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Enneagram Retreat

by:  Catherine - GritClub member

I recently attended a retreat at The Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. The topic was the Enneagram. Mepkin Abbey is a Trappists monastery run by 12 Monks who provide their guests and visitors with prayer, learning, and hospitality. They are very self sufficient group, and they grow mushrooms which they sell to the public and have stunningly beautiful gardens situated on the Cooper River where visitors are always welcome to tour and picnic.

At the Enneagram retreat, I was one of 11 guests, and we were led by an extremely well educated teacher on the Enneagram - Dr. Christine King from Asheville, North Carolina. We were invited to attend the seven daily prayer services with the monks, and the campus has a no talking rule from 7:30 pm to 7:00 am.  Our retreat was from Friday to Sunday and we had sessions together in the morning, afternoon, and evening.  

I wanted to share some of my takeaways from the retreat:

* Knowing your Enneagram number helps you learn more about yourself.

My Enneagram number is a 6 - the Loyalist.  My pitfalls are indecisiveness, insecurity, and worrying too much!  By knowing these are part of my personality patterns and habits, I can work on these areas that I don’t particularly like and be more aware of them.

I also realized the great strides I have made to trust and believe in myself. After leaving my marriage after 42 years, I am totally dependent on myself and have to make decisions that I have never had to before. By knowing that I can be indecisive, I have learned to ask trusted members of my family for advice when I am faced with big decisions. This strategy has helped me tremendously in not feeling insecure when I can’t make a decision without outside counsel.  It also keeps me from worrying about the decision I made.

*  Knowing the Enneagram number of the people closest to you helps in your relationships with them.

I have studied all the Enneagram numbers and know the numbers of my adult children and their spouses. All of our numbers are different, and by knowing their numbers, I realize that we each have our own way of processing all that life brings us. By studying their numbers, it helps me to better understand and relate to each one of them and how they work best in different situations.   

*  Knowing about the Enneagram gives you a lot of laughs.

When I am around other people that know about Enneagrams we have a lot of laughs about it! My sweet sister-in-law went with me to the retreat at the Mepkin Abbey. We live in the same town and see each other often. We have laughed many times since our retreat together as when I am indecisive, she will say, “she is a 6, she can’t make up her mind”. There is a camaraderie in knowing that we can encourage, laugh, and appreciate each other's qualities, and what better medicine is there than laughter?!

*  Live in the present moment.

I think my greatest take-away from the retreat was that I don’t want to miss a moment in this short life that we have. My faith in God is not just a belief but is real.  I encourage you to take time to appreciate and be still in each moment that you have today and take a breath and be at peace with yourself and others.

For more information on The Mepkin Abbey:

For more information on Dr. Christine King:

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