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Quick Tip: Do You Create a Wall to Protect Yourself? 

by Evelyn Levenson

The Open Centers in our Human Design chart show us where we take in energies from others and amplify them. We can’t change that. It’s part of how energy moves and flows and it’s simply how we’re designed as living beings.

[The Centers are the nine geometrical shapes on your chart. Each governs a different energy that we humans process and experience. Centers that are white are considered Open; Centers that are colored in are considered Defined. If all of your Centers are colored in, you are here to impact others and you don’t take much energy in from others. However, we also take in and amplify energy through our Open Gates (the white bars between the Centers) and everyone has Open Gates so everyone takes in some energy.]

These energies can (and often do) “condition” us, meaning they influence us. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

While we can’t change the fact that we take in and amplify energies from others, it’s what we DO with those energies coming in that matters.

Some feel the need to protect and defend themselves from energies of others, especially emotional energy (large triangle on right). They try to build a “wall” energetically to keep those energies out. But this actually prevents the correct flow of the energy. It also deprives them of developing the wisdom that is available through our Open Centers.

The other extreme is being like a sponge and absorbing, carrying around and being directly influenced by the energies from others. This also prevents correct flow, which would be to allow the energies to flow through you and then let them go. Being a sponge also bogs down your development of wisdom in that energy, plus it distracts you from Who You Truly Are (which comes from your Defined energies, not your Open energies).

Solution:  apply the mantra “be a screen, not a sponge.”

Allow those energies to flow through you like a breeze through a screen door, leaving nothing behind. It takes a little practice, but when you get good at this you’ll be able to CHOOSE which select energies you want to experience a little of, as they pass through you, and have fun with them. And you will no longer be unintentionally “conditioned” by them (or a “victim” of them!).

This is a process; it takes time… so be patient with yourself. Human Design teaches that it takes seven years to fully decondition and fully live from your definition rather than your openness. But you’ll see a difference as soon as you start using this mantra, and every little bit counts. So celebrate all of your progress along the way, and enjoy the increasingly full expression of who YOU truly are!

If you want to learn more about Centers (which I highly recommend that you do!), there is free info in the Centers category of my blog and I have an in-depth online course called Success by Centers that covers all 9 Centers–defined and open–as well as the Fear Gates of the Spleen Center.


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  1. Thanks Evelyn…I have been thinking alot about this lately being a 1/3 projector defined by 3 motors! The comment “Who You Truly Are (which comes from your Defined energies, not your Open energies).” leave me to wonder that some of us don’t have alot of who we really are!!!

    1. Thanks for your thoughts about this, Debra. 🙂 Whatever definition you have in your Centers IS who you are….and that doesn’t require quantity! Those with no defined Centers are Reflectors and Who They Are is a mirror for the rest of us. We each have a role, a purpose, and a magnificent and unique Self. And remember that the more Open Centers you have, the greater potential for wisdom you have! We feel best when we fully embrace our design and make the most of it. Please let me know if I can help you further.

  2. Hi Evelyn “Being a Screen not a Sponge” is a good reminder, but with an Open Head and Anja I feel even being a Screen can get me into a pickle! :mrgreen: Thanks for all your help!

  3. Hi Evelyn
    I love the idea of a mantra.
    I have 6 open centers. I studied energy dynamic that have helped me clean my energy every day.
    Something anyone can do is to go for a short walk or sit outside, while holding the intention of having the trees, water, wind or other elements of nature clear your open centers. Test it out and see if you feel the release. Its kind of like going to the chalk board and erasing the last math problem.

    1. Thank you for those wonderful suggestions, ReGina! I will try those and suggest them to clients. It’s delightful to hear from you. 🙂

      1. yes, thanks ReGina, what a great suggestion. Going through a lot right now, so will experiment with this idea.
        Evelyn, thank you for all your help and clarity.


  4. Wow was this article an eye opener! I am a manifestor 1/3 with all but Ajna, Throat and Solar Plexus open and red channels from throat to SP. I can see that I am sanctioning to protect myself from negative people influencing me. I am probable preventing things wanted from coming in because of the “wall!” What do you think?

    1. Hi June! Well, we don’t want negative people influencing us but a wall does tend to keep everything out–wanted and unwanted. A screen is more flexible and lets you be more selective. Just understanding these energetic dynamics can help tremendously in letting go of the negative stuff instantaneously, rather than trying to block everything. I’d love to know your experience with this as you begin to practice it. Thanks for your comment and question.

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