What’s Virtuous about Fighting for Kitties?


Asserter carpenterLong before I heard about the Enneagram personality system, I knew I needed to model myself more after the personality type I was later to learn is called the “Asserter,” as seen in the example above with the tattoo on his arm. He tells it like it is and is more than willing to fight over his truth. He loves kittens. Unlike his co-worker, he doesn’t consider this affection an affliction. It doesn’t lessen his manhood one iota. So there! Good for him. I admire a person who honors truth! This decisive, confident archetype of the Asserter was well known to me for most of my life without having to be taught about it. So the Enneagram made sense: it imparted truths of human nature. The nine types were there to see and to check out. They weren’t arbitrary. I saw them in the people I came in touch with every day.

Being an Observer with a strong Romantic wing, I’m fond of authenticity. I’m an INFP in the MBTI system, which means I’m a soul-searcher, an artistic type. I’ve been writing books and drawing cartoons for 15 years and I play the piano. I love the arts. But for the past few months I’ve been doing little but marketing my newest book, “The Career Within You.” The Observer in me is curious and enjoys new areas of learning. I’ve learned about Twitter, Facebook, blogging, Flickr, You Tube, and a few other marketing tools. I spend hours each day on these things and some of it is fun. My dreams at night seem to be telling me I’m clogging up my creative side, though. It’s true–I’ll have ideas about future projects and start on them only to abandon them for some deadline having to do with marketing.

I’m like the guy in the cartoon. He probably wants to go home and play with his kitten. He’s not a wimp and neither am I. We just know what we like. He’s telling the world about his passion and I’m telling the world about mine right now: the Enneagram. There are many reasons I love it, too many to lay out here. But two big reasons are: •1)  the Enneagram pinpointed my type for me, the Observer, so that instead of feeling on the outside, I was comforted to know that my “group” was seen. • 2) the Enneagram has possibilities for great good in the world as a tool for healing racial, cultural, and religious divides. It is already saving and healing individuals and groups and I want to see its usefulness expand. I think my books are good for that. http://www.wagele.com If you’re one of my fans, you can help with my social marketing project in many ways. A fun way is to go to my CARTOON SHARING PROJECT on my home page, lift the html of some of your favorite cartoons, and put them on your own web site or other forums and help spread the word that way or in emails.

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Cultivating Mindfulness


Mandala

Yesterday I had lunch with some friends. I was feeling guarded about one of them, who will often fly off the handle in the passion of presenting his positions on things. I have quite an even temperament and I don’t always do so well with people who are the opposite from me in that regard. I tend to feel overwhelmed by their emotions and lose track of myself. So before we met I felt uneasy considering what I might do about this. But as I observed him talking to another member of our group I noticed what an emotional person he is–and I let it in that this has nothing to do with me. I think I’ve been seeing him as intimidating me all too readily. As it turned out, he never did go into a rage that day. Now that I have greater insight into myself, I have time to work on my own attitude before we meet again in a few weeks. I will try to accept him as a person who is unlike me; he is emotionally based. Hopefully I have tender feelings, but I would never express them so dramatically. Either it’s not my in-born style or maybe I’m too timid. He probably represents my shadow.

As often happens, this breakthrough (I call it a breakthrough because I had been struggling with this person’s temper for a long time) didn’t come out of the blue. It comes on the heels of a much larger breakthrough concerning a family member. Being mindful was a help to me in both cases. After receiving a wrongfully accusing letter from a relative, I had plunged into a negative feeling state and started to obsess about how to react. Several times I considered pushing my feelings away and trying to forget the whole thing, but my energy was so intense I decided something productive might be percolating inside of me. I had felt similarly when in on the verge of creative breakthroughs in the past. Sure enough, in another couple of weeks I had solved a big puzzle. After trying to be open and waiting, things came together and the story of this tangled relationship started to make sense. I was glad I had stuck it out, including working hard on the dreams I had during this period, and able to make more progress on this situation than I ever expected. So taking the “positive” route doesn’t always achieve the best results. Sometimes hanging out in an uncertain or even negative place turns out to be the best in the long run.

“The Happy Introvert”


IntrovertLadyDo you know if you’re an introvert? Would you be proud to know you were? As I say in my book, “The Happy Introvert; A Wild and Crazy Guide to Your True Self,” when I proudly announced to my mother that I was an introvert, she shot back angrily, “You are not! You are a nice girl!” Now that many decades have gone by, I can say with certainty that being an introvert has brought me many pleasures. I’ve never been bored except when other people don’t know when to stop talking and I try not to let that happen. I generally love people and I spend much of my time studying them. I also like my own company and can find many ways to amuse myself. This is a big subject that I filled a whole book with, so there’s not room to cover it here, but here are some questions you can ask yourself if you think you might be an introvert:

1. Do you usually prefer limiting your time with people to an hour or two?

2. Do people usually realize you’re interesting only after they get to know you fairly well?

3. Are you critical of superficiality?

4. Do you tend to concentrate in depth when doing a project?

5. Is your style of speech relatively calm and quiet?

6. Are you more likely to engage in learning or improving your skills than looking for outside stimulation?

7. Is your ability to remember people’s names average to low?

8. In social situations, do you sometimes or often stand back and observe?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, it’s likely you are an introvert. We all use both introversion and extraversion every single day, but one of these feels more easy and natural more of the time. I kept hearing people talk about introverts in a negative way and I wanted to help clear up some of the misconceptions about this subject. I’m glad I did. “The Happy Introvert” helps those introverts who might think something is wrong with themselves, when really introversion is perfectly natural and necessary. It also tezches people how to relate better to the introverts in their lives.

See the cover and order the book at wagele.com and/or read my articles on “Parenting Introverts,” “A 5 on Music, The Enneagram, and Infinity,” “How to Get Along with Introverts,” and “Introverted Feeling Types;” and see some reviews and an interview here.

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