Personality and your soul when reflecting and preparing

Jan 4, 2022 | 0 comments

You know how some stories stay with you and form you? My dad and I process information differently, or we did before he died. I am fairly fast, and he was slower. But here’s the thing I learned over the years: Speed does not equate depth. 

In his final formal job, my dad worked at a food processing plant as an engineer. I can’t remember how I heard this story because my dad was not one to brag, so I doubt he told me. The plant was having troubles with how to stack boxes on the palletizer that packaged the boxes for shipping. For several days it looked like my dad wasn’t working on the problem, and then one day he walked in with a solution that not only solved the problem, but it saved the company thousands and thousands of dollars.

This story formed me because what might not look like work might be where the real work actually gets done. What might have looked like my dad not working was actually him going over the problem from this angle and that angle in his mind. Without intention, I do not have the patience to reflect, but I learned over and over from my dad the value of reflecting and not rushing ahead.

This will be the third year we have parties to discuss the Reflect on 2021, Prepare for 2022 packet. Last year in one of the parties, after one participant said she enjoyed reflecting more than preparing, another participant said, “You’ve got to be kidding? I loved the preparation part and had to work on the reflection!”

The lightbulb went off. We are not all the same.

Duh. Of course we’re not! You may never like reflecting as much as planning, or vice versa; but just like I learned from watching my dad, you can’t really do one without the other. God has given each of us a unique personality that is beautiful and limited. 

With this in mind, Global Trellis is collaborating with Christine Rollins of Enneagram For the Expat. Since the start of this challenge, every day Christine has posted on Instagram a bead of wisdom for each number that represents a different personality. If you have no idea what I’m talking about with “numbers,” no worry! Basically there are the nine different ways you or those you know may approach reflecting and planning. Thank you, Christine, for the following:

As you reflect on the past year and prepare for the new one…

1 – Have grace for what feels like mistakes and give yourself space in the coming year to learn and try and fail. 

2 – Celebrate the relationships of this past year – how they’ve grown and how you’ve grown. Let your heart imagine the richness that can come in this next year.

3 –  As you celebrate the year behind and plan the year ahead, consider the successes and dreams that no one else will see. 

4 – Grieve the losses, celebrate the wins, and look forward in hope to the beauty of the blank slate of the new year ahead.

5 – Look at all the ways you had enough and were enough this year. Remember that as you plan for the year ahead.

6 – As you reflect, give yourself the permission to feel all of your emotions – fears, joys, grief. Honor those as you consider your hopes for this year to come.

7 – Celebrate the adventures of the year! Let yourself feel the highs and the lows – even those harder to name. And plan ahead for the fun that you love, leaving space for the unexpected.

8 – Give yourself that permission to feel the weight of the year behind and of your hopes for the year ahead. Process in a safe place and with your safe people.

9 – Take the space and time you need to reflect on this past year and plan for the one ahead – you are worth spending that time with yourself.


As “we” worked on these suggestions—by which I mean Christine wrote them, and I said, “That’s amazing!”—I could picture different people I know. For the “ones” in my life, when I read about having grace for what feel like mistakes and space to learn and try and fail, I thought, “Yes, that is my deepest hope for them at a new year!” 

You can see the beautiful images that go with each personality type here in addition to a bit more space that lets each breathe and not get lost in the noise.

As a fast processor, I can shove too much into something. This is why I’m so delighted that in collaborating with Christine, she has slowed us down and let each one of us see what is the strength of our personalities and where we get in our own way.

Read back over the list, if you happen to know your number, how do these suggestions help you? And if you’re not sure which number you are, which of these struck a chord with you? To go a bit deeper with the conversation on each personality type, pop over to Enneagram for the Expat where Christine has facilitated a rich interaction around each of these nine ways we might see the world.

P.S. First three parties are this Wednesday! To get times and zoom link, get the packet.

Photo by Raychan on Unsplash

Amy Young

Life enthusiast. Author. Sports lover. Jesus follower. Supporting cross-cultural work.

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