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Enneagram Briefly Explained

Enneagram Briefly Explained

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram (Ennea=9, Gram=Diagram) is simply a map (GPS) for self-discovery and
personal growth based on 9 basic personality types. The Enneagram accurately and clearly
describes why you think, feel and behave in particular ways based upon your core motivations,
including your core fears and core desires.

The power of the Enneagram is in its ability to harness and transform self-limiting behaviours
into life-enhancing personal empowerment. The gift of the Enneagram is that through
self-discovery, one can create and sustain meaningful and lasting relationships with others,
their Spiritual beliefs and themselves.

What is the Enneagram?

According to the Enneagram, each of the nine personality types is defined by a particular core belief about how the world works. This core belief drives your deepest motivations and fears — and fundamentally shapes a person’s worldview and the perspective through which they see the world and the people around them.

Our core beliefs are not necessarily incorrect, but they can be limiting and operate as “blind spots” for people. Understanding our Enneagram type and how it colours our perceptions can help us to broaden our perspective and approach situations more effectively. Understanding a person’s Enneagram type helps us to see why they behave the way they do. Each Enneagram type has a set of core beliefs that will consistently motivate them to take particular actions and guide them to make certain decisions. Behaviour that may seem confusing or contradictory can often be explained when we understand a person’s Enneagram type.

The Enneagram also helps us understand how people react to stress. By describing how each Enneatype adapts and responds to both stressful and supportive situations, the Enneagram shows opportunities for personal development and provides a foundation for the understanding of others.

The Enneagram is therefore a model focused on motive and not character traits. Our part is to help you explore your correct type with our engagements and holistic information shared during individual and group sessions.

Most importantly, the purpose is to enjoy this journey of becoming more self-aware, forgiving and optimistic towards yourself and your team members!

The 5 Dysfunction of a Team

The 5 Dysfunction of a Team

The 5 Dysfunction of a Team


The Workplace is made up by a group of imperfect human beings. This inevitably leads to the notion that all teams are potentially dysfunctional, affecting productivity and psychological wellbeing. Luckily, dysfunction can be overcome by creating functional, strong and cohesive teams, it just often requires some level of guidance, courage and discipline.

Having a functional team is especially critical at the top of an organisation as the executive and managing team will set the atmosphere for how employees will work with one another. Some other benefits that also come into play when a team is functional, is solid teams can discuss topics openly and with less judgement, which leads to problems being addressed and resolved. Functional teams make better decisions with less mistakes, have stronger relationships that boosts productivity and minimises distraction and frustration. Functional teams retains high quality employees as a unified workplace creates a foundation for creativity, resilience and perseverance.

Mondia Corporate Care uses the “5 Dysfunctions of a Team”, a well-known model developed by Patrick Lencioni. Many leaders refer to this model to obtain results within their organisation. Mondia Corporate Care follows a researched theoretical framework, but most importantly, it is combined with the power of experiential learning (applying the theory practically to ensure skills development)

Overview of the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team:

This model identifies 5 levels of dysfunction, and they follow on each other, and like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, each level needs to be addressed before moving on to the next problematic level.

  1. Absence of Trust: Trust is based on the idea that people who aren’t afraid to admit the truth about themselves are not going to engage in the kind of political behavior that wastes time and energy, and more important, makes the accomplishment of results an unlikely scenario.
  2. Fear of conflict: Team members do not feel safe expressing their opinions and ideas, leading to a lack of healthy debate and decision-making. The full value of a carefully appointed employee is not fully extracted.
  3. Lack of commitment: Team members are not fully invested in the team’s decisions, leading to passivity and a lack of follow-through on action items.
  4. Avoidance of accountability: Team members are not held responsible for their actions and do not hold each other accountable for their commitments. This may transform the company into a work culture of idleness.
  5. Inattention to results: The team is more focused on personal success, status and comfort than the team’s success as a whole.

These dysfunctions are replaced by the following goals:

  1. Absence of trust – trust is built, the main building block of the pyramid, as trust is the foundation of teamwork and investment beyond your own self-preservation.
  2. Fear of conflict – engage in unfiltered, constructive conflict to extract ideas that contribute towards company success.
  3. Lack of commitment – commit to action by achieving clarity and action orientated buy-in
  4. Avoidance of accountability – hold each other accountable to deliver on plans and maintain behavioural norms.
  5. Inattention to results – focus on achieving collective team results
Affirmations: The power of thinking positively

Affirmations: The power of thinking positively

You’ll be forgiven for the eye-roll that title just caused you to have. If there is one thing that has become a f-letter expression in the modern world, it is the “positive thinking” admonition. It is especially grating to people dealing with extreme stress, depression, anxiety … and every other mental health challenge where at-will control does not have a default setting. There has, in recent times, even been talk of the “cult of toxic positivity” and we may speak on that a bit later.

This is not that kind of positive thinking we’re talking about. This is not the power of positive thinking; this is the power of thinking positively. And there is a difference, and not just in the semantics. Positive thinking is held forth as a passive shield against difficult times. Thinking positively, however, is an action you can consciously take to shift your mind towards your strengths – the strengths you already have and the ones you are actively working on developing.

Despite what many unqualified life coaches and other assorted spiritual gurus may have told you, affirmations are not magic bullets. They will not, in and of themselves, lead to instant success and/or healing. This does not mean they are without value.

To understand how and why affirmations work, we must look at how the brain adapts to different inputs and circumstances. The brain sometimes mixes up reality and imagination, and the surprising clue to why and how affirmations work lies in this surprisingly useful confusion. The brain’s ability to adapt throughout life is called neuroplasticity, and it offers the inroad into how to use affirmations effectively.

Precisely because the brain sometimes confuses reality and imagination, we can affect the adaptations the brain makes to inputs through its plasticity by consciously “telling” it what we want to be manifestly true. We can do this by creating a mental image of ourselves successfully conquering something like a life challenge or a fear. This mental image activates many of the same brain areas that the reality of the situation would activate. This in essence “tricks” the brain into believing it has already conquered the challenge, slowly building a resilience against the challenge as the more and more conquests the brain experiences – through regular repetition of the exercise – the better prepared it is to deal with each new occurrence of the challenge.

For example, by replacing a negative self-belief such as “I am terrible at job interview, I am probably not even good enough to get this job!” with a positive affirmation, such as “I am perfectly suited to this job, and have all the necessary skills and experience to be an ideal candidate,” can help you feel more relaxed before the actual interview, and supporting the affirmation by making sure you are fully prepared can also prevent self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviours which could affect the success of the interview.

It is imperative to keep in mind that the onus of control lies in the action. Affirmations are actions when seen as steps towards the positive change you wish to achieve, but steps on their own ends up as a walk to nowhere. Affirmations needs to be partnered with actionable tactics on how to deal with situations as they present themselves. Worried about losing your temper? Learn tactics to remain calm and in control until you can remove yourself from the stressful situation.

Affirmations can be made more effective by personalising them to your circumstances and they should always be set in the present. This is where affirmations differ from goals: goals are things you must work toward in the future, but an affirmation is a reminder of what you can do in the present. Affirmations cannot work if you focus your statement something that you cannot accept as possibly true. It is also crucial to keep affirmations based in reality. An affirmation such as “I will get my dream job today” is great unless your dream job is as an astronaut and you haven’t even passed the academy training!

If you are facing specific challenges and are working with a qualified therapist to deal with these issues, speak to them about incorporating personalised affirmations into your daily routine in support of your therapy. They will be able to help you formulate more effective affirmations to help you reach your goals.

Remember, in the end, the affirmation does not make the change. You do.

Breathing and Grounding

Breathing and Grounding

Louise Heunis

Occupational Therapist and Advanced Breathwork Facilitator

“Some doors only open from the inside. Breathing is the most direct way to accessing that door”. When you own your breath, no one can steal your peace.

In this article, I would like to introduce you to a powerful tool that you have at your disposal anytime, anywhere, at no cost.  It requires no prescription. In fact, all it requires is a little bit of your time each day, and a few minutes whenever you feel a sense of overwhelm.


In this challenging time, many of us are struggling with feelings of uncertainty, anxiety and overwhelm. Our lives have been turned upside down to say the very least. We’re having to adapt to new routines, a lack of free movement, severed social interaction and in many cases a lot of time on our hands. Some are experiencing more serious circumstances in the home, like the addictive patterns of our self or a partner, abuse, or financial troubles. These changes to our daily life, may have left many feeling disempowered, depressed, afraid.

Caged Animal syndrome might be an apt diagnosis

That powerful tool is called the BREATH.

If I told you that you can survive on average, without food for 3 weeks, without water for 3 days, but without air only 3 minutes at most? You would begin to understand the power and importance of the breath.

We breathe around 23 000 breaths per day. Make each one count

Our breathing is the only part of the autonomic nervous system we can consciously control. Each emotional or mental state has a corresponding breathing pattern.  It follows that by using conscious controlled breathing, we can change our emotional or mental state within minutes. Whatever you need in the moment, your breathing can provide.

Breathing – a Powerful tool

There are hundreds of different breathing techniques, many with sound scientific research behind their effectiveness.

Learning how to utilize the breath, according to what you need in the moment, is essential. The following is a guide to choosing the appropriate breathing technique to help you regulate your system.

These are 3 of my favourite techniques that I personally practice daily as part of my own breathing practice, and that I teach to my patients here at Nurture Woodlands Recovery Unit.

For best results: practice 1x daily or as needed.

Time required: 2-3 minutes

Fire Breaths for Energy (a shot of espresso to the system)

When to use: If you lack energy and feel tired or drained. When you need a pick-me-up.

Effect: Creating a charge of energy in the body. It’s natural to feel a buzz of energy, alertness, and clear thinking after the exercise. If you feel giddy or lightheaded after the exercise, slow your pace down next time.


  • Helps to strengthen and regulate the nervous system and move out of negatively spiralling emotional states such as anxiety.
  • Helps to detox and to release toxins and waste products from the respiratory system. Energizing the body and mind.
  • Assists to overcome cravings for addictive substances, such as smoking or harmful habits such as gambling.
  • Provides relief from chronic pain and severe tension.

Step 1:

Sit in a chair or on the floor. Straight back.

Focus on the exhale. As you exhale pull the belly button closer to the spine. The inhale is passive and quiet. The exhale is loud and powerful (snap it loose). Begin the practice exhaling through the mouth and inhaling through the nose (panting like a dog). Find a steady pace.

Step 2: Once you get the hang of it, close your mouth, and start to breathe through the nose. Then quicken your breathing to 1-2 breaths per second. Once you master this pace, you can increase the pace to 2-3 breaths per second. Form is more important than pace, so don’t go too fast.

If it’s a workout for your belly and abs, you’re doing it right.

Step 3: Repeat 20 cycles (inhales and exhales)

Step 4: Return to natural breathing for 5 to 10 cycles (inhales and exhales)

Step 5: Repeat step 3 and 4 another 2 times. A total of 3 minutes

Step 6: Return to natural flow

Once you’ve finished, meditate on the breath. Let your breath rest in its natural flow. You can lie down on your back and follow your inhales and exhales for 5 minutes. Try to let go of thoughts. Return your focus to the breath time and again.


People with cardiac problems, spinal disorders, respiratory infections, or pregnant women should not do this breath.

4-7-8-Relaxation technique (similar effect to taking a few drops of Rescue remedy)

When to use: If you lack energy and feel tired or drained. When you need a pick-me-up.

Effect: Creating a charge of energy in the body. It’s natural to feel a buzz of energy, alertness, and clear thinking after the exercise. If you feel giddy or lightheaded after the exercise, slow your pace down next time.

For best results: practice 2x daily for 6 weeks. Never more than 4 breaths at a time. After 1 month of practicing increase to 8 breaths at a time maximum.

Time required: 2-3 minutes


  1. Helps to calm the nervous system through switching on the rest and digest (parasympathetic) system.
  2. Helps with insomnia. Provides relief from chronic pain and severe tension.
  3. Assists to overcome cravings for addictive substances, such as smoking or harmful habits such as gambling.


    VIDEO TUTORIAL: How to perform the 478-breathing exercise (5.37 min)

    Video by Dr Andrew Weil, MD

    Step 1: Lie down or sit up. Exhale fully through the mouth

    Step 2: Put your tongue on the soft tissue behind your upper front teeth

    Step 3: Inhale through the nose for a count of 7 (quiet inhales)

    Step 4: Exhale through the mouth for a count of 8, making a whooshing sound as you breathe out

    Step 5: Repeat 4 cycles

    Step 6: Return to natural flow of breath


    Don’t do when driving or when full focus and attention is required since it can have a powerful tranquilising effect.

    5-5 or Coherent breathing for Balance (similar effect to drinking water- can do anywhere and anytime to find harmony

    When to use: From feeling stressed and anxious to struggling with insomnia and lack of concentration. Anywhere and anytime. Technique to slow down and deepen the breath to 5 breaths per minute.

    Effect: Calming and grounding yet alert and focused. Feeling balanced and stable.


    1. Balancing the stress (sympathetic) and relaxation (parasympathetic) responses of the body. Very powerful effect to increase HRV (heart rate variability) which is a direct measure of balance between the stress and relaxation responses in the body. Activates the vagus nerve which in terms activates the rest and digest or relaxation (parasympathetic) system.
    2. Balance between left and right hemispheres which results in feeling grounded and calm. Helps with insomnia.
    3. Increases focus, learning or problem-solving skills.
    4. Improves metabolism and nutritional uptake.

    For best results: practice once or twice daily for 5minutes, building up to 20 minutes at a time.

    Time required: 3-5 minutes

    Autonomic balance = 5 breaths per minute (as seen in this diagram)

    Step 1: Lie down or sit up. Place hands over the belly to ensure that the belly expands as you breath in. Follow the breath as it comes in and out for a minute or so.

    Step 2: Inhale through the nose for a count of 4. Exhale through the nose or mouth for a count of 4. Repeat for 1 minute

    Step 3: Inhale through the nose for a count of 5. Exhale through the nose or mouth for a count of 5. Repeat for 1 minute

    Step 4: Inhale through the nose for a count of 6. Exhale through the nose or mouth for a count of 6. Repeat for 1 minute

    Step 5: Return to natural flow of breath

    Increase the length of the practice by a minute or so per day, building up to 20 minutes.


    None- this is a ‘water technique’. You can do it throughout the day, anywhere and anytime you require.

    I hope you find these techniques inspirational and life changing.


    Relaxation and mindfulness

    Relaxation and mindfulness

    Melissa Meyer Schoeman

    Occupational Therapist

    Intentional living during the CoVid-19 Lockdown

    Mindfulness and relaxation practices at home

    During the national lockdown, we are faced with a lot of new feelings and challenges. Initially the idea of spending time at home might have been a wonderful prospect, but as the days go by, reality might be sinking in.

    Feeling stir crazy between the walls of your home, children being demanding, and relationships being challenged with the lack of personal space.

    Our Nurture health vision is to enable you to live a satisfying life, even during times of change. This means having balance in all the dimensions of wellness. Physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, financially, socially, and environmentally.

    Here are some guidelines to keep balance in your life using relaxation and mindfulness techniques in your home environment.

    We are all aware of passive relaxation, this might have been your only approach up until now. Watching television, listening to music, lounging on the couch, or using social media as a distraction, but practicing active relaxation has some health and wellness benefits and will make you feel more productive and purposeful.

    Try the following activities to stay active, yet relaxed, while confined to your home:

    • Read a book or listen to a podcast
    • Adult colouring (You can find many resources online)
    • Exercise videos on YouTube (Try Pilates or Yoga for beginners)
    • Going for a walk in your garden if possible
    • Keeping a journal
    • Getting creative (You can use recycled waste material to make something at home)
    • Make a vision board using magazines and paper
    • Bake or cook something delicious
    • Schedule time to worry instead of worrying subconsciously the whole day. Take 10 minutes, write down your concerns, acknowledge them and move on.



    Don’t focus too much on being productive, relaxation is about being present and enjoying the activity at hand, so make sure you schedule time for it in between your responsibilities and to do list.

    Mindfulness is another technique you can try.

    If you haven’t heard of it before, try reading up on it on the internet.

    Mindfulness can be defined as a state of awareness and a state of seeking internal calm. This can be very helpful if you are feeling overwhelmed.

    There are two types of mindfulness: informal and formal practices. You might have been practicing informal mindfulness without realizing it. Examples include listening to music or taking a long bath and using that time to reach a state of calm. Formal mindfulness is the practice of meditation.

    Meditation has 3 basic parts: You sit with your eyes closed, focus on your breathing going in and out of your body, while gently trying not to focus on overwhelming thoughts or distractions around you, until you feel an internal shift, an internal space opening, a space of peaceful tranquillity.

    Historically mindfulness was used in religious practices, but it has been used as a treatment in mental health for many years now.

    Try downloading an application like “Calm” on your phone for free guided meditations.

    There are many activities you can do with your children, or alone, whatever you need to fill your emotional cup. Embrace the ebb and flow of your feelings and thought during this lock down, while enjoying activities that enrich your life.




    Mind full?

    Mindfulness as we know it has been making its way around social media more than ever but is in fact a practice that has been a way of being for many people for a very long time. So, what is it? Being mindful is paying attention to what’s going on inside and outside of ourselves as it is happening.

    It’s the idea of kind attention, shining a spotlight on all areas of ourselves that are hard to see and accepting them, as difficult as it may be to do. It’s the understanding that our thoughts and actions today shape who we will be tomorrow. It’s also the understanding that every single moment holds an opportunity for growth and development.

    Our experiences shape us, mould our brain, and determine who we are going to be tomorrow as said in the TED talk ‘Self-Transformation Through Mindfulness’ by Dr David Vago. Or as said by Shauna Shapiro in her aptly named TED talk ‘The Power of Mindfulness: What You Practice Grows Stronger’. Every single moment holds an opportunity to practice.

    How do you start to cultivate this awareness and insight into your mental habits and emotional states? How do you start to identify your triggers and impulses, to a point where you are able to allow an emotion to arise and pass without the impulse to act?

    Mindfulness opens the opportunity to change the way you perceive yourself and the world. It starts with a few moments a day, with an act as simple as breathing. Spend a moment feeling what it’s like to breathe. The feeling of the air as it enters and leaves your nose, the feeling of your chest expanding and contracting, the sound of your breathing. Try to focus on nothing else for a few moments, and if you find yourself becoming distracted simply try to bring yourself back without judgement or being hard on yourself. That right there is mindfulness. Then try applying it to everyday situations such as cooking, eating, listening to music, playing, showering, sleeping, or even walking. Try to focus on the sensations you feel as they’re happening, and if your mind wanders try and refocus on what you’re doing as you’re doing it.

    Eventually, with sustained practice mindfulness is an effective life skill in reducing stress and anxiety by reducing over-thinking and negative thought patterns, lessening fear and avoidance, improving concentration by constantly refocusing our attention throughout the day, communicating better, building stronger relationships, and it can even aid in sleeping a lot more soundly.

    The key is sustained practice. Just like you couldn’t realistically expect to develop washboard abs after doing 10 sit-ups, you can’t expect to experience the benefits of mindfulness without putting in the time and effort.

    It starts with a breath.