February, the Enneagram, and Me

February has been brutal. I guess I knew it would be. February—that short, bone-chilling month that arrives when we’re all tired of winter. Only this year it’s not bone-chilling. In fact, it’s rather nice! People here in Pennsylvania are jogging outside and sitting on porches as if it were April instead. But February is tricky. […]

For Where I Have Approval, There My Worth Will Be Also

I’m the second of four kids. My older sister was consistently the responsible one, the obedient one, and I was anything but those things. I hardly did anything right the first time, and I fell short of people’s expectations over and over again. Irresponsible was the word most used to describe me, and disappointment and […]

From Information to Transformation

I have worked in several organizations where personality tests were a common language, sometimes they became a default for conversation or the butt of many jokes. It was not uncommon to be able to identify strengths, introversion or extroversion or a myriad of other descriptors of one’s work, communication or social style. While this was […]

Arugula or Collards: What type of greens are you?

“So, Velynn tell me about yourself. What words would you choose to describe yourself?” How many times have you been asked to describe the breadth and depth of your whole person “in just one sentence, please”? Impossible, right? While I am tempted to respond by singing Whitney Houston and Chaka Khan’s female anthem, “I’m Every […]

Sound the Bells

Can I not talk about the Enneagram? Please? I’ve taken the test what feels like a hundred times. Each time I have taken it with the guidance of someone who really knows and loves the Enneagram. First I thought I was a 9. That fit for a while until it didn’t. Try again and find […]

When You’re an Enneagram 8 and Don’t Fit the Christian Woman Ideal

When I was a little girl, I was in awe of Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was the first Biblical woman I was introduced to in my childhood Catholic parish, and one of my favorite gifts from my childhood was a porcelain figurine of Mary that I received as a gift for my first […]

You Were Made On Purpose

The first time I read the description of the ENFP in the Meyers Briggs personality test I took, I cried. Gregarious, full of energy, passionate, an ability to inspire others, I knew who they were talking about because I was who they were talking about. I cried because if I was one of 16 types […]

When a Personality Test Says Your Marriage is “Volatile”

I grew up on Myers-Briggs, proud of my status as an INFJ: thoughtful, deep, empathetic, goal-oriented. It was a pleasant discovery to find my husband was an INTJ; we had so much in common. Big ideas! Need for quiet! Thoughtful and driven! Yet, I would melt into a puddle of tears that he couldn’t understand. […]

Is Masturbation Okay? . . . and Other Thorny Questions

The Mudroom is excited to be joining the likes of The Rumpus, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post. We’re starting our very own advice column, “Dear Portia.” Every month, we’ll cover questions related to our monthly theme. First up is sex, sexuality, and singleness. Do you have questions about your sex life, about singleness, […]