Tuesday, October 20, 2020

my 30s come to an end!

Today is the last day of my 30s!

I am a 7 on the Enneagram, which means that I love to find ways to have fun, I love to plan and anticipate fun, I like variety and expansive vision, and I do not like pain of any kind.

It means a lot of other things too, of course. 

I have known my Enneagram number for more than 15 years, but it was during my 30s that I really started to do any work with it and to learn more about how I instinctively respond to stress, to disappointment, to feelings (mine and other people's), to loss, etc. It is not an exaggeration to say that doing Enneagram work is one of the three most important personal choices I've made in the past decade. And at least one of those other important choices was heavily informed by that work!

The Enneagram is a tool for spiritual transformation, because it enables us to see how our instinctive motivation drives us, and then allows us to make shifts that change our trajectories into more Christlike ways. It has had an impact on my self, my spirituality, my relationships, and my leadership style. It's not a panacea or magic, it's work just like any other inner work, but it is worth every moment of the doing, even when it's hard or painful. And you know that if the pain-avoidant 7 says that, it's really worth it.

Fascinatingly, when I started this 30 day countdown, I did not plan the topics of each day in advance, nor did I choose the poetry ahead of time. Often the topics came to me during the day -- through the various tasks of the day, or the reading of the day, or just out of the blue. Which means that I have not actually picked a poem for this last day of my 30s. It seems like the kind of thing I ought to have done, to choose the end point I wanted to get to...but perhaps it's because it isn't an end, just a turning, that I haven't. 

All the poems I've read this month have been by women, often non-white women, because I think it is important to have a wide variety of literary experiences (and I'm a 7, I want a wide variety of EVERY kind of experience, ever!) to form us into the people we are created to be. But the snippet that keeps coming to mind as I think over these past 30 days and the (hopefully) years to come is actually from TS Eliot. I hate that I'm about to be predictable in my final poetic choice of my 30s, but doesn't it seem just right that 

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time.

I think that is the ultimate goal of Enneagram work -- to lead us through the explorations of ourselves and our relationship to ourselves, God, other people, and the world, so that we can find our way back to the essence of who we are called to be, and live from that deepest reality and truth.

So...happy birthday to me!

my 30th birthday party

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