The Takeaway - Looking Toward Season 2

December 28, 2021

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Today we’ll be looking back to what we’ve covered in season one—and giving you a sneak peak into season two. 

Summer. The word strikes fear into the hearts of many parents. My kids finished school last week, so we are literally resetting our lives. This week we’ve gone through backpacks, school papers (from several years back)… Only after looking back and processing the year (and what a wild ride it was!) can we move ahead to the summer!

You may have noticed that I’ve gone radio silent the past few weeks. Yep, I pressed the pause button to give myself a break and to work on season 2 for July and August.

I’d like for us to look back at where we’ve been in season 1. There is a hidden order to the podcasts—that some of you may have noticed—and it’s high time I let you in on the secret. First, I need to give you a little background in Enneagram theory. The Enneagram is a personality model, describing 9 archetypal ways of seeing and being in the world. According to the Enneagram, there are three centers of intelligence: body, heart, and mind. We as human beings use all three areas to navigate the world and grow our souls. Each of us has a dominant center, an area that we specialize in and lead with. Each of us also has a secondary center, our backup. And, each of us has a repressed center that is less used, kept safe by hiding behind the others. In order to be a full human being, we need to access and use all three centers. And here’s the most important part: in order to grow—especially during stressful or difficult times—you need to work on your repressed center, to coax it out of hiding and into the light.

So join me on a quick tour of where we’ve been so far, 9 episodes, 3 sets of 3:

  • Episode 1 was about behaviors, from handwashing to social distancing to sheltering in place. (No, wearing masks was not a thing quite yet.) This episode was about the body center of intelligence—and how our external behaviors can be a blessing to others.
  • Episode 2 was about the news, how to “right-size” it for you, and how to prayerfully and mindfully respond. This episode was about the mind—and how to focus our minds both on the news and prayer….
  • Episode 3 was about overwhelming feelings, such as fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, guilt, and shame. This episode was about the heart--how to notice our feelings and choose our responses, instead of reacting.
  • Episode 4 was about rest, from sleep to sabbath to taking breaks. This episode was about the body—and how foundational rest is during difficult times.
  • Episode 5 was about connection, to our true self, to others, and to God. This episode was about the heart—and how
  • Episode 6 was about negative thoughts—how easy it is to get stuck in them, and how we can rebalance and reframe our thoughts
  • Episode 7 was about nourishment, those things that give us strength. Body center.
  • Episode 8 was about illness, from symptoms to feelings of shame and guilt. Heart center.
  • Episode 9 was about true thoughts, how to test your thoughts

Whew. We covered a lot of ground together. You may have noticed that season 1 reflected a problem-based approach. One of my superpowers (ok, I only have 2 or 3) is noticing problems coming. I saw COVID-19 coming and quickly recognized that this season would affect us in the area of self-leadership, self-management, self-care. I sensed that we would need all centers of intelligence online just to get by.

I had hoped that 9 episodes (from March to May) would be enough to carry us through. I knew I would need lots of pep-talks, and I was hoping season one would suffice.

And here we are now. When I get up every morning, to eat breakfast, read the paper, and try to plan my day, I feel like I’m looking into the abyss of an unsolvable problem—as far as the eye can see, in every direction. Focusing on problems paralyzes us—in body, heart, and mind. Perpetually stuck, feeling like we’re barely hanging on.

Season 1 focus on problems in each area of intelligence and how to meet those problems. Season 2 will focus on resources—most all resources come from God, God’s very person and presence.

What if we flipped our perspective and began to look at the resources we have to bring to problems? To not just reframe problems in a positive way but to spend my attention and energy on the resources themselves.

Cue The Takeaway, season 2. We’ll be focusing on God as the ultimate resource. Specifically, we’ll focus on 9 aspects of God’s character or person, 9 facets of who God is: goodness, love, glory, beauty, wisdom, faithfulness, joy, justice, peace. These nine attributes of God correspond to the 9 personality types in the Enneagram. Different types of people reflect different aspects of God’s character, different parts of God’s image. In other words, we participate in God’s very nature when we live into our true selves. There’s no end to God, so there’s plenty for us to receive, and plenty of room for us to grow. God invites all of us to grow and be transformed.

In the words of the Apostle Paul in the second letter to the Corinthians:

“And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3.18)

The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

This transformation that Paul speaks about isn’t just a passive upgrade to a new operating system while you sleep. This is more like the growth mindset goes to church. Carol Dweck’s Mindset, and the ideas in it, have permeated our house, our kids’ classrooms, and hopefully our family’s spirits this year. With the truth that hard work, practice, and an attitude of growth are what sets our trajectory in many efforts—from the very beginning. A spiritual growth mindset is ready for challenges, and meets them with hard work, practice, and an attitude of growth—flowing from hope in the unchanging, everpresent God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

So I invite you to participate in the 2nd season of the Takeaway! 9 episodes dropping on Tuesdays in July and August. Chance to refuel our tanks this summer, with he fuel that is behind all of life, the very presence of God.

I do hope you’ll join me.

And now receive this promise from the Apostle Paul, from the letter to the Philippians:

May the peace of God,

Which passes all understanding,

Keep your hearts and minds

In the knowledge and love of God,

And of God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

And the blessing of God almighty,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

Remain with you today, this season, and always. Amen.

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