TheNature of God - to empty one's self

The nature of God is often declared in words of power, wonder and glory. God's multifaceted nature is bequeathed to us as our creation in the image of God.  How marvelous to be powerful, right and mighty.   But God also gifts our very nature with creativity, compassion, love, self-emptying - it is in our make-up.

If God's nature is to self-empty, then so is ours.  We struggle with the giving up of things, how much more we struggle with the giving up of ourselves especially when it reaches to our core.  Today I came across a section from Elizabeth Johnson, She Who Is, p. 234 that spoke to me.

"Within the Christian story it is possible to see that divine self-emptying in the incarnation and passion of Christ is not an uncharacteristic divine action.  Rather, this historical moment discloses the pattern of Sophia-God's love always and everywhere operative.  Divine freely self-giving love did not begin with God's personal entering into human history but is so typical that it plays out at the dawn of creation itself."

The butterfly's cocoon is wound up so tightly in itself, it doesn't know (mentally) what is coming.  But time reveals the deeper instinctual knowing that lies within of how it can break through and spread it's wings to fly. How do I claim the power of God to empty myself so that I am ready to receive and move into what I dared not believe was even possible - a transformation and resurrection into new life.   

We often cause our own pain

An amazing prayer I would share with you: 
"God of justice, God of mercy, bless all those who are surprised with pain this day from suffering caused by their own weakness or that of others. Let what we suffer teach us to be merciful; let our sins teach us to forgive. This we ask through the intercession of Jesus and all who died forgiving those who oppressed them. Amen" - p. 59 People's Companion to the Breviary
I read this in the morning and experienced the truth of it that evening.  God have mercy to us all.  

A Gift to those who Give

"Humanly speaking a genuine gift is given freely, out of love and not out of necessity; its reception is occasion for gratitude and joy.  In the divine freedom to be present to all creatures, empowering them to birth and rebirth in the midst of the antagonistic structures of reality, the Spirit is intelligible as the first gift, freely given and giving.  Her loving in the world is gracious and inviting, never forcing or using violence but respectfully calling to human freedom, as is befitting a gift."

I came across this fabulous quote from Elizabeth Johnson, She Who Is, during devotions.  With the force of a hammer hitting a nail, it helps me understand the relationship between gift and freedom of will which I don't always connect with.  So many times I give out of duty, but true gift comes from love.  What a gift of freedom that the Twos share with us. So my gift to all the Twos I love is this passage.  Enjoy!

The Power of Positive Thinking

I never thought much about positive self-talk until last year.  It always seemed artificial to “talk yourself into something”.  I’ve changed my mind.  The habits of thinking, feeling and doing that make up our personality are created by our rehearsing what we think, feel and do largely on an unconscious plain.  So if we are going to successfully break into our habits and change them, becoming conscious of those old tapes helps us pierce through the frozen ice of old habits.  Beginning to rehearse in our selves the different action we want can only be beneficial.  Replacing old tapes with new tapes that serve me better in this day and time help me navigate my life today.  Brain research shows we like to repeat old patterns because they are easy to fall into.  But the brain also likes to create new avenues of working and continues to do so all of our lives.  Balancing the two integrates old and new into satisfying ways of being.
So I took the old tape of indecisiveness with inclinations to sit on the fence and began to replace it with a call to right action.  Instead of going down the highway of life with one foot on the break and one foot on the gas, I began to say to my self “right action”.  I found that “right action” almost immediately was fueled by fear of going into the unknown way too fast.  So I added to my new tape, the concept of courage.  Then with right action and courage, I realized I needed to have a direction, a goal to move toward.  I added a third concept to my new tape:  vision.  My new tape now reads right action, courage and vision.  
With no specific goal in my mind other than changing the immense unseen power of the old tapes, I begin to say to myself during times of meditation:  Right action, courage, vision.  I flood my being with the three concepts.  
First I place myself in a venue of receptivity, allowing a vulnerability of being.  I sit comfortably with back straight, feet on the floor and have several cleansing breaths.  With my hands placed downward on my legs, I allow the flow of being.  Then after a time I speak to myself the words of power:  right action, courage, vision.  Depending on which one seems to generate more pull for me at that time, I might stay with it.  I sense the new flooding into my body. 
Then I place my hands up as if to offer to share this wonderful new power with my world.  I open to let it move out into my day.  
Then I place my hands over my heart and invite the new words:  right action, courage, vision to cover my body like honey or sunshine, flowing and soaking into every pore beginning with the heart.  
And finally I outstretch my hands in a gesture of giving and hope for each person the ability to move in right action with courage and vision.
During the day is when I see specific situations arise that I have the opportunity to meet using the ability found in the delivery of my new tapes.  These concepts have always been there, but I had covered them up with the unconscious need to fear, and to become indolent about my goals and life in general. The walk is day by day, creating new habits to replace the old.
What do you think?   
Andrea Andress, March 24, 2012 

Jerry Wagner Presents Integrating Our Inner Polarities, May 5 & 6, 2012

Arizona Enneagram Association

Jerry Wagner PhD 
There is Wisdom in the Shadows!
Integrating Our Inner Polarities
12 CEU's available !!
9am-4pm       May 5 & 6, 2012
at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church 4455 E. Lincoln Drive, PV, AZ
We are so excited that Jerry Wagner is coming to the AEA May 5th and 6th!! He's new to our AZ community but a renowned author and teacher in the Enneagram world at large. Read about him at

He'll be presenting his transformative workshop "Integrating our Inner Polarities" What the heck does that mean? Read on:
Do you think of yourself as right and exact? Then you probably don't want to be seen as wrong or messy. How about strong and tough? Bet you don't want to appear weak and wimpy-to yourself or anyone else. These are examples of disowned parts of our being known as the Shadow Self. We all have one. When we re-identify with our "bad", unseemly parts and re-own them, we find some valuable assets. Like inner integration and wholesome connections with other people, both of which lead to an increase of energy since we are no longer divided against ourselves and others.
For details and to register, go to:  

Jerry Wagner, Ph.D.

is the author of Nine Lenses on the World: the       Enneagram Perspective and The Enneagram Spectrum of Personality Styles: an Introductory Guide and the series Two Windows on the Self: the Enneagram and Myers-Briggs. He has also published articles in the Enneagram Monthly, The Enneagram Journal, and the IEA's NinePoints Bulletin. Jerry is a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and consultant and is a faculty member in the Department of Psychology and the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University, Chicago.

What others are saying about this workshop:
"I knew Wagner's work from his books and classes I had taken, but this was my first encounter with his delightful sense of humor."

"He made it inviting for me to actually face and embrace my own divided nature, assured of the hope and possibility of change and integration."

"Jerry's ability to treat serious issues of human nature with wit takes the sting out of "fessing up to them."

Arizona Enneagram Association

Arizona Enneagram Association Email