When we first learned about Human Design, we just couldn’t be bothered. Was it astrology? Another self-help framework? Then we met practitioner, Ahram Arya who broke our (initially confusing) Human Design chart down into some of the most practical and insightful advice we’d ever encountered.
While we can almost guarantee that reviewing your Human Design chart will perplex you at first (get your chart here), breaking down the details of your chart may just be one of the most insightful and empowering things you do for yourself this year.
Below, Ahram breaks down a key aspect of Human Design that deals with judgement and the forgiveness of self. This piece gets deep, but stick around and see if you don’t pick up on insights that ring a bell…
A powerful astrologer can tap into the core of your character. During a session, you might get that feeling, Oh, wow, that’s so true about me. But when it’s over, what do you do with the information? You might ask yourself, How does this help me in my life right now? Where do I start?
That’s where Human Design comes in. It’s a concrete tool, not an ethereal story. It combines astrology and other ancient knowledge into a one-time horoscope that provides a reliable guide for your entire life. It shows you an operating manual to be your best self and make your best decisions, but the methodology might surprise or confuse at first. If you try to incorporate this wisdom too quickly, chances are you’ll abandon it before it really makes sense. (How does it work? Read A Complete Guide to Human Design to get started)
Where + How To Begin With Human Design
I begin all of my clients with their Not-Self Questions. It’s a great starting point. You don’t have to know much about the system to jump right in. (You can get your free chart at mybodygraph.com. See Section 2 below to match up the Not-Self Questions in our chart.)
The Not-Self Questions ask you to open up to your patterns of insecurity. They are windows into understanding the source of each insecurity and the coping mechanisms that go along with them. This knowledge allows you to honor them for what they are and to begin to undo the damage they may have done. This process is called de-conditioning.
The first step in de-conditioning is forgiveness. Here’s the concept: The insecurities that your Not-Self Questions reveal are not your ‘fault’. Human Design says that these insecurities are literally not you, but, to this point, you have been forming stories about them as if they were. These stories are not part of your identity at all – hence the name, the Not-Self. Our Not-Self Questions often point to the crux your life-long struggles.
What if most of the resistance in your life came from desperately trying to be what you are not? If it was true, then freedom would come from understanding that those pressures came from the outside world, not from within. If it was true, then you have been conditioned—or have conditioned yourself—to create ways to cope with those pressures.
Here is an example of a Not-Self Question: Am I always in a hurry to get things done so I can be free of pressure?
Know first that the pressure to be hurried through tasks does not come from you. It comes from your environment, into you and then through you because your Root Chakra is open. This openness is one big reason why you may have been oversensitive to external pressure, speeding you up with unnecessary anxiety for your entire life.
The 9 Not-Self Questions:
The mechanics of Human Design shows us that there are 9 chakras or energy “Centers” in your body. The 9 Not-Self Questions correspond to influences that come through each center. For instance, if you have 3 Not-Self Questions in your chart, then you are open to conditioning from the outside world through those 3 particular Centers. If you have 5 questions, you are open to conditioning through those 5 Centers, and so on. No matter how few or how many questions you have in your chart, don’t worry. Your total number of questions is not good or bad. It simply helps you see the ways you are open to outside influences.
Your prescription is to learn to let these insecurities pass through you without identifying with them at all. I call this dis-identification a “Radical Forgiveness of Self” because, first and foremost, you get to forgive yourself for all the ways you were not designed to be. By tearing down these false projections of self and patterning, you are able to reveal who you really are. With time, this openness and awareness can become a great source of wisdom.
So, before you try to incorporate the other aspects of your Human Design, forgive and release yourself from these difficult questions first. Otherwise, your new tools and strategies can become tangled and confused within your Not-Self thinking and patterning. Here are some tips for each Not-Self Question to help you begin to let go:
Find your questions that correspond to the Open Centers in your chart.
Am I trying to answer everybody else’s questions?
Forgive yourself for feeling the mental pressure that can quickly escalate to anxiety. Often, you find yourself thinking about things that don’t matter, trying to solve the mystery instead of enjoying it. Let inspiration and psychic information flow through you without reducing it to questions and doubts.
Physiology: Pineal Gland
Energy: Mental Pressure, Inspiration, Questions, Doubts
Am I trying to convince everyone that I am certain?
Forgive yourself for feeling as though you need to be certain and have to convince others that you are certain in your beliefs. Enjoy the pleasure that comes from contemplating a wide variety of theories, concepts, and insights without being attached to any of them. Recognize a good thought or concept which can move to the next level of utility for everyone, especially when you are invited to.
Physiology: Pituitary Gland, Frontal Cortex, Neo Cortex
Energy: Human Consciousness, Conceptualizing, Thoughts, Insights, Opinions
Am I trying to attract attention?
Forgive yourself for feeling the urge to speak or act especially when you don’t know what to do or when the silence makes you uncomfortable. Often you have no idea what to say or what action to take, and you worry that you won’t be noticed or get the attention you need if you don’t. This can result in saying the wrong thing at the wrong time or taking no action at all and being ignored. There is no need for you to compensate for the silence. Don’t try to control what you say and enjoy your different forms of natural expression. You can be a great judge of who is speaking and acting in truth.
Physiology: Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands
Energy: Communication, Manifestation, Speaking, Doing
Am I looking for direction and love?
Forgive yourself for being fixated on finding direction and love. Forgive yourself for feeling as though you have no fixed identity or don’t know who you are while others seem to be grounded in their identity. You might feel insecure about your purpose, which direction to go, or who might love you. Your gift is your ability to blend and adapt to different roles and environments with your open personality and experiment with different ways of “being” until you discover what is right for you. Instead of feeling lost, you can enjoy what is shown to you by others.
Physiology: Heart and High Heart Chakra, Liver, Blood
Energy: Identity, Love, Direction, Purpose
Do I think I have something to prove?
Forgive yourself for feeling unworthy and undervalued. You might waiver back and forth between feeling an exaggerated sense of importance and having no worth at all. You have trouble making and keeping promises, often falling short of expectations, or tend to compensate by overachieving. Accept that you have nothing to prove and stop comparing yourself to others. You can be an excellent judge of trustworthiness and who can deliver on a commitment.
Physiology: Heart, Gall Bladder, Thymus, Stomach
Energy: Ego and Willpower in the Material World
Am I holding onto what isn’t good for me?
Forgive yourself for holding on to what isn’t good for you, particularly in relationships. You have primal fears that can easily be blown out of proportion. You have no innate sense of safety and well-being from your environment, and you rely upon others to help you feel safe and secure. Often this shows up in holding onto toxic and co-dependent relationships even when you know they are not good for you. Learn to receive vibrations from your environment without being fearful.
Physiology: Hearing, Smell, Taste, Immune System
Energy: Body Awareness, Survival Intuition, Vibration, Heath, Well-Being
Am I avoiding confrontation and truth?
Forgive yourself for avoiding confronting yourself and others about the depths of your truth. You can be moody and emotional and amplify the emotions from your environment. You can be confused about what you are feeling and how to interpret it which makes you nervous. Often you adopt the “if you won’t upset me, I won’t upset you approach.” Over time, your potential is a highly developed sense of discernment, and your sensitive emotional center can guide how and when to deliver your truth.
Center: Solar Plexus
Physiology: Lungs, Kidneys, Pancreas, Nervous System
Energy: Spirit Awareness, Emotional Awareness, Passion and Desire
Do I know when enough is enough?
Forgive yourself for not knowing when enough is enough, and most importantly, forgive yourself for falling into unhealthy behaviors and addiction. You have no innate way of knowing where to channel your life force, and you may not know when to stop or what to do with the excess energy. Establishing healthy boundaries is a challenge, and you often take on too much work. With time, learn to respect your inconsistent flow of energy and balance work with rest.
Physiology: Ovaries and Testes
Energy: Vital Energy, Fertility, Sexuality, Response
Am I in a hurry to get things done so I can be free of pressure?
Forgive yourself for hurrying through tasks just to be free of pressure. You amplify pressure from your environment. This can manifest in two key ways: Getting things done is either loaded with undue pressure, stress, and to-do lists, or you are a professional procrastinator and completely disassociate with the pressure until the last minute. With time, you can enjoy periods of focused concentration and stillness or periods of hyperactivity. Don’t allow the world to speed you up with pressure that is not yours. Succumbing to the pressure can lead to burnout and depression.
Physiology: Adrenals and Stress Hormones
Energy: Adrenalized Pressure, Drive, Stress, Worry, Depression
You can get your free chart at mybodygraph.com. Then match up the Not-Self Questions in our chart.