There is one soul care practice you especially need. Incorporating this spiritual discipline into your routine will bless you greatly and help your personality to flourish.
You discover your key soul care exercise when you learn your Enneagram intelligence center or spiritual IQ (usually called your triad).
Last week in our Soul Shepherding blog and podcast we talked about your spiritual intelligence center and the power it has for you. This week we build on that understanding by looking at the spiritual discipline that each Enneagram triad needs.
Henri Nouwen taught that a spiritual discipline is an activity you do that makes space and puts you in a posture to hear the voice of the Father call you his beloved.
We like to call spiritual disciplines “Soul Shepherding experiments.” Our books and other resources are full of practical ways to open to God’s grace. How will God meet me if I try this spiritual experiment? That’s the mindset you want.
If you’re a Gut person the spiritual discipline you most need in order to get better synced up with God’s grace and peace is stillness. But it’s easier to stay busy working on something — or shut down and not do anything.
The Lord says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). That’s especially for Gut types! To help them be still they can take a prayer walk, hike in nature, or practice Sabbath rest. Breath Prayers from the Bible like the ones in our book Your Best Life in Jesus’ Easy Yoke are especially powerful for Gut types.
If you’re a Heart person, in order to experience God’s presence you especially need the discipline of solitude. The problem is that as soon as you get alone you may feel empty, unimportant, and compelled to be with people or talk to someone.
In the Gospels, we often read that Jesus went away into lonely places to pray (Luke 5:16). That’s where Heart people can find their true self reflected back to them by the Lord. Journaling can be a helpful way to get in touch with what you feel and need and relate to yourself. Soul Shepherding’s Ignatian Meditation Guides that engage our imagination and emotions are especially great for Heart types.
If you’re a Head person, the spiritual discipline that will most help you to experience God’s presence is silence. But at first, silence puts us in touch with our anxiety or makes our head spin, which is why we may avoid it. Oh, to have a quiet mind and feel God’s peace!
In Revelation, it says there was silence for half an hour (Revelation 8:1). Heaven opens for Head types when they learn to be quiet in a quiet environment. A place to start may be sitting alone at a coffee shop for thirty minutes and instead of looking at your phone you simply meditate on a verse, image, or story from the Bible. Soul Shepherding’s Lectio Divina Guides are especially good for Head people.
For All Types
All of us can benefit from stillness, solitude, and silence. (Chris Heuretz discusses this in The Sacred Enneagram.) In fact, the three go together because it’s hard to effectively do one without the other two.
When you’re helping someone in any role it’s valuable to know their spiritual IQ center because then you can better speak their language. For instance, if you’re talking to a group of people, all three types are there and will appreciate you incorporating their triad or mode of being and doing.
Give Gut types some quiet space where they can have control. Short pauses, breaks, and the opportunity to share opinions will engage them.
Give Heart types stories and the opportunity to relate with other people, perhaps by sharing with a partner or group.
Give Head types good thoughts to chew on and an organized presentation that lets them analyze things.
Whichever intelligence center you most identify with, you need empathy from trusted, godly soul friends in order to become more securely attached to Jesus. We teach and model spiritual empathy every week in our “Soul Talks” podcast.
Download our free coaching tool, Finding Your Enneagram Type.