I’ve always been attracted to stories of other worlds, where somebody of no particular importance is suddenly called to realize their magical destiny: where a boy can come across a mysterious stone in the forest and become a Dragon Rider, where a hobbit can find a ring and travel across the world to find an ancient treasure. Where a “normal kid” can become the most famous wizard in the world.
My first trip to the Enneagram Institute felt like an initiation into another world, but I was nervous. I introduced myself as a Six, and I said “so as you might expect, my heart is racing right now.” I got a laugh, and was blessedly permitted to sit back down.
My second trip, a mere two months later, was entirely different. One of the questions they always ask is “What is your Enneagram interest?” This time, I stood up and I said “My name is Ben… and I’ve always wanted to be a wizard.” I can tell you, I was the only person who said something like that. I was also the youngest person there by at least ten years. I think I had an advantage in being closer to my childhood—but I did still have an inner critic message running. It was telling me things like “Don’t say that, people won’t take you seriously! Do you want to look like an idiot? Sure, it’s OK to believe that, but it’s NOT OK to say it… blah blah blah…”
The curious thing was, when I stood and spoke of my magical aspirations, I wasn’t met with ridicule but with joy and sweetness and support. People didn’t take me less seriously… they listened more intently. They wanted to know what I would say next. They became curious about me. “Who is this person?” So that when I had something that needed to be said, it was heard. I stood out. I wasn’t trying to hide who I wanted to be, and that resonated with people. I think it busted through their own inner critics. I think it was a relief for us all to stop trying to “be normal.”
Most of us are pretty good at seeming normal. We’ve all learned how to be “normal passing.” But really, we’re all just pretending. And this pretending seems harmless, but it takes something from us. Over time, we start to believe that we are what we pretend to be. We forget that there’s more to us than this careful facade. We know that we aren’t being authentic, but we don’t know how else to be.
I founded Dragon Guidance because I wanted to create a community where it’s supported and encouraged to be who we really are. For me, that means I get to be a wizard in this world. For you, it may be something else, but it should be something extraordinary. It is what we are going to need to be able to face the coming challenges on our shared planet.