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Head, Heart, & Gut - Part 1

Updated: May 26, 2022

Last week's Finding Balance session was a valuable opportunity to consider how we can better balance our heart, head and gut. Enneagram or not, we seem to intuitively know that we are healthier when our thoughts, emotions, and body are in sync with each other. We make better decisions when these parts of ourselves are aligned and when we pay attention to when they are not.

The enneagram takes this intuitive knowledge and helps us make sense of it. Each of the nine personality types fall into one of these three areas - head, heart, gut - also known as centers of intelligence. Each type has a center that is dominant or overused, and one that is underutilized and as a result often underdeveloped.

By tuning into each of these centers and developing all of them, we find more balance in our lives, in our decision-making, and our capacity to manage stress.

If you've ever been "stuck in your head" or "feel the anxiety in your body," you know what I mean and the need to recalibrate.

Over the next three weeks, we'll delve into simple tips to tune into each center, as well as practices to help you when you get stuck in one.

But first, let's explore the basics of each of these centers of intelligence.

The Gut Triad/ Instinctual Center (types 8,9,1)

  • Makes decisions based on "What am I going to do?"

  • Dominant emotion of anger and focus toward justice

The Heart Triad/ Feeling Center (types 2,3,4)

  • Makes decisions based on "How do I feel about it?"

  • Dominant emotion of shame and focus toward significant identity

The Thinking Triad/ Head Center (types 5,6,7)

  • Makes decisions based on "What do I think about it?"

  • Dominant emotion of fear and focus toward security

An opportunity to reflect

  • Which center do you utilize the most? Do you ever get "stuck" there?

  • Which center do you utilize the least?

An opportunity to grow

Tune into your underutilized center over the next few weeks. Pay attention to what it is telling you and make note of the insights it may offer.

Need help tuning into it? Here are specific strategies for tuning into all three centers to help us get unstuck and find more balance in our lives.


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