A lesson on blind spots from a good hair day

good hair day- bad hair day.jpg

Today is a good hair day.

I was so convinced of this fact, that this morning I took a selfie to prove it. My bangs, which I recently cut and can sometimes be unruly, were sitting just how I wanted them to be.

I went to bed with wet hair last night, and woke up with a pretty crazy mop. But it the straightening iron and the wetting down to re-blowdry seemed to do just what I hoped it would. I was pretty pleased with myself. 

(You see where this is going, don't you?)

I went to a morning meeting, feeling professional and put together. I went to the Apple Store to get a long-time computer problem fixed, sure I looked cool enough to be in a hip place.

Then, on my way out of the mall, I got sidetracked by a sale rack at a store and ended up in the fitting room. At which point I finally caught a glimpse at the BACK of my head.

good hair day - bad hair day

This picture was taken after I got home, and had actually done a little bit to fix it. I promise you the back of my hair looked worse than this picture... the ENTIRE morning...

I was horrified. 

How did I forget to look at the back? Wouldn't that be an obvious place to check for potential bedhead?  

There was a time in my life when a revelation like this would have filled me with shame, regret, and possibly tears.

But today I laughed. 

I laughed because in all the work I have done, in therapy, in enneagram, and in prayer, I have learned some things. I have learned to be honest. I can face my mistakes and blindspots with the knowledge I am loved. I have also learned to give myself grace. I know there are idiosyncrasies about who I am and how I operate that will always be more obvious to other people than to myself, and that is ok. 

I laughed knowing this is true for all of us. I was blind to my bedhead. Someone else might be blind to the toilet paper on their shoe. Neither are better or worse. They are just things that are hard for us to see. 

I also laughed in gratitude for the people in my life who have the courage to point out the bedhead, and the grace to love me well in the midst of it. 

May we all learn to love ourselves and each other with honest grace. 



New Series: The Enneagram and Faith

Years ago, I read the book If You Want to Walk on Water You've Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg and felt inspired to change the world. I wanted to be a water-walker, take bold risks, step out in faith, and do things only possible through God's power.

The book was like a pep rally, revving me up about all that was possible. Just like Peter, I wanted to be better than all those other disciples. Those guys who were so busy quivering in the corner that they missed out on an opportunity of a lifetime. Who would want to be like them?

The problem was, and is, I am like them. My personality is much closer to that of Matthew or John than that of Peter. So though I felt inspired, nothing much changed. Except maybe the weight on my shoulders, as the better and bolder things I should be doing stacked on top of the other "shoulds" I already carried. 

This often seems to be the case with Christian discipleship books, and many other spirituality and self-help books for that matter. People have experiences that are meaningful to them, and translate them into an experience that would be meaningful to everyone. 

We too easily forget how our personality differences lead to beautiful distinctions in how we experience life and faith. 

The enneagram is an ancient tool for understanding ourselves and others. It defines nine core personality types, with several variances according to our wing (the personality type adjacent to ours on the diagram with which we most identify), our subtype (our instinctual social, intimate, or self-preservation mode of operating), and our unique way of holding the other types besides our own within us. It asks us to embrace both our gifts and our shadow side, hopefully bringing us to a healthier perspective of ourselves and the world.

The enneagram allows us to simultaneously say, "Wow, I'm so special!" and "Phew, I'm not the only one!" 

Not only does the enneagram define nine types, it also divides those types into three centers. These centers are the ways we tend to approach decisions: the gut (our body and instincts), heart (our emotions and relationships), and head (our thinking and reason). Good decisions involve all three centers to some extent, but we each have a tendency to default to one or two above the other(s). 

The disciple Peter seems to be a gut-center guy. He steps out of the boat and walks on water, but he also runs away to protect himself when the going gets rough. He confidently preaches a sermon to a huge crowd at Pentecost, but he also is the only disciple called satan for reprimanding Jesus. Peter is a mixed bag of boldness and impulsivity.

Like the rest of humanity, Peter is also both unique and not the only one like himself. When we look at Peter, we may feel like we are looking in a mirror or we may feel like we are looking at an alien. 

Those who feel like Peter is an alien might relate more with another disciples. Though Peter, a gut-center guy, was the only one to get out of the boat, John, a heart-center guy, was the only one to stick with Jesus when he was arrested. Though Matthew, a head-center guy, did neither of those things, he wrote the Gospel with many more Old Testament connections than the other three.

Each disciple had an important contribution, just like we do. The boldness of Peter, love of John, and intelligence of Matthew rarely combine in one person. 

You don't have be all things to all people at all times. You can learn from each disciple, but you don't need to look at their lives and heap "shoulds" upon your already burdened shoulders.

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

The disciples were individuals. You can be too. In life and in faith, give yourself the grace of being you.

In the beginning of July, I went through the enneagram training and certification program and launched the enneagram coaching part of my business. Today I launch a regular series on the enneagram and faith, looking for the ways viewing Scripture and life through the enneagram lens can open our eyes to grace, love, and growth.

To celebrate this launch, I'm giving away a free individual or couples enneagram coaching session! I can help you determine your type and/or move towards health, in yourself and in your relationships.

There are 3 ways to enter: 1. Comment on this post. 2. Share this post on social media. 3. Share my enneagram coaching page on social media. You can enter in any or all of the ways. Each way gives you one more chance to win. If you share on social media, make sure to tag @everydayawe on Twitter or Instagram or https://www.facebook.com/everydayawe on Facebook.

This give away closes August 5, 2015. Winner will be chosen at random, and notified by email or social media, depending on how the entry was made.

Good luck and thanks for sharing!

The Pantry Door

We have a pantry in our kitchen to the right of the refrigerator. It's a tall cabinet door with pull out shelves tucked away inside, filled with cereal, tea, crackers, and granola bars.

Almost every time I walk through the kitchen, the pantry door is open. It drives me crazy.

I exhale with a growl as I shut the door and script persuasive speeches in my imagination. I think of my husband and kids sitting at the table, while I demonstrate just how simple it is to shut that door and make the kitchen look less like a messy locker room.

Inevitably, the speeches don't come to fruition, as life moves quickly from that moment into the hustle of packing school lunches or eating dinner or figuring out what snack it's appropriate to give a starving child five minutes before his bedtime.

Until, serendipitously, the perfect moment finally appeared. I prepared homemade granola bars to replace the store bought ones my kids usually eat for breakfast. Bars kept on the bottom shelf of that pantry. My husband innocently said, "We will just have to make sure to close the pantry door so the dog doesn't eat them."

This was my moment. I looked at him sitting sweetly in his chair, and pontificated all the reasons he and the kids needed to do a better job of that. I moaned about how annoyed I felt whenever I came into the room and found the door hanging open.

He replied, "It's you who does it."

What!?! How dare he! Before I could launch into a perfectly crafted diatribe about my innocence, he just told me to turn around.

I did, and saw the pantry door, which I had left open after putting the granola bars away.

As embarrassed as I felt, I was also certain it was a fluke.

Until he gently pointed it out to me again at lunch, and then at dinner, and the next day, and...

It was me! It was me all along!

I thought about all the time and energy I had wasted feeling annoyed, getting frustrated, and planning my speeches, when all along, the only thing I needed to focus on was shutting the pantry door.


It's obvious, but still worth saying because sometimes we think we are alone in our feelings: life can be stressful.

I wonder how much of that stress is brought on by our own thoughts. We spin things around and around in our minds and get consumed with judgment about the actions of others and plan all the things we will do and say when we finally get the chance.

Sometimes we just need to shut the pantry door, take a breath, and get on with making breakfast.

Grace, my friends. For you, for me, for all of us.

Sometimes we just need to shut the pantry door, take a breath, and get on with making breakfast.