Our contract with Heaven
We all have creativity, ideas, dreams and destiny. In some Daoist philosophies, which went on to inform TCM, this is considered as our ‘contract with Heaven’. This is still one of my favourite healthy lifestyle concepts, it inspires me to make everything extra meaningful, and I often describe it as us on earth being employed by Heaven Inc. So, if we have a worthwhile idea or vision we need to act on it and to persevere with it despite the challenges, because this is important for our physical, emotional and spiritual health.
It is not our fate to be here and just settling for life as a daily drudge. This stagnates liver chi and and sets off internal imbalances that manifest as bitterness, frustration and cynicism. There are no cynical souls, it is an imbalance, and it sabotages your right to achieve your dreams. Roadblocks, challenges and obstacles are natural and they are part of pursuing destiny. But instead of focusing on them, the trick is to focus on making your liver chi flow smoothly, because then your perception of the obstacles changes. With liver chi flowing smoothly to all your organs you are non-reactive and non-emotional, you flow around things instead of fighting them. When liver chi flows freely doors open, you see options that would have otherwise stayed hidden, and life becomes more enjoyable so it’s a win-win strategy.
My first book…
I can’t count the hurdles and obstacles I faced with Higher & Higher, my first book. It started with a vision and took nearly eight years to write. I’d gotten tired of seeing the same old judgmental or clinical books on addiction, that were of no help to anyone. Higher and Higher was intended to be an inspirational page-turner and it blended my own story of addiction and recovery with TCM and case histories of my patients. This had never been done before and I thought that was awesome. But because it had never done before, publishers had no idea what to do with it and they all rejected it.
Instead of quitting we decided to self-publish and forged on. We printed 3000 books then, realising we had to sell them, launched a promotional tour. This meant that on top of revealing my drug past which before then I’d kept hidden, I also had to face my terror of talking publicly about my past (I really wanted to quit the business at this point). But I made myself go on and spoke in the craziest venues imaginable and met all sorts of people, and the positive feedback from the book inspired me to keep going.
Then I got a distributor to get the book into the shops and everything was going great, until the distributor went bankrupt and all the stock went down with them. Then came an hallelujah moment, Allen & Unwin publishers contacted me, after reading an article I’d written on holistic drug recovery, and they produced a second edition of the book. Then they commissioned two more books, but new hurdles appeared and kept increasing. So it was, and still is a roller-coaster ride, and a lot of the times it is uncomfortable, and very tempting to just give up. But the feedback from the books keeps coming from people, who get inspired to improve their health, and my job is to keep going.
Don’t give up and just ‘Dao’ it
Pursuing your vision is always a challenge and it is so much easier to give up than stick with it, but this only stagnates liver chi and this is not good for our health. Regular ‘pivots’ and lots of chi is the better option. So the moral of the story: whatever your vision, for the sake of health and happiness stay focused on it and keep moving towards it while taking care of your organs and keeping in mind flowing liver chi. Don’t waver, zone into chi flow and ‘just Dao it’ as I say. Things can change at any moment. Things turned out very differently to how I thought they would, but it was all good in the end.