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Audaciously Aligned: Stop Shoulding on Yourself and Thrive

Updated: May 1

Below is an excerpt from my contribution to a collaborative book about Human Design in real life called Stop Overworking and Start Overflowing: 25 Ways to Transform Your Life Using Human Design.

My Story: The “Shoulds”

Why can’t I just be satisfied? I am good at this – no, I am great at this – plus the

money is excellent, and my parents can brag about what a successful adult they


That familiar feeling set in.

The one that nudges me after I have gone all in on something with my effort, heart, and soul, “There is more out there for you.”

Um…more than a multiple six-figure career that I have built from the ground up

over the last five years?

“Yep. Trust me, you no longer have the energy to serve and succeed here.

Something has to change.”

I should be able to stick it out.

My whole life I have jumped into a new activity, job, or exciting opportunity with

both feet. I pick up new skills easily. I can figure out the blueprint for “success”

wherever I land. I have the ability to deeply study the ins-and-outs of whatever

interests me, find the resources I need, and learn how to connect with others in

order to grow. I gain a measure of success at whatever I commit to and, after a

period of time, I eventually get that feeling in my gut that says, “We are done here.

It’s time to move on.”

I have been called brave and bold with every pivot, but it always feels scarier to

stay than to forge forward in a fresh direction. I recognize the signs of burnout and

pay attention to my increasing frustration and lack of energy to engage any longer. I am resilient to change. I know I will figure it out.

And yet, other people seemed to be able to power through. They appear to know

what they want and can stick with it. They aren’t embarrassed by their varied job

history. They don’t joke they are a “Jill of All Trades”, while at the same time

wondering if everyone thinks they are a quitter or expecting too much joy and

satisfaction from their work.

“I just need to take the first quarter next year off to reevaluate my business,” I

explained to my husband mid-December of 2019. Exhausted, frustrated, and

physically sick with an unrelenting head cold, I knew that I had hit a major wall.

Thankfully, my husband subscribes to the Happy Wife, Happy Life philosophy,

and was also well aware that my flame was burning lower and lower.

I was a Realtor and owned my own brokerage as a solopreneur. I hadn’t had a true

day off in five years and planned to refer business out for the first quarter of 2020.

My goal was to figure out what I could adjust to stop feeling that pit of dread in my stomach whenever a new potential client contacted me. I had become “successful” in the eyes of my peers and earned an income that I had previously only dreamed of. And yet I found myself thinking, money isn’t everything.

One of the first aspects I learned while studying my Human Design is that I am a

Manifesting Generator. My life is all about transformation and growth as I navigate

what excites me and brings me joy. I am meant to be multi-passionate and respond to what lights me up. I am not here to follow the conventional path…I chart my own!

I picked up conditioning from society that I should select a career and settle down,

but that simply is not who I am. I am here to be a powerful creator and inspire

others with my energy. However, at the end of 2019, my energy was non-existent.

I was experiencing what is referred to as the Generator Pause. This is a time we

(often reluctantly) feel the intense urge to purposefully slow down to evaluate our

current direction in life and reevaluate our next steps. Is it time to shift my process

or break off into an entirely new direction? The pause can be the energetic reset

necessary to keep shoveling for the gold at the next level or the catalyst to search

for a new gold mine.

While taking this hiatus from real estate, I found myself reflecting on what my

purpose is in this life. I should know my purpose. I thought it was to help people

with their real estate needs. Now that no longer resonated with me. I was also a

home stager and, in addition to staging my listings, I had been sharing the remodel of our home online for a couple years at this point. People loved my vision and style. Maybe design was what I should be doing?

Friends were asking if I would help them with design layouts and interior décor

selections. I knew I was good at it and how much pulling together a space that

supported me and my family lit me up. However, every time someone asked, I had

that dang pit in my stomach. Nope. I don’t want to do that.

My designs feel personal to me. They are my creative outlet, my play. I couldn’t

stand the thought of anyone pulling apart my creativity who wasn’t able to see the

complete vision. Even though my body clearly was saying “no”, I was still relying

on my mind to figure out what was next for me. Plus, I was desperately seeking my

purpose so that I could have something exciting to put my creative energy towards again.

I am good at this. People recognize this in me. They want to hire me. I am going to need some kind of work if I decide to leave real estate.

I registered a new company with the Colorado Secretary of State: Aligned Interiors

Co. The name was intentionally a play on words. While everyone was asking me to

help with the interiors of their homes, I couldn’t stop thinking about an incredible

tool and system for self-awareness I was studying called Human Design. I would

get lost for hours (and still do!), as I went deeper and deeper into what the system

taught me about myself and my relationships with others. I envisioned a future of

impacting, inspiring, and empowering women with transformation of their

personal interior, not that of their home.

This realization occurred as I became aware of my true purpose. There is nothing

in your Human Design that will tell you exactly what job you are meant to have,

but you do have a unique set of gifts and an energetic purpose you are here to

fulfill. I learned that my purpose is to live my life in an authentic way that lights

me up and inspires others to do the same. I ultimately am here to expand prosperity for others with my unique combination of gifts.

It has been really enlightening to see how I have actually been living out my

purpose over the years. As I mentioned before, I previously felt some shame about

my colorful job history. Now I see how my skills were used to increase prosperity

every place I worked. As long as I was satisfied with the job and felt valued, I was

an incredible asset.

As a Realtor, I increased prosperity for families by assisting them with making

wise financial decisions when purchasing and selling their properties so they could

enjoy the greatest profit. Even in 2020, when I was no longer taking clients, I

increased prosperity for my Realtor friends by referring them business. I now help

others create prosperity by teaching them how they were created to attract

opportunities, make decisions, improve relationships, and thrive!

In the midst of my attempt to figure out my purpose and clarify my next steps, the

world came to a standstill. We were all directed to stay home, stay away from

others, and cover our faces for health and safety. It was a shock to my system.

I have always had a pretty decent life. Yes, as an adult, I have faced numerous

challenges and “everything happens for a reason” has carried me through more

surprises and shocking events than I ever thought possible. I continue to persevere

and grow with each upheaval, from economic downturns, to surprise pregnancies,

to near-death experiences.

However, underneath the surface is an emotional storm subtly brewing at all times.

I have experienced emotional highs and lows my entire life and had perfected my

coping mechanism of numbing and stuffing down those emotions I was taught

were bad or negative. You know, the “appropriate” and “acceptable” way to handle

life as an adult professional. I should stop feeling this way.

My traditional middle-class upbringing included a balance of activities, nature,

travel, childhood friends, and parents who are still happily married. I first learned

to numb my emotions with shots of Southern Comfort from the liquor cabinet at 12 years old. When I was in high school the melancholy, pain, and overwhelming

feeling of being trapped was too much for me. One day I swallowed a handful of

pills and chugged two beers, hoping I would fall asleep and fade away along with

the depression. Imagine my frustration waking up 10 hours later with a terrible

headache and twisted stomach, but still here to deal with the misery of life.

I decided that was a sign I was meant to be here and perhaps not talking about my

feelings wasn’t actually serving me. I told my mom what I had done, and she

scheduled a visit with a therapist. I remember being fascinated by the pre-

appointment evaluation as I was encouraged to think about myself in a different

way while answering the many questions. Oooh, this self-reflection business is


I learned two things about myself during those therapy sessions:

1) I have higher expectations for myself than anyone else ever could.

2) My “condition” was labeled as manic depression.

More awareness! My extreme highs and lows had a name. Getting validation that I

wasn’t alone in this experience gave me reason to believe I could manage the lows

if I could just catch them earlier. I also was determined to hang in there for the

freedom I could sense on the horizon, also known as college.

I rarely talked about this experience with anyone until very recently because it was

made clear to me that depression is not something nice, “normal” people discussed.

I referred to my feelings as a spiral and I became excellent at catching myself as I

began the downward decent, recognizing the spiral before I went too deep. The

stuffing, numbing, and working through my emotions privately was working out

for me. At least, I thought it was.

Of course, 2020 busted open the floodgates of emotional lows that I hadn’t fully

experienced in 25 years. That feeling of being trapped and unable to move through the emotions that I previously experienced as a teenager had become a constant battle. However, there was even more crushing pressure and less room to navigate, while at home with my children and husband all day, every day. Time alone in my own space, social gatherings, and working out at the gym had been key to moving through my emotions and they were all stripped away in a moment with no end in sight.

I didn’t want to be here anymore. The world was going to shit, and I was done with

it all together. I would sob in the shower, all night long in bed, and on walks

behind sunglasses. Still trying to stuff and numb so that no one was worried about

me. There were many days where I would fantasize about how I could escape the

deep pain I was feeling by leaving this world.

Then I made a life changing discovery about the important role of my emotions. In

Human Design, Authority is how we are meant to make correct decisions for

ourselves, and it turns out I am an Emotional Authority. These emotions come in

the form of waves, ups and downs, that are unique to each person experiencing

them. This is what I previously recognized and called “spirals”. Learning the

importance of honoring my emotions led me to finally stop numbing my lows with

alcohol on December 15th, 2020, at 42 years old. I decided it was time to take my

personal power back and fully tune in to what my emotions were teaching me.

Just as important as discovering the role of my own emotions was learning that

neither of my parents are Emotional Authority. They don’t have these intense

waves of emotions running through their bodies all day and night. In fact, my

emotions probably made them quite uncomfortable and therefore I was never

taught how to move through them in a healthy, productive way. Hence, the

numbing and stuffing down plan I adopted early on.

It turns out about 50% of the population is like me…meant to get out of their head

and into their emotions when it comes to knowing what is correct for them. I can

see how many of those people, including my husband and boys, are riding these

waves unaware of their importance in their lives. Part of what I share and teach

others now is how there are no good or bad emotions, and that our feelings are here for us to work with and learn from.

I am learning to surf my own emotional waves and ride them with grace. One of

my particular waves comes with extreme lows and melancholy, but that

melancholy is also an important part of my depth and creativity. I appreciate the

lows now as much as the highs, even if they do come at inopportune times. I

understand now that these feelings serve me. I seek to be aligned with this inner

authority given to me and hope to help others do the same.

Jen Allen

Human Design Consultant

1:1 Human Design Session

Together will be looking at your Human Design holistically. This 90 minute, 1:1 conversation is far more in-depth than what you can take in from an online source or book. Within this space we can cover the basics of your Human Design BodyGraph (Energy Type, Strategy, Authority, Centers, Channels, etc.) or a particular challenge you are bumping up against. Together we can dive into life in general, decision making, business, relationships, or parenting through the lens of your unique Design. It is entirely up to you! 

Contact me to book your Choose Your Own Adventure Session.  ($140)


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