Articles

Psychological Strategies for Fitness SuccessPsychological Strategies for Fitness Success

By Ronnie Robertson III

CONSCIOUS HEALTH INSIGHTS: People haphazardly spend money trying to find a solution to their fitness or health problems, only to realize that they can’t buy results without doing the work. Money will only afford you method, but it will not buy you the motivation to train or to do the work necessary to get you to your goal.

Transitioning TimesTransitioning Times

By Deborah Ooten - April 2017

As we experience this time of transition, several ideas stand out in my mind that might have some insight into how we proceed going forward.  I would like to share them with you so that we might continue to draw upon each other in meaningful and fulfilling ways in order not to separate, but rather to be open to all that arises.  Humanity is in a transitional place.  If we look around us, we can see the many areas of our lives that offer us reference points for change.  Yet many/most of us do not know how to influence that change.  

The Cutting Edge of Healthcare: Going Beyond Western Medicine and Traditional Holistic Healing...The Cutting Edge of Healthcare: Going Beyond Western Medicine and Traditional Holistic Healing...

By Beth O'Hara

CONSCIOUS HEALTH INSIGHTS: We have entered a new era of healthcare with personal genetic data now easily and inexpensively accessible. (Currently, 23andme.com provides a home test kit for $99 and provides more genetic data than any other labs through their raw data report.) 

The Higher Mind and The Opened Heart: The Holy Ideas and VirtuesThe Higher Mind and The Opened Heart: The Holy Ideas and Virtues

By Ron Esposito - March 2017

This article is a distillation of all my previous writing on the Holy Ideas and Virtues of the Enneagram. Quotes are from “The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues” by Sandra Maitri.

10 Reasons Every Home Should Have An Essential Oil Diffuser10 Reasons Every Home Should Have An Essential Oil Diffuser

By Ronnie Robertson III

CONSCIOUS HEALTH INSIGHTS: If you’re no stranger to the OiL JUNKiE Lifestyle, you’ve probably already read a recommendation or two about using essential oil diffusers to improve your health, increase your energy, or to help you sleep better. The fact is, these handy little devices are great for all of those things and more. While the list of possible uses for a diffuser is quite extensive, we’ve narrowed it down to (what we consider to be) the top 10 reasons to own an essential oil diffuser and use it every day. 

It’s February: Let’s Talk LuvIt’s February: Let’s Talk Luv

By Bonnie Brinkman - February 2017

In committed long-term relationships there are often two realities occurring simultaneously: in one, there exists negativity between partners and this negativity contains irritations, disappointments, hurt feelings, etc.; in the other, there exists love, care and positive regard between partners, and things that are said/done for each other that are kind and thoughtful.

Taking Charge of Your HealthTaking Charge of Your Health

By Beth O'Hara

CONSCIOUS HEALTH INSIGHTS: I have personally dealt with chronic health issues for more than twenty-five years have made significant progress in healing. Many people ask me about what has made the biggest difference. More important than any specific treatments have been my outlook and perception about my health. In this article, I highlight some of the foundational factors to healing which have made significant differences in my own healing and for those who I have coached in my holistic health coaching practice.

Cradled Energetic Exploration for all TypesCradled Energetic Exploration for all Types

By Karenna Shanti Miller - January 2017

In February, we will begin a new, five-part series at CLC that invites you to be held, to relax and to unfurl. You might think of it as water to what worldly existence leaves parched. This is a place where you are welcome to release, heal and express whatever flows through you. As part of registration, please share your Enneagram type if you know it, so we can best support you.

Therapeutic Food Grade Essential Oils & Some Ways to Use ThemTherapeutic Food Grade Essential Oils & Some Ways to Use Them

By Ronnie Robertson III

CONSCIOUS HEALTH INSIGHTS: I began using doTERRA essential oils a few months ago and am continually amazed at the number of applications that they have.  Every day I encounter another use for these amazing oils all the while supporting natural health and balancing my body.  Essential Oils have been used for many thousands of years in various cultures for medicinal and health purposes. Essential oil uses range from aromatherapy, household cleaning products, personal beauty care and natural medicine treatments. Therapeutic Food Grade Oils are the only oils that should be used internally and must be recognized as a nutritional supplement. 

Listening to the EnneagramListening to the Enneagram

By Alan Hundley - December 2016

In the early 1990’s I was a participant at a body work seminar on the Trager Approach.  At dinner one evening there was mention of a type of psychological profiling called the Enneagram.  The young woman who mentioned it didn’t give too many details.  I recall she compared it to the Myers-Briggs personality profile with which I had a cursory knowledge.

Dealing with Pain, Loss, and Grief and Impacting Change: Lessons from the EnneagramDealing with Pain, Loss, and Grief and Impacting Change: Lessons from the Enneagram

By Beth O'Hara

CONSCIOUS HEALTH INSIGHTS: Change and the pain it can bring are both a given in life. When we resist what is causing pain, our suffering increases. To decrease suffering from pain, we must surrender to the pain and to the changes around us. These practices from the spiritual path of each of the nine Enneagram Types help us deal with physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual pain regardless of the circumstances.

Saying Yes Where You Are saying NoSaying Yes Where You Are saying No

By Neil Anderson - November 2016

In my continuing work with Enneagram and self, it safe to say that the territory and landscape is getting more interesting,entangled and rich with the unexpected. I resist the temptation here to become too subjective,making this all about my story but rather hope that it finds resonance with all readers regardless their type and that whatever truth needs to come will in time do so for them.

9 Reason to Exercise & Workout with Your Partner9 Reason to Exercise & Workout with Your Partner

by Ronnie Robertson III

CONSCIOUS HEALTH INSIGHTS: 1. Couples who workout are physically congruent.  Okay, we have all seen it, extreme versions every day of couples that just don't fit.  No one says couples have to look alike to succeed in love, but physicality is sometimes a whole other category.  2. Sex is better for couples that workout.

Letting Go ConsciouslyLetting Go Consciously

By Deborah Ooten - October 2016

Letting go is difficult. Whether we are talking about a season, an old habit or even a relationship, letting go is hard to do. Yet there comes a time in our lives when we know that something must be released for us to continue on the journey to wholeness.

Conscious Eating: Nine Enneagram Strategies for Nourishing Your Body, Heart, and MindConscious Eating: Nine Enneagram Strategies for Nourishing Your Body, Heart, and Mind

By Beth O’Hara 

CONSCIOUS HEALTH INSIGHTS: Part of living consciously is eating healthfully. Food is energy for our bodies and also fuel for consciousness. The quality of our food directly impacts the quality of our consciousness. Have you ever eaten something really bad for you like greasy fast food or lots of processed sugar and then felt awful afterwards? What happened with your thoughts and feelings? Many people will take a dive mentally and emotionally after eating processed foods.

Back to SchoolBack to School

By Bonnie Brinkman - September 2016

In our household, back- to- school activities have already reduced the fun and relaxed time we spend together in the summer.   “Do it now” is popping up where  “we’ll do it tomorrow” used to reside.  There are now tighter schedules, anxiety about completing work tasks, difficulty getting enough rest each night, wondering if there’s enough food in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunches.  Summer left too soon, and so is the sweet, slow time I had with my beloved.

The Secret to MotivationThe Secret to Motivation

By Ronnie Robertson - August 2016

If you were to look up the definition of "motivation," it'll tell you that it "is a psychological feature that induces an organism to act towards a desired goal and elicits, controls, and sustains certain goal-directed behaviors."

Inner Observer PracticeInner Observer Practice

excerpted from “Consciousness Ascending”

by Deborah Ooten, Ron Esposito, and Beth O’Hara

If we want to stop doing the things that keep us limited and suffering, we have to develop practices that support us in conscious shifting of our lives.  Our practices not only support our own evolution but evolution overall.  The more we loosen our individual constrictions, the more we are able to support and uplift everyone we come into contact with.  Practice is a positive feedback loop.

Fight, Flight or Breathe: An Easy and Effective Stress Reduction MethodFight, Flight or Breathe: An Easy and Effective Stress Reduction Method

By Beth O'Hara - July 2016

It is Friday afternoon. You are hungry, tired, and driving home in rush hour traffic. The driver in the lane next to you is talking on a cell phone and oblivious to the slow down ahead. The driver swerves, almost hitting you. Your adrenaline rises, breath becomes shallow, and shoulders are immediately tense. By the time you get home, you are on edge for two hours until your body calms down.

Living In My SkinLiving In My Skin

By Ron Esposito - July 2016

I have been working with the Enneagram as a tool for self-observation and transformation since 2005.  I can remember reading “The Essential Enneagram” by David Daniels and contemplating what type I was.  I saw aspects of myself in a number of the types and when talking with my girlfriend about this she suggested that I look more closely at Type One: The Judge, Perfectionist, Reformer.  From her experience of me she was dead on in regard to my type.  Eleven years later here are some observations about living in my skin particularly when I am in type.

Conscious Health Insights Inflammation & Joint PainConscious Health Insights Inflammation & Joint Pain

By Ronnie Robertson - June 2016 

Many different conditions can lead to painful joints, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout, strains, sprains, and other injuries. Joint pain is extremely common. In one national survey, about one-third of adults reported having joint pain within the past 30 days. Knee pain was the most common complaint, followed by shoulder and hip pain, but joint pain can affect any part of your body, from your ankles to your shoulders. As you get older, painful joints become increasingly more common. Joint pain can range from mildly irritating to debilitating. It may go away after a few weeks (acute), or last for several weeks or months (chronic).

The 2016 Presidential Election Politics and Consciousness: How can you make a difference?The 2016 Presidential Election Politics and Consciousness: How can you make a difference?

By Beth O'Hara and Deborah Ooten - June 2016

The 2016 US Presidential Primaries are creating quite a stir with huge divides occurring around the economy and jobs, terrorism, immigration, climate change, criminal justice, health care, education, religion, and social issues. These rifts are creating palpable stress, interpersonally and socially.

Navigating New Territory in Self Work and the EnneagramNavigating New Territory in Self Work and the Enneagram

By Neil Anderson – May 2016

As professional bodyworker (Massage Therapist) I am often with clients who desire a change of some sort from their current state. Usually feelings of discomfort, fatigue, or chronic pain accompanied by the attendant conundrum of how to be free of constriction is the general case. Often it is not so much old age as old habits that contribute to or cause their discomfort. Though this may be the usual presentation in Massage Therapy, isnt this also true for all types of self work?

Spring Cleaning and...Spring Cleaning and...

By Courtney B. Miller – April 2016

“Life is a journey, not a destination” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of my favorite times of year is the spring in Cincinnati.  The weather begins to warm up and so do I!  Invariably there’s an urge to purge.  It isn’t planned on a particular day; but every year the need to do a spring cleaning emerges from deep within and feels quite necessary.

Joint Pain & InflammationJoint Pain & Inflammation

By Ronnie Robertson - March 2016

Joints form the connections between bones. They provide support and help you move. Any damage to the joints from disease or injury can interfere with your movement and cause a lot of pain.

A Winter Practice Of IntentionalityA Winter Practice Of Intentionality

By Bonnie Brinkman and Darcy Jack - February 2016

Valentine’s Day in Cincinnati tends to be a cold day to celebrate love. Perhaps the winter chill gives us an opportunity to reflect on the warmth generated by giving and receiving love. There’s nothing cold about that.

Happy, Healthy and Whole - Suggested Resolutions to increase consciousness and harmonyHappy, Healthy and Whole - Suggested Resolutions to increase consciousness and harmony

By Deborah Ooten  - January 2016

In these changing times it is important to develop strategies for staying positive. Because we tend to want things in life to be certain, change can bring stress and unhappiness. If we keep our attention focused on the present moment we will be in the flow. Creating flow experiences in our life allows for a more present moment awareness that creates space and harmony for life to unfold without resistance.

The Heart Reoriented: The Enneagram of VirtuesThe Heart Reoriented: The Enneagram of Virtues

By Ron Esposito - December 2015 

The Virtues are essential qualities of the opened heart and as we allow them to arise in us they are a channel for self-transformation.  The Virtues are the antidote to the Passions, root causes of suffering.

 

Lessons Learned on a Healing JourneyLessons Learned on a Healing Journey

By Beth O'Hara - November 2015

I remember reading some wise advice several years ago: Don’t tell your mechanic what you think is wrong with your car, but be sure to tell your doctor what you think is wrong with your body.

 

The Narrative Approach of The Enneagram As A Template for Discussions On RaceThe Narrative Approach of The Enneagram As A Template for Discussions On Race

By Neil Anderson – October 2015

It can be said that in many ways that the world is becoming smaller. Almost no one can escape the occasional sense that not only are things "speeding up" but a deep sense of encroachment upon everything from privacy to cherished beliefs accompanies this acceleration, real or perceived. As this mosaic of differences bring many points of contact- cultural, linguistic, genderal, racial to name a few,especially where there has been little or no previous contact, it becomes apparent that our choices at that membrane of contact make all the difference. It is here that the Narrative approach to the Enneagram can perhaps serve as a powerful tool.

From Conflict to ConnectionFrom Conflict to Connection

By Bonnie Brinkman, MA and Darcy Jack, MA, MC - September 2015

When couples arrive in an Imago therapist’s office, or when they attend a weekend workshop, they are often in a soup of anger, sadness, despair and disillusionment- the power struggle. Newlyweds, old timers, and those in between, wonder if they will ever feel the kind of love they had in the beginning. They often wonder if they should cut their losses, and find fulfillment with someone who offers one more chance at the love and security they long for.

Panel Day and Enneagram Type ObservationsPanel Day and Enneagram Type Observations

By Courtney B. Miller – August 2015

Each “Panel Day” I am always excited to observe the different types and learn more about others and myself.  This last Panel was no different with the exception that I was on the Panel this time – something I’d been trying to avoid for years.  I am not scared of people and I always enjoyed observing Panel Day; but the idea of sharing on the panel admittedly scared me. 

Transformations of ConsciousnessTransformations of Consciousness

By Deborah Ooten - July 2015

Transformation is about making changes, sometimes dramatic changes. When we are looking at an individual human being, change occurs in only two ways, very slowly or through a traumatic incident.

Checking under the hood – looking for root causes to health issues through gene testingChecking under the hood – looking for root causes to health issues through gene testing

By Beth O'Hara - June 2015

Do you struggle with chronic fatigue – or maybe with sleep issues? Or do you experience symptoms of food intolerances and inflammation? And are you trying to find suitable treatments for your problems? Then, like me, you might have consulted more than a dozen health care practitioners, tried multiple diets and even more supplements! Maybe now is the time to check your genes?

Into the Mystic: My Sacred Poetry ExperienceInto the Mystic: My Sacred Poetry Experience

By Ron Esposito - June 2015

In my personal practice for the past few months I’ve been working with the Truth content of “The Enlightened Heart”, an anthology of sacred poetry edited by Stephen Mitchell.  The volume contains writing from the Hindu, Taoist, Sufi, Christian and Zen traditions amongst others.  At its core, the theme is mysticism and non-dual perception of reality.  Mysticism speaks to the direct experience of the Truth that cuts across all boundaries, cultures and systems wed with the practice of unconditional Love.  In describing non-dual perception of reality, Chinese Zen Master, Seng-ts’an writes “If you want to describe its essence, the best you can say is ‘Not-two’.  In this ‘Not-two’ nothing is separate, and nothing in the world is excluded”.  All is one.  Everything is contained in the non-dual, even duality which could be described as a subset of the non-dual.  Visualize the circle and the inner triangle of the Enneagram.

The Facebook Comment that Completely Changed My Mindfulness PracticeThe Facebook Comment that Completely Changed My Mindfulness Practice

By Beth O'Hara - May 2015

A recent event gave me pause – and scared me. As I was about to apply my dog’s monthly flea and tick medication, I noticed the black fur between her shoulder blades (where I always apply the medication) had the white residue this medication leaves. Had I already given it to her? When? I had no memory of this! I dug through a gloppy mess of chicken bones and other assorted unpleasantness in the trash can, only to find the empty tube that confirmed I had indeed given her the medication. Where was my attention, that I didn’t remember this act? What if I hadn’t noticed her fur and overdosed her by giving it to her a second time?

 

The Embodiment of Our Enneagram WorkThe Embodiment of Our Enneagram Work

By Neil Anderson - April 2015

In our work with the Enneagram we often speak of being "in and down" as a prerequisite or as the resident state for doing the work. This groundedness is so central to what we do that we cannot hope to fully tap into the innate wisdom of our type, its Holy Idea, or for that matter the full field of gifts that the Enneagram has to offer without this grounded sense of reference. As a bodyworker/Massage Therapist this emphasis on "being grounded" carries a special significance for me, as it is the goal of my work, for if nothing else the teachings must  be made concrete in the body as well as the mind and heart, and the Enneagram is not complete without the somatic component.

Awake at the WheelAwake at the Wheel

By Kathleen Hartman Blackburn - March 2015

Being exceptional is not a requirement for a full life. Being awake at the wheel is.  Jennifer (Jinks) Hoffmann

As I sat down to write this article, I noticed my desire to write something profound. Exceptional even. Readers would be inspired and touched, and gain new insights into their lives.  I chose a subject that everyone could relate to. Words came. Soon I became aware of irritation and judgment of my chosen words. Critiquing and questioning the ideas behind the words took up all the space in my head. Before long, I began to scrutinize the relevance of my topic. More irritation, more judgment. Time pressures and no finished project. Finally, I made the decision to begin again and write just what was happening for me in this process, letting go of how I thought it should be. Spaciousness returned with room to breathe. A moment of awareness to savor, and from this place I write.

Imago: The All-In-One Relational ToolboxImago: The All-In-One Relational Toolbox

By Bonnie Brinkman - February 2015

You know those all-in-one gadgets, like the knives that have corkscrews, scissors, toothpicks, screwdrivers, and lots of other useful tools on them?  When something needs repair, we often go to that portable, handy and efficient set of solutions. I’ve always been attracted to these things because, when I use them, I feel competent and successful, as I use the tool that best fits the challenge of the moment, take care of the need right on the spot, and get back to whatever I had been doing. Tidy and neat. No mess.

Resolution Revolution: The Gift of PresenceResolution Revolution: The Gift of Presence

By Courtney B. Miller - January 2015

What if you could do something radical and pervasive; but without the violent shock to your system followed by a seemingly inevitable sense of defeat often accompanied by failed attempts at lofty and perhaps material New Year’s resolutions? Each year, I make my resolution lists and I get a serious sense of pleasure about checking each item off said list/s.  I am driven in a tangled web of hot pursuit of each goal I set until I have “successfully” completed my mission.  What’s “wrong” with that?  Or perhaps, what’s “right” with that?  Right or wrong notwithstanding, New Year’s resolutions have a way of taking us out of the present moment, back to the past (what we did or didn’t do) and into the future (what we shall do this year).  Resolving to be unresolved, “be” in the present moment and open to what is happening right now - how might that feel differently?  A resolution revolution would stipulate no stipulations, rules or checkpoints.  Just breathe.  Just be.  Present.

Transformation of a CultureTransformation of a Culture

By Beth O'Hara - November 2014

Transformation of South Korean culture

Deborah Ooten and I are traveling to Seoul, South Korea in November, 2014, to teach Spiral Dynamics® for the South Korean International Enneagram Association. This land of kimchi, delicious and hellaciously spicy food, and technology giants like Samsung, has been in the midst of massive transformations over the past few decades, rendering it almost unrecognizable when contrasted against the South Korea of the past.

The Enneagram and Spiral Dynamics: How Types and Lenses Bring a New Focus to UnderstandingThe Enneagram and Spiral Dynamics: How Types and Lenses Bring a New Focus to Understanding

By Mary Ann Plunkett - October 2014

This past July at the IEA Global Conference I had the pleasure of watching Dr. Deborah Ooten and Beth O’Hara present on “The Big Three: Sex, Power and Money.” I think most would agree that we don’t need the Enneagram (or Spiral Dynamics for that matter) to know that these are some hot button topics in our society today.  Regardless of what stage of life we find ourselves in, these three subjects tend to color our judgments quite a bit on how we view ourselves, others, and most importantly – different societies, not just our own.  The Enneagram is a great tool for the understanding of self and others, but when it is paired with a system like Spiral Dynamics, a whole new world opens up.  It is as if the stars start to finally connect and form the constellation you’ve seen in your head all along.

IntuitionIntuition

By Ron Esposito - October 2014

I have been thinking about intuition and how we “know without knowing how we know”.  It’s like a “cosmic download”.

Practices in HumilityPractices in Humility

By Beth O'Hara - August 2014

I was recently in a situation where I perceived my value was being discounted and I was being elbowed to the side. My body became a whirlwind of sensations and feelings; my chest and face flushed with anger and my belly sank with unworthiness. Judging thoughts tormented my mental landscape and I could no longer focus on the content or the outcomes of the meeting, steeping in my stew of reactivity.

Think On These ThingsThink On These Things

By Ron Esposito - June 2014

·     Consciously choose to accept “what is” in the present moment.  By practicing non-resistance and non-judgment you will suffer less.

 

 

Nine Strategies That Can Make or Break Your ProsperityNine Strategies That Can Make or Break Your Prosperity

By Beth O'Hara & Chris McLaren - April 2014

Money can be a source of great joy or great stress, depending on your attitudes and beliefs.  In fact, many studies have shown that happiness does not correlate well with income levels.  Contentment about perceived prosperity is dependent on a number of factors. Two primary factors are our views about ourselves and our beliefs about money. The Enneagram is an excellent tool for exploring our beliefs about money that hinder prosperity.  The Enneagram will also help us adopt new perspectives so that we may shift our beliefs allowing for greater abundance in our lives.

 

Nine Ways to Enhance Your LifeNine Ways to Enhance Your Life

By Ron Esposito - February 2014

In his poem “Interrelationship”, the Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh states, “I transform the garbage in myself so that you will not have to suffer”.  This is a powerful statement about how our consciousness can affect ourselves and others.  By attending to our own self-work, we grow in awareness and can be of benefit to ourselves and others.

 

Inviting in the New, Releasing the OldInviting in the New, Releasing the Old

By Beth O'Hara - January 2014

New Years is often associated with making resolutions - starting new cycles, new projects, self-improvement, goals and expectations. This often focuses on something that is "wrong" and needs to be "fixed".  For me, the energy of all this active doing can become like a runaway train, fueling itself into a faster and faster pace until eventually I'm just doing for the sake of doing without reflecting on what I really need to do and what I need to let go.

Consciousness and Practice: The Holy IdeasConsciousness and Practice: The Holy Ideas

By Ron Esposito - October 2013

The Enneagram is a powerful tool for self-observation and a way for me to observe how I think, feel and behave as well as my underlying motivations.  Without observing myself I’m prone to act habitually from an unconscious script that plays all the stories that I have attached to what life has presented me.  I get to rewrite the script of my life every time that I consciously inquire into what is arising in me.  It is interesting how the act of observation has an effect on what is being observed.  I don’t need to judge what I observe, I just need to notice.

Aspects of HappinessAspects of Happiness

By Ron Esposito - June 2013

Recently Dr. Deb Ooten sent an article to the Conscious Living Center staff entitled “22 Things Happy People Do Differently” (http://www.lifed.com/22-things-happy-people-do-differently).  As I read the article a few of the aspects of happiness really hit home for me in regard to my personal practice.

Duality and The Art of DiscernmentDuality and The Art of Discernment

By Beth O'Hara, May 2013

“The first rule in life is to put up with things. The second rule is to not put up with things. The third is to learn to discern the difference.” –Author Unkown

Similar to the serenity prayer, this quote asks us to look deeply into ourselves. The word discernment is derived from the Latin word for sifting. Discernment is a practice of sifting through all the factors in a situation to arrive at what essence is calling for in each situation.

Battle of the EgoBattle of the Ego

By Chris McLaren - March 2013

Silently it snuck into my being
  consuming me, tricking me, wrapping me in its warm darkness
  "You are alone" it whispered sweetly in my ear.

The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi by Elif ShafakThe Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi by Elif Shafak

Review adapted by Ron Esposito - February 2013

In this lyrical, imaginative novel, author Elif Shafak unfolds two parallel narratives—one contemporary and the other set in the thirteenth century, when the Sufi poet and mystic Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, the infamous wandering dervish known as Shams of Tabriz. Both stories together incarnate Rumi’s timeless message of love.

Sex and Love: Part IISex and Love: Part II

By Beth O'Hara & Deborah Ooten - January 2013

We received several raw and honest responses to our questions about love and sex which ran the gamut of beliefs, values and experience. Thank you to everyone who bared their hearts and souls. Here is a compilation of responses to stimulate further exploration of values and beliefs about love and sex. We are still collecting research and could use your help. If you would like to send us your thoughts and feelings on love and sex, you can email Beth O’Hara with your responses to the questions below. (We will protect your anonymity and never associate your name with your responses.)

Sex and Love: Part ISex and Love: Part I

By Beth O'Hara & Deborah Ooten - December 2012

As the days grow darker in the thick of Holiday season, we’re exploring a more unusual theme for the time of year: sex and love. According to the Center for Disease Control, most babies are conceived at the end of December, so perhaps this discussion is quite timely! These themes dominate our culture in advertising, movies, television, music, books and clothing styles, yet we rarely talk about them openly. Anything repressed rules us from the subconscious. Sex and love certainly has a hold on many of us. A great way to be more conscious in relationships and relating is to explore beliefs systems.

Enneagram Type, Religion and SpiritualityEnneagram Type, Religion and Spirituality

By Ron Esposito - October 2012

As an ardent student of the spiritual dimension of the Enneagram I read with great interest the chapter, “The Paths”, from Travels In Consciousness by David Hey.  He writes that the different spiritual paths can be accurately profiled by the personality types of the Enneagram.  In their exoteric dimension, their outer form, these paths tend to resemble and behave like one of the nine personality types of the Enneagram.  In its structure, its belief systems and its shadow each religion reflects a certain fixation and specific way of dealing with inner reality and the experiences of the soul.  The exoteric forms of the world’s religions are often loaded up with dogma and unconscious belief systems in order to obtain something in this world or the next.  Each religion also has an esoteric or mystical dimension that is more closely linked to the transformative experiences of their spiritual founder.  These esoteric lineages are often hidden and/or openly ostracized by the hierarchy of the exoteric religion.

Reflections on the 2012 IEA ConferenceReflections on the 2012 IEA Conference

By Beth O'Hara & Dorothy Hatic - September 2012

The 2012 IEA Global Conference in Long Beach, CA, is now a memory, tucked away for further introspection upon recall.  There were so many beautiful moments in this year’s conference.  It was a lovely venue and a well-orchestrated event that seemed to go off without a glitch. Kudos to Kathryn Grant and the entire 2012 IEA Board for an amazingly successful conference!

 

Live Like You Were DyingLive Like You Were Dying

By Deanna Martin - August 2012

What is the purpose of the conscious life?

In the Enneagram community we are lucky enough to have a pretty good road map for the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that get us stuck.  This coupled with practices of meditation and mindfulness can help us to become aware of these patterns in our daily life. We spend a lot of time and energy seeking this enlightened state of being, going deeper into higher levels of consciousness and awareness.  This journey of discovery can be exciting and rich as revelations come and we can see ourselves more clearly.  But after awhile, you begin to wonder, "now what?" 

Self Discovery: Bridging the Gap to Faith in SelfSelf Discovery: Bridging the Gap to Faith in Self

By Val Vandernaald - July 2012

As a long time student of self growth and life long seeker of truth, I began studying the Enneagram several years ago.  The Enneagram is a personality typing system that enables broader self awareness moving from the perspective of fixation to health. Explorations include knowledge of  the nine personality types, and specifically our individual type.  The Enneagram teaches self observation.  We observe self acting from habit during times of pain, stress, fear and/or general unconscious behavior. This work encourages greater self understanding and alertness, promoting a continuum of spiritual growth as type “loosens”.   Once aware, we can make conscious choices, to change behaviors or thinking patterns that were habitual and keeping us stuck.  Increased awareness allows us deep connection with Self/Essence.

Love UnconditionallyLove Unconditionally

By Ron Esposito - June 2012

One of the dictionary definitions of love is: A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities or a sense of underlying oneness.

The Power of Self Acceptance

By Beth O'Hara, May 2012

What would it take to love you more and feel more loved by others? Self-acceptance is a powerful practice that allows the ego to be transformed. Self-love allows the ego to loosen while resistance to the ego only feeds the ego. Judging yourself keeps you from accepting love from others. Through self-acceptance you can experience more love in your life.

Walking in Faith

by Kathleen Hartman Blackburn, March 2012

*Article orignally printed in Ms. Cincinnati, February-March 2012 Issue

Each one of us probably has some idea of what the word faith means. We may describe ourselves as people of faith or see faith as a particular quality that helps us in trying circumstances. It may be familiar to us in expressions such as: faith that moves mountains; an act of faith; just have faith; blind faith; leap of faith; oh ye of little faith; and keep the faith, to name a few.

Releasing the Old, Welcoming the New: Tonglen for the New Year

By Beth O'Hara - January 2012

January often feels like a relief after the frenzy and expectations that accompany the holidays. November and December are a time when stress runs high for many, reactivity can be easily triggered, and feelings quickly hurt. It can be heavy seeing the suffering of the world in those we know and love, in ourselves, and even in strangers.


Balance for Busy Times

By Kathleen Hartman Blackburn - December 2011

Now that the Thanksgiving holidays have retreated into the past, we may find ourselves caught up in the heightened energy and momentum of the year’s end and more holiday times to come. Although life can seem perennially busy to many of us, this time can be especially hectic, with added social obligations, gatherings of family and friends, children’s school performances, religious services, volunteer opportunities, end of semester exams, job performance reviews, or end of year tax planning, to name a few. For some, there are the financial challenges that are ever present, due to unemployment or underemployment, but are felt more acutely at a time when our culture emphasizes buying and spending. And while some of our added responsibilities may include enjoyable activities, before long, we may find ourselves feeling exhausted, irritable, stressed or sick. What we especially need to navigate this time is BALANCE.

The Illusion of Separateness

By Dorothy Hatic - November 2011

Dr. Deborah Ooten presented a workshop for intermediate to advanced participants interested in psycho-spiritual growth. I had the great pleasure and extraordinary experience of attending this workshop. It was a very profound and moving presentation highlighted by four video excerpts she used to illustrate what separates us from unity consciousness. 

The Soul Opener List

By Ron Esposito - October 2011

In 1972 when I was living in Boston I started on the path of self-knowledge leading to becoming a mystic.  I was working as the assistant manager of The Jazz Workshop, the premiere jazz club in New England, and was living “the life.”


Happy, Healthy and Whole

By Deborah Ooten - September 2011

In these changing times it is important to develop strategies for staying positive. Because we tend to want things in life to be certain, change can bring stress and unhappiness. If we keep our attention focused on the present moment we will be in the flow. Creating flow experiences in our life allows for a more present moment awareness that creates space and harmony for life to unfold without resistance.

Balancing Work, Play and Self-Care

By Deborah Ooten - August 2011

At times, our lives take on a momentum of their very own and we live life at top speed. It is vital that we begin to slow down, take stock of how we spend our time and energy and look at what life has to offer us. Three areas of life: work, play and self-care, must remain in balance for us to be in optimal health.

Mystical Light

By Ron Esposito - June 2011

I’ve been paging through “Sacred Mirrors” and “Transfigurations” two books of paintings by Alex Grey.  After viewing these works it is hard not to be convinced that we are the crown of creation like Jefferson Airplane intoned forty years ago.

Richard Rohr at the IEA Conference in Chicago

By Deborah Ooten
 
In preparation for the IEA 2006 Conference in Chicago I asked Richard
Rohr if he would be open to being interviewed for 9 Points. In my
Enneagram journey I had never met Richard and had only heard him on
audio tape.

Living Mindfully

By Deborah Ooten- April 2011

 The Buddha spoke of “Four Noble Truths”
•    First Noble Truth: suffering exists
•    Second Noble Truth: suffering has causes
•    Third Noble Truth: happiness is possible
•    Fourth Noble Truth: there is a path that leads to happiness

For Khira, an Incredible Being and Teacher

By Beth O'Hara- March 2011

I write this after we put my dog, Khira, to sleep today. In her canine life, Khira taught me that there is no death that is an ending. And in her new forms, she is teaching me that there is only Life. They say there really is no difference between God and Dog and Khira made me realize what that meant. This is a story of our life together that still goes on.

Opening To Music

By Ron Esposito- February 2011

As a kid growing up in Youngstown, Ohio during the 1950’s and 60’s I was exposed to the glory of rock n’ roll and soul music heard on AM radio.  James Brown, the Beatles, Chuck Berry, Del Shannon, the Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett, Motown, the Beach Boys, Dusty Springfield and the Ronettes were part of the soundtrack of my emotions.

Life As It Is

By Kathleen Hartman Blackburn - January 2011

I remember well the first time I read the opening sentence in M. Scott Peck’s classic The Road Less Traveled:  “Life is difficult.” I was in my late twenties and had just received a cancer diagnosis in the same week that I had confirmation of a pregnancy.  I was experiencing shock, fear and dismay, wondering how this could be happening and why it was happening to me.

Remembering Ourselves: The Annual CLC Retreat

By Beth O'Hara - December 2010

When 17 people live together to consciously observe and work on themselves, interesting results are guaranteed to occur. The fourth annual Conscious Living Center consciousness retreat taught by Deborah Ooten was held November 11-15 in the Smokies in an incredible cabin.  While we always have a fun time on this retreat, something much deeper always happens as well, though.

The Holy Ideas: Being and Everythingness

By Ron Esposito - November 2010

The Holy Ideas of the Enneagram are in service to the alleviation of suffering and the recovery of our true nature through remembering our Essence qualities. The Holy Ideas remind us of who we truly are beyond our attachments and identification with the construct of the egoic mind. As we observe our attachments and defense of the ego we become aware of the ways that we suffer.

Presence

By Deborah Ooten - September 2010

There are four states of presence, according to G.I. Gurdjieff, and each state is classified by an individual’s relative degree of consciousness. The first state of presence (or no presence) is SLEEP…it is a passive state in which we do nothing except regenerate energy. We spend our time in a “dream/imaginary” state, passively engaging in life…we are not the master of our journey, we are only reacting to what comes our way.

Levels of Consciousness and the Enneagram

By Deborah Ooten and Beth O'Hara - August 2010

First published in The Enneagram Journal, Vol. 2, 2010, a peer-reviewed publication of the International Enneagram Association.

Our experience has shown that if the Enneagram is used as an isolated personality system, people can become more identified with their type rather than evolving. In Integral Psychology, Ken Wilber (2000) states that typology systems such as Meyers-Briggs, the Enneagram, and Jungian types are horizontal systems. While useful for self awareness, these systems do not describe the whole picture of human development. However, pairing a horizontal system like the Enneagram with a
vertical system of the stages and waves of the unfolding of human consciousness like Spiral Dynamics®, “you can start to see what a truly multidimensional psychology might look like” (Wilber, p. 54).

The Mind - Are you walking it or is it walking you?

By Beth O'Hara - July 2010

Does it ever seem like there is such a clatter inside your mind that you can't focus at all? Or you just can't seem to get the latest Lady Gaga lyrics out of your head? Most of us have an incessant flow of thoughts that distract us from whatever we are doing, whether it is focusing on work, deeply listening to another, or simply being present to the blessings and beauty all around us.

Standing on the Edge

A Sixes Reflection on Fear and Courage

By Deanna Martin, MA, LPC - May 2010

So you know that feeling you get when you stand on the edge of a cliff?  Well it is probably different for all the Enneagram types, but for me as a six on the Enneagram, the center of the fear triad, there is a tingling in my stomach, sweaty palms, frightful imaginations, and, yet at the same time there is a deep attraction to the edge.

Self-Observation: The Thinker Behind the Thought

By Ron Esposito - March 2010

In my experience, one of the keys to personal development and ultimately self-understanding is observing how your mind works, what your heart feels and what your body experiences. This self-observing faculty is essential for managing personality and our personal reactivity.

Welcoming Prosperity and Growth

By Beth O'Hara - February 2010

The transition from winter to spring is a time for creating new beginnings and fresh practices.  It is a time for incorporating different routines, changing habits, and hatching new ideas. 

Core Emotion of the Heart Types

By Deborah Ooten and Beth O'Hara - December 2009

Bea Chestnut asked 2 insightful questions:  Why are there so many theories about the core emotion of the heart types, when there seems to be a consensus on the core emotions of the other two triads?  Which of the varied theories is correct or most helpful approach to understanding the underlying experience of the heart types?

As we started exploring these questions, we only came up with more questions.  The largest question is:  Is the Enneagram of Personality limited in its scope and has it gone off course?

Holiday Giving and Receiving

By Deborah Ooten - December 2009

In Seven Laws of Spiritual Success, Deepak Chopra says “The universe operates through dynamic exchange…giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe (God) circulating in our lives.”

Holiday Relationships Made Easier

By Deborah Ooten - November 2009

As we go into the holiday season, the most difficult thing to manage can often be our relationships with one another, whether we are relating to our spouse, primary partner, children, parents or friends. Some basic rules of engagement are important to keep in mind as we eat, drink and make merry over the next couple of months.

School of Life

By Deborah Ooten - August 2009

As we prepare to send our children back to school we might want to visit our own arena for learning, LIFE. As adults we are faced each and every day with opportunities for growing and learning about ourselves. The challenges that come to us are often in the form of attachments to thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The ways in which we relate to ourselves, others and to God often give us a great deal of feedback regarding issues, beliefs, and concerns that we need to shift or change.

Aspects of the Self

By Beth O'Hara - July 2009

Ego, Mind, Heart, Gut, Body, Essence…We know we have all of these aspects in ourselves, but what do they mean?

Conscious Health and Healing

By Deborah Ooten - June 2009

As I age, my attention goes more frequently to health and wholeness. Many of my friends, colleagues, and family members have begun to deal with illness—specifically, cancer. I am struck with the many different types of cancer and will focus on two to increase our awareness of these two types. I also want to encourage “conscious health and healing” and learning to respect the “inner physician” that resides in each and every one of us.

Unconditional Love

By Beth O'Hara - May 2009

Unconditional love is something we all desire and aspire to, and yet many of us have rarely or never experience it. Have you ever felt completely loved for who you are without requirements of you to change?

Recover, Renew and Regenerate

By Deborah Ooten - March 2009

Spring is the time that we begin to recover from the darkness of winter, renew our commitment to life and regenerate our desires for healthy and soulful living. When we think about 2008 and the difficulty and division that was generated nationally and globally, we can certainly see that recovery, renewal and regeneration are in order for the healing of the individual, community, nation and globe in the year 2009.

The Holy Ideas

By Ron Esposito - March 2009

The ideas of Holy Perfection, Holy Will, Holy Law, Holy Origin, Holy Omniscience, Holy Faith, Holy Plan, Holy Truth and Holy Love are cornerstones of the mystical tradition that cut across all boundaries and dogma to reveal what is Real.

The Enneagram of Passions and Virtues

Book review by Ron Esposito - February 2009

Maitri, in addition to being the author’s last name, is a Buddhist term for loving kindness for oneself, the prerequisite of compassion of others.

Response Versus Reaction

By Deborah Ooten - February 2009

Relationships of any kind often have moments of difficulties. Many of these difficulties arise from a type of reactivity that occurs in each one of us. Reactions arise from body, mind, or heart centers of the individual. The reaction comes from that aspect of ourselves that we call the personality or the ego. The personality or ego is a defensive structure that we develop and put into place by the time we are about seven years old and then we spend the next 45 years or so perfecting the ego. Carl Jung says that after the first 50 years of our lives we attempt to disengage the ego/personality so that we can then interact with each other in a way that is more in line with our God Self or Higher Self.

Reflections and Resolutions

By Deborah Ooten - January 2009

The New Year is generally a time to reflect back over the previous year, taking stock of what we have accomplished and reflecting on what we will work on to continue our growth. I believe it is best to organize the way we reflect into three categories or centers of being: body, mind and heart (or soul).

Being Present

By Deborah Ooten- December 2008

Being present to ourselves, others and God is often difficult to do. Being present requires that we meet each and every event, situation, feeling, thought, and behavior in the present moment. It is important to realize that the past and the future really do not exist; all that exists is the present moment. Life exists only in the present moment and if you are not in that moment then life will pass you by.

The Inner Journey

By Deborah Ooten- November 2008

There is a wisdom that resides inside all of us that is divinely connected to all that exists. This inner wisdom knows our deepest desires and what it will take for us to live a life that is fully expressed. To be fully expressed means that we are living in synch with the purpose for which we were intended. It means that we are living fully, healthfully and happily in all aspects of work, play and self-care. To be fully expressed means that we are not compromising in order to merely exist.

Deepening Consciousness Through the Body

By Beth O’Hara - October 2008

We have 3 centers of intelligence: the head, the heart, and the instincts, which are all contained within the body. Increasing our consciousness is dependent on observing the habits and deepening our awareness of each center.

Conscious Play

By Deborah Ooten - October 2008

The fall season is approaching and with it comes the need to reflect on how we play and prepare ourselves for this transitioning time of year. This is a time of winding down just before we begin to build back up for the holiday season. Adult play is sometimes very complicated and hard to achieve in our fast paced, striving centered culture.

Natural Cycles of Life

By Deborah Ooten - September 2008

Like nature, people cycle through distinct seasons. Autumn is the season of "harvest" - it is a time when we turn our attention inward to reflect on what the year has brought us so far. It is also the time to take stock of what we need to carry us through the winter.

Building Awareness with the Enneagram

By Ron Esposito - August 2008

The Enneagram has been my main tool for self-study and spiritual growth over the past few years.  It is a psycho-spiritual personality assessment tool that shows the roadblocks that get in the way of experiencing wholeness with myself, others and God.

Balancing Work, Play and Self-Care

By Deborah Ooten - June 2008

At times, our lives take on a momentum of their very own and we live life at top speed. It is vital that we begin to slow down, take stock of how we spend our time and energy and look at what life has to offer us. Three areas of life: work, play and self-care, must remain in balance for us to be in optimal health.

Pathways to Serenity

By Ron Esposito - May 2008

Serenity: A feeling of calm; untroubled without worry, stress or disturbance.

Serenity, like happiness, is a by-product.  We can become more serene by practicing a number of mental and spiritual attitudes.  Like planting a garden, we will reap what we sow in consciousness.  Plant watermelons, get watermelons…  

Love

By Deborah Ooten - February 2008

The month of February often conjures up the word LOVE. I wonder if we even know what the word means. We sometimes say things like, "I love my beer," or "I love gardening." To me this seems like a watering down of a very deep and meaningful expression of a sometimes rational and sometimes not-so-rational feeling.

John of God

By Deborah Ooten - September 2007

I usually don’t say “yes” to things that are really outside my comfort zone. But I agreed to visit John of God, in Brazil. Little did I know what would occur, or the healing I would experience.

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