Rising Through Resilience: Courtney Feider and Ianthe Mauro of ‘Wild Enneagram Love’ On The Five Things You Can Do To Become More Resilient

An Interview With Savio P. Clemente

Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine
14 min readOct 12, 2021

--

Seek CONNECTION — Connection must happen first with self, through greater understanding of who you are and what you need, and then be extended out to the collective, looking for like minds and a blanket of loving support. Without connecting to yourself first, you are always looking for external forces to carry you, and that won’t form lasting resilience. Give yourself a few moments of silence, light a candle, allow thoughts to come and go, and ask yourself how you’re feeling.

Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Courtney Feider and Ianthe Mauro, founders of Wild Enneagram Love.

Courtney Feider, BS CMT PCC and Ianthe Mauro are two women who have developed the only system in the world which makes emotional intelligence tangible. Courtney is a Certified Professional Coach, a Certified Enneagram Practitioner, a Certified Massage Therapist, and an emotional intelligence expert with decades of experience. Ianthe offers a deep background in product development, rounding out the WEL Method with tangible items to deepen the emotional intelligence experience, leading to resiliency.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

We feel like long lost sisters, but we’ve never actually met in person! We “met” on an audio only app called “Clubhouse” when it was still in the beta testing stage. When we met, we immediately connected through our mutual concern for global mental health and its rapid decline. We had no idea that 90 days later, we would have co-created a movement, a method, and a line of candles, self-care, and home goods with the mission to help reconnect people all over the world to themselves, and each other.

Research shows that conversations — real, voice-to-voice conversations — are important and help us feel connected. Hearing the voices of people we care about, (and who care about us), reduces blood cortisol levels and heightens the release of oxytocin, the feel-good hormone associated with bonding.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

IANTHE: I was that little girl who dreamed of winning an Oscar! I had a speech planned, where I DIDN’T thank my 4th grade drama teacher, (she wouldn’t cast me in a male roll, even though I was so compelling in the audition), and I manifested this intention for most of my life. I received an email asking if my candles could be in the Oscar Swag Bag in 2014. I thought it was a scam, until I met with the woman who emailed me and realized this was real, and the opportunity I’d been dreaming of was coming true…for my candles. There they were, my eco luxury 3 wick candles, backstage at the show I’d manifested going to my entire life. Even the host Ellen DeGeneres received one! What I learned from that experience was deeply impactful. Your “wins” and exciting moments cannot dictate your state of being or feelings of worthiness, and when you manifest, get extremely specific! I manifested going to the Oscars but wasn’t clear in my visualization so “my” Oscar experience became my candles, and I learn more from my missteps and perceived losses, than I ever have from my wins.

COURTNEY: My first job was in the corporate world, working in marketing. I had all the things I thought I wanted in that job. It was busy, stressful, demanding, but I was needed and doing an excellent job / performing at a very high level. Gradually I got very sick. I lost weight, I couldn’t eat, I ached, and I wasn’t happy. Some of the ethics of the company and the industry I was working in really misaligned with my values. My co-workers valued my contribution, but we were missing meaningful connection. I had to reconnect to myself to save my health, and I had to quickly leave a promising corporate career to reconnect with others. I learned that it’s essential to have purpose and to work in a space that fills your soul. The body is wise and mine was telling the story. When I moved to a new industry and career, I completely healed physically.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We offer tangible ways to connect with emotional intelligence — both self-awareness and social awareness. No one else does this! Many people teach the Enneagram, and many people teach emotional intelligence, but we are the only ones who are connecting it to how people connect — through the strongest sense in our bodies, the sense of smell — and through deep connection utilizing voice-to-voice conversation. Instead of email, we are sharing voice messages and short videos. Instead of relying on written social media, we hold live conversations in the audio app, Clubhouse. We deeply apply understanding of the Enneagram and how knowing you number can help support you to make informed choices, move past blocks, get out of negative patterns, and access your courage. We offer things you can see, touch, smell, experience, so it’s not just a lot of words and false promises.

A WEL member recently said she read about her number and was discouraged because it made her feel she was ambitious in a cloying negative way. She lit one of the WEL candles, setting an intention to honor the ambition in herself and allow it to be one of her superhero powers. She experienced a shift in her thoughts that gave her permission to lead her team in a way she had not before. Several members of her team came forward to thank her for her amazing leadership and calls to action. The group felt taken care of because of her empowered way of being. It was the experience with the candle, and reminder to lean into her number, that gave her courage. She got to reconnect to both herself and to the others in the community.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

IANTHE: Courtney and I have had amazing mentors and coaches throughout our careers, but it was finding each other that enabled us to have the most success in this chapter in our lives. We both feel excited to work, to share valuable tools with others and to lean on each other for support. We feel that WEL has been waiting to come to the surface for a long time and that its much bigger than either of us. Finding Courtney on Clubhouse came at the perfect time. It has opened so many possibilities and allows for both of us to share our individual expertise in harmonious ways.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience is being scared and doing it anyway. Resilient people have capacity that comes from necessity. Resilient people have typically been through extremely challenging circumstances and have (at some point) chosen to see these fires as initiation and teaching. Resilient people integrate hard lessons into their daily experience so that they can live life on a richer, fuller level. Resilient people choose to keep healing, changing, and growing to build a better life. Resilient people have capacity that comes from practice and necessity.

We formed the WEL movement because we come from traumatic, complex experiences and we know firsthand how hard it is to be resilient and how impossible it is to do alone. The WEL movement is like a family for people who want to learn resilience, practice it, and aren’t sure where to find that community.

Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?

Courage is the spark, and resilience is the steady flame burning within us.

Courage is the fuel that powers the engine of resilience. It’s the “get up and go”. Resilience is a layered and beautiful consequence that comes from the moments we choose to be courageous, stand in our truth, take steps towards something unknown, and became stronger spiritually, mentally, and physically from that courageous action.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

The most resilient people in the world are small children. They learn new things every single day, fall, let out their emotions, communicate in a raw and honest manner, and they are innately creative. Children under age 10 have a 97% capacity to exercise their own natural creative intelligence — to create > destroy > create, and to infinitely start over again. They are confident. They believe in themselves, and they see their own beauty. In contrast, adults have about a 3% creative capacity. We are filled with doubt, self-judgement, and we bend and sway with stress and fall into loneliness. We seek to help people remember that connection is truly SIMPLE. It goes back to the source, to our hardwiring as humans, and we can access it through the neuroscience of voice and connection to the olfactory (smell) sense, which is hardwired into our brains. It’s about remembering what we already have within us.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

COURTNEY: When I was in my early 30’s my husband and I thought about having a baby. We tried for a long time, but I didn’t get pregnant. Then one day I told him I felt very stressed and anxious in my job, and I wanted to start my own business. I went to my boss and turned in my notice. It was difficult but there was no turning back. Two weeks later (while I was still working there during my notice period) I found out that I was pregnant. I had to begin a business from scratch with absolutely no entrepreneurial experience while pregnant with my first child. There was a point where my husband worried, he’d have to take a side job on top of his regular job. It felt impossible. Family and friends started to question my choice. I received a couple of job offers and was tempted to take them. I felt guilty and stretched and I was beginning to lose faith in myself.

Almost exactly when my daughter was born, the housing crisis of 2008 began, and no one had the budget to hire large brand and marketing agencies. My solution was agile, I used highly qualified talent, and I sourced teams of contractors for each agency project. I created brand experiences instead of campaigns. And I was the only female agency owner in my growing city. Just before my bank account hit zero, clients started pouring in because they wanted more attention, less spend, and more personal time.

This was the beginning of my coaching career. Helping people connect with what they want and need, helping them to find and fulfill their sense of purpose became my entrepreneurial calling.

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

COURTNEY: In August 2016 I drove home one day and was car-jacked, beaten, and robbed in my driveway. The man attacking me took all my identification, all my access to my business and personal accounts, my computer, and my car. He threatened and beat me at gunpoint and threw me to the ground, leaving me needing 10 staples in my head and a battered face with two black eyes and a permanent dent in my forehead. He was at large for more than a week. My car was in police impound for 2 months, with a threat to leave it for the whole course of the trial (2 years) after he was captured. In one way, I didn’t know if I could ever truly run a business by myself again but in another way the experience initiated me into a completely different level of personal clarity about what I was supposed to do to help others. I found my purpose, completely. I also had purpose in returning to my life because my two daughters were only 8 and 6 when it happened, and I couldn’t live with the idea that they would grow up believing that an incident like that could take away your ability to live your life. I fought back when he attacked me, and I fought hard for two years in court to put him in prison. I experienced resilience and growth firsthand, and it’s locked in my DNA forever and offers me the ability to empathize with any person from any traumatic experience and to offer them an ear and support. As I recovered, I read about the Enneagram. Gradually I got serious about it and got certified and made it the center point of my coaching. As an Enneagram 8, I feel extraordinarily grateful for my access to resilience, drive, and self-determination.

IANTHE: In March of 2020 the 200 mom-and-pop stores that carried my oWp, Objects With Purpose candle brand abruptly closed their doors. I was in a state of shock and confusion, directionless, isolated, and destabilized, like so many of us were in those early months of the pandemic. How could this business that saved me so many times from instability, suddenly be gone? I asked myself, “how is this happening for me and not to me?”. The answer was clear. My purpose was to help others, and that’s when I found Clubhouse and started mentoring hundreds of women candle makers. My enneagram 2 was so inspired and fulfilled with this shift! Had I not known about myself in this way, I likely would have fallen into despair. Healthy balanced giving is a form of self-care for 2’s and 9’s particularly.

How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

IANTHE: My family moved 10 times when I was growing up. I never lived in a house for more than 5 years. With a name that was hard to pronounce, I had to be resilient enough to re-introduce myself every time I landed in a new school room or neighborhood. I survived a divorce, 2 auto immune diseases, and re-invention of my life in my 30s because I chose to be resilient for my children and ultimately for my own survival.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

We believe that resilience is circle and a cycle. The circle begins with CONNECTION, which is why that is the most important focal point of our work with the WEL movement. Anyone can follow the steps independently, but achieved resilience is much stronger when a person has a community of support.

  1. Seek CONNECTION — Connection must happen first with self, through greater understanding of who you are and what you need, and then be extended out to the collective, looking for like minds and a blanket of loving support. Without connecting to yourself first, you are always looking for external forces to carry you, and that won’t form lasting resilience. Give yourself a few moments of silence, light a candle, allow thoughts to come and go, and ask yourself how you’re feeling.
  2. Establish SOVEREIGNTY — We are wired to thrive on autonomy, mastery and purpose. We need to feel in control of our choices and our sense of self. We need to express something that we are great at and show mastery, and last, we must be connected to a purpose greater than us. Without these things, no amount of extrinsic positive feedback, money, or reward will let us build resilience or feel satisfied. This comes from focusing on one skill, something you’re already naturally good at, and offering that skill to the world.
  3. Feel a sense of BELONGING — Once we find our community of support through connection and we establish our sovereignty by finding our autonomy, mastery and purpose, we must actualize a sense of belonging by both giving generously and taking consciously from the community of support, creating a system of interdependence, trust and reliance, which establish a sense of belonging. Without belonging, we feel loneliness, and loneliness leads to the breakdown of our mental capacity as well as inflammation in the body and ultimately disease and dis-ease. Belonging is an essential exchange of acceptance. Anyone who’s helped at a food bank or homeless shelter or even helped a neighbor drag away tree limbs after a storm, experiences a sense of belonging, while allowing others to feel it too.
  4. Anchor in your PRESENCE — Presence is in how we show up — how we carry ourselves, how we walk in the world, and the face we show others as a manifestation of the work we have done in the spaces of connection, sovereignty and belonging. Presence tends to be our somatic experience of the world, and it can show up as the tension we are carrying in our bodies because of our experiences. Everything shows up on our faces, in our walks, in our tone of voice, and in how we interact with others. Somatic healing leads to the healing of our presence so that we can walk in the world with peace, not aggression.
  5. Build and share HARMONY — Harmony is a practice of being quiet within and transmuting that quiet into the world as a gift. Harmonious people are magnets for other people — safe space to be themselves and share their gifts and their voices. The WEL movement seeks to be a safe space for people to be who they are and to stay neutral to volatile world events while also listening to each other and practicing the experience of speaking powerfully and asking powerful questions.

When you’ve reached HARMONY, you’re at the edge of the resilience cycle and it means you have built a “capacity”. But the next big experience you have might return you to the beginning of the cycle at connection, and that is okay and to be expected. Truly deep resilience is one layer at a time and demands gentleness with self and a capacity for forgiveness. Our WEL community offers a system of individual and mutual support for this resilience building process.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Wild Enneagram Love, WEL, is a life-changing movement that utilizes ancient techniques for self-awareness and makes them current, tangible and fun. The WEL Method is a system that helps merge your physical, spiritual, and intellectual instincts, activating your intrinsic sense of balance. Together, with the numbers of the enneagram, we will quiet the noise, deepen emotional intelligence, and start a revolution if reconnection!

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them :-)

We would LOVE to sit down with Brene Brown, over breakfast to soak in all her deeply aware conversation around courage and vulnerability, and it would be so much fun to find out what her Enneagram numbers are! We have a guess. Also, Dr. Gabor Mate is someone we would love to meet. His work on destigmatizing addiction and healing trauma is so mind blowing. And of course, it would be amazing to find out his Enneagram numbers! Tiffany Haddish, wow, it would be so amazing to have a meal with her! Humor saves lives, and her non-profit is so inspired, and heart centered. Even the name is about resiliency. It’s like an affirmation, “She Ready”.

And Russell Brand! We’ve witnessed his transformation through addiction, celebrity and now a voice of healing that cuts through the noise. I’m sure a bagel with Russell would be enlightening.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Everyone is invited to register for our free 9 day course, to learn about the 9 energies of the Enneagram, and “meet us” through videos via our site: www.TheWELmethod.com

And our instagram @wildenneagramlove

And Facebook group: Wild Enneagram Love

Clubhouse club: Wild Enneagram Love

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

--

--

Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor