Happy International Women’s Day! I want to pay my respects today to Hong Curley (from Imperial Doctor), a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and friend, who has helped me significantly over the years. I also want to thank all the women (and men) who are the reason I am here today, which includes you. Disclaimer: This story contains strong themes.
2023 Update: Hong has come out of retirement to begin teaching again, her website is Imperial Doctor. An interview is below. This is a sample lesson from 11:11 World Changers, my spiritual leadership program for women.
It was a sticky afternoon on the Gold Coast as I stood in the grass, holding my belly. Over 37 weeks pregnant, I had dragged my fiance, now husband, Kris Anderson, to a Tibetan singing bowl workshop with Lama Tendar (the Dalai Lama’s chantmaster, who is based in Melbourne but visits Queensland). I met Tendar at the Mind Body Spirit Festival around 2011-2012. His palm was one of the first images I posted to my facebook page, The Numbers Queen I captioned it ‘bent but not broken’, because even though his thumb is limp (the result of torture), his spirit is free.
As much as I loved Tendar’s sound healing, it was difficult to sit, so I wandered around. I noticed a face – Hong Curley – in the crowd. I had just read her story, ‘I am not a worthless piece of sh!t’, in Living Now (founded by a fellow 29/11 Lifepath, Elizabeth Jewell Stephens). Awed, I introduced myself, and asked for her DOB.
We discovered she was a 31/4 Lifepath (Heart Healer/ Builder), while her husband, Mike Curley was a 29/11 Lifepath (Spiritual Messenger). Find your lifepath.
I bought a copy of her book, Freedom to Love, before we left. Little did I know how much this would change my life. I asked Hong if she liked motherhood, and she said, ‘I have enjoyed every single minute of it’. I was shocked, because I had never met someone so positive, but now I know, she was telling the truth.
What Happened Next
Hong texted that night, with a long message of encouragement for my pending labour. I couldn’t believe a stranger would care so much. Nevertheless, I was glad for her advice, because within days, I gave birth to Forrest (see his 11:11 birth story). Hong’s words ‘pain happens, but suffering is optional’, made a great difference during his 15-16 hour waterbirth, which was completed with the help of a midwife, without drugs. I was so proud of myself, Forrest and Kris for the team effort.
While recovering, I read Hong’s book while feeding Forrest. Nursing while lying down was the only way I could get enough sleep. By the second page, I was sobbing, and this trend continued throughout the next few weeks. To give an idea, she starts her book with the story of Da Shan, a boy who begs her for twenty cents at a bus stop one cold night, when she’s returning from university. She feels so sorry for him, she wraps him in her scarf and beanie and gives him $100. As he reaches up, she is shocked to see he has only stubs instead of hands.
Unable to sleep, Hong asks her father about the boy. She discovers he is only nine years old. One of 10, 000 people who came to town after a flood (which killed his father), he is forced to beg to support his grandparents, mother and four siblings. Unfortunately, he discovers he is too small to compete against the other beggars. After his baby brother dies of starvation, he asks his mother to chop off his hands so he can attract more mercy from people. Hong begins feeding his family from that day onwards, with the help of her Dad.
Now can you see why I cried over this book? As an Australian-born Chinese, whose relatives fled to Hong Kong and Singapore during WW2, it’s in my DNA to care about people in need. Maybe that’s why I’ve done charity work since primary school, and ended up studying Holistic counselling and spirituality.
Four Lessons I’ve Learned from Hong Curley
1) Stop Holding Back. While staying at Hong’s house, she noticed me filling a bottle for Forrest. She said ‘that’s a small bottle’ and I said ‘it’s the one we got when he was a baby, you’re right, it is little’. Hong asked ‘why don’t you give him more milk?’ and I said ‘because I don’t want him to be greedy’. As I said it, I knew I was coming from a place of fear rather than love. Hong and I then had a long talk about poverty consciousness and imprinting children with their parent’s limitations.
Truth be told, I still use that bottle for Forrest, but I now fill it with almond mylk (either store-bought organic, or home made) and Forrest can have as much as he likes. This transition was suggested by Milo Milosevic, our family’s naturopath and homoeopath at the time (I now see Kate Kralj). Milo also treated Hong’s family. It’s amazing how much Forrest started eating, once we reduced his dairy. He had become so picky, he was barely finishing his crackers before then.
I’m not a fan of milk. I was born lactose intolerant and am a mum, so the idea of keeping cows pregnant, and taking their calves away after birth, feels wrong. There are other forms of calcium that are more easily absorbed. That said, I eat meat, and am not claiming to be a saint. As I’ve written in this post on diseases, allergies/ diets often lead us to our tribes, so it’s best not to judge. 2023 update: Forrest still has dairy, we are seeking some advice on his eating and possible autism. I was diagnosed as twice-exceptional not long ago, see this post.
What I learned: Just because your life is hard, doesn’t mean your children have to struggle the same way. Stop making them reinvent the wheel, give them driving tips instead. They chose you, hoping to learn from your mistakes and stand on your shoulders. Instead of thinking in black-and-white, aka ‘carrot or stick’, think ‘carrot sticks’ and use your kids as an inspiration to get educated and improve everyone’s wellbeing.
2) Toddlers Are Teachers. Hong told me a story about her daughter, Grace, that has always stayed in my heart. When she was two, Gracie picked up a grain of rice and stared at it for a very long time. Hong was about to tell her to hurry up and eat it, but something stopped her. Eventually, Grace said ‘Mum, God is in this grain of rice’, and Hong was floored.
What I learned: Please, never assume your babies don’t understand you just because they can’t talk. As someone who works with baby spirits and their parents regularly, I can attest they are Souls, who come with past lives and a full cohort of Spirit Guides. Think of them like a visiting soccer player, with a home team and coach invisibly by their sides. This is why I encourage mums to speak to their bellies, and treat my kids as respectfully as I do other adults and myself. This doesn’t mean you can leave them alone when they’re on a swing, it’s just a reminder that ‘no one rises to low expectations.’
3) Everything You Want, Is On The Other Side of Forgiveness. I was on the phone to Hong the other day, and asked her ‘what happened at your lifepath peak age of 31?’ Hong is a 31/4 lifepath, so she had a big opportunity to heal her heart at this age. Hong went quiet, then said ‘my husband told me he had been having an affair’, and shared with me the most extraordinary story. Instead of attacking her husband, she questioned how she had contributed to the marriage breakdown (e.g. by working 3 jobs and studying), and after many discussions, they ended up staying together.
Years later, when Hong felt attracted to Mike (to whom she is now married), her ex-husband not only blessed their partnership, he let Mike stay at their house while he was recovering from a divorce. To be clear, Hong and Mike didn’t get together until they were both single, they are very ethical healers. See my thoughts on the karma of having an affair and recovering from a breakup
What I learned: Hong is way ahead of me when it comes to being spiritually responsible. When my ex-partner left me for my ex-assistant in 2012, I started this blog just so I could make jokes about his TV preferences (yep, Wife Swap)!! I’ve come a loooong way since then. Secondly, that enlightenment takes guts. How many people do you know, who could forgive their partner for an affair while maintaining their integrity? There are so many stories in Hong’s book Freedom to Love, about the choices we make to either take things personally, or to believe in a greater good.
See this article about Granny Joy, Hong’s grandmother, who not only forgave the people who beat her family to death, she adopted one of their children. FYI, at his lifepath peak age of 29, Mike Curley was a founding Technical Director of Metagenics, a well known vitamin company. Lots of 11 lifepaths mix spirituality with science…
4) A Mother’s Voice, Heals Her Daughter. This is my favourite story about Hong. During her Quantum Healing Retreat in 2016, she told us the harrowing news that her mother had had a stroke (I note that Hong was in a Personal 9 Year at the time, which can bring huge tests and blessings). Hong and her mother have had a challenging relationship. There has been considerable violence (physical, emotional and spiritual), that Hong has needed to work through as part of her healing journey. Hong mentioned that, having to shower her mother like a baby was incredibly confronting, and made her cry.
Hong said that, when the Australian doctor told her to tell her mother she would never, ever sing again, she purposely mis-translated this part, reassuring her mum that her voice would come back. This made her mum hug the doctor with joy, which left Hong with a lot of explaining to do! At the point, Hong asked us to welcome her mother to the room. Imagine a tiny, sparrow-like Asian woman slowly walking in, clearly still in recovery, then bursting into the most beautiful Chinese opera song you have ever heard? Just writing this, I am crying again.
What I learned: That a few words can change a life. That the impossible can come true, especially if we make it happen. That nobody knows your healing capacity more than you do, or in this case, more than your family does. And most of all, that the journey of a mother and daughter is rarely easy, but always cathartic, especially when one or both of you has chosen to be a healer. More thoughts on finding and being a great healer
Hong and Mike Curley have helped me truly understand the phrase ‘home is where they understand you’. It’s not easy being a first-generation Australian – I’ve battled bullies and racism no end, and still cop flak from relatives for being a girl (in China, they might have aborted me). Nevertheless, I have fallen and risen over and over again, becoming a truly deep being in the process. As they say, ‘smooth waters do not make for skilful sailors’.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog on one of my life mentors. Amusingly, Hong has been seeing 11:11 since she met me! Plus, I fell pregnant with Charlie within two weeks of her Quantum Healing Retreat. We have definitely helped each other in many ways. Here are links to Hong’s work:
Imperial Doctor (new website 2023)
Living Now article on Hong and her mum – I am not a worthless piece of sh#1t and How did she forgive her family’s killers?
I’d also like to acknowledge Vivian Tong a Master 33 Lifepath, who has been a cheerleader at so many events.
Class – Why Your Child Chose You – a family numerology webinar ($33)
Class – Why You Chose Your Mother – a family numerology webinar ($33) Companion class to the one above
Conscious Parenting Resources – my directory page
Stephanie Sinclaire Lightsmith – Founder of Creative Alchemy and a 31/4 Life Path (she was a dear friend of Hong’s)
Choosing a Great Healer – The Good, Bad and Downright Confusing
Eight Spiritual Ways to Stop Bullying – Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight
You Can’t Not Belong – Four Ways to Forgive Your Family (Especially Your Parents)