In one of my introductory Enneagram workshops I remember a man asking me, “Why do you keep calling this ‘work’? What is the work?” This a question that deserves a proper answer.
First, we have to let go of the usual impressions we have about work. This work is not something that earns wages (although its’ rewards are substantial and continue to compound throughout life). Neither is it something that requires a uniform, a hard hat or a power suit (although it does require us to show up every day fully prepared). This work is not something that produces sweat (although it is likely to produce some tears).
For those who find themselves compelled to answer the question “Who am I?”, the work is an intentional unfolding of truth. We courageously observe our internal and external habits and reactions. We do so with kindness and patience, both strict requirements of our work. Curiousity and a spirit of discovery allow personal revelations that have the power over time, to change us in profound ways.
We become stronger, more authentic, more compassionate, more at peace. And that’s the short list!
It was said by G.I. Gurdjieff that “The work is not difficult to do alone. It is impossible.” I believe this to be true. Having the support of a guide or a group is invaluable – and hardly feels like work at all!