There is nothing more dangerous for Projectors than being exhausted. You’re not here to work. You’re not. You’re here to think. You’re here to see. You are here to express an outer authority that provides guidance. You’re here to organize energy. You are here to guide energy. And you’re here to get rewarded for that. You’re not here to be the worker. You’re not.
– Ra Uru Hu
As an adolescent and young adult, I worked hard. I participated in more clubs, sports, activities and late hours in the office than anyone around me. I studied many systems, took all kinds of classes and workshops and always seemed to be in training of some kind. I thrived on the buzz of the energy around me and often felt that I could forego rest and relaxation in order to get the job done.
By age 33, I had experienced two major points of burn out, depression, health crisis and deconstruction of the life I had built, starting over from scratch. Whether in school, business, spiritual work or motherhood, I found myself coming to the same point over and over again, wondering why I was so tired, so depleted on multiple levels and unable to feel like there was enough room for me to feel myself and manage my own energy.
At about that time, I was introduced to Human Design and began learning about what it meant to be a Mental Projector, one without any motors defined, without a consistent internal source of energy to sustain my own life. This was a radical concept to me and one that felt deeply true but also disturbing. It opened me to the awareness that maybe I wasn’t built for the level of work involved in many of the roles I was playing, many of which were very compelling and important to me. It explained why I often felt so relieved and yet so empty when I was alone, why I seemed to need others to have the energy and motivation to do anything and why I often couldn’t figure out how to stop when I was plugged into roles and relationships that fueled me. How many of these relationships, roles, and jobs were actually healthy and sustainable for me?
What I found over the years of experimentation was that I was not designed to sustain continuous energy output or continuous work in any context. This seemed to apply in terms of material work, motherhood, social interaction, and attention to others. I have had to let go of many notions of what is normal and healthy by any outer measurements and by my own conditioned mind, which is fixated on the idea that I can be an independent, self-driven entity. Not so.
Many Projectors who meet Human Design are struck by the idea that “Projectors are not here to work.” Some may feel a sense of relief or recognition in how true that feels. Many have been so deeply conditioned by the world we live in, that they are still trying desperately to find value and worth in being a consistent, productive force in life, through career, family role and contribution to the community. Most Projectors I have seen function best doing work for shorter periods with ample time for rest and breaks.
When there is no sacral definition, a feature that all Projectors share, there is no consistent access to the life force energy that is designed to respond to life and invest energy in sustained, satisfying work. Sacral energy is what builds and creates life and fuels our productivity. For a Generator, this energy is fixed and reliable, even if not always “on”. It can consistently respond, though that response may often be a “no”, which means that the energy is there but not available. When that energy is available, they can engage with activity directly and put that energy to use.
Projectors are deeply interdependent with others and the environment in order to have sustained energy for work. We may have more energy some days than others, depending on who and what is available to us. Therefore, when it comes to a major work role, job, or project, the strategy is to wait to be recognized and invited. Generally, this means waiting to be formally acknowledged and invited, because, in order to sustain work over time successfully, a Projector will need access to the energy of others and the invitation to guide it. Projectors can then direct that fuel or use it to create and build.
The tendency is for Projectors to run on the homogenized fuel all around us, which is often steeped in frustration. Many Generators work for money. But money doesn’t mean anything to a Sacral life force. Sacral life force is designed to work for the satisfaction of the expenditure of energy, whether that work is making a meal, running a marathon, performing surgery or cleaning a toilet. Satisfying work is rooted in the experience of using the energy that becomes available when the response is there, when the energy “turns on”. Although “turn on” is often used in a sexual sense and that certainly applies, it more broadly describes a mechanic, an energy dynamic, where the sacral energy in the body of a Generator naturally rises to engage with something or someone. If Generators can manage to get paid for that in this world, they are successful as a Generator, which means feeling spent and satisfied.
The gift of a Projector is awareness, presence and seeing. And as a Projector, if you are present, if you are aware, you have a better chance of being seen. The Projector aura has a particular function. It can draw recognition when a Projector is present because if you are present, you can not help but see into the people around you, you can not help but focus on others. Others can feel this and if they are interested in what you are seeing, they will want to engage with you, which is the beginning of a recognition that opens the door for you to offer what is natural to you. The key here is that when the recognition comes first, then the penetration of projector awareness can be received.
Many Projectors will do and say too much in order to gain recognition or approval first, rather than letting the energy come to them. Instead of waiting, Projectors tend to make themselves responsive and available to others far more than is healthy for them. They then find that the experience is empty and exhausting no matter what they have accomplished. Furthermore, sustaining productivity for recognition means the dynamic is built on an energy output that the Projector body is not designed to maintain.
Projectors are not here to be exhausted. Exhaustion is a sign of the core not-self theme of the sacral center which is “not knowing when enough is enough.” This means not stopping when it is time to rest or when energy is not available, not pulling attention away when the interaction is actually over for us, not respecting our own needs and limits. In short, Projectors can really struggle with healthy boundaries.
Generators are designed to survive through work they love doing, through the correct use of their energy. When a Generator is fully spent doing work they love they feel satisfied.
Projectors survive through relationship and awareness. Once a relationship is established, there may be work and productivity involved, but it starts with being recognized in the relationship or the role. If Projectors are fully spent, no matter how much we accomplished or how much recognition we received, we feel exhausted, often in a way that obscures any real sense of success.
Projectors are here to guide awareness. The guidance we can provide is rooted in the Projector aura which absorbs and penetrates. It is inherently relational. In terms of any work dynamic, or any relationship for that matter, it is designed to take in the energy available and then penetrate the other, and penetrate the dynamic with awareness and guidance.
Many Projectors are able to be productive running on the amplified fuel of the beings around them. This is a recipe for productivity that is unsatisfying and exhausting. Again, we are not here to be exhausted. Most of life is work. It is energy expenditure. But it is also awareness and being, which is the Projector domain. Are you in a situation where you are welcomed not just for what you do, but for the awareness and guidance you bring? Does it feel as though energy is available for you to work with? Are you able to penetrate the situation through what you see? If we can not penetrate with our awareness, we can not fully be ourselves in that dynamic.
Some of these questions may seem intangible, but they are pointing to an awareness of energy and experience which goes beyond words like “wait to be invited.” What does that mean? If you can experiment with what that means for you, you are on your way to a role that allows to you be what you are and care for yourself and your health. If you can get paid for what you are and what comes naturally to you, you’ll feel success. Or you may find that you survive through relationships or communities that support you, rather than directly through the work you do in a traditional sense.
If you are at a turning point, a crisis point or just starting to experiment, study the roles you are playing (at work, at home, socially) and study your relationships. Whose energy feels good to you? Who really sees you? Which roles give you room to work with and guide the energy? Whose energy are you able to handle in a healthy way? Who is open to your awareness and guidance? Are you resting enough? It is recommended that Projectors find a system to study. Having a system to penetrate and master gives Projectors a form for their guidance and an engagement for their minds which can be very nourishing.
No matter what type we are, receiving money for unhealthy productivity is still unhealthy. I don’t mean to make light of this. Our world is deeply conditioned to encourage us to act against ourselves. Survival on a material level is something that most of us contend with to some extent. We can often think that survival is about money until our bodies break down and we are forced to face that survival is rooted in the health of our bodies. It is often when we face a breakdown of the body, psyche, or spirit that we are forced to question what it means to survive. How much do we really need? Can we succeed in the conditioned ways we have been taught to function? Could there be other unique and creative ways for us to live our lives and make it in the world materially?