Nine Creative Qualities on the Enneagram Map: how to get back to flow with them in the Creative Process?
"I’m not very creative” doesn’t work. There’s no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t. Unused creativity doesn’t just disappear. It lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear. Unused Creativity is not benign. (Brené Brown)
What does the Enneagram have to do with Creativity?
Creative expression is a powerful way to get to know and to understand who you really are in the essence. And vice-versa, knowing who you are and why you do what you do, can help you connect with your true Creativity and with the ways of expressing it that are more in line with what you are.
Consciousness and Creativity nourish each other and can become a virtuous circle of inspiration and self-realization. Both the knowledge of yourself and the understanding of others are always a gift for true creativity.
This article describes nine of the main Creative Qualities that are included in the Enneagram map, with their strengths and challenges.
I understand the human personality as a "constellation" of enneatype energies, and true Creativity as the result of an awareness process, aimed to unleash the highest potential of all of the nine Points of the Symbol in ourselves. Recognizing where your creativity gets stuck is a starting point to a process of integration of all the Creative Qualities of the Enneagram in yourself. Let's get into some examples.
Creative block at Point One corresponds to an excessive fear of mistake, an exceeding perfectionism, and a very rigid inner judgement. The Creative Qualities of Point One are the awareness of all the necessary steps of the creative process, an attitude towards improvement, a great intellectual rigor and a clear social and ethical responsibility.
At Point Two, creative blocks happen when the need for external recognition, the fear of criticism, and the tendency to please the public are prominent. The Creative Qualities of Point Two are empathy, selfless altruism, attention to the user experience, carefulness to the other and to oneself in the teamwork.
Creativity gets blocked at Point Three when there is too much attention to the final results, seeking achievement at all costs, demanding recognition, excessive need to show off, with the fear of feeling like a fraud. Point Three Creative Qualities are authenticity, the recognition of their own worth and self-esteem, appreciation of “what is” over “what gets done”, shared teamwork achievements.
Point Four is often labelled as “the most creative enneatype” but it’s only partially true, and above all, this label may become a source of creative block itself. This may force us to constantly compare our “creativity” to someone else’s, far from an objective viewpoint, from an excessive self-criticism, shame, and inferiority position.
True Creative Qualities at Point Four are, on the other hand, a great sensitivity, originality, intuition, equanimity, that can be achieved by a wise emotional awareness and expression, and an unconditional self-acceptance.
Creative blocks at Point Five can happen because of an overloading of the Mind Center, that can manifest as isolation, intellectual superiority, cynicism, overanalyzing, imposter syndrome or sense of inadequacy.
Reconnecting with Point Five Creative Qualities means getting back to flow by self-confidence, a clear vision, deep observation, sharing your approach with others, moving to practice through prototyping and a purposeful leadership.
Point Six’s creative energy gets blocked when we are stuck attending the opinions of others, our indecision, our fear of doing the wrong choice and thinking in a pessimistic way. Creative Qualities of Point Six are our potential of courage, motivation, self-confidence, clarity of mind, objectivity, commitment to the teamwork and proactive thinking.
Creative energy may get blocked at Point Seven because of a lack of focus, constant distractions, escapism, instant boredom, superficiality, hyperactivity. Getting back to flow at Point Seven means integrating and balancing their natural optimism, innovative ideas, appreciation, contemplation of the present moment, gratitude, generosity, calmness and deep focus.
Point Eight Creative Qualities can be blocked by the need for control, aggressive confrontations, rejection or protection of their emotionality behind impulsivity. Getting back to flow for Point Eight happens by re-connecting with their vulnerability, their healthy self-affirmation, trusting their equals, surrendering to the creative process.
Creative Energy at Point Nine may get blocked because of the lack of awareness of their own needs and desires, complying to other’s agendas, being absent from oneself, postponing oneself and their needs, resigning to “what it is”. Getting back to flow at Point Nine means reconnecting with an unconditional self-love, developing assertiveness, setting respectful and healthy boundaries, taking action towards a clear purpose.
Following the Eneagrama Creativo methodology, I would invite you to identify the point of the Map where your Creativity has got stuck, and starting from that point, looking for the lines that lead you to the places where you can reactivate and integrate your Creative Qualities and flow to reach your highest potential. There are no preconceived recipes, as every single creative unlocking process is unique and unrepeatable. What is keeping your Creativity from flowing?
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Claudio Naranjo, Character and Neurosis
Riso-Hudson, Understanding the Enneagram
A.H. Almaas, Facets of Unity
Sandra Maitri, The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram
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