Personal Growth

What is the Enneagram and Why Do I Need to Know About it?

The Enneagram has been making the rounds in recent years, and I have participated in some trainings and read a few books about it. I find it to be a useful tool or structure for personal and relational growth, and it’s worth looking into. To get you started, I’ll give you a few of my thoughts on it…

First, the name: “ennea” means nine and “gram” means figure. Thus, enneagram means nine-sided figure. The enneagram is formed by the lines that connect nine different personality types. The types are designated by their number as opposed to a name, which keeps each type neutral. For example, a “three” personality type doesn’t elicit any emotional response whereas an “achiever” personality type can have a negative or positive connotation. So, the enneagram is made up of types one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine. A person’s type is their perspective through which they view the world… think of it as a "lens."

I’m not going to take the time here to write about each type because there are other websites that go into excellent detail about them. What I will say is that finding your type is NOT where the enneagram ends – it’s where it BEGINS! The whole point of the enneagram (and what I find most compelling) is that we are not supposed to stay stuck in our type, but, rather, we are to move between all types as needed. This is a dynamic structure that encourages growth and change.

Further, to fully know your own type you actually have to know five of the types. Here’s where it can seem complicated, but stay with me! You have your main number: your "lens." That main number is connected to two other numbers (see the figure). If the main number is the "lens," the two numbers connected to that lens are the modes of operation: a safe mode and a stress mode. So, now you have three numbers to describe yourself. To make it even more nuanced, you have two wing options. The wing is the number immediately to the left and right of your main number. For example, the wings of a type 1 personality are 9 and 2. Now you have five numbers to describe yourself!

Learning the enneagram can feel like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hydrant at first. Don’t be intimidated! It really is a lot of information to take in, so give yourself some time to digest it. You will absolutely need to go over the types multiple times for the information to stay with you. And let me encourage you to stick with it because I believe it’s worth it!

The enneagram identifies more than strengths and weaknesses – it identifies our motivators. When we know why we do what we do we have greater understanding and compassion for ourselves and for others. Ultimately this understanding can lead to change – and that’s really good news! The enneagram provides language to discuss some hard-to-reach subject matter. This is what makes the enneagram worth knowing.

If you are interested in learning more about the enneagram, feel free to reach out to me or to Mat Yelvington who is trained to give the WEPPS enneagram assessment.

Also, Mat and I are leading an enneagram workshop for couples on Nov. 2nd and would love to see you and your spouse there! Click here for more information.

Questions? Feel free to email Mat or me!

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Failure to Launch

In 2006, a movie called Failure to Launch starred Matthew McConaughey as a 35-year-old man that was still living at home with his parents.  Failure to Launch is a rom-com that seemed incredibly ridiculous in 2006, and it made for some good laughs. But now in 2019, it seems that failing to launch has become an epidemic, particularly with young men.

Martha Irvine points out that “federal statistics show that young men are, for instance, nearly twice as likely to live at home with their parents than young women their age. They're also less likely to finish college, or to have a job.” So, what is plaguing our boys, why do we find that so many of them are having such a difficult time launching into adulthood? 

The answer is, quite frankly, there are many reasons for this: influence of/obsession with social media, a public school system that is not adequately preparing boys for their future, a devaluing of masculinity in our culture, etc. But it seems one tangible issue that we can practically address is teaching our boys that failure is okay

Michael Simon, a licensed marriage and family therapist says, "I could go on and on about kids in third grade with four tutors - or parents doing the homework for them. At every turn, the parents are there trying to put some kind of helmet on their kid, metaphorical or otherwise.  These parents are well-meaning, but they end up short-changing their children because they don't know how to fail, or to bounce back from failure.” 

The reality is failure is simply part of life - it is one of the greatest teaching tools.  Henry Ford reminds us that “failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”  We become smarter and more resilient people when we are allowed to fail.  So, parents let your boys fail, because when you are letting them fail, your letting them learn.

 If you have a young man in your life that has failed to launch and is ready to move forward, we can help. Contact Mat Yelvington at 713.987.3161 ext 107.

Online Men's Group

Men, do you have a group of guys that you meet with that challenge you to be a better man?  Most men simply do not have the time or connection to be a part of such a group.  We want to help! Join an online community that of men that will be meeting regularly to discuss the challenges they face in their jobs, marriage, family, etc.

Individuals will be grouped into communities of 6-8 guys. The great thing about this community is you do not have to leave your home to participate! This group will meet online in the evening after you have put the kids to bed and you have some time to connect with other guys who are in the battle with you.  

This group will be led by Mat Yelvington, a small business owner, entrepreneur, and coach. Mat has been helping people reach their goals in life for the past 20 years.

Email Mat Yelvington for more information or to sign up.

Enneagram Workshops

Do you desire to have a better understanding of yourself and the people you love around you? Have you ever wondered why you or the people you love behave a certain way? Part of the reason we all do what we do is because of our personality that begins developing from childhood. With better understanding, we can grow personally, creating healthy relationships with those around us.

Decluttering... For Your Health!

Most often, when we hear the word “decluttering” we tend to envision the scary, forgotten about corners in our home filled with bad gifts, decades old clothing, or old instruction manuals that we just know we will dearly need one day. On a day when we are feeling particularly brave, we may muster up the strength to clean out and categorize these forgotten items, only to find ourselves back in the same predicament in a matter of weeks. So if decluttering is a goal that continues to be important, why is it so hard to maintain?

Beauty in the Eye of This Beholder

Recently I visited "The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta" exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. I should start by saying that I have no fashion education, and I am quite certain this limits my ability to truly appreciate the art I witnessed. So, I ask those well versed in the world of fashion to please forgive my potentially amateur observations.

The Burden of Politics

Burdens. That’s what I see most of the time in my office – people carrying heavy burdens desperate to find rest and peace. This is my work, and what I have done for the past 10+ years is meet hurting people in their dark moments and support them to a place of strength. I’ve been doing this for over ten years, but I have to say that the last six months or so have been different.I’ve seen a new burden and have been hesitant to speak to it, and when I say what it is you’ll know exactly why I’ve been reluctant.