Siewfan Wong on the Enneagram and How it’s More than 9 Personality Types

Have you heard of the Enneagram? Always been curious? What Therapy sits down with Siewfan Wong of Gallery Helios to learn more about the Enneagram, her journey of discovery, and why she’s hosting Russ Hudson of the Enneagram Institute in Asia.

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How did you discover the Enneagram?

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I first learnt about it from other meditators who were using it as a framework for self transcendence and inner work in 2003. I was familiar with other personality type indicators and found the Enneagram to be dynamic and robust enough to be useful at different stages of adult development for self-work and coaching work.

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What is the Enneagram?

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Most people know the Enneagram as 9 personality types. It’s a shorthand and a shortcut to understanding why we are the way we are. Maybe why we get along with some people and struggle with others.

It is a system that describes nine perspectives of reality, of our true nature, of how we are disconnected from our truth. They are also nine ways for us to experience ourselves, others and the world. It may be nine ways that we feel wounded, how we respond to pressure, different coping mechanisms and overcompensation.  It is also nine ways for us to journey back to wholeness and wisdom.

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What is something people may not know about the Enneagram?

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The Enneagram is not about typing people. Through exploring how our challenges can inform and teach us, we can reveal who we really are. Its use in psycho-spiritual work is quite recent in Enneagram terms, about 100 years.The Enneagram’s origins story is set in antiquity and held within different wisdom traditions through the centuries. Russ Hudson has talked about it on rare occasions as he was piecing it together. There is sacred geometry and mathematics involved and is a universal framework for understanding any phenomenon.

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What drew you to using the Enneagram with your clients?

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The Enneagram is a useful map of our psyche. It sees the human as a physical/instinctual, psychological, emotional, mental, and spiritual being. It reflects the dynamic spiral of the human-spiritual journey. It is great for my clients, people who are interested in deepening and enriching their experience of life, people who want to grow and transform.

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What is shadow work?

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This is unveiling what we do not know about ourselves, the parts we have hidden. These are aspects that we have disowned, suppressed, and dissociated. Denial of anger, shame, fear, and pain may have been the effective strategy at one time. At some point in our lives, when we are more resourced, unprocessed emotions emerge for integration and resolution.

What we also need to remember is that contrary to what people may have been told, what lies in the subconscious is not only painful emotions experiences from our childhood. It is also our brightness and highest expression we did not or have not honoured.

Unveiling The Enneagram and Shadow Work with Russ Hudson May 2019

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Unveiling is the title of your Enneagram event this May in Bangkok. Can you tell us more?

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Most of us are oblivious about what what we have hidden in our psyche, and our hidden parts run our lives.

This workshop came about because of a conversation with Russ Hudson. Even though the entire Enneagram can be said to be about Shadow material, we wanted to present precise and useful original material from Russ. Unveiling is part of a three-event series with him this year in Asia.

First we have to know what keeps us from being our best selves, hence unveiling. It’s about learning and owning all our parts, what we may call the good as well as the painful. The next workshop is in Taipei and is about revealing who we can be when we work at it. The Heart Retreat, also in Taiwan, is about deepening that understanding and engaging our heart so our heart can nurture us.

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Russ Hudson is one of the leading Enneagram teachers and thinkers. What do you enjoy about his teaching?

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Russ teaches with such clarity and compassion. He’s the type of teacher who ignites our wisdom and brings us to our own illumination. It’s a transmission that invokes deep transformation. We all hold a Basic Fear, an illusion really, of being disconnected from the source of love. Russ is teaching us to treat ourselves and others with kindness and through that, we gain strength to glimpse the vastness.

His teachings also come from a distilled wisdom based on his personal inner work and studying the original material with masters. He has continually digested, assimilated, and worked with the Enneagram for more than 30 years. His is an integrated approach that is rooted in ancient wisdom and modern psychology. He offers new original material of the Enneagram as a map for transformation. He does’t just give us accurate descriptions of our personalities. He’s also a really smart and wickedly funny guy.

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Who would these workshops be for?

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They are useful for everyone really. We should attend it because, first, we want to grow to the higher expression of who we are.

Secondly we want to be  leaders who lead through Virtue rather than ego identity. We want to be better parents and role models for our children. We want to be coaches, counsellors or therapists who walk the talk, so we can deep dive with our clients from greater self alignment.

The Enneagram helps us recognize our truth, so we can experience life at its most essential. It is both practical and profound. When we understand our true motivations, and align with our true values, things which are temporal or superficial lose their hold over us. We become more sovereign, more congruent, and a better member of human society.

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Is there a prerequisite for attending?

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It will help if new students have some basic Enneagram knowledge. For others who have been doing some inner work for a while, it may not be important. For anyone who is interested, I will be teaching some refresher or introductory workshops in Singapore around the Types and the dynamic nature of the Enneagram.

Unveiling | The Enneagram and Shadow work will be held at The Grand Sukhumvit Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand from May 3 to 5 2019.

The focus of this workshop is looking at each of the nine points of the Enneagram as a study of the light and shadow in all of us—how each of the types is also a map guiding us through a transformational journey. You will learn how each type teaches us something about meeting our shadows, and opening them to the powerful light of grace, so we can be more free to bring good things to ourselves, our families, our work, and our world. The workshop will include teaching, exercises, music, meditation and discussion. Join Russ Hudson and explore how these teachings from the ancient wisdom traditions are relevant in our busy, modern world, including new ways of experiencing community with others.

Register before March 10 2019 to enjoy the early bird fee.

Enneagram and Shadow Work with Russ Hudson Asia 2019

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