Worth It | jennwhitmer.com

Aug 30, 2020

Worth It

I quit playing the viola after 7th grade. After years of playing, I loosened the bow, covered the instrument with its velvet and satin cover, and locked the case.

Everyone told me not to. I didn’t listen.

After 6 months, I missed it and wanted to play in the high school orchestra. But I wasn’t allowed to register for the class because I wasn’t in an orchestra. (I mean, what?)

I would have to pass a playing test.

So, I started lessons and practiced. A lot.

And it was harder than it was before.

It was so much easier to stop doing the thing that required practice and frustration and commitment to find the joy in playing.

I don’t know anyone who, at some level, doesn’t want it to just be easy.

Who’s walking around saying, “I sure wish my life were harder?”

No one. No one is saying that.

It was so much easier to stop doing the thing that required practice and frustration and commitment to find the joy in playing.

We want more than simple ease. We want peaceful relationships, meaningful work, and deep confidence. We want peace, joy, and belonging.

And getting there is worth the work.

But what is the work?

For high school orchestra, my private teacher used classic string methods which had me practicing scales, spiccato bow strokes, and fourth position.

For healthy life, I help my clients use the Enneagram to practice asking questions, observing their internal world, and relaxing fixations.

Questions to Move Toward Health

8s: What can I do to support my people rather than control the scene or the outcome?

9s: How can I create inertia in routines that help me move from one healthy activity to the next rather than do just one thing & stop?

1s: How can I choose what I wish to do rather than just what I “should” do?

2s: How do I feel right now unrelated to how others feel?

3s: What can I do to slow down to genuinely feel my emotions and reconsider other solutions?

4s: How can I see that I have what I need? I am not missing something others have.

5s: How can I move to action & decision rather than retreat?

6s: How can I trust the goodness of others and practice the presence of peace?

7s: How can I quiet the ideas & follow through one idea to completion?

My path back to the orchestra wasn’t easy. But when I played Dvořák while studying in Oxford in college, it was worth it. (And you can keep your viola jokes to yourself!)

Understanding your Enneagram type doesn’t fix your life. But it does give you tools and a path toward health, peace, wholeness, and belonging. And that, my friend, is worth it.Unsure of your type? I can send you my ebooklet “Why Do I Keep Doing This?” to help you discover your type.

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