March is Women’s History Month, and when I sat down to write about it, I wasn’t sure I had much to say that hadn’t already been said. Then I asked myself, “What’s it take to make history?” That narrowed my focus, and from there I went to, “What’s it take to change the world, from a social consciousness perspective?”
It’s important to celebrate women who are changing the world. So, with that in mind, I choose to honor a woman who has impacted my life and continues to impact the world in a profound way through her work- Helen Palmer, groundbreaking Enneagram author and a leading teacher in the field of human consciousness.
Those of us who have studied with Helen know exactly what “groundbreaking” really means. Witnessing how Helen transmits this material at such a depth and breadth can itself be a transformative experience. Many of the teachers who come from Helen’s school are among the most insightful, and many have gone on to break new ground themselves.
There is an important quote from Helen that I find especially true – and hard to digest at times,
“It can be astounding to realize that we perceive 360 degrees of reality in a very limited way and that most of our decisions and interests are based on highly sophisticated habits rather than real freedom of choice.”
It can be more than challenging to see this in yourself for the first time, or the second, or the hundredth. However, having real freedom of choice is worth the work – and a great start toward changing the world.
Someday, when I grow up I want to be someone who leaves the world better off than before I participated. God knows we need someone to change the world, right now. We need lots of someone’s. So come on, everyone, be as bold and as fearless as you can, be focused and joyful and change the damn world.
In case you don’t know Helen, here’s a little background you might enjoy:
Helen Palmer is an international best-selling author. Her works include, The Enneagram: Understanding Yourself and the Others in Your Life and The Enneagram in Love and Work: Understanding Your Intimate and Business Relationships, which are currently translated into 28 languages. She is co-founder, along with Dr. David Daniels, of Enneagram Worldwide’s Enneagram Professional Training Program and is a founding director of the International Enneagram Association. Her work with the Enneagram was the subject of a 2003 PBS documentary, Breaking Out of the Box: Discovering the Enneagram. For more information on Helen, go to www.enneagram.com.
To close, the visionary Ken Wilber, as quoted on Helen’s website:
Any truly Integral approach would include within its survey of the world the many different Types of consciousness, and the Enneagram provides one of the most sophisticated Type systems available. And of the many approaches to the Enneagram, I believe one of the best is Helen Palmer’s, due to its empirical grounding and its wonderful comprehensiveness.
By Mary Anne Wampler,
PRINCIPAL, TRANSFORM, INC.