And The Book of the Year is…

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Happy 2017 to you!  As a certified bibliophile, I always love to learn of “great reads” to help me improve in every way. With a new year being the perfect time for reflection, advancement, and revision, I’d like to throw in my two cents worth on my favorite read of the past year, in hopes that it may help you in your 2017 achievements.

I read a vast array of genres, so I’m taking into account EVERYTHING I’ve read this year. That means fantasy novels to business and marketing to biographies to personal development…everything. And without further ado (did I spell ado right?)…my pick of books read in 2016 is The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery, by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile.

What’s an enneagram, you ask? It is an ancient personality evaluation system similar to the popular Meyers-Briggs and True Colors. Instead of the four letter combinations of the MB, the enneagram uses nine numbers. Most people will fall into one of nine categories which each have their own distinct associated viewpoints and behaviors. Each number will have a wing (one of the two numbers on opposite side of your number. For example, if you are a six, then you will have a wing of a five or seven).

The enneagram has ancient roots that date back to Sufi mystics and Jewish and Christian monks. As a science, it is unprovable (unless someone comes up with a scientific method for mapping human personalities)…but it is very useful. Once you know your number, you get a better idea of what makes you tick. What drives you. What you are most likely to avoid. What are potentially some bad traits within yourself. Yes, learning your enneagram number will reveal both your positive and negative attributes.

What engaged me further with this book are the authors. I first heard both interviewed on The Liturgists Podcast. Ian is an Episcopalian priest and a spiritual counselor. He is also a recovering addict of a few decades. I give mad props to anyone who goes into recovery, BTW. Suzanne is an expert in the enneagram and also comes from a Christian background; though this book should be viewed as a spiritual journey, not a decidedly Christian journey.

Why would anyone want to know or care their number? Well, aren’t we all searching for insight into ourselves? I am. Most everyone I know would benefit from more self knowledge. If you are in a relationship of any sort, it will also help you know your relation better. Once I learned my wife’s number, I was able to relate it to my experiences with her. I learned further why she does what she does, what helps her and what hurts her. I love my wife and having this knowledge, of course, helps me to have more compassion and empathy so I don’t hurt the tender parts of her soul. I’ve also learned, sometimes painfully, how others perceive some of my negative traits. I’ve learned that when I speak strongly, it may be perceived 10 times louder and stronger than I intended…so much that it means I’m being a bully.

 

If you’re just hearing about the enneagram for the first time, do yourself a favor and get a copy of The Road Back to You. I hope it has the same profound impact on your life that it has had on mine.

Wishing you a yours an enlightening and prosperous 2017!

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