General Archetypal Names: Peacemaker, Mediator, Connector
Core Motivational Theme: Peace/Stability, Harmony/Union
Core Fear: conflict, loss, tension; being uncomfortable, inconsiderate, pushy, self-centered; separation
Core Desire: peace/peace of mind, harmony, ease; being comfortable, considerate, stable; union
Center of Intelligence: gut/instinctive
Connecting Points: 3 (heart/feeling), 6 (head/thinking)
Archetypal Journey (Levels of Consciousness)
From least to most conscious, these archetypes represent the varying ways that a human may respond to the core motivation arising out of point 9 on the Enneagram.
“Maintain the peace and don’t cause any upset. What do I need to do and say to not ruffle anyone’s feathers?”
“Enough of this! Why don’t you consider someone else’s perspective for a minute, assholes!?!”
“Self-serving desires and self-defeating fears create inner division in people; which then manifest as conflict in the world. I will not sacrifice my inner peace to avoid outer tension, nor will I disavow my duty and settle for comfort and ease. I will be in the world, but not of it—doing what I can to heal division and bring people together.”
Integration and Disintegration / Connecting Points
1. Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D (NVC: communication practice basics PDF)
Beyond being an inspiring figure and a healthy example of an Enneagram 9, Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D is the developer of the relating style known as Nonviolent Communication (video with Marshall Rosenberg). Rather than treating Nonviolent Communication (NVC) as a mechanical talking style, it’s useful to reflect on the principles behind it. Ultimately, NVC is not only a framework for cooperation and conflict resolution, but also for inquiry and inner growth.
Practically, NVC serves as a great reminder of what 9s need to hear: peace isn’t about staying silent and avoiding disagreement, it is about speaking up about the truth of the one’s experience in a healthy, non-assumptive, non-blaming, non-attached, “non-violent” way.
2. Develop Awareness and Balance the Body through “Working Out” and “Working In”
Although they are a gut type, 9s can often become out of touch with their bodies and their instinctive energies (to the extent that they avoid conflict, and settle for situational physical comfort and mental ease).
Exercise can be a powerful tool for increasing body/mind awareness, creating mental and physical stability, and getting a person back in touch with their instinctive energies; provided that it’s done intelligently and not just engaged in as a mindless, self-torturous, vanity routine.
My favorite framework for viewing exercise/movement is elucidated by holistic lifestyle and fitness coach Paul Chek, who conceptually distinguishes between “working out” and “working in.”
Working out is what most people associate with exercise (weightlifting, running, hot-pilates yoga, sports, going to the gym etc). Working out stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight), and while it can be good for increasing overall fitness or burning off stresses that accumulate throughout the day, it is ultimately a stressor to the body that depletes energy and necessitates a recovery phase. By contrast, working in is based around light, parasympathetic (rest and digest) movement such as tai chi, walking, stretching, or traditional yoga. Working in can increase energy, promote mind/body awareness, and aid in the recovery from stress through promoting circulation and steady, conscious breathing.
I recommend having some time set aside for daily/weekly movement, but ultimately letting the energetic needs of the body on a given day determine whether one “works in” or “works out.”