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How I Use Human Design for Self Reflection

Human Design looks like an astrology chart on crack.

You can definitely dive into your chart yourself and figure out what everything means and take notes and do the damn thing. However, I do recommend getting a reading from someone’s energy you trust. Every reader has a unique flair with Human Design since it is such a vast pot of information.

When I look at someone else’s or my own chart, I look for points of self-reflection. How can this chart help me solidify who I am and the narratives that I hold regarding my identity?

The Energy Centers

The shapes on the body graph are the energy centers. Each energy center offers a different expression and when they are defined (colored in) that energy responds in a different way.

Here is a quick reference for the theme of each energy center:

  • Head: the pressure center of inspiration

  • Anja: the awareness center of conceptualization and analysis

  • Throat: manifestation, communication and doing

  • G: the center of identity, love, and direction

  • Heart (small triangle): the motor center of ego, worth and willpower

  • Solar Plexus (large triangle on right): the motor and awareness center of emotions

  • Sacral (middle square): the motor center of life force and sexual energy

  • Spleen (large triangle on left): the awareness center of the immune system and intuition

  • Root (bottom square): the pressure and motor center of adrenaline and stress

The main thing to note about energy centers is that when they are defined, you receive a consistent energy source through that expression, which you radiate out to the world. When they are open, you absorb that energy expression from outside sources and amplify it.


Because you receive energy from your environment with open centers, that is typically where you will find themes for lessons in life. This is called your “Not-Self” theme, which can be expressed through any open centers on your chart, when you are not in alignment.

You can see this the easiest through the heart center. The majority of people will have an open heart center, so we don’t have consistent access to willpower (succumbing to cravings isn’t your fault, it’s human design’s). When we have that open center, our not-self theme might show up as a sensation of having to prove ourselves and our worth. This usually leads to frustration and dog-paddling energy.

With each open center, when we step into that not-self theme it can feel like pressure.

  • Head: pressure to figure things out

  • Anja: pressure to be certain

  • Throat: pressure to be seen and heard

  • G: pressure to find love or direction

  • Heart (small triangle): pressure to prove your worth

  • Solar Plexus (large triangle on right): pressure to avoid truth or emotion

  • Sacral (middle square): pressure to work or avoid limitation

  • Spleen (large triangle on left): pressure to hold onto something

  • Root (bottom square): pressure to do

This is not to say having open centers is a bad thing or wrong. This is an invitation to see how the lessons in your life may have been expressed through those open centers. An open center has the potential to be our biggest strength.

Since we do not have consistent access to the energy in an open center, we have more possibility to master that energy. We get to experiment with how that energy is amplified through us and we can take that energy and show others the lessons we have learned.

I have an open G center and growing up, I constantly had this pressure to figure out my direction or to find love, to be “complete.” My energy expression went completely against the ideal in society of knowing “who we want to be when we grow up.” I wanted to be everything. I still do.

And after looking at those lessons, instead of shaming myself for all the pivoting I’ve done in this life, I get to show up fully embodying the values that I choose to hold. Through that, I get to empower others to shift their identities without fear of losing everything.

In fact, defined centers may hold most of the narratives we place upon ourselves while growing up. If someone has a defined G center, they may have been constantly told that they had to be an engineer. So they took that narrative and placed it in their center, being so sure that this is what they truly wanted. Only to find out after years of going down that path, that that was a projection placed on them and was not actually true to their identity. So what happens?

They feel stuck; like they can’t shift out of that energy because that is all they know. They held onto that energy for so long and have such consistent access to the identity energy that they don’t know how to release it.

Cue me, coming in hot like a fluid identity fairy, to show the defined G center babies how to release these narratives and move into a new, more aligned path.

Your open centers may be your biggest lessons, but they will also show you your greatest strengths.

Making it work for you

When you pull up your chart, take note of the defined vs open centers.

First, I like to look at all the open centers and ask myself what lessons are showing up from those pressures. If you have an open head center, where is your mind focused? Are you overthinking things or are you allowing inspiration to move through you? An open head center may feel pressure to make decisions through your mind, but it’s important to focus on your authority and strategy instead.

Do you feel frustration with that energy or a sense of peace? When you look and the themes of each center, you can start to identify your own patterns and how they are showing up for you.

Next, I look at all my defined centers, starting with my strengths in each. How do they show up for me? Do people gravitate towards me for this energy? Defined centers are where we “sell” from. It’s energy that naturally radiates from us and I would say a lot of people with that center open, will gravitate towards you if that center is defined.

After that, it’s time to focus on narratives. For each strength you write in that defined center, ask yourself, “Is this a narrative I naturally embodied or is this a narrative that was projected onto me from someone or something outside of me?”

You might find that some narratives feel frustrating and confining because they aren’t actually yours. You might be holding onto a fear narrative in your Spleen that your mom projected onto you when you were 10 because she was afraid of you climbing trees so now you don’t really trust your ability to climb. Speaking from experience.

Going deeper

There is so much to unpack with Human Design that it can be a lifelong tool for self-reflection and development.

If you’re not sure where to start with self-reflection, I offer Human Design readings that come with 7 days of personalized journal prompts to start you on your embodiment journey. Book Here

If you have any questions about utilizing Human Design, be sure to comment below!

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