The heart center (also known as the will or ego) in Human Design is a motor center that gives us the willpower to survive through the material plane. It has cyclical energy, moving through the power for work and rest.
Heart/Will Center Themes:
material resources, money
Physiologically connected to (issues in these areas might point towards this energy being utilized incorrectly):
There are four gates entering the heart:
Gate 26 | The gate of the salesman who has the ability to selectively express the past in order to sell the dream of the community and close the deal. Connected to the spleen, the sale is driven by the communities need to remain viable.
Gate 51 | The gate of shock triggers competition with the desire to be first out of the gate. It’s the power to shock people out of complacency, to move them towards the love of life and self as it connects to the G center (identity).
Gate 21 | The gate of control has the power of managing physical resources. The drive behind this desire for control is ultimately the desire to ensure the community's survival (and therefore serve the self).
Gate 40 | The gate of aloneness moves us towards independence within the community. Through their love of work, it says “here, I have this skill to offer to you all” – on the basis of fair exchange. And then they retreat to be alone - there may be a struggle with loneliness here.
The heart center fuels survival on the materal plane. It is also a powerful place to become wise about worth and value – and many of us (~60%) are on that journey with our undefined hearts. Before we dive into that lesson, let’s explore the defined heart:
The Defined Heart
If your heart center is red, it’s defined! This means that you have consistent access to this energy and you project it outwards into the world. You have the power to persevere through the tough times and you have a strong ego and sense of worth.
As the heart energy cycles between work and rest, one of the most important things for you is to ensure you are honouring when you need rest. Yes, you could probably push through, but what if this time you took a break? Went on vacation? The defined heart has a plethora of willpower so it’s good at working and enduring through the difficult times, but it still needs rest.
Keep your integrity: make promises through your strategy and authority so that you have the energy to keep them & follow through.
With a defined heart, you project willpower into the world and those in your aura will feel like they can do anything. You truly empower those around you...until they're not around you anymore. Be mindful of what you expect of others – not everyone has sustainable willpower like you!
The Undefined Heart
If your heart center is white, it’s undefined. This means that you have inconsistent access to willpower, but you will receive and amplify the willpower of the defined hearts around you (and the transits). With an undefined heart, you're here to become wise about worth, value, and willpower.
Have you ever said yes to someone in the moment, then greatly regretted it later when you got home?
Undefined hearts face the challenge of wanting to prove their worth. The not-self question of the undefined heart is “am I trying to prove something to someone?”. If you reflect back on situations that you regretted committing to and ask that question, what do you notice?
Your value is in your being, not your doing.
In order to honour the health of your heart, it's imperative that you learn to make decisions with your strategy and authority so that you commit only to the things that you have energy for. You're not here to do things to prove yourself to others, and you're not here to do things through sheer will ("just do it" should appear on none of your motivational t-shirts!!). Your defined energy gives you clear guidance on what is right for you, follow it.
The lessons within the undefined heart are many – but first and foremost: your value is in your being, not your doing.
If you have a completely open heart (ie: no gates activated around it), you will relate to the undefined heart, but you might feel a strong pull when it comes to worth. The open heart is vulnerable to big waves of either exaggerated self-worth or no self-worth – depending on the transits and the people they are around.
In both the undefined and open heart, you are here to become wise about worth. You don’t need to prove yourself, you don’t need to make promises, you don’t need to be competitive. You are inherently worthy and of value as you are. Notice when you feel unworthy, notice when you devalue yourself, notice when you feel the need to commit to something for the sake of approval. And then return to your strategy and authority.
How do we get wise about undefined hearts?
Return to your Human Design
As with any not-self themes, if you find you are falling into your undefined heart: notice it and return to self. Check in with your sacral, wait out your emotional wave, talk it out with a friend...return to what you know: your strategy and authority.
In hypnosis, we make use of pattern interrupts. Little methods of throwing up barricades in the brain to halt autopilot thoughts/sensations/actions. It forces the mind to pick a new path and change the way we behave. This might look like pausing before committing in order to return to your strategy and authority, or asking for more time before deciding.
The undefined heart might pause before committing to ask: am I trying to prove my worth?
The defined heart might pause to ask themselves: do I have the energy for this? Is it time to rest?
Next time you find yourself making a promise, committing to something, or dealing with material exchanges (money) – throw up that roadblock, pause, and return to your strategy and authority. Is it still correct for you?
If you have entered into that exchange correctly, according to your design, you’ll find yourself aligned and feeling fine!