"I've read this Guide To Getting Out of Boxes for eight weeks now and I still have no idea who I am or what I want!"
Oh thank goodness!
Now I don't feel so alone...
You know, I really wish I could tell you that this journey we are going on is bound for a specific destination, a clearly marked sign-post that will read, YOU ARE NOW ENLIGHTENED. But if such a sign exists, I've never seen it. As far as I can tell, the closest we've had to said sign-posts is some really awesome philosophers who've walked among us throughout history pointing us toward 'the way', 'the truth', and 'the light', but how that manifested on a daily basis is a little outdated even in the best of text.
So sorry to be the barer of this hard truth, but you are going to have to be the one to figure out who you are and what you want. You will have to learn to trust and embrace your own inner guide. You know the one I mean, that inner voice that you have spent so many years trying to silence and shove down, that one?
But that doesn't mean that I don't have some tricks up my sleeve that can help. Pfff, in the immortal words of Cher, "As If?!" (If you don't know where this quote came from you really need to ask yourself if I am the right Life Coach for you...)
Trick up my sleeve #1:
Don't start by asking yourself 'who am I?", "what do I want?" Instead spend some time today writing down who you are not, and what you don't want.
You don' have to have all the answers right now. Just keep nurturing that little part of yourself that is starting to unravel. In my experience, the unraveling itself can be hugely transformative.
In fact, try applying this great lesson I've recently learned from my two-year-old daughter. Whenever she asks for something, before you can even open your mouth, she interjects by saying, "Yes or No?" (Apparently my husband and I are guilty of overthinking our responses)
It's hugely freeing! I've started asking myself this simple, albeit cut throat, question throughout my day.
Do you want to respond to emails or go to sleep? Yes or No?
Do you want to do laundry or go for a coffee with a friend? Yes or No?
Do you want to buy a bigger house or take a risk and spend your days writing and practicing what you love? Yes or No?
Trick up my sleeve #2:
Don't ask for permission to take action.
As scary as it is, you just have to delve in. But that doesn't mean you have to do it alone. There is an entire #transformer community here to support you and encourage you on those days when it feels way too hard, confusing, or lonely.
We've got your back.
Recently I've started making some huge changes in my life. (I will share more about these changes in subsequent blogs) With each passing day I am unraveling more about my true self and finding the courage to let go and become the person I truly am.
It is truly something to break with the status quo, to stand up and declare that you will not lie down and play sheep anymore. It can be hard for the major stake-holders in your life. It can make enemies where once were friends. It can completely dismantle any security and certainty you once clung so tightly to... But in exchange for what...? A life unfulfilled? A life of bitter resentments, polite emotions and crippling stress?
No thank you!
I know what I've chosen...
I hope you will join me.
All that said, if standing up for yourself, speaking out, declaring you voice, is something that you really can't fathom, then you might benefit from learning more about the Enneagram Type 9: The Mediator.
So, here we go. The last type in our 9-part Enneagram series:
Lindsey's Simple Guide To The Enneagram:
A Guide To Getting Out Of Boxes
Type 9: The Mediator
The Little Mediator learned early on that it was not okay to assert themselves. So they learned how to get along, to go with the flow. The biggest fear for the Little Mediator is loss of connection, so they became very adept at adapting their needs to that of the parent, group or loved one.
If you are a Mediator, or happen to know one, you might describe someone who is naturally open-minded, laid back and comforting. But you might also depict a very stubborn silent time, prone to bouts of passive-aggression, who when asked "what's wrong?," will reply with a curt "I'M FINE!" as they retreat to the couch for an extended vege-fest.
Sound like someone you know?
So how does this get in the way of transformation:
1) Hiding from life on your couch/office/behind that extra body fat is not living
2) Just because you've learned to know what people want or need before they even ask does not mean that they are as attentive to your needs. You have to learn to ask for what you want or need.
3) The silent treatment is not winning you any points. You are the one that is suffering.
4) People have stopped asking for your opinion because you never seemed to have one. If you are ready to make a change then stop waiting for an invitation. Oh! And some people are not going to like it, you suddenly having a voice and opinion... Tell them, respectfully, to get used to it.
5) Avoiding arguments and tough situations is not peace. Most rainbows show up after the storm.
6) You have feelings, no matter how much you try to ignore them, and despite what you think they are written all over you.
Dear One, your presence matters.
Your opinions, thoughts, feelings, they all matter.
You and I both know you never stopped having them, no matter how hard you tried to shove them down, hide them, or sometimes eat them.
You are here.
You are alive.
You are deserving of the space you take up in the world.
Your presence matters, Dear One.
Stop pretending you are not affected by what is going on around you.
Your presence matters, Dear One.
Stop going along with what everyone else says, or does, or wants.
What do you want? Or better yet, what do you not want? Who are you not? That passive-aggressive streak in you, that is your road-map to who you are and what you want. And believe me, I can't wait to hear about it! Write and tell me about it here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsey T. H. Jackson xx