Perfect somatic timing – The body of Enneagram Type 3

Body of Enneagram Type 3 - Flemming Christensen

Every type in Enneagram is represented in what is called the three centers. And you can master or balance all three centers depending on what type you relate to the most. In this article, I will write about the somatic or body-center of Enneagram Type 3.

The three centers of the Enneagram

If you have received training about the Enneagram or have studied some of the many great books about the Enneagram, you will certainly have touched upon the three centers. The three centers were central for Enneagram practices when Gurdjieff and Izhazo were the main teachers of the Enneagram and today, the centers are essential in the basic Enneagram training programs. I will focus on the Body of Enneagram Type 3 in this article, but a short introduction to the centers might be helpful:


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The body center

One center is called the “Body” center and does also have names like “Moving Center”, “Intuitive Center” and some even call it the “Instinctive Center”. When you master or balance the Body you will have a sense of being both strong, powerful, light and agile. You will have e deep connection to your breathing and your vitality. You act with an appropriate response, including both preciseness, delicacy, grace and irimi. When in nature you might surrender to what I call “Nature Time”, which is the timely order by which nature is acting, moving and creating.


The heart center

Another center is called the “Heart” center and does also have names like “Emotional Center” and the center of “Personal Narratives”. When you master or balance the Heart you feel a deep self-acceptance and authentic pride of who and what you are. You demonstrate empathy and compassion and you present yourself with transparency, where others have a true impression of you and where you can feel the true impressions of others. You feel a deep love and connection with yourself, making it more possible to create healthy relationships with others.


The head center

The last of the three centers is called the “Head” center and does also have names like “Thinking Center”, “Rational Center”, “Cognitive Center” and some even call it the “Mind”. When you master or balance the Head you will have clear thoughts and have a curiosity and openness toward the truth. You will enjoy finding the structure of things and exploring a reasonable explanation to a multitude of questions. You also use the Head to foresee obstacles and pitfalls on the path and how to make the best plan to avoid trouble.


We have, of course, all three centers as part of our being, but to undergo real personal growth and development, we need to master or balance each of the three centers, and the three centers united.


The body center of Enneagram type 3

Enneagram Type 3 has – like all the other types – access to all three centers, and the type 3 in all of us will be able to master or balance all Enneagram Type 3 centers. I will focus on the Body of type 3 to give you an idea about what it is we all could master or balance if we want to do the practice.


When we master or balance the Body of Enneagram Type 3, we show up in life with a beautiful timing and precision. In my new book “The Enneagram and why your blind type matters” I describe the Body of Enneagram Type 3 like this:


  • Sensing the softness in the body, which is being matched with the softness of creation.
  • Sensing the elegancy and magic in what has already been created and leaning into that elegancy and magic.
  • Expressing intuition with elegance and precision and moving without effort.
  • Expressing intuition by using the wisdom of pauses and the power of silence and waiting.

It is the energy of creation without effort and using the wisdom in the pauses and the silence.


For me, it is very musical, and to illustrate my experience, I have found a few videos for you.


Adele is mastering the art of timing

Adele has a special timing and creates with what seems like ease and no effort or struggle. She is very precise and she does what she is doing with a deep connection to what is going on in the concert hall / theater.


Notice her body moving like gentle and strong waves of creativity, notice how her arms and head are gentle and precise on the movement, and notice how she stays with stability and present.



Khatia Bunaitisvili let the body talk

When you watch Khatia play the piano, you see an artist expressing with the body what is going on in the inner universe. Her timing and precision are both leading and coordinated with the conductor and the rest of the orchestra.


Notice her power and energy, which are both expressive, grounded, and precise. Also she is open to the members of the orchestra and not just caught up in her own performance.



Oscar Peterson and Count Basie master the collective timing

The timing of Enneagram Type 3 is not only the individual timing, but also includes the collective timing. Like Khatia is well coordinated with the conductor and orchestra above, here we see Oscar Peterson and Count Basie playing together.


Here we can enjoy two of the best pianists mastering the pauses, the hinting, and the elegance while playing together.



I particularly enjoy this video as we also hear the Danish bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen.


Enneagram Type 3 and the Heart and Head

We could do the same investigation about the Heart and Head for Enneagram Type 3, and we could compare it with all the other types of the Enneagram to see how diverse we can master and balance our three centers. I have included a description of the three centers for all of the nine types in the Enneagram in my new book if you want to explore this topic further.


For your inspiration, I bring a few elements to the balanced Heart of Enneagram Type 3:


  • Feeling a deep sense of purposefulness in the being (and not only the doing).
  • Feeling the deeper meaning of the symbol of the heart, being love, care, connectedness, truth, compassion, relatedness, sorrow, hope, courage, etc., and holding all these metaphorical meanings at heart.
  • Expressing emotion in a deep connection with your own creativity together with others and creating something of value for others together with others.
  • Expressing emotion from being leaning into what has to be created and then letting yourself take part in that


And a few elements of the balanced Head of Enneagram Type 3:


  • Thinking and seeing things like they are new to you, even if they are not.
  • Thinking and understanding what has to be created or manifested to bring meaning and purpose to as many people as possible.
  • Expressing cognition on what will create the most benefit or positive outcome in the situation.
  • Expressing cognition with the beauty of emptiness, nonself, and the absence of mental hindrances.


Are Adele, Khatia, Oscar and Count Basie Type 3 in the Enneagram?

I have absolutely no idea, and I am trying not to type people I have never met and who might not be interested in being typed.


My teachers Don Riso and Russ Hudson are listing some examples of Type 3’s on their site, and I bring the here for your inspiration:


Augustus Caesar, Emperor Constantine, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Prince William, Condoleeza Rice, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Lewis, Muhammed Ali, John Edwards, Mitt Romney, Bill Wilson (AA Founder), Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Werner Erhard, Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Bernie Madoff, Bryant Gumbel, Michael Jordan, O.J. Simpson, Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Sting, Whitney Houston, Jon Bon Jovi, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Brooke Shields, Cindy Crawford, Tom Cruise, Barbra Streisand, Ben Kingsley, Jamie Foxx, Richard Gere, Ken Watanabe, Will Smith, Courteney Cox, Demi Moore, Kevin Spacey, Reese Witherspoon, Anne Hathaway, Chef Daniel Boulud, Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest, Cat Deeley, Mad Men’s “Don Draper,” Glee’s “Rachel Berry”



Examples of Enneagram Type 3 from The Enneagram Institute: click here

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