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Traversing the mysterious Enneagram

Introductory classes will be offered on the Enneagram during the month of November
These days people are asking important questions. Questions like "Who am I?" "What is my purpose?" "How can I live a life that is more meaningful?" According to some sources, the Enneagram is a powerful and dynamic tool that people have been using for centuries to answer important life questions, which seem so relevant today. It is primarily a psychological and spiritual tool for self-understanding and personal transformation.
   Local instructor Kathleen Paterno believes it is a powerful way to understand what motivates people both positively and negatively, and gives alternatives for making better, more effective choices.
   In addition to personal growth and understanding, the Enneagram is something couples find very helpful for increasing communication and understanding in their relationships.
   And, in recent years it has found its place in the business world. Executives and management teams are using it as a way of achieving goals and better utilizing the workforce they employ.
   The Enneagram model identifies nine distinct and fundamentally different patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. Each of the nine types has developed a particular way of seeing and understanding. Paterno explains that this "filter" through which people see the world can ultimately be very self-limiting.
   By understanding this dynamic, a person can empower themselves toward achieving whatever goals they may have in mind. Those goals may be personal, spiritual, academic or professional.
   No matter how you choose to incorporate the information gained from the Enneagram, Paterno says, it will undoubtedly have an impact on the way you view yourself, and the people around you.
   A personal life coach living in Powell Butte, Paterno indicated that she has been using the Enneagram for a number of years in her own life. When she started her coaching practice, it became an essential component in helping clients discover their natural gifts and talents. She has been teaching the system to others in a variety of formats since 1998.
   "People identify with the coping mechanisms which they have developed over their lives so completely that they actually become blind to them," she explained. "We don't usually question these traits until we start doing some personal work or are faced with a crisis in our lives. Mid-life is a big one for many people."
   She added that when a person somehow becomes disenchanted with who they have become, they begin to explore alternate ways of being. "Anyone can take that journey, and it can be done with or without using the Enneagram," she said. "But, the Enneagram is the most powerful tool I know of for getting there fast."
   The concept of the nine personality types has elements rooted in several traditional teachings beginning in the 4th century but the psychological descriptions of the types are modern and are the work of contemporary authors.
   Paterno maintains that she is not an expert on the Enneagram, but she knows enough about the system to excite others into exploring it for themselves.
   "It's been around for hundreds of years, but it's so new in the sense that we're rediscovering it _ and people are applying it in new ways all the time," she said.
   Although there are literally hundreds of books available on the subject, including several at the local library, Paterno indicated the best way to learn about it is with a group of people sharing observations.
   A series of workshops on the subject is being offered by Paterno at the Prineville Golf and Country Club starting Monday, Nov. 5. Classes will be held weekly from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Cost for this series is $75 which includes materials.
   She will also be presenting a free introductory workshop at the Crook County Library, Juniper Room on Monday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. and repeated on Tues., Nov. 13 at 10 a.m. To register or for more information call Paterno at 548-5131.