I have a serious Enneagram teacher crush going on so many teachers, but Sandra Maitri is one of my top crushes. I once was lucky enough to attend one of her introductions to the Enneagram in LA, and Mr. M nudged me when he saw that she was alone, so I went up to her and told her how much I loved her work. She got so flustered, she scrambled for her beads (or whatever the necklace is that she uses to stay present) and briefly answered my questions and went off with her friend. I don't remember what I asked, but I remember her scrambling for her beads. I've always wondered if I was supposed to appologize for something. I felt terrible, and I've since tried to think of how else to approach teachers.
Anyway, before attending this workshop, I knew it would be brilliant so I brought a notebook and tried really hard to write down every single word she said. I didn't quite succeed, but I got a lot more down on paper than Mr. M did, who didn't think anything was happening. (That's what happens when you attend an Enneagram workshop with amazing teachers- you're just listening and listening and you suddenly realize you've been listening for quite a while and you've just been inducted into a mind-blowing theory of everything).
What I'm getting at is that she spent an almost excessive time amount of time talking about flow. As infants, our soul is always flowing (which is why we're so flexible as babies- nothing has been blocked, and we're fully present to everything), but as we get socialized, we learn what's acceptable and what's not acceptable in the household. Through observing our parents, we pick up on what parts of our personality to bring to the fore if we want to please them, and what parts we need to suppress. As we start gatekeeping, and cutting off "bad" parts of us, our flow gets blocked. This could be a creative flow, sexual flow, financial flow, a speaking flow, whatever.
Julia Cameron is a writer who helps other artistic types get out of their writer's block. She's trying to unblock the creative flow in creatives whose standard is too high, who don't think they have anything left in the well, or who are scared of success. Her exercises are fairly simple. They involve writing three or four pages off the top of your head every morning, going for walks, showing up at the computer and just breathing. Sensing into the tension. Writing garbage, basically, and just vomiting whatever comes up onto the page, just to get the process going. Sometimes we're so scared our work isn't going to be perfect, it paralyzes us from moving forward.
I'm at this juncture now. I've been unable to write anything over 3 pages since I dropped out of university in 2008. I was even struggling to finish essays near the end of my degree in college in 2000. I'm in a new era now; I'm a little older, and a little wiser. I'm sitting down at the computer again to put an 8-week Enneagram workshop together. I'm vomiting out some things on my blog post to get the process going. I'm being attentive to the things that are blocking the flow. This is an important calling for me.