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  • Writer's pictureKate Flynn

Living by Design: Three Years in and this is how it's Going



“Let’s go around the table and see who we think is on the spectrum.”


I knew she was coming for me before she got the word spectrum out of her mouth and it made me giggle.


We were at a going away party for a friend when my neighbor initiated this topic for discussion.


She looked at the person to her left, “No, you’re not on the spectrum.”


Matt, my husband, was up next. He got the all clear.


Then she turned her attention to me, “Kate. Kate is on the spectrum.”


This made me laugh even more. Did she really think that wasn’t something I hadn’t already thoroughly considered?


I mean, the evidence is pretty strong.


I’m opposed to loud noise, easily overstimulated, can’t wear polyester, and dislike many textures.


I don’t eat (or drink) cold things, chicken, pork, or shellfish. Not because I don’t like them. Well, except for chicken. But because I don’t feel good after I do. I’m pretty much done with things that don’t make me feel good.


My face gives away my every thought, but that thought is often completely unrelated to what you think it is.


Everything you say reminds me of a song, which I will sing.


I prefer to communicate via interpretive dance as, unless the topic lights me up, I really don’t have much to say.


I’m a little paranoid about what you may want from me. I know the projection is coming, but I can’t quite put my finger on it and that freaks me out a bit.


If you need an answer from me right away, it’s going to be, “no.”


Being in situations that I know are incorrect for me make me uncomfortable, but the trial and error part of me will sometimes still go along with whatever just to see how it will play out.


I’m not great at going with the flow or being super spontaneous, unless that was the plan from the beginning—in which case, oddly enough, I’m all in. I just need to be able to emotionally prepare.


I don’t pay much attention to the news, watch violent movies, or listen to true crime podcasts.


I won’t tell you what you should do.


If you try to hold me captive with never ending words, I will walk away.


I am always on the move and never afraid to “burn it down” and pivot.


I’m sure there’s more that I’ve missed, but you get the gist.


I responded, “I think that whenever you show up authentically and you no longer choose to engage with what isn’t correct, you will look weird. Maybe even considered to be on the spectrum."


Everyone else got the all clear. The moment passed.


I thought to myself, one day normal will be the new weird.


Matt just laughs and gives me a strange look whenever I call anyone else weird.


“Really? You. Are...calling them weird. Interesting,” he says.


And then I laugh too.


Maybe if we all leaned into our weirdness a little more, rather than try to hide it or conform to what others think we should be, we’d create a more authentic reality?


We completed the third year of our respective Human Design experiments in March, endeavoring to live life as our truest and most authentic selves.


I used to think that life was hard because we’re born into it without instructions.


Then, I found Human Design and realized that we do actually come with a how-to manual and we can use it as a roadmap to self love and correct decision making. Or not.


By the time I was introduced to my design, I’d already had a lot of experience in creating without a manual. I was amenable to a new way.



The other morning I was sitting on the couch, simply being. Drinking my hot tea. Breathing.


Matt calls out from the other room, “Would you crochet me a pad for my turtle to sit on?”


The turtle is his chosen mascot for his work. I had recently found him a carved one and he built a pedestal for it to sit on and needed something to help it stand out a little more.


“Of course,” I say.


And then my eyes land on a set of sacred geometry cards sitting on the bookshelf, left to us by friends returning to The States.


Hmmmm, I thought, responding to what I saw. I’ll bite. And so I pulled a card.


Turtles. Their gentle spirits gently reminding me to be. Confirming the message my body was already transmitting.



Regardless of your Human Design, it’s safe to say there is a lot of waiting to be done.


Waiting to respond, to be invited, or for your body to move you into correct action.


So. Much. Waiting.


So against how we’ve been conditioned to be. The antithesis to the “make it happen” mentality.


The further I get into my experiment, the more I am enjoying the freedom I find in the waiting.


It’s not like making it happen was working for me anyway. Does it work for you?


According to my design, I am here to wait to respond. Everything I need is coming to me. Wait for it to come, respond correctly. Strategy and authority.


While waiting, I can do whatever feels good.


In a world where busyness seems to be the goal, it’s amazing to reflect on and observe how much of it is fruitless. A waste of resources—driving anger, bitterness, and frustration.


I’m surprised by how little there is for me to respond to and how much that has decreased over the last 3 years. Even less that makes it through my emotional wave, the playing out of which is the ultimate authority over what my response will be.


What does make it through is sooooooooo for me and that’s been pretty cool to witness.


A friend had a dance party for her birthday. My initial response was “Yes!” and that lasted throughout my wave. I had a blast.


I correctly accepted an invite to visit Cumbaya, a suburb of Quito, and it was a great trip.


Compared to where we live now, it was like going back to the future and it felt incredibly good to dip my toes into a more elevated and expanded consciousness. I picked up a set of affirmation cards, stumbled upon a birthday present for Matt, and realized that another move is in the not so distant future.


The first card I picked: I value what I do.


That was a bit of a wake up call. I had not been valuing what I have to offer. It was time to change that.



A week or so later I ordered a cake for Matt’s birthday. I had the very clear awareness to order the cake, but no idea what to plan around it. Previously, I would have forced something into being. Now, I’m getting much more comfortable with the wait.


A few days later, a friend invited us to see their newly built house and sit by a fire. My response was immediate.


“Hey, what do you think about turning this into a little bit of a surprise party for Matt’s birthday?”


She said yes and went above and beyond. I was overwhelmed by her generosity and was only a little awkward in my acceptance of it. We had a lovely time.


Part of my design is learning through trial and error. This was quite evident in my earlier years and I’m beyond grateful that most of it played out in the pre-internet era.


Well, there was that one incident...but that’s a topic for another time.


Other people will describe this part of my design as making loads of mistakes and landing on what does work through the elimination of everything that doesn’t.


In the last year I’ve started to reframe that. Now, I see myself as a bit of a mad scientist in the laboratory of life. I’m collecting data.


Making that simple shift flushed out a lot of the shame I held from the judgements made against me by others.


I take one for the team to find better and more efficient ways to do things so that others don’t have to. It’s messy. And when you’re not aware of what’s at play, it can take you under.


Think of those you know that seem to have to learn things the hard way. They may have this same aspect in play design wise.


Rather than offering judgmental looks of consternation, maybe share a word of encouragement. You can try to tell them what they should do, but they’re not going to listen. The best you can do is love them through the mess and hold the space for them to make it through to the other side. Not all of us do. There were surely times when it was hit or miss for me.


Another aspect of my design comes with an unconscious projection field. This is where much of my paranoia stems. I see you coming and I know you want something from me, but I’m not always sure of what that is or if I’ll be able to give it to you.


When I accept an incorrect projection, chaos will ensue. I will go from savior to being burnt at the stake in the blink of an eye.


I laugh a little when reflecting on past experiences with this. From every time I tried to get involved with multi-level marketing ventures, to accepting the CHEO (a not for profit health related organization) presidency, to relationships I wasn't ready for. To state the obvious, these did not end well. I’m gonna love myself anyway.


I learned a lot in all that data collection and this aspect of my design is what creates the opportunity to share the practical wisdom that I’ve learned. Not everyone wants to hear it though and the wisdom has to be invited.


I can help you solve your problem, but you have to invite me first. I’ve learned the hard way regarding what happens when I come in with an uninvited laser beam of truth. The fall out is not fun.


Bonds made and broken is the nature of my game though. No hard feelings. We’ll be connected until it’s no longer correct and then we’ll move on. I’m just grateful that this process is so much less dramatic than it was before I understood what was happening.


I’ve been hibernating a bit from this aspect of my design. For the projection field to exist, I have to be in relation to another. In hiding away from the incorrect projections, I’ve been missing out on the correct ones too. To have the opportunity to share what I’ve learned, I have to be available for it.


For when I’m at a loss for what to do while I wait, I created a video slideshow of options. Set your intention and take a screenshot. “Say Hello,” was the last one I chose. So, here’s to quieting the paranoia, resisting the urge to bypass the interaction, and opening to the knowing that I may disappoint you. Cheers!




Others further along than me in their experiments will often say that big shifts start to happen between 3 and 3.5 years in. I’m seeing some positive things on the horizon and I am hopeful.


Doing what is correct is becoming easier and easier. When it comes to what I eat, how I share my work, and following my natural inclinations—progress is being made.


And doing what is incorrect is getting more and more uncomfortable.


I’ve also learned that what my mind relentlessly suggests has little to do with what is correct or authentic.


Social gatherings tend to put me a little on edge. At my friend’s going away party, I almost caved to the mental encouragement to have a glass of wine and relax.


I decided to wait out the discomfort and see what happened. At that exact moment, a guy from pickleball sat down and struck up an easy conversation. I do not have that gift and I was extremely grateful. The discomfort subsided, the paranoia retreated, and I was able to enjoy myself. Thanks, Brian!


Before Human Design I did a lot of rushing and forcing. I’m now getting more and more comfortable with waiting. I’m not in that place 100% of the time, but the balance is tipping and that feels good.


Everything I need is coming to me. Everything that is for me can’t miss me. That could be a helpful mantra for you if you have emotional authority like me.


Yesterday I shared a story to my instagram about things teenage boys say. It opened with the guy bumping his head on something. My tall friend in a short man’s Ecuadorian world messaged that he must still be a teenage boy because he’s always bumping into things.


I couldn’t help but see this as a metaphor for the attempt to live as your true self in a very not self world. You’re going to bump up against other people’s expectations of what is normal. Of what you should do or who you think you should be. And you will surely bump up against every incorrect thing, agreement, or relationship you entered into as your not-self.


Several years ago my mother-in-law went into a specialty shop and found herself holding a piece of moldavite, a powerful crystal, if you’re into that kind of thing. She asked a worker what it was and he responded by naming it and letting her know that, “it is not a toy.”


That’s kind of how I see Human Design. It’s not for everyone. And no one comes to it because their not-self life is working for them.


It sounds nice to say “I just wanna be authentically me and live life as my true self.”


I promise that the reality of that will not look like you think.


I mean, look what it did for us. We sold everything and moved to a developing country so that we could catch a break from the produce more/consume more culture that is so prevalent in the U.S. and focus inward.


It is an experiential experiment that comes with a fair amount of isolation. Being your true self looks very strange in the not self world.


Honestly, if I could make my life work, rock my not self in this very not self world, and enjoy a margarita or 3 through the process...I probably would. But I couldn’t. I can’t. No one chooses a path of authenticity because it sounds like a fun idea. We come to it because we’re drowning.


I can feel a new space opening within me and know that I’m coming into a more expansive time. So much of the last 15 years for me has been about undoing and unbecoming, radically healing on all levels. I’m ready to step into the space I’ve created and enjoy being me.


Doing what’s correct and authentic often has little to do with what’s productive or lucrative (from a monetary standpoint). Our conditioning says you have to do it all: work hard, figure it out, do whatever it takes, make money, be a productive member of society, contribute.


And that takes a toll.


If that’s how we were meant to function, we wouldn’t be dealing with the epidemic of chronic and preventable diseases that we find ourselves in.


There is another way.


Interested in exploring it?


If you're curious about your Human Design and would like to know more, I’d be happy to guide you through an overview of it and initiate you into your experiment.


Want to go a step further, start your active deconditioning, and unbecome what you were never meant to be?


We can do that too.



Until next time, I invite you to consider that the only protection you need is the willingness to shine your authentic light in all directions so that nothing less than love can make it into your experience.


All My Love,

Dr. Kate


Have something to share? I'd love to hear your thoughts and reflections. Be heard, share in the comments!


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4 comentarios


Sally Grady
Sally Grady
24 mar

I love your sweet and genuine soul.

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Kate Flynn
Kate Flynn
24 mar
Contestando a

Thank you, Sally!

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jengel99
24 mar

Kate- what a gorgeous post. I am learning so many of these same things and so much of what you said resonated completely. Thank you ever so much for sharing so courageously with all of us. It was just what I needed to read this morning! xo Janet

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Kate Flynn
Kate Flynn
24 mar
Contestando a

Thank you, Janet! In all of the world, our paths crossed in tiny little Cotacachi—so cool😍

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