On a typical Monday morning, Erin Claire Jones can be found at her home in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Like most mornings, she keeps a mindful routine of quiet and movement, allowing her to come into the day in presence and radiance. It’s important for her to keep this time for herself because as a new entrepreneur who has spent the past two years rapidly growing a successful business around Human Design, the rest of her morning and afternoon are filled with new and returning clients curious to learn more about this ancient system that has taken the modern world by storm.
For those new to Human Design, it’s a system that combines ancient systems like the I Ching, astrology and Kabbalah to help you understand who you are and how you should best show up in the world. It is also known to be a tool for understanding our emotional, psychological and energetic makeup. And as a Human Design Guide, Erin Claire helps people interpret their unique birth chart to optimize their lives, including how to thrive in the workplace, approach challenging situations, or create healthy sleeping patterns. She helps people discover new ways to make decisions both personally and professionally.
I sat down with Erin Claire to learn more about what we can gain through human design, how to find balance as a thriving small business owner in New York City, living her purpose and helping others doing the same.
Simone Spilka (SS): How do you start your day — do you keep a morning practice?
Erin Claire Jones (ECJ): There are things that are always there in the mornings, like getting enough sleep and writing when I can. I always start my morning with a Kundalini practice then some sort of at-home exercise or hot yoga class. This movement and exercise is important to my practice before eating breakfast. I’m flexible to adjust though and that is just as important.
SS: You’ve had a dedicated Kundalini practice for a while — when did you start?<
ECJ: I’ve been practicing Kundalini since 2016, and then I went all in and did my training from 2017—2018. In Kundalini, there are different kriyas and different sets which are varying amounts of time, so sometimes my morning practice is 20 minutes and other times it’s 38. You do each kriya for 40 days at a time to build a habit. It starts my day with a sense of grounding and peace.
It’s hard to not start responding to things in the morning that come in overnight, but having a moment to reconnect to myself is important for how I show up everyday.
SS: As a small business owner, you receive a lot of inquiries throughout the day, evening and early mornings. How do you make a conscious decision to not check-in on work before your morning practice?
ECJ: I’m the one who is responding to everything and people are reaching out to me across every platform, from email to text to instagram. I just have to be clear when I shut off at night and choose not to respond until I’m ready to work. I sometimes cross the boundaries though because it’s not easy.
I recently returned from two months of traveling and working abroad in different time zones from New York, so most of my clients were asleep while I was awake. It allowed me to create a container to respond, and this process will become easier when I bring on support [to my company].
SS: What does everyday self-care look like to you?
ECJ: Human Design is about working in spurts and taking a lot of time to rest, especially for my unique Human Design. It’s about honoring where my energy is and really leveraging it when I need it, or staying tuned into when I need to relax. My partner and I both work from home during the day so sometimes self-care is just about spending joyful time with him during the day and recognizing that we don’t need to be productive all of the time.
SS: Are there spaces in your home that are designed just for you?
ECJ: Autonomy and independence are core to our relationship. We are always in our own flows during the workday. We also have our own bedrooms and spaces so we can retreat to that when we need it. Carving out the time for our separateness has been unbelievable because it makes our time together even more meaningful. We both need a lot of time and space alone, which is one of the reasons why our relationship works so well.
SS: What's the most important advice you have received about partnership?
ECJ: Human Design has taught me that relationships are really just about understanding and honoring one another’s differences. Often, the greatest moments of surprise comes when we expect our partner to be different to who or what they are.
For me, it’s about putting effort toward knowing what our own needs are and being able to communicate them to our partners or in our everyday relationships. We’re creating opportunities for our own growth, and relationships should always be about growth. Partnerships are continual learning, so I always want to make sure that I’m growing and evolving, and that there’s a higher purpose of self-understanding to it.
Life becomes a whole lot easier when we honor what our partner needs. An example from Human Design is that some people can make decisions really quickly and in the moment while others need a lot of alone time to build that sense of clarity. It’s about creating containers for when we should make these decisions.
SS: Your relationship has a very strong foundation. Why is that?
ECJ: We don’t expect each other to be similar and we support each other individually. Also, I don’t think this is an easy thing to recreate, but we were best friends for a couple of years before we started dating. Liking a person so much without needing to be romantically involved was instrumental in our evolution.
I received advice from a woman a couple of years ago who said ‘you need to allow each other to follow your own path and follow your own purpose, and it’s courageous to do that in a relationship.’
So for me, it’s always remembering that I need to be pursuing my purpose and my mission and not step back into fear. When I operate from a place of fear, my focus gets scattered.
SS: Do you know what your purpose or mission is?
ECJ: Right now, my mission is about making Human Design more practical to people. When I started using this system, it changed my life. It allows us to make decisions in an authentic way, so I have to continue to trust and surrender that what I’m doing right now is very on-track with my purpose. I mean, I’m still working too hard but that’s a part of the balance, right? There’s a lot of pressure that we’re [culturally] feeling right now based on the belief that hard work will become success, but that isn’t actually true. It’s about finding success in a way that works and is sustainable for us.
Finding balance isn’t necessarily a natural thing to do; It takes effort to prioritize. If we create a culture that makes people feel supported in their pursuit of balance and honor their decisions, then it takes a lot of the pressure off of us.
SS: How do you create that sense of balance in your everyday life, or how can we culturally evolve so people feel more balanced and supported?
ECJ: We can give ourselves more permission. Working super hard and late nights doesn’t translate to success for me, but when I create spaces for productivity, then things skyrocket. Understanding a way that works for us individually is far more sustainable to our well-being.
SS: In regards to Human Design, can you explain how does this system help people make decisions in their lives?
ECJ: By understanding their unique human design, they can really understand their blueprint in their life and how they’re uniquely designed to thrive, cultivate relationships, succeed in work, make decisions and so much more. Also more than anything it gives people permission to be themselves. Often in my work, it’s not about giving people new information, it’s letting them know stuff they already knew and just giving them permission to step into it.
There’s a lot of validation in Human Design because we spend so much of our lives trying to be all the things that we’re not.
SS: I’m familiar with the five types of Human Design. Can you share more for someone new to the system—what are the defining qualities of each type?
ECJ: There’s generators, manifesting generators, projectors, reflectors, manifestors.
Generators and manifesting generators are the people who really have the energy and lifeforce to build and create and bring things to life, and the most important thing in the world for these people is that they are doing work that is deeply satisfying for them. They are designed to wake up each morning with a full tank of energy, use their energy in super satisfying ways and then crash and wake up recharged. The difference between the two is that manifesting generators tend to move very quickly and they often thrive when they have their energy in a lot of things at once. Their gift is efficiency and not just doing one thing.
Projectors are here to be the advisors, the leaders, the guides, the teachers — we often don’t have the same consistent access to energy as manifesting generators and generators do so it’s all about working in spurts and recognizing our unique gift and taking a lot of time to rest. It’s about leveraging the energy when it's there and resting when it's not. The joke with projectors is we are actually meant to work like 3 hours a day.
Manifestors are the ones who are here to initiate, get things started, make things happen, bring new ideas into the world. They operate very well independently when they’re in control and can do things in their own way and on their own terms. They often aren’t being told how to do things or being guided by anyone else. They really need that freedom and are here to initiate and make that first move.
Reflectors are super powerful mirrors; these are people who are very sensitive to their environment and basically take in everything in their environment and mirror it back to us. They really show us the state of things just by showing up. They’re incredibly sensitive to their physical environment so one of the most important things is choosing to be in an environment that feels good to them. They also have an identity that’s always shifting and mutating so it’s really about honoring how they feel each day based on where they are and who they’re with, allowing it to change and be different.
SS: Can you share any tips and tools as it relates to stress relief, specifically if we’re understanding it through the lens of Human Design?
EJC: For manifestors, reflectors and projectors — our energy operates more inconsistently so leveraging it when its there and resting when its not. These types are meant to really wind down before sleep, so it’s not about going to bed energized or even exhausted but about getting in bed about an hour before going to sleep and just kind of letting the energy seep out. It’s often good for them to sleep in their own energy. It’s just easier to wake up as themselves because we naturally condition each other as we sleep. Generators and manifesting generators job is to use up their energy before they go to bed, and then when they do, they can crash and wake up in a revitalized state, but if they haven’t then they will go to bed and feel a little bit restless.
SS: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in studying your unique Human Design?
EJC: I’ve learned how to better relate to the people around me—to my boyfriend, my parents, my friends, the people I work with—just by understanding my design. I’m able to operate in a way that feels really good and is empowering to me.
It’s about not pushing myself, not hustling too hard and really taking my time when I make decisions. It’s not about initiating my way into things, but making sure that I feel recognized and invited in. Those are principles that guide every decision I make, and I found far more success and ease and happiness through that route.