Human Design: Living With an Undefined Root Center

42% of the population has an undefined root center. They pick up stress from people with defined root centres and amplify it. Unhealthy expressions of the open root are impatience, restlessness, anxiety and burn-out. Don’t let your life be guided by pressure. The key to living with an undefined root center is recognising when you are experiencing pressure and realising you shouldn’t act on it if the underlying reason is ‘you just want to get rid of the feeling’.

As long back as I can remember, I was impatient, nervous, anxious. If I had something to do, I wanted to do it as quickly as possible, to get it over with. I remember when I was setting up my business, I just wanted to get the website and webshop online, and then I could relax. So I did that by spending a lot of money hiring people to set up the website and booking a photoshoot to get images for social media. But the relaxation never came as I was like, now I need to do x, y and z, but even though i achieve all those things, again something new comes into my reality that gives me pressure.

This pressure that I experience, is an all encompassing energy that absorbs me. When I feel it, it’s very hard for me to stay calm. I just want to get rid of it as soon as possible, and I think I can do that by start doing things. When I discovered Human Design and started looking into my defined and undefined centres, I realised that my restlessness is a ‘not-self theme’ meaning it’s not me.

Defined root centers deal with stress in a fixed way 

The root center symbolises everything that has to do with passion, getting things done. The pressure to do things that the root center gives, is known as stress. This is an essential part of being human and evolving in life, feeling a healthy pressure to do activities. People with a defined root, feel this pressure and have a fixed way of dealing with it. They can be in a room full of stressed people and not be bothered by it. 

The Root center is located in the bottom center of the chart (blue circle)
The Root center is located in the bottom center of the chart (blue circle)

Undefined centres amplify stress

But the undefined root centre, is like an open window: the energy from outside, other people, flows in and out. Undefined centers amplify everything that goes on outside: if someone with a defined root center is experiencing stress, the person with the undefined root feels it twice as much. This amplification accelerates the pace of life for people with undefined root centers. I move through life very fast and get a lot of things done in a short period of time for instance.

A restless life with anxiety and burn-out

My whole life has been a battle with this open root center. I would rush in and out of things because I am impatient and I want to have it over as quickly as possible. Jobs, tasks, travelling and little things in life. This gives me a very impressive resume and track record, but it also gives me a crippling pressure and has led me several times to burn out and fatigue.

I would start a study, and during the traineeship I was already working. On the flight back from holiday, I was already thinking about booking the next one. It’s so hard to stay in the same place as I am very restless. The pressure and stress that comes with life is very hard for me to accept. As soon as I wrap up one thing, a new situation will present itself that will give me stress again. It’s a vicious circle.

As long as I try to get rid of the stress by doing things and planning new activities and I will burn out eventually.

Allowing the pressure to fade away with meditation

But I recently realised that I don’t have to ride that wave of restless energy. I can allow it to go through me, like wind through an open window. What helps me is meditation. The practice of sitting and allowing everything to go through without responding. Now, I try to do that with the energy of the root center. Whenever I feel the pressure, impatience, restlessness, I try to not do anything from that space. I wait until the wave passes and from that peace and clarity, I work or plan things.

It’s not easy to rest when I am in this wave of pressure energy. But when I talk to someone (typically a projector) they bring my awareness to this part of myself and I am able to not engage with the unhealthy stress. From there I can remove myself from the space that gives me stress and come back to myself. This means I retreat and spend time alone, without too many external stimuli.

You don’t have to be guided by the stress

I let the wave of restlessness go through the open window that is my undefined root centre. I sit in meditation, 20, 30 or 40 minutes. As soon as I create distance between me and the pressure, I don’t identify with it anymore. Practicing this, people with undefined centres can become really knowledgeable about stress. They are able to make a distinction between healthy and unhealthy stress. On the one hand you can use the jolt of energy to get meaningful things done or take it as a sign to retreat and allow it to pass. Undefined root centers know that stress is part of life but they don’t let themselves be distracted by it anymore.

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