As Henrieta and I were working on a project the subject of stress came up. We talked about stress and how we each deal with it. Henrieta started to share about the physical and psychological sides of stress and all that it can do to our bodies and our mind. One of the things that she mentioned really stuck with me. She said that stress interferes with our ability to think clearly and that she felt right now most people are experiencing more stress than ever before. Hmmm, maybe that is why there is so much craziness going on around me, no one is thinking clearly!? How do you handle stress? I think that I handle different stressors in different ways. For me, there is not one specific answer.
I was virtually attending an Enneagram group meeting. This group has some of the people that I went through certification with and I was so excited to see them, even if it was virtually. I need to share that sometimes virtual meetings are hard for me. I am an extrovert, a verbal processor and I have a social stance. Basically, I love being with people! So I am working through ways to become adapt to social distancing and the virtual calls and meetings. The meeting was around the different Enneagram subtypes and the associated wings and arrows during the pandemic. The presenter was Beatrice Chestnut an Enneagram Guru! I learned so much that it will take me some time to absorb it all, but there were a few tidbits that I would like to share with you.
Beatrice gave some insights around the idea that “the strangeness of this time is where we need to self observe more.” Look at how you are interacting and responding to people and situations around you and take some time to acknowledge your initial actions and reactions. Notice what is happening and then how are you consciously or unconsciously dealing with it. Make sure that you do this with compassion, No Judgement! Observe!
So the question now becomes, “What is stressing you?” then the next part of the question should be “How are you reacting to the stress?” Once you can figure that out the last part is “Is there a better way?” What I think she is saying is that the more aware you are of yourself and how you are feeling and what is behind the actions that you take the more balanced you can become. Because with awareness comes the ability to understand yourself a little more. She shared “this is a time for inner work and that when you are able to do this work you can be a beacon to those around you.”
Here is a quote from her recent blog that sums this up. “This may be a time of creation through destruction -of moving to a higher octave-a higher growth trajectory- by weathering a shock with consciousness.” In the blog she shares “that although we all are facing very real challenges daily, that we can chose to cope with these difficulties in an intentional way and use them as an opportunity for collective awakening.” She goes on to share 3 different opportunities and how different Enneagram types might respond to them. Here is a link to her blog: https://beatricechestnut.com/2020/04/the-larger-meaning-of-the-global-covid-19-crisis-through-an-enneagram-lens/ I encourage you to check it out especially if you are into Enneagram. See if you can see yourself her summary of responses.
I want to leave you with the ending of her blog, “The current moment has brought into clear focus as never before the reality that we need each other to survive-when we compete and compare we become alienated from the people all around us, but when we collaborate and cooperate we make progress toward a higher state of being and a better world.” I feel that in order to collaborate and cooperate we need to understand why we do what we do and how we are respond to the stress around us. In better understanding our responses we can be more accepting of the way others respond.
In a couple of weeks Henrieta and I will be sharing more about the Enneagram, and how it has helped us in understanding ourselves and accepting those around us.