Enjoy this conversation between me and the wonderful Karen Curry Parker!
The white centers in your Bodygraph are called Open Centers.
Like highly sensitive 'energy-receiving hubs,' your Open Centers remain faithfully 'open' to the influence of the world around you. More often than not, they point to the people, energies and aspects of life that you find most attractive. Not just you, but your genes! You could say that your reproductively driven body is always looking to hook up with people who are defined in the areas where you are not, in order to mix up and positively mutate the gene pool. (They don’t say ‘opposites attract’ for no reason!)
As a child, it is through your Open Centers that you take in the thoughts, values and energies of your parents and culture, learning that your safety and potential for success lie in your being more like other people than yourself. Slowly, as you become ‘conditioned’ to think, feel and act like the people around you, you begin to dismiss your True Nature. You begin to make one decision after another, based on an authority, a truth compass, that isn’t even yours. And you continue to attract people into your life that ‘define’ you in the same ways that the significant people in your early life did.
But your attraction isn’t just about your genes looking for someone to make babies with, or your 'inner child' looking to repeat relational patterns from the past. It is also about your soul looking for wisdom. Because you are not 'fixed' in these open centers, you can process the energies you experience through them in an abundance of ways. Your potential for experience, for understanding and mastery in these wonderful life arenas is literally limitless! (As long as you are not identifying with what comes in through your openness, but instead, remaining an awake, curious witness...)
AN INVITATION TO INVESTIGATE
If you'd like to explore the Open Centers in more depth, please feel free to read the Wisdom Potentials andQuestions below. All of the questions are exploratory in nature. They're designed to reveal the kinds of 'Not-Self' (or conditioned) behaviors that can stand in the way of each Open Center's true potential. I'm also including some Audio files I created a while back about each of the Open Centers, for your enjoyment!
Finally, I encourage you to take all of this with a healthy grain of salt. In the end, only you can truly know how -- or whether -- any of this works in you. PLEASE SCROLL ALL OF THE WAY DOWN FOR SOME FINAL WORDS ABOUT CONDITIONING.
People with Open Head Centers can really enjoy basking in the infinitely vast field of thought -- exploring ideas, questions and inspiration, without having to identify with (or act on) any of it. When they don't let the mental questions, doubts and confusion of others usurp their lives, they actually free their minds to do what they're best at:learning, discerning and sharing their particular brand of receptive brilliance with others.
People with Open Head Centers have the potential to get quite comfortable with the unknown, and to tolerate the discomfort, confusion and doubt that so often accompany a good mystery (like life itself!). They can model for others a deep trust in the organic, natural resolution of complex problems. They also have a special gift for spotting truly inspiring minds and relevant questions.
Are you working way too hard trying to answer questions that (when it really comes down to it) don't actually matter?
Are your worries and anxieties really yours? Or do they belong to someone else?
Do you tend to prematurely rush into action, just to put an end to a doubt or confusion you're experiencing?
Can other people get you to obsessively think about stuff that isn't even relevant to your own life?
People with Open Ajna Centers have the ability to soak up information and inspiration like sponges. Their flexible minds, when allowed to 'do their thing,' can process concepts, ideas and thoughts in all kinds of ways. This allows Open Ajna people to adapt to new situations with a tremendous amount of creativity and curiosity. Weaving conceptual tapestries like no body's business, the realm of the intellect becomes their playground, where anything is possible and thoughts are allowed to flow in and through the mind freely.
Designed to be more fascinated by wonder than attached to being right, people with Open Ajnas (if they can learn to enjoy not knowing anything for sure) don't need to engage in mental power struggles or rigidly hold onto beliefs or opinions. They also have the gift of recognizing a valuable concept when they meet one.
Do you spend a whole lot of time trying to figure things out?
Do you expect yourself to be certain about things?
Is it important to you that you're perceived as intelligent?
Do you sometimes judge yourself for not being able to control, harness or discipline your mind like others seem to be able to do?
Do you at times find yourself involved in mental power struggles, trying to convince people (or at least yourself) that your view point is the right one?
Are you holding onto ideas, beliefs or concepts that don't actually serve you in your life anymore?
People with Open Throats have flexible, sensitive communication systems with a very wide range. They have the potential to be incredibly gifted singers and speakers with wonderful language skills. If they manage to resist the pressure they feel at times to fill up empty space, and simply witness what's going on around them, their 'truth-detecting' ears can hear what's not being spoken. They can also spot the people who can actually 'keep their word,' as opposed to those who are 'all talk and no action.'
People with Open Throat Centers have the potential to truly trust their auras to speak for them, and to learn that simply by being present, they will be recognized and invited to share their gifts. More than anyone, they can truly luxuriate in silence. Instead of prematurely attempting to attract the attention of others through their words and actions, or rehearsing what they're going to say before they speak, they can learn how to relax and wait for the right moment to enter a conversation or a project. The more comfortable they get with this kind of waiting, the more they find that others naturally turn to them and invite them in, and that their words flow easily and eloquently. In general, the more impeccable their timing, the more powerful their impact, and the more seen and appreciated they feel.
Do you often feel invisible, or try to attract attention through your talking?
Have you ever had the thought that if you could only talk more, or be more articulate, others would notice you and you'd be more successful?
When you are with other people, and there's a silent pause, do you feel uncomfortable, or compelled to somehow fill that silence and initiate a conversation?
Are you speaking about things that really matter to you? Or are you giving voice to what's 'in the room', to what others aren't saying?
Do you often feel like you have to rehearse what you're going to say in your mind before you say it. Do you sometimes feel like you don't have much control over what does ultimately come out of your mouth?
Do you spend a lot of time preoccupied about what you're here to manifest in life?
People with Open G Centers are here to trust the universe. They have the potential to totally let go of the search for identity and love, and to simply allow life, love and direction to be shown to them. As hard as it can be for them to understand this, it's not their job to know who they are, or to decide with their minds where they're supposed to go, or with whom they're meant to be. By surrendering to the guidance that life naturally brings them, and by getting out of their own way, they have the potential to experience life as a magical, synchronistic, love-filled journey.
Because of their 'open identity,' they are free to experience all kinds of identities, all kinds of love, all kinds of directions, and to enjoy being with all kinds of people. They are true diversity lovers with a unique ability to relate to and reflect back the identities of others, with genuine appreciation and without judgment. When they can hold the whole identity quest lightly, they start to enjoy not being 'boxed in,' and the often surprising nature of their path.
People with Open G Centers are particularly sensitive to their environments. When they are in the right place, they meet the right people. Similarly, when they're with the right people, they're taken to the right place. Learning to honor their environmental sensitivities (to find and enjoy more and more places that make them come alive) is a huge step in their process of flexible-self discovery.
Is it very important for you to know who you are and where you're going?
Is your mind practically obsessed with finding the perfect purpose for your life, or the 'just right' title for what you do, or your true soulmate, with whom everything in your life will just fall into place?
Do you sometimes feel lost, like you don't have an identity that you can truly rely on? Do you find yourself hopping from identity to identity, from relationship to relationship, in an effort to find out who you are?
Are you tempted to make choices, just because you think they will lead you to feel more solid as a person?
Do you worry that if you don't make your life happen, if you don't set your own course or pursue the relationships you think you need, you'll never find your way or connect with the right people?
Do you sometimes force yourself to go to or stay in a place you actually don't like, because you think being there will get you the love or solid sense of self you're looking for?
People with Open Heart Centers have the potential to enjoy being in the world, without getting all caught up in it. When they realize deep down that they are worthy and lovable exactly as they are, they have the power to not get lost in unhealthy 'ego trips.' Over time, as they transcend the collective ego's hold on them, they become wise enough to know that they don't have to spend their lives trying to prove, improve or change themselves, in order to earn any one's love or respect. The less they give into the competitive pressures of the world around them, the more they learn about the nature of competition itself. In fact, they can become extremely skilled at not just surviving, but thriving and navigating through the material aspects of life with grace.
When they're wise, Open Heart people take special care not to place themselves under too much pressure by making all kinds of promises. Understanding that sometimes they have access to their will power, and other times they don't, they avoid setting their life up in a way where they're under constant pressure to 'come through,' regardless of their energy level in the moment. Instead, they enjoy keeping things open and fluid when they can, and give themselves permission to play life by ear. When people with Open Heart Centers stop pumping up their own egos, they discover their own gift for spotting healthy egos, as well as unhealthy ones. They know just who can be trusted to keep their word, and who can't. Their life and work relationships benefit so much as a result.
Do you often feel like you need to prove yourself in order to feel valuable or worthy? To others? To yourself?
Do you make more promises than you are able to keep?
Do put yourself under a lot of pressure to keep the promises that you make, even when your body protests?
Are you always thinking about ways to improve yourself -- your appearance, your physical stamina, your professional skills, your spiritual knowledge and enlightened state, etc.?
Is it extremely important to you that others experience you as trustworthy, reliable or courageous?
Do you push yourself hard in life, trying to 'will' your way to success?
People with Open Sacral Centers are here to have deeply relaxing lives and to do what they truly love. They are naturally attracted to life itself. And when they can resist the impulse to overload themselves with work, they can become experts in (and witnesses to) the very nature of energy itself -- its patterns, its movements, its ebbs and flows. The better Open Sacral people get at regularly 'unhooking' from the world, and at nurturing and resting their bodies, the more they can cultivate the ability not just to read and track, but to guide the energies of others. Open Sacral people are not here to do, do, do. They're here to work in bursts, to act as specialists who can guide other people (Generators) who are designed to sustain a consistent level of energy over time.
One of the biggest lessons for people with Open Sacrals is limit-setting. Because they can't always depend on their own energy to show up whenever they want it to, they must learn how to say 'no,' to take breaks, to set boundaries. As they become deeply attuned to the ebbs and flow of their own energy, and as they learn to respect their own boundaries, they can be wonderfully supportive to people who struggle with healthy limit-setting.
Do you often find it difficult to know when 'enough is enough'?
When you're tired, do you give yourself permission to stop and give your body the rest it needs?
Is it hard for you to 'unplug' from the world or the people in your life, to let yourself go off on your own and just be?
Are you addicted to work? To sex? To wherever you sense some excitement or life-juiciness!
Do you often find yourself saying 'yes' when you really should be saying 'no'?
Do you often feel like you're carrying more of the work load than anyone else?
Do you often feel overwhelmed walking down an urban street, or shopping in a busy grocery store?
By the time night rolls around, are you so exhausted you just collapse, or are you so wired that you can't even fall asleep?
People with Open Emotional Centers have the potential for profound empathy. Simply by remaining open to the people they are with, and the environments they are in, they can come to experience and understand the entire continuum of feelings available to humanity. Their deep sensitivity allows them to take the emotional temperature of any situation, and to recognize who is emotionally healthy, and who isn't. When alone, often to their great surprise, they are designed to experience a calm, emotionally quiet inner landscape.
Over time, as people with Open Emotional Centers learn to witness the many feelings that move through their system (without making any hasty emotional decisions), they become honest, brave and authentic people. They can truly model what it means to healthfully respond to a potentially painful situation, as opposed to avoid or react. When they stop trying to hide who they are and what they need, they learn how to be in the world as themselves, how to have the confrontations that are healthy for them -- even when this means upsetting someone they care about with their truth. Similarly, they learn how to walk away from conflicts that they don't really need, without carrying a huge load of guilt in their bellies.
Are you easily influenced by the way others feel?
Do you tend to take other people's feelings very personally?
Do you carry around an awful lot of guilt and shame in your belly?
Do you sometimes feel like your own emotions are out of control, and like there's something wrong with you?
Do you often find yourself working hard to please others, to 'make nice,' to avoid rocking the boat?
Do you sometimes avoid your own truth, because you're afraid it might upset someone in your life, or lead to an uncomfortable confrontation?
Do you sometimes avoid doing something that might be good for you, because you're afraid it won't work out, and leave you feeling so disappointed that you don't know what to do?
Have you spent years on a therapist's couch (or being trained as a therapist) learning how to understand, work with and heal through your feelings?
People with Open Spleens have the potential to be deeply healthy -- in their bodies, their relationships and their lives. When they learn to listen to and trust their highly communicative bodies, they can ultimately sense who and what is healthy for them, and who and what is not. When they understand that their bodies are 'on their side,' providing them with the information they need to stay healthy, they gain the courage to slow down, to take their time, and to resist the strong urge they can feel at times to leap into situations out of fear.
They can benefit so much from cultivating an ability to be comfortable with physical discomfort. When they know that all periods of discomfort eventually subside, they can more easily ride any experience out, without giving into the temptation of the 'quick (yet unhealthy) fix.' When they learn to face their fears head on, instead of running away from them, their fears become true places of mastery.
Self-care is one of the greatest learned gifts of Open Splenic people. Out of their ability to care for their own bodies and well-being, they can become such wonderful healers and self-care teachers. People with Open Spleens tend to do particularly well with gentle, subtle or alternative forms of medicine.
Do you often make decisions out of fear?
Do you have a really hard time letting go of relationships, jobs or situations that deep down, you know aren't good for you?
Is your mind often busy trying to convince you to hold onto someone, some place, or some job, for all the wrong reasons?
Are you sometimes willing to do (or not do) just about anything to be liked, or to avoid feeling afraid?
Do you tend to leap into things spontaneously or impulsively, just because it feels good in the moment?
Have you struggled with co-dependent relationships? Substance abuse? Overeating? Other addictions?
Do you have a particularly high tolerance for unhealthy relationships?
Do you often struggle with feelings of inadequacy?
People with Open Root Centers have the wonderful potential to live their lives on their own terms. When they finally understand that stress is a part of the world we live in, and that it's never going to go away, they can choose to stop allowing the pressures of the world to run their lives. They can learn to take their time, to honor their own rhythms, to make room for de-stressing activities (or non-activities). Ultimately, they can become experts at taking in the pressures of the world, and letting them go right back out! Without acting on any of it.
There are, of course, occasions when a particular external pressure is 'right' for people with Open Roots. This is where their gift for discerning between 'helpful' and 'unhelpful' pressure comes in. When a burst of 'helpful pressure' comes along, they can consciously and skillfully use that energy to their advantage. In such situations, people with Open Root Centers can be incredibly fast and efficient.
In the end, Open Root people are here to cultivate -- and ultimately facilitate in the world around them -- the Art of Pacing.
Do you really not enjoy feeling stressed out?
Do you often feel like you're living under a pressure cooker? Like the world around you is running your life?
Are you often hurrying up to get something done, so that you can finally rest?
Do you make decisions under pressure, starting way more things than you should?
If someone asks you to do something, do you feel like you have to do it now?
Do you feel like you're living according to everyone else's schedule or rhythm than your own?
Do you find yourself driving fast, eating fast, doing everything fast, so that you can get to that next thing?
Please understand that this is rarely a conscious process, for anyone involved.
As a child, you simply take others in, from the day you are born -- or conceived! -- absorbing at a very deep level who ‘the others’ are, as if who they are is who YOU are. Similarly, your parents or teachers aren’t necessarily trying to mold you away from your true Nature. Most of the time, they’re just being who they are, transmitting their Nature without even thinking about it. Even if you have parents that are consciously trying to ‘mold’ you, chances are they’re just sharing the values and beliefs they themselves have been conditioned to think will keep you safe and on a path towards success. So this is really not about blame. It’s about liberating everyone through a path of understanding.
Also, I feel it’s important to say that even if our conditioning enters our bodies through our “Openness,” this doesn’t mean that we can’t experience the impact of conditioning on our Definition, or Nature.
In fact, I’ve found that many people experience a great deal of difficulties in relation to their True Nature because of their conditioning.
Many women I know who have defined Ego Centers, for example, were deeply shamed for being too strong-willed when they were young. They received conditioning messages saying, "Good girls should be feminine, obedient and soft, not stubborn, strong-willed and unruly."
So even though they have ‘Defined Ego Centers’, they can experience the impact of deeply negative conditioning in relation to that center. What sometimes happens, then, is that the expression of that center becomes distorted. It becomes either reactive or repressive, taking on a ‘shadow’ form. Many of these women end up turning their strong will against themselves, instead of using it as a path towards self-empowerment and service to the world. Either that, or they learn to use their will in indirect ways, and are experienced as manipulative. I share more deeply about this in the Designed to Blossom Creative Workbook/Course and Online Program.
Disclaimer: Rosy is an ordained minister of Designed to Blossom of AIWP and provide something more akin to spiritual counseling than psychotherapy. The work I do is with highly functional people, for whom ‘spirit’ plays a central role in their life. I do not give diagnoses, work with pathology, or claim to be an expert offering a treatment or cure.