Hi everyone! This is going to be a very long and wordy post, but if you stumble upon this post from somewhere, I do encourage you to finish reading it. If there’s one post I want you to read in my blog, it’s this one.
I’m not sure who follows my blog posts closely, but I hope whoever does enjoy it as much I do writing it. I’m not the type that writes an entry for the sake of it, and I try to let everyone have something to take away with each entry. My tone is usually a lot more personal as this is a form of expression of my own inner world, and it is very much different from my day-to-day interactions with people I have to admit and my inner-world and outer-persona are very different. Before you read further, please know I’m not trying to make myself look like some saint or put myself on a moral high-ground or whatever – I’m really just sharing my thoughts. Trust me, I’m terribly flawed and I always call myself an a**hole in front of my friends.
It’s been quite a month. First things first, you may have noticed that I implemented a form request system to collect details from the client before any formal engagement begins. The reason is I’ve reached a point where I realize some of the people who approach me require other forms of professional help especially psychologically and emotionally and to get a BaZi reading is very risky and downright detrimental to not just myself, but their own well-being as well. I’ve done close to 300 readings in the past 1.5 years since I’ve started offering my services and everything has been really smooth with a lot of good customer feedback and positive reviews left on forums and my Facebook page, but while I am confident in my knowledge and experience in analyzing charts, I think I made a big mistake in my execution of this service and I sincerely apologize to everyone for failing to set strict ethical procedures in place when I should have right from the start.
I believe in being honest and I’ll be very transparent of what has transpired. I’ve mistakenly taken on two cases which I shouldn’t have, not foreseeing the implications and it has resulted in quite a bit of unpleasantry, with false accusations of me being spread and at the same time I was being harassed. Long story short, one client blamed me for not detecting her cancer not knowing that you cannot use BaZi to detect cancer (image how rich I’d be if I could do that), whereas the other could not get over her failed relationship and was particularly tough to handle as a client. I felt rather maligned being blamed for someone else’s irresponsibility or lack of self-awareness but it also made me realize I could executive my services a lot better. I’d also like to take this opportunity for my past clients who went into the forum thread to speak up for me. In case you think they are set-up by myself, you can take a look at my testimonials here – I’ve had an amazing journey ever since I started doing this, and the encouragement and positive feedback from my clients are what drives me forward and make me want to do what I do better.
I think everyone knows by now that I am very young as my past clients like to endearingly point out that I’m young and totally not what they expected, and my email is a dead giveaway because of the 86 inside. Yes, I am 30 this year. I hope everyone understands that I am not in the best position to give advice on a lot of things because my life is very different from everyone else’s and the majority of my clients are older than me and have experienced more in life than me, although I have to say I went through quite a bit myself which led me to acquire this skill at my age. Please see the engagement as more of an educational session where I can decipher what I see in your chart and try to explain to you the meaning behind it. I’m happy to give my second opinion on things, but please remember my job is to decipher charts, not give advice. I am not a career or marriage counsellor, and I most certainly can not miraculously make your troubles disappear. It would be unethical for me to position myself as someone who could do that just to get more clients.
Nothing will ever change if you choose to self-victimize and be irresponsible with your own life. Of all the clients who have engaged me, practically all those who have such a mentality have a more challenging chart, or to put it more bluntly – a ‘low-quality’ chart. Don’t condemn yourself to a life like that. I want everyone to know that our ancestors developed this art so that we can transcend our charts, not be bound by it.
As you all know, I usually take payment first before starting work, and by the time I receive the birth details the engagement fees would have already been wired to my bank account and I’ll begin working on the chart. On the one hand, it’s more earnings for me which, of course, I would not complain about. On the other hand, I didn’t want anyone to feel discriminated against or as if they were condemned to the fate of their charts. I’ll be very honest and say that there are moments where I treated everything too transactionally and I dehumanized this service quite a bit, partly due to being emotionally exhausted due to the nature of this line of work when everyone unloads their issues on you. I’ll be changing the way I conduct things henceforth – I apologize for inconveniences and for having to require everyone to provide their details first. Rest assured that your details will be kept strictly confidential.
If you’re wondering why screening is needed and whether a chart can tell someone might require other forms or professional help, it’s sort of possible and I came across a few cases, but it can only give a hint or probabilistic answer, not a definitive one. I applied what I learned from the corporate world and performed Search Engine Optimization on my website and can be found rather easily should anyone search for such services online. This significantly increases the chances of me being found by people who aren’t suited for a reading. The above two clients I mentioned had charts that made me really uncomfortable as I found myself with not much positive things to say objectively about their charts, and truth be told the two charts were few of the most challenging ones in terms of how tumultuous their lives have been and would be. All in all, the past month was filled with a lot of different lessons and I’m grateful for it. I hope these lessons will help me conduct my sessions better. I’m speaking to a few friends whom I’m thinking of partnering up with so that I have access to specialists in fields such as marriage counselling, career counselling or in worst cases, psychiatry.
Anyway, there are a few things I would like to take this opportunity to address:
1) You should never use BaZi readings as an alternative to getting health screenings and regular check-ups. BaZi and Traditional Chinese Medicine share the same foundational theories, but it can’t definitively tell you what health issues you have, only the imbalance of your organs which will of course lead to health issues. BaZi is not here to replace or deny the value of the advancement of modern medicine. BaZi can not detect cancer, STDs or whatever, and practitioners can only comment on which organ you may need to pay more attention to.
2) I’ve said this time and again, but BaZi is not everything. It describes an unfolding of laws but it’s not the be-all and end-all. Two people of the same charts can still end up very differently because of free will and the choices they make. 《三命通會》has explicitly stated the importance of character cultivations (後天修德)。Remember, our ancestors didn’t develop BaZi to remind ourselves how tough our life is; they developed this so that we can change things, but you must first be able to accept certain things.
A lot of people actually already know the answers to the questions they ask. If you want to be rich, work hard. If you want to be loved, learn to love first (in a healthy way). If you want to find a good life partner, focus on yourself and become someone worthy of that kind of partner. I realized that people with different chart qualities ask very different questions, and the way they ask things says a lot about their mentality. Nothing will be denied to you if you just take that first small step. I often find myself in an awkward position when someone in their late 40s comes and asks me what to do with their career and marriage. I’m still single!
The reason why the Chinese metaphysics field is called 命理 is that it’s supposed to teach how people how to live and to better understand life itself so that we can get more out of it, nothing else. It’s not a short-cut to life’s problems and it can’t miraculously make your problems disappear without you putting in the effort.
Just some trivia: I did an I-Ching divination to get some advice and I had Hexagram 15 (谦/Modesty) and Hexagram 21 (噬嗑卦/Biting Through). And yes, I can do divinations and it has nothing to do with ghosts and spirits – look at it from the quantum entanglement angle. Hexagram 21 summarizes my situations very well actually as it talks about setting up a “penal code”, which in my case would be the screening procedure I’ve put in place. In summary, I know it’s telling I have to remain modest and encourages to pull through my first setback to date as a metaphysics consultant. I’ll find some time in the future to write about the I-Ching – I promise it will be a very interesting post. Trust me, anyone can do a divination and there’s a lot to learn from the I-Ching.
I see the world through very different lenses, and it’s going to take me an entry the length of an academic thesis to explain, which I will attempt to do so now. The concept of Yin and Yang is developed through the belief that reality can only exist as a duality, and our human minds can only perceive things both intellectually and experientially when things are polarized. What do I mean? For example, we know black is black because white exists, and white is white because black exists. We draw our interpretation of something based on our interpretation of another. In Buddhism this is called the inter-dependent origination of nature. Another example is, what makes a table a table? Some people say because there is a chair there. OK granted, but what if I sit on the table? Does the table become a chair then? To sum it up, what Buddhist philosophy is trying to point out is that, nothing has intrinsic existent and they exist only because we label them or assign some form of meaning to it. This is actually what Buddhists called 空, but it is a forbidden topic of study until the student is ready because the mental paradigm shift required is so great that it may cause harm to the student. As a human being I still very much perceive reality through polarizing the things I see and experience and that’s where my judgment and opinions come from, but a part of me also realizes that all these are an ‘illusion’ because of the labels I put on them and it wouldn’t matter at the end of the day.
The reason why I am trying to explain this is for everyone to understand me better. I don’t want people to think that because of the skill I have, I am judging people and I have to turn people away because they have a bad chart. I’m doing it as a matter of practicality because of the way the world is. My mind also operates on an “it is what it is” basis, and the world “just is”. There’s no need to slap a label on it and I just focus on living in the present and experiencing whatever it is I have to experience and hopefully grow from it.
The reason why I ask people to read more, meditate, and find their mental clarity is precisely because the moment you can snap out of this ‘illusion’ you’re in, you would have transcended your BaZi and you are in full control of the quality of your life. So many of us, including myself, are on ‘auto-pilot’ because of the way we grew up and because of our habits. Not that there is anything wrong, but being aware always helps because you can tweak things here and there so you don’t go further down the wrong path in case you are. I’m in ‘auto-pilot’ mode more than half the time. Because of the environment, I grew up in, I’m rather out of touch with my emotions and I do have difficulties empathizing sometimes because I’ve been fighting my whole life to survive my harsh conditions and sometimes I have the mentality of “If I survived and am doing well, why can’t you?”. It’s the reason why I can be impatient. This mentality has gotten me into a lot of trouble before and I am still working on it. I remember myself being a lot softer when I was a kid, and I kind of lost a chunk of the compassionate side of myself.
Which brings me to my next point before I digress too much. Now this part is important, so pay attention.
Have you wondered why two different people that come from the same background and through the same difficulties can end up so different? Let’s say we approach this from a BaZi angle, you would say that the person who ended up ‘better’ has a better chart, but do you really, really want your life to be determined by your chart? I’ve had the opportunity to read a lot of charts and meet a lot of people and, I believe I’ve mentioned this before, I notice that the people with an upturn in their 大運 are a lot more resilient, positive and optimistic. They are always trying to improve themselves. So it begs the primordial ‘chicken and egg’ question: does your 大運 determine your attitude or is it that your attitude is already fixed because of your BaZi and 大運? Can you imagine what it means if this link about your attitude and your 大運 holds true? It means if you change your attitude, your whole life changes and you don’t even need to get your BaZi read and we all know that 大運 basically determines your ‘luck’ and it’s more important than the 八字 you were born with. Of course, all that being said, I’m not saying you should think you are invincible and do things blindly because everyone will still have limitations. In a lot of cases, people’s overconfidence and complacency got them into a lot of trouble too. Basically, the best thing to take away from a BaZi session is to identify blind spots and take it as a feedback session, so that you can see things from a different perspective and make the appropriate changes. Trust me, I’ve read hundreds of charts and I like observing people, and this pattern of people with better attitudes having objectively better charts is extremely salient. It’s easy for me to say all these I know, because I’m in a good phase in my life now, but I hope everyone realizes that I come from a very difficult background as well which is why I even acquired this skill. I’m not trying to invalidate anyone’s pain or suffering and I know it can be hard to come out of the rut one is in, but what I’m trying to say is don’t give up and don’t take it out on others because you are only hurting yourself and risk isolating yourself from the support you need the most. I know because I’ve done that when I was younger.
You will hear stories that a lot of practitioners can have quick tempers or get impatient during a consultation, because a lot of times people expect us to give some magical solution and it can get quite frustrating. Dealing with self-victimizing and sometimes toxic people is extremely draining, so a lot of times we have to block it off and be very ‘cold’ about it to protect ourselves and it’s something everyone does. Remember we are not counsellors nor psychiatrists. It’s not that we don’t wish to be kind or that we are cruel, but at the end of the day you can only help yourself, and if you can’t, seek professional help. I’m sure everyone has that one person in their lives that they gave up on eventually because we’d rather spend the time on people who are open to being helped, and it’s not your fault that you gave up. I won’t go on any further about this topic, if not I’ll have to start talking about the modules I took on moral philosophy and utilitarianism back in my university days.
I’m going to repeat (again) what I’ve mentioned in previous entries. If you have time, go to this website and digest everything – http://www.enneagraminstitute.com. To put it extremely briefly, the Enneagram breaks down the human psyche into 9 different types and our Core Type is the front or ‘ego’ that we put up to protect ourselves. We have all 9 types in us but there is only 1 type that will stand out. Each type has 9 Levels where it determines whether you have transcended your issues, or are compensating too hard which results in toxic ways of thinking and behavior.
Another thing that I’m going to encourage everyone to read or recommend to their friends to read is called “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Toelle. It can be downloaded for free – just Google it. I won’t attempt to summarize the whole book here, but my key take away from it is that, everyone has this ‘identity’ that they crafted for themselves. For some, they might be the breadwinner who can not show vulnerability or weakness or the abused child who will feel he/she will never be loved by anyone because their own parents don’t love them. What I’m trying to say is – it’s time to let the ‘identities’ go because it’s holding you back. The stories you keep repeating in your head are holding you back. I’m not asking you to suppress it – don’t be scared of acknowledging it. Let the emotions come and then just let it go and don’t give it power. Never use it as a weapon. Do this long enough and it will never come back to haunt you. Self-victimization and self-pity will not get anyone anywhere. Please note there’s a difference between allowing yourself to feel your emotions and grief and self-victimization – it’s a fine line and many people tend not to be able to tell the difference, so don’t up suppress your emotions to the extent that you become an emotionless person because that’s equally destructive.
Some people took their pain and used it to propel them to greater heights and they’ve become an inspiration for millions of people. Oprah Winfrey, Nick Vujicic, Randy Pausch, and Li Ka Shing just to name a few. Change and transcending your chart starts with a decision, not a feeling. You can lay in your deathbed and regret having spent your whole life blaming others for your miseries, or you can take charge now and really make your life worthwhile and move on with no regrets knowing you fought a good fight. You’re not alone. Everyone’s struggling. I know I’m not on my deathbed yet, but having spent nearly 30 years in the dark already feels like a huge pity to me.
If you believe in what I’m trying to say, and am willing to take the time and effort to read the above two recommendations and really try to understand what they mean, trust me, you do not need a reading from me, because you would have transcended your chart.
P.S. I’ve been getting feedback from people that they enjoy reading my blog entries. It means a lot to me, so thank you!
Nice blog, enjoy reading about your reflections.
Thanks Michelle! Means a lot to me! =)