I hope this post finds you speaking with the power and magnificence of your own voice in alignment with your human design.
I recently was part of a mostly-male marketing mastermind meeting. While talking to one of the participants, the leader of the mastermind made a very inappropriate joke about “truck stop whores.”
I quickly looked around the room to make sure that I had heard what I heard correctly. One quick scan around the room at the frozen half-smiles on the faces of the women told me that I’d heard correctly.
As women, we are trained to “be nice”. To smile or half-laugh at things that are offensive, crude, inappropriate, and violate our boundaries. We’re told that being pretty and having a nice smile are important, even if we’re defending our PhD dissertation. We can’t let others know what bothers us. We’re supposed to just absorb it all because being perceived as nice is better than being the opposite…
Being nice is a defence strategy. If we react, then we’re “bitches”. If we don’t play along with the “nice” rules that are set out for us then we are vilified and mocked. Or we’re gaslit. Even if we speak the truth, we have to say it with a soft voice and look good doing it otherwise we’re labeled as hysterical and crazy.
This isn’t exclusive to women. It can happen to men too. It can feel worse when we’re sensitive by our human design.
We’re also taught that we can’t talk about things until we have worked through them. We have to be healed and have all of our emotions sewn up, organized, and sorted through in perfect little categories before we can share what happened. Emotions must be a thing of the past. Speak from the scar, not the wound. We aren’t allowed to talk about our story if we still feel it.
This need to have things stitched up with a pretty bow and “perfect” is old, materialistic thinking. Some would call it colonized consciousness. The whole idea that there is a right and perfect way to feel is an attempt to regulate authentic self-expression and suppress truth.
The old adage, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” is dangerous and suppressive. What if your anger is a signal that’s telling you that something needs to be defended or protected? What if your anger is signaling to you that something is out of alignment?
Sometimes it’s not okay to suppress our feelings and wait for the “perfect” time and the “perfect” way to share our emotions. Sometimes our emotions – especially our anger – are giving us vital information that we have to heed and share.
Speaking the truth is messy and personal. The energy for truth and truth-telling is rooted in the Will Center – the “ego” – and it can feel very personal and very dangerous because truth can literally threaten the Heart of who we are. It can force us to have to confront things that are out of integrity or explore where we ourselves may be out of integrity.
The energy for integrity is in Gate 26.
In Human Design there are five kinds of integrity.
- Physical integrity – Being physically whole, healthy and vital
- Resource integrity – Having the tangible resources and goods you need to stay sustainable and to have enough to share
- Identity integrity – Being in alignment with your Authentic Self
- Moral integrity – Acting in alignment with higher principles
- Energetic – Taking the actions necessary to sustain your energy. Setting good boundaries and implementing good self-care
There is a relationship between truth, integrity, and self-worth. While it’s important, for the sake of compassion, to realize that people often act out of integrity because their self-worth is hurting, it doesn’t excuse behavior that is out of integrity.
When a breach in integrity happens we enter into a terrible tango of sorts. Someone has to speak the truth and set boundaries otherwise hurtful patterns and actions continue. It’s hard and often uncomfortable when you have to speak the truth. It’s messy and ugly. It can be even more complicated if you were raised to be “nice” and you were never allowed to say “no” or have any negative feelings.
You deserve to set good boundaries. You deserve to speak your truth, even if it’s messy. You deserve to say “no” whenever something doesn’t feel right for you. You deserve to talk about it before you’re done organizing and managing your emotions. You deserve to set boundaries with the force of your will, even if it isn’t pretty.
Think about Gandalf in the movie the Lord of the Rings. Imagine if he had quietly said (with a smile on his face, of course…), “You shall not pass!”
I want to share something with you that is very difficult, messy, and involves boundaries.
Someone stole my work and recently published a book about it.
This was a theft of years of my work and they published my work before I got a chance to publish my work.
This is a hard thing for me to talk about for many reasons. This feels deeply personal and shining a light on it may cause people in my community to feel uncomfortable. But, as a role model profile, I have to speak my truth because I would be horrified if anyone else had to experience what I’m currently experiencing in this situation.
I am a very generous person. It is my passion and joy to watch my students fledge and emerge into the world with their own voice and their own interpretation of my work. This makes me deeply proud.
Here are just two examples of books written by my students, who asked for and got consent for crediting my work.
I strongly urge you to run and buy these excellent books!!
I’ve been sitting with this theft for a few weeks now.
I’ve shared my story with my lawyer, my business coach, and my publisher.
Here’s what I’ve been told:
From my lawyer: “You have a case, but it will be a long and expensive process.”
From my business coach: “It happens all the time. Think of it as a compliment. Maybe later down the road, you can collaborate with this person.”
From the publisher of my first book, Understanding Human Design: “Don’t worry. This is good for business.”
I have to unpack this for a minute because while some of these things may be true, at what cost? Why have we normalized the idea that there is some kind of back-end payoff to being violated? This is the very definition of bullying.
It’s not okay to wait 25 years and return to your high school reunion as a billionaire while the bullies have regular, boring lives. You deserve to be safe and protected from harm at the time of your violation – to not have to wait years for the back-end payoff…
This person mentions me and credits me all over their book. That’s nice. But I didn’t consent to having them use my material. I have spent decades – literally – building a body of work that my students invest in. When someone just takes my work, it waters down the integrity of my work and, more concerning to me, has the potential to create confusion in the marketplace. It is my role as a community leader and a teacher to protect my student’s investment of time, money, and effort.
Failing to ask permission and giving credit after the fact is not a compliment and it’s for sure not consent.
If how we do anything is how we do everything, then this metaphor is sickening to me. Where do we draw the line around consent?
Yes, this isn’t sexual assault or usurping another country – it’s “just” plagiarism and intellectual property theft – but this is a giant metaphor that is being played out on the planet in multiple horrific ways in many areas. It’s the metaphor of it that disturbs me deeply.
If we are going to learn to value each other, then we have to value each other enough to get consent. And we have to learn to value ourselves enough not to steal someone else’s words or someone else’s country.
I don’t care if it’s good for business if it leaves me feeling violated. The ends do not justify the means – especially in business. The Human Design chart shows us that the design of business includes integrity and Heart. Also, right contractual relationships. Consent and integrity are essential parts of being in right relationship to others and good business practices.
From my Heart to Yours,
Want to learn more about finding your own voice and your purpose for being here on the planet?
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You may also enjoy this post on boundaries