Personal Growth Resources
Tools for Going Deeper
We come into the world innocent. Stuff happens. Trauma, drama, injuries, setbacks, and a whole lot more. Happens to everybody.
You have two choices – be the victim, or transcend. If you seek to transcend your wounds, these are some great tools for doing it.
The Enneagram is one of my favorite tools for personal growth. You can learn a lot about yourself and others with it.
It can help illuminate your unconscious behavior patterns. But its real power is in how it points to the way out of that behavior – how to transcend your defense mechanisms.
It defines nine different personality types in three different triads (mind, body u0026amp; heart), of which you are one. Not only will finding your type help you understand yourself more deeply, it can also help you find your own biases and judgments that get in the way of you experiencing somebody else fully.
Here's How to Proceed:
Step 1: Learn more about it
Here’s a good place to learn more about the Enneagram:
- Enneagram at Wikipedia – a good overview and place to start.
- Enneagram Institute – A much more detailed description can be found at this link.
Step 2: Try to figure out your primary type
There are a number of free online tests. The ones I like most are on this page. Start with the shorter ones, then – if there is no clear-cut type emerging, try the longer one.
- Short Test – Answer 50 questions by clicking on a radio button in one of 5 locations.
- Word Test – Respond to how 70 different words describe you.
- Longer test – 131 questions. Goes into more detail. I would do this one if you don’ t get a clear-cut answer in the previous ones. Also, this would be a good one to confirm the shorter tests.
Another really good site – I’ve found this site also has very good information. If you are still unsure after taking the previous tests, this is another great place to try typing yourself. It also has good information about each of the types:
Step 3: Learn your subtype (aka “variant”)
There are three subtypes, including self preservation (aka “self prez”), 1:1/ sexual, and social. These point to how you predominantly seek to interact with the world.
These three subtypes apply nomatter which primary Enneagram type you are. So you could be a 1, 5, 7, etc., and be either a social, 1:1, or self prez type. It’s great to find out, because it makes a significant difference in how your primary type “shows up”.
- Variant Test – A total of 25 questions that can help you determine your subtype. Also, the longer version of the test will help you determine your subtype.
Step 4: See if it’s true for you!
The next task is to learn more about the type, then witness how you are within your own life. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to more clearly see the unconscious behaviors you’ve acquired for dealing with the world.
- The Wisdom of the Enneagram – This is the bible of all Enneagram books. It covers virtually every aspect of it, including primary types, subtypes, and even goes into details on what each type looks like from healthy to unhealthy.
- The Essential Enneagram – Short and concise, the equivalent of the “Cliff’s Notes” version for the Enneagram. Written by David Daniels. He’s done more clinical research on the Enneagram than anybody else.
- Empathy Architects – This is unlike any other automated Enneagram test I’ve seen. Instead of simply clicking “yes”, “no”, or picking from a sliding scale – you actually answer questions in free-form. It then takes you through a series of statements and images to determine your type. It seems to be highly accurate.
The only downside … it’s a time commitment to take it. But I think it’s worth it. And it’ll send you a PDF print-out with your results.
- Truity Enneagram Test – This is a simple test where you read a statement then respond by clicking one of 5 options ranging from “Inaccurate to “Accurate”.
The most powerful tool I’ve come across for growth is meditation – simply sitting quietly and becoming the observer of my thoughts, feelings and emotions.
The Untethered Soul – One of the most approachable books I’ve come across in the way that it describes being awake and conscious. Highly recommended.
Love’s Quiet Revolution: The End Of The Spiritual Search – A beautiful book exploring how to recognize and become unhooked from our thoughts.
Adyashanti – The best instructor I’ve ever heard speaking about Zen, meditation, becoming awake. He combines truth, clairvoyance and humor into his presentations and workshops. A true gift to the work.
I was first turned on to chakras last spring. After a transformational experience on the Grand Canyon, a spaciousness opened up inside of me I’d never known before.
I then sought out a framework and personal tool to use on a motorcycle adventure for deepening and expanding that opening and rebuild my life. It was my friend Peter who suggested chakras. In my experience, it is an incredible way to do this.
There are 7 chakras that – if used properly – can assist you in rebuilding (or doing a makeover of) your life from earth to sky, soul to spirit, the pragmatic to the ethereal.
Because of the space and weight limitations imposed by doing this on a motorcycle, I narrowed my focus to three books – three resources to guide me for almost three months. They include:
- The Pursuit of Happiness: Integrating the Chakras For Complete Harmony – This is a short and concise book that makes a good entry point for the chakras. Plus … it focuses on happiness!
- The Sevenfold Journey: Reclaiming Mind, Body and Spirit Through the Chakras – This is the best workbook I could find for working with chakras. Anodea takes you through a series of exercises – including journaling, visualizations, yoga, etc., for each chakra.
- Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self – This is a fascinating book that makes the ancient chakra system accessible through a western lens. Beautifully written, intricately detailed and imminently practical, this is my go-to reference.