Did y’all know I’m a Nine? I’m a Nine. Marlena Graves is a Nine too. We met at Earlham School of Religion a few years ago and hit it off. It was as if we were mad and excited and bummed out and inspired by a lot of the same things floating around in our shared world. She helped me feel a little less bad about obsessing over certain matters, a little bit vindicated over some bold moves, and charged to keep doing what I’m doing. I don’t know if the Enneagram came up.
She’s gone and written a book about being a Nine, and it’s done all of the above all over again and at length. I’m very grateful to have contributed an endorsement for the back cover. Here’s my unedited version (you might have to acquire a copy of the book yourself to solve the mystery of how they edited it):
As achingly reluctant but sometimes alarmingly bold seers, Enneagram Nines are tasked with saying what we see and letting the chips fall. In Forty Days on Being a Nine, Marlena Graves holds this process out with open hands, celebrating the ease with which we find ourselves comforting people while also warning against the risk averseness that can keep us in dispiriting grooves. Most movingly, Graves shows us that loving ourselves a little harder is a sure way of loving others even better. Receive this book for the gift it is.
As you might have discerned, this is one of a whole series edited by Suzanne Stabile. And yes, I just insinuated that I, myself, am an achingly reluctant but sometimes alarmingly bold seer. If you’d like to challenge this self-assessment, I invite you to do so publicly by linking to this post and sharing your thoughts on other social media platforms or in the comments section below.
Marlena doesn’t get into it on Twitter as much as I do, but the above image is an example of, it seems to me, a reluctant but distinct weighing in.
I’ll mention quickly that her work in this book presumes, on the part of the reader, a degree of adherence to the peasant-philosopher movement that’s sometimes referred to as Christianity. I love that about this book, but I know it can be off-putting for some. I hope the above tweet serves to communicate the kind of Christianity to which Marlena is committed.
Here’s a link to a conversation with Ian Cron in which I ramble on and on about being a Nine. Sarah ends up sharing a song which, even now, is not available ANYWHERE ELSE.
Stay safe, everyone.