Enneatype Nine

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55 Comments on “Enneatype Nine

  1. Hello Nines! I can’t wait to hear from our wonderful big group of Nines. I can’t wait to hear about your work with wings and subtypes!

  2. Greetings Fellow Nines,
    It is remarkable that Nines represent a large percentage of participants in this “Enneagram and Spiritual Direction” series. Perhaps we Nines have given up so much of ourselves to be what we think the ‘other’ wants us to be that we find a loss of connection with ourselves (personalities) as well as our Essence, or true self. If this is so, we would indeed experience a deep hunger to do this inner connection work. I find that super encouraging. We are ready to claim our place on the Enneagram and in the world. Yes! I hope you celebrated your ‘sloth’ on International Sloth Day yesterday:-)

  3. Haha! That is a wonderful day to celebrate! I found it interesting too that so many 9s are represented. I’m accustomed to being the only one in the room.

  4. I had an interesting discovery this week and was interested in your thoughts.

    I’m a 9w1 SO (and also an INFP). After taking it myself, I asked my brother to take the quick test with subtypes. Of note: he is 11 months younger than me and we were essentially raised as twins. To my astonishment, he is *also* a 9w1 SO (and an INFP!).

    What is the likelihood of that? Do you have any experience with sharing the same type with a sibling?

      • I do think so… Although he’s a bit quirkier and technical, maybe he’s a SP? Anyway, it’s really fascinating!

  5. Hi all! Thought I’d check in and keep the conversation going a bit. I am a 9w1 SP. It’s my experience that my Self-Pres instinct is one of the really huge aspects of how I get stuck. Tuning into comfort and avoiding what I might perceive as a big energy output are the things that can keep me from engagement in life. My awareness of this SP stuff has really helped me overcome those moments when I might easily slip into deactivation and self-forgetting.

    • I applaud your self awareness! As a fellow 9, I find it utterly fascinating to read and hear the experiences of other 9s who struggle with self-forgetting. I didn’t even see that as a strategy before this program, I just thought it was a handy skill for managing conflict and supporting group cohesion! 😀

      I’m curous about the ways you might see an overlap in 9 self-forgetting and SP coping strategies.

  6. Good to read you on the forum,
    Jennifer, I would be interested in knowing your reaction, your feelings upon learning that you and your brother seem so intimately connected. To show up virtually identical on the Enneagram and the Myers-Briggs is remarkable indeed. My experience is a bit different, and I’m not sure I trust it. I gave my Mom the Enneagram assessment. That is I read her the questions and the responses, then entered these for her because the computer technology was too much. My jaw dropped when she came out a Nine, as I don’t see us as being alike at all.
    Kathy, that SP instinct is so very powerful. That was made so evident in Richard’s story of Henri Nouwen. I met him at a protest action at the Nevada Test Site many moons ago. I remember him leaning against a railing and resembling a dry branch or twig in winter, that is to say, a bare, brittle entity. Yet, as he started talking his body gradually came to life. It was most remarkable. But I digress. Nouwen, who is not a Nine, shares much in common with us Nines: that profound disconnection between our personality and our essence. Talk about a tragic gap!
    As I worked at discerning my instintual variant, I went through the gamut. At first, I thought I was a SX, because I have a strong preference for one-on-one connection. Then, the SO had appeal, because I have good social skills. Indeed, most people think I’m an outgoing extrovert. Finally, I had to accept that I am of the SP variety even though I didn’t want to be one. See how that resistance of the Nine shows up! This was confirmed in a profound way recently by my 93 year old Mom. I knew that she had been unable to breastfeed me, and that I refused formula. I had never heard that my parents were afraid I wasn’t going to make it. They thought I was going to die. Wow! That was a stunning and critical piece in the puzzle that I am. Talk about self preservation. So, I am with you, Kathy, that plays a huge role, largely unconscious, in the choices I make, in how I live my life. I look forward to exploring this more during this webinar.

  7. Oh, sorry to leave a second comment after my last lengthy post. My biggest take-away from the first session pertains to the flow Richard was explaining. Similar charts appeared at this past spring’s Enneagram as Mirror to the Soul series. At the time, on the forum, I could sense that some Nines had a good sense of that flow, whereas I did not. Apparently, incubation is important as I could see this flow in my life so clearly.

    When it first became clear I am a Nine, there was a disconnect. I had always identified myself as a head person. Not long ago, a person told me I lived in my head. She was right even though I felt resistance (oh no, not again) to her description of me. Now, can see that my life has been a counter clockwise movement on the enneagram. So, when it becomes so clear that I need to move from the gut space to the heart space, I have to come from the head space. In other words, I have a long way to go: from 6 to 9 to 3. This sounds quite linear, whereas my limited awareness of that movement is not.

    I wonder if other Nines have had a similar experience?

    • Indeed! I do too. I’ve always thought of myself as a floating head (with no body attached), so the “gut” part of Nine surprised me. What I’m discovering (especially talking to people in the Head triad) is that I’m mostly checked out mentally, rather than actually thinking. Or I’m obsessing — which, although a mental activity, stems from incredible fear at a gut level.

      In case that’s helpful!

  8. Dear Nines,
    The above posts were intended more by way of introduction. I never quite understood the Nine’s “Talking Style”: Saga. However, I can see it clearly now (haha). I am now moving into our first assignment based on the resources Gwen has so kindly provided.

    It is clear to me that I have a One Wing. This Wing led me to re-evaluate my path in retirement, a path desiring more purpose, a path sustained by ongoing spiritual practices (centering prayer, Enneagram, Feldenkrais), and a path aimed at satisfying some of the curiosity I have about the dying process and death. My One Wing both motivates and supports.

    9W1 are described as more attentive, more punctual, more precise than 9W8. This is clearly the case with me. I like being punctual, arriving early so that I have some time for a transition. I notice small things such as lights left on, how the dishwasher is loaded; and larger things such as which person in the room is using up the space for conversation. I’m often either surprised or frustrated when people don’t notice things that seem so obvious to me.

    While 8s are often seen as scary or overwhelming to many 9s, I can see that my 8W is necessary if I want to come to terms with power, authority, and autonomy. That 8W will give me more confidence in my self and in the course of action I select.

    That’s about it for now. Thanks for wading in with me.

  9. Dear Nines
    I am quite new with the Enneagram. As I walk through this first session I’m more convinced than ever that I am a nine.. I do not like conflict and division. For example (I don’t mean to get political) this week I just want to hold up a sign to the U.S.

    “Either way
    We will be O-kay”

    In reflection on my wings I really appreciated Dr. Tom LaHue’s reflection on Wings. If I am passionate about a cause I will step towards an eight. But most of the time I find myself as a one trying to be as prudent and helpful as possible without upsetting anyone.
    I find myself in all three instinctual subtypes I started claiming SO as my subtype until I went for a walk today. I did what Richard encouraged us to do. I use what we learned and started working on that one personal discernment or “tragic gap”. I stopped and lean my head back on a tree I let the sun shine warmly on my face. I then found myself soon going into prayer and asking Lord what do you want. Should I move or stay. Lord I want to do your will. I then ask myself should I be asking what does Mark want rather than what does God want for Mark? As a nine do I want to simply conform myself to someone else’s agenda? My favorite part of the Our Father is “Thy will be done” What I want more than anything is to do God’s will and to someday hear the words: “Well done good and faithful servant” I’m not sure what instinctual subtype that would fall under. I’m thinking a SX.
    I love the prayer that Richard used from Saint Ignatius on surrender. I use it quite often in my personal prayer. But how does a nine look at this prayer in a healthy way?

  10. Mark,
    Thanks for your post to the Forum. I applaud your interest in growth and transformation as evidenced by your willingness to dive in. Nines definitely avoid conflict at any cost. Another clue is found in our Passion (really the barrier living out our lives fully), which is Sloth. Omgoodness, I was in a group of Nines when we learned this. We looked at the Passions of the other eight types, and thought they have nothing approaching the ugliness of sloth. Our teacher eventually suggested we embrace our sloth:-) So, sloth has come to mean disengagement to me. So, if you see yourself as holding back, hanging out on the sidelines, resisting maybe, and certainly just not engaging with your life, this would be a good indication you’re a Nine. If so, welcome to the tribe.

    It sounds as if you haven’t nailed down either your wing or your instinct. Most Nines I know, including me, tend toward a 1 wing. 9w8 have quite a bit more energy than 9w1.
    So, you may want to discern that. Also, have you taken those short tests to determine your instinct? They identify your wing also, so that is good info.

    I am a 9w1. I’ve played around with the instincts. Initially, I thought I was sexual. However, one on one conversations can scare me, because there is no way out. I’ll have to engage. Also, that sexual instinct is characterized by intensity, which is definitely not me. So, I went to self preservation. This seemed (and still seems) to fit given my biography. My mother couldn’t breast feed me, and I wouldn’t take formula. My parents thought I was going to die. Doesn’t that scream self pres? I have enough other ‘dehumanizing’ experiences in life, that I have an almost reactive need to hold on to whatever resources I have. It can make me feel like a stingy son-of-a-gun. However, I have taken the test seven times now. It consistently identifies me as a 9w1 SO.

    Mark, this is something you may run into as you pursue your Enneagram path. We so want to be something that we’re not, especially Nines. I don’t think of myself as social. I tend to avoid lots of social activity (social distancing has not been nearly as hard for me as for many others). I like this distinction between introverts and extroverts that asks how we recharge our battery. My wife’s energy level goes up the longer we’re in a social situation. She is an extrovert. Mine is pretty good for a couple of hours, then the battery starts draining, often quite rapidly. Yet, yet, most of my friends and acquaintances say I’m totally social. So, what am I fighting here? What is my resistance to accepting this? What do the tests say about your instinct?

    Let’s keep the conversation going. Perhaps, some other Nines will jump in also. Helps to keep this forum lively and contributes to our own participation in growth and knowledge.

  11. Robert

    I took your advice and did the test. The second instinct test. My results showed that I am a 9W1 – SX. The result was quite strong. Thank you for the advice.
    I can relate to you when you shared about getting exhausted in a social gathering. I’m am an introvert and I also do well in the first two to three hours but after the meal I can start feeling exhausted. This depends upon the day. If I had to give a lot of myself to others during the day I have little energy left. Clearly one on one social gatherings exhaust me faster than a group setting.. Most people would see me as social and a extrovert.

    Question to all you nines.
    Do you see yourself as a introvert?
    Do others agree?


    • If I want to replenish my soul, being alone is The Best Medicine for me. By that definition, I am an introvert. But people around me act shocked when I say this. They tell me I’m “so good with people,” so kind, warm, and friendly. In truth, most social interaction (even with loved ones) takes incredible effort, energy, and constant attention to ensure they’re all okay. The conversations I enjoy most are one-on-one because they feel safer. I can focus in on one person. Although I love presenting, teaching, and leading in front of literal groups, the chitchat beforehand and after gives me hives. So, introvert, for sure, but I can act extroverted. I just have to lie down for a while afterward. 🙂

  12. Mark,
    Good on you for taking the test. I had a sense you might be more of a w1 than a w8 based on your post above. Then a 1 to 1, or sexual instinct. Yet the one on one conversation exhausts you, and most people see you as being social. This really fascinates me. We both have a sense we’re not social, and others see us as being totally social. I don’t know what to make of that dichotomy!? And I am curious to know if other Nines experience this … or not?

    Richard suggested we take the instinct test several times, at different times of the day. It will likely confirm the first result, and you might want to give it a whirl.

    Btw, “The Wisdom of the Enneagram” reminds us that “the Enneagram does not put us in a box, it shows us the box we’re already in – and the way out.” I find this super useful as I reflect on things I’m learning about the Nine … or the Six, which is what my wife is.

    Yes, indeed, fellow Nines, step right up:-)

  13. So, I am focused on my Courageous Question or Tragic Gap, at least the one I picked during the webinar.
    When I complete a task, I would like to feel satisfied, accomplished, happy. Instead, I perform the task dutifully, often well, yet I feel no sense of accomplishment or satisfaction.
    Perhaps, I have chosen something too large, because that Tragic Gap looks like the Grand Canyon to me.
    Another example of this might be going to a social gathering (not in the time of Covid, mind you). I appear to be social and engaged. Yet I come away without feeling connected or joyful.
    There is a profound disconnect.
    I will move this around the Enneagram in another post. This is long enough for now.
    Thanks for hearing me out.

  14. Robert
    I can relate to what yo said about finishing a task and not feeling a sense of accomplishment,
    I find myself doing the same to a degree. I feel I do not let myself stay in the sense of accomplishment, I may be there for a very little while and then I am off to the next task.
    Lately I have really been practicing “being in the moment”

    • That’s a great noticing, Mark! I’m curious if you know what you’re doing more recently that’s helping you be more in the moment? Any experiences or pearls of wisdom welcome!

  15. Mark, thanks for posting. It is good to establish the commonality we Nines share. That certainly leaves me feeling a little less alone in the world.
    I’m in process of running my Tragic Gap around the Enneagram. My wife is a counter-phobic Six (meaning if there is anything to fear, she’s going through it), and I have a friend, who is a pretty healthy Three. So I’m trying to imagine how they might respond. Be back with some thoughts on that soon.

  16. Gwen,
    You might be able to clarify/confirm this for me. Today’s Enneathought for the Nine reads: ” Remember that your cognitive error is to seek peace of mind by diffusing your attention and disengaging from your instinctual energy. You become ‘unselfconscious,’ mistakenly thinking that your presence, engagement, and input do not matter. Notice this tendency in your thinking today.”
    Is this suggesting that when I disengage from my instinctual energy, which is social in nature, I am succumbing to a cognitive error?
    I found this a provocative Enneathought given the work we are doing trying to determine our instinctual centers. Thanks in advance for any light you might shed.

    • Hi Robert, that is a fascinating message. I think the idea of disengaging from your instinctual energy as a “cognitive error” is interesting and a bit puzzling. I would think of it as a gut-space, instinctive error more than a head-space, cognitive error. You have all three subtypes within you, so when you disengage it suggests you disengage from all three. Hmmm. Something to ponder!

  17. Ok, I’m going to give this a whirl. Let’s take the Tragic Gap of performing a task and not feeling a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment. That’s me in my Nine.

    The Three would have accepted that the job at hand is one that needs doing, that will add to his/her quality of life. A Three might ask “What’s the most efficient way to handle this?” She/He would likely propose several paths of action, analyze the pros and cons, then select the one that would resolve the problem most efficiently. If new skills were required, the Three would tackle this learning/skill acquisition with gusto. The end result is a strong sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and competence. The Three has achieved.

    The Six has determined what she/he wants – a clean house, say. They will analyze how best to do this. The plan will have plenty of organization, structure, and standards. As the Six checks off the tasks needed to achieve the goal, she/he feels an increasing sense of well-being and satisfaction. Each step brings the Six closer to their ultimate goal. The end result is one of happiness and achievement. My Six likes to sequence her day so that the work comes first, then the fun. So, there is a reward waiting after the work.

    Now, as a Nine, I might choose to ignore that there is any problem. As you know, if the task at hand disturbs my inner sense of peace and harmony, then I will become stubborn, dig in my heals, and wish the task away. Can’t people see my “Do Not Disturb” sign?! 🙂 Heaven forbid I should have to learn new skills. That is going to seriously disturb my Sloth, my goal to remain disengaged. To put it another way, I’m not walking around looking for tasks that need doing.

    To have some peace and quiet in the big picture, I have learned that I better show up. So, I get with the task. Often I’m playing a super long resistance tape as I go about it. Other times, I just do it: dutifully and well. However, I don’t come away with feelings of satisfaction, accomplishment, or competence. It’s something I had to do. Aha! No surprise then that I feel nothing in the end.
    Perhaps a game plan for me is to look at a task, and ask myself with sincere curiosity why that task might be important. Look at how my life might be with the task done or the task ignored. It would be a way of establishing some purpose up front. Then, it’s time to invest in the task. Get it done being mindful to change tapes if the wrong one is playing in my head. Finally, taking time to look around, to assess what my environment looks like now that the task is done. Then, I can give myself an ‘atta boy’ or allow a minute or two to soak in the work done. If that feeling of satisfaction doesn’t arise, it would be a good idea to say something to myself. “I’m glad raking the leaves is done.”

    Well, that’s my initial shot. The other Tragic Gap I was working with dealt with social situations. Perhaps I’ll return to that. I do find it helpful to put this out there. It is a way of engaging with myself in an open, more public (therefore perhaps more accountable) manner. Our reluctance as Nines to engage with ourselves or the world prevents us from growing towards the greater Presence that is our gift and birthright.

    • I am enjoying reading your process, Robert! You don’t seem the least bit slothful to me! 🙂

      • Jenn, you are definitely seeing me in my non Sloth mode. The question for me: can I sustain this over a long period of time? Will I be attentive enough to take breaks when I need them? do something different for a change of pace? It’s not easy being a Nine, is it?
        You are exhibiting that very positive Nine trait of being supportive of another’s path. Thank you.

        • Whenever you get those answers, be sure to let me know what they are. I’m wondering the same! 😀

  18. Well, I’m only just catching up with homework assignments 1-4 and am giggling about the irony of Sloth.

    Wing: I’m fairly certain that I have a Very Strong One Wing because the desire for “precision” (read: pickiness and judginess) has been in me since very early childhood. It often comes from a place of fear and anxiety.

    However, as I mature and become less attached to others’ approval, I can feel some of that Eight Wing energy arise. My work has me engaged in national-level advocacy, and I feel a passion and strength as I stand up for the rights of oppressed people and communities. I really resonate with the Eight idea of being decisive when the moment demands it (I used to be a lifeguard).

    As a peace-loving, harmony-seeking Nine, I confess that my ego resists identifying with either wings as one is too picky and the other too forceful. However, as the saying goes, what you resist persists. 🙂

  19. Ok, Gwen, I have re-read this in light of further Enneagram study. I think the Enneathought writer is saying Nines make a mistake (cognitive error) to “seek peace of mind by diffusing your attention and disengaging from your instinctual energy.” I reversed the sequence, which led to going down a rabbit hole. I wish the author had not used the term “cognitive error,” which sounds as though the Nine had real choice. I tend to think I drift into this almost unconsciously. It’s far more likely that the author is saying “Watch out when your attention starts to diffuse and you start to feel disconnected from your instinctual energy (which is social and in the gut) as you will start to think your presence does not matter.” Now, that feels real. So, Robert, pay attention! I think this is clear now.

  20. Harmony, huh? That’s my gig as a Nine. Of course, by harmony I mean absolutely nothing that would disturb my inner sense of calm, serenity, peace, and quiet …. most of all, quiet. That said, I am living in a very active time (this Enneagram work, Healing the Healers, and Anamcara). That is way more than I would normally have on my plate, yet it feels harmonious. What the heck!? I believe it is because what I might view under most circumstances as frenzy is actually lots of rich activity that aligns with my life’s purpose or meaning. It’s very counter-intuitive for this Nine, yet welcomed with curiosity and surprise (good surprise:-).
    This is definitely my Nine moving towards my Three, where activity is welcomed, encouraged, and sought after. It really moves me from my receptive center to my active center. Some might say, that’s been a long time coming, bud.
    And, if I move to Six, which is often described as disintegration (I’m beginning to understand the limitations of that terminology), I realize that this serious uptick in activity is the balance needed between my receptive state and my active state.
    This is a sweet place to be, and I’m curious to see if I can sustain that balance. My Nine likes to go hang out in a tree in its lovely sloth embodiment. In fact, even as I am enjoying this present place, this period of ‘heavy’ engagement, all that activity does feel aggressive. I’m being aggressively acted upon. Isn’t that just so Nine:-) I might add that this purposeful activity is accompanied by increased engagement with the few people I come into contact with (mostly family), who have noticed it. Hmmm …. things are looking up.

  21. Mark and Rbert (and any other shy Nines reading),

    One of the things I’ve been sitting with is the idea of the Soul Child being the Three. That, at some early point in my life, I couldn’t be the leader, the brave one, the achiever. In fact, I have distinct memories of being shamed for having leadership tendancies. Comments like “Who died and made you boss?” and “Who asked your opinion?” I learned to clam up and follow the group before speaking up. This tends to be worse for girls because leadership in boys is culturally encouraged and celebrated. Not so with girls in my growing up years.

    I was out for a walk in the woods this morning, ambling along looking at the trees and the river. I pondered the idea of my Soul Child and imagined that I put on a Three costume. How would a Three walk, I wondered to myself? What would it be like to reconnect with that lost part of me and truly own it? What I noticed is my shoulders dropped. I felt myself grow a little taller, feel braver, and my stride more confident. I felt *purposeful* in my movement and noticed my speed pick up. Huh! It’s hard to explain it in words, but it felt like a kind of reunion with my true self. I look forward to diving into that concept more deeply next month — I think it holds a lot of potential for healing.

  22. Wow, Jen, this is stratospheric! First, I want to express my sadness that your leadership energies were shut down. It is tragic you were made to live a smaller life than the one you so richly deserve. Like others, and especially Nines, you made the accommodations you had to to survive. Sounds like you have been reclaiming that lost part of yourself. For what it’s worth from the peanut gallery, I had about a two month journal with my Soul Child in the last Enneagram webinar. I would write to him; he would write back. That was a rich experience that I may take up again in the future.

    Second, what struck me about your story is that you came out of your body (so Nine even if we’re not in touch with it) to claim your Three, or your Soul Child. I am deeply grateful you shared your experiential approach to this, which I’m eager to try on for size:-)

    I had a different view of my Nine late this afternoon. I began reading the chapter about Nines in Bea Chestnut’s “The Complete Enneagram,” and started falling asleep. Perfect: falling asleep to myself as all Nines are wont to do. Really, I’m not sure the work gets any better.

  23. So, Nines, I am working hard to discern my instinctual center. At this point, I can see how the SX and the SP play out in my life, and I am willing to accept that my instinctual subtype is SO. I value being in groups and belong to quite a few of longstanding.
    The SO is described by Beatrice Chestnut as being the counter-type. I have belonged to a group of Nines who have been meeting for three, maybe four years every month to six weeks. Covid has put that on hold. Still, each of us sees him/her self as SO. What else would explain meeting for so long?
    This has shown itself in this Forum, I believe. There has been less participation than the last Nine Forum I was part of. Initially, I found myself feeling sad and disappointed, because I am aware how much growth comes from engagement and I have a need for growth. Now, I wonder if I have been wearing blinders because of the Nines with whom I have been associating. I suspect our current group of Nines (Social Discernment) has more variety in our instinctual subtypes, which would help explain less willingness to engage or show up. That is a reality check for me. Anyhow, just a hunch …. about which I am curious. Now, I’ll see about completing my Ennea-Profile.

    • Hi Robert,
      This ability to engage could be a sign of 1:1 as much as a social subtype. If you tend to feel unfulfilled when in big groups (even though you are good at interacting) it could be that you are looking for the closeness of 1:1 connection in a larger group setting. The 1:1 subtype is very engaged and loyal but with specific people, while the social subtype has a strong sense of tribe. I’m not saying you aren’t a social subtype, but it could explain why you feel disconnected after interacting with a large group of people.

  24. Gwen,
    Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Based on how I present myself, I have this sense that both you and Richard are seeing some manifestation of the 1:1 instinctual subtype (SX). Since I have seen myself in the past as either SO (social) or SP (self preservation), this adds to the confusion. I’m noting the ‘fusion’ in confusion, which is clearly a dominant characteristic of SX energy.

    Anyway, I reread Beatrice Chestnut’s description of these three Nine subtypes. In the margins I had made some notations about aspects not applying to me (at least I don’t think they do). SPs are “concrete people … who don’t relate much to abstractions or metaphysical concepts.” SOs are described as “extroverted, expressive, ad forceful.” I don’t feel this although others might beg to differ. I have made no such notations in the section on the SXs.

    So, tentatively, I will act as if my instinctual energy center is SX, or 1:1. I’ll return to my Ennea-Profile, plug this in, then take a look at how this manifests. I must say that this lack of certainty causes a serious disturbance to my inner peace.

  25. Well, quite remarkably, I awoke from a dream this morning in which I had been faced with some sort of choice, a decision to make. It appeared I was in discussion with a “Voice.” The last words I heard were “due diligence.” The sense I got was it mattered less what choice I made than I proceed with due diligence, which sounds a lot like “right action” or the path from Vice to Virtue. Perhaps as amazing is that I trust this Voice.
    It is clear that moving forward with due diligence or right action takes me out of a sort of paralysis or this place of “inner peace” which is actually a place where I fall asleep to the world and to myself. What an exciting way to start my day!

    • This sounds like a really useful personal mantra. It is sort of like my inner message “enough.” It wakes me up from my distracted, spinning state into a place right thinking.

  26. Happy Thanksgiving Nines! The greatest gift I received from a friend this year is this poem. I share it here because, while it speaks deeply to me, it may have a more universal connection to who we are as Nines. I welcome any feedback or insights you may have. In any event, enjoy. I am grateful for this Forum, for those who post, and for those who read.

    On the Occasion of Robert’s Birthday

    I was going to write a tribute poem
    For Robert
    But realized, I hardly know the man.
    Sure a decade of Men’s Group meetings,
    A few hikes,
    Conversations about life, love, loss,
    Shame and death,
    A lot of laughs and hugs,
    Retirement and relationship.
    A beer or two with popcorn and veggies.

    Like I said, I hardly know the man.

    Still, I suspect him of possessing a warm and loving heart,
    Deep curiosity,
    Uncommon kindness,
    And count him among my teachers and friends,
    Certainly wise beyond his many, many years
    And, on the Enneagram,
    Scoring at least a twelve.

    Happy Birthday, Robert!

  27. The latest handouts are very helpful. “Nine Stacks” helped explain why we Nines have a hard time discerning our instinctual centers. Answer: because we “are so out of touch with our instinctual energy.” Nevertheless, as I read the descriptions, the one that stood out was the Social/Sexual stack. My wife later confirmed this best described the person she knows. So, for now, I am moving forward with this sense of myself. And I feel quite reassured.

    The second article, “How to Expedite Personal Development,” has the greatest mantra for Nines I’ve ever come across: Start hustling for wholeness. Are you kidding me!? That’s fantastic!

    Anyway, gotta go. I’m hustling for wholeness. Hope you are also, my fellow Nines.

    • Thank you, Robert! You are such a talented writer – you should write a book titled “Hustling for Wholeness”! Of course, that’s something a seven would plan, start, and never finish!

  28. Gwen,
    I did not know this about Sevens. I understood that they plan, execute while making the next plan(s). You are very consistent in providing encouraging support and helpful suggestions. For this, I remain most grateful. Get to try my hand at animating early tomorrow morning. Yahoo! Must be that Nine hustling for wholeness:-)

  29. Well Nines, I’m going to push forward here. It’s good to just see my thoughts out on paper. It helps me determine if what I’m thinking holds water as I experience life. This assignment to look at ourselves from these different perspectives is quite useful.

    I’m fairly sure I am a 9w1, however, the 8 wing is quite intriguing. At one time in my life, I was a volunteer mediator for the Deschutes County Court System. This is identified as a strength for 8s. This work requires endurance and strength for sure, so I see these characteristics as having significant potential for me, a Nine. Eights bring a lot of energy, passion, and power to their pursuits. Again, taking on some of these qualities would really give some oomph to my life, to the projects and activities, to the relationships that I consider important. Finally, I note that Eights are very capable of making gut based decisions. Nines are most out of touch with their gut. So, this would no doubt lead to wholeness.

    My Self Preservation (SP) instinctual subtype is the least developed. This means I am not very in touch with my anger. I would rather not deal with it preferring to sweep it under the rug or to shut down. Learning to acknowledge my anger and being open to working with it would likely represent a quantum leap in my growth and transformation. Self preservation shows up (or doesn’t as the case is for me) in neglect for what I need, from simple preferences or desires all the way to physical health.

    I have done some work in the Triad of Harmony, mostly through work with my Soul Child at Type Three. For a month or two, I engaged my Soul Child daily in a journal. This was very useful in terms of putting me in touch with qualities I believed I didn’t even possess. I have a friend, who is a healthy Three. At first, in typical Nine fashion, I just tried to merge with him. He could do no wrong. My appreciation of his strengths is now tempered by a realization that his Three has downsides or challenges just as all Types do.

    For the longest time, I have interpreted Six as an area of disintegration. Therefore, I thought I should avoid Six at all costs. That position has softened as a result of this webinar. I’m looking to the positive aspects of Six, which have much to teach me (hey I’m married to a Six!). That said, I don’t need to let myself swirl in self doubt and second guessing. I don’t want to be so loyal to ‘friends’ that I don’t recognize when it’s time to cut the ties.

    So, there you have it. I may have overwhelmed you with all this process, although I hope you recognize bits of yourself in my exploration. Wishing you the best in yours.

    • I am married to a one – my area of “disintegration”! I agree – looking at the positive aspects of our “bad” number has been very helpful! I love adding another voice to my counsel of numbers!

  30. I am just getting caught up with my home work.
    Ministry in the COVID units in a hospital has taken all my energy in the last month or so.. Actually today is my day off and I am giving myself permission to be slothful and rest for some self care.
    I like to make my day effective with a healthy mantra to bring with me on my walk. Today it will be “Lord make me ready”
    Robert I appreciate all the thoughtful messages. You articulate your thoughts and feelings very well.
    Mantra’s were discussed. I would like to ask what are some healthy mantra’s that other nines find helpful in their growth journey?

  31. Mark,
    Thanks for this idea of mantras. This has been touched on before in another SALC webinar and also most recently in the Enneagram Global Summit. Clearly, the mantra is a good way of embodying what we are trying to learn. I wonder, Mark, if you sing your mantra? Apparently the vibrations of our vocal chords help locate the mantra in our bodies. For Nines, who are gut types yet so out of touch with our bodies, this sounds like a super beneficial practice. I’ll get up off my sloth behind and give it a try, noting that I might come to this either by moving to my Three or to my Six. My first mantra is definitely going to be “Hustle for Wholeness,” which may be altered slightly to fit some sort of tune. Maybe brush up my “do the hustle” dance steps and moves.
    Thanks to SALC and Gwen for making this forum available to us. While I was hoping to hear from more Nines, I find myself moving out of Nine-ness to explore the other Types and the gifts they have to offer to the world and to my development/transformation. This has been emerging of late and has certainly been supported by this webinar series, “The Enneagram and Spiritual Discernment.” The most interesting thing is that it has arisen out of my gut, in my body more than in my head. How remarkable and lovely to notice this shift.
    Best wishes to you all as you move along your path.