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Updated: Sep 9

A great many people know me as an Enneagram Teacher. Some think of me as a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant. A few know me as an Enneagram and IDEA Specialist. Yes, I am all of those things but I am so much more. Over the years I have found a niche corner of the Enneagram to carve out and call my own and I have enjoyed that corner. But in order to bring everyone into the fold and create a lasting community of Advocates, Allies, and Love Warriors I have to break out of my comfort zone and tap into my whole self. I am a Matriarch, a Mystic, and a Mentor. I teach people to lead with their hearts in all things, to bring kindness out into the world, and fight hate with love.

When I started working with the corporations in the “D&I” space as it was known back then, I knew something was missing. In my work, consultants would reuse the same tools and materials, presenting slides and repeating the same words over and over. I wanted to bring more to the table, and I knew there was a way I just needed to dig a bit deeper. My quest began for more information about team-building tools and personality assessment— a quick Google search brought me to the Enneagram Institute. I was off on a journey that took me beyond the belief that I had to find a destination for the journey’s end. There was no looking back at this point. I did not expect the Enneagram journey to lead me down a path directly into the heart of humanity.

Dr. Deborah Egerton is sitting on a statue that spells out "LOVE"
Deborah Threadgill Egerton

I believed that this was the place where I could help to create a safe space for individuals to speak their truth and to be who they were created to be. Instead of entering the “D&I” space with the same set of tools I was determined to reach people at an individual level and make the work less superficial. I found out that this was the only way to make the work sustainable and create real change in the people which would ultimately extend outward into the workplace and into the community.

I may have combined seemingly random practices to develop a new system, but in truth, the system was already there we just needed to unearth it. After years of practice and bringing this wisdom out into the world I became the “go-to” person in my field. At the time I was the only person, to my knowledge, that was combining the Enneagram with IDEA work. It wasn’t long after that many other people would adopt this new system. Still, I felt pigeonholed in my position and people viewed me as a “one trick pony”. I was more than an Enneagram and IDEA teacher, and I was determined to break out of my comfort zone and reach new levels in what I was capable of.

I taught courses at Esalen in “Leading with the Heart”, and I became a mentor to women who were trying to break out of the socially acceptable roles they were forced into. I endeavored to bring everyone into the circle of healing themselves so that they may go out into the world and heal others. I worked hard to show people it was ok to step out of their comfort zone and try something new or even show the world other facets of their identity and purpose. We are not one thing, we are not singular entities capable of only doing what is expected of us. When we accept our whole self, we move beyond striving to be “the best version” of ourselves and we become who we were created to be.

Here is another sneak peek into my book Know Justice Know Peace. This excerpt is from Chapter 2 The Inflection Point - Face it to Change it:

We know racism is the foundation we stand on to justify othering in all of its ugly forms: sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, ableism, classism, religious discrimination, ageism, national origin discrimination, socioeconomical inequities, and so on. So in order to face an age-old adversary that has infected every corner of our culture we need a plan, a guide that leads us through challenging times. Something more than a wish and a flurry of temporary activism—we need a miracle. The kind of miracle that emerges from faith, trust, and truth. The mere recognition that there is more that unites us than divides us is a first step toward bridging the divide. When we take the time to try to understand one another, it’s easy to discover we are not so different after all. We may occupy different perches in a hierarchical societal structure where our individual perspectives show us different views of the same dilemmas. However, the societal structure of systemic racism and the flourishing of othering has set us all up to fail. We were socialized into a system of beliefs that perpetuated and supported racism and othering. We were taught and conditioned to believe that White-bodied humans hold more value than people of color. Many people were taught that heterosexual people are “normal” and anyone who does not fit into that category is “abnormal.” Some of us were also given the message that people with disabilities were “less than” and consequently, we showed them less respect. Even in the realm of class and social standing, we harbor messages of value based on where a person resides in the social hierarchy.
This phenomenon exists throughout all the dimensions of our diversity in some form or another. These messages appeared everywhere from the time we were born. Whether you are Black, Brown, White, Asian, male, female, nonbinary, queer, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, a person with a disability, socioeconomically disadvantaged, or any form of “other,” you may have been taught things that were less than kind, useful, or true about people whose bodies, ethnicities, cultures, or values appear different from yours. You may even have been taught to devalue your own body based on the way it shows up in this world. Some of us share points of intersectionality that affect our perceived worth on multiple levels. Our different vantage points on issues that are vital to our survival may appear insurmountable. I assure you they are not. If we choose to move forward, we all have some things to unlearn and we must reeducate ourselves.
Much like an infection that requires treatment before it enters the bloodstream, we will have to inspect our own internal wounds and address them if we expect to survive. Find out where the wound is located in your being and begin the healing process. Cleanse, disinfect, and apply a clean bandage, and be patient with the healing process. Systemic racism and othering has inflicted wounds upon all humans regardless of how your body shows up in the world. We have seen the violence leading to death and destruction to the bodies of the Love Warriors among us. It will be the acceptance of our own flaws and differences that ultimately changes our future and leads us forward.
In a global society, we must ensure that the trajectory of our new path forward is aligned with unconditional respect for all of humanity. To thrive and prevail during these challenging times is to allow ourselves to learn from one another through our collective connection. In order to accomplish this, our differences must be carefully brought to the surface, acknowledged, and respected as valuable aspects of our human diversity. This process is a challenge we must face together with love, compassion, and connection. These words from the distinguished Black author James Baldwin remind all of us to be present to and with our challenges: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it’s faced.” This is where the Enneagram presents as a powerful guide for personal, individual, and collective transformation.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Know Justice Know Peace: A Transformative Journey of Social Justice, Anti-Racism, and Healing through the Power of the Enneagram.

Don't forget if you pre-order before September 4th you get access to the bonus content including the Official Accompanying Journal for KJKP, The IDEA & Enneagram Guide for Beginners, access to my Full Enneagram Podcast Series featuring guests like Russ Hudson & Beatrice Chesnut, an exclusive invite to become a contributing author to The History of Othering Timeline Project, and more!

People often ask me, "How in the world can the Enneagram be combined with social justice work?" I have heard that question asked in many different ways, but the answer is quite simple. The Enneagram and the inner work involved in exploring the 9 personality structures perfectly align with becoming a strong and authentic Advocate & Ally in the inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism realm. So I am answering the most frequently asked questions about the work I do with the Enneagram and IDEA work.

As human beings, we are all connected… where do you think we are disconnected right now?