2018 was a year in which I acquired two spirit animals – Sloth & Grace
Admittedly, I think sloths are adorable. But I’m not talking about the three-toed mammals who hang out in the trees of rainforests. I’m talking about the passion of sloth which is a hallmark of an enneagram 9. Sloth in enneagram work is best described as personal indifference or a resistance to engage in experiences that may threaten peace of mind.
2018 was the year I learned about and became slightly obsessed with the Enneagram. (If you just read the word Enneagram and thought “what the heck is that?”….take a peek HERE to learn the basics about this ancient personality typing system. I am a HUGE fan of the work of Suzanne Stabile and recommend her books and podcasts as a good place to start if you want to dive into the Enneagram for yourself!) I am without any shadow of doubt an Enneagram 9. In general, nines are accepting, trusting, creative, optimistic, and supportive, but can also be too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They want everything to go smoothly and be without conflict, but they can also tend to be complacent (this is where sloth comes into play) simplifying problems and minimizing anything upsetting. Nines often have problems with inertia and stubbornness. Yup. That’s me.
It has been several months of “aha” moments as I dive deeper and deeper through the layers of the Enneagram – identifying my life-long defaults and bad habits, figuring out which ones serve me well and which ones need to be broken, and beginning to better understand my place in both relationships and the world. It’s been an eye-opening journey – one that has really just started – and I have adopted the literal 3-toed, tree hanging, slow-moving mammal sloth as my personal spirit animal (or non-spirit animal since I want to break the tendency toward personal forgetfulness and indecisiveness!)
It turns out I am dog person. Or at least I am a specific dog person. Grace came into our lives via an email in mid-June and by mid-July she was part of our family. I have “blamed” my enneagram work for my very uncharacteristic decisiveness that brought Grace into our family – a couple of weeks before I learned about Grace, I wrote down a note in the margins of a study guide from Suzanne Stabile encouraging Nines to “sacrifice peace for the sake of self”….nothing says sacrificing peace like adopting a blind and diabetic dog! But I just knew from the moment I saw her sweet face in my email, that she was meant to be with our family.
What I didn’t know was that Grace and I would be – in the words of my definitely-a-dog-person husband – “kindred spirits”. She is my shadow, my comforter and a source of great joy for me. I’ve always claimed myself to be a cat person, but 2018 has proven me wrong. I would have never predicted that we’d add a dog to our family this past year, but now I can’t picture not having her with us. She is super high maintenance (diabetic & blind!), but she gives back in love, is the best thing to happen to me in 2018 and is my kindred spirit.
I have never been one to make resolutions or annual plans – good thing since I could not have planned for Sloth or for Grace at this point in 2017! So while I don’t know what to expect in 2019, I do know that I am entering the new year with a better self-awareness, a desire to be more intentional about figuring out what I want in life, and the sweetest dog traveling with me toward whatever comes next.
I wish you blessings, love and friendship wherever 2019 takes you!