Why a lighthouse?

business coaching enneagram non-profits storyenneagram teambuilding Apr 24, 2024
Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@melissaaskew?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Melissa Askew</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/silhouette-of-person-standing-on-rock-formation-during-sunset-mYzSRaKLMVE?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Unsplash</a>

I had a friend ask me why I chose a lighthouse as an icon of my work with the Enneagram when I had named my company Story Enneagram. She thought it would make more sense to use a book as an icon.

She was probably right. It was a good question and one that I had to think long about it. 

I use the lighthouse as a metaphor for describing how the Enneagram works. I always begin my sessions telling this story.

Imagine a lighthouse with a beam of light that rotates in a 360 degree fashion. 

The lighthouse does two things really well. It helps us to see what's out there and it helps to be seen. I know that the coast is going to be very near the lighthouse.

If the light is continuing to rotate, the entire landscape gets illuminated. We can see everything.

In human experience, the light in our lighthouse stops spinning and becomes fixed. This creates two major issues.

1) We focus on a narrow slice of reality. 

2) We believe everyone else sees reality as we do.

The Enneagram describes nine slices of how we see reality. Odds are your partner, your friends, your coworkers, and your family don't see the world the way that you do.

We have predictable conflicts over what matters.

Is it more important to get something done? Do it the right way? Make sure to be safe? Express my personality?

So we regularly clash with others on the way we see things. 

Our knee-jerk reaction is to try to convince the other person to see things the way that we see them.

To that I just have one question. How's that working for you?

That's where we begin to tell our stories of how we experience the world and how we experience others. Transformation comes when we come to understand ourselves and our motivations as well as others.

The light of insight helps us to make sense of our own stories. We have the chance to see things as they are and rewrite a different story... one of greater awareness and compassion. 

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