The Signposts of Not-Self Generosity

Have you been indulging in Not-Self generosity?

"What exactly do you mean by that?" you may be wondering.

The Not-Self is what we refer to the adaptive strategies derived from the openness in your Human Design, where your mind that can cause you to make decisions that are not in alignment with your true nature. Not-Self has a sinister sound to it when you don't know what it means. Sometimes people get confused and think that anything coming from the openness is bad—as if the openness is not part of the totality of you.

You cannot separate yourself from your openness. This receptivity is an integral part of you. It is where you experience life, where experiences nourish you. Here is where you can learn, grow, and develop wisdom.

But oh, am I familiar with the suffering that comes from Not-Self. For example, let’s take my undefined Heart's Not-Self generosity: 

  • Saying I would when I wasn't sure I could, then not being able to keep a promise and ending up feeling like crap.
  • Thinking I have to go above and beyond what is needed, constantly overcompensating to prove my value.
  • Not stopping at the specified time for a massage session as a young therapist, for example, even if I was tired.
  • Not being satisfied with a good enough piece of writing, but spending ridiculous hours stressing over perfectionism.
  • I remember in school—if I couldn't do a homework project perfectly to my liking, I wouldn't even turn it in and preferred an F to getting a B!
  • Settling for whatever (or whoever) came my way, expecting less than I deserve because my mind didn't believe I was worthy of anything more and was afraid that if I asked, I would be turned down or miss out.

From mothers to service professionals to athletes to people working in the corporate world, approximately 65% are dealing with this Undefined Heart Center conditioning in their lives. How much of an effect does the open Heart have on the professional landscape where so many of us are trying to prove ourselves all the time?

Thanks to discovering Human Design, I recognized mentally that the Not-Self adaptive strategies of my mind had a firm hold on my life, yet still, I was powerless to stop them from influencing me. However, in the course of my experimentation, the decisions slowly stopped coming from a place of Not-Self automatic reflex. I began to recognize what it felt like when decisions started coming from what my Solar Plexus was telling me, once I got invited to the big things in life (for a Projector like myself, this is critical).

I know I can't help undergoing my trial and error process of making personal mistakes, as a 3rd line Personality. At the beginning of my experiment, the overwhelming realization of it all hit me like a ton of bricks. The magnitude of the apparent difficulty of getting to live out my true nature discouraged me. The Not-Self cry, "why me?!" of my 3rd-line Martyr Personality was in full effect.

Though it has gotten easier over time, there are still a lot of adaptive strategies of the "Not-Self" going on over here in my movie and of the people I've seen come to me. Read on to discover how Not-Self generosity has shown up in my life, and perhaps you can recognize it in yours.

Photo via JovianArchive.com

Here's a little keynoting along with my experience of my undefined Centers, and the Not-Self generosities I recognized. I've added the BG5 signposts as well; BG5 is the career and business application of the Human Design System.

Head Center: Inspiration

Not-Self Themes: Occupied with questions that don't matter
I recognized that discovering inner truth and what is truly inspiring through collaboration with others in relationships is what I'm driven consciously to learn (Personality Moon in 61.3 Interdependence)
Not-Self generosity: Trying to provide answers to other people's questions without being invited first
BG5 Signpost: Losing Focus
If it were completely open: Not knowing what is interesting

Ajna Center: Conceptualization

Not-Self Themes: Pretending that I am mentally certain
I recognized early on that my completely open Ajna simply can't get enough of the concepts in Human Design. Is this something that works, that I can finally be confident about? Through my experimentation and repeated feedback over the years from others; so far, so good.
Not-Self generosity: Doing things like taking in other's concepts in conversation and pretending to be confident about what's going on without first being positive that I am and that the concepts are right for me.
BG5 Signpost: Conceptually defensive
My Signpost as it is completely open: Not knowing what to think

Heart Center: Willpower

Not-Self Themes: Trying to prove/improve myself
I recognize that my undefined ego dances between wanting to be in control and feeling out of control. I tend towards withdrawing from the material path (Personality Venus in 21.3 Powerlessness) with a lifelong habit of endless education, because I love to learn new things as someone born in the Quarter of Initiation, with my purpose fulfilled through Mind. I walk a fine line here, though, because that little center longs for continuous self-improvement and loves certifications that show I've accomplished something that proves my value.
Not-Self generosity: Doing things for others just to prove something I think I want to be (a good person, smart enough, and worthy, for example).
BG5 Signpost: Overcompensating
If it were completely open: Not knowing what is worthy

Sacral Center: Power of Fertility

Not-Self Theme: Not knowing when enough is enough
I recognize that my undefined sacral center is a HUGE source of conditioning and Not-Self generosity. With eight dormant potentials, this has been one of my hardest challenges. Thankfully, I can say I'm getting over the workaholic addiction, not thanks to my mind, though. My body got to the point where it no longer tolerated overwork. No longer can I push through the fatigue or pain of overworking myself, no matter what my mind wants to prove. This body does not want to sit at the computer for hours on end anymore! It won't.
Not-Self generosity: Doing things (work/sex/play) without boundaries around my time and without honoring my body's fatigue levels
BG5 Signpost: Over-Zealousness
If it were completely open: Not knowing what to use energy for

Splenic Center: Body Consciousness

Not-Self Theme: Holding on to what isn't good for me
I recognize my mind rigidly holds on to people, places, and things long after they are no longer right for me. Knowing who/where/what is healthy for me and worth holding on to is something I'm here to learn to be wise about.
Not-Self generosity: Doing things that help me hold on to who/where/what, even when it is time to let go of them because they no longer serve my highest good.
BG5 Signpost: Lack of flexibility
If it were completely open: Not knowing what to fear

Occupied with questions that don't matter
I recognized that discovering inner truth and what is truly inspiring through collaboration with others in relationships is what I'm driven consciously to learn (Personality Moon in 61.3 Interdependence)
Not-Self generosity: Trying to provide answers to other people's questions without being invited first
BG5 Signpost: Losing Focus
If it were completely open: Not knowing what is interesting

Ajna Center: Conceptualization

Not-Self Themes: Pretending that I am mentally certain
I recognized early on that my completely open Ajna simply can't get enough of the concepts in Human Design. Is this something that works, that I can finally be confident about? Through my experimentation and repeated feedback over the years from others; so far, so good.
Not-Self generosity: Doing things like taking in other's concepts in conversation and pretending to be confident about what's going on without first being positive that I am and that the concepts are right for me.
BG5 Signpost: Conceptually defensive
My Signpost as it is completely open: Not knowing what to think

Heart Center: Willpower

Not-Self Themes: Trying to prove/improve myself
I recognize that my undefined ego dances between wanting to be in control and feeling out of control. I tend towards withdrawing from the material path (Personality Venus in 21.3 Powerlessness) with a lifelong habit of endless education, because I love to learn new things as someone born in the Quarter of Initiation, with my purpose fulfilled through Mind. I walk a fine line here, though, because that little center longs for continuous self-improvement and loves certifications that show I've accomplished something that proves my value.
Not-Self generosity: Doing things for others just to prove something I think I want to be (a good person, smart enough, and worthy, for example).
BG5 Signpost: Overcompensating
If it were completely open: Not knowing what is worthy

Sacral Center: Power of Fertility

Not-Self Theme: Not knowing when enough is enough
I recognize that my undefined sacral center is a HUGE source of conditioning and Not-Self generosity. With eight dormant potentials, this has been one of my hardest challenges. Thankfully, I can say I'm getting over the workaholic addiction, not thanks to my mind, though. My body got to the point where it no longer tolerated overwork. No longer can I push through the fatigue or pain of overworking myself, no matter what my mind wants to prove. This body does not want to sit at the computer for hours on end anymore! It won't.
Not-Self generosity: Doing things (work/sex/play) without boundaries around my time and without honoring my body's fatigue levels
BG5 Signpost: Over-Zealousness
If it were completely open: Not knowing what to use energy for

Splenic Center: Body Consciousness

Not-Self Theme: Holding on to what isn't good for me
I recognize my mind rigidly holds on to people, places, and things long after they are no longer right for me. Knowing who/where/what is healthy for me and worth holding on to is something I'm here to learn to be wise about.
Not-Self generosity: Doing things that help me hold on to who/where/what, even when it is time to let go of them because they no longer serve my highest good.
BG5 Signpost: Lack of flexibility
If it were completely open: Not knowing what to fear

Here are the other Centers:

Throat Center: Communication and Manifestation

Not-Self Theme: Trying to attract attention
Not-Self generosity: Doing things to communicate or manifest
BG5 Signpost: Trying to be the Star
If it's completely open: Not knowing what to say

G Center: Love, Identity and Direction

Not-Self Theme: Trying to find direction and love
Not-Self generosity: Doing things in alignment with others' direction or for their love
BG5 Signpost: Role confusion/Lack of direction
If it's completely open: Not knowing what to be

Solar Plexus Center: Emotional / Spirit Consciousness

Not-Self Theme: Avoiding confrontation and truth
Not-Self generosity: Playing nice (and not standing up for your truth when it's time to do so as not to disturb others)
BG5 Signpost: Touchy and nervous
If it's completely open: Not knowing what to feel

Root Center: Physical Adrenalized Pressure

Not-Self Theme: Always in a hurry to be free of the pressure
Not-Self generosity: Getting things done super fast though it may be stressful for you and others around you
BG5 Signpost: In too much of a hurry
If it's completely open: Not knowing when to hurry

In a split definition (two areas of colored in Centers disconnected from each other) like mine, the Not-Self strategies have a focus in the bridging areas between my two areas of Definition. In my case, the channel of Transitoriness (Gates 36-35) or being a "Jack of all Trades" is one way I have been keen on bringing my Definitions together. Now through my Human Design education and BG5 courses, I know I'm here to be a specialist at advising others, rather than being the one to do everything myself and try to be available for all things and all people.

Those whispers of the Not-Self mind that are always wondering and worrying are now drowned out by the clarity of my emotions. No matter how loud my mind gets inside, I know to wait for the invitation and to move forward when I feel clarity. And I know that even if things appear to go "wrong" or I've made a mistake, I've gained valuable experience that brings wisdom to my process and for others to draw from.

Nowadays the Not-Self machinations of my mind are sometimes quite funny, and they are easier to recognize with detachment and not act on. I know I'm helpless to go through the Deconditioning process just like everyone else.

My mind became obsessed with looking at and trying to figure out other people through this new Human Design lens right away, and years later I still feel awe knowing how much more there is to know. I know it's not about taking more and more classes—which I still can't get enough of yet! It's about putting that knowledge into practice, taking it to the streets, where the rubber meets the road, and using it—not only in my life but other people's lives as well.

Hopefully, me sharing my story with these centers can help empower you in your own experiment. How do we end the suffering caused by Not-Self generosity? Through practicing with our Strategy and Authority in decision-making. I hope your experiment is helping bring your shadows to light so that you can find the wisdom potential. I hope that you find the freedom from suffering because of the Not-Self. Thank goodness for Strategy and Authority to help guide our decisions!

by Andrea Abay-Abay

A version of this article was originally published on JovianArchive.com.

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