Living with Feeling: A Field Guide to the Solar Plexus

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Living with feeling can be a dilemma for all of us—for those who have the defined Solar Plexus as a part of their design, and for those with an open Solar Plexus.

I’m an emotional being. When I met Human Design, I had spent years trying to change who I was, trying to improve myself, to be a more likeable person. My mind told me that what I had to do, above all, was to stop being so emotional.

At that time, I had no real sense of my emotional wave. I had a lot of reasons for what I thought I was feeling, but I wasn’t actually feeling my changing emotions. And, I was caught in a loop of spewing blame on others, and telling them why I thought I was feeling that way—then dealing with the emotional backlash that came my way. The idea of making emotions my authority for decision-making was so far from my experience that it took several years to embrace and become aware of feeling, and to find emotional clarity.

In the past 18 years of experimenting with Human Design, I’ve found a few field notes helpful for the defined Solar Plexus person, and those who choose to live with them.

For the defined Solar Plexus Person:

1. The body, not the mind, is the doorway to experiencing feeling. Learn to notice nervousness in the body. This is your wave in motion.

2. Observe when the mind labels the nervousness—and how it turns the label into a problem or reason for the feeling. The mind is actually creating a story about the feeling. There is no logic, no reasoning in the Solar Plexus—it is emotional chemistry on the move. An emotional person can cry taking out the garbage one day, and sing with happiness taking out the garbage the next day. The garbage is not a reason for the feeling—the chemistry is simply on the move in their wave.

3. When you have to make a decision—sleep on it. That includes decisions to send emails and texts, and to make purchases. If that urge to send a message, express an idea, or purchase an item and it is not there tomorrow, it’s not for you. Be sure to be asked or invited, or to inform others about decisions a second time for anything that involves other people, places, or projects: this is your double check on whether any nervousness remains about your decision. If there’s no further nervousness—proceed. If the double check brings up further nervousness, you need more time in your wave.

4. The highs and lows of your wave are for you alone. When you notice nervousness cranking up, or dropping you low, that’s a signal telling you you need time alone. You can only observe your wave experience when you’re alone. The minute someone else is in your aura, you are no longer you without personal conditioning.

5. Clarity can feel like no feeling at all, as it is the absence of nervousness. Clarity can feel neutral, balanced, like a sense or internal place of equanimity. When we experience clarity, we feel no excitement, no dread. It can feel as ordinary as walking from one room to the next.

6. Emotional highs are not the goal. Life is not meant to be one peak emotional experience after another. The mind would like to manipulate your life so that you never go down in your wave, or if you are down in your wave, pull you up again. The emotional life is resilient: if the wave goes down, it will come back up; if it goes up, it will come back down.

7. Low emotional waves are not a problem to be solved. We often fear that the low end of the wave will never end, and we may have a mental habit of trying to force the (wave) experience to change: habits such as eating for comfort, using drugs, drinking alcohol, and over-exercising are all ways emotional beings can try to numb themselves out of feeling down. Melancholy is a natural part of living with feeling. Explore your lows alone—find the space to explore the feeling creatively. All humans carry the creative potential to sing, dance, write poetry, paint, draw, work with clay, dig in the dirt or play with fibers, etc. It’s not about being mentally judged as being ‘good’ at creative expression; it is about your experience of creative self-expression. Melancholy is the muse, or source of inspiration, calling to you.

8. No Truth in the Now points to the fact that you cannot take a snapshot of your feeling of Now and assume that you’ll feel the same way about something from one moment to the next. It means intelligence is arriving in the wave for you. Not mental intelligence, but non-linear, non-verbal, felt-sense data that guides the body’s life. Nothing is spontaneous in the emotional life, and there are no final outcomes. It is a wave of data that can be observed, but not controlled, hurried along, or mentally interpreted.

9. Emotional awareness leads to the emergence of communion. The potential emotional expression is the communion of your felt-sense of awareness. Others may be able feel your felt-sense of awareness, but you have to find it within yourself first. Being in communion with your own emotional wave is where communion with others begins.

For the open Solar Plexus person:

1. It is not “your fault,” even if an emotional person tells you it is. The Solar Plexus emotions are not personal, no matter what the emotional person is telling you or yelling at you about. Even if you have taken in and become identified with the emotional energy, it is not personal.

2. You have no fixed way of processing Solar Plexus chemistry, but you likely experience repetitive pathways when you are conditioned by the high or low end of someone’s wave: you may experience tears, a lump in the throat or being unable to speak, shortness of breath, stomach pain or tightness, or your digestion may shut down for a time.

3. You can be aware through your own unique observation of the other’s emotional wave. If they are in the high or low end of their wave, leave them alone. Let them know that you need some space, that you will be back, or that you’ll be happy to have this discussion later, but not now. Otherwise, it is likely that you will end up in an emotional fight about you leaving, not being available, etc., and then in a fight about whatever feeling their mind is labelling and making into a problem.

4. Amplification takes place when you take in the emotions of others, and then express that energy as your own but even stronger—what we sometimes call “making mountains out of mole-hills.” This experience of amplification is how your mind tries to help you recognize emotional energy, but not so you identify with it. Like a finger pointing, amplification is pointing you toward observing your experience of the mechanics, and toward what you are learning about—not what your mind is telling you to be.

5. Learn about, and learn to identify and observe your mechanics of openness in action. Observe what you notice whenever you meet defined Solar Plexus people. What is your sense of the 40-37 energy? What is your sense of the 59-6? What do you learn about these emotional energies when you meet them? Another opportunity to understand how you process emotional energy is through ‘Hanging gates’—gates that are alone in a channel and open to the input of the (harmonic) gate at the other end. These hanging gates are fingers pointing toward specific energies each of us is here to learn about. Hanging gates in the open Solar Plexus, or in channels that connect to the Solar Plexus offer opportunities to learn how you meet specific emotional energies through people or transits.

6. Remember that there is intelligence arriving in the wave for Emotional beings, but it is not linear. It is non-verbal, and it takes time to emerge. There is no truth in the now, as it takes time to reach a sense of clarity. When Emotional beings experience this wave, they may not be able to communicate what they are feeling.

7. The Solar Plexus person is not spontaneous. If you have a spontaneous design, that’s great, but don’t expect the SP person to have your timing. They can need a lot of lead time: time to reach clarity about decisions, or to get ready to go out the door—which can mean time to disengage from what they are doing. Don’t expect them to jump up and go.

8. The SP person doesn’t need a bunch of questions around making a decision. One question, one invitation, or one opportunity to inform is all they need to start the wave in motion. Like a pebble rippling in a pond, it will take them through their wave. Too many different questions create many of waves. Once the SP person has reached clarity, they need to be asked or invited, or have time to inform again to verify no further nervousness remains about their decision.

9. Don’t poke the bear. There is no need to avoid confrontation and truth; however, timing is everything. Wait until the SP person is back to neutral before trying to have a discussion. Make sure you are no longer holding a charge of emotional chemistry.

10. The defined Solar Plexus is bringing the human potential for true communion. And, most humans don’t commune on the emotional level, yet. Most of us communicate mentally—which is different from communion. For you, with an open Solar Plexus, the experience of communion begins with your awareness of your body’s unique frequency, finding what is you, and accepting what is not you. Out of our individual recognition of ourselves, there is the potential for sharing that is non-verbal, not physical, nor mental—a communion of the spirit.

Leela Swann-Herbert

Leela Swann-Herbert has been teaching Human Design mechanics for 9 years, and she was trained by Ra Uru Hu. She's currently in the 17th year of her experiment, and she brings a wealth of experience to her understanding of Human Design.

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