Enneagram Insights: Belonging, the Law of One

The truth of the Law of One—that nothing is separate from, but rather everything is part of—is truly mind blowing to the ego, which believes the inverse. Ego has us believing that there is limited room at the table. If you are there, there may not be room for me. Ego has us believing that we need to work to belong—and then continue to work to maintain that belonging. That we need to concern ourselves with what others are contributing and compare that to our contribution to ensure our continued place. This is Ego’s attempt to help us avoid suffering, but you see the constant suffering happening here.

As we pause to take notice, we can become aware of this never-ending, anxiety-provoking rat race—and stop.

Stopping is one of the most terrifying movements in transformation work, but without it nothing new will ever have a chance to grow. Stopping brings us to that empty, dark, and terrifying place of holding back from applying our worn out, ineffective band aids and simply waiting. And if we can tolerate this, even a bit, something amazing wafts in on the breeze, something new and oftentimes not all that formed. If we can hang in there, this new thing has a chance to grow inside of us and outside of us. We can become reacquainted with the old truth that had been planted deep within us, We Already Belong! We never lost the belonging that we have been working so hard to compete for. There is no separateness that is operating to take any one of us outside of the whole. We belong and are safe to enjoy each other and the wonderful contributions we and others bring to the table.

Enneagram Insights: The Transforming Power of Love and the Law of One

When talking about the Enneagram types, something that has felt a bit off for me is a bent toward the low side of each type. I often hear people speaking of their type with the low descriptors, giving no amplitude to the high descriptors, as though these high ones don’t exist. In my teaching I have come to use the labels “Gift” for the high side and “Defensive Strategy” for the low side of each type. While the Defensive Strategy behaviors may be more easily identified as we begin our transformation work, the invitation of this work is to move into the Gifting of our type. 

In this transformation work we look with love at the Defensive Strategy and, as a result, come to understand it better. In love we recognize the promises it has made (a way out of suffering) but that it has been unable to deliver. This recognition then enables us to loosen our grip on our defensive strategy as the answer to suffering and invites us to step toward Gift. Remembering the Law of One, we have no need to throw our defensive strategy away: we know everything belongs, both gift and defense. Instead, we can now decide which of the two we practice in the moment. And because our choice will not change our status within the circle of belonging, we are free to try and fail, try and succeed, or decide to try another time. Love is patient, Love is kind.

Enneagram Insights: The Teamwork Between the Law of One and Love

The Enneagram holds many aspects (core type, wings, arrows, centers of intelligence, instincts, virtues and vices, holy ideas and fixations, stances, etc.) that all affect how we operate in the world. This is one of the reasons I find the Enneagram so fascinating and helpful. It is as if there are multiple transparent overlays stacked upon one another, revealing this amazingly intricate system that gives me insight into what is going on with me and helps me see how I move about in the world. But to take in these many aspects of me, I must approach this stack of transparencies and the picture they reveal with Love. 

We cannot see, we cannot keep our eyes open to all that is true about us, without the presence of Love to guide and hold us when we encounter our more challenging pieces. Knowing there exists no trap doors out of the circle of belonging, knowing there is no snare we can step on that will cause us to be ejected, that is the wonderful gift Love gives us all. And it is because of this gift that we can hold open our eyes and see ourselves, just as we are, as we travel the path of awareness and growth. I like the picture of a mother hen gathering all her chicks—the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful—and proclaiming, “You are mine! You are mine!” That is Love. 

Enneagram Insights: The Law of One Reflected in the Enneagram’s Circle

The Law of One, depicted by the circle that holds the nine points together, says every part belongs.

I want us to begin together in that lovely place of safety. Let’s start with the practice that everything belongs, which means all of me, all of you, and all of everything. Nothing has been kicked out! Often, we don’t mind kicking certain things to the curb but don’t want what we value to be kicked to the curb. Instead, here we are beginning in a place where nothing gets judged as out of place. This concept-turned-practice can be very challenging, but let’s challenge ourselves.

Today, play around with this picture and explore what it is like to believe and practice welcoming every part of ourselves, every part of whoever is with us, and every part of what is happening. This is not denial. This is not indifference. This is a beginning place that can calm and center us for right action—and can lead us to some surprising consequences. Beginning with a YES to what is, rather than a protesting NO, opens us up to what our NO might have missed. But don’t take my word for it—see what you find!

Sali Honess-Ondrey, Certified Spiritual Director, LCSW

The Celebration of Christmas

Our Embodied God



As we are present to this unimaginable good news, may it wholly permeate us.



Compassionate God, open us to all the ways your love and presence come to us.



Scripture Reading: Luke 2:8-14

“In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see–I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

Read “Our Embodied God” a few times. Pause and reflect on a word or phrase where you are drawn.


Our Embodied God

Into the darkness of night, the light comes.

It expands and covers everything.

Love is born in the Christ child,

who enters our mess to be present to us:

in each of the places we find ourselves,

into our sorrow and grief,

our pain and our angst,

into our questions and our doubts,

and into our brokenness.

The joyful shouts cry out,

“Glory to God in the highest Heaven.”

They cry out to the God who sees us,

The God who hears us,

who comes embodied as one of us,

human and yet Divine.

Emmanuel, God with us,

lovingly walks beside us,

joyfully resides within us.

Glory Hallelujah to this

incarnated expression of love. Amen.

© 2021, Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff

Leaning Into Hope

Fourth Week of Advent



As the darkness deepens, the promise of light grows. Awaken us to your presence in this time and within us always.



God of Hope, keep us attentive to you, leaning into you as we wait.



Scripture Reading: Luke 1: 39-45

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Read “Leaning into Hope” a few times. Pause and reflect on a word or phrase where you are drawn.


Leaning into Hope

As the darkness extends,

we continue to wait for so much:

for peace in our world;

for an end to the virus

and a world without the necessity of masks;

for the ability to gather easily with loved ones;

for an end to racism and injustice;

for an end to all isms;

for sorrow to give birth to joy;

for our hearts to be comforted;

and our spirits lifted up;

to see more of You dear God;

lived out and expressed among your people.

Mary carried Hope within

as it was embodied in you

Elizabeth recognized it and gave expression to it.

So while we wait in Hope

we are met with the promise

that you come and meet us where we are.

While we wait in Hope

we are reminded

that sometimes you are carried and expressed

through those with skin on.

God of Hope,

may we be those people

who carry you and give expression to you

in all ways everyday.

And when we are weary from the journey,

may we like Elizabeth find ourselves

met by someone with skin on

who reflects you.

And like Mary, may we lean into you

for you too, are embodied in us.

© 2021, Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff

Advent Invitation

Third Week of Advent



As the darkness deepens, the promise of light grows. Awaken me to your presence in this time and within me always.



God of Hope, keep me attentive to you, leaning into you as I wait.



Scripture Reading: Luke 3:11,16

“And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.”…John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Read Advent Invitation a few times. Pause and reflect on a word or phrase where you are drawn.


Advent Invitation

Source of Life,

This season throws us.

While the darkness deepens,

the waiting aches for more.

And yet,

It is within this aching, this grieving

that something is being born.

You invite us

to watch and wait,

to listen and follow you.

As we ask “what then shall we do?”

we wait for your answer.

We trust that as life begins

in the darkness of the womb

so your light grows in the darkness within and around us.

Therefore, we follow wherever you may lead,

even when it is hard to find our way,

for we know you lead us by the hand

towards the light that comes. Amen.

Advent Light

Second Week of Advent


Source of Life, as I sit here I breathe deeply, aware of your presence within me. Awaken me to your presence in this time and within me always.



God of Hope, I quietly pray your name as I enter this time.



As we begin Advent, we may feel disconnected because of all we and the world have been through in the last year. There is so much we long for, for ourselves, our loved ones, the community, and the world. We bring all that with us to this season and to the One who holds us close. 


Scripture Reading

Luke 1:68,  78,79

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,

    for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.By the tender mercy of our God,  the dawn from on high will break upon us,

to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”


Read Advent Light through a few times. Pause and reflect on a word or phrase where you are drawn.


Advent Light

There are seasons when we strain our eyes

to see the light of your presence.

There are moments 

when the darkness encircles us 

and it seems like it is all we know.

When we struggle to glimpse the light

remind us that we are not alone

in the darkness,

but to look within

where you reside.

Train our unseeing eyes

for we carry the light of 

your presence within.  

And when we struggle still,

remind us 

that your tender mercy

ushers in the dawn

carrying with it your peace.

May it seep 

into the corners of our being.

And may it radiate through us

spilling out on those around us.



Advent Longing

First Week of Advent


Divine One,  as I sit here with you, quiet my swirling thoughts, as you calmed the sea. Soothe my aching heart. Help me to know the comfort of your presence at this time, as I seek you.



Take a moment or two and breathe in God’s name, “Emmanuel.” Inhale “Em-ma” and exhale “nuel”  Do this for a moment or two.



As we begin Advent, we may feel unconnected or disconnected because of all we and the world have been through in the last year. There is so much we long for, for ourselves, our loved ones, the community, and the world. We bring all that with us to this season and to the One who holds us close. 


Read Advent Longing through a few times. Pause and reflect on a word or phrase on where you are drawn.


Advent Longing

Loving One,

As we begin this season

We do so as those who are straining through the fog

To glimpse a light to illuminate our path.

We are weary and overwhelmed with all that has been.

We long for your presence 

To be experienced in tangible ways.

This Advent,

Awaken us to notice you within us and around us.

Enfold us in your compassionate embrace

and remind us that in you, we are home.



Thank you loving God that you love and receive us as we are with all we bring. Remind us and center us in that we are so loved by you. May it fill us with hope and peace. Connect us to each other as living expressions of your love in the world around us. Amen. 

A Betwixt and Between Thanksgiving

Our Source of life,

This Thanksgiving we find ourselves so changed.

The last two years have marked us, scarred us,

And left us wondering what is the new normal.

As we envision our thanksgiving table or gathering,

We are poignantly aware of those who don’t join us.

We have lost so much and so many.

The loss has knocked the wind out of us and yet

there is so much more that has splintered us,

There is so much more that has 

torn us away from our safe harbor

Knocking our moorings loose

setting us adrift.

Ideologies divide us more than ever before

White supremacy still takes life and abuses power

We have forgotten how to love.

We are stuck in this betwixt and between place

Removed from what was, not sure yet, what will be.

Divine Creator,

You who created the world and each one of us

awaken us to you within and around us

recognizing you in each other’s eyes

No matter what our name or where we call home.

Reach us and reach through us

With your compassion that makes room and space for all.

May your love and presence knit us together 

For the common good, as we heal together

And extend the table

To hold all whom you gather here.

Thank you Giver of Life

For the ways in which 

You keep on giving

We lean into you 

To show us the way

Beyond this place to the new normal.

~Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff, Executive Director