but you need to ground that thinking in the body. So today, run, hike, swim, do yoga, dance or whatever exercise inspires you. Ditto when it comes to eating. Trash that leftover pizza and take time away from work to make a great fresh salad or soup.

Type 6

Take a risk. By that, I’m not suggesting you should bungee jump from the top of your office skyscraper, but rather that you do something unfamiliar. This could be anything from changing your standard lunch order from the pasta salad to the quinoa one, to walking a different route to work, taking up a new sport, meeting a different group of people, or learning a new skill.

Type 7

Find joy in the ordinary. Instead of setting up a string of exciting engagements, try taking some simple (and possibly even boring) task and look for the joy in it. Jack Kornfield wrote a book After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, about how he had an ecstatic spiritual experience but then had to return to the practicalities of daily living. True self-mastery will find joy in every task, from making the bed to washing-up. It’s about being fully present with what you’re doing.

Type 8

Swap working hard and playing hard with allowing yourself time to relax. By that, I don’t mean having drinks with your mates but giving yourself the time for being quiet — for not being in survival mode. Lust is the Passion of an Eight. It drives Eights to constantly live in a space of wanting, I lust for X so I need to work to make it happen. Constantly driving and pitting yourself against the world is exhausting. (Plus, this intensity can scare people off.) Learn then to sometimes relinquish control.

Type 9

Commit to taking up an activity. Slothfulness is the Passion of Nines. This is the inability to show up for yourself and can appear as emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical neglect. As we’re looking at the body/gut today examine how you resist being in the world by being inactive. Look to connect with your body and develop your potential by doing something physical — gym, running, hiking, a walk in nature with friends, all are ways of taking care of yourself.



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Ann Gadd

Ann Gadd


Ann Gadd is in iEQ9 Enneagram Coach, IEA presenter, and author of 4 Enneagram books (incl. Sex and the Enneagram), as well as a children’s Enneagram series.