Awareness, Presence and Relationships: The 3 most important pillars of working with the Enneagram

Awareness and the enneagram


Awareness, Presence and Relationships is, according to Flemming Christensen, an important part of working with the Enneagram. These are the three pillars of his work, books, teaching and podcasts. In the “Enneagram Insights podcast – On Awareness, Presence and Relationships” he talk about why in the first episode. Here is his thoughts on why, he think it is important.



1. Awareness


Witness yourself


To be aware or to observe yourself neutrally that’s a term that I’m taking from Buddhism.


(listen to the podcast about awareness, presence and relationships in the Enneagram Insights podcast)


It is about being the neutral observer of you, to actually catch yourself in the act – as Don Richard Rise and Russ Hudson would say.


Be enough here so you can see what’s going on, that you are aware of how you act, how
you speak, how you think, how you feel, how you think.


So it’s like witnessing yourself.


Be aware on how you show up


Being aware of how you impact other people, how to see the consequences of the way that
you show up.


And sometimes also even to be aware, are you reacting or are you responding?


For me, this is very, very important.


So we react towards others’ reactions.


And then we react, they react and then I react.


And then the spiral creates conflicts.


But if I can be aware of what I am doing, then I can respond and then break this spiral and create another result.


But I have to be aware of what I do.


I have to be aware of my inner or outer behavior.

Awareness and the Enneagram
Are you aware of how you show up in the world?



See yourself through awareness


The original teachers of the Enneagram, that was what they were practicing.


“Are you aware enough so you can see yourself?”


And the more we are aware, the more we can receive feedback.


And feedback is some of the fundamentals for learning. And if you want to learn, we need feedback and we need to be aware.


So we are not defending ourselves if people are commenting on our behavior and we fight them and say, no, that’s not how I act.


And for everybody else, it’s obvious that yes, you do.


So for becoming a learner, you need some awareness.


2. Presence


The presence part is so essential to the whole lineage of the Enneagram.


And the original teachers were building their teaching upon wisdom traditions that had the sole purpose of practicing presence.


Presence is  difficult to explain because it’s only with presence you would know what it is.


And you can only experience presence when you’re present.


So we can talk about it, we can call it mindfulness, we can call it heartfulness, we can call it the consciousness, we can give it several names.


But when we step into presence, a shift in our mindset will happen.


Presence and the enneagram
Presence means a mindset shift.


Courage to follow your heart?


And sometimes I ask people if we can agree that it does not take courage to follow your heart.


People kind of look at me and say:


“What do you mean? You need courage to follow your heart.”


And then I tell them that that is what we think when we are not present.


But when we are present, we follow our hearts and that would fill us up with courage.


So there is a new way of looking at ourselves, a new way of looking at others when we are


Presence and beauty


And it’s from presence or as presence we experience the most beautiful moments.


That can be love or beauty or wisdom or if somebody experiences something difficult and when we show up with presence, we can actually be there for them.


And it’s not because we want to get out of the unpleasant situation that we kind of do something, no, we actually were there for them.


So it’s with presence that the beautiful moments that is described in poetry, that’s
moments of presence.


3. Relationships


Relationships and the enneagram
Our relationships are important. In our family, on our workplace and the way we connect with others.

Relationships is always important


And then the last value or principle or pillar would be relationships.


That is both my healthy relationship with myself and my healthy relationship with others.


We cannot do much in this life without doing it in a relationship.


So having a lot of presence and awareness when we are relating with ourselves and others, it seems like it’s pretty useful.


And everything I teach, if it’s leadership, if it’s team building, if it’s personal development, if it’s relationship workshops, if it’s coaching, whatever I will be teaching.


It will include being in a relationship with another person or other persons.


Facebook group: 

Read more about Flemming Christensens’ trainings. On the Enneagram and coming into Awareness, Presence and greater Relationships:


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