What is your name?

Carla Smith

Where were you born?

I was born in Raleigh, North Carolina.  We moved to Greenbelt, Maryland when I was quite young and that is where I grew up.

Where do you live now?

Independence, Minnesota

What do you do?

Since retiring from my career as a corporate lawyer, I have served on several non-profit and cooperative boards.  I spend much of my time managing my country property, including planting and maintaining extensive gardens and taking care of my dogs, currently 5 Alaskan Huskies (working sled dogs) and 3 Lab/Golden Retrievers.  I also host a series of monthly house concerts to support the performance of live music and independent singer/songwriters.

What is your role on the IEA Board?

My first job will be taking over from Belinda Gore as the Board’s US Chapter liaison.  I have been on the Board of the Minnesota Chapter for three years now.  We have a very active chapter and a wonderful group of members!  I am excited to get to work with other chapters around the country, both existing and newly forming.

Why are you involved with the IEA Board?

I have been an IEA member for a number of years and have benefitted from attending the conferences and reading various IEA’s publications.  I am eager to use my skills and experiences to help the IEA and Enneagram community continue to grow and evolve.

What was your first experience of the Enneagram?

One of my work colleagues who had trained in the Narrative Tradition introduced me to the Enneagram in the late 1990s.  I read a number of books and studied on my own for about ten years after that before pursuing more formal training.

Tell us a little about who you have trained with.

My first significant trainings were with the Enneagram Institute. I have since done several trainings in the Narrative Tradition and in 2012 received a Full Circle Enneagram Training Certification from Anne Mureé.  I have also attended multi-day workshops and trainings with Russ Hudson, Tom Condon, Bea Chesnut, Helen Palmer, Jessica Dibb, Michael Goldberg, David Daniels, Andrea Isaacs, Peter O’Hanrahan and others.

What is your most useful/interesting/amusing/compelling use of the Enneagram?

I have found it incredibly helpful in learning to understand myself and others.  It took me a long time to discover my type and once I did, some of the themes that tied together the paradoxes made a lot more sense.  One of the most compelling uses I’ve found is with my children.  I have three daughters who are very close in age (twins and a single).  Although they are all now young adults living independently, when they were teenagers and living at home I had a couple of local Enneagram teachers come to the house to teach a half-day session.  The girls really got into it!  It has given us a common language to use and a way to understand that “not everyone else’s brain works just like mine.”  I have had the great pleasure of having one of my daughters attend an intensive training with me and the other two sit on a panel for one of our local chapter meetings.

What do the words “Engagement,” “Education‚” and “Excellence‚” mean to you?

Engagement means connecting with others in an energized and intentional way.  Education is about continuing to learn about the Enneagram and all of its richness, its depth and subtleties, its history, layers and myriad applications and uses.  Excellence means continuing to support and encourage a high bar ethically, intellectually and experientially.

How do you see the future of the Enneagram?

The world is in such a state of crisis and upheaval these days.  I see the Enneagram as a wonderful tool that can be used inter-personally, organizationally and across cultures to bring understanding, language and process to help bridge the divides.  There is a growing hunger for psychological, spiritual, cultural and political transformation.  Wider understanding and use of the Enneagram could be very helpful at all levels!