The Introduction to the author

From birth to teens The beginning of me was 2 June 1973, born to Minnie Petersen and Phillip Strong, in the Northwest town of Klerksdorp in South Africa – named…

Sherell Diane | March 26, 2023

From birth to teens

The beginning of me was 2 June 1973, born to Minnie Petersen and Phillip Strong, in the Northwest town of Klerksdorp in South Africa – named Philda Sherell Verity Strong. Phillip was Minnie’s second husband, and she had three older children from her first marriage.

As the story was relayed to me – at age two, at the request of my paternal grandparents who lived on a smallholding in the Kalahari in the Northern Cape, I went to visit.

What was meant to be a two-week visit ended up in a forever stay (with back and forth visits to my nucleus family during holidays only). All of that because my grandfather, Barney Strong, was besotted with me and my mother couldn’t find it in her heart to say no each time he asked to extend my stay.

Apparently, in my sixth year that I was meant to start school, my mother had enrolled me into the primary school in Klerksdorp as in her mind it was the logical point for me to return home, only to discover that I already started school the previous year and will be going to Sub B (Grade 2) in that school year.

And so I stayed with my Ma and Pa at Die Kuil Primêr until the end of standard 7 (Grade 9). I was thirteen at the time. That is when I left the small town of Daniёlskuil to attend high school in Kimberley.

For love’s sake

My childhood in Daniёlskuil was uncomplicated. I knew love. My grandparents loved me. Oh my grandfather loved me so much, and I knew it!

My grandmother was a strict woman, yet extremely generous to the point of being self-sacrificial. She taught me to love nature, to appreciate and respect mother earth. She taught me about herbs and vegetables, and fruit and to work with food.

It is Ma who cultivated in me the love of cooking from fresh, and the love of cooking! I believe that cooking is my art and I thank my grandmother for the gift of cooking.

She was a staunch Methodist, extremely religious – not a side to her that I connected into. I didn’t quite understand why, at the time but I do now. My Pa, on the other hand, although also a Methodist, only went to church when holy communion was served once a month.

Pa was a building contractor, a respectable businessman in the small town, and a very proud and headstrong character. Yet, the moment he and I connected, he became a whole different person – gentle, warm and patient.

I often felt like the two of us were living in a different world that was invisible to everyone around us, a world where only the two of us existed, because only we understood each other completely.

I fell asleep on Pa’s lap every night until I became too tall for him to carry me to my bed; I cannot remember the age. And from my earliest memory, I could talk to Pa about everything, and he would hear me, and never made me feel as though my stories didn’t matter.

I always felt like I’m the only person, or that my story was the most important thing in the world at that moment. Wow, that was incredible!

Life in Daniёlskuil was also simple – clothes were sewn by Ma or bought from Pep or Gers (the local retailer), I walked barefoot most of the time and I didn’t know that I needed better or different. And I was happy, most of the time.

I felt free and loved. So I thought, until I discovered myself through The Enneagram.

Who am I according to The Enneagram

I use The Enneagram personality system extensively in my Coaching practice to help people discover their patterns of thinking, feeling and acting. It helped me to discover my personality type, and guided me (and continues to guide me) on my path in my personal, professional and spiritual growth.

I lead from Type Two – The Giver

Type Two Focus of Attention

As a Type Two, my focus of attention goes to:

  • the needs and wants of others, especially those I care about and would want to care about me,
  • relationships, the moment-to-moment feelings about others,
  • sensing the emotional needs of others and doing what pleases them,
  • feeling good about being able to meet others’ needs so well,
  • maintaining others’ acceptance and approval.

Type Two Avoidance

As a Type Two, I avoid:

  • disappointing others,
  • feeling unappreciated,
  • at the core, being useless and dispensable,
  • rejection.

The ultimate development goal for me as a Type Two

My development goal was then, and continues to be, knowing and remembering I am loved for who I AM. That I am not loved for how much I give, how much I do or how much I’m needed by others.

If you are curious to know your Enneagram type, and invested in knowing yourself deeply, then book a session with me.

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