HD and Beyond — Parallels between the TYPES (Relational Alignment is everything!)

Two participants from the Designed to Blossom Program — one a Projector, and one a Manifestor — had a dialogue that got me thinking about how deep down, those of us with seemingly opposite “TYPES” are learning many of the same essential lessons. Here was my response. 


Thank you to two of our participants (a Projector and a Manifestor) for your wonderful responses. I’m often struck by the surprising parallels between the TYPES… even though in so many ways, we can still very different.

One thing that seems to apply to all of us (in one way or another) is the importance of energetic alignment. (If Human Design is anything, it’s about the chemistry between people. We’re all here to find our right chemistry connections!)

This means that all of us, in one way or another, must learn how to be healthfully selective — whether we’re Projectors receiving or rejecting an invitation, Generators responding or not responding to something with our precious energy, Reflectors choosing or not choosing to place ourselves at the center of a community, or Manifestors making choices about where and how to make our impact.

And many (if not all) of us have been conditioned, expected or pressured at some point NOT to be selective enough in our lives…. or in other words, not to make choices that are genuinely right, healthy or empowering for us. 

Although Manifestors may not need invitations in the way that Projectors do, they do need to be energetically ‘matched’/received/met/wanted/recognized by those they’re meant to impact. And if that fit isn’t there, it can be very painful for them. 

A couple more observations I’ve made over the years (as a general rule, which means there are surely exceptions!): 

Because Manifestors tend to be more instinctively afraid of being controlled, and Projectors tend to be more afraid of being alone, Manifestors and Projectors tend to favor certain kinds of compromises. 

(i.e. Manifestors are more likely to compromise relationship in service of self/freedom-preservation, whereas Projectors are more likely to compromise ‘self’ in service of relationship).

That said, as Manifestors and Projectors move through their de-conditioning process, things start to look very different.

Manifestors start taking risks in order to move towards and benefit from ‘relationship’ — even though it’s very scary. They’re here to learn that intimacy and freedom can co-exist. 

Projectors start to experiment with more aloneness — even though that’s very scary! They often need to learn that they can survive — even thrive — when they’re not bending over backwards to maintain their relationships, at any cost. 

(Below is a related and inspiring article on Isolation, written by a lovely Projector and Designed to Blossom Participant, Sandra Rojo. This is such a beautiful example of a Projector learning how to discern between right and not-so-right invitations, and being willing to move through the deep discomfort of being alone…)


ISOLATION, by Sandra Rojo

To learn more about Sandra Rojo, a Certified Health, Wellness and Personal Development Coach, go to:


Humanistic and Existential theorists such as Rollo May, Fromm, and Maslow sustained that long-term isolation could drive an individual insane. Isolation is not to be confused by temporary loneliness, boredom, or occasional alone time; these are just byproducts. Instead, when isolation is endured long term and unwillingly, it is a very different and somewhat wicked experience. Here is where my journey begins.

In early 2007, I was enthusiastic by the fresh air and new beginning that Colorado Springs seemed to provide.  As a self-employed person, I was eager to begin the process of creating a new clientele for myself.  In addition to work, I didn’t waste time lounging around the house, so I enrolled in a creative class and volunteer work.

Not long after settling in the new city, I found it difficult to connect with people, something that was unfamiliar to me. I was getting the feeling that this particular city was a little less inclined to welcome me. I would meet people, invite them to my home and then not long after that, those newfound folks would drop off the radar.

I continued to participate and network with a variety of groups, both professionally and personally. However, through the following years, my experiences with people grew stranger. I blamed myself for not trying hard enough, or for not persisting more. The more I initiated the more frustrated and disappointed I became. I even used Law of Attraction techniques to shake whatever obstacle I thought I was manifesting.

As time went by, I couldn’t help but feel the exacerbation of my isolation because it was followed by alienation.  My experience with others (I came to understand the culture here from people who moved away from this city) showed me their unwillingness to accept my way of thinking.  At the same time, I found it became more difficult for me to be around narrow-minded people and colleagues. Nonetheless, isolation and alienation made me feel like an apparition floating around observing, but never being observed. I could feel my life sinking in a deeper and narrower hole.

I was not conscious then of one important dilemma, furthermore I was resisting something that I didn’t know how to process.  That resistance was simply that I was not living in my correct environment.  How could I thrive personally and professionally if my soul wasn’t recognized? The conditioning from New Age cultural beliefs kept me believing that I needed to “make the best of it”, “it’s Karma” and “need to be content anywhere” language. Although there can be nuggets of truth to those phrases, the message was delivered superficially without deeper meaning or encouragement. Therefore, there was no room to explore with others the possibility that I held incorrect beliefs for myself.  The times when I had tried connecting to colleagues in the community for additional support, they couldn’t relate to me.  Beyond not relating to me, they were even critical. I felt thrown in the lions’ den for voicing a need or concern I had. I am not a person who complains or is persistently negative so I felt hurt and misunderstood.

When you are isolated and do not have someone who has a deep level of empathy to give you, whether it is giving a different perspective, or be a sounding board for you, there is a sense of loss in the periphery of what is correct for you.

Since I was a child, I relished my alone time.  To this today, I enjoy and require time completely by myself even for a short number of days, if I could. I replenish my “energy” by withdrawing in a healthy way in that I can come out of my cave refreshed, focused and ready for the world! But, what I was experiencing here was more than the lack of physical contact with like-minded people.

Isolation for me became like a mental and psychosocial prison sentence, trapped between two worlds: the inside and outside. Worse yet it was coupled with alienation. Living in an already emotionally unsafe environment, I was rejected.  Doubts and negative self-talk can persistently pervade in these delicate situations. Isolation came into my life tenaciously and methodically.  And, in retrospect it felt as though it was creeping up on me like some disease, eating away at my life force.  Like a plague, sweeping across the plains and taking anything alive to the ends of death.

When I arrived to my Human Design reading with Rosy, I was aware that the aforementioned beliefs and some spiritual teachings were not only questionable to me at this point, but I simply was not buying into it anymore, or for the time being.  My temporary disenchantment of anything spiritual took me deeper within myself.  However this time, in a very different and unique way. More than any other time in my life, or with any other spiritual practice I had embraced previously, I felt my own identity slowly “disassemble”.  I could feel the endured isolation strip away everything about who I thought I was, and simultaneously reveal how hard I was on myself. Isolation stripped away many aspects of my essence and many times, I thought I was going to die, literally.  My body ached, my mind disoriented and my life purpose annihilated.  My existential crisis came with short periods of weeping spells followed by intense enlightenment then followed by feeling cynical to again, a blissful awakening.

I felt long-term isolation bring me to my knees and I felt that if I were to come out alive, it would change me forever. This was the true beginning of my de-conditioning process. I use the word true beginning not as though I had never experienced very transformative and spiritual awakening, because I have.  All of us have layers upon layers of conditioning beliefs, thoughts and habits.  Those layers are also energetic, so there is lots of shedding that can occur. In other words, I wasn’t ever afraid to go to the deepest emotions or layers of my person.

During painful personal circumstances, the veils were thinning and isolation had no mercy on me and I was faced with a couple of situations: Isolation itself and what it meant in my life and my personal relationships.  And just like the ghost from Christmas past, I too felt that ghostly voice reveal to me what I had to transform in order to live. Little by little, it kept knocking me down until I addressed it. Isolation made me face some deep shadow work and the decision was to slowly wither away my life force or fight for it. I chose to fight (I intentionally use the word fight because it felt like a battle).  I was entering the brim of a new beginning and as Rosy once said to me everything I had ever studied, practice and prepared for had come down to this moment.

I had to cross this bridge to move to the next level of growth and this time it was daunting.  I had to die before I could rebirth to my true beginning.  I was maturing to a deeper level of what I was not and with the hope of revealing more a purposeful life.

In my process of long-term isolation, I arrived to the unapologetic conclusion that the issue for me was/is a real lack of receiving intimacy from others. I had plenty of it to give through my own openness and healthier relationship with myself. The problem was I was encountering people who chose distance, rather than creating a bond.  After all, it’s “safer” to be aloof, superficial and distant.  Intimacy requires vulnerability, authenticity and transparency.  To me, intimacy is the bonding that most healthy and emotionally mature people do together. Intimacy is a communion that allows creating a space of trust, respect and affection and where authentic connection bridges the gap between you and me.  I know this type of bond and relationship very well, because I had been fortunate to experience intimacy with my own family and friends through the culture we came from.

One of the healthy needs an individual aspires to have is well defined by Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; belongingness and love.  I was not receiving this type of connection in order to feel fulfilled and recognized.  I also understood that it wasn’t healthy for me to chase belongingness, like a needy love struck girl. I learned from Rosy that as I trust life, and by surrendering to her flow, “my people” would begin to show up, among other delicious miracles.

Human Design came at a perfect time because I was ready to learn about myself in a more correct and loving way that also comes from self-acceptance. However, when you are not aware of what to accept, sometimes it’s still difficult to love yourself.  Isolation had shown me that.  My mentor helped me understand that HD was experiential too. So I began to put into practice my Strategy, Authority and Motivation (HD terms). I began to learn stillness through the almighty isolation. There is plenty to share about my profile as a Mental Projector, but for now, I will share that I learned I am a very sensitive person and I have only two centers in my body graph defined, which leaves the rest of me open where I take in the world.  I learned as a mental projector that although I require time alone, I thrive with my correct people who recognize me as a guide. And when asked, I am a fountain of wisdom.

At the time of writing this experience, I have my home for sale and I am relocating back to Southern California, where by the way, I was invited back numerous times.  I am truly blessed because I found the correct person to guide me back to myself.  Rosy’s expertise and loving support allowed me to explore all kinds of situations.  Where I felt safe to shed tears, address feeling of failure and a place where I could acknowledge my gifts without sounding as if I was boasting. Most importantly, when we face our shadow work, if we choose to do our shadow work, shame can arise and having someone who can really hold that space with gentleness, grace and patience has to be special.

I have already gone through a great metamorphosis by honoring my Strategy and Authority and most of all trusting the process, which literally means trusting myself. Even though trusting is a daily practice, I do not blame myself as I use to nor am I nearly as hard on myself like before.  Instead there is a more spacious way of being; a new understanding of who I am.

Today, I view my long-term isolation a little differently and with less animosity.  In this process, I have to admit, that as soon as isolation swept through my door I healed quite a few old wounds and “karma” that no longer served my purpose or me. The things I use to think were important no longer matter to me.  The ones that do matter are not important for me to share unless asked, because I know my wisdom or depth is not for everyone.  My career is evolving into a richer experience because I am NOT so afraid to shine.  Some of my more challenging relationships with people I love strengthened and healed, others are still healing with great progress.  And those relationships that were not correct for me, I had the courage to end without guilt. Just simply knowing that when you are recognized for the soul you are, your true friends and loved ones stand by you.

Long- term isolation gave me an empty container in which I could practice stillness.  Moreover, it gave me an understanding of what it means to wait. Wait and not rush into a response or action. I was truly gifted with a deeper understanding of life and her flow and the cycle in which she moves.

There is a deepening to surrender that happens within this state of disconnection and intimacy from others. Since we are each unique, I’ll allow you to imagine what that may feel or look like to you. What gifts long-term isolation could bring and what wondrous transformations may occur.


Sandra Rojo, February 4, 2014

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