by Mary Noble Garcia

Listening to the sacred story of each person who comes to receive spiritual direction has been both privilege and gift.  This gift was given in new ways as I listened to the stories of hundreds of people through my participation in the professional teacher training program with The Narrative Enneagram.  The primary teaching tool The Narrative Enneagram uses is story— telling our personal stories and listening to the stories of others. It is a perfect fit for the ministry of spiritual direction.

The Enneagram offers a psychological and spiritual map that helps us understand how people think, feel, and behave.  It describes nine different strategies for relating to self, others, and the world—strategies that both support and limit us.  The sacred stories shared by those who identify with the nine Enneagram types offer the listener a glimpse of the interior landscape of each unique type.  In sharing our own stories, we deepen our understanding of our own type with its gifts and challenges.

I am excited to share what I have learned in Loyola’s upcoming Enneagram workshops.  These are some areas of the Enneagram that will be explored:  

  • Our type is the unconscious, go-to strategy for dealing with stress and anxiety in daily life. 
  • Getting our core needs met—the need for love and connection, the need for safety and security, and the need for boundaries, worth, and belonging—is the underlying motivation for the activity of our type. 
  • Each type has forgotten an essential truth about God, ourselves, and the world. 
  • When our type is active, there is limited or no room for God. 

The Enneagram is a tool to help us identify the ways we have fallen asleep to our true self and to God’s presence and activity in our lives. Working with the Enneagram acts as a gentle alarm to help us wake up so we can find our way back home to God.

Join us for the Enneagram Basics Workshop: Waking Up to Your True Self on Saturday, October 5 from 9 am to 3:30 pm.   click here for more information or to register

Information on The Narrative Enneagram can be found at