My introduction to the Enneagram occurred over thirty years ago when I attended a weekend retreat at the John Paul II Centre in Regina. The presenters were Carol Ann and David Gotch from Winnipeg. At that time, I thought I was a SIX but over the years as I read and collected Enneagram books, I move around the Enneagram embracing, many qualities of the ONE, the FOUR, the FIVE, and the THREE. I could not find my ‘Home.’ However, I did find a home, the INFP, in the Jungian approach to understanding self and others. I qualified to use the MBTI, and for many years shared those understandings with school and university staffs and students.
After retirement, I decided to delve more deeply into the Enneagram and with a psychologist friend’s help looked closely at the NINE, and finally found ‘Home.’ I studied “The Enneagram Experience” material for the Hurley- Donson approach and travelled to Lakewood, Colorado for a week-long course with Kathy and Ted, where I qualified to teach from their extensive set of materials.
My isolation from others who also embraced the Enneagram teachings and the small rural community in which I lived stopped me from proceeding with my plan to teach. But, I found my way to Helen Palmer and David Daniels’ interview –panel, experiential approach which was offered in Menlo Park, California. I took a one-week intensive session where I came to embrace my EIGHT WING and my strong Self-Preservation Instinct . A second week followed where I began training to teach this approach. This initial session was to be followed by personal mentoring by a qualified teacher and the taping of interviews for critique. The experience was life changing and I returned home again planning to teach….moved from rural Saskatchewan to Regina….but again procrastinated.
In the winter of 2008, a weekend retreat was offered by Brian Mitchell-Walker at Calling Lakes Centre, Fort Qu’Appelle, Sask. Brian was trained by Don Riso and Russ Hudson, one of the major approaches to the teaching of the Enneagram around the world. This approach delved into the theory, which I thought very important, and also provided experiential opportunities, a combination of the other two approaches I had explored. I was impressed with Brian’s synthesis of the material, his enthusiasm, and the caring manner in which he conducted our sessions. I have returned to all of the courses which Brian has offered and would recommend others “start at home” when looking for Enneagram teachings, no longer do we need to travel ‘away’ to have our eyes opened to our inner selves.
Phyllis Ray Belliveau – B.Ed, PGD, M.Ed.