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Transcript Season 3, Episode 6- Transcend identity: The Power of the Enneagram with Courtney Smith – Part Two

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:00:01]:


Courtney Smith [00:00:02]: CURRENT TEASER

So I do think that very well intentioned reason that many people come to personal growth, of wanting to understand the people that they’re in relationship with. This is one of the most powerful tools because it’s not just empathy or compassion. It’s like I’ve got a window into how your mind works that I didn’t realize was so different than mine.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:00:25]:

And now I can show up for you differently if I want to. Allowed. You are allowed to be whole.

Courtney Smith [00:00:33]:

I’m Dr. Kanil joyce.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:00:35]:

I’m here to affirm that you are not missing anything. Just imagine with me for a moment that you are and always have been enough. You have always been enough. Imagine that allowed.

Courtney Smith [00:00:53]:

When you were born, you were whole, perfect. And somewhere along the way you learned that parts of you were not allowed here. What are the pieces of you that you have put into the basement? And how can you reclaim the wholeness.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:01:08]:

That is your birthright?

Courtney Smith [00:01:10]:

You are allowed to grow. You are allowed to dream. You are allowed to be exactly who you are and to become the next version of who you want to be. Start your journey of exploration with me right now on Aloud.You are allowed to be whole. 

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:01:23]: INTRO

Welcome back to part two of this special guest episode of Aloud, focusing on the enneagram and identity. This episode features the brilliant type six, Courtney Smith. Courtney is a dear friend and a deep enneagram expert, and she is a partner with me in my own personal growth journey as well. So glad to have her back here on the show. In part one, we began our conversation by asking the question of why people get involved with personal growth work to begin with. And we came to the conclusion that people want to become, quote unquote, better. How people try to get better, perform more, produce at a higher rate, is often through growth tools that end up reinforcing the trappings of identity rather than releasing us from those constraints. 

So let’s jump right back in where we left off and dive into a discussion about a tool that you and I both love, and that’s the enneagram. More specifically, we’ll talk about how the enneagram can be useful in this journey of beginning to loosen the grip of identity. 


First off, what is the enneagram? I know that some of our listeners know from prior episodes or elsewhere, but for some, this probably is the first time they’re hearing about it.

Courtney Smith [00:02:42]:

So the #Enneagram, at the simplest level is a symbol. It’s a circle. It’s got nine points around it, and then it’s got a bunch of lines inside.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:02:51]:

It looks kind of like a witchcraft star, in my opinion. This is when I first saw it, I thought, this is not something I’m going to believe in.

Courtney Smith [00:03:01]:

My skeptic ears were perked up. The hell is this?

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:03:04]:


Courtney Smith [00:03:06]:

And Caneel is not wrong to see the witchiness in it. There is a lot of debate about how old this symbol is. It initially, at least in terms of modern era reemerges in the early 19 hundreds with this guy named #Gurgift, who’s a mystic who traveled around Europe. And he used this symbol, along with a bunch of other teachings, to really talk with people about what does it mean to be a human being, what does it mean to be truly awake and present in your lived life. 

And so really, these questions of transformation and growth that we were talking about at the beginning of the episode, he was really wrestling with those questions and offering ideas, practices, a whole methodology for how you might engage and live a more fulfilling, awake life. It’s a little bit of a mystery how his way of working with the Enneagram migrates over to a man named #Oscar Achazzo who lives in South America. And in the 1970s, he’s the first person to really take this symbol and to begin to attach different types of identities to points around the circle.

And so in some ways, he’s combining this ancient practice that humans have had for a really long time. What does it mean to live an awake, meaningful, present life with the idea that all of us have kind of codified ways of being and showing up in this world? And what is the connection between the two of those. And so at the heart of the Enneagram, before you really even get into the nine points, the nine types of being and what they all mean and which I and all of that kind of stuff, at the simplest level, the Enneagram is sort of dynamically capturing what we’ve been speaking about this whole time, which is in what ways does personality or identity interfere with living a more awake, fulfilling life?

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:05:15]:

And the lines in the middle, cutting across the middle of the circle, that is the path.

Courtney Smith [00:05:22]:

Yeah. So one of the ways that I think the Enneagram is really special and different than other self growth tools is not only we sort of talk about there are nine different home bases or types that are going around this circle. And you can think of each of these types as having a set of core assumptions or beliefs about how the world works and how I need to show up and be in order to be successful. And all of us visit all nine of those stations at different points in our life, but there’s one that feels the most familiar, that feels like our home base and that becomes our identity. 

And what is cool about the Enneagram is as we sort of talk about loosening and expanding the possibility and this idea of who we really are, the lines on the inside of the Enneagram in some ways provide a prescription for don’t just blow up your identity and it could be anything. There’s actually certain ways of being in the world that are going to work a kind of magic on you to loosen your particular grip of identity. And so there’s actually a prescription for growth embedded within the tool that is specific to the home base that you start on.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:06:47]:

So if I follow the line from the point of my type on the enneagram, my tip of that angular symbol, and I travel one of those lines to the point that’s connected to me, that journey will help dismantle. The authoritarian rule of my type in me and it will give me the medicine along the way that I need to be able to make that transformation happen. It doesn’t mean I’m becoming the type that’s across from me on the circle that I’m visiting, but I’m integrating the aspects of that type in order to have my own experience be more whole.

Courtney Smith [00:07:36]:

That’s exactly right. And another way of saying it might.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:07:38]:


Courtney Smith [00:07:41]:

There’s nine points and there are some points for each of us who have made sense of reality in the exact opposite way that we have. And so that polarity of I understand the world to be this way and this type over there not only understands it differently, they understand it completely opposite. And so if I am willing to go toward that one, there is a kind of magic in having to resolve that polarity that changes and loosens my identity more so than certain kind other kinds of exploration.


Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:08:21]: 

And not that there’s any type that’s better or worse than your type. It’s that it’s the complementarity, it’s the synthesis of those types that makes something new possible or the aspects of those types. 

Okay, so the Enneagram then, it’s a symbol. It’s a symbol that directs us on a path, gives us a roadmap for personal development and spiritual growth. And it has a long history, aspects of which are not known still. And it’s also, I want to point out, it’s quite different from probably any tool that you’ve ever seen connected with the word personality, because a lot of what we think of as personality these days is grounded in #psychometric approaches, which means we can measure the constructs that we talk about. 

And in fact, the measurement of those constructs is what gives those constructs a kind of scientific validity. But one of the requirements to be able to measure different constructs of personality is that those constructs need to operate independently of each other. They need to not be correlated. And in fact, the Enneagram is showing there are these linkages, there are clear linkages, there are oppositional forces, there are complementarities, there is a dynamic progression we make where we are beginning to integrate more and more aspects. So kind of the more evolved I am, the less diagnostic any Enneagram test would be in theory. 

And so you will find a lot of tests online and we’ll give you some advice in terms of if you’re curious about what your own enneagram type is, you may have heard about this before. You may want that. We will give you some advice on how to do that. But I want to point out the dynamic nature of this. Those lines in the middle of the circle, the path of growth. That’s what makes this not a tool to write off, because other personality tests haven’t been very interesting for you. 

This is not a test. It’s a tool.It’s a framework. It’s a lens.

Courtney Smith [00:10:23]:

It’s really a jumping off point in terms of this exploration of who have I understood myself to be, and in what way is that serving me, and in what ways am I willing to let that go? And by definition, most of us, when we’re starting that path, if you were to say, Courtney, what are the underlying assumptions you have about reality? I mean, come on. 

The idea the Enneagram is to give you a tool that allows you to begin to ask those questions. It’s not about capturing whether you’re extroverted or agreeable or neurotic or any of those sort of measurable traits that you find on Ocean or some of these other personality tests. Those are interesting in terms of traits that we can measure and how we show up in the world. And those will be manifestations of the assumptions that we’re making. But the Enneagram is really about that subterranean level of what’s driving you.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:11:23]:

So a common experience with the Enneagram is realizing that the laws of physics that you’ve been operating within are actually not universally held. That, in fact, the way that you have been seeing the world and assuming that everybody else does too, it’s completely untrue. And so often you may have had the experience that, why can’t everyone else just see it? Why can’t they do it the way that I do? And the core thing is that’s not even on their radar.

Courtney Smith [00:11:54]:

And I think part of the way that I like to work with the Enneagram is I assume that human beings make sense, that there’s a coherence to why you’re showing up in the world the way you are. It’s just not my coherence. And so when you’re doing something and I’m like, why the hell is she what is she optimizing for? What’s going on? For me, the Enneagram becomes that, oh, what would you have to believe in order for that to make sense? What would you have to be optimizing for to conduct yourself in that way and have it be the, quote, unquote right thing to do? 

So I do think that very well intentioned reason that many people come to personal growth, of wanting to understand the people that they’re in relationship with. This is one of the most powerful tools, because it’s not just empathy or compassion. It’s like, I’ve got a window into how your mind works that I didn’t realize was so different than mine, and.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:12:57]:

Now I can show up for you differently if I want to. The compassion piece is huge. Being able to see I see how earnest your struggle is. I see how very much you are trying, how much you really are standing for something that really, really matters. And it’s been invisible to me until I had this tool.

Courtney Smith [00:13:18]:

Yeah, I think this has been one of the biggest things that’s helped my marriage, is using this tool to see neither is right nor wrong. We just care about different things. And there are ways you can hold both once you see that there’s just multiple things that people are trying to do in this world, matter to people.


Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:13:42]:

All right, so, Courtney, you described how there are nine points in this enneagram, and this is what’s also commonly referred to as the types. I do like the lens a lot, especially for this episode today, of talking about them as points because they’re aspects of a possible human experience. Could you walk us through those nine for those who don’t have familiarity? 

Courtney Smith [00:14:05]:

Sure. The way that I like to begin sort of thinking about each of the enneagram points is we spoke earlier about qualities of presence. And when each of us is in flow or sitting on meditating or whatever creates the feeling of presence for you, there are actually different flavors of it. 

And we can all visit peacefulness, we can all visit freedom, we can all visit a feeling of meaning and value. But for each of us, one of those qualities of presence really resonates and shines more brightly. And this is our birthright. It’s not something that you actually have to do or earn. It’s actual ly how each of us comes into the world with a little bit extra sensitivity to one quality of presence.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:15:04]:

Would this be a you think of this as the same as essence?

Courtney Smith [00:15:07]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:15:08]:

Okay. And two episodes ago, we talked about essence versus identity. So I’ll link back to that in the show notes. I think it will be relevant here. So what are some of those qualities and how do those map on.

Courtney Smith [00:15:18]:

Different qualities would be integrity, balance and alignment, a feeling of fundamental goodness that comes from being aligned. And those are all associated with type one love attunement the feeling of deep connection with the person that you’re sitting across the room from across the table from qualities of type two.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:15:46]:

So it’s interesting as I’m getting to sit here in the studio watching you and I see your face and I see you almost like, embodying, energetically, the essence of these types. So I’m going to ask you to go back to one and two, and I’ll keep doing this for the whole way around, but can you describe some of the flavorfulness of these types as well, or the points?

Courtney Smith [00:16:06]:

Yeah. So before I do that, I want to just sort of say that part of why I like to start here is for me, trying to imagine and step into another person’s experience. This extra sensitivity to a quality of essence or presence then becomes the thing that is lost as we all come down to this earth and become human beings and experience difficulty and challenge. This becomes the feeling of home that each of us is trying to get back to. 

And so the identity begins to form around, what do I have to believe about the world? How do I have to show up in the world in order to return to this quality and our whole lives really get? This is the flavor of our gift of essence, but then it also becomes the flavor of our wounding. And so it becomes the driving force that really motivates us in all these different ways. That’s beautiful. Yeah. Gift and shadow right to each other. 


TYPE ONE [00:18:11]

So, Type 1, point 1, how does the one feel? Yeah. So to me, there’s a deep feeling of uprightness, natural uprightness. The feeling of the spine is very present. It grounded in the tailbone and stretching all the way up to the heavens.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:17:37]:

Feels very pilates. Type One.

Courtney Smith [00:17:39]:

Yes. Very precise, without any effort at all. Like an easefulness to like, this is what wants to happen. My bones and muscles want to organize in this way to make this movement happen as elegantly and as gracefully as possible.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:17:57]:

It’s the ballet.

Courtney Smith [00:17:58]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:17:59]:

Ballet of the enneagram. Okay.

Courtney Smith [00:18:01]:

Yes. That’s beautiful. And so, for type point one, that delicious. Yummy. Quality then becomes what this earth is missing. Their life’s project becomes around. How do I reinsert in myself and also in my environment and in the people and the world around me? What does it feel like to have a dignified grace and purity and goodness about us? What would the world feel like if everything moved like a clock, like effortlessly in alignment with one another? What would that experience be like? But then, to make that happen, by definition, the over muscling it has to be right. Begins to take hold for .1 and rigidity around this is right. This is wrong. The rigidity around I have to be the one to inject goodness and dignity back into the world. This is mine to do. And I’m carrying a very, very heavy burden. I need to be the example of goodness in this world. And now, anytime I fall short, which is inevitable because I’m a human being, I’m self flagellating, deeply self critical. And in that desire to become, to be good and to feel that alignment in the body, I now am so rigid that I can’t get anywhere close to it. And the identity is now getting in my way of what I long for.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:19:47]:

Yeah. I really feel the fragility and a brittle nature to that. Yeah. Okay. Great.

Courtney Smith [00:19:56]:

That comes from a beautiful place.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:19:58]:

Yeah. If they could be in charge, the world would be such a beautiful place for everyone. Better off for everyone. 


What about the Type two. What does the Type two feel like?

Courtney Smith [00:20:08]:

So it’s so beautiful to get to sit across from canals. I experience type two. So there’s just immediately like liquidity, like liquidness in my eyes, their tears, but it’s just also softness and wanting to look into your eyes and there’s just a warmth that comes with a feeling of presence. With type two around, like a yumminess around love. The deliciousness chocolatey. Yeah, sweet. I mean, who doesn’t want that? Who doesn’t want to have that feeling? But from the two’s perspective, this is now what’s missing in the world. All love has left the building and so the two takes it upon themselves to try to bring it back and identity begins to be created around, well, what is the type of person who is worthy of love? What do I have to do in order to be lovable? And the two begins to rely on their gifts of attunement to take care of others and to focus on others needs at the exclusion of their own. And it’s being done subconsciously with this. I want to be back in the field of love. And so the natural generosity that is the space of love gets a little co opted because the two is wanting so desperately to be loved that they’re not paying attention to themselves. And they begin to do things with a little bit of an ulterior motive of wanting love back in the room that others can perceive and then creates problems.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:21:55]:

And this could create some resentment or feeling unappreciated.

Courtney Smith [00:22:00]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:22:01]:


Courtney Smith [00:22:03]:

Defining oneself. You can imagine if the identity is defined as to be loving is to only take care of the needs of others. Where we could really get into trouble around not taking care of ourself and being so overloaded with focusing on others that we begin to be a martyr, begin to be resentful, begin to feel entitled because we’re giving so, so much.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:22:27]:

Or it’s just not sustainable.

Courtney Smith [00:22:29]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:22:30]:

Because ultimately we do need to be the masters of taking care of ourselves. Okay, great. 


Now what about the type three, the zero three? And both of us are intimately we know some threes. Well, we’re both married to threes, so.

Courtney Smith [00:22:51]:

Point 3, well, big smile comes on my face. There’s just this big feeling of shining, like I’m willing to shine, I’m willing to like I’m radiating light and I’m willing to like receive the energy of the sun. This type, the feeling of like I was born into this world and therefore I matter.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:23:13]:


Courtney Smith [00:23:13]:

I’m here for a reason and I’m going to knock it out of the park is the feeling that the three type point those who identify with .3. That’s what home base feels like to them. Wow, I’m living my purpose then I’m going to do it out of this world. Like it tingly effort.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:23:34]:

Feels so easeful from that place.

Courtney Smith [00:23:38]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:23:39]:

It’s so taken for granted. The energy will be there because I am a star, so I can shine.

Courtney Smith [00:23:45]:

Yeah. So this type is focused on and sees I have value in that I exist for a reason. I have value by my mere being here. And so I’m going to live my part, I’m going to do it up. And that is again, what is taken away then for little Threes as they’re first experiencing life is my life feels meaningless, I feel meaningless. I have no value intrinsically. It’s like the sun has set.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:24:28]:

What would make that happen? What kind of an event or well.

Courtney Smith [00:24:33]:

It really could be anything because it’s going to be seen through this lens of like it’s taking me out of presence. This is part of how the enneagram bumps up against early childhood experience. We all have imperfect caregivers who are falling down on the job despite our best efforts. But it’s not just the caregiver and how we fail to show up that creates these stories. It’s how the infant or small child is making sense of those failures. That is how type or assumptions about.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:25:09]:

The world get created.

Courtney Smith [00:25:10]:

And so you have mothers and fathers and other caregivers not validating their children, not allowing them to be seen fully doing all the things that we all do every single day. But for the type three child, the lens through which this is being experienced is you didn’t see me perfectly here, therefore I must not matter, I must not be of value.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:25:36]:

So then what does that lead to in The Three?

Courtney Smith [00:25:39]:

So then the Three says, well, I’m going to do something to make sure that I matter and I am a person of value. And that easeful quality of living into vocation or living into call into service, and I’m going to live. My fullest sense of self now becomes the tool with which the Three overdoes and overachieves and uses typically externally defined metrics for what a valuable person looks like and becomes that person. Because if I don’t feel like a valuable person on my own internally, let me look outside myself to get some information about what is a person of value and I will do it.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:26:28]:

Okay. So I begin looking outside for reference points and comparing myself to others. Yes.

Courtney Smith [00:26:34]:

And I lose touch with what’s lighting me up inside, actually.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:26:38]:

Yeah, I feel like the hollowness of the impostor syndrome is like echoing around in me when I put this on.

Courtney Smith [00:26:44]:

Yes. Because the Three in all of us, and we can find all of these within ourselves. And the minute you find one that you think is kind of icky, I would urge you to look for where it’s showing up in your life because we all do these things. The Three really represents the mask of personality in all of us. The putting on a role or confusing how I show up in the world, how I get my needs met with who I really am.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:27:15]:

So we mistake the ego for the essence.

Courtney Smith [00:27:18]:

Yes, exactly. And The Three is embodying that, but it’s a mistake we all make.


Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:27:25]:

But here we are now, down by the void. We are at point 4, which is where I hang out.

Courtney Smith [00:27:32]:

Well, I’m going to tell you what I experienced. And then we should have Kanill weigh in because this is her home base. This was actually my daughter is this type, and this was the hardest one for me to actually get to and so really motivating for me to understand her and find point 4 within me. I think of four as soulfulness and deep textured experience of reality in myself in a moment, the velvety, like I could just fall into myself and what it feels like to be me right now. There’s like, so many layers, so it it feels like like a dark pool of like I am just besotted and entranced this moment as it’s coming through me. I am my own beloved. Yeah.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:28:36]:

Oh, my gosh. Totally. What listening to you is reminding me of is just one of my favorite things has always been to get into the sheets and just to like, it doesn’t matter what mood I’m in or what’s happening. I could be super upset or I could be super ecstatic and happy, but rubbing my own legs against each other of, like, just the feeling of I don’t know, the there’s, like a there’s a sexy quality to, like, the yearning of that of, like, I want something to be closer, and it’s not. And it’s like one leg against the other. Right there. They’re like so close, but they’re not together. And it’s like that. There’s something I feel like also growing up in the must have been a really good era for type fours. You have Boy George in the mix, and you got David Bowie, and then you have Flash Dance and how hard it is and fame, and it was just the struggle and the glory of being a desperate creator in the world who no one understands. There’s just always something so sexy about that to me. And there is a yearning. And on the outside, what I hear is it seems like it’s painful to other people, but to me, it’s like the most delicious thing.

Courtney Smith [00:30:09]:

Yeah. We use words like bittersweet, melancholy, and when you were talking about being in the sheets, a word we often associate with type four is intimacy. I want to see into myself and touch this core of me, and there’s a mystery and I will never get.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:30:31]:

There, never get there.

Courtney Smith [00:30:32]:

But I love the search and the longing, and I’m so close to it, but it’s elusive, this longing for kind of, like, touching the most intimate part of your soul. What the four knows is that actually that’s never knowable because it’s always changing. It’s always of the moment. It’s like a cat that the moment you touch it, it slips out of your grip. And so the four begins then to kind of I can’t ever actually land my finger on it. So the way I’m going to get closer to it is by saying what it’s not, it’s not this, it’s not that, and I begin to start rejecting and seeing the world as this very flat, ugly, superficial everything that is like, no soul at all.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:31:29]:

This essential quality is missing everywhere.

Courtney Smith [00:31:32]:

This mystery, the texture, the reason we live life has been sapped out of everything in this world and I can never get back to it. So the way I try to comfort myself is by rejecting everything about this world and tinkering with it and pulling myself away from it and having an experience, but then it’s never quite right, so then I can long for what.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:31:55]:

It might be because the longing feels the closest. Yes.

Courtney Smith [00:32:01]:

And so the four actually begins to pull away from life, which is actually where soulfulness is really experienced and begins to really have disdain for being a person of this world.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:32:20]:

To their detriment, reality becomes a problem. It’s a desperate seeking for further fantasy.

Courtney Smith [00:32:29]:

Yes, exactly. And so anything that feels boring or mundane, necessary tasks, the parts of life that are just about getting the job.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:32:39]:

Done or things that are just easy.

Courtney Smith [00:32:41]:

And good, all of those now are tainted with a quality of ugliness. And from the forest perspective, it feels like to do this, I’m going to sacrifice my soul or my connection to soulfulness, and I won’t. So I’d rather be non functional and be authentic. Yes.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:33:02]:

What we think of as authentic. Yeah, right.

Courtney Smith [00:33:05]:

We can see where that can get one into spot of trouble.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:33:10]:

And I can even feel the audience pulling away just listening to this. It can be a distasteful experience. Yeah. And so that’s like the blessing and the curse for the overly identified type four is partly from that identity you want others to pull away because that validates, that essential quality of, like, it’s so different, you’ll never understand it. Yeah. So there’s a Catch 22 there. Yeah. All right, that’s the type four. All right, so then, now we’re at the bottom of the circle, we’re crossing across the void at the bottom, the big empty space. We’re going from four to type five.


Courtney Smith [00:33:52]:

All right, take us to 5, point 5. So in the same way that the Four is in touch with the soulfulness and the mystery of the moment, like through the heart, the Five is in touch with the emerging clarity of the moment, is experiencing the mystery of the moment through the mind and what is on the verge of being discovered? What is about to be illuminated by this moment that was not yet known before? And so there’s this glass like clarity of the mind, like a laser kind of focus on what wants to be birthed in terms of being known.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:34:54]:

This reminds me of the song what a Wonderful World, where the whole song is just I see this, I. See that. I see that. And there’s like a stillness to the moment of wow. The emergence of skies of blue.

Courtney Smith [00:35:12]:

Yeah. And it’s this frontier like quality of when I’m really still in my mind, everything drops away and I’m able to see and pinpoint my focus. There’s a focused kind of quality, like a precision to this is the thing that matters. This is this is the edge I’m writing. I’m surfing the edge of the mind.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:35:42]:

That reminds me of analyzing gobs and gobs of data in graduate school. And to get a doctorate takes several years.

Courtney Smith [00:35:53]:

And I was thinking I was working.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:35:54]:

On mine for six and a half years and just pouring through thousands and thousands of data points and testing hypotheses and going and gathering more data. And then suddenly this clarity comes out and the noise. You figure out the right model that can isolate the signal and get rid of the noise. And then you see something that feels like truth. And it’s like the most there’s no feeling like it. I can’t even give words to it, really, but it’s the feeling of clarity.

Courtney Smith [00:36:35]:

Yeah. I love what you’re saying. And that for me, it’s like almost like a bell.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:36:40]:

Yes. It’s like a bell.

Courtney Smith [00:36:42]:

Like one note that suddenly the reverberations organize all the material.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:36:47]:

It’s the note that holds all the other notes.

Courtney Smith [00:36:50]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:36:51]:

That’s what it is. Yes. It’s a bell.

Courtney Smith [00:36:55]:

And the clarity and the simplicity of this is the one thing that once I sound it, everything else kind of like, snaps into place yeah. Of the whole structure and everything that.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:37:10]:

Oh, theory of Relativity. Now we understand everything. Yes.

Courtney Smith [00:37:15]:

And so there’s a complexity and a simplicity in that that’s really, really pure and distilled is what I would say.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:37:29]:

And I’m I’m banging my head against the microphone, thinking of how much I love that feeling and how much I drive myself crazy in the hunt for it into the muck. So that must be where we’re going next. So what happens when this over identified?

Courtney Smith [00:37:45]:

So you can imagine if that’s that ringing clarity in the mind, in presence and then the fallen world is it’s all noise, it’s all jangly. None of it makes sense. And it’s like my head feels like it’s going to explode. I can’t make sense of this. It feels like I’m going crazy.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:38:10]:


Courtney Smith [00:38:12]:

And so much like the four retreats from the world in order to regain connection with the quality of soulfulness, the five retreats from the world in this effort to return to the clarion call of this is the organizing principle in the mind. This is the theory or the crisp line of reality that makes sense of it all for me. And there becomes a retreating from the world that is, I can’t be in the world and know the world at the same time, so I choose to retreat.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:38:51]:

That’s so well put. That was my experience in lots of ways of early motherhood. Like I can’t be a better mother while I’m mothering because I can’t get my head straight. It’s too noisy.

Courtney Smith [00:39:05]:

Yeah. And the other thing that you see the Five doing is in this desire to have that feeling of clarity, there is a real doubling down on knowledge acquisition. And the life of the mind mattering a lot more than this plane of reality. So you get the retreating, but you not only just get the retreating, you get a retreating into books. Knowledge acquisition almost believing that the model itself of the world is where the real action is at more so than the world itself.


Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:39:37]:

Yeah, I relate to that. And you mentioned the mind.


As we circle around the enigram here, I want to just point to the triads or the centers of intelligence. So you started with one.

Courtney Smith [00:39:54]:

Yeah, so I started with one because it’s the first number. Typically we actually start with what we make this distinction between the gut, the heart and the head triads or centers of intelligence. I think this is something that I don’t know if your listeners are familiar with it, but it comes in all different kinds of wisdom traditions and psychological traditions. 

But from an enneagram perspective, there is actual neurology associated. We talk about belly, head and heart, but it’s really all neurological in the actual body. These are different systems for sensing and perceiving information in the world. And each one of these neurological systems is actually attuned to certain kinds of information and we need all of them in order to function and be a human being. But part of that sensitivity that I was describing to certain qualities of essence is that presence can be experienced in the body, presence can be experienced in the heart and presence can be experienced in the mind. And part of what creates that sensitivity to a particular quality of essence is having one of these neurological systems just a little bit more sensitively attuned. And that becomes again part of the gift and the shadow of each of the types. 

My sensitivity to a quality of presence is because my mind or my heart system is extra sensitive. But its sensitivity becomes the tool that I then over rely upon in order to try to get me back to that quality of presence in the first place. And so I begin to use whichever center of intelligence is the most sensitive for me. I begin to use it inappropriately and I begin to over rely upon it to kind of get me through the day or get me through this world. And I begin to ignore other kinds of knowing and other kinds of ways of being. 

And so the two, three, four are our heart types. And you can sort of see the quality of essence that we were describing for each of them. Like it had a warmth, a softness, a yumminess, the pace was a little slower it was a warmth to all.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:42:12]:

Of them, relational and more emotive.

Courtney Smith [00:42:18]:

And that’s all part of the field that the heart neurology is picking up. We’re moving into the head triad five, six and seven. And so the qualities of Presence that these types are going to be most resonant with are all experienced through the mind. And then eight, nine and one are body types where they’re using their body system to experience presence more readily than the rest of us.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:42:45]:

All right, so with the Five we see this kind of fixation with the mind and the retreat into knowledge and understanding as a solution to all problems.

Courtney Smith [00:42:56]:

Right. And a pulling away from being in this world again, the Four sort of sets it up. I can either be participating in everyday reality or I can be in connection to my heart, my soul, and I choose my heart.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:43:10]:

The trade off.

Courtney Smith [00:43:11]:

Yeah. And the Five is really sort of setting it up like I can be part of this world and I can be crazy or I can remain attached to having a clarity of my mind and I choose that. And so it means that in some ways I have to reject and not be of this world in a way that the Five can then get into trouble with in terms of everyday functioning and connecting and really being with people.


Type 6

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:43:37]:

Great. All right, what about point six?

Courtney Smith [00:43:39]:

Six is my home base. And here the quality of essence that the Six feels familiar with is awakeness. And is this ability to, when we are in the moment, see everything that is unfolding and happening all at once. Everything is connected, everything is affecting one another. And because I’m quiet, I can see it all.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:44:10]:

So it’s like the slow mo scene in a great football play or rescuing someone from a burning building and you can just see everything unfolding at just this perfect pace.

Courtney Smith [00:44:24]:

Yeah, and that’s like so funny that you bring up those examples because many Sixes gravitate to those kinds of situations where time feels like it’s slowing down because there is such a focus on what do I need to pay attention to to avert crisis? And the knowing spontaneously arises in the moment I see through the maze of the people on the football field or all of a sudden I have the speed and the strength to pull the child out of the way of the car. I’m in such connection at a mind level with reality unfolding that what I need to do spontaneously arises within me. 

And so this feeling of awakeness that the Six experiences naturally when they’re in Presence creates this feeling of being deeply supported and guided and like the security of I know what I have to do in this world. I can do it because I see what’s unfolding before me.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:45:25]:

I’ve talked about one of my best friends on this show before #Lucky Nicky and Nick is a six with a Seven wing. Nick has saved, I think, seven lives at this point, all different causes of near death. And he’s just got that quality of like he’s so on it in the moment and he sees some little irregularity happening over there and he’s just in flow going over to assist at just the right time.

Courtney Smith [00:45:56]:

That’s beautiful. Yeah. I’ve had a couple of experiences where one of my favorite ways to parent is when my child is sick, actually, because it’s so clear what needs to be done. It’s just there’s this very pure, oh, this is how I need to show up in this moment. And that is such a gratifying feeling to a Six to be like all of my energy is directed in the way it’s supposed to be directed. Deeply grounding. Yeah. 

So when that feeling goes away, panic really sets in. And it’s not a normal anxiety because I think all types can have anxiety of different forms. This is a real feeling of disorientation. It’s like Bermuda Triangle spinning around. I’m in the airplane and none of my systems are working and I can’t make head to tails of where I can’t locate myself in space and in the desire to try to figure out what’s going on and how to move forward. 

The Six relies upon the mind basically to try to overanalyze and be over vigilant about what’s the information I need to pay attention to. So Six has become very hyper aware of any little as you described with Nick. What’s off in the field there’s a lot of reliance on to do lists organizational systems, structures, models and even a reliance on external authority figures to sort of tell us what to do. 

Because there’s a comfort that comes with, this is the way forward. And that over reliance on the mind or the over reliance on external authority to provide that feeling of support and orientation, ironically, is making it worse because the feeling of being supported is actually the mind can’t actually provide that it’s actually experienced in the body. And so the more I use my mind to try to create a feeling of safety, actually the less safe I feel. And the more I rely on someone outside of me to tell me what to do, the more distrustful I am that anyone actually knows what should be done.

And so I really get myself in a vicious cycle of all the more sort of panic and paralysis about I can’t actually I don’t feel confident and capable and secure in the way forward. I think my own journey. 

And when I work with Six, is there’s a real attachment. This isn’t entirely unpleasurable. This feeling of being amped up on adrenaline. The difference between being alert and being panicked alert is a fine line. And so when I work with Sixes, we often talk about embodying yourself and coming back into the body. But there’s also are you willing to give up that feeling of chasing and having to be ever watchful, and people come to rely upon us, right, to provide that function in our organizations or in our families. And so when you work with identity, with the six, can you trust actually, that you can do your job more effectively from a place of ease and relaxation rather than I’ve checked every box, I’ve unearthed every possible contingency plan.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:49:47]:

I can imagine that at first you get feedback from the social system you’re in that no, it’s not okay for you to relax because everyone’s become so accustomed to relaxing into the field of your presence, where you will. Be responsible for thinking about everything, that we can all let our hair go and just our hair down and let our minds go and just be totally at ease and used to you kind of managing and picking it all up. Yeah, you six is out there in the audience are like, grumble, grumble, grumble. And that’s probably true for all the types that when we do relax, the identity, the social world readjusts tempts us at first to go back to the old ways.

Courtney Smith [00:50:32]:

Yeah. Because there is payoff. Let’s be straight about it. You wouldn’t be sticking with it if it didn’t have payoff some of the time. So part of the dance of the loosening of identity is it’s not like there’s plenty that’s amazing about being watchful and alert. It’s just if that’s the only thing I can be, then I’m going to be exhausted. So can I do it when it’s required and put it down when it’s not? And there’s an artfulness to that that especially at the beginning when we’re trying.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:51:05]:

On a new way of being.

Courtney Smith [00:51:08]:

Can we communicate to others that we’re turning our backs on this? We’re just going to use it in a more skillful way?

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:51:18]:

All right, let’s go to seven.

Type 7

Courtney Smith [00:51:20]:

Okay. .7. Their experience of presence is endless possibility. What’s amazing about the mind is it is not tethered to this world. It can create things that are not here yet. It can imagine that which has nothing to do with what is real.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:51:41]:

So Courtney is grinning ear to ear right now. There’s like rainbows coming out of her eyes, and there’s, like, sun beaming all around her as she’s talking. It’s childlike idealism. Anything is possible.

Courtney Smith [00:51:55]:

And that freedom that comes with it’s limitless what might happen with this moment. We have no idea what’s going to happen, what could happen, and the freedom that comes with that. And there’s also a feeling of, like, unbridled joy and wonder, of there’s nothing stopping us. So there is a giddiness, a giddy quality to presence, positivity and that boundlessness of presence that the seven resonates with, that is the feeling that is now being taken away. And so I imagine the seven, there’s a feeling of being trapped in pain with no idea when it’s ever going to go away. So I like to imagine being a.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:52:54]:

Little baby and OOH, that’s a harsh opposite. We just got into there. I was running through Disneyland. There were no lines. I was first in the park and the sun is shining, and I’m like, yeah, I get to go on everything. And I’m like, holding a lollipop and now I’m trapped in pain. Oh, hard. Okay.

Courtney Smith [00:53:14]:

With no idea when it like if you think of a child who has no concept of time, no idea. This is my new reality. So it’s not even a phase that I know this too shall pass. It’s like I went from rainbows to a dark prison and I will do anything to get out of here.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:53:38]:

What makes that happen? When does that happen? Well, that’s just the experience.

Courtney Smith [00:53:42]:

That’s the experience. And when I sort of try to get into that space, I imagine like a baby with colic.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:53:52]:

Yeah, right.

Courtney Smith [00:53:53]:

Who can’t has no way of making sense of what’s happening. There’s just wriggly, swirmy, distress and doesn’t matter what happens. I can’t get comfortable, I can’t make it go away. And so I’m doing everything possible to just to literally squirm my way out of this.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:54:18]:

And there’s nothing, there’s nowhere to squirm. Oh, yeah.

Courtney Smith [00:54:23]:

And so I think really, I mean, all of us have an aversion this is the seven, and all of us, all of us have an aversion to pain. But that feeling of being trapped and I can’t get out of this is the particular quality of pain because it’s now a contraction around freedom and a contraction around limitlessness that the pain has that quality. So it’s very dark. And I think you’re right to point to the contrast because the seven basically uses the mind to imagine what life might look like and uses the mind to kind of fuel optionality and a running away quality to whenever I can get out of this, I’m out. And I’m going to use my mind to imagine how much better it can be.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:55:21]:


Courtney Smith [00:55:22]:

And the minute it feels uncomfortable in life, I’m just going to go back to the mind to come up with the fix that’ll tell me where to go next, where I’m sure it’s going to be better.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:55:36]:

And racing forward to wherever next is feels so much better than being here. Stuck.

Courtney Smith [00:55:42]:

Right. And ironically, in the same way that all of these becomes a vicious cycle now, because the seven is never really landing in the moment and is sort of decreasing their tolerance for discomfort because they’re never landing in the moment. The moment feels more and more uncomfortable. And so there has to be more and more chasing and more and more.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:56:06]:

Running away because the moment itself is unfamiliar, threatening.

Courtney Smith [00:56:11]:

Yeah. And the moment something. Now, maybe it doesn’t even feel painful. It just feels boring. It feels slow, it feels dry. It feels not just not as good as it could be. Yeah. Like, oh, this ice cream is pretty good, but it could be better.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:56:31]:

What are we better?

Courtney Smith [00:56:33]:

It’s got like, the searching for what could be better optimizing kind of quality. That means that I’m never satisfied, actually with what I have.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:56:43]:


Courtney Smith [00:56:45]:

And so that chasing one’s tail and the freneticism really becomes sort of how the seven moves through life.

Type 8

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:56:53]:

Okay. Yeah. Chasing unicorns. Okay, great. Now to eight.

Courtney Smith [00:57:01]:

Yeah. Type eight. The quality of presence is vibrational aliveness. Pure chi rocking my world. This is what it feels like to be alive. It is in the hips of the body. It is big, it is powerful. I’m vibrating with how much sheer potential of force lies just in these little matter. That’s me. There’s so much more here than what it looks like. And I want to exercise and feel that the power that I have within me, the capacity to move the world.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:57:56]:

I can move the world.

Courtney Smith [00:57:57]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:57:58]:

It’s very visceral.

Courtney Smith [00:58:00]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [00:58:01]:

And then when over identifying with those qualities, then what can happen?

Courtney Smith [00:58:07]:

So here this is like literally a feeling of being deadened or being snuffed out that the eight child is experiencing. It’s like literally like you’re trying to contain my energy. And so the eight begins to confuse, over exertion or making things bigger than they need to be in order to feel that momentary feeling of aliveness. So the feeling that I often have people push up against a wall or push against people’s hands, and that feeling of pressure and contact is really enlivening when you’re playing a sporting event and you just feel like a badass it just feels so good. The eight begins to make puff up and make themselves bigger in an effort to kind of make that quality happen. And so it can become controlling. They can become domineering, they can become take up more space than actually they need to in an effort to feel their aliveness again. And ironically, to take up that much space and to exert such force, the eight has to dull themselves to certain aspects of presence in order to only be that right. If I have to feel alive and I have to be the one that makes it happen, anything that might cause me to become smaller or to pull back away from that, I’m not going to tolerate. And so I actually dull my sensitivity that in my body. That is where my aliveness was located in the first place.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:00:06]:

So these would be things like my attunement to the more subtle expressions of your emotions or the nuances of an idea or my own vulnerability, how I.

Courtney Smith [01:00:24]:

Might feel, what makes me sad, what moves me, what makes me feel small, anything that might keep me from being big. Okay, I’m going to turn down feelings of fatigue, anything in the body that might tell me to stop. I’m going to lose my attention to that. My effect upon others. It’s not going to be the first thing I think about.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:00:55]:

So this really is it’s a bull in the China shop.

Courtney Smith [01:00:58]:

Yeah, exactly.

Type 9

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:00:59]:

Yeah. All right. What about the Type 9.9.

Courtney Smith [01:01:07]:

Also in the body? And the Nine has this quality and presence of being deeply rooted and connected to a broader project or project of life. And so there’s this feeling of, yeah, I’m part of something that’s way, way bigger than I am. And because I feel part of something that’s so much bigger than me, there’s a stability to me, a groundedness and an acceptance of whatever is happening because it’s all part of this unfolding project. And so there’s just a peaceful, grounded, all this will feeling that comes in presence for the 9th.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:02:09]:

That sounds nice.

Courtney Smith [01:02:10]:

Yeah. Wouldn’t want that.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:02:12]:


Courtney Smith [01:02:14]:

And so from the 9th perspective, then when presence is lost, there’s this feeling of like Russ calls it like a shattered heart, like a ton of fragmentation. And I almost think of it like there’s this concept of like rogue planets. I don’t know if you know what these are, but they’re no planets that are not orbiting a sun. And because they’re not orbiting a sun, there’s no light shining on them. So they are literally not seen. Like they’re literally just a rock. They’re just floating in the dark and no one knows is there because there’s no light to reflect back. And so it’s like from the Nines perspective, everything now is a rogue planet, including themselves. Separate, fragmented, not aware of being part of a larger universe, kind of existing in isolation and kind of just little dots of matter, people doing things.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:03:18]:

Oh, like there’s a meaninglessness yes to.

Courtney Smith [01:03:21]:

It and a profound loneliness, like a profound breaking of the heart. Wholeness was ripped apart. And so the Nine wants to stitch it all back together again. And in doing so, anytime there’s a feeling within themselves or a feeling within others that risks fragmentation, like risks conflict, risks disruption, risks not feeling good, the Nine is going to pull away from that and try to smooth it over so that there’s a feeling of wholeness and peacefulness. For the Nine, that often means anytime they want to do something that requires them to step up and assert their own way of being in the world, it feels like it’s going to risk disruption. So the Nine really begins to still be of the world, but not really of the world, kind of pulling themselves away from the experience that they’re having. It’s like they’re playing their part, but they’re like at the meeting, but not at the meeting. They’re kind of daydreaming and pulled away from this experience of life while still being superficially connected, because the idea that they might assert themselves and come forward with what they really want from their perspective risks that fragmentation again.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:04:55]:

So this is the kind of go along to get along because if I want sushi and everyone else wants pizza, I could kind of destroy the wholeness of the universe.

Courtney Smith [01:05:11]:

Yeah, it feels really like literally, harmony is on the line if I dare to use my voice. And I’d rather preserve harmony and this feeling of at least I feel connected to others. I’d rather feel that and I’d rather others feel that than have to stand up for what matters to me.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:05:36]:

And I’ve noticed with the other points that we’ve reviewed and here we are on the last one with the other points, there’s been a way that pursuing the patterns of the identity ends up taking away the thing that the identity was after to begin with. And how is that true for the nine? So pursuing harmony too much, what happens?

Courtney Smith [01:05:59]:

Yeah, so I like to use the analogy of it’s like the nine is so eager to make sure the symphony still keeps playing that they forget to play their own part. And in forgetting to play their own part, the symphony is ruined because sometimes we have to have a first violinist.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:06:20]:

And that may be you.

Courtney Smith [01:06:22]:

And so if you’re not willing to do it, actually the whole piece stuff. So there is this. Ironically, for the nine, their growth path is actually to become more comfortable with conflict, more comfortable taking a stand, showing up bigger in this world, doing the thing that they are being asked to do that is often way bigger than they really want to do, which is a very different path of growth than some of the other types.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:06:56]:


Courtney Smith [01:06:57]:

Ironically, the more I step up, the more harmonious the world is because I’m playing my part right.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:07:07]:

So I can see what a big trust fall that must feel like from .9. And I can see the nine in myself as well, of I’d rather keep everything peaceful because, oh, little old me, it’s not worth it, it doesn’t really matter.

Courtney Smith [01:07:30]:

Yeah, well, and the nine in all of us, this whole path that we’ve been talking about around growth, the idea is the nine, in order to kind of keep things as they are, falls asleep to their own experience and basically says, I would rather stick with the status quo. And to the extent the status quo is uncomfortable, I will soothe myself as a way to manage it rather than change. And that’s sort of the nine in all of us that we’ve been talking about, the familiar, it might be painful, but it’s comfortable. And I can distract myself from the pain of the familiar as a way to keep the status quo going. And it’s something we all do. And so that part of that growth path is the facing of this is what I’ve been asleep to and I’m going to use the discomfort to change myself, to try something different, just scary. So, yeah, there’s a nine in all of us.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:08:38]:

[INSERT] 1:09:25

Yeah. Beautiful. So we’ve just reviewed some of the essence qualities of each of the nine points on the enneagram. We talked about how when those essence qualities are when we don’t see them reflected in the world, which inevitably, at times we won’t, we begin to identify with, I need to be the source of that Essence quality for the whole entire universe and for myself. But yet it’s missing in me and it’s missing everywhere.

And so we go in this epic, lifelong, presumably Chase trying to get it back, trying to go back home, and the overidentification with the identity ends up creating kind of the opposite of what we were seeking to begin with. So this is where the tool of the identity begins to break down in its utility. And at some point, we get hip to it and we begin to see, oh, this is not working for me anymore. And I would say, folks, there’s nothing pathological at all about this. This is totally the normal, expected, healthy journey that a human goes on. And it’s the vast majority of my client work is grappling with that of, like the old way, it turns out, isn’t working. And now I see that and I need a new way. There was nothing inherently wrong with the old way. It’s just that there was a fundamental mistake.

Courtney Smith [01:10:14]:

Yeah, and it’s a mistake that we all have to make because Essence in of itself, especially as a wee babe, is non functional. We need a personality in order to survive. And so the personality is here to help us make our way through the world until we’re in a position that we can function in this world, but also be not of this world, to still have a connection with Essence. So the mistake is holding on to personality longer than we need to. It’s not that the personality evolves. It’s always going to be with us. It’s like, can we actually see that it’s not it’s not us.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:11:00]:

Yes, it’s for us, but it’s not us. So working with the enneagram in this way, so being able to see to diagnose more quickly and readily and easily, which are the B level patterns I have, the beliefs, the core assumptions, the ways that we think the world works, what are the ones we have that could be the ones we’re overly identifying with? For me, that was a huge revelation. Was I really presumed, as a Type Four, I was missing the rulebook and everyone else had it and I didn’t have it. And to find out that that language was actually in one of the descriptions I read of the Type Four and I’m like, I felt simultaneously understood. I don’t know, it was weird. It’s like I am understood. Okay, this is not a unique experience, but it is unique to the Type Four. 

It was just very validating and gave me some language to put my finger on. A sensation, a very uneasy sensation that I’d had for so much of life that it ended up causing so much grief. And so just seeing that the story exists. And that it is a story. And that, in fact, most times when I’m suffering, I can bet that the core cause of the suffering is my identification with those enneagram type four stories that’s been super transformative on its own. And basically what I’m talking about is awareness. Just awareness. And I know that your work goes far beyond awareness. I know we don’t have time to go into every type and how exactly you’d apply that, but I’m very interested in how you help clients and people in the groups that you run use the enneagram as a tool that takes them beyond awareness and into actually a different experience.

Courtney Smith [01:13:05]:

So we’re not going to have time, as you said. But for me, there’s a couple of core things that I try to do that are principles with how I work with people. The first thing is I really want to help people dial into physical sensation. Because physical sensation and waking up body intelligence actually allows the identity to loosen. It becomes a replacement for a feeling of self that doesn’t need a story in order to sustain it. So we talked about how scary it can be to loosen up identity. So I want to give you something that actually is a different tool, a more robust foundation for the feeling of I so that it’s not so scary to loosen your stories. So that’s the first thing. And so there is a lot of work of actually being in the body. And what does it feel like to be in the body and to be attuned to sensation? And a lot of fun you can have if you’re working in a group or working one on one with identifying sensation.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:14:17]:

Is this something that you could do with me right here? I’m wondering how we can give the listener a taste of what that is like.

Courtney Smith [01:14:24]:

Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Just close your eyes.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:14:30]:


Courtney Smith [01:14:33]:

Take a minute to find your feet on the ground we’ve been sitting. But actually allow every part of your body that’s making contact with the chair to feel what it’s like to sit. Sit on the back of my thighs, the small of my back.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:15:05]:


Courtney Smith [01:15:07]:

Is there actually less I need to do in my shoulders and my neck now that I have a chair? What does it feel like to actually enjoy sitting, to be in the experience of sitting and the same support that the chair provides and the ground beneath our feet provides. Allow yourself to tune into the sensation of breathing, and specifically how supportive breathing is with no thought at all. Our body knows when to breathe, how to breathe. Just allow yourself to appreciate that you know how to take care of yourself at this very fundamental level with no thought required. And as the breath comes in and the breath comes out, allow yourself to sense everywhere in the body, you’re being nourished chest and your stomach moving in and out, up and down tingly feeling you may feel in your fingers just in the act of breathing. There is so much that is happening. Allow yourself to savor this breath. What if it were your last? How much attention would you pay to it? Allow the experience of breathing to fill you up. When you feel ready to open your eyes, you can.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:19:03]:

That was lovely. Thank you.

Courtney Smith [01:19:08]:

Yeah. So, yeah, you notice the mood is different, experience is different.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:19:24]:

Out of the head.

Courtney Smith [01:19:26]:

Yeah. More resourced.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:19:35]:

Right? I notice less need. I notice that kind of my type, my identities type. Common refrain is that there’s something missing. And I did notice that coming up a few times because it’s always playing in the background. But it did fade and then it became really apparent that there was nothing missing and nothing changed.

Courtney Smith [01:20:10]:

Yeah. We talk about having the mind relax and having the mind rest. And the reality is that’s not what the mind likes to do. So giving yourself your mind permission to focus on something else, that is about what is the experience in my body right now? Now the mind is focusing on something in the moment as opposed to the story. And so it’s actually fully occupied. It’s doing its job. It’s making sense of the body’s experience in the moment.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:20:56]:

Yes. And so it’s not needing to cause havoc.

Courtney Smith [01:21:01]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:21:01]:

Because the mind needs something to do. Okay.

Courtney Smith [01:21:05]:

It’s now being grounded in, okay, what you’re going to pay attention to is what is happening right now. And the body is always now. So start with the body and then let that be your job, mind. And then we can work with these stories on top of that if they’re still here. But we can always come back to the body to put us in the now.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:21:37]:

So help me connect it to how this will build my flexibility, my ability to break out of the confines of just my one narrow typed experience.

Courtney Smith [01:21:50]:

So one thing that happens is, as you so beautifully describe, sometimes we realize that the thing that we’ve been looking for actually just by sitting and being quiet, miraculously appears. And so the more we have reference points for that, the more we kind of can put away that as something that needs to be sought after or needs to be the motivating factor that’s driving behavior because we can actually go to it all along. The other thing you can do is begin to sort of experiment with and we just did like a basic presencing practice there. But what are the other qualities of presence that each of us tends to skip over in our the one that we sort of describe for each type kind of feels extra yummy to each of us. And so we tend to overlook and underdo the other qualities of presence. So beginning to get like, what does it feel like in the body to be fully alive and vibrating with your potential energy. I want more of that.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:22:58]:

Yeah. That’s the eight energy. Yeah.

Courtney Smith [01:23:02]:

And so now I’ve got something else that I’m actually moving toward in addition to my stories around who I think I am and what I think I need to go after.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:23:14]:

Okay. So I go for the embodied experience of the other types to actually try it on and see if I could live with a different lens for a while.

Courtney Smith [01:23:26]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:23:26]:

That helps loosen the grip of the story that’s more from the mind.

Courtney Smith [01:23:30]:

Yes, exactly.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:23:31]:

Okay. So I find freedom through the body, the different embodied experiences.

Courtney Smith [01:23:35]:

And it gives me a reference point for now. When I’m in the throes of a hard meeting and I’m having to say no or I’m having a fight or whatever, it’s going to be really challenging for me to use my mind when I’m in a triggered place to remember, okay, this is the thing that I’m supposed to be practicing right now. So this is the thing that I’m going to pull out, and I’m going to work on this tool. But if I have a lived memory in my body of actually, I’m going to go for this. This is part of being human too, and I want it, and maybe this is actually what I want right now, that then becomes something I can act on in a very natural way instead of having, like, a checklist of.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:24:25]:


Courtney Smith [01:24:26]:

Are the things I’m supposed to be doing. Yeah.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:24:27]:

And it’s less about what I want to get away from and how I want to chase after something, and it’s more like, how do I want to feel right now?

Courtney Smith [01:24:36]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:24:39]:

Okay. So when I go to that forest place of that angsty, there’s something that’s missing, there’s something wrong that makes it all really juicy. I’m trying to feel into it. What is it that I am really wanting to feel? Yeah. I want to feel some of that. Heck yes. Let’s go.

Courtney Smith [01:25:06]:

We’ve got it.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:25:08]:

We’ve got everything we need. Let’s go forward. I’m more in action.

Courtney Smith [01:25:16]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:25:17]:

And less just hoping and dreaming.

Courtney Smith [01:25:19]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:25:19]:

So that is a lot more of the type eight energy.

Courtney Smith [01:25:22]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:25:24]:

So if I could put that on more, like, give myself that body, the embodied experience, like, OOH, what’s it like to push, I can potentially then get the thing I’m looking for.

Courtney Smith [01:25:39]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:25:41]:

Good. Okay. Well, we’ve covered a lot of ground today, and I know there’s a lot more, a lot further we can go with this. And Courtney, you and I are working on a project together that I’m very excited to share with our audience and our community as it develops. So maybe you could say a few words about that, and then I’d love you. If you could share what’s already ready, what’s available, and how can people learn more about enneagram and learn more about you and how they can get in touch?

Courtney Smith [01:26:22]:

As you can tell from how we’ve been talking. I love the enneagram. It’s been a formative tool for me and my belief is that it needs to be accompanied with some sort of practical tool and some sort of lived experience of what you’re seeking to grow into. And so one of the things that Kanil and I have been playing around with are what are the different modalities through which you can activate someone’s lived experience of being a different type so that you can have compassion. And empathy for other people, but also so that you can find it within yourself and use that as like a lighthouse to expand your horizons and expand what it means to be human for you. So that’s what we’re working on, that’s what we’re up to. And as far as my own work, I do one on one consulting for individuals and I also do teamwork, both for communities but also for companies. And you can find me at Courtney Smith Consulting if that’s something you’re interested in and there are a lot of resources out there. Wisdom of the Enneagram is my favorite book by my beloved teacher Russ Hudson, and his website, The Enneagram Institute, has a test that I would not recommend you use as a diagnostic of this is my type. In the same way that we’ve been exploring Enneagram this whole time. I would use it as a jumping off tool to begin this inquiry process. And my belief is really finding people that you want to talk with about all of this, that you want to engage together, really activates the growth process. I think we have this assumption that self growth is supposed to happen by ourselves or it’s supposed to happen with a therapist maybe, and the great wisdom tradition sort of that’s not how it actually ever happened. It’s supposed to be done in community because you can’t always see yourself clearly and also if because it’s more fun. So if you go down the path of podcasts and books, I would just tell you to do it, bring some playmates along with you.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:28:57]:

Yeah, I second all of what you just said. So if someone’s not going to do the enneagram if they’ve listened to you and I share the same words of caution not to put too much stock in the results of any online test, but to use it as a jumping off point for inquiry? How could one if they wanted to really get clear on what their type is?

Courtney Smith [01:29:24]:

So my recommendation is you would reach out to me or you’d reach out to someone else in the field who does typing services. Some of us. I use a test as one input, but I think really having someone help you unearth some of these assumptions that we’re talking about that really drive and form type, it’s really important to have a perspective that’s not yours in order to arrive. And it may not always be right. Even with an expert you can have an evolution and type, but it will get you going in the right direction.

Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:30:07]:

Yeah, I think it’s very important to remember that we all do have all of the types within us, and no time is ever wasted by learning more about different types. And it’s an extremely healthy and illuminating question is, how is this type true of me? And the question is never how would I behave if I were this type? It’s why would I behave if I were this type? Why would I pursue this? And it’s because it’s all getting at those core underlying assumptions and beliefs about the world. So I always tell people to read about the different types and even at a high level and see which one seems like you, especially before you started working out the kinks in your own personality and getting feedback in the working world. Like early 20s is a good time of life where your personality is kind of fully out there for the world to see and kind of the least managed it probably will ever be.

Courtney Smith [01:31:08]:


Dr. Caneel Joyce [01:31:08]:

Also to attend to. Does this describe my darker moments and me when I’m more triggered and less integrated? It’s a really useful tool for that. So we will definitely provide a link to Courtney’s website. That’s and courtney. Courtney She winked at me. I got it right. And we will link to also Wisdom of the Enneagram and a few other Enneagram resources, as well as past episodes where we’ve covered other aspects of Enneagram related work. And we will let you know once we have more things for you to tap into. But thank you so much for being here today. It was really fun going deep with you.

Courtney Smith [01:31:57]:

It was fun.

Discover experiences that give your life purpose in your Zone of Genius

Executive Coach Dr. Caneel Joyce reveals a life-changing framework that can help you overcome self-doubt, uncover your hidden talents, and radiate with confidence, one small step at a time.