In my last two blogs I covered the topic of Clutter meets the Enneagram meets the Chinese Five Element Theory. We have explored the #1 and #2 sensibilities. Now we move onto the #3, sometimes referred to as the “Doer,” and we continue with matters of the heart. I use the Chinese Five Elements as an illuminator, showing us our balances and imbalances, excesses and deficiencies, as they relate to the seasons, elements and the human body and our emotions. Nature intersects with Human Nature. Since the Enneagram is a dynamic model, where we have a core default number, but move around the whole Enneagram landscape, I invite you to stay open and see how you might know a little bit of the Three in yourself. Some believe as I do, that the Enneagram shows up in our cultures and countries. The U.S.A. certainly has a lot of performer/achiever in it as well as image preoccupation, so if you live in America, some of these motivators are bound to show up in you.
Number 3 wants to prove their sense of worth by accomplishing a lot, looking good and being the best at what they do. Now how would that relate to clutter?
Since I am a Two, one of my wings (number next to me) is Three, so I know much of this in myself. One example is that on my wall in my office I have all my degrees, certifications, and awards nicely framed and hanging on a wall. I certainly don’t need them anymore after twenty-five years of private practice and workshop facilitation, but I don’t take them down. Trophies remain taking up space in some cabinet. What for? That particular kind of clutter displays some sort of credibility I must still feel I need to prove. I will hold on to these things until I feel whole enough to let them go, which I am doing little by little these days.
The Three energy can be known for their lists. Lists and more lists- even lists within lists. There is great satisfaction in checking off things from these lists. For me, it can almost feel like a “high.” Wow, I really proved my worth today!!! Because of the lists, the days are cluttered with doing, lacking a sense of spaciousness.
Proving I have it all together is another Achilles heel from my Three wing. I want my home to look aesthetically pleasing and “put together” and have been known to frantically stuff things into drawers or closets, if someone is dropping by unexpectedly. My #3 clients and I giggle together about this. I have places of chaos that I don’t want anyone to see. I have lots of clothes and accessories so I can look “just right” for the occasion, whatever it may be. I can become compulsive about preserving my image. This might come from an imbalance in my water element, being afraid of what others might think of me, since the water element is about fear.
I have had #3 clients who order many of the same “perfect suit”, maybe even in the same color, and hang them in an orderly and coded way so they don’t need to waste precious time getting dressed. After all, they have so much to do. This might be an excess in the wood element which is about organization, efficiency, and sometimes rigidity. It still is out of balance in its cluttered obsessive behaviors.
Some #3 clients keep their environments simple, yet well-designed, almost like a movie set. Still other Threes can’t stand clutter or possessing lots of things because they already have too much on their plate to prove through their career or family responsibilities. Some # 3’s become obsessively clean and neat-nicks, because you never know who will see their space and judge them. Lots of cleaning supplies. Even in these paradigms there is a lack of balance and an emotional clutter.
The Three may have lots of “equipment” to help them achieve what they believe they want to achieve. And this can take up lots of space and may not even be necessary. Yet they hold on, because they just might need it and better not be unprepared. The Metal/Air element is about holding on or letting go. I have known Threes who also can let go constantly, especially if something is out of fashion, last year’s model. Image takes the lead again regarding what people will think.
Please feel free to engage in discussion and reflection. I’d love to hear from you.
If you missed the last two blogs, go to Dive Deep Fly High https://ruthienergy.com/why-the-clutter-1/
And I am thrilled to announce my new book MY MUSINGS. Watch the very short trailer and this might be the very book for you this summer. I feel I was guided to create this one. I hope you enjoy. It’s available online, and in all bookstores. And if you value it, please leave a review. Many thanks!