I had prior, as an Enneagram 8, which is the type I’m leading with, I had said: I don’t know, people that are afraid, I don’t know what that means. But that all came in as a perfect storm. And I learned the hard way how you don’t go towards change. I suddenly had no access to my denial. It was the most frightening situation. I feel vulnerable and raw to the point to where I didn’t know if I was going to survive.
Interview with Marion Gilbert
Todays guest in “Enneagram Insights podcast – on Awareness, Presence and Relationships” is Marion Gilbert.
She is one of the speakers on the global IEA Conference “Unite & Ignite” in San Fransisco July 2023.
Marion is an accredited professional enneagram teacher and has really made a mark on the Enneagram world by adding the somatic piece and the importance of body awareness.
In this episode Marion Gilbert talks about the gifts of the enneagram and the wisdom of the body.
She also shares her personal story about being broken open, when she went through a divorce and had a split with a business partner at the same time – and how her usual coping or defense strategies as a type 8 did not work anymore.
Its a conversation with cohost Charlotte Haase about presence and radical inclusion.
Marion Gilbert is a renowned expert in somatic trauma healing and emotional release therapy, which she uses in combination with the enneagram´s psychological personality structures for deep and lasting change.
She offers a Somatic Enneagram Certification programme and is a physical and cranio sacral therapist and an adjunct faculty member of the Narrative Enneagram Organisation.
Marion Gilbert quotes from the podcast episode
The Enneagram cultivates the inner observer
“When I found the Enneagram, I found it very enlightening in how deep and entrenched our patterns are that are well described, in the way that the modern Enneagram has put the psychological map on the Enneagram typology.
And that has been very helpful for me to understand what a missing middle was about for me.
Yeah, I knew the physical world, I knew the spiritual world, and now I had the mental, emotional world, from the perspective of how we as human beings in our development have to create adaptive strategies to learn and to grow and to develop.
The Enneagram is very good at is for people to start practicing self-reflection.
Without self-reflection, we can’t really determine our time.
So it cultivates an inner observer.”
The missing piece of the Enneagram
“Terry Saracino and I were invited to invigorate that particular retreat type setting with advanced students.
And that became our laboratory and pilot programs of learning to what works here.
And Helen Palmer became a big proponent of understanding what I was teaching and how important it was.
She called it the missing link in the Enneagram.
It’s very organized, but if you do not recognize what’s happening, you can’t work with it.
The method that I brought was the method that were the principles of the trauma resolution theory and therapy that Peter Levine started.
I was fortunate enough to be with him in the very early beginnings, before he even had a trauma resolution school, before he wrote his first book.
And when he kind of gave me that piece, that was the piece that I said:
“Okay, now I know how to be human and a spirit in a body at the same time.”
Marion Gilbert´s wakeup call
“In the spiritual world, between 49 and 50, there is a big developmental opportunity for growth.
And I remember actually saying yes to it.
And my prayer was, of course, all I want in this lifetime is to realize unconditional love.
Little did I know what I was asking for, really, because I thought the more I would ask for it, the more I would meditate, the more I would be trying to be loving and caring and all these kinds of things, then things would just develop in that direction.
But then I had a marriage that fell apart.
I had a business partnership that fell apart.
I had children that were having difficulty understanding what was happening.
All my close relations went through a huge turmoil.
And everything that was conditioned in my life was staring me in the face, right, because I was asking for the realization of unconditional love.
You better be prepared for being able to encounter the depths of the grief and the panic and the anger and the rage and the terror and all that, the fear.”
No prior understanding of fear as a type 8
“I had prior, as an Enneagram 8, which is the type I’m leading with, I had said:
I don’t know, people that are afraid, I don’t know what that means.
Yes, I have what I call superficial fears, just as a good aid, you know, being in denial.
But that all came in as just a storm, a perfect storm.
And I learned the hard way how you don’t go towards change.
And I had to relax my type structure because if I would use my type structure in these days where I would be completely fallen apart and understanding it was not about mending myself, it was about allowing the heart to break open and to, what little do you know?
So I was even with my spiritual practice, my healing practice, and I bought all the external resources in the form of people and healers and spiritual teachers and whatever, you know, and nothing would really touch the space that I was in.
So little by little I became awake to how to make space for what we don’t want to feel deep down inside. That is not even known by most people, what they don’t want to feel, right?
Because it’s under the defense mechanisms of our type.
I mean, I suddenly had no access to my denial.
I mean, it was the most frightening situation. I said, oh, this is why I do denial. I feel vulnerable and raw to the point to where I don’t know if I’m going to survive.
And I worked with the defense system specifically in order for people to learn how to be with what they want to avoid, like the plague, thinking that they’re not going to survive.
So that’s where I went.”
Called to teach
– and to let people feel and see
what they don´t want to feel or see
“All this stuff that we have in our type structure is important to make space for.
And at the same time, it’s not about changing your type.
It is changing your identification with your type, believing that that’s who you are, that is such a small portion of you.
That realization and experience of having no denial called me into teaching.
Oh my gosh, how come I missed this?
This is so simple, but yet not easy to even get to, let alone, you know, how can I convince other people, you know, to go to the places that they don’t want to go.
They don’t want to go to a workshop where they’re going to feel these things, right?
They want to get fixed.
And you see, true healing is not fixing.
Over time, I created a school that I’m working on and have already in place in a number of places.
And my hope is that by bringing this school and teaching this to other people, other students, other practitioners, other spiritual teachers, and let it mushroom out in the world.
I believe it will contribute to transforming lives there.”
Read more: Marion Gilbert offers a Somatic Enneagram Certification programme.