#MomLife

Enneagram 102 | Dive Deeper!

enneagram-basics

If you are new to the Enneagram, I highly recommend reading the 101 version of this blog post! Once you have a basic understanding of your number and potential wings, come back here to dive deeper.


Source: The Enneagram Institute

Source: The Enneagram Institute

The 3 Triads

If you notice, the Enneagram symbol has 3 different sections. These are called the Triads. Your Triad tells you what your center of intelligence, or body connection is. Basically, how you see, process and respond to the world. There are three types under each Triad and knowing yours, could help you better understand your tendencies and behaviors. It could also help you understand your loved ones and why they function similarly or different from you.

 Remember, one of the goals of the Enneagram is for us to have more compassion for others. We don’t use this information to excuse poor behavior or vindicate our choices. It’s simply a tool to help us learn more about ourselves and others. You might grow to understand….

  • Why your brother might always seem to pick a fight.

  • Why your bestie stuffs her own feelings, but validates everyone else’s.

  • Why your co-worker appears self absorbed all the time, but you know she’s got more to offer.

one of the goals of the Enneagram is for us to have more compassion for others...

The 3 Triads

Head (fear-based) 5s, 6s, 7s

These types are driven by fear. They tend to think and plan carefully before they act. 

Type 5 - externalize fear by searching for more knowledge: “I need to do more research first.”

Type 6 - internalize fear by considering worse-case scenarios: “I’m not sure this is a good idea.”

Type 7 - forget fear by avoiding and chasing new adventures: “What’s next?!”

Heart (feeling based) 2s, 3s, 4s

These types relate to life from their heart. They are typically more aware of appearances and very image-conscious. 

Type 2 - focus outwardly on the feelings of others: “Let’s talk about you first.”

Type 3 - have trouble recognizing their own and others feelings: “Those aren’t tears, I have allergies.”

Type 4 - concentrate on their own feelings: “I am unique snowflake.”


Gut (anger-based) 8s, 9s, 1s

These types are honest, blunt and direct. They react instinctually or from their gut. 

Type 8 - externalize their anger physically and powerfully: “I’m so mad about this!”

Type 9 - forget or deny anger to avoid pain: “No really, it’s fine.”

Type 1 - internalize or repress their anger: “I’m in control.”


The Enneagram is so much more than just a simple personality test! When we dive deeper, we learn more about our tendencies, core fears and inner narrative. The things we tell ourselves has a strong hold on the lives we lead. If this felt uncomfortable to read, I get it! As a 7, I know that I am skilled at jumping from fun event to fun event to avoid pain and boredom. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s the truth. Knowing is half the battle, right?

I’d love to know how you’re using the Enneagram in your everyday life. Have you shared the quiz with your spouse or family yet? If not, let me encourage you to take that step. I can’t wait to hear about what you learn!

Best,

Erin

Enneagram 101 | Learn the Basics!

Enneagram

The Enneagram has reached a level of boy-band popularity lately with no end in sight. Maybe you’ve heard of it on social media or online, but have been confused by what all the fuss is about?! Well, the Enneagram is definitely not new. In fact, it’s been around for centuries!

 The word Enneagram stems from the Greek words ennea (nine) and gram (drawing).

The Enneagram is so much more than a simplified personality test. It dives deep and explains why we do what we do, how we struggle and how we can grow as individuals. This is not a one size fits all system and gets more complex the more you research. I’ve been diving deeper lately and it continues to amaze me! Please know I’m NOT an expert and am only driven by my curiosity and desire to understand more about myself and the people I love! #type7problems

Also, me. LOL!

Also, me. LOL!


I love how the book, The Road Back to You, describes it:

The point of it is self-understanding and growing beyond the self-defeating dimensions of our personality, as well as improving relationships and growing in compassion for others.
— Ian Morgan Cron

Compassion - something we all need more of today, right?

So, what is the Enneagram?

Source: The Enneagram Institute

Source: The Enneagram Institute

The Enneagram is a simple, yet complex personality typing system. It uses a 9-point geometric symbol to reflect the nine types, or personalities.

From one point of view, the Enneagram can be seen as a set of nine distinct personality types, with each number on the Enneagram denoting one type. It is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to yourself. This is your basic personality type.
— The Enneagram Institute

I love how the Enneagram recognizes that people can’t be put in a box. We are multi-dimensional. But even though we can change and grow, we still have an inherent or dominant number.


How do I find out my type?


Gurus of the Enneagram believe that a test isn’t always the best way to type yourself. They tend to agree that reading about each type and seeing where you relate is the best approach. However, I believe getting a baseline from a quiz can be really helpful. You can take a free assessment here: Your Enneagram Coach

If after you take the test you feel like it’s not accurate, do more research about types and wings. Understanding your core fears and motivations takes deep soul work. If reading about your type makes you feel a bit ashamed or embarrassed, then you’re probably on the right track! We don’t always love to hear the hard stuff about ourselves, but that’s when growth is possible.

It’s important to remember there are no bad numbers. There are pros and cons to every type! We need to understand both to grow into our best possible selves.

What are the Types?

Keep in mind this is just a short highlight reel, each type is much more complex. Which one do you most connect with?

Type 1: The Reformer or Perfectionist - ethical, reliable, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.

Type 2: The Helper - generous, warm, people-pleasing, and possessive.

Type 3: The Achiever or Performer - success-oriented, adaptable, productive, and image-conscious.

Type 4: The Romantic - expressive, creative, sensitive, and moody.

Type 5: The Investigator - perceptive, analytical, secretive, and isolated.

Type 6: The Loyalist - engaging, committed, witty, and suspicious.

Type 7: The Enthusiast - spontaneous, versatile, fun and scattered.

Type 8: The Challenger - self-confident, decisive, intense, and confrontational.

Type 9: The Peacemaker - pleasant, laid back, complacent, and resigned.

What are the Stress and Security Numbers?

If you noticed on the Enneagram’s symbol, the arrows are connected and cross at certain points. These are the stress and security numbers.

When you are under stress, the arrow that is leading away from your number is your stress number. This means you’ll reflect some of the more negative aspects of that type. For example, as a seven, I stress towards a type one. I can become more perfectionistic and less easygoing when I’m feeling overwhelmed, trapped or stressed out.

The line that is moving towards your number is your security number. When you are feeling secure and healthy, you will reflect the more positive aspects of that number. Mine is a type five, so when I’m doing well I let go of excess and become more orderly. Ironically, I’m married to a type five, so he is always thrilled when this happens!

What are wings?

In your reading you might see types listed as 3w4 or 8w7. What does this mean? The w stands for wings. Some types, or numbers, lean heavily to another number directly beside their base number. This means there are two possible wings for each number. 

For example, there is a marked difference in a person who is a 1w9 versus a 1w2. Read about the differences and nuances for your type’s wings and see if anything rings true.

Craving more? Check out these resources:

The Enneagram Institute

https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/

Iam Morgan Cron, author of The Road Back to You

http://ianmorgancron.com/assessment

Beth McCord, Your Enneagram Coach

https://www.yourenneagramcoach.com/

I hope this was a helpful starting point for you to understand more about the Enneagram! Come find me on Instagram, @erinammons, I’ll be sharing more of my favorite Enneagram accounts to follow. Chat soon!

xo

Erin

P.S. Want something fun and completely non-scientific?! Take my quiz!

Meal Planning Mindsets | #MomLife | Limitless Motherhood

meal-planning-moms

We can’t talk about meal planning without first talking about perfectionism.

Stay with me.


If we aim to plan our family dinners in a perfectly Pinterest way - we set ourselves up to fail.


If I’m only satisfied when my meal resembles some famous blogger’s Tuesday night dinner - I will crash and burn every time.


Because it turns out, I am not a food blogger. Or an expert chef. Or baker. Or food photographer. I’m clearly none of these things.



But, do I love to serve my family well? Absolutely.

Do I want dinner to be less about prepping and more about connecting? Yep.


Here’s the thing:

Meal planning is less about culinary skill and more about who’s around the table.


If any of that rings true for you, know you’re in good company. I think most of us just want to do this whole meal planning thing better. We’ve got no energy for the 5pm What’s for Dinner?! stress. And the internet and our friends all have solutions. We try their tips for awhile, but then quickly fizzle out. I have so been there. Multiple times.


Anytime I try to emulate somebody else’s meal planning protocol, I fail a few weeks in. Because their life is not my life. We all have different needs, tastes and budgets.


Although we can certainly glean advice from others, (and should!) meal planning feels impossible because we have to tweak it and create it ourselves. That’s the hard truth, because it would be so much easier if the deciding was done for us. Right? I get it.


We’re continuing this conversation over in the Limitless Motherhood Facebook group and newsletter! Don’t worry, there are ZERO pretty PDFs involved telling you how to meal plan. Just practical advice and a dose or reality around dinner time.

We all have different needs, tastes and budgets.


I can’t wait to hear what works for you and what doesn’t. Let’s tackle meal planning together!

Best,

Erin

Limitless Motherhood Facebook Community!

Motherhood Facebook Community

I believe that social media should be just that…social! I’m so tired of ads, political rants and people yelling at the internet. One way I’ve found the fun on social media is through Facebook groups. I’m in a variety of amazing groups where the focus is connection, collaboration and growth. Okay, and there’s usually some pretty epic GIF threads happening as well LOL.


Twice a month I send out the Limitless Motherhood newsletter to readers, but I’ve been missing connecting with them every day. So, we carried the conversation over into a Facebook group and we’re having so much fun getting to know one another!

Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much
— Helen Keller

Our topics have ranged from favorite podcasts on motherhood to morning routines. It’s my hope to use this group as an encouragement and not just add to the noise of Facebook. If you’re looking for a group with a more positive and uplifting atmosphere, then I hope you’ll join us!

And if you’re not on the email list yet, start there! I promise nothing spammy, just two short emails a month from yours truly. Hint: Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day topic is about the 5 Love Languages!

P.S. If you’re still reading, I’m sending you all the non-creepy internet hugs! I have some BIG writing goals over the next several months. Would you help hold me accountable? I’ll be sharing more of my process over on Instagram. AND there is a super fun giveaway starting todaaaay! So hop on over - you can find me @erinammons there.

See you soon!

Erin

The Latest from Instagram…

There's Nothing Magical About January | Limitless Motherhood

motherhood

Doesn’t this month feel approximately 537 days long? Clearly we’ve been January-ing for at least 2 months now.


You know what January feels like to me at this point? It feels like striving. Striving to stay on course with our sunny New Years resolutions and try-harder-next-times. 


January feels like homework.

January feels like a budget.


It’s freezing outside, but not snowing.

Everyone has raw noses.

We checked so many boxes, but not that one.

We’re having the best start to the year EVER…or we’re nowhere close.


Wherever you find yourself at the end of January, know this:

There is nothing magical about January.

But there is something magical in letting go of all the striving. Silencing the voice that reminds you that you’re not quite where you wanted to be. It whispers about how your aim faltered or shattered way off course. 

motherhood

Or maybe your January has been incredible and you feel extra pressure to make February even better. Worried you’ll slip off track next time, convinced that your bubble will burst. Am I the only one who worries about being too happy?


But if your January looked imperfect, you’re in good company. 

Let’s remember that we can change our minds. 

We can decide something isn’t working. 

We can choose to sit and wait. 

We can get up and go. 

We can try again or not.

It’s only a month and there are eleven more just like it.


Focus that attention on what you did right or where you witnessed kindness. Things that made you smile and look up from your to-do list. 


Thank January for what it taught you and carry along any good habits it brought. Forgive all the rest.


P.S. If you’re a Mom in the middle of striving, I have a community just for us. Hop over to the Facebook group and introduce yourself. I can’t wait to meet you!

Best,

Erin

sharonelizabethphotography-erinammonsphotography-virginiabeachheadshots-0443.jpg
 

The Latest From Instagram:

2018 Book Roundup! | #EAPREADS

reading-challenge-favorite-books

It has been way too long since I shared a rundown of my recent favorite books! Let’s do a 2018 roundup. My hope is you’ll glean a couple of suggestions and find a new book bestie.


You can check out more details on some of my Winter and Spring 2018 reads below:

WINTER

SPRING

One thing I do to keep reading a priority is sign up for the GoodReads annual Reading Challenge. Every year I choose a goal to reach towards and track my books in the GoodReads app. Last year I read 33 from my goal of 30 books! Woohoo! 

This year, my goal is to read 50 books - eek! I almost reached this back in 2017, so I’m willing to give it a try again. The idea is that even if I don’t reach it, I’ll be motivated to always have good books in rotation.


Wondering what to read? Never underestimate the power of asking friends on social media or checking out those ‘what other customers bought’ sections on Amazon. Choose a book you already love and google similar books as a place to start!

I tried to categorize the best I could, but some books seem to cover several genres:

Non-Fiction

What To Do When It’s Your Turn by Seth Godin

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker

Everybody, Always by Bob Goff

The Memoir Project by Marion Roach Smith

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst

The Wondering Years by Knox McCoy

A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman

Preach to Yourself by Haley Morgan

Stretched Too Thin by Jessica N. Turner

Personal Growth

Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Fierce Faith by All Worthington

reading-challenge-favorite-books

Fiction

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Superfudge by Judy Blume

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Memoir

The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer

Educated by Tara Westover

Becoming by Michelle Obama


Home/Simple Living

The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify by Francine Jay

Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith

Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living by Linnea Dunne

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living by Emily Ley

Overall, I’m happy with the variety I reached in 2018. But my big goal is to read more Fiction in 2019! 

Do you keep reading goals? I’d love to know what’s on your literal or digital bookshelf!

Comment on this thread with your 2018 favorite or tag me on IG :) The hashtag #EAPreads also has lots of my favorites!

Best,

Erin

Come Hang Out on Instagram!

My Word of the Year + Social Media Break(thru)

word-of-the-year

Happy 2019, friends! I hope you had a restful and joy-filled holiday. I know the other parents out there are probably relieved the kids are back to school, but also sad because holiday break is officially over. I’m definitely in that bittersweet camp. I’m ready for our routine to return, but I so loved our pajamas-till-noon-Christmas-movie-marathon week of cookies and snuggles. My soul needed it!

There’s lots of chatter around the start of January about choosing a word for the year. One word that acts as an anchor for your intentions in the coming seasons. I have been doing this for several years now and find it really helps me prepare for the months ahead.

In the past few years, my words have been:

2016 - Brave

2017 - Intentional

2018 - Patient

I thought my word for 2019 was going to be clarity. But, as I mined through my powersheets, the word ‘keep’ came to the front of my mind. Keep is a small, seemingly inconsequential word. What could it possibly do for me? It didn’t feel weighty or important enough.

But that word just wouldn’t leave me alone. I considered all the different uses and meanings. There’s a lot for such a little word! And many of them apply to where my heart is right now.

as in:

…keep going

…keep pursuing

…keep the faith

…keep it up

…keep staying open

…keep showing up


Once I dove into
thesarus.com and began to unpack ALL the meanings and sub-meanings around this word, I was blown away.

Synonyms: carry, enjoy, manage, preserve, save, direct, grasp, retain

In many ways, all these synonyms feel like behaviors that would bring me more clarity. In this keeping, I’ll unlock certainty in different areas of my life. I’m ready to ‘keep’ 2019.

Keep.jpg

Since November, I’d been planning on taking a more extended social media sabbatical. When you run a business, Facebook and Instagram are (like it or not) necessary tools to grow and reach an audience. It had been on my heart though that it was time to put the phone down over Christmas break and be present with the people I love best.

Even though my decision felt resolute, I was worried that the temptation to check my notifications would still be there. Would the habit be too strong to shake? 

Welp, it’s been over 10 days and I’m so proud of myself for keeping the commitment. If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of taking a longer break, do it!

Here are a few takeaways from my social media sabbatical:

  • Feeling more even-keeled and less quick to anger over small frustrations.

  • I can leave my phone behind sometimes. I did forget it on a quick grocery store run, and embraced how free it felt.

  • Taking pictures for the joy of my family and not just to share online.

  • Less FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) and feeling truly content.

  • I slowed down and made room to just do nothing.

My best breakthrough? It was way easier and painless than I had anticipated. I’d envisioned it being so much harder, but truthfully…I was ready for the break.

The week between Christmas and New Year feels like a sort of time warp. It goes quickly but seems to stretch and linger. Can you relate?

I hope you got a chance to breath and reset for the new year. If you have a word for 2019, drop it in the comments below - I’d love to hear!

Best,

Erin

motherhood-community-facebook-group

Are you in?

Join the Limitless Motherhood community and be encouraged in 2019!

'Quiet the Noise' Newsletter Series! | Limitless Motherhood

holiday-overwhelm-support-moms

My ever insightful sister texted this to me yesterday…

motherhood-support

…was anything ever more true?! If you just laughed or snorted or nodded your head, friend - you.are.not.alone.

It’s coming. The joy and excitement of the holidays! And yet, (uh oh, here comes the and yet) we are busier than ever during a season meant for slowing and savoring.

Let me start by saying I have zero intentions of adding more to your already fully loaded plate. Next week that plate will be loaded with Thanksgiving dinner yumminess, but will your head and heart match up with the spirit of the day? These are the things I ruminate over. I know, it’s weird.

But, here we are.

So, I’m creating a simple step for us. A way to limit all that noise, noise…noise!

And no, I’m not talking about little Cindy Lou making a racket down in WhoVille.

I’m talking about the noise from our newsfeeds, email accounts and piles of clutter. The holiday season can be so loud, and I don’t want that stealing my joy.

Because if we can limit just a fraction of the noise and stress coming at us, maybe we can find some space to breath. Just maybe there’s a bit of white space waiting for us to lean into. A pair of cozy slippers for our overwhelmed minds.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be sending out a short series of challenges in the Limitless Motherhood newsletter. These challenges are meant to give you one simple step to quieting the noise. This series will include 3 challenges, all sent out over the weeks leading up to Christmas. It’s my hope they will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to celebrate with intention!

Not on the list yet? Click below and join the newsletter so you don’t miss a thing!

The first challenge is coming tomorrow! Use the following hashtag over on instagram so I can find and cheer you on throughout the series this season!

#quietthenoise2018

I can’t wait for us to all find more white space this holiday season. Let’s end the year with purpose and a peaceful mind! Chat soon.

Best,

Erin

She Speaks Studio Top Takeaways! | Personal

If you ever get the opportunity to invest in a dream that’s so big you-can’t-say-it-aloud-because-OMG-it-is-terrifying….do it. Book the room, pack way too many shoes, board that plane, find a babysitter, leave before dawn…whatever it is you need to do. Make. It. Happen.

Hurricane Florence pushed back the date of the She Speaks Studio to November, and I had been anxiously awaiting it now for months.

She Speaks Studio was put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries, and if you have no idea what this organization is - I suggest you check it out if you’re looking for resources to grow in your faith.


This was the first Studio event and it was organized with instructional time, keynote speakers and hands-on workshop time. I signed up for the writing track and immediately made some amazing new friendships. I love how God cares enough about the details to make sure we were all sitting together at the same table!


Confession: I cried at least 395 times over the span of 1 1/2 days. Here are a few takeaways I never want to forget: 

  • Listening to best-selling author and speaker, Lysa TerKeurst, remind us that God does not want to be explained away, but invited in

  • When author, Suzie Eller said “when we hesitate in our calling, it becomes about us and not about God.”

  • The personal and heartbreaking stories of some of the strongest women I’ve ever met. Getting to hug them and process through some big emotions was an honor.

  • Having a mentor I respect, read my writing, look me in the eye and say “This is really, really good. Go write this.” #totallysobbed

she speaks studio

I am beyond grateful for this experience and I can’t wait to see how God is going to use it!

Curious what I’m doing? 

Join the Limitless Motherhood and come along for the ride!

Check out Instagram for more behind-the-scenes moments!

xo

Erin

What’s your Holiday-Readiness-Profile?

Happy Halloweeeeeen! 

Phew! Is anybody else already exhausted? It’s been a month of spirit days, Fall festivals, Trunk-r-Treats and class parties. I hope today you take a gazillion pictures of your baby or cat dressed up in something adorable! 

But after today, Moms, can we just agree to take a break? It seems everyone I talk to this month is beyond busy. I know we talk about rest and life balance, but October has. been. crazy. And it’s not looking like November is going to be slowing down either.

Is this break neck speed what we’re expected to maintain until January? Well, I guess not, because by then we’ll all be doing a detox of our diets and homes. 

I mean, I love you Fall - but can I just live my life like a normal person?

So, when is the rest happening for you? 

Let’s agree to take a collective breather tomorrow on November 1st. And before we get caught up in the mania of the holidays - let’s consider how we’re feeling. How we feel come November sets our mood and tone for the rest of the season. There is a wide array of where people fall on the holiday-readiness-profile (yes, this is a real thing…that I just invented). And there are LOTS of strong feelings involved. 

It’s my understanding, that most folks fall into one of three categories. Which of these profiles best describes you?

  1. Christmas Champion: You were made for this season and glitter runs in your bloodstream. You LOVE it all and want to start even before the pumpkins are off the front porch. 

2. Mixed Emotions: You dabble somewhere in the middle. Christmas music by mid-November, but you don’t get a tree early because you’re a respectable person. 

3. Holiday Purist: You believe in the purity of one holiday at a time. You’d like to completely digest your turkey and stuffing before hearing ‘Santa Baby’ while at CVS. 

Whatever profile rings true for you, can we agree that being considerate of others is what matters most? Let’s not shame or Grinch anybody, but we can respectfully realize that others don’t share our opinion.

Here’s a fun graphic to help us remember that this season is for everyone! Send this to someone who might need the gentle reminder. ;)

Christmas Prep

That’s right. You do you, friend. But at the same time, love your neighbor and give everyone some grace. God knows we all need it right now.

And now that we’ve named our own feelings, we can live more authentically this month. Knowing my own heart and approach around the holidays alleviates some of the anxiety I have this time of year. And I’m guessing you might feel the same.

Comment below and let me know which profile fits you best!

And then, go eat some candy and watch Hocus Pocus for the 5th time. You deserve it.

xo

Erin 

Let’s connect on Instagram!