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025: An Intro to Human Design (Plus a Live Reading!) with Nikki Brafman

What is the Human Design profiling system? In this overview and reading, we go over the different types and strategies to help you find alignment and celebrate your innate uniqueness and gifts.

What is Human Design?

Like Myers-Briggs, the Enneagram, and many other profiling systems, Human Design is a personality model used to dive deeper in the understanding of the self.

Human Design combines layers of ancient modalities like the Sephirot of the Kabbalah, the Hindu-Brahmin Chakra system, the Chinese I’Ching, and Western Astrology with modern sciences like Biochemistry, Astronomy, Quantum Mechanics, and Genetics.

Human Design in Business

This system helps us understand our unique personal blueprint for our energy, how we make decisions, our strengths and weaknesses, where we are prone to conditioning, and so much more. It illuminates where we’re in alignment with our authentic selves–and where we’re not–so we can work towards more ease and less stress (and ditch the things that DON’T work for us!).

When you can harness that self-awareness as an entrepreneur, or help your employees do the same, your business reaps the benefits of that new knowledge by:

  • finding alignment of values in business attracts the right customers, employees, and processes
  • limiting disruptive cycles of chaos that keep us from expanding into elevated levels of success
  • better anticipating your needs, pitfalls, and expectations
  • helping us establish life and business practices that are productive, instead of reactive

What are the Human Design Types?

There are five types in the human design system:

  • Generators
  • Manifesting Generators
  • Manifestors
  • Projectors
  • Reflectors

Let’s dive into this overview of Human Design so you can start applying this knowledge to your life and business today!

An Introduction to Human Design with Nikki Brafman - Success with Soul Podcast with Kate Kordsmeier

My guest today, Nikki Brafman, is a Human Design Reader, Business Coach, Mama to 1-year-old Julian, and Speaker. She believes that all chaos comes from living and working out of alignment with our design, our mission, and our values. She uses Human Design types as a mirror to show her clients their uniqueness and brilliance as she helps guide them from where they are to where they want to go.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • A beautiful lesson in specificity, niching down and celebrating our innate uniqueness
  • How Human Design brings consciousness and spirituality to business with a scientific lens
  • An overview of the 5 human design energy types and what strategy you should use to allow the most amount of flow (and help eliminate stress!) in both life and business
  • What it means to have a sacral vs. emotional inner Authority
  • How to decipher your Human Design chart’s Profile and ‘Not Self’ Theme

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Links + Resources Mentioned in this Episode: 

Related Episodes:

More Ways to Enjoy Success with Soul

Kate Kordsmeier 0:00

O m g, y'all. This is Episode 25 of the Success with Soul podcast. And it is so good. It's different. Okay, I'm going to give you a warning. Of course, I'm your host, Kate Kordsmeier. And you're going to get a real vulnerable inside look into me and my inner workings and who I am. Because we have Nikki Brafman here today. She is a Human Design reader and business coach, and she is not only giving us an overview of Human Design and how and how you can use it to celebrate your innate uniqueness and bring this consciousness and spirituality to your business with a scientific lens. But she's reading my chart, which if you've ever done a human design chart, your head probably has spun. If it's anything like mine, when you see it, I had no idea how to interpret all of the data and numbers and types and profile And excetera that they give you. So Nikki helped me do that. And it was fascinating. I'm obsessed with this modality, and I can't wait to share it with you. So buckle up, you are in for a fun ride. And after you listen, come over on Instagram at Kate Kordsmeier. And let me know what's your type. I want you to download your chart, we put it in the show notes, and let me know what your energy type is and what you learned about your own human design. You're listening to the Success with Soul podcast with Kate Kordsmeier x journalists turned CEO of a multi six figure blog and online business. But it wasn't that long ago that Kate was a struggling entrepreneur who lacked confidence, clarity and let's be honest money. But all those failures, experiments and lessons learned helped k create a thriving business. That is impacts thousands and brings freedom, flexibility and fulfillment to her life. If you're ready to do the same and make something happen with holistic, soulful, step by step strategies from Kate and other experts, you're in the right place. here's your host, writer, educator, Mom, recovering perfectionist, bookworm and sushi connoisseur, Kate Kordsmeier. Hey, Nikki, thanks so much for being here.

Nikki Brafman 2:25

Hey, I'm so glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

Kate Kordsmeier 2:30

I'm super excited because I am a like personality test junkie. And I've been really into the enneagram and Myers Briggs. And then Sarah on my team kept telling me you really got to look into human design, I think it would really resonate with you. So I took I actually found your site and I must have just found it googling or something and I I took your quiz and I got the results and Like, what the heck does this mean? So I'm really pumped to chat with you about all of it and help you break it down. Before we get into all of that, though, give us like a brief background of you know who you are. Let's hear your story.

Nikki Brafman 3:15

Yeah, thanks so much. So, I spent most of my career the first 10 years of my career in the startup world. I got my start really, really young. I had finished my MBA by the time I was 24. And I just went to places where I felt like I would have the most impact. I wanted to be, in fact, impactful. I felt like I had a lot to prove. And oftentimes, I was the youngest person in the room. I was the only woman in the room. And so I kind of went where it felt like I was going to get the most applies and have the most impact. And that led me to be really, really, really burnt out. And I climbed the ladder really fast. I enjoyed that the spoils of what I believed were like a great thing. career, I was traveling constantly, I was getting promotions. But I felt really empty and I felt exhausted. And so after a series of kind of shifts, and weird things that came up and happen I basically said I need a little bit of a not sabbatical but I need a break. And I decided to just work with one on one clients kind of consulting and coaching and started building my practice in that what thinking it was going to be a stopgap until my next role my next position, but found so much excitement and so much joy in doing that work. It also about a minute after I started my practice, I got pregnant. I love that timing. Yeah, so I was like, well, this I've got about eight and a half months to make this something and worked a lot of my pregnancy really hard to make sure that it was something that I really was excited about coming back to and like you I've always been a obsessed with personality models. And like Myers Briggs, I use them in my corporate and startup life when when I manage teams and I went manage people, and I was just always really fascinated by it. And so one of my clients came to me and said, Have you heard of Human Design and I had, but like you, I downloaded my chart, and I was like, overwhelmed, and I kind of put it on the back burner. But she mentioned that she wanted to be the Human Design expert to help parents parent their children in a way that would require them to do less conditioning, you know, in their 30s, etc. And so I was fascinated by that. I was really early in my pregnancy at the time, and I was like, I've got to, I've got to know more. I've got to know more about the system and I got really hungry and really interested and started this sort of quest of self study. Then I started back dooring it into my work, so if I had someone who I thought was sort of more spiritually or ruling climb, I bring this into our work together and It always had amazing, amazing reviews, people loved it. And then I was working with a friend of mine. And she's a brilliant businesswoman, specifically in the spiritual business realm. And she was like, Okay, so what are your offerings in the Human Design side? And what are your offerings on a straight business side? And I was telling her these stories, and she kind of looked at me and she said, No, no, your human design stuff is your business. That's it. Like this is what this is where we need you, we need you to bring this platform of consciousness and spirituality into the business world. And so that feels like my mandate. And that's it took me a long time right? All this is easier said than done, but took me a really long time to sort of have a spiritual coming out where I felt comfortable asking people in office settings what their birthday birth time and birth location were. But now after having done that, and knowing that the right people have really been magnetic to my process, it's awesome. And I found it extremely impactful. I found teams to love this work. And that's why I do what I do. I kind of cede my platform and my work as a mirror, I hold this mirror up to people to show them what I see in their charts, this amazing uniqueness and brilliance, and help them sort of de homogenize from a society that really wants us to all be the same, and celebrates a lot of sameness. And then kind of help them get from where they are to where they want to go.

Kate Kordsmeier 7:30

Oh, that's so cool. And there's such a beautiful lesson and like specificity and niching down and that it can be scary you think you're actually going to turn people away because you're not for everyone, quote unquote, and what ends up happening is like you said, you become magnetic to the right people and business just source

Nikki Brafman 7:53

and I was, I was so anti niche like so anti niche. I was working with sort of entrepreneurs and I didn't only want to work with female entrepreneurs, I had plenty of male clients and I couldn't figure out my niche. And I was having such a hard time I spent a ton of money and I was in a ton of programs and looking for a lot of help around. And it's funny, I wasn't looking for help and niching down, I was really resistant to niching down. But I was just looking for help and figuring out what it was that I was really bringing to the table that was different from other business coaches, which you know, I don't love that word, but it is essentially what I do.

Kate Kordsmeier 8:32

for lack of a better term. Yeah. And so tell us I love the way you said like Human Design brains, consciousness and spirituality to bring it to business and tell us more about that. What is human design for anybody who's never heard of it?

Nikki Brafman 8:47

So Human Design is a personality model, just like you might study or understand yourself through things like the enneagram or the Myers Briggs test, the Colby test. There are a ton of these out there. But what is a little bit different about human design is human design is a quantum system. So it layers ancient modalities, like astrology, the Chinese eaching, the Hindu Brahmin chakra system, and the Kabbalah, and then brings in modern sciences, like biochemistry, genetics, quantum mechanics, and astronomy. And so with all of these layers, it has very much a deeply spiritual side, but also a deeply scientific and physical side. It supposes right that we are each unique individuals. There's many, many elements of someone's chart. We won't be able to go over all of them today. But what I think is we call it sort of the science of differentiation. And so what happens in our world is that we deeply as a culture and community homogenizing individuals inside of it because it's much easier to manage and educate and feed and take care of more homogenized humans. Then take care of seven and a half billion unique people. And so what our work in Human Design is to do is to really understand our unique expression of our energy, our unique way of making decisions, our unique strengths and weaknesses, and where we are prone to conditioning and where we are, have our own kind of intense energy in certain places in our body. And as we understand that we understand Okay, what about my personality? What about me, is I've known deep down all along is, you know, a certain way and what has been conditioned in me, probably with well intentions through my parents and my education. All of the things that maybe we thought were were great and people were well meaning but don't actually fit with our energetic signature, and therefore cause us or sort of lapse in flow.

Kate Kordsmeier 10:54

So uh, so cool, and I love anytime that we can back like I always say, I'm happy have like one part Whoo, where I love embracing that spiritual side of myself and, you know, coming from this very heart centered place, but it's like I need it to be backed with science and facts and strategy and, and all of that too. So I feel like No wonder Human Design kept getting recommended to me, it seems very up my alley, and I'm excited to dive deeper with you on this. So we're going to do something a little bit different today. And Nikki is going to actually dive into my chart and do a personal reading, which obviously is not going to apply to everybody. But I think that if you hear kind of what Nikki's able to help me on earth and learn for myself that it could inspire you to do the same thing for your life and with your chart. But before we get into, you know, being so specific about my chart, I'd love if you could just give us like a brief overview maybe of the five types

Nikki Brafman 12:00

Sure, yeah. And if you guys don't haven't downloaded your chart and you want to, you can go to and download there, so that you have a sense of kind of what you are. We're talking through these energy Tyler but so, yeah, to jump right in energy type is sort of the primary element that we talked about first in Human Design. It's the one that you probably if you've heard a little bit about human design, you might know what you are already. And there are five types. We have generators, we have their subtype, manifesting generators, we have projectors, manifestos and reflectors. And so energy type is literally talking about the energy with which we have to go into our work and to go into our world. And the amazing thing about that is that through the lens of Human Design, we understand that not everybody has the same amount of energy or not all given a daily value and use you know, to use as well. We need, some of us have a lot of energy, more energy that is more, you know, tailored to a lot of different things at the same time. And some of us have less energy. And so it doesn't make us you know, too much or ADHD, or lazy, it just kind of gives us permission to sit inside the energy that we have. And one thing I always like to note is that, if it doesn't resonate with you what your energy type is, that's just a call to really go inward and and dive a little bit deeper and say, hey, maybe I am this energy type, but I've been masquerading my whole life as this other energy type. And that's why I feel tired and sick and burnout all the time. So aligning with your energy type is really what's going to help you start to live the most in flow, and really feel like okay, I'm having all of these synchronicities. I'm not tired. I'm feeling well, and all of those types of things. So I'll start with generators and manifesting generators because they Have a lot of similarities. And you Kate, our generator, and generators are our work horses. So the gifts that you bring to the world and your uniqueness is your work. So you whatever your work is, whatever that is that makes you so unique. That's the thing that the world needs from you. And people who are generators, opposed to manifesting generators generally have like a focus thing that they really, really like doing. And manifesting generators can have a lot of different things that they're into. That's sort of the jack of all trades model. People who really like to be have their hands on a lot of different things. But for both generators and manifesting generators, they need to be doing things that light them up. So for things that light them up, they have this kind of unlimited source of energy, and they basically need to write out all their energy throughout the day. Go to bed exhausted passing out when their head hits the pillow and the wake up Totally rejuvenated and ready to take on the day. So that's if they are doing the things that light them up, what we'll find is that a lot of generators and manifesting generators who are staring at the ceiling before they go to bed, unable to fall asleep, or who are waking up exhausted, aren't doing things in their day to day that light them up. And the truth is that in our current society, we can't all only do things that light us up. But I always like to say that the the scales need to far tip in the balance of like, needing to do the things that do light you up versus things that don't light you up. And the funny question I get a lot is, well, like doing dishes don't light me up like what what do I do if I'm a generator, and I don't want to do my dishes and I say, what about the responsibility that doing the dishes, like, relates to you have, you know, are you lit up by your responsibility of keeping beautiful Clean home for yourself. And if you are there for the sub activities that go under that probably light you up as well. So for generators and manifesting generators The first step in really understanding your design is sort of to do an audit of all the things that you do in your day to day life. What lights me up what can I do more of what like to me and less of what doesn't leave me up and examining that as it relates to both the physical energy you have in your body and the energy that you have to do those activities? Does that resonate with you okay, as a generator?

Kate Kordsmeier 16:35

Yes, for sure. I just was thinking like, I feel like when I am working on a project that you know, is bringing me joy like I wake up early, excited to get back to work on it and that it does feel like this limitless supply of energy and focus for it. But I do notice then like when I get stuck doing more of the my new Shove work like in my inbox all day and you know some things that are just like kind of the admin back end type does not bring me joy. Yeah, that I have a harder time falling asleep at night or, you know, I just end up getting that kind of like pent up frustration feeling and not really being able to pinpoint it. But now I'm thinking Oh, yeah,

Nikki Brafman 17:27

yeah, because of this totally. And so, each energy type also has a corresponding strategy. So the strategy for generators and manifesting generators is to respond. Right, so manifester manifesting generators and generators, aren't these like major initiators. They're not kind of looking over land and saying, I know what's going to go there. They're responding to the things that are happening in their world, which isn't to say that they're passive. But they're think about, you know, any business platform or Or a bigger platform could be responding to in inequity could be responding to a need in the market. And you could be noticing that it's a beautiful day outside and respond by going for a walk. So the energetic integrity of the specific type of energy that generators and manifesting generators have, requires this response this call and response. And sometimes, you might notice that if you're not in that mode of responding, you will feel frustrated, you'll kind of be grinding your gears. And that can be sort of a little bit confusing at the beginning for people to understand or when they first see that your strategy is to respond. You're like, I'm a Baptist businesswoman. I'm not going to just wait and respond to everything, right. But in that nature, kind of understanding your you know, as you do that audit of your activities, you say, like, Okay, what is this in response to? And if it really, if you really can't find the answer there, you're gonna want to maybe pull back on that activity, especially if it's something that's draining to you.

Kate Kordsmeier 19:00

Got it? Yeah, that's really interesting. Because when he first said that I was thinking, Oh, I don't know if that is me, because I feel like I'm such a, an idea person. And then I'm always coming up with, oh, we should try this or, you know, here's an here's something, but maybe that is in response to something, you know that that happened to me, or that came up in my life or something like that. I'm gonna have to think, think on that one. And I'm sure I'll understand it more as we keep talking. But that's interesting. So how does that compare to some of the other strategies?

Nikki Brafman 19:35

Yeah, so the next one, so manifesting generators and generators make up about 70% of the people in the world. So you're kind of living we're all living in a more generator centric world. The next most popular is a projector and projectors are about 20% of the people in the world. They have this sort of sampling aura, and they're going around about their day and they kind of pick up they sample all of the energies of the people around them. And they pick up on them. And they make these unbelievable leaders because they can do that. And so they're really aware of what's happening in around them so they know how to lead. They know how to make people feel comfortable, they know how to guide, they sort of keep all of our wisdom. A lot of people in my role are projectors. I am not an A manifester. But a lot of a lot of times projectors, their work is to make themselves seem to sort of lift themselves up to make sure that the right people are magnetic to them. And sometimes that means de homogenizing yourself to find that niche right like we were talking about before. So for projectors, their strategy is kind of funky. It's to wait for an invitation. So it takes responding to like a new level and asks people to wait around until they're being asked for their help. And so I always like to think of unsolicited advice here. So for projectors, if they're going around you shouting off the rooftops advice for you and advice for you and advice for you. It's not going to be well received. But if people are coming to them and saying like, Hey, I really need your advice about this, it lands so much better. It creates that kind of permission environment, to not only sample their energy, but to help them based on what they're kind of feeling from just the energy of the other person. And this can kind of be confusing. So a lot of times for people in business and social media projectors really just need to kind of stand on their platform and talk about the things that they want to talk about so that the right people are magnetic. So they're seen as experts on a certain subject, and the right people can find them. And then when the right people find them and basically ask them for their help, that's when this relationship and sort of that stands in energetic integrity can really blossom. And one of the things that is troubling, I think for a lot of projectors when they first see this and they see on their chart but wait for the invitation. They're also like I'm not passive, but the part of it that's somewhat passive is just waiting for those right people. And knowing that when you do have the right people, your message will be so much better received and whittling down whittling down and whittling down until you have the core people who not only value you but understand your genius and are magnetic to it and successful from it, right? projectors have so much wisdom to give. But if you're telling, you know a professional athlete, about you know, cutting calories and weight and weight loss when they need something completely different. You're going to be barking up the wrong tree essentially. Right. Okay. And as

Kate Kordsmeier 22:49

you're describing these, it's making me think too, let's go back a little bit. What determines what somebody's type is you kind of mentioned birth date and time. So little Let's talk a little bit about that. So people understand. I think they're that's one of the differences with human design, right? Like some of these other personality models will ask you questions about, you know, how do you handle this situation? Do you prefer being alone or with other people and stuff, but human design is very different and how it determines your type, right?

Nikki Brafman 23:20

Yeah, absolutely. And I think the beauty is there's a lot of space for both, right? There's an there's an important thing that happens in things like Myers Briggs and the enneagram, where they are psychologically engineered questions for the way that you want to show up in the world. And there's also a place for Human Design. So the way that you're energetically meant to show up in the world and so I think both are beautiful and both have their place. The way that your energy type is determined. And your entire chart is determined is we take the date, your date and your time of birth, and you look at sort of where the sun where all the planets are during that time and energy Genetically kind of what all of the forces of the universe look like. And then based on that there's it goes really, really, really deep into advanced Human Design like channels and gates. And then therefore kind of gives you certain places where we call it defined and undefined centers. So define centers are places in your chart that have color in them. undefined centers are places that are white, it doesn't matter what color they are, you know, every Center has its particular color. But what happens when they're defined is that you have distinct energy in that space that is consistent and reliable, and based on that consistent and reliable energy in a certain space in your chart that determines what your energy type.

Kate Kordsmeier 24:46


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And so for people who are maybe new to like astrology or not I'm not sure if this is even classified as astrology, I'm not sure the right term. But why does where the sun is when you're born and what the planets are doing, why would that impact like who you are?

Nikki Brafman 27:22

So the best way that I kind of think of it without going too deep into both science and astrology and everything like that, is if we think about the way that the moon moves the tides, right, the moon moves the tides in a day to day in and out in and out, moves the entire ocean. And spiritually I really like thinking about the fact that our bodies are made of 70% water and so we can ignore the fact that if the moon and the all of our planets are moving, you know, have a have a job with the tides right with our oceans. How could they not be affected? as well. And so I think that's a really great place to start if you are sort of like, this feels a little kooky to me. And then, you know, digging deeper into a lot of the science and the more spiritual sides of these modalities that human design is built upon. really understand the concepts behind that. But that's like the most basic and most elementary way I think of thinking about, right, how does this work? So were you born at night? Were you born in the morning, right? There's a ton of different energy. When was the first time you saw the sun when you were was when you were, you know, nine hours old or zero hours old? Right? So all of these things that have such a big impact on us, and especially when we are tiny babies absorbing everything around us, the other you know, thinking about seasons. What What if you didn't have, you know, you didn't have summer until you were three months old versus being zero months old, and having summer so thinking about all those things. Things that really make a super, super, super unique. The only thing the only way you'll have the same exact exact birthright as someone is if you're born at the same day, the same time, the same minute in the same place. So that was something like 250 people in the world will have the same chart as you or something like that. Pretty.

Kate Kordsmeier 29:23

Yeah, that's amazing, especially when you think about, you know, there's 16 Myers Briggs types or nine enneagram types and basically infinite Human Design types.

Nikki Brafman 29:34

Yeah, there's so there's so many, and even in just my sessions with people on a day to day basis, they do. In our introductory sessions, we only go over what we call energy type, which is what we're doing right now. We then go over what's called authority, which is your decision making principle. And then we go over your profile, which is sort of the style and the role that you're meant to play in the world. And those are like three elements out of 10 right. has to do with what day it is and where the planets are right now. It's called transit. So it's there's basically infinite possibilities. I remember when I first started saying like, Okay, I'm going to sit down and really learn my whole design. And it was just, it's a laughable thing at this point just to think about because it's an infinite practice. It's an infinite understanding, and what resonates for you right now, today might not be what resonates for you in a month. Or you might be I've even had scenarios where I've been walking down the street or something happened to me, and I'm like, Oh, now I understand what that meant yet. But now I get it. And as you move through it, and try to align your day to day with more of your design, and sort of embody the things that you see in this wacky chart with lines and shapes and numbers and colors. And the more you kind of access your flow, and you might decide that like, there's parts of your personality that aren't in or parts of your lived experience that aren't in your design that you want to keep, and that's that's your work to do and that's okay, right. There's no there's nothing here that says, You need to be completely perfect. It's just you. It's an awareness and it's a permission to say, Oh, those things that I felt all along. Those are any and those things that have been really hard for me, I have the permission to let go. I love that

Kate Kordsmeier 31:16

so much what happened when we just truly embrace our truth? We are so powerful. Okay, well, I'm excited then let's get into kind of these next steps. We went over some of the energy types and then you met. What more energy to quickly review so we have two more energy types for people.

Nikki Brafman 31:35

So yeah, we lead generators, manifesting generators, projectors, then there's manifestos. I'm a manifester. We are about 9% of the world. Our work is to inform and initiate we are kind of we were supposed to start things and then let them let them be taken over by people like their generators and manifesting generators, even projectors. It's really not in our energetic DNA. To start things and then complete it fully, our energy signature is to work in these intense bursts, and then to do intense rest. And so personally, when I was growing up, I just just basically did intense bursts, intense bursts, intense bursts and test bursts without resting and assumed that I was like, the fastest, most efficient person and built my career on that and became exhausted and ill. So we are meant to kind of initiate give ideas and then back off and take take deep breaths take deep awareness from our, our work. And then the last one is reflectors and reflectors are pretty, what I think are very magical beings, and they are only about 1% of people in the world. They're pretty rare and all my time doing charts, I really only read for two reflectors. And going back to what we kind of were chatting about about centers, they have zero defined centers, so they Don't have consistent and reliable energy anywhere in their body, and are completely absorbing the energies of the people around them. And so they, if a reflector is not doing well in environment or is sick in an environment, it's a really, really good sign that that environment is not good for them or just there's something wrong with the environment in general. So reflectors have to spend a lot of time kind of discharging all of the energies of other people by spending a lot of time alone. And they're just really ripe for conditioning by the people around them. So for reflectors, a lot of their work is to understand innately what is theirs and what is then, you know, put on them by other people and let go of a lot of the stigma that comes with, you know, being different person around different people, right, changing your personality with some people that's so flaky or like, Who are you really and maybe the answer is, that's such a strength, right? The chameleon pneus of you and your ability to really show people who they are by showing how you're coming up, right? They come into your space, and all of a sudden, they're feeling things that you don't even know you're feeling. They have this intense energetic energy and kind of consuming. So, yeah, that's our five energy types, but you are a generator. So let's talk about Yay. Awesome. So you are what we call a pure generator. And which means that you so we talked a little bit about being a generator, you have a sort of specificity around your work, you really dive in your brain to the world. And you have what we call sacral authority. So there's so five different energy types, there are seven different authorities. And what sacral authority is, is sort of a an attachment to your gut response. And a lot of people when they find out about their chart, they noticed maybe they don't have a third response. Like Personally, I don't have a good response. If you say Nicki, what's your gut say? I literally don't have a response. So I'm pulling from the energy of other people that sometimes gets confused with like intuition, right? I have intuition. We sort of use those interchangeably, but really that deep down gut, yes or no, this very binary world is something that you have and something that leads you in your decision making. So a lot of times if you have confusion in your life, the best thing to do is to have people ask you yes or no questions. And people ask you open ended question that can be really hard for your system that's meant to work in binary yes or no, to figure it out. That may cause you to look at other people for energetically look at other people and figure out what's the answer to this long winded non binary question. Because your brain works and and yes or no. Every time you override that, right, let's say you say yes, when you want to say no or vice versa. You're creating sort of an energetic like you're pulling I think from energy, debt, it kind of things You're kind of acting out of integrity and therefore, you're not. I'm not saying that you're, something's gonna go wrong inevitably, but it might not feel great in your body, you might become tired or that might become something that doesn't let you up anymore, right finding and feeling into those activities that light you up or don't let us does that resonate with you that take roll? Yeah,

Kate Kordsmeier 36:18

so much. I really struggle actually with black and white thinking and something that constantly having to work on because I know that the truth is rarely black or white, we're in the middle. But my natural inclination is yes or no, this or that. It's one or the other. That definitely resonates.

Nikki Brafman 36:41

It's interesting because the society has made us all wrong for all of the ways right that we make decisions, whether we take our time, and really think through it and maybe sleep on it. We're asked to sort of rush it and then we have we have an answer right away. We're also like, Whoa, okay, like how could you know so quickly And so binary that it's this or that. And it makes you kind of stop and say like, well, maybe I don't know, and guess yourself. And so the power of Human Design becomes like, if you know that this is the way that you're meant to operate, you can sort of step into that role and step into that power and say, This is it for me, right? I'm supposed to be making quick decisions in a binary way, listening to my gun. And I know that when I do that, I'm in. And

Kate Kordsmeier 37:26

that is, I mean, really interesting, because I also I mean, I've spent years in therapy struggling with indecision. And then I can really, like I always know what I want to do, but I have so much self doubt that I don't make the decision and I go back and forth. And like you said, I asked everybody else and I, I go to all my friends and family I look at Well, what are other people doing I would like try to get all the information and it leads me to this in decisiveness that drives me crazy and I'm sure everybody in my life who was just like, Oh my God make a freakin decision. Um, but it's funny because what my therapist ended up helping me realize is that Yeah, and then at the end, I end up doing what I thought I should do from the beginning, like, what look at how much time and energy I could have saved. If I had just said, This is what my guts telling me, I'm just going to do it. And if it doesn't work out, it'll be it'll be okay. It'll be a lesson and like, just move on.

Nikki Brafman 38:28

Exactly. And, you know, I invite you to sort of not only, you know, live that way, but sometimes it's nice to also understand where does this come from? Right. And so it's been all really interesting for me to sort of look back and especially when it comes to my own design, look at my parents and look at the way that they're wired and figure out what was safe and respected and in my house growing up and even in my education, and understand that like, sometimes I have what's called emotional authority. And my work is to sort of ride away and I'm not supposed to make immediate decisions. My immediate you know, I get a high note on my decision like, yes, do this and a low note, like don't do that. But I'm supposed to make decisions from a place of calm and calm waters after that. So every time someone's trying to rush me to this decision, I realized that the energy in my body is super triggered by that, because that's just not the way that I'm supposed to work. So, you know, it's our jobs to take this information and then advocate for ourselves and say, like, you know, even just inform the people around us. This is how it work. Whether you're hiring a new person, or you're meeting a friend for the first time, it's going to be a yes or it's going to be a no, there's very little wiggle room in between. And of course, when bigger decisions that are made up of smaller decisions happen. Taking that through your gut one by one is amazing. And sometimes people who have this have really put a lot of layers between their intuition and their gut and they can't hear that. They can't, they don't know what their gut is saying even though it's loud. And they have to kind of get quiet and they have to remove the stimulus and they have to learn Again, how to really tune in and to listen to that gut response, that sacred response that's going to guide them forward.

Kate Kordsmeier 40:08

Yeah, it's so true, especially in like, you know, days where it's we're overstimulated, and there's so much noise and hard to two. I do sometimes I feel like when I am able to get quiet, I have a gut reaction, or I have like, this is what I feel like I should do. But it can be really hard for me to access that when you first started describing it, and you were saying that you don't have that I was thinking, Oh, well, I don't know that. I really do either. But I think it's because it's like, I can't hear it over

Nikki Brafman 40:41

panels. It's almost it's amazing human design when something doesn't resonate. That's like the invitation to come dive deeper. Wait, why doesn't that resonate? Why? Why isn't that the way that I've been operating? And maybe it's because when you were a kid, that wasn't the model that was given to you or The education system that we all grew up in, doesn't revere that. Or what you know, whatever it just, it doesn't have. It didn't work for us as a child and we, I do a lot of work with sort of biohacking consciousness and reprogramming my subconscious on top of the work that I do with human design because our subconscious that we work from every day we make decisions from our everyday life is developed from the years of zero to 14. And so, so much happens in that time from zero to 14. That leads us to our decision making processes our idiosyncrasies, what we believe our strengths or weaknesses are as adults, and the only way to change that in the subconscious is to do therapies like hypnotherapy. EMDR, a few other ones, but it's been really amazing for me to kind of go down the rabbit hole and understand, oh, my goodness, the reason why I need to do things faster than everybody else is because there was a little You sat next to me in first grade, who made fun of me for how slow I was doing my handwriting exercises, which is ridiculous. But it's so such a big part of the way that I currently experienced life. So I've had to kind of through hypnotherapy and understanding that my way is to actually take my time with decisions and go a little bit slower to understand like, okay, that's what I meant to do. And I need to sort of unravel the stories arise from my childhood and from from my zero to 14, subconscious era of why I'm the way that I am. And that's been fascinating to us human design as like an initiating tool.

Kate Kordsmeier 42:38

Yeah, yeah. This is reminding me of childbirth actually. Because when I had my, my first my son, I had a fairly traumatic birth and I have stuff to work through afterwards. And one of the things I did was hypnotherapy because I had heard that it can be really powerful for reprogramming. You know, Those subconscious thoughts because when I got pregnant with my second, I had a lot of fear. And you know, I didn't want to give birth again. And I was really afraid of doing that. And so it was really interesting because after I was after I did some hypnotherapy, and I did, I had these birth affirmation cards that I put all over my house and it was just like, every day seeing these things and reprogram and everything I my daughter was born in three hours start to finish. It was like fast before I even understood what was happening. I was holding her in my arms and it was easy, uncomplicated, honestly not even that painful. And it was like this beautiful experience and I kept asking the midwives at the birth center where I had her like, how did you know that when I got you know when I got here that I should get in the tub already. Like how did you know that? I was this close because they never checked me. They didn't know Do any of the like scientific facts. Actual things that would prove it. They kept saying you knew, you learn by trusting like your intuition, because you've been so it's like so ingrained in us, especially I think as women and a patriarchy like that. We're not supposed to trust our own voices that we don't know. And you know, so I don't know, just as you're saying that I was thinking, that's exactly what child but my daughter is three, three months old next week. So I feel like this is just, you know, top of mind for me when you were saying that?

Nikki Brafman 44:29

Yeah, what, what a beautiful experience and just an understanding of where your intuition is. And you're right, we are so accustomed to looking outside ourselves for answers. And what I think also Human Design does is it tells us which answers to go let someone else figure out and which ones are ours to make. And certain certainly gives us sort of a map to say, Okay, this is where I have the strength and the energy and the wherewithal to make these decisions. And this is where I really can let go and surrender to people helping me and and to this sort of ecosystem that might be in someone else's, you know, the things that I don't like to do might be completely in someone else's genius and is completely what lights them up. Right? Exactly. I love that. One thing I love to touch base on is something called profile and profile comes to us from the Chinese eaching to 2000 plus year old system, and in this Chinese eaching there are six line shapes called hexagrams. And these six lines, each line represents a different thing. And I like to think of the lines like a house and the first line is the foundation of the house. The second line is the front door. The third line is the living room. The fourth line is like a staircase. The fifth line is maybe a bedroom window and the upstairs and the sixth line is the roof. So if we kind of thinking about that, your profile is made up of two different lines. One that comes from the design or you know, kind of internal, and then one comes through your personality. And so when we combine them, you get sort of a fraction looking number. And yours. Kate is two, four. So let's talk for a second about the two people who have to line in their profile, they have this natural genius to them, right? They just have something that they're just so good at and come so easily to them versus everybody else around them. And the only thing that two lines have to be aware of, is with their natural genius. They don't always know why they know what they know, or how they know what they know, being in circumstances and being in environments where they constantly have to prove why they know what they know can be really, really harmful because they second guess themselves. And they can say like, I don't know how I know this and then people say up invalid. If you don't know how you know it, you know it you don't know it. And that's sort of a fallacy I think that is in our current culture, is that we all have to know how we know why or how we know things and We value things in that way. And so as a two line a lot of your work is to show up in your genius and to create spaces where you don't always have to convince everybody around you that that genius is realistic or that genius is real or that comes from certain, a specific place.

Kate Kordsmeier 47:20

That is really interesting. So I'm trying to apply this to like a specific example of something. And I'm wondering if I'm interpreting this correctly or not. But just this past week, I've been having a lot of self doubt because I feel like I'm not the foremost expert in certain topics. So for example, one of my mentors is a really profound expert and cyclical living and using your menstrual cycle and then phases of the moon and that kind of thing. To manage your energy and your time, and this really resonates with me, and I've been trying to incorporate it into my life. But as I'm now starting to teach people, I'm feeling really insecure about it like, well, I don't you know, I'm not a doctor, I don't I don't know all the answers. Am I interpreting that differently?

Nikki Brafman 48:26

But you're saying that there's a lot of societal pressure to know all of the answers, right? And maybe this particular thing cyclical living might not be your genius, but your genius might be awakening people to other modalities and other things. Right. So thinking about where your genius actually is, if your genius very well might be teaching other people about cyclical living, but from what I know about you, and from even you sharing me it feels like your genius is to use your voice and your planet. For him to share a lot of these other things with other people, right, these things journey that you're on the modalities that you're interested in. And so I would ask yourself, where do you really know? What do you really lit up by? Are you lit up by really talking on a very granular level about cyclical living, and therefore, if you don't feel comfortable, maybe it's time to kind of accrue a little bit more knowledge? Or is your genius finding the system sharing the system amplifying the system, and therefore, like, your work stops when the amplification has happened, and someone else works on someone else's zone of genius picks up, and I would really love that.

Kate Kordsmeier 49:41

Yeah, and that's exactly what I had been talking with a friend about this. And this was just one example of cyclical living. There's a million other examples of other topics because I'm interested in a lot of things i feel like i and this word curator kept coming to me as name maybe it's not that I'm the expert. And x and y and z. It's that it's that I'm curating these this different these different modalities, like you said, these different ways of thinking ways of doing things. And then I'm saying like, you know, this is a really powerful, I'm not the Human Design expert, but I know Nikki, she's going to come in, and I'll get you started in like, approachable way, and then hand it over to Nikki.

Nikki Brafman 50:25

Exactly. And I think that's probably a really big part of your genius. It's really, it ties in nicely with you being a generator, it's a big part of what lights you up. And it actually ties in beautifully with the second part of your profile, which is the four line and I have this in my profile as well. And the four line is basically all about community. So your success is directly related to the success of your community. And I'm a lot of time and effort and energy investing and building community. And I think that your success shows that and so when you're the four lines, is all about kind of network. If you're looking to hire someone, if you were, you know, still dating and looking looking for someone looking for love somewhere, you're always going to want to look inside your network doesn't mean keeping your network small, always expanding and always expanding. But fours are more likely to meet someone via a friend of a friend or hire someone that's a friend of a friend or hire someone that already follows them on social media or something like that. That is inside their network or their sort of next networks, their friends, networks, things like that. And investing in your community by curating and elevating other people is such gonna be a big part of the way of your role is that your role in the world the style that you've become successful in or that you are successful in and everything that goes with that.

Kate Kordsmeier 51:51

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This is this is such good timing for all of that, to be going through this, this is just really making me feel, you know, I think it almost becomes like an imposter syndrome type thing which people, especially if you're trying to start your own online business, everybody struggles with that, well, who am I? Why would anybody care what I have to say, you know, I'm not as good as so and so or whatever it might be the comparison trap, and I feel like this human design and understanding especially these lines is really, really helping me. Yeah.

Nikki Brafman 53:41

Yeah. It's amazing. I think that we are as human beings are wired for fear and survival. And so this idea of homogenization plays really nicely into that right, stay small, stay sane, and everything will be fine and safe, and nothing wrong when nothing bad will happen. But we've all lived a highly homogenized lives. We They've been saying this. And we can all attest that bad things can happen in those environments. So why not really dive into the things that make you completely unique, that we're not wired for if expand your capacity personally, for being unique and being more joyful and having more abundance in your life, in order to really show up in the way that the world needs you to show up, right? This is not just the world doesn't need people, everybody's showing up in the same exact way. Right going down that path and we're not better for it. We to show up as unique individuals and unique beings, and to put our personal mark on the world is important. And I think Human Design finds a way to make that really accessible, right? It makes it it's because it's an experiment because it kind of allows you to jump in little by little and try this out and try that out. It's not like a full boom. You don't have to kind of show up. You're in And say like, Hey, I'm a changed person now. You can use it as an experiment to try on what feels good and what what fits. Yeah,

Kate Kordsmeier 55:08

yeah. So beautiful. So this is so cool. I think there is there one last, the not self theme. I'm seeing this on my chart what each

Nikki Brafman 55:19

energy type has a corresponding not self theme. And the not self theme is this really, really nice sort of signpost that says Like, you're going the wrong way. And so for generators and manifesting generators, you're not self theme is frustration. So when you feel frustration, it's always really really good to make sure that you are my my energy type. What are you noticing? what feels good, what doesn't feel good? That kind of thing. And then for projectors, the not self theme is bitterness. So as a projector, when and if you're feeling bitterness, that's a great signpost that says I'm not in my energy, I'm not where I am. I always see that in, you know, this unsolicited advice type of world, right? If you give someone advice and they don't take it or they didn't even ask for it, you're kind of bitter like, like, I know I know better. But that kind of resolves when you are waiting for the invitation and acting based on that, for manifest stirs. Anger is your not self theme. And that I think, can manifest itself in a lot of different ways. For me, personally, I know that it manifests itself in tears, right? So a lot of times I'm prone to crying. And people are like, why are you crying? And I'm like, I'm angry and mad. And they're like, why are you crying? I'm like, I don't know, I can't, I just can't get my anger out any other way. So it's always interesting to kind of think about that not self theme. And then to understand, like, maybe what I feel is, maybe what the world thinks I'm feeling right now is a little bit different than what actually feeling and knowing that that signpost is really, really important. as well. And then the last one is reflectors and reflectors, not self theme is disappointment. So reflectors will kind of feel like if they're not in the right environment or not in the right place or taking on too much energy that is not serving them, they'll feel disappointed by that. And that's something kind of to look after. It's not to say that as multifaceted human beings, all of us with different energy types don't all feel these emotions. But those particular emotions represent these signposts of like, Hey, I'm not in my energy, and I need to kind of rethink my environment, and how I'm spending my time and how I'm exerting all my energy.

Kate Kordsmeier 57:41


Oh, man, I want to dive so much deeper. Because even just looking at my chart, there's a million other questions I have. And if you're listening and you're feeling like I want to see my chart, I want to talk about this with somebody like Nikki, Nikki, tell us like where can people find you. I know you gave us the We'll put it in the show notes to that your website where they can get their own charts. And then how can they go further with you?

Nikki Brafman 58:07

Yes, so we, so you can find me at Nikki rassman calm, I'm on Instagram, a lot of them taking a week break off right now. I'm on Instagram at Nikki Brafman. And then I also have an account. That is a teaching account for Human Design called Human Design for business. And there we kind of go over energy types. We go through kind of scenarios like different business tips for different energy types. We go through things like affirmations for different profile lines, all types of things there. It's a really fun playground of learning. And then on my website, you'll see there's a there's a bunch of different offerings, I do everything from one off readings, I have a product called a chart brief, and chart briefs are like a PDF overview of what we went over today, your energy type authority profile with corresponding journal prompts and affirmations as well. And then the program that I love right now that I'm just enjoying So much dealing with with my clients is called embodiment. And embodiment is a six week program. And in that program, there are three reading sessions where we kind of go over your chart, we dive deeper into the advanced kind of Human Design. And then, so those are every other week and then the off weeks. Throughout the week, I use a program called voxer, which is a voice note app. And I really asked you guys to like, fully Tell me like what went on today? How is today? What were the conflicts that came up, and then we're able to reframe them in the lens of Human Design through your particular chart. And so after the six weeks, the goal is to really truly be living in your design in a deeper way, and then understand conceptually how to move forward and alleviate blocks and really living in a life of flow.

Kate Kordsmeier 59:48

Oh, so cool.

I'm looking into this for myself. Yeah, I love this. So thank you for being here. We always finish the episode. It's like a lightning round of five questions that I asked everybody so it's super quick. Don't overthink it. What's your favorite way to make time for self care?

Nikki Brafman 1:00:09

Yeah I'm I'm big into meditation and hypnosis. So right now I either a session with my hypnotherapist or self guided hypnotherapy. I'm a big bath bath person, I take a lot of baths and so a lot of salt baths for grounding and walking with my feet barefoot in the grass. That's pretty much my lineup. I love it. Do you have a good virtual hypnotherapy that you use as I love to do more? with Dave, I'll send you as information. He's phenomenal.

Kate Kordsmeier 1:00:38

Okay, awesome. Okay, what is one tool or strategy, maybe it's like cycle thinking that you use to help you with time management.

Nikki Brafman 1:00:49

So, I am a recovering over Dewar. And so I have outsourced that I have a VA, who really keeps me in line with my calendar. makes me do less. I do like the Pomodoro method for getting stuff done right, just kind of setting the setting a timer and saying, okay, we're only focusing on this for this period of time. But I will admit fully that my time management is a disaster during when fed with a business. So, full disclosure, Commodore was not cleaning that up, right?

Kate Kordsmeier 1:01:23

It can help but

so much that we can accomplish when like you said, it's, we're in COVID times no child care. You know, things are crazy. You can't leave the house. Yeah. Okay, what's the most powerful business or entrepreneurial or maybe even just a mindset book that you've ever read? I have so many favorite books

Nikki Brafman 1:01:46

and one of my favorite, intensely woowoo spiritual, it's about affirmations. It's called the game of life and how to play it and it was written in the 1920s by a woman and it all of the lessons still apply. massively today. It's thought about kind of rewiring our brains and consciousness for not being afraid. It goes really, really beautifully with the book, the big leap by gay Hendricks, which is another favorite of mine, and talks a ton about how we live more in our zone of genius. When I read it for the first time, I was like, wow, I spend zero time in my zone of genius and pretty pretty quickly able to kind of move everything out of my zones of excellence, competence and incompetence and into my zone of genius. Yeah,

Kate Kordsmeier 1:02:32

that's great. Do you have a favorite or one of your favorite mantras or affirmations that you use regularly or that you're using right now?

Nikki Brafman 1:02:41

Yeah, I have I have two that I use all the time. One is, I choose easy world where everything is easy. And which for me, always, is necessary because I like make mountains out of molehills and when I choose easy world, I just kind of I'm like, wow, this task that I was dreading is just the That changes my mindset. The other is also goes with gay Hendricks work. I commit to expanding my capacity for abundance, love and joy as I inspire others to do the same. So because we are wired as humans who are wired for fear and survival, and we actually have to work very, very hard to increase our capacities for the good things in our lives, and that's been helping me a lot to understand where I sabotage where I self sabotage and where I can sort of expand that capacity.

Kate Kordsmeier 1:03:32

So good. Obviously the podcast is called Success with Soul What does Success with Soul mean to you?

Nikki Brafman 1:03:40

I think Success with Soul for me comes down to like integrity, right? So if you're, if you're, you know, outwardly successful, many, etc. But you're not doing it in a way that comes from the soul and comes from integrity, whether that's integrity to something like the way you work in Human Design or the traditional ways we think about integrity and morals. I don't want to get to the top in a way that doesn't feel good the way that doesn't feel so awful. And I imagine that the top is going to feel a lot better when I get there if it's done in integrity and with soulful intention.

Kate Kordsmeier 1:04:15

Yeah, love that. Thank you, Nikki. I so appreciate

Nikki Brafman 1:04:19

hear NASA. It's been so it's been my honor. It's been my pleasure and it's been really fun. Thanks so much.

Kate Kordsmeier 1:04:30

Thanks for listening to the Success with Soul Podcast the place to be for holistic online business strategies and achieving more with less, as this show is a brand spankin new any and all support is greatly appreciated. So if you haven't done so already, please subscribe on the apple podcast app, Google podcast, app, Spotify or wherever you listen. This makes it possible for me to continue to provide free helpful content and bring you amazing guests. You You can also give us a rating and review with your honest feedback so we can improve and better serve you in the future. Plus, you could be featured on a future episode during our listener spotlights. Your reviews are super helpful and motivating to me personally. But beyond that reviews help with rankings, which helps others find the show and allows me to keep providing you with free content every single week. Share the podcast with your friends, family, coworkers, dogs, cats, neighbors, whoever. And don't forget to join the free Success with Soul Facebook community at We have follow up conversations about the podcast episodes and I often go live to answer your burning questions. Plus, you'll get to hang out with like minded bloggers and heart centered online business owners exchanging priceless feedback, encouragement and other golden insight from the trenches. That's Until next time, remember to celebrate your progress, not perfection.

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