In Human Design – a system laying out your energetic blueprint and mechanics of how you’re best designed to operate in life – I am a quad-right. Apparently, there are half a million of us on the planet (who knows where Ra – the founder of HD – got his statistics).
According to Human Design, we are moving from a left-centred world into a right-way of being. For clarification and anyone who isn’t familiar with the system, by left I mean logical, focused and strategic. In contrast, right is passive, observing, and peripherally inclined. Think of it as left = left brained, right = right brained.
The way the world is currently structured favours a left-brained way of doing things. We love people who can strategise. We adore those who can focus. We admire the people who have a clear plan and certainty around their direction.
Right-brained people are none of this.
Doing mathematics during my schooling years always lead me into tears. The harder I would try to focus my brain on ‘understanding’ the formula or equation, the more my head hurt as I would become angry and frustrated.
I felt really dumb. Why couldn’t I just retain information? Why couldn’t I use my brain to compute and categorize information and draw on it when I needed? I knew deep down that I wasn’t really stupid or unintelligent. But I got really good at mimicking the kind of intelligence the school system approves of, disciplining myself to sit down and focus for hours on end.
But it wasn’t my zone of genius, despite being reaffirmed that I was doing everything perfectly.
Right-brained people are incredibly creative. We are storehouses of creativity, needing an outlet to pour our awareness out into. It is a myth that I can’t remember things or can’t seem to retain detailed information. Rather, my periphery vision and expanded awareness is taking in all the subtle details at every moment. I’m not just reading a book but reading everything in between the lines of it. When people ask me what the book I read was about or a TV show I was watching, I shrug and tell them, “I don’t know”. Because I truly don’t: I can get the general vibe of things, but if you ask me to recall in detail who were the main characters and what was the storyline? Forget it.
Ra likens right-brained people to the internet. People go online and search for what they need through the vast depths of information there. Right-brained people are also like this – other people come to us to retrieve information and knowledge. But the catch is, I can’t go and reach for it by myself – only someone else can. If somebody were to ask me a question, I’d respond with an answer in which I have no conscious awareness of where it came from. It tumbles out of my mouth and I raise an eyebrow at myself like what the fuck was that.
Unfortunately, it has also made me shy and deeply afraid of being put on the spot to speak. I also would cry before impromptu speeches in primary school. It was ironic that I was nominated for public speaking competitions when I dreaded and hated it so much.
But by nature, quad-rights are actually designed to be impromptu people. I just had so much fear and shame about what would come out of my mouth, because I felt like my responses were always so weird and not what was expected in an academic system.
I am also an open throat in HD, meaning I don’t have a consistent way of communicating. So the combination of both makes me apt for saying strange things at potentially inappropriate times. Or conversely, making me completely mute because I didn’t trust my spontaneous speech. These were themes that I dealt with continuously at university – this fear of using my voice to contribute or being put on the spot with nothing ‘intelligent’ to say.
Being a quad-right feels like an aspect of my design I have to keep being reminded of over and over again. I have to consciously remind myself every time I come close to a shame spiral that I am not here to do things like everybody else (none of us are btw). I am not here to be focused or “switched on” all the time. I’m actually meant to be the opposite; I’m here to be deeply relaxed, easy going, and present in every moment.
It’s the key to being a quad-right. Our ‘zone of genius’ is only ever activated in the present moment. When I am not trying to strategize about my future and not desperately attempting to retrieve details from my past, I offer exactly what is needed to the person in front of me. I create pieces of art that feel effortless and can’t help by flow out of me.
A few weeks ago, I was feeling frustrated with the way I was writing. It was very research oriented and argument focused. This is the kind of writing I’d been taught in school and university – writing that prioritises developing your point-of-view and depth of prior research. It’s the only kind of writing that was considered ‘good’, so I henceforth classified writing about myself as a purely narcissistic endeavour with no inherent value or worth.
I understand depth of research is still a very important part of writing. It’s essential to quality journalism – you need to have factual proof and be detailed oriented. All academic papers have years of study and effort put into them and rightly need it.
But the true and honest way I wanted to write was stream-of-consciousness style. I was reading through some previous things I had written to send off as writing samples to an editor. Looking back on the older articles I wrote, I realized how much more authentic and real I came across, and how much better my writing was because of it.
I’ve been trying to write like a left-brained person when NOTHING in my design has been made that way. I was trying to figure out what readers would want, or what would make a good pitch for a specific publication. And it essentially gave me writers block. I felt like I couldn’t write anything without it sounding clunky, forced, and like I was dragging myself by my elbows up six flights of stairs. Often, I would just loose all momentum to write the article altogether by getting lost in the details.
But when I let go of believing I had to write in this left-brained way, I found I was actually overflowing with topics to write about. Words would fall out of me and I would actually feel inspired to write.
Leaning into my creative rightness made me love writing again. Not planning. Only writing when I feel called. Writing about what I want to in the moment. Not putting any pressure on it. Because the moment I put pressure on things, I kill my creativity.
I have to trust in my own process. What I love about Human Design is that it shows us how different we all are from each other, that there is no one way of doing things and that we aren’t meant to follow a homogenised way of doing things. There’s literally no use in comparing yourself to others when you recognise you function differently. Imagine a world where we are all given permission to do things the way we want to do them. To say the least, it would be revolutionary.
image: Raygar He