Being the 1% in Human Design :: A Reflector’s Reflection

ling wong
ling wong
Apr 18, 2016 · 9 min read

I had an absolute meltdown last week. For the entire freaking week.

By Wednesday of the week, I broke down. Cocktail hour was moved to 3pm by Thursday. Sunday? Don’t talk to me.

Nothing dramatic — just because it’s spring break.

But if you’re a Reflector in Human Design like me, it’s totally possible.

My husband, who’s working from home temporarily, is a Manifesting-Generator. My older son is a Generator, and my younger son is another Manifesting-Generator.

All of them have defined sacral, and the two MGs have a lot of defined centers. Being around them 24/7 without enough time to discharge the energy has taken a toll on my open sacral.

Being a Reflector sounds like some cool shit… after all less than 1% of the population are Reflectors.

According to Human Design specialists, Reflectors are here to “move humanity forward.”

We’ve the capability to see and feel everything as they are because we don’t have any definition in our energy centers.

We’re super empaths because we can take in other’s energy, understand, experience and amplify it without mucking it up with our own.

These superpowers make my work with coaching clients super efficient because I can “get to the bottom of it” and find their soul-aligned message within a session or two.

I do a lot of “personal growth” heavy lifting for my clients. I turn their crap into a narrative so they can finally sink their teeth in and work through them.

They don’t have to journal till they turn blue, or rehash some past experiences for the 12th time with no new insights.

I don’t care if my clients are selling cantaloupe widgets that I know nothing about. As long as they’re doing meaningful work, and willing to be open and honest, I can tell from their energy if the message and strategies they come up with are in alignment with them.

So they can finally sell their products and services in a way that excites them.

Looks good on paper, and you may think there’s nothing to bitch about. But living with all those open centers? Harder than you think.

Until someone decides to put me on a purple pillow and feed me good wine and dark chocolate all day, I still have to brave the “real world” and bath in other people’s thoughts and energies… and I’m screwed if I’m in the wrong soup.

This is not a “how to” for Reflectors. It’s just one woman’s account of living as one…


Reflectors sample all the energies around them so it’s particularly hard to define ONE identity.

In a way, I don’t care about this identity thing. Really, I don’t have much an opinion what I call myself.

I’m not attached to labels, and labels have very little effect on me.

I do what I do, and labels are confining. If I’m attached to a label, I kill the fluidity in me.

I don’t have strong affiliation to any group, I don’t identify myself with any ideology or association. Organized religion baffles me.

It’s not easy to be floating in this world with no anchor. The need to belong is human nature and often I feel being pulled in two different directions.

That’s why I loved to travel in my early days — it’s easier to be floating above a physical location without being defined by it.

It turned me into a reluctant wanderlust — I’ve a love-hate relationship with my occasional urge to anchor myself deeply into a community while knowing that I’d later have the urge to detach.

Social Interaction/Relationship

Even when I was a little girl, I knew my relatives called me “aloof” behind my back.

My response? I thought “oh well” and didn’t give a shit.

Not exactly acting “as expected” in close-knitted Chinese society.

Call me anti-social. Call me a misfit. It may bug me for a couple of hours. Then I realize either I can be accepted by people I don’t really give two shits about, or I can be myself and at peace.

Answer is simple.

I don’t do well in large groups. They drain my energy. Taking on everyone’s crap for too long is not healthy.

I engage ok in social situations for an hour, maybe two. (I’m pretty high-functioning individual from the outside.) Then I start to withdraw. Zone out. Floating above it all so I don’t have to engage with other’s energies, thoughts, and crap.

I encounter the same pattern when I started high school, college and grad school. I thought I finally have a circle of friends, only to realize that after a while I started to “float” above it and peel away.

I guess it’s a protective mechanism — when you’re sensitive to everyone’s energy, you can get hurt more easily, and deeper.

I’d say Reflectors need to be lone wolves to a certain degree to stay sane.

That doesn’t make us “fit in” when some 70% of the society is made up of Manifesting-Generators and Generators, who are designed to be social animals and people persons.

We look like misfits. Our need for tons of space is weird. We can appear downright cold.

Oh, and because we’re less than 1 in a 100, finding another Reflector for an understanding hug is a bit challenging too.

Yoga/Spiritual Practice

I’ve been practicing yoga consistently for 10 years. Yet I rarely get that “zen” kind of state afterwards.

My emotion also fluctuates a lot after a practice. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s nasty.

When I was living in NYC 10 years ago, I used to go to a very packed Sunday yoga class at Equinox. I often felt off afterwards.

The more crowded a yoga class, the more “noisy” the energy. Instead of calming down, I absorb all the thoughts and emotions in the room like a sponge. No wonder.

Now I practice yoga mostly for the physical benefits — which helps me find my zen when I’m on the bike.

Turns out riding my bike on Mt. Tam alone is the moving meditation I need to quiet down so I can listen.

Most people don’t like to ride on their own. On the contrary, I treasure those long solo rides during weekdays on a country/mountain road where no one is in sight.

Finally, I can discharge all the energies. Finally I can be in “silence” so I can hear what “I” really gotta say.

I love those long-ass climbs (like, 35 minutes of relentless hill with 8% average grade) during which my logical mind is taken over by the sound of my breathing and the internal voice of left right left right.

I love those scary corkscrew descents down the same steep grade during which if I let other people’s shit to take over, I’d lose control and get wiped out.

It’s my version of “spiritual practice” if you will. Mental discipline to stay in my own lane.

Spirituality confounds me. Too many “gurus” yakking about the same thing with slightly different words that are equally nebulous.

Most of them makes people feel good — mostly because they’re so “5,000'” view that they don’t require folks to get to the nitty gritty of things called everyday life.

When I hear those sound bytes, I see disconnect. I see individuals with “real lives” struggling to apply these rainbows and unicorns talk to shit that just hit the fan.

The empath in me value individual story and experience, over any kind of codification.

I want to think I’m spiritual in a way, because I’ve the ability to tap into that “cloud” up there to translate an individual experiences into a shared human condition — and in the process create change and awareness for the individual.


I guess I chose to experience parenthood when I came here.

Eight years ago I had a huge urge to get pregnant. Not knowing why. I’ve never hang with kids much, and I seldom know what to do with them. Even when I was a kid, I’ve always been more comfortable with adults.

Unlike other kids, I often found it extremely comforting to be by myself, instead of having to be self-conscious around others when I started to “float” above a social situation.

I’m not sure where this parenting business is leading me, and what lesson I set up myself to learn. But I hope it’s worth it.

Because I feel like a shit parent right now (after a week of 24/7 kids in the house) for saying “kids, I don’t want to see you for a week.”

I avoid as many activities with lots of kids as much as I can. Somehow the physical noise amplifies the energetic noise.

I dread my son’s birthday party because I can’t weasel out of that one. An enclosed space filled with kids and parents (whom I barely know) — with echoing energies — freaks me out.


Climbing the corporate ladder? Forget out it!

Even though I survived 10 years in “corporate” — working in ad agencies — I never felt like I belong.

I’m super sensitive to toxic environments. I remembered working in a prestigious NYC architecture firm only to find myself crying every Friday night at a bar down the block over cosmo and calamari.

Misery often started with the commute when I entered a crowded subway car with mostly stressed out people.

I could enter the subway in a fine mood, only to get out five stations later a different person.

Meeting and traveling aren’t my cup of tea to say the least. Being in small confined space with lots of people (meeting room, airplane, car) could get overwhelming and draining.

I always find some reason to leave a job after a while. From the “Asian parent” perspective there’s gotta be something wrong with me because I can’t even “hold down a job.”

Some calls it ADD/ADHD as I constantly try to find a place where I feel at ease… so I can think and do something meaningful. No luck.

I learned to stop trying to explain myself — what am I supposed to say? The typical office environment has too much shit energy floating around for me to even hear myself?

Running My Own Biz

Now that I’m running my own business and structuring it to suit my strengths, life is generally much better.

However, there’re a lot of noises out there regarding “how” we do things in business and marketing.

We’re pressured to follow the blueprint and copy the templates.

It’s easy for me to take on these energies that are not mine, amplify and implement only to realize that I’m not acting in alignment with ME.

Discipline and time is needed for reflection. To understand if a strategy truly resonates and to discern if a tactic is in alignment. To get clear so I can be steadfast and grounded in my own message.

Most strategies and tactics taught are designed for the majority — which are NOT reflectors. What works for most people probably doesn’t fit like a glove for me.

It’s sometimes frustrating, even more so when it couples with the challenge I face in…


Reflectors’ strategy is to wait a lunar cycle’s time to make any major decision. It is a drag in the modern world where so many things are “instantaneous.”

Who would give you 29 days to make a god damn decision?

My husband is a MG with Sacral as the authority. He has the ability to make instantaneous decisions by asking “yes/no” questions.

Whenever he presents me with a major decision that needs to be made “right now” — I’d scream like a deer in a headlight.

I simply can’t do it. I go blank. Nothing clicks. He doesn’t get it. It sucks.

I often find getting out to nature and discharging energies helps. I may not have 29 days, but at least I can buy myself some time and hear what “I” have to say.

The silver lining

I’m lucky that (1) at least I find out that I’m a Reflector so I’m accepting the “odd-ball-ness” that’s me. (2) I live in an age where I can do work remotely and run my business virtually so I can keep my energetic environment as clean as possible for most times. (3) I live in a time and a society in which non-conformity is ok. I may not be Miss Popularity, but at least I won’t be stoned to death.

A Wee Bit More About Me

I’m an Intuitive Brainiac. Through my unique blend of Business + Marketing coaching with a Mindset + Psychic Twist, I help the multi-talented and multi-passionate maverick-preneurs distill ALL their big ideas into ONE cohesive Message, nail the WORDS that sell and design a Plan to cut the busywork and do what matters, through my intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of my Harvard Design School training and 10 years of experience in the online marketing industry.

Check out my blog and grab the free “How to Find YOUR Winning Formula” Training Series here.

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