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  • Writer's pictureLisa Phelan

Ch ch ch ch Changes

I'm sitting in the back of a taxi. I’ve just missed my flight home out of JFK, and now am heading to Newark Airport to try to make the last flight of the night. Traffic was unbearable on the way down, turning a 2.5 hour drive into a 4 hour drive. And now I am sitting in bumper to bumper traffic again on the Van Wyck, going nowhere. The driver is nervous and keeps telling me we may not make it.

And yet I am calm, peaceful, even grateful. Have I lost my fucking mind? Have I found the ever illusive happiness drug? Am I just completely out of touch with reality?

None of the above... I've been studying the Enneagram intensively for about 3 years. The Enneagram, in simple terms, is a framework for understanding one's own and others' personality. There are still depths to explore, yet what I do know is that it is life changing.

The true intention is not to just understand personalities, but to become aware of the habits and limitations created by our personality structures and ultimately be able to live beyond our personalities. Breaking out of these ego constructs simply allows us to find and be our own selves again.

Sound like a bunch of bullshit? Some new age hippie crap?

My dominant Enneagram type is an 8 - The Challenger, with lust as a passion and anger as a core center. Pre-enneagram me would be raging right now, ready to rip someone's head off and make someone pay for my missed flight. Even poor innocent bystanders who had nothing to do with my misfortune would not have been ignored. I have made many random people cry in airports... And it had nothing to do with sad goodbyes or joyous reunions.

Today, I took a deep breath, said 'this sucks' and asked for help. So far, 5 people have helped me rebook my flight, get the car sorted, and now hopeful their help will bring me home to my family tonight. The driver turns around again with anxiety ridden eyes, 'I'm really trying, I hope we get you there" ...

And I just smile back and say 'I know that you are, thank you!'


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