Why the Clutter? #5

It was an Enneagram Type 5 blog subscriber that invited me to write about each style’s relationship to clutter. And that’s how this series of blogs began. In each one I write, I find a little bit of myself, and I invite you to read these that way, too. My work with the Enneagram is about inclusion and compassion, even resonance, rather than division. One person’s clutter is another person’s resources.

I want us to engage the Chinese Five Elements again in this exploration. The Autumn is approaching, the Metal/Air element, which invites us to be aware of balance in our holding on and letting go, our breathing in what we need and breathing out what we don’t. All the Enneagram numbers can see ways they are either in excess or deficiency around what to hold onto and what to let go of, whether it be with things, feelings, or thoughts. Another element that plays into this clutter curiosity is Water/Winter which is about our fears and deep-down places. In my books, I hold the position that each type is afraid of something. With the fives we might see that the primal fear is around scarcity, yet on the other hand, they may address that fear with collecting and perhaps even hoarding resources, being prepared to meet life ready and able.

My beloved father was a five through and through, and so is my son, and many clients I have worked with over the years. As many of you may know, who have read my books and blogs, my father was an actor. He had every book on acting known to man, and sometimes multiple copies as well. Most books he wrote in and highlighted, so the second copy was there, just on hand. He gave books as gifts, as well. And he bought tons of scripts from Samuel French. When my husband owned a video store for two years, my dad took home all the VHS movies and copied them (for his own use) with accompanying binders that told him how he could find any actor’s work in those videos, so if he ever had an audition, he would be prepared. My dad needed to be an expert on his craft and an actor prepares. He had more notebooks, filled with notes about everything he learned, than one could imagine. It took me two years to clean out his basement that held all of these movies, binders and books. I wonder if my father was alive today, with access to just about everything on the internet, how his resourcing might show up. Would he have innumerable piles of external hard drives?

My son loves his books as well. Piles of them. And music. Can’t get enough of it. Yet, when he was abroad for 9 ½ years he often went for long periods of time just living out of his backpack, with few clothes or supplies. He carried his banjo, some books, his dj equipment and his computer.  He lived comfortably without much “stuff,” traveling the world. My sense is that his resources were now within himself, strong and not scarce, so they didn’t need to be externalized in the world of “things.” Come to think of it, when my father was on the road for the shows he did out of town, nationally, he actually carried very little with him. He could wear the same clothes over and over, and the same red beret, daily. So apparently, when a five crosses over the line around their insecurities and instead embrace their capabilities and competencies, they no longer need the excess or clutter embodied outside of themselves.

For others with this five energy they may keep lots of things, because you never know if you’ll need it. Or if its value will increase.

I ask myself how this lives in me, even as a two. The internet has become my resource that offsets my self-doubts around what I know or don’t know. I use the thesaurus, to find a better word. I find a YouTube video to fill in the gaps of my expertise. I look up articles to document the credibility of an idea I have. So, though I may have moments of feeling my own scarcity, I am fortunate and grateful that my clutter is not visible; instead scattered about the ethers for my plucking.

And here is a sneak peek of a series of new videos I will be releasing called NOW WHAT? Here is the number 5.