an intro to the enneagram

Hello! If we don’t know each other well yet, I am Jamie Feinberg, and I help women who feel like life is happening to them, or passing them by, to figure out what they truly want – whether that’s time to pursue an old dream, a new career or hobby, or to travel – and then make it a reality.

I believe that if you never do the work to discover and cultivate a life you love, then you will never find the freedom and fulfillment that comes from pursuing a life free of regret. 

So, in essence, that’s why I’ve gotten so darn obsessed with the Enneagram over the last couple of years. I’d been pursuing my own personal development for a few years prior when I discovered it. The Enneagram, if you aren’t already aware, is not a typical “personality test”, for two reasons, as I see. One reason is that unlike Myers-Briggs, astrology, Human Design, or any of the other typing systems I’ve seen or explored, you get to type yourself! 

(If you have already heard about this program and are ready to sign up and get started and join us, please email rossandjamieadventure @ gmail.com so we can work out the details!)

Despite what you’ve perhaps read online, the ancient wisdom of the Enneagram is an oral tradition, and the way that you are meant to discern your type is in conversation with mentors, friends, family, but mainly doing your own contemplation. 

The other major difference about the Enneagram from other “personality quizzes” and the like? Once you know your type, the Enneagram also gives you a road map to follow for a more healthy, integrated, fulfilled life. So it’s not “here’s your type, here’s what’s challenging for you, have a nice life”. It’s more like “here’s your type, here are your strengths and weaknesses, and if you do these practices and keep growing in your awareness, you can keep stepping into an even better version of yourself. Oh, and by the way, here are the ways you’ll want to interact with other types and even help them become their best selves!” 

Since discovering the Enneagram, I’ve become a better wife, a better friend, a better daughter, and a better sibling. My husband has frequently thanked me for the work I’ve been doing on my own personal development, because it’s made me a better wife AND helped him to learn to be a better husband too!

We can’t control the people around us, but we can lead by example, and seeing how the work of the Enneagram has had ripple effects in my life has inspired me to share it with others.

If this interests you, head here to learn more and connect with me.

Have a wonderful week. It’s been a tough one for many of us. Stand up for what you believe in. The world needs it. And take care of yourself.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help further by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

The Only Cure I’ve Found For A Never-Ending To-Do List

Two gray pencils on corner of a yellow rectangle

Have you ever woken up overwhelmed, realizing that your to-do list is so long that you have no hope of accomplishing your goals for today?

I definitely have. It’s a chronic problem for many of us, and if that’s you too, it’s really worth doing the work to change your habits now so that you don’t continue to sabotage your mindset and hope of a great day before it’s begun.

When I read the book The One Thing, I was stunned by the deceptively simple premise. Ask yourself “what’s the one thing I can do today that will move me forward toward _”?

To answer it, you’ll need to know your top goal right now. And for me, I’ve got goals in a variety of areas, so there’s still some juggling involved. But for instance, if my taxes are due soon and they aren’t done yet, that might be the most important goal for me right now, which means the one thing I simply MUST accomplish today to be most effective might be gathering all the paperwork I’ll need to get my taxes done this month.

Over time, I’ve learned to allow myself to set 2 or 3 goals for the day sometimes. And that works. But always, I also make sure I know the #1 thing, and honestly, it’s most effective for most people to do that one thing first. But however you do it, get clear on your priorities for each day, and set those 1-3 goals. If you accomplish them, then know that You. Are. Done. You do not need to do ANYTHING ELSE. You are successful today. Well done.

And if just getting started feels daunting, it’s great to commit to taking 5 minutes (or however long) just to assess the entire task ahead of you. Read the instructions/read the emails you were sent. You don’t have to do the whole project – that counts as accomplishing something for today.

This technique works best when you also do some work articulating the one thing that would move the needle for you this week, and this month, and this year – and maybe even this lifetime!

The answers will vary, of course, over time, but these regular check-ins keep you honest with yourself, keep you from doing busywork or other work that just doesn’t mean as much or just isn’t as important right now.

Have you tried this technique? How does it work for you? And if this isn’t the technique for you, what’s worked better in your own life?

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help further by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

My Six Favorite Books for Motivation and Self-Reflection

A friend of mine is entering a transition period in her life, and she asked me for suggestions of books for motivation and dealing with change.

I didn’t answer right away, because I wanted to sit with it and revisit my favorites.

By the time I’d created my list, I realized that other people might want these book suggestions too!

Here are six books you might enjoy. Have you read any of them, and if not, which are you inspired to tackle first?

Untamed by Glennon Doyle – Glennon’s book motivated me to get more deliberate about diversifying my social media feeds, a small move that’s led to me learning so much! Her stories share her own journey. Expect lots of self-revelation, humor, with a healthy dose of intersectional feminism and inspiration in the mix. I loved it, and it really resonated with me. She’s been through a lot of change under challenging circumstances, and she gets very real and raw.

The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan – I’ve read a lot of great self-help books and advice for business, but The One Thing has had more of a lasting impact on my daily and weekly work than most others. The authors will motivate you to get clear about what matters and take deliberate steps with that in mind. Your giant to-do list is SO much less important than knowing the most important item (or perhaps two or three max) on your list for today, and for this week, and for this year. It’s very relevant for entrepreneurs and employees alike, but I’d argue it’s even more important in your personal life!

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist – In all honesty, my advice to my friend was to read this “or anything by Shauna Niequist”. This was the first book I ever read that I felt I could have written myself. I’ve read it three times, and I will keep returning to it, over and over again, because it helps me to reflect, consider what’s most important, and remember my values and current vision for my life. I found it therapeutic and challenging. She navigates changes and surprises as she transitions into a new phase of her life. Her older books are great too, though for where I am now, Present Over Perfect is key. I’ve got her next book pre-ordered and I can’t wait.

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – You know, when you were that little kid who’d happily color and explore with other little kids at preschool? If you go back far enough, almost all of us had a time where we created without judgment or expectation. If you take nothing else from this incredible three month journey into getting to know yourself better and rediscovering your inner creative, you should consider “morning pages” and “artist dates”. I continue my morning pages practice daily and love weekly artist dates whenever possible too. Trust me, if you haven’t done this yet, this is a brilliant introduction to self-help or return to creativity (or both).

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin – This is a newer book for me – I discovered it several months ago and was so impressed with it that I’m incorporating it into my coaching. There are lots of personality tests out there, but this one is both easy to comprehend quickly and also extremely actionable. And if you find it useful, she’s got lots of additional resources (and an app that lets you connect with others about it).

The Road Back To You and The Path Between Us by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile (the latter by just Suzanne) – I’ve been geeking out on Enneagram podcasts lately. If you’re not familiar with the Enneagram, it’s an ancient road map for living, basically. Think personality test, but one where you identify yourself (mainly based on what motivates you) and then can use that knowledge to help you navigate the world and become a healthier, happier version of yourself. I’m learning so much about myself through these books and podcasts that I’m actually recruiting a group of folks to do an Enneagram group program with me – basically, a book club where we’re all doing some self-reflection as we learn about the Enneagram. (I’m actively looking for volunteers, and cost is super low for the materials!)

What are you reading right now? Have you read any of these? Do you want to join my Enneagram cohort, where we watch videos and learn about the Enneagram and discuss it with other people?

I’d love to hear from you – and thanks so much for reading!

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help further by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Signs of Spring

Beach out an old window in winter - Ross and Jamie Adventure

I write this in mid-March. I’m looking out my window at a clear blue sky, trees with leaves bare, birds flying from branch to branch. I’m thinking about the fact that while my walk to the farmer’s market was really cold today, I stayed warm enough. That sun really helped. And though it’s only March, and it’s still winter as I’m writing this, I’m starting to see and feel signs of spring around me.

Of course, intellectually, I know spring isn’t here yet. But listening to the birds as they call to each other outside, I’m focusing instead on that sun, picturing the beach days to come, the sunsets on the ocean, the flowers, the berries…

I love spring. It’s my favorite season, always has been. The promise of what is to come, the new life, the eternal optimism of spring – I don’t think we can beat it. Sure, I love the summer days too, and fall leaves changing is so special…but when spring is in the air, it makes my heart happy.

As I navigate stress and a variety of challenges in many areas, I keep coming back to this hope, this promise. I sing about it. I dance it. I breathe it in.

Nothing is promised, but we’re still here. I’m still here. You’re still here. And whatever we’re facing right now, spring is still coming.

And that, I think, is something to celebrate today.

Here’s to spring, to new beginnings, and to tomorrow.

Take care, friend, and if you’ve had some good news you’d like me to celebrate with you, please leave a comment and share it with me!

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help further by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

You’re Not Alone (Acknowledging Anxiety)

Three weeks back, I did something I’d been wanting to do for many months – I started seeing a therapist.

If I had my way, we’d all have affordable (for us) access to a therapist. A good one, who listens and knows the types of therapy that would be most helpful for us. Someone who gives us a safe space to work through the crap in our minds and helps us sort out our stuff.

If you’re reading this and you’re feeling like you’re in a great place right now, I am thrilled for you! I can tell you that from what I’m seeing on my social media feeds and hearing about through news outlets, it sure seems like most of the world has moved on from COVID-19 and is getting back to “normal”, or close to it. And it that’s you, I’m thrilled for you, and I truly hope you’re enjoying every minute of freedom and “normalcy”.

But honestly, even though I am sick of wearing masks, and miss seeing people’s faces, and I miss eating out at a restaurant in the winter, I’m just not there yet. It feels too soon, to me, to return to normal.

Lifting a mask mandate is all well and good (for most) when there’s a mild variant on the loose. But what if a new, more dangerous variant catches us off guard? One contagious enough to spread under the radar, when we’re least expecting it?

I’d love to say I’m embracing the now and taking it day by day and not worrying about what might come next. But that wouldn’t be accurate.

So these are the kinds of thoughts that are on my mind. I’m carrying a lot of stress and anxiety around COVID. Like a lot of us are.

Add to that the stressors of getting settled in a new country and the pressures and fears of a world at war, not to mention the anger and frustration at seeing so many people’s rights being taken away in the US (including New Hampshire, where I grew up, and Florida, our adopted home state), and I’m even more thankful to have a therapist.

I’m not sharing this for praise, or for pity.

I want you to know you aren’t alone. I want you to know that whether you wear a mask or not, and whether you’re “moving on” or not, it’s okay to experience anxiety.

And I want you to know that it’s okay to have some days, some weeks, even some months or years, where you’re not okay. Where you’re going through the motions, or phoning it in. Maybe you’ve had to take some time off, or add a nap into your routine. Maybe you’re tired of saying no to social plans out of fear.

Wherever you are, I want to encourage you.

Reach out to loved ones. They’ll probably relate, maybe even more than you realize.

Get a therapist if you can, and if not, seek out a trusted mentor or spiritual leader, or find an online support group aligned with where you are. Look for sliding scale therapy or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, or many of the other free resouces that may exist in your country, state, or city.

I’ve been digging deeper into the Enneagram for the past several months, and that means I’m doing a lot of work on getting to myself – who I am, how I became that person, and how I can become an even healthier, better version of me.

I also rely on journaling, exercising, getting outside, and all of my other existing coping mechanisms for when things get tough or feel overwhelming.

Whatever method(s) you use, and wherever you’re at, I’m wishing you all the best. You’re not alone.

And if you’re reading this, you’re here now, and I’m so glad.

Thanks for reading, and take care.

P.S. I’d like to get a group together to read The Road Back To You and do some Enneagram explorations. No previous experience required, just a copy of the book. If this journey of self-reflection (in a group setting) appeals to you, please leave a comment and let me know!

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Supporting This Blog

Thank you for your support of this blog and our work! You can help further by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

when the universe shouts

Black typewriter with white paper and a white background

I’ve been intrigued by the idea of writing a book about our travels across the US for a while now. For more years than I can remember, I’ve periodically had friends or family members or strangers ask if we were going to write a book about our adventures, or strongly suggest that we do so. In addition, I’ve long recognized that keeping this blog means that when I was ready to write that book, I’d have an assortment of stories to draw from.

Meanwhile, after putting my focus elsewhere (hello, operation: get to Canada!), for many months, in January I shifted my focus back to building my coaching business and other creative freelance work, both online and here in Canada.

I’ve got a giant to-do list, but I wasn’t feeling a lot of certainty about where my priorities should be as I relaunch things. Should I get more active on social media? Hop back into podcasting? Launch a course?

The universe, apparently, had other plans.

That Wednesday, I took Squeak, our cat, to the vet. Over the phone due to COVID, the veterinarian I had never met told me she’d “read the book about us traveling the US with a cat and having kittens”. I told her I’d probably have it written in 2-3 years – she seemed a little surprised. 🙂

Saturday, during a local (Zoom) book club meeting, after I’d introduced myself, a new friend said she’d “read the book of me traveling the US, coaching”.

Sunday, during a different Zoom book club, an acquaintance commented it looked like I was writing a novel – I was taking notes as we chatted. At the end of the session, she called out something like “Jamie, I want to read your book when it’s done!”.

So, yeah. Message heard loud and clear, universe!

The next day, I began writing my book.

Has the universe ever spoken to you? Or yelled at you?

Comment and let me know if I’m alone in this, please!

P.S. If you haven’t subscribed to this blog yet, that’s a great way to make sure you hear about my book when it’s available for pre-order! There’s a subscribe button – on your mobile, it should be the bottom right and say Follow, or look for a box on the right hand side if you’re on a computer etc. Thanks for your interest!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help further by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

This Is Getting Me Through Right Now

It’s been quite a month! We found an apartment on Prince Edward Island (remotely of course, with an on-the-ground generous friend touring for us), applied for our visas, have (almost) finished mapping out our travel plans back to NH and booking a few campgrounds, and of course we’ve continued coaching, teaching, and supporting clients.

I’ve been thrilled to see clients making progress in their lives. And I’ve been thrilled to see my own progress! But it’s been very, very easy to get overwhelmed.

The way I’m getting through that overwhelm feeling each day is to ask myself “What’s the one thing I could do today to move the needle? What’s the one thing I could do in the next hour to help us get to Canada?” Usually, the answer is obvious. And if it isn’t, considering that helps me to keep sight of what is NOT as important right now.

My main priorities?

Get to Canada.This is the one I pray about and focus on each day and throughout the day. We are getting to Canada in August.

Keep food on the table, aka support my existing clients.

Make time for my own daily self-care. It’s easy to let this slide, but I am absolutely firm on it, and I think it’s the number one reason I’m feeling happy every day (even on the tough days, there is happiness in the mix).

Spend time (usually virtually) talking to family and friends.

Check in occasionally in my Facebook groups, on social media, and via email so people know I’m alive.

You may not be about to move to another country. You may just be trying to get through the work day or through the night, or trying to stay safe or get healthy.

Take this as your sign that you aren’t alone. And focus on the one thing you can do to support yourself and your goals best.

Thanks for reading! And if you’re ready for some one on one support in reaching your goals, please reach out to me today.

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Making Time For Your Hobbies

Ice cream dish

Hello! I may be a bit more quiet than usual right now, as Canada prep is INTENSE, to say the least. But I am continuing to make time for work, for fun, and for my hobbies.

If you don’t know this about me, I am obsessed with ice cream. I’ve actually had an ice cream travel blog since 2014 called In Search of a Scoop.

Making time to eat ice cream and to appreciate it, and share that appreciation, is a part of what lights me up.

What are your hobbies? Are you finding time for what lights you up right now?

If you aren’t, here are three suggestions for this week:

  1. Carve out time for your hobby. Maybe it’s 15 minutes. Maybe it’s two hours. But put it on your calendar.
  2. Make sure you’re making time for your absolute favorite hobby.
  3. Make a plan to invest in your hobby in some way, even if it’s way in the future. (Investing time and energy is valid, but investing money is a great way to treat yourself!)

I recently shared a guest blog with The Virtual Campground about the top five ice cream spots across the U.S. Collaborating with other people is a great way to spread the word about your work or passion, and it was my response to one of their weekly posts that led them to ask me to blog.

Check it out if you’d like some ice cream spots for your bucket list, and leave a comment with a) your favorite flavor of ice cream or b) the hobby or hobbies that you love.

Have a great week, and take care.

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

The Three Things Keeping You From Your Dream Life

Take a moment. Breathe. Check in with yourself, right now.

Are you content? Are you happy with life as it is?

I know the world is a lot. A LOT. But when you look at your own life, day to day, if you don’t have a resounding “yes, I’m happy!” under it all, I’d like to challenge you to look deeper.

No, I’m not selling a miracle elixir. I’m not curing cancer or growing money on trees. But I am sharing a workshop where I’ll share the three elements that I believe are keeping you from your dream life. It’s based on my experience in setting goals, accomplishing them, and learning to make the deliberate shifts required to bring my dream life to fruition.

Intrigued? I’m presenting the workshop, The Three Things Keeping You From Your Dream Life (And What You Can Do About It) for FREE in my Facebook group at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT and on Instagram at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. (Replays for both will be posted after the live events.)

And if you’re ready for more clarity and a support system to help you create the life of your dreams, use my code EARLYBIRD to save big on my course and group coaching program, Crafting Your Life Adventure.

P.S. I was recently interviewed for The No Frills VA Podcast! We talk all things full-time RV, adventuring, digital nomad life, how I built my VA business from scratch and why and how I’m focusing on a coaching business now. You can watch the interview here or listen here, or wherever you find your podcasts. Give it a listen and let me know what you think!

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.