Each time I dive into the Enneagram and shadow, I’m taken back by how shadow energies play out individually and collectively.

What’s hitting me this time is:

It’s not about perfection. It’s about wholeness. ⁣

The less conscious we are of our individual and collective shadow, the more it will leak out at the most in opportune of times and cause damage in relationships, in your work life and in the collective. ⁣

We all have a shadow that creates harm. You. Me. Them. Us.

Welcome to the human race.

We have a dark shadow and a golden shadow.

What is the golden shadow?

Imagine you’re an Enneagram 3 and you have a talent that doesn’t check all the boxes of what your culture deems as winning. Imagine being 60 years old and realizing you never brought the talent to the world.

Imagine you’re and Enneagram 6 and you don’t create a concrete manifestation of your talent because you’re doubting mind impedes your ability to put your insightful, intuitive offering out into the world.

Imagine you’re an Enneagram 8 and denying your impact and causing damage in a relationship or social group. ⁣There lies the upside of integrating your shadow vulnerability. If you’re an 8, your golden shadow IS the high side of Enneagram 2: authentically humble and generous.

Enneagram 9s a good example of how shadow can be hard to see as when you seem so easygoing to others. The other positive reframe types Enneagram 2 and Enneagram 7 have a harder time seeing their shadow IF your culture orients towards a push-the-river positivity. (My generation made an art of positivity but what happens is the darker side gets pushed to shadow and where we don’t deal with the darker side of life with conscious awareness and it erupts individually and collectively…see 2020).

Looking at my Enneagram 7 shadow is hard and painful…like all mental centers, I can STILL miss my relational impact. Yet the deep dive into my shadow has freed up a wellspring of creative energy in 2024 That’s the upside of shadow work for you positive reframe types or anyone:

Don’t run from your shadow. It’s full of creative energy and a path towards wholeness. ⁣


Finally, looking at the collective shadow is as important as the personal shadow: we’re swimming in cultural norms of whatever time and whatever place you live in. They live in us. ⁣

This includes our generational shadow: A Gen Xer said, “I think my generation is Enneagram 6ish while a Milllennial  said “We’re Enneagram 4ish and heavily identified with being sort of special and unique.” Boomers were a post-war, can-do generation that valued hard work and were out of touch with the impact of their workaholism and relentless productivity on the health of the planet.

I taught a class at The Hive, A Center for Art, Action and Contemplation on the Enneagram in Shadow. We reviewed the shadow of each of the Enneagram Centers along with the shadow of each Enneagram type. We then listened to panels of people talking about their own shadow and projections.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the slides.
The Shadow of Each of the 3 Enneagram Centers:


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