- Kathy Marsak
Nines and Self-Forgetting
Nines are the great harmonizers of the Enneagram – often bringing people together in ways that help avoid conflict and discomfort. That’s great – until it isn’t. Because, like most good qualities, harmonizing can go overboard, and Nines can begin to feel like they have blended in and gone along so much that they have lost themselves, become invisible to others, and worse – to themselves. We all have a bit of Type Nine inside of us, “going along to get along”, avoiding conflict and decisions, and self-forgetting to the point that we “wish we were here” (as we see in the poem Postcard from Home).
How might we practice more presence – the feeling that we are fully inhabiting ourselves…mind, heart, and body? One way might be starting to notice when we are withholding our thoughts and opinions to avoid conflict, and then venturing an opinion without knowing exactly how it might land. It is through cultivating presence that we can truly “be here” for ourselves and others.
Sitting on the deck, bare feet
on the railing, I watch and listen to
this day spilling out its myriad flow of details, one
after another, one on top of another, seamlessly,
with no apologies, not the slightest backing off:
two ruby-throated humming birds
drinking their sugar water, distant dogs
barking, the sudden shriek
of wood surrendering to a neighbor’s power saw,
those boulders poking out of the hillside, another subdivision
materializing on the stripped land across the valley.
Each detail says “This!”
and has always and ever only said “This!”
Wish I were here.
- Postcard from Home, by Al Zolynas