At the Root: Self-Discovery over Dinner
A few nights ago, I sat around a table having dinner with a group of women who ground me. Only half of our usual number, the setting was more intimate than usual and the conversation more vulnerable. Through dinner and into dessert, we started to dig under the surface, each woman sharing in a profoundly risky way.
Each one received with empathy, tenderness and encouragement.
No embarrassment here. No shame.
Just a willingness to unearth the real story.
I believe that ultimately this is what we all want - to be seen, fully and completely, scars showing, wounded places received gently. We want to know that in the end we are more the same than we are different. But not just that. As the conversation unfolded, it became woven with another connected need - the need to see and know ourselves honestly and vulnerably. It became apparent as we shared that what all of us really wanted - as I believe is true for most of us - is a deep and profound self awareness.
We are all too familiar with the self we put out into the world. You know the one. It is the self we share on Facebook when only the good and positive sides of our life are displayed for public consumption,.
Where we rarely talk about the job demotion or the trouble our teenager seems to find on a regular basis or the marriage that is barely held together by the thin threads of obligation and fear.
At one time or another, we have all gulped the Kool-aid of social propriety, burying who we really are in exchange for who we are told to be - thin, successful, happy, ambitious.
But there is more. And we know it.
Who we really are is found under the soil of the stories we have been taught to tell about ourselves - stories inked in the indelible lie that we are not good enough as we are, stories crafted in a hand that will write anything necessary in the hope of being accepted and loved and considered worthy. And under that surface, lies a core of wisdom and strength that most of us don’t even remember we have. But we want to remember. Every woman around that dinner table was trying to remember, walking a path of self discovery, searching for what was true and honest and whole at the root of who she is.
Haven’t we all been trying to dig out from under this bullshit for years? Haven’t most of us, at some point, ventured down the rabbit hole of self-improvement hoping that any new revelation about ourselves might lead to our own personal ground zero? But in my experience, it is not that simple. The journey to the root of who we are is not linear and most of us will try any number of tools along the way.
And these women were no exception. As the dinner conversation revealed all the ways we had tried over the years to dig ourselves out, it took an interesting turn for me. I was amazed to discover that we shared a common tool on our journey to self awareness. That tool is the Enneagram - an interesting turn for me because the Enneagram is my jam.
I have been using this tool for nearly 20 years in my own life, and professionally, as a certified teacher. It is a beautiful tool… complex and layered. It encourages a depth of self awareness and discovery unlike any other tool I have ever experienced. The Enneagram is my anchor and my true north, always keeping me grounded while simultaneously pulling me toward a deeper understanding of who I was truly made to be in the world.
But this wasn’t the case for everyone around the table. As we talked about our personal experiences with the Enneagram, the other women confessed that while they had been intrigued, they had also been left without a clear sense of what to do with it. It was as if they were given a hammer and a nail with no idea about how to connect the two. So they did what comes naturally in that situation. They put it down and walked away.
And that just doesn’t work for me. I want everyone to find the freedom and awareness that I have found - and continue to find - as a result of removing the false stories I use to protect myself. So I promised these women at dinner that I would show them. I promised I would help them understand how to use this tool to unearth their truth. I promised that doing so would help them uncover their super power, their true north, their path forward. I promised them that this was a journey worth taking.
And I promise you too.
If you search for self-awareness and want to remember what’s at the root of who you are, I have just the tool for you.. and would love nothing more than to walk along side you as you discover the wisdom and strength that lies just under the surface.