The Inner Triangle’s journey ends here at Point 6, with what Enneagram teacher, Mario Sikora calls “Action.” Isn’t action a great word to associate withPoint 6? In the first half of this journeyit was at Point 6 that we felt the fear of inadequacy as we woke up in a place that was unfamiliar and feeling overwhelmed. Now it is the place where we are invited to live out with courage our reconstructed, rewritten stories, to activate them.
John Keats wrote, “Nothing becomes real until it’s experienced.” So much truth is wrapped up in these few words. We often know there is something more we can do, and we often say out loud that we will do this thing and then stop there. We get fooled by the myth that knowing and planning to do something is the same as doing it. When we take an honest look we see we never executed, we have done nothing. So, as Keats points out we can’t know what we haven’t experienced. The theoretical idea we talk about has no experiential legs to stand on. It is in actually doing something that we know anything about it, know its contours, its value, its truth. We can say we believe and value something, but without putting our bodies behind it, without stepping into the action of the idea we will never really know much about the thing at all. Doing is the testing that leads to believing. Doing is felt and therefore known and can’t be taken from us.
So it is here, at Point 6, that we take what we came up with at Point 3 and put it to the test by trying it out. It will be on the other side of the action that we will have something to evaluate. We will find out as we practice these re-written stories whether or not they cause us to feel truer, whether or not they give us opportunities our old ones blocked us from. We find out if the rewritten stories are robust enough to make life better for us and for those around us.
And then, as I used to say to my children, “practice makes easier.” Once we have experienced waking up at Point 9, the more honest rewriting of our story at Point 3 and the putting our new ideas to the test at Point 6, we get to do this three-step process again and again as we do the trial-and-error work of change. As we encounter problematic pieces of stories created earlier in our journey, rather than applying patch after patch we now have a way to reconsider and rewrite them. It is through this work that bit-by-bit we build a healthier, truer, stronger self which is life’s invitation and to which the Enneagram offers itself as a tool.
Here we are at the end of several Insights following the journey along the Enneagram’s Inner Triangle. Because the Enneagram functions to help us see ourselves honestly and then goes further to help us use what we see for continual growth, it is helpful that this classic journey of losing and then finding ourselves is found front-and-center in the Enneagram symbol. I hope you have not only found it informative and related to the journey itself, but that you will follow the second half’s pathway all the way to action and find something new for yourself. – Sali