It’s fascinating how Human Design concepts branch out into even smaller, more intricate definitions. The more we dive into it, the more we discover about ourselves and how we respond to the world around us. That’s truly amazing.
While there’s a whole lot to cover, I’d like to begin with the bottom-right arrow of the Human Design chart: the environmental arrow.
(If you haven’t read the previous post about the four arrows in Human Design, I’d recommend that you have a look at it first. It’ll help you understand the following concepts better, and it’ll only take a minute.)
If you don’t feel like going back, let’s quickly recap: The environmental arrow represents the way you connect with and respond to the environment around you, whether it’s physically or mentally. It can be the actual place where you’re currentlystanding, yet it can also mean an emotional place.
But why is it so crucial for us to know about those things?
It’s simple: if you’re not in the right place in life, only changing your environment and being where you’re supposed to be--where you belong-- will bring you clarity, peace of mind, and a true sense of belonging. Isn’t that what we all strive for?
Here’s an example I like to use: when people say they’re in a “really good place” and they mean it, what they’re saying, essentially, is that they’re exactly where they need to be. They’re emotionally stable and feel fulfilled.
In this case, they don’t need an environmental change. They’ve found their place.
Now, as another example, take a person who feels lost. They’re not sure if they’re in the right relationship. Their job drains their energy. What they’re trying to do never seems to work. They’re not in a great place. An environmental change, then, would solve these issues because they would finally be in alignment with who they’re supposed to be--and where they need to be. They would get rid of superfluous things, people, and circumstances.
That’s what the wrong environment brings: Discomfort. Unease. Doubt. Simply put, this happens because you’re trying to fit somewhere you don’t belong. Without such hindrances, your life would flow without resistance.
And that’s where Human Design triumphs: by teaching you to find your place, and guiding you through the right steps to get there.
Learning Your Human Design Environment: The Secret to Finding Your “Perfect Place” in Life
So, how to learn if you’re in the right human design environment? To understand it, we first need to take a look at two extremities: left-environment people and right-environment people.
These people are meant to be active and busy in their correct environment. It gives them a buzz. They feel good when their environment gives them things to do and activities to partake in. If they can only observe a situation without taking action, they become bored and negative.
A good way to exemplify this is by looking at people at parties. Often, a left-environment person would actively start conversations and try to cheer people up. They would be enjoying the environment especially because they would have a lot available to do. Dance, drink, chat, you name it.
Another example is staying home when there’s nothing to do. Right-environment people would be bored out of their minds. If they can’t engage in an activity, things no longer make sense to them.
My husband is a right-arrow. He’s constantly on the move and likes a change in scenery often. He likes to get up and get out as much as he can, or else things becomes too static. To him, that’s a no-no.
How do they know they’re in the right place?
Everything feels right to them when they’re active and getting things done. If they have to stay put or do nothing, they become uneasy.
While they’re into experiencing new and different things, what left-environment people do best (and enjoy doing) is watching what’s going on around them, and absorbing information. They don’t usually actively participate in activities that would overwhelm them.
Think about a random man at the same party we mentioned earlier, idly sipping on his beer at the corner, just looking at people as they dance to deafening music. A right-environment person might give them the side eye and think “what’s he doing just standing there? Why’s he not dancing?”.
Little does the right-environment person know, the man is feeling just fine. He would much rather stay put and observe things than force his way among a bunch of people. That’s his place, and he enjoys it.
I’m a left-arrow. I could sit in the same spot all day long and be perfectly happy just taking in what goes on around me.
How do they know they’re in the right place?
This type of person knows they’re in the right place when they feel just right being observers. They passively take in information, stay “in their lane”, and are okay with that.
In short, all right-arrows prefer a fluid environment and changing spots frequently, whereas all left-arrows prefer being in their usual environment.
Can you already see yourself in one of these two extremities? Great.
Now, you’re about to learn which environments you’re more likely to feel your best in.
Which Environment Best Handles Your Energy?
We have six different types of environments:
- Caves (Selective and Blending)
- Markets (Internal and External)
- Kitchens (Wet and Dry)
- Mountains (Active and Passive)
- Valleys (Narrow and Wide)
- Shores (Artificial and Natural)
Note that if your environment is a Cave, you won’t fit into any other environment. Each person belongs to one environment and its respective variation.
Here’s an example to help you understand this concept better:
In Myers-Briggs personality tests we have, for instance, INFP-A and INFP-T personalities. While both belong in the same spectrum, the former is an assertive mediator, and the latter, a turbulent mediator. Turbulent mediators are usually harder on themselves. On the other hand, assertive mediators are more optimistic and self-assured.
But they’re mediators, all the same.
The same thing happens with left and right-environment people. Let’s take a look at their potential sacred environments (or the environments that most welcome their energy).
Caves denote one’s preferred personal space, as well as how much movement and individuals are allowed in it.
When you think of a cave, what comes to mind?
Dimness. Silence. Safety.
The people who belong in selective caves are the typical introverts. They prefer soothing environments that are cool, calm, silent. If they have to share their space with anyone, one person suffices.
Still, they much prefer being on their own and being aware of what happens inside, as well as being strict as to who is allowed in their personal space. They’re very selective of the people they let in, hence the nomenclature.
Contrary to selective caves, blending caves people are more liberal when it comes to allowing others in their personal space. They tend to feel protected on their own, sure. But they also enjoy being in an environment where others are free to move. They’re not as selective or enclosed.
In the article concerning the four arrows, we talked about right-arrows being fond of non-attachment and not being as concerned with stability. That also applies here.
When it comes to Markets, welcoming the right people into one’s personal space is essential for their wellbeing. And by the right people, I mean those who have something of value to offer.
Internal markets are all about inviting people into their environment. Their occupations are best suitable for them if they involve home businesses, where they can go ahead and share both their energy and environment with others (if they so please).
These are enclosed spaces, especially because the people in them must be in charge of who goes in to exchange information and material goods. Typically, the ones who are invited are people with similar interests.
If someone doesn’t meet their expectations or has nothing useful to offer them, internal market “dwellers” won’t welcome them. After all, they’re controlling and picky individuals who still like to own their place.
People in external markets are amid heavy giving and taking. In their environment, energy, a lot of people, and material goods are always on the move. There’s rarely a shortage of communication. External markets are your corporate offices and busy work environments.
In business, External Markets are the type of people who “grasp” concepts pretty quickly (since they’re great observers) and absorb knowledge from those around them.
Also, just because this environment is often full, that doesn’t mean that these individuals will interact with anyone--they’re very selective, and will only exchange information if someone or something will benefit them.
When talking about kitchens, it’s easy to visualize a combination of ingredients. Yet, this “combination” refers to people and ideas melting together in one place. Yes, we could be talking about actual kitchens, but also, for example, places like cities. In cities, we have a lot of different places close together (restaurants, bars, homes, cafes, offices) where people meet and ideas are exchanged.
People who belong into this environment prefer living among multiple people, backgrounds, a lot of communication and bustling action.
Here are the variations of this environment, which refer to climate.
This variation refers to more humid locations. Think East Coast humidity, rainy and colder places.
Dry Kitchens, on the other hand, are all about drier climates, such as a desert or places where the sun prevails.
Contrary to Kitchens, this type of environment doesn’t necessarily involve climate type. It’s more about having a higher viewpoint, where one can be at a higher level and physically be on top.
Active Mountains people perform their best when they’re, quite literally, on top. They like to speak on stage with an audience below their level, for instance. They’d prefer to live in a high-rise building or own a house on top of a hill.
Now, the Passive Mountains are different. This variation is about living or getting away to a mountainous environment in order to seek peace and quiet.
While not concerning actual valleys, the Valleys environment has a lot to do with sound and acoustics.
Narrow Valleys, as the name suggests, would rather be in smaller, intimate groups in equally small and intimate spaces. You could even throw a narrow street in here. These are places where they can have personal conversations and hear everything that’s happening.
To them, larger office spaces won’t do. If they can have a quainter workplace to share with one or two people, that’s ideal. Large crowds are also a bad idea. When you think of these types of people, think of snug and unoccupied.
Wide Valleys appreciate hearing sounds from a distance, for example, sounds coming from a loud party somewhere far away. They don’t mind not listening to everything around them, as long as they can be in a large space where sound is free to move--even if it doesn’t come from the environment itself.
Shores are the intersection between two different environments, and what kind of such intersection people would rather see: artificial or natural.
Think of artificial shores as a city’s encounter with the countryside, the border between two countries, or, in a home setting, an office that takes two rooms. Artificial shores enjoy seeing this type of partition.
This type of intersection involves nature, as in where sea meets land. Regardless of the natural environment, seeing where water and ground cross (whether it be streams and rocks or lakes and greenery) is paramount for the Natural Shores.
I know, this was a mouthful. Human Design really is a bit of a learning curve--a beautiful one at that.
Trying to fit into an environment you don’t belong to is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. That could eventually work, but think about how uncomfortable and out-of-place that would feel.
This is the answer to why changing your environment is essential to creating a life that’s free of strain and resistance. Switching to the right environment will finally give you the tools to start moving in the right direction, regardless of your goals.
If you’d like to learn more about your Human Design, take the test here to receive your custom chart.