Our three Centres of Intelligence
Have you ever had a gut feeling; a sense that you knew something was right or wrong simply based on your instinct? How often do you feel like your heart is calling you to take a different path? Do you sometimes experience that your mind is crystal clear and sort of connected to a higher consciousness?
It’s really amazing how much our bodies seem to tell us when we pay attention! In fact, our body actually perceives our environment faster than our consciousness. This tells me that we are all capable of accessing a deeper intelligence than we can perceive with just our thinking minds.
So what do you usually do when you have that gut feeling or when you sense that call from your heart? Do you listen, or do you dismiss it and try to reason instead? We are so used to thinking of our mind as our only center of intelligence. Many of us have learnt to prioritize rational understanding instead of deeper heart connection and body intuitive wisdom. The truth however; is that we have intelligence distributed throughout our bodies. Modern science actually recognizes that humans and in fact all mammals have three centers of intelligence; body, heart and head, through which we experience, perceive and make discernments.
Something I find so fascinating is that the Enneagram system honored these three centers of Intelligence long before science proved it to be a fact! The nine personality types can be clustered into several different groups with the Center of intelligence triad being one. Depending on our type, our personality fixation is associated primarily in one of these centers, which shapes our way of relating to the world. All types have all three centers in us, but we all have an imbalance where we tend to either distort or block one center.
When I first began to learn about the Enneagram and I discovered that my dominant type was part of the Heart Centre group I thought that meant I was more connected to my feelings and my heart. Likewise, I figured Head types used their minds more efficiently and Body types were naturally more grounded. I have since learned that this is not at all the case, in fact sometimes quite the opposite.
Enneagram type 8, 9 and 1 lead with their body intelligence through instinct and are concerned with fairness and control of their environment. Type 2, 3 and 4 rely primarily on the heart center through mood, tone and feelings and are relationship oriented and concerned with self-image. Type 5, 6 & 7 rely first on their head center through logic, reason and analysis and are information oriented.
Even if you haven’t discovered your Enneagram type yet, learning about our centers is a great first step to more self-awareness. I will explain the vital qualities found in each center, but I thought it could be helpful if I start by sharing my own experience of being out of touch with the centers. Knowing what happens for you when you’re disconnected from a center helps you identify when you are out of balance and which center you need to reconnect with.
Throughout my life the body center is the one I’ve been the most disconnected from. I’ve struggled to feel grounded and rooted which often made me feel like I didn’t belong anywhere. Being out of touch with my body center also made me feel less confident and afraid to show up fully. I felt more comfortable observing than actively taking part. The more disconnected from my body I’ve been the more I’ve also felt indecisive and uncertain about things.
As I mentioned I’m a Heart type, which does not necessarily mean that I’m always connected with my Heart Center.When I feel threatened or insecure and I loose my connection with my heart I become judgmental and righteous. I find fault in both others and myself and I see everything as either black or white. When I’m out of touch with my heart I also feel very lonely as it makes me feel distant from both others and myself.
When I’m disconnected from my Head Center I‘m distracted. I become more worried and feel a need to figure things out. I feel like my head is spinning, but I can’t hear my thoughts. Other times when I’m out of touch with my clear mind I hear my thoughts loud and clear, but it’s the same thing over and over, often imagined dialogues or rants.
Can you relate to some of these experiences? What happens for you when you’re out of touch with one or more of your centers? Clearly, when we either over rely on or disconnect from one center we miss the wholeness that is available to us. So what is it that is available to us in each center?
The reason the Body Center plays such a significant role in our journey to healing and awakening is because it’s our gateway to Presence. While our minds and feelings often wander to the past or the future, our body only exists in the present moment. This is one of the reasons why all meaningful growth work leads back to becoming more grounded in our body.
When we are grounded in our Body Center we get in touch with our inner strength and fullness. We feel confident and certain about our experience. It’s a sense of being alive, of being connected, of being at one with things. Our Body Center provides us with a clear instinctive Yes or No.
When we are in touch with our Heart Center we naturally feel compassion for others and ourselves. We become accepting and open to whatever life has to offer us. We see ourselves with clear vision and we also see others for who they truly are. Being in touch with our Heart center makes us show up more authentically. When we allow ourselves to be real, we innately allow others to be more authentic as well. Our loving hearts provide us with deep insights about who we truly are. Getting in touch with our true essence helps us discover what we truly want in life and align with our purpose.
When we are tapped in to our spacious mind we access the understanding and insight that is always available to us. We gain access to the objective inner observer and can witness our thoughts without believing everything that goes through out head. The true nature of our Head Center is complete stillness, silence, and spaciousness. This peaceful stillness gives us clarity and wise guidance.
I believe we wouldn’t be doing things to others, the environment and ourselves if we were more connected. There is so much awareness to gain just by recognizing which center is your dominant and which centers are out of alignment. Getting in touch with our centers and aligning them through inner work and coaching helps us discern what is true, connect with our inner knowing and develop more meaningful and rewarding relationships with others and ourselves.
If you are curious to learn more, we have created a 10-page guide packed with resources to help you connect with each center. To grab your free copy, simply follow this link and scroll down to the bottom of the page.