When I wrote my book The Perfect Day Plan, I thought I’d created the ultimate success book. Simply by rescheduling everything, from meals to board meetings to sex, to a time that is beneficial for your organs, you can conserve energy and, better still, access powerful universal forces. This is what I call a chi-cycle lifestyle. It allows you to work smarter not harder so an eight-hour workday should be all you need to get things done. You can go home and switch off during Kidney time (5pm – 7pm), have quality time with family, sleep deeply and wake refreshed, keen to switch back on during colon time, (5am – 7am), feeling so energetic and productive you can achieve all your goals in half the time. It all sounded good to me but many of my successful clients read the book and then said there was no way they could live like that, they couldn’t afford the time. They had to be at the office by 7am at the latest and never left before 7pm (plenty of employees live the same way). The prime drive behind this work ethic was the desire to succeed usually in the form of acquiring material goods. If that meant working really hard and putting health on the backburner, well that was just part of the price that had to be paid.
This approach to success is the old way of the old world. But it is constantly being encouraged in success books. I still read this literature but not long ago I lived by it. Back in the 90s I put business goaIs first and when I wasn’t working I was either listening to success CDs in my sporty cars or going to success seminars. Anthony Robbins, Jim Rohn and Brian Tracy, were my heroes. They promised me a bright future and I willingly handed myself over to it. The present and my inner world were irrelevant. I had no time for anything but work. Eventually my body reached the point where it was no longer able to process the constant yang of that lifestyle and it all came crashing to a halt via Grand Mal seizures. After the second time I went through this cycle I got the message, or so I thought. I really understood how important health was, so I took stock of my life and identified my soul purpose. Visits to renowned psychics were a part of this process and they all saw me writing books and – being highly successful. Sharing my knowledge of health through books seemed noble but deep down and unacknowledged, was the lure of success. So the house got sold to finance this new publishing venture but before long the old patterns to succeed at all costs crept up. Deadlines came to dictate my life but I had learned my lesson and I made time to maintain physical and spiritual health. However, it took time from my clinic work so I began living on credit. I wasn’t worried about this. Being thoroughly trained in success techniques I knew everything would work out because I was following all the guidelines. When funds ran low, I simply applied for more credit. Eventually three books were published and available in several countries. But the lengthy periods of writing meant I had neglected my business and I crashed again. This time it was a financial collapse. The car went, along with any possession that had any value. I simply couldn’t believe it. It seemed you could have health or wealth but not both.
I shifted focus back to my clinic, but I attracted one hugely successful client after another. They were driving cars I no longer had and living in houses like the one I had let go of. Once again I was confronted by success and wealth. A voice inside my head kept telling me this was the only reality worth aspiring to and I struggled with feelings of failure. I went through a reactive period of rejecting the success gurus, telling myself that they were only rich from presenting theories people were prepared to pay for, they needed people to buy their ideas. Where would Anthony Robbins or any of them be without their followers? I decided spirituality was the path and success and goals were irrelevant. I experimented with getting rid of my dreams but that didn’t last very long and I don’t believe it is the solution. According to the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine, it is our job to develop our physical world with the ultimate goal of bringing heaven onto earth. Abundance is part of this. Then the penny dropped for me. Although a lot of my successful clients were exuding material abundance, I felt their pulses and internally they were presenting defeat and scarcity. Most were on a minimum of three medications to take care of their blood pressure, cholesterol and stress. In addition they needed medication to sleep as all of them complained about being unable to ‘switch off’ their minds at night. They were often control-freaks or unable to regulate their moods which led to regular outbursts which they regretted the next day. They might have pulled up in luxury vehicles and gone home to fabulous mansions, but their organs had a lifestyle of driving cheap bombs and living in run-down caravans. This is not heaven on earth. Heaven on earth is outer luxury matched with inner luxury: a body that feels as sumptuous as a Bentley, a mind that is as fast and smooth as a Ferrari and a spirit that knows the unconditional joy of a young child. Also, being non-reactive to others, in particular family members, and having so much mental space when dealing with stressful situations that you can consider options before deciding how to act. Who wouldn’t want this? But at the same time who wouldn’t want the nice cars and houses (myself included). So the next big question for me was – how can you have both? How can you be successful and healthy? I started asking my clients if they thought this was possible and everyone delivered the same answer: ‘well of course you can, look at ‘so and so’. David Bowie was a frequently cited example. But Bowie became healthy after his success. I saw him on stage at the height of his fame and he looked just as bad as me and my speed-addicted friends. No one could name anyone in their immediate environment who was successful and truly healthy. Maybe the two were mutually exclusive?
But the universe is perfect. If our job is to bring heaven onto earth we need to be seeking success, so there had to be a way. I now firmly believe the chi-cycle lifestyle is it. Firstly, because it is a system in which you can feel good if your dream doesn’t work out or you don’t achieve your goals, and secondly because it is a system that automatically reassesses the importance of your goals for you. In regards to the former, a chi-cycle lifestyle allows you to engage with material (temporary) goals while simultaneously establishing reference points for happiness that come from something that is permanent. The material world is extremely fragile and can collapse instantly. If my books don’t sell or no one wants my services and my wellbeing is dependent on that, I’m in big trouble. This does happen in any endeavor, it is part of the journey, but it is meant to happen with a fallback position of universal support and a connection with the eternal. The material world is temporary. We all know this of course but it is theoretical until you can feel it. I feel it by following the chi-cycle. Each morning at 5am colon time, I get up and while I do my chi-gung and weights I focus my thoughts on ‘emptiness’ or ‘mortality and death’ as that tunes me into the idea of eternity, the ‘bigger picture’ as the Dalai Lama likes to call it. I used to project my business goals and do positive thinking and affirmations in the morning during my practice, but I no longer do this as it means I am seeking support from the temporary and fragile physical world. When that falls through, as it inevitably will, I am left out on my own. If, however, I am connected with the universal energy flow, from following the chi-cycle and connecting with my eternal self at this time in the morning, I have permanent ‘back-up’ and the bigger picture in mind.
As for the second aspect of the chi-cycle system, the goal reassessment, it was something I just didn’t expect and I only discovered it as a result of what I now think of as my ‘priceless’ financial crash. For the first time in my life, I found myself in the situation of being able to start again from a position of inner luxury. Not that long ago my version of success was to be healthy and happy and have a couple of houses a holiday unit on the coast, a boat, a motorbike, a sports car a 4-wheel drive and a luxury sedan, as well as a big bank account. But over time, following the chi-cycle lifestyle generated internal changes that I wasn’t even aware of. It creates inner luxury and as that increases, your version of what constitutes outer luxury decreases. For me a comfortable house and car now feels luxurious. If you follow the chi-cycle long enough, your need to achieve material goals definitely changes. Part of this is because the chi-cycle creates a better balance of yin and yang. It was a deep-seated need to prove that I wasn’t a hopeless drug-addicted loser that triggered my initial desire for material success, but regardless of what kicked it off, I’d secretly revel in the deadlines, goals, caffeine, acceleration and excitement of the yang success world. It is highly addictive because the more yang you get the more you need. You can’t do ‘yin’ anymore. So nothing can rein in your urge to keep going, keep achieving, and there is no ‘space’ or time to see what you are really doing to yourself. I now believe this yang addiction is a worse addiction than drugs and it has a higher mortality rate than drugs. I will be permanently grateful for discovering the chi-cycle and for my financial collapse (funnily enough it was the research for the chi-cycle book that contributed to the collapse, so maybe there was a master-plan in play) because it freed me from the ‘yang trap’. I finally appreciate yin. I can even watch Eckhardt Tolle YouTube videos! Once the passivity of his delivery would have irritated me, but I enjoy it now. The chi-cycle lifestyle also changes your perception of time. In traditional Chinese medicine time is not a dimension it is organic – it is an extension of our organs and linked directly to bodily functions. As you follow the chi-cycle your organs change and you gain time – it reverses the aging process. The chi-cycle system is the ultimate success strategy. It creates ‘heaven on earth’ through building outer and inner wealth together.