Nov 2008 - The Enneagram - A more Spiritual Point of View? - Soul & Spirit
June 2008 - Discover The Enneagram: The Blueprint of Life - Breathing Space Magazine
Nov 2007 - The Enneagram: Our Blueprint for Life - Kindred Spirit Magazine
Feb 2007 - Patterns of the Soul - The Devon Times
Aug 2006 - The Enneagram Live on Air! - BBC Radio Gloucs Interview with Matt Peacock
July 2006 - Numbers are the key to England's football failure! - PRESS RELEASE
Feb 2006 - The Nine Types - Connect Magazine
Soul & Spirit - November 08
Veronica Croft has been studying the Enneagram for more than 20 years, and works with the ancient personality teachings from a more spiritual viewpoint, rather than as merely a psychological tool.
Veronica refers to the enneagram as “your own instruction manual for life”. It enables people to discover who they really are and why they are here. It unravels those parts of ourselves that we have never made sense of and explains why other peoples thought patterns and attitudes seem so different to our own. It brings balance and harmony into life and, consequently, greater happiness.
“Your personality is the thread with which you have woven the canvas of your life. The enneagram enables you to understand the picture you have created, unpick the negative parts and re-weave the canvas to create a more beautiful picture,” she says, having received this wisdom from her spirit guides.
“The enneagram is so much deeper than many people realise. It is the Blueprint of all life. Each personality type has different opportunities for growth and each of us, as souls, chose our personality type before we were born according to what we wished to experience in this life. “Personality is not determined by parenting, for if it were how would you account for siblings with vastly different personalities?” she says.
“A little knowledge of the Enneagram can lead us to believe we are more than one number but, in fact, we only have one core type although for each person there are links to 4 other types. This causes confusion for some people until they have the whole picture as we teach it on the course” Veronica and her son Chris currently run short courses for people to learn more deeply about the enneagram and to learn to maximise their positive traits.
“As people identify their type they begin to see their patterns clearly without criticism. It’s these negative patterns that cause ALL the pain and problems in life and on the second part of the course we do deep processing work, which enables people release their unwanted habits and patterns” she adds. “Unlike other courses, there’s nothing you really have to ‘do’ after the course; it’s more about understanding your type and using that information in a constructive way to live a happier life,” says Veronica. One of the important ways in which the Enneagram brings about greater happiness is with regard to relationships. “The understanding you gain about the people in your life, and why they behave the way they do vastly improves all your relationships” says Veronica.
Louise and Paul were experiencing repeating patterns of conflict at the time they decided to come on the Enneagram course. When they were out in the company of other people, all would be well at first but then Paul would turn into what Louise described as ‘ice-man’, becoming quiet and moody and angrily, refusing to respond to Louise verbally or physically. As a result, Louise would feel hurt and unloved, and end up angry as well. She did not understand his behaviour and he seemed unable to explain it.
All became clear when they learned about their personality patterns. Paul is a Six, a type who can easily become jealous due to an underlying need for security. Louise is a Two, a friendly, outgoing type who enjoys lots of chatty interaction. Two’s can be very needy, and they need a lot of loving, attention in relationships. If their partner is not sufficiently demonstrative, they can seek flattering attention from other men in order to boost their self-esteem. Louise’s over friendly, albeit innocent, behaviour with men on these social evenings was convincing Paul that she could not be trusted and that she might betray him with someone else. Male Sixes often get angry and withdraw when their partner’s behaviour makes them feel insecure, yet Paul was only responding to his own negative projections, rather than to reality – a common pattern in Sixes that causes them much unnecessary anxiety and pain.
Things between Paul and Louise are very much easier now they each understand the other’s inner world and behaviour patterns more clearly. Since attending the Enneagram course, he has been able to let go of his need for security and she has become less needy. He no longer projects into negative, imaginary scenarios and thus no longer over-reacts to his own projection. Moreover, she has begun to see how he demonstrates his love for her in ways that are less direct than obvious words of love but just as valid, such as doing practical things for her around the house to make her happy.
Veronica says: “Our patterns of negativity – and each type has different ones – continually trip us up and cause negative reactions, conflict and misunderstandings. When we can understand our own patterns of attitude and behaviour, as well as those of others, life becomes so much happier and more peaceful, we gain confidence and our relationships are easier and more harmonious.”
Breathing Space Magazine - June 08
There resides within all of us a desire, a need or a wish that remains unmet. This may be a desire to understand certain aspects of your own reactions or behaviour patterns or a desire to feel better about yourself and be at ease within your own skin. It may be that you wish you better understood your partner, children or even work colleagues – why they behave as they do and why their thought patterns and attitudes seem so different to yours. Or it could be that you wish others would understand you better and be able to meet your needs. Perhaps for you, it is that real peace and happiness seems to elude you. You see others getting the real juice out of life yet somehow, for you, it stays out of reach.
Through the Enneagram, all of this can be unravelled so that what had seemed impossible to understand begins to make absolute sense, and what you have been seeking becomes available. This fundamental knowledge was taught in ancient times and it has now become available to us once again at this time of transformation and change. It unravels the apparent complexities of human behaviour, explaining with simplicity the patterns of thought processes, attitudes and behaviour of nine different personality types, and how each type perceives the world differently.
Many teachers and writers about Enneagram have spoken of this as a ‘personality typing system’ and indicated that the personality evolves from the nurturing environment experienced in the young years. The real truth is that the Enneagram was not created by man. It just is. It is The Blueprint of Life and your personality type was the key choice made by your Soul before you were born, to provide you with specific opportunities for spiritual expansion. So all little ones begin life with their personality already in place (which is why you seem to have experienced your young years differently to your siblings, or your children are different characters even though they may have been parented the same).
Your personality type determines how you have experienced the world, what sorts of interactions you have with others and what have been your opportunities for growth. Your personality is the thread with which you have woven the canvas of your life. The purpose of the Enneagram wisdom is to enable you to understand why some parts of the picture you have woven are not as you would wish, and then to unpick those parts and reweave them into a more beautiful picture.
Veronica and her son Chris teach the Enneagram as channelled to them by higher-dimensional beings known as ‘The Collective’. These powerful truths about the origins of human consciousness have changed hundreds of people’s lives.
Kindred Spirit - Nov 07
Relationships are a wonderful source of love, fun and companionship; they give us the opportunity to look at ourselves and to grow as human beings. Without them, we would not have the variety and richness we need. Veronica Croft uncovers an ancient teaching that maps out a brighter future for humanity through a deeper understanding of ourselves, and the way we relate to each otherComing soon
Relationships have the potential to bring us great fulfilment and joy and yet they also bring us confusion, frustration, difficulties and pain. Some relationships seem to work for a while and then they seem to fall apart. Even our permanent relationships can appear to be going along quite happily when, suddenly, they can blow up in our faces, with the result that we experience conflict, turmoil and hurtful emotions where a moment before there was only happiness and harmony. And what about the relationship you have with yourself? Most of us wish we were different in some ways, or we see qualities in others that we wish we had. Why do we have these problems? How can we have got to this point in our lives and still not got the hang of it? For one very basic reason – we have been trying to deal with our relationships without being fully equipped with some very essential knowledge and understanding about ourselves and other people.
Many thousands of years ago, in Atlantis and Ancient Egypt, young people who were about to embark on adulthood were given the knowledge and understanding that would equip them to have peaceful and harmonious interactions with other people. As they gained deep understanding about their own personalities, and that of others, they learned what their gifts were and what their potential was; what their deep unconscious needs were and how those needs could drive their negative patterns; even more, they learned how to let go of their negative traits and how to live through their positivity. This knowledge was the knowledge of what we now call The Enneagram. This great knowledge disappeared into obscurity and was all but lost to humanity. Now it has once more been made available to us from the world of spirit, because it is needed at this time of human evolution to help us lift ourselves up to a higher level of vibration.
The Enneagram is a body of knowledge through which we
learn that there are 9 core personality types, each with their own way
of looking at the world. Each of these types has different unconscious
beliefs that drive their attitudes, their negative emotions and behaviour
patterns, and as a result each has their own way of dealing with the challenges
they experience. None of these ways of dealing with life is better than
another. They are just different, and through the Enneagram we discover
greater joy in the richness of life as we begin to embrace the differences
When we learn about the personality types and come to understand that the inner world of the person with whom we are interrelating is, in fact, very different from ours, we are able to stop expecting them to be like us. We stop pointing the finger of blame and begin to understand how their inner world might cause them to think and act the way they do. When we are armed with this wisdom – for knowledge becomes wisdom when we put it into practice and use it positively – we come out of judgment, criticism and blame (of ourselves as well as others) and move into compassion, acceptance and tolerance. Emotions such as pain, anger and guilt are emotions with a low frequency that lower our level of vibration (which is why we can feel physically bad when experiencing them) whereas emotions like compassion, love and peace are high frequency emotions that take our level of vibration up to higher levels.
The Enneagram has been used in modern times for many purposes, including within the workplace, but its most important use is in the arena of relationships. Its higher purpose is to increase peace and harmony and perhaps one day it might be used to facilitate more peace between nations. Many who have taught or written about The Enneagram have described it as a personality typing ‘system’ or a ‘model’, which implies that it has been constructed by man in order to make sense of the human psyche. This is not how it is. It is about the unfoldment and the development of all life, on all worlds, in all dimensions. It has not been invented; it just is.
Before you embarked upon this life, your Soul (or higher self, higher consciousness, or whatever you call the eternal part of you) made many choices which determined the overall pattern of this life. First it was decided what would be worked upon in this life and then what experiences would be needed to give the opportunity for the growth that your soul wished for this time. In order to create these opportunities, the environment into which you were born was chosen, and also the position of the planets at the time of your birth. You chose the major relationships that would form the foundation of this life – your parents, your siblings, your lovers, your friends, even your enemies, for it is through relationships that humans achieve most of their growth. It is your close relationships that ‘press your buttons’ and reveal to you where you are not whole and healthy – emotionally, mentally and spiritually (have you noticed how it is those closest to you that ‘make you feel’ your worst, most painful feelings? Well, actually it’s their job, and you both signed up for this!).
The most essential choice that was made was that of the personality type for this life. Each of the 9 types reacts differently to the world and so has different opportunities for growth. Each has different deep, often unconscious needs from which develop different core emotional issues that must be understood and truly let go of for that growth to be achieved. By understanding our personality as it is taught by the wisdom of the Enneagram, we get to understand the patterns in our own behaviour that have evaded our understanding all our lives. These patterns of behaviour are what cause almost all the conflict in relationships, including the relationship we have with our selves. You finally get to understand why you react like that when he/she says that, and why they behave in those ways that drive you crazy.
Let us look at some examples:
Eights have great difficulty allowing their vulnerability to show in relationships and consequently find it hard to allow others to be really close, even though that is what they truly desire. They can be very controlling and overbearing with other people because it makes them feel invulnerable if they can dominate others and have power over their environment. It is clear that these patterns have the potential to cause various problems in relationships. This type has come into life this time to learn about the true nature of power. When they succeed in understanding their patterns and can begin to let go of the need to protect their vulnerability, they can begin to use their great energy and strength with openness and gentleness. They are then able to connect properly with those they love and so finally get the closeness that they so desire.
Ones can also be very controlling but the unconscious drive that causes their behaviour is different. They want to have control of themselves and their world so that they can bring about improvements, and make everything more perfect – you just happen to be part of their world. So the way they communicate with others is often experienced as critical and controlling, even overbearing. They have come to learn about the true nature of perfection and when they begin to understand about their Enneagram personality and what is driving their need forperfection, they can be helped to do the growth work that they came to do. This then enables them to be more accepting of their own ‘imperfections’ and they begin to be much more tolerant and easy-going with themselves and others, resulting in much more harmonious relationships.
A huge amount of problems in relationships come about because we fail to meet each other’s needs. Of course, when we love someone we always want to give them what they need but, sadly, what happens most often is that we offer them what we need, because we do not understand the fundamental differences between them and us.
Each of the types has different, deeply held needs – yes, we all look for love and companionship from those we love but it is the often unspoken, frequently unconscious, needs that go unmet. When these needs are not acknowledged or addressed by our partner the outcome is usually destructive in some way – we experience feelings that can drive a wedge between us; this could perhaps be resentment or anger, almost certainly hurt, perhaps critical blame. Some types feel the need to protect themselves and therefore withdraw emotionally, and often physically, which just creates further alienation. For some of us, the reason we don’t get our needs met is that we don’t ask. We expect that if the other person loves us, they will know our needs. And if she/he fails to meet our needs, then this must be evidence that something is really wrong with the relationship. For most of us though, the problem is that we ourselves are not clear about what our deep needs are. That seems a strange statement to make but, the truth is, most of us only become properly aware of what our deepest needs are, and what is driving those needs, when we begin to learn about our Enneagram personality. Ask yourself, which of these deep needs is the most important to you – is it freedom, security or love? Could it be that you need success and the approval of others? Perhaps it is control or domination that you need, or is it to maintain some privacy and to not have your space invaded by others? Perhaps your greatest need is for peace, or for personal integrity or to know your place in the world? If you are not clear, how can you communicate what you need to those you love? One of the great joys of attending The Enneagram Programme course (see ‘more info’ below) is that you discover what other people’s real needs are (even if they don’t really know themselves) and you can let your loved ones know your own needs clearly, without complaining before any conflict starts.
Josie is a Seven and she has two sons. The elder son is aged 13 years and is a type Three; the younger son is aged 11 years and is a Five. Josie had a good, close relationship with her eldest, but her younger son was being very difficult, pulling further and further away from her. She had no idea why this was. It upset her a great deal and she felt that it contributed to the bouts of terrible depression that she sometimes experienced, especially in the winter. When she came on the Enneagram Programme, she had decided that she no longer wanted to take anti-depressants. She thought that if she could get to understand her own patterns of behaviour and what these emotional swings were about and understand her son better she might be able to take back proper control of her life.
Sevens are upbeat, high energy people who like to be doing lots of interesting and exciting things. They find it difficult to stop and just be. When they are forced to just be with themselves, no longer doing, doing, doing, they can become very low; some even experience depression. In order to overcome this, Josie needed to understand why she had this unconscious desire to be constantly on the go. Through the deep processing work undertaken on the Enneagram Programme, she faced and let go of what she was unconsciously running away from and was able to bring balance into her life at last. She is no longer on anti-depressants and is now much happier.
When Josie began to understand the inner world of her Five son she realised that the style of parenting that she, as a Seven, naturally employed, was counter-productive for him, even though it was perfect for her other son. Fives do not want to be intruded upon or pushed. They enjoy cerebral and solitary activities and few male Fives are very sporty. Sevens, by contrast, are very outgoing, love company and are usually physically active. When Josie saw her young son spending so much time isolated in his bedroom, getting little fresh air or interaction with others, her natural instinct was to push him to get out more and join in with life. His natural inclination when pushed, was to withdraw further.
Since she gained some real understanding about his particular personality type, Josie has learned to let her son come out when he is ready, not when she thinks he should, and to then welcome him into family activities without criticism or judgment about his hiding away. The outcome is a happier mother with a son who feels acknowledged for himself within the family and who consequently has greater self-worth. Even better, he comes out and joins in more, he no longer feels intruded upon by his mother and is allowed to make his own decision. It is only when we understand all aspects of ourselves and undertake our own growth that we can come to our relationships from a place of self-acceptance and peace. As we have seen, our relationships ‘press our buttons’ so that our deep issues come up and cause us problems and pain. If we finally clear our negative issues, happiness and fulfilment in relationships is so much more likely.
Most books and courses about personal and spiritual growth do not take into account the fact that there are different types of people. What works for some types does not work for others. And if it doesn’t work for us, it is so easy to decide that there must be something wrong with us, or that we will never get things in our lives sorted out. We end up feeling dis-empowered and lacking in good feelings about ourselves. The wisdom of the Enneagram teaches you that there is nothing wrong with you, that you do not have to change, and become a different sort of person. The positive traits of your personality type are already within you – they are your gifts, the way that you have chosen to bring your light to the world this time. Your negative traits act like ‘lampshades’, dimming your light and overshadowing your life, so understanding and letting them go at last just has to let your light shine!! As you then begin to live life with a fresh, positive perspective, relationships that once seemed complex and difficult become easier and more flowing, bringing at last the happiness and peace you deserve.
The Devon Times - Feb 07
What is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram pronounced ‘any-a-gram’ is an ancient diagram that is used to distinguish what personality type an individual is. There are nine distinct personality types, The Reformer, The Helper, The Achiever, The Individualist, The Investigator, The Loyalist, The Enthusiast, The Challenger and The Peacemaker. All personalities have positive and negative patterns.
What benefits can it bring to an individual?
The Enneagram aids us to understand ourselves thoroughly
including what drives us, what holds us back, what induces our self defeating
patterns, our emotions, and our beliefs and why certain relationships
haven’t worked. The negative traits that hold us back from achieving
and being exactly who we wish to be, can be lost for good.
Not only does it benefit the individual it also benefits others around you, allowing you to understand other personality types, in a lot more detail.
What is your background and experience of working with the Enneagram?
Veronica has worked with the Enneagram for 8 years but has been working in depth for two and a half years. Veronica first came across the Enneagram whilst carrying out training for her emotional therapy. Veronica and her son Chris now run a two day course, based in Stroud or Cullompton.
Can you be more than one type?
Each personality has elements of other personalities that surround it on the Enneagram. For example Number 9, The Peacemaker, will have elements of 1 The Reformer and 8, The Challenger.
How can our readers find out more about the Enneagram?
The only way to truly experience and benefit from the Enneagram is to take part in one of Veronica and Chris’s two day course. The classes have up to twelve places, allowing all pupils to get the best tuition and benefit fully. The plus of having a mother and son partnership teaching allows all ages to relate to either Veronica or Chris.
Courses take place in Stroud and Cullompton.
BBC Radio Gloucs Interview with Matt Peacock - Aug
Matt Peacock presents the afternoon show on BBC Radio Gloucestershire. Veronica and Chris were invited as guests on his show to explain what this Enneagram thing we keep hearing about is really all about.
- July 06
As the world puts away their flags and face paints for four more years, and England fans are left to wonder once again why the nation’s trophy cabinet still has plenty of room, Chris and Veronica Croft believe they may have the answer.
It all comes down to numbers. Not the players’ formations on the pitch, or the numbers they wear on their shirts, but the personality type of their leader.
The mother and son team are leading the way in a unique system, called the Enneagram, which accurately describes nine distinct and fundamentally different personality styles; each of which has it’s own pattern of thinking, feeling and acting.
“I’m almost certain that Sven is a nine,” says Chris. “The nine personality withdraws their energy rather than project it. They’re generally viewed as a ‘Mr Nice Guy’ which some may see as weak.”
“They tend to avoid conflict or confrontation wherever possible so may not deal well with stronger, aggressive characters. So he may have felt very uncomfortable having to sack players or leave them out of team line-ups,” said Chris.
The Enneagram allows people to find out amazing, inspirational and useful details about their own, and others’, personalities which can be used in personal and professional life.
For example Ones are self-disciplined, conscientious and principled whilst Threes measure themselves by external achievement and the roles that they play.
If you’re a Six you’re responsible and trustworthy but can also be anxious and over cautious. Eights are often direct, self-confident, powerful and protective.
“It’s a tool which shows what motivates us, what holds us back, what drives our self-defeating patterns, as well as what our gifts are and it can show us what causes our relationships to flourish or flounder,” said Veronica.
“If the FA had consulted an Enneagram, and Sven had brought his boys on one of our courses, it’s much more likely that the trophy cabinet would be looking a little more impressive now!”
Veronica and Chris are running courses locally for anyone intrigued to discover how they can work with their own personality type and dramatically improve their lives on a personal and professional basis.
“The course covers all nine types in detail. It unveils our individual patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving all with remarkable accuracy,” said Veronica.
“However, it is not enough to know which type you are. That information alone will contribute little to your life. What we all really want to do is let go of our negative traits and enhance our positive ones. That’s what the programme is all about.”
- Feb 06
Do you ever want to know what makes you think, feel, and act the way you do?
Do you ever wonder why you still react and behave in the same old ways, even though you have tried to change?
Do you ever think that if only some people in your life could see things as you do, there would be no problems….and…. why are they like that anyway?
Most of us would like to understand ourselves better and would like more peaceable relationships with others. But how?
There is a powerful and dynamic system, called the Enneagram, which accurately describes nine distinct and fundamentally different personality styles, each of which has its own pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting. It provides the answers to those questions and much, much more. It incorporates wisdom from many different spiritual paths accumulated over thousands of years, yet also includes ideas from modern psychology. Its primary purpose is self-knowledge.
It shows us what motivates us, what holds us back, what drives our self-defeating patterns that cause us so much difficulty and pain, what our shining gifts are… and…it shows us what causes our relationships to flourish or flounder. Even more, it can provide a specific path of personal development and enrichment for each of the nine types.
There are many, many aspects to each type; here are just a few of them:
Ones are self-disciplined, conscientious, and principled. They strive to live up to their high ideals. They can be judgemental, controlling, critical and perfectionist.
Two’s are expressive, loving and giving, and sensitive to other people's needs. They can also be needy, exaggerating, matyrish, insincere and overly demonstrative.
Threes measure themselves by external achievement and the roles that they play. They are focused and goal oriented. They can also be competitive, narcissistic and false.
Fours have sensitive feelings and are intuitive and perceptive. They may be artistic and inspiring, or temperamental, self-absorbed and negative.
Fives are knowledgeable and analytical. They may be wise, open-minded and insightful or detached, abstract, anti-social, even eccentric.
Sixes are responsible, trustworthy, and loyal to family, friends and causes. They can also be anxious, indecisive, over cautious and reactive.
Sevens are energetic, lively, adventurous and optimistic. They can also be superficial, unreliable, escapist and self-centred.
Eights are direct, self-confident, powerful, and protective. They seek control over their environment and can also be domineering, arrogant, aggressive and explosive.
Nines are accommodating, good-natured, and supportive. They seek harmony with others and the world around them and yet can also be stubborn, lazy, non-responsive and overly complacent.
Do you recognise yourself, or others, at all?
Discovering your type can be quite hard without help because it’s not easy to have a clear picture of our true selves. Soul Freedom Therapist Veronica Croft is now teaching a 2-part Enneagram Programme, covering all 9 types in detail. She says: “It unveils our individual patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, with remarkable accuracy. With this knowledge of personality types, people can see themselves, and their own patterns, more clearly. However, it is not enough to know which type you are. That information, in itself, will contribute little to your life. What we all really want to do is let go of our negative traits and enhance our positive ones. That’s what this programme is about.
Most of the pain we experience in life comes about because we are thinking and reacting from the negativity inherent in our type. The ultimate aim of the programme is let go of the negative traits that hold us back, so that we can go on to live through the wonderful, positive traits that each of us has and thus reach our potential.”
Veronica is very clear that any effective approach to growth has to take into account the fact that there are many different personality types, and yet very few do this. Most books and courses reflect the instigator’s personal experience – they tell you should express yourself more, or get in touch with your feelings more or be more assertive - and yet, says Veronica, a technique that works for one person may be impossible or even detrimental for another. There are some personality types that are already drowning in their feelings; there are other types that need to learn to pull back their powerful energy, not be more assertive.
Newcomers to the Enneagram are often amazed to discover clear, accurate portraits of themselves and almost everyone they know. It is surprisingly fun to learn, because things that used to be mysteries about yourself and others become obvious and clear. These insights open up life and relationships, and as we understand each other better, we can become more compassionate and effective in relationships. The Enneagram is about people - how we are the same, how we are different, what makes us tick – and many people find that, through this knowledge, enormous positive changes come about in their close relationships.
The Enneagram descriptions of the 9 types are both profound and comprehensive, detailing the inner world of each type and how human beings have sincerely different versions of reality. No version is better than another. Each has strengths, talents and advantages as well as limits, pitfalls and blind spots. Understanding yourself clearly enables you to become your own observer. Then, when you are beginning to slip into one of your habitual patterns of thinking or reaction you can ‘catch yourself in the act’ as it were, and make a different choice this time.
On everyday levels, the Enneagram Programme is helpful in dozens of ways, from understanding relationships to improving communication to handling difficult people. It is also extremely useful in any work context where communication is important. Attendees on the programme have included psychotherapists, teachers, lawyers, counsellors even business people. In fact anyone who needs to deal effectively with other people would benefit greatly from this study.
For more information about The Enneagram Programme, contact Veronica on 01884 855759