Practical Enneagram Application in Self Coaching


I wrote this article in response to an acknowledgment of the Enneagram as a tool for tuning into our essential nature by Roxanne Howe-Murphy, Ed.D. on the co-active coaching forum. Roxanne is the author of “Deep Coaching: Using the Enneagram as a catalyst for profound change.

This article explores an interdisciplinary understanding of coaching, working within themes like the Enneagram, States of Consciousness, the natural cycle of our direct experience of wholeness, various principles that have guided me, a process on healing our relationship with money, and some powerful reflections to tie it all together in the end.

Who this is for: who would most likely benefit from this writing

You will find this valuable if you have an interest in the Enneagram, if you have an interest in the inter-relationship between different modalities for coaching and personal inquiry, or if you are interested in learning how to expand your abilities as a coach and/or space holder. Also if you are curious about why we usually have a glass ceiling in our ability to earn income, and how to break through, you will probably find some value here.


  • Introduction
  • Who this is for: who would most likely benefit from this writing
  • Learning Objectives: what I intend to explore with you through this writing
  • Context: understanding how I apply the Enneagram to coaching and personal inquiry
  • Short term cycles: the daily ups and downs in how much ease and grace we experience
  • Common Obstacles: A challenge that many experience and its resolution
  • The Enneagram and its application: direct application of Enneagram Principles in the path of an awakening explorer
  • Realizations on Relating to Money: Insights that have contributed to my present day receptivity to financial flow
  • In Summary: Why I study the Enneagram
  • Wrapping it up together: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Transformative Process

This document comes from the desk of Jonathan Haber on a warm Summer morning in the valley of Livermore, CA.

Learning Objectives: In this article, we will…

  • Explore how you can use the Principles of the Enneagram to further understand who you are not, and through that, to get a glimpse of your essential nature
  • Explore how an understanding of the Enneagram can support personal inquiry
  • Explore how emotional or energetic clearings can be complimented by the expressive arts
  • Explore how opening to financial flow can be affected by ones Enneagram type
  • Explore the inter-relationship between several different branches of coaching, self inquiry

Context: understanding how I apply the Enneagram to coaching and personal inquiry

To start – here is some context. The way I understand the Enneagram is that when we identify our personality “type,” we discover a blueprint for who we are not. Understanding ourselves as something far more flexible and adaptive then the unconscious structures and patterns of our mind and self image, we gain new opportunities to see through the facade, and to taste that which is more real.

In my world, we have opportunities to experience freedom from the dissonant aspects of our personality type throughout our day. To experience ourselves as an expression of our essential nature is called the experience of “integration,” and we are capable of calling that forth in many ways. For some of us we dance to experience our wholeness. For others, playing guitar, meditation, or yoga can be doorways.

Imagine a sine wave. Over time, our experience of integrations changes via our decisions. When we stay up all night and eat poorly we experience the darker aspects of our type, and when we make decisions to take really good care of ourselves, or when we take the time to tune it, let go, allow, and welcome life as it is, we experience the more integrated states of being, and the warmth of our essential nature shines warmly through. Many individuals report seeing a subtle shine in my eyes when I am in a state like this.

Short term cycles: the daily ups and downs in how much ease and grace we experience

In addition to the cyclical nature of our state of integration from day to day, there is a center of gravity that can be raised. The center of the sine wave your imagined earlier can be elevated so that you experience more profound and longer lasting states of integration and experiences of wholeness, and so that our dips into the “dis-integrated” aspects of our personality aren’t as low.

Another coaching methodology that uses the sine wave to illustrate our levels of integration over time is the coaching style taught by Gay and Kathleen Hendricks, introduced to me by Diana Chapman. The state of integration is referred to as the state of consciousness within which ease and grace emerge, within which problems resolve themselves effortlessly. Einstein speaks to this in his famous quote…

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”

So the direct experience of these principles is a shift in consciousness, and in short term cycles we can dip in and out of these states of mind, in longer term cycles we cultivate our ability to rest and relax in these states, also referred to as “being in our center” in aikedo and being “rooted deeply in the body” in various somatic practices.

I want to know what practices have supported you in experiencing shifts in consciousness, and which practices you use to cultivate your internal landscape; to make space for further exploration into these states of mind.

Common Obstacles: A challenge that many experience and its resolution

A challenge that many individuals report as they endeavor to cultivate thier center is exemplified in this quote. “I want to do what it takes to come to my center and not fall out again.” While it is arguable whether individuals experience this via an experience of awakening, there is a story about an aikedo master that exemplifies the folly of this as a goal early in ones pursuit of spiritual gain.

After an exhibition where the Aikedo Master warded off 14 pursuants with apparent ease and grace, a spectator inquired. “How were you able to maintain your balance in all of that without losing yourself?”

The Aikedo Master smiled openly, eyes shining with gentleness, and responded… “What makes you think I did not lose my center? I just came back to it before you noticed”

What I learned from this story is that if we strive for perfection, wanting to avoid falling, our aversion to the possibility of stumbling will sabotage us. Driven and influenced by our fear, we attract exactly that which we fear. This is where the Law of Attraction falls short if not coupled with a complete release of one’s desires. Resolution, then, and with it sustainable change, comes with a welcoming of our faults and stumbles, and an authentic commitment to continuing to shorten the amount of time that it takes to come back to center.

The Enneagram and its application: Direct application of Enneagram Principles in the path of an awakening explorer

One useful aspect of the Enneagram is that it illustrates our deepest fear, and with that, helps us to understand how our personality may have been constructed in response to that. When I came to this understanding I was pretty shaken up, because what it meant was that I was living in reaction, at one of the deeper levels of my psyche. To live in reaction vs. to live from a place of choice was a hot topic in my studies, and I wanted to unwind anything that stood in the way of authentically crafting my life consciously.

As a 3 in the Enneagram, my deepest fear is said to be a fear of not having value – apart from my achievements. Couple that with the conditioning in our society to associate value with being successful financially, with relationship, and with being social, and you can imagine the challenge that comes up. I have explored inauthenticity more deeply then most people know or realize, and my sense of personal value has fluctuated with my levels of integration, as mentioned above. When I am taking good care of myself, I feel valuable, and I feel like I have something to offer.

When I first started coaching, one of the difficulties that I had was in asking for and easily recieving money for my work. Through guidance with Diana Chapman, I assessed how much money I was able to receive easily, and made a commitment to charge that, until I was able to shift what that was. It was not much, and my coaching practice spent a long time as a pro-bono practice, not quite taking shape until some recent realizations and learnings.

Now, I am pleased to say, that I have a different relationship with money. While I am just getting used to it, I feel hopeful that I will be able to sustain it.

This is a breakdown of what I have learned, and I am interested in sharing with individuals how these principles can be applied in an experiential learning environment. Perhaps that will be the next stage of this documents evolution, and perhaps you will contribute to that through your comments.

Realizations on Relating to Money: Insights that have contributed to my present day receptivity to financial flow

  • It is possible to trace financial disharmony to its roots, and to change it.
  • It is possible to use role play and visualization, paired up with energetic/emotional clearings in order to heal our relationship with money
  • In the west, we tend to buy into the false belief that getting more money will be a source of security, and through this, we constrict financial flow.
  • I have learned that it can be easy to break that and other false beliefs about money.

Other false beliefs that are also easy to unwind…

  • The belief that changes we make in our circumstances can provide an authentic experience of security
  • The belief that seeking approval outside of ourselves can alleviate stories and feelings of inadequacy…

Each of these false beliefs lead us away from our truth.. and it can be easy to break free from all of them. One by one.

In Summary: Why I study the Enneagram

I study and apply the principles of the Enneagram because…

  • It helps me to see how my central fear affects every other part of my life, including how I relate to others and how I relate to money.
  • It helps me to identify opportunities to unpack false beliefs
  • It helps me identify opporutunities to clear stuck energy, or contraction,
  • It helps me to understand what I am most likely to become attached to, and to let go

Wrapping it up together: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Transformative Process

Now I know that many of the individuals who read this are going to want to know about the inter-relationship between different tools that I have previously mentioned. I believe that wisdom comes from understanding context, and that the relationship between modalities is the context out of which one or another will emerge. Heres a taste of how they work together….

An experience to learn from…

The very central experience that I called forth around relating to money happened at Panama Bay Coffee Company in Livermore, Ca. I sat and completed my daily practice, and through it, I discovered that I had an attachment to controlling the amount of financial flow in my life for the sake of feeling more of a sense of security. I reminded myself of a previous realization around security… the realization that when I do think that I can get a sense of security through my relationship I get needy, clingy, and controlling.

I remembered having a conversation with the essence of tobacco in an indigenous ceremony, and how effective that was at altering the way I related to tobacco in general, and I imagined money as an entity that I could speak with.

I closed my eyes and visualized the spirit of money in front of me. As I would have done in order to “clear a charge” with someone in a mens group prior to doing some of the deeper work we would do, I looked her in the eyes and asked myself If I “had a charge.” I did.

So I walked myself through the process of clearing it.

  1. I shared the data first… just the facts. This is how much money I have, this is how much I have earned in my life…
  2. Then I shared the feelings…
  3. Then I shared my stories, my judgments, and my interpretations in relating to money. Since the spirit of money showed up in the feminine to me, I released all of my stories about whether she cared, or was there for me when I needed her…
  4. Then I imagined a facilitator prompting me… “Imagine she is just a mirror for you, Jonathan. Can you see where you show up in this way in your life?” I took the time to see if any of my judgments of her were also judgments of myself.
  5. The next step was to take responsibility for whatever I was ready to, and I did…
  6. The final step is called wanting for… and I shared my blessings and what I wanted for the spirit of money, free from my attempts to control and direct her.

How would your wife show up if you tried to control and direct her? Just as I would intend to relate to a woman, I released my desire to control money in that moment, I offered her freedom…


Then, to integrate this experience, I picked up the guitar. I took time to tune in, and allowed myself to spontaneously express, in the moment, whatever needed to be said. I looked at the steps of the process I had just completed, and I tuned into the changes within myself that occurred throughout. Each of the changes had a particular flavor to it, and I allowed those flavors to influence the guitar song as I sang, one by one, integrating them through my creative expression.

I then shifted my attention to the shadow element to all of this work, and I allowed my mind, emotions, and body, to express the dark side, the contracted, controlling, clinging aspect of my personality. In the philosophy of tantric yoga it is said that contraction is neither good nor bad, and that it is a catalyst for further expansion. I allowed myself to go all the way into that contraction, and from that place, I let go. I re-experienced the release and shift, and the song that I was singing took a 180 degree turn in its tone and feel.

If I were to re-create a sequence of exercises for individuals to shift the way that they relate to money, I would absolutely include a creative expression component at the end.

This experience teaches me that clearings can happen with any relationship within our awareness. I could have a clearing on my relationship with discipline, with integrity, with commitment, with manhood… Each of these words is also an expression archetypically, and I have a relationship with each archetypal expression. When we zoom out from the lens of the individual, and observe ourselves, we can gain a glimpse of the qualities of these relationships, and with that, we can get a sense about where we might place our attention, where we might offer ourselves, in order to create that which we are ready to experience, or ready to learn, in our lives.

Jonathan Haber B.A. C.M.T.

Helping Wellness Practitioners, Coaches, and Facilitators generate revenue by building their client base.

Coach and Facilitator

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