Enneagram and Eating Less

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    • #16016
      Mindi J

      Hi all,
      I am reminded of the Enneagram because of two concepts that have come up in the past two weeks- perfectionism and conformance. Gillian, have you incorporated any Enneagram concepts into the course? After watching the first two week’s of videos it seems you have a very good grasp on how people are different and may respond to the material differently. I love that you are giving ideas for all different kinds of people.

      Are there some concepts in ELO that may work better for various Enneagram personality types? Have any past class participants found any correlation betweeen ELO and Enneagram?

      Very short background: The Enneagram body of literature describes how each of the nine personality types deals with perfectionism and conformance. See also my post in the “Perfectionism- October’21 Course” thread. I have been studying the Enneagram for about two years now (still just a beginner) but these are some things I have learned: I am a type 9 (The Peacemaker, or a conflict avoider). During conflict I am a Withdrawn type with a primary Social instinct. This all makes me a passive-agreessive type of person. When “boxed in” with rules or prohibitive thinking, as Gillian talks about in Choice: The Problem, I appear to go along for a while and then suddenly lash out. I am working on identifying earlier what it is I don’t like and then making my own deliberate choice. I did have a break-through moment at a social event that was serving cake the other day. I have been denying myself any cake at all at social events for several years now. (“I don’t eat wheat”, I say) Then I go home and have whatever desert I can possibly find. (passive-aggressive). At a recent event I decide to acknowledge that yes, I do think it is appropriate to celebrate with cake and I should not feel we have to serve carrot sticks at all celebrations. It is very joyous to me to eat together in a group (my social instinct coming out) and I want to be a part of the group. So I took a piece of cake. I paid attention while I was eating it. Realized it didn’t taste all that good, ate just a couple of bites and threw it away. (“Wasting” food has also been a hang up for me). I felt fabulous with this choice. No binging when I got home and it seems I value being a part of the group over wasting food. Evidently I also need to work on prioritizing my values. Sometimes there are conflicts.

      I diverged a lot. Just looking to see how others have made a connection between eating less and Enneagram, or even other self-study tools.


      • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by Mindi J.
    • #16018


      Over the years I’ve been teaching this course material I’ve had quite a number of people tell me they see concepts that match other theories with which they are familiar. Alexander Technique and Transactional Analysis are two that come to mind at the moment, but there are many others. I’ve certainly heard of the Enneagram ideas you are studying but apart from there being a number of personality types that’s about the extent of my knowledge!

      Take care, though, because you might be looking for a ‘fit’ when it’s not really there. Maybe we’ll see that as we go along. Right now I’d draw your attention to:

      “I have been denying myself any cake at all at social events for several years now. (“I don’t eat wheat”, I say)”

      Speaking for myself, I don’t eat wheat either, but I don’t ever think of it as “denying myself”. I hope this becomes more clear as we go through the course.

    • #16042
      Corina G

      Hi, Mindi and Gillian,
      This is my second time through the course and the results are mind-blowing, in a very unexpected way, and for my whole life experience; so, this being my experience, I dare say the following:
      We all arrived here with a lot of previous knowledge, I believe. I am a very curious person and I am also trained in a variety of healing models. Many models explain how we are, how we came to be, eat behave, function, patterns, etc, but this course is targeted at teaching us how to deal with the overeating, body and mind together, you will see.
      I once got a very good advise from a teacher: to learn the ‘method’ as it is given, then to modify it and integrate it in my life and practice, but not do this from the start.
      So, I can say that it helped me a lot to put my knowledge aside, and then to integrate it in my field(s) of interest, personal and professional. I cannot believe the ramifications of the ELO in my life.

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Corina G.
    • #16046
      Sophia G.

      I guess truth is truth, and if we have truths in our personal belief systems already, we can expect to have those truths being echoed by the attitudes and tools in Gillian’s methods.

      But in my own life, some of my core beliefs and important ‘truths’ have been totally rocked and changed, which I would never have thought possible, and it has actually been really traumatic.
      But it does mean that I am more open now to ‘new truths’ and to recognise that it is possible that I am not right about everything ! and also gives me understanding to other people’s takes on reality/how they cope with things etc.

      However, I came across the idea of neural pathways some years ago (from buddhist teachers, actually) and so I was already open to that. And that’s a truth which I haven’t lost, a real truth, a fact. Which helped, because I didn’t need to think too hard about the truth of that or break new ground with that particular, very helpful, ‘method’. Which helps.

      So when in this ELO course we come across various ideas which we already know are true/work for us, that’s a short cut really to help us apply in the context of addressing our overeating issues. f

      I have in the last 6 months on this course raised and discussed my own beliefs on food/eating/eating disorders/etc a couple of times, which Gillian had a different take on, and really I found her takes on my ideas pretty challenging at first, but then really helpful, and I then changed my own viewpoint accordingly.

      There are many common poor/unhelpful viewpoints out there, and Gillian seems to be extremely experienced / she’s heard it all before, which is really helpful. (Thank you Gillian for being so experienced, and keeping a clear head when I get muddled.)

      Critical thinking is helpful, being able to change our minds when presented with new facts. Easier said than done, and in my experience / and also what I’ve seen with other people, it can be extremely traumatic.

      But when I change my mind here about certain things, in this ELO course, it’s been the opposite to traumatic – it’s been STRONG: Very helpful in practical ways, which is such a relief at the end of the day, to have found a way through the hellish addiction.

    • #16057
      Mindi J

      Thank you for these replies- It does seem wise to first absorb and then think things through.

      There are a lot of concepts and ideas out there and some have more truth than others. It is a lot of work to decipher between them.

      I enjoy hearing about feeling strong after making changes. That makes the process seem less scary.

    • #16064
      Renée L

      Wow, Corina. All I can say in response to your comment is that it was so eloquent. Thank you for posting your insight; I completely agree!

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