The Enneagram is a way of customizing what will help us develop. There’s so many things we could pay attention to in our mind, in our emotions, in our postures. But some things are going to be more useful. Some things are going to give us leverage for opening up possibilities. And that’s what Integral Coaching is. It´s trying to help someone discover an expanded range of who they can be in the world. And that’s really the aim of the Enneagram. So it’s very congruent in that way.
James Flaherty and Russ Hudson about Integral Coaching and the Enneagram in Enneagram Insights podcast
We live in a time with a lot of input and a lot of people have mental health issues and are a bit overwhelmed.
It can feel scary to become present and feel what is going on inside.
We can have a tendency to numb ourselves with work, business, tv and food.
Russ Hudson and James Flaherty are guests in today’s Enneagram Insights Podcast show.
Together they offer the virtual Course: “The Enneagram and Integral Coaching”.
We talk about being present and catching ourselves and how to slow down, which has a price.
Russ Hudson reads a quote of Jacob Needleman on the Buddhistic term Hungry Ghosts and how “Right away” is the opposite of now.
Also hear the relatable story of how James Flaherty reacted, when he could not find his sunglasses and what that has to do with today’s theme.
Guests: Russ Hudson and James Flaherty
Russ Hudson is an Enneagram Expert and a beloved teacher and wisdom figure in the Enneagram World.
He is also originally the teacher of Flemming Christensen and has been a guest on this podcast before.
James Flaherty was educated at the University of California in Psychology and Literature and is a respected expert in Integral Coaching.
He is the founder of New Ventures West, co-founder of Integral Leadership LLC and is the author of “Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others” and is currently writing a second book entitled “Integral Coaching”.
He has coached top executives at many Fortune 500 companies and is a popular speaker at meetings and conferences.
Kindness in Denmark?
This interview with Russ Hudson and James Flaherty takes place in Denmark, Copenhagen and is conducted by the cohost Charlotte Haase.
Russ and James are both American and like the Danish country, culture and people but there is an important word lacking in the Danish vocabulary according to James Flaherty.
It actually becomes a thread and theme in the episode. And in the end James Flaherty offers a beautiful daily practice, which cultivates kindness.
Quotes from the episode of Enneagram Insights Podcast
James Flaherty: More Soft in the world
James Flaherty: “I read Russ’s and his partner’s (Don Riso) book long before I met Russ.
And I’m a type 5.
When they said, 5s have to be more in their body, the first thing I thought was, “Oh, that’s a good idea”.
But then I started doing it.
So I took on a serious yoga practice, took on serious other practices, and I found out that it gave me access to my emotions and let me be more responsive and more soft in the world.”
James Flaherty: Wholeness is our Natural State
James Flaherty: “One way of reading the Enneagram is it’s a long list of what’s wrong with you.
Some people read it that way. Russ Hudson doesn’t teach in that way.
We work with Integral Coaching and the Enneagram in order to bring about our wholeness, which is our natural state. We just get confused and lost here and there.”
Enlightened in a hotel room
James Flaherty: “I was in San Francisco in the 70s, so I did plenty of classes of getting enlightened, you know, I got enlightened in a hotel room.
That was nice. But then what? There’s no way to live afterwards.
So integral coaching is about how to live, how to treat ourselves, how to treat other people, how to treat nature, how to treat the world.
And the other part is one of the notions, one of the values embedded in Integral Coaching is each of us has a particular something to bring to the world.
And when we get present and less fix, less fixated and less afraid.
Then it naturally and easily comes through.”
Russ Hudson: Coaching and the Enneagram tries to give someone an expanded range of who they can be in the world
Russ Hudson: “I don’t think of the Enneagram as a set of descriptions that tell us who we are.
It’s not a filing system for people.
I think it’s more accurate to say that the Enneagram is a study, a way of customizing what will help us develop.
That as James Flaherty was saying, there’s certain things, there’s so many things we could pay attention to in our mind, in our emotions, in our postures.
But some things are going to be more useful. Some things are going to give us leverage for opening up possibilities.
And that’s what coaching is, is trying to help someone discover an expanded range of who they can be in the world.
And that’s really the aim of the Enneagram. So it’s very congruent in that way.”
Slow down: And feel the hurt
Russ Hudson: “I think the problem is as soon as I relax, the first thing I will notice is how tense I am.
As soon as I relax in this frantic, anxious world, I’m going to feel my anxiety, my depression, my fixated ways or a way of shielding me from this is one of the central teachings of the Enneagram.
Our fixation is a way of looking at things, operating, living to numb us to how much we’re hurting ourselves. To how we’re living in a way that hurts. And if you stop doing it, guess what?
The first noble truth of Buddhism, you are going to feel you’re suffering. That’s what turns the amateurs back.
To be an awake, contributing human being is to pay a price. And the price you pay is to not keep contributing to the craziness.
To stop it, at least within myself for a few minutes and to be willing to be with how anxious I am, how overwhelmed I feel, how lonely I feel, how sad I feel, how scared I feel.
But if you do that with some kind of developing ground of presence, that’s not overwhelming. And there’s a deep intelligence in human beings.
This is something both James and I have learned.
And it’s as though you start to digest those feelings.
Something in our deeper self knows how to be with those feelings and transform them into something useful, something that will be helpful.
That doesn’t happen overnight.
Yes you can go and have that awakening in the hotel room.
But being able to bring that to bear on the underlying emotions and reactions and crazy thoughts we have and to not turn away from that is a big thing.”
The inner world and wisdom is always there waiting for us
Russ Hudson: “Well, if we start to really understand that that inner world is always there waiting for us, the work is not going to that other world.
The work is building a connection between the two so that that deeper world has a chance to be what lives in this world.
To be able to integrate, integral, right, that word integral, to integrate this deeper presence and understanding into our lived life.
That’s the grown up work. Then our spirituality isn’t just a way of escaping the craziness of our life. It starts to change how we live individually and collectively.
But that’s a lot harder than just having a nice spiritual experience, which are useful and we need them.
But it’s not the same as the term usually is called actualizing our realization. We say that in English, realizing, actualizing. But I think many people get confused about that.
And coaching, I think, really is a tool for actualizing.”
Producer and podcast owner: Flemming Christensen
Guests: James Flaherty (type 5) and Russ Hudson (type 5)
Host: Charlotte Heje Haase (type 2)
James Flaherty: integralengage.com
James Flaherty and Russ Hudson´s Four Month virtual course: The Enneagram and Integral Coaching