Are you using addiction to escape your calling?

To listen to the audio version of this blog, click here.

I’m finally getting around to reading Steven Pressfield’s amazing follow up to “The War of Art” – it’s called “Turning Pro” and it’s a masterpiece. He’s done it again.

In the book, one of my favorite themes that Pressfield talks about is the difference between the addict and the artist. They are basically inverses of each other. The addict hides from the pain of life; the artist uses the pain of life to make something beautiful.

It’s such a wonderful distinction that Pressfield makes, the addict vs. the artist. I said on Super Soul Sunday last week, “Everyone has a God-sized hole in them.” And it’s what we choose to do with that God-sized hole that counts.

I used to fill it with drugs and alcohol, sex and ambition. But lately (over the last few years), I’ve been able to fill it up with something else.

It’s interesting how life works. One of my intentions in the last month or two is to conquer my focusing problem without Adderall or any prescription drugs. In doing so, I went to my Chinese medicine doctor and found out my neurotransmitters are off in my brain (the feel good chemicals). She gave me a homeopathic solution and it has worked WONDERS.

I feel SO focused. And I feel amazing. That “good feeling” I have been chasing for so long with sugar has gone away and I feel it naturally. She said something to me that changed my life forever; she said, “No amount of willpower can overcome your biochemistry.”

I had a biochemical problem within me that I was trying to fix with willpower – no wonder it had never worked before! Here I was beating myself up, thinking that people like me can’t lose weight, I’m a bad person for having bad willpower, and hating myself for not being able to stop.

And all I was doing was self-medicating to get a temporary hit of the neurotransmitters I was lacking.

So the God-sized hole that was within me was not only emotional and spiritual, it was also biochemical. This makes total sense because we are all body-mind-soul people. I had focused on the soul and the mind, but the body was lacking. And it makes sense because up until now I had not put my attention of intention to this part of my life. It was an “AH-HA” moment  and my former addictive behavior came into light.

Not only was I trying to fill the void of feeling spiritually disconnected from The Uni-verse, and the emotional void of not having community or self-love, I was also trying to fill the void of not having the proper biochemistry to allow my body to experience wellbeing.

It was a breakthrough. And what’s great is that I have never felt better than ever AND I can now focus. I have not been able to focus my whole life. I feel SO blessed to have been able to experience this breakthrough! This awareness also allows me to have more compassion for myself. Why? Because before, I applied a MEANING to my addictive behavior – I was “a bad person” or I was “wrong” or “incapable”. But now I see I was simply yearning for The Divine, yearning for self-love, yearning for community, yearning to be of service and yearning for a balanced biochemistry!

Please do not take this blog as medical advice. Please make sure to check with your own doctor, Chinese medicine doctor, naturopath, etc. before taking any medical advice from me, a college drop out!

But – with that said – what do you yearn for? Are you using addiction to escape your calling?

As always, the action happens in the comments below. Leave a comment and join the conversation! The TDL Community thrives in the comments and it’s a GREAT place to get support!





OMG! The BIG LOVE Immersion week with Mastin is coming! Dec 10th – 14th! Click here to sign up!

If you want to work directly with Mastin in LA Dec 10th – 14th, click here.



  • Rick

    Awesome read this morning Mastin. How true those words rang for me. I have had experience with both heavy use of substances (alcohol and illegal drugs) to fill the void/ease the pain and also with biochemical imbalance that was caused by a prescribed drug, Sustiva for HIV, meant to save my life (that resulted in not one but two suicide attempts). There are many avenues to explore as to why one feels the way they do without resorting to self blame or guilty feelings, or even the weight of labels. I had been misdiagnosed as having a mental illness when all along it was the effects of the heavy drugs and alcohol that mimicked a mental illness. I was treated for depression with many psychiatric drugs when all along it was the effects of the Sustiva. It has everything to do with enlightenment…becoming aware of what really is the underlying cause of what you are feeling. Iyanla Vanzant said it best with her acronym for pain-“pay attention inward now”. Thank you, Mastin, for sharing this most important insight as to one of many reasons one could be experiencing imbalance. This is my first time to write on your blog, I started following after your appearance on SSS. Congratulations and continued success! Rick

  • Patti

    This blog post is in the “WOW” category.  I have struggled with addiction for YEARS. I’ve cleaned up my diet, exercised to fanatical heights, prayed, gone back to school, changed jobs and can’t stay focused or “joyful” for more than short spurts. This is a great time for change in my life. I’ve been clean (again) for over two years and not ONCE has anyone addressed my biochemical problem.
    How in the world do you go about choosing a Chinese medicine doctor?  I have there here, in my area – but if they are anything like chiropractors, it’s a chore in itself finding the right one. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post – you may have saved me from self medicating (again).

  • Curious

    Great article! Which chinese med doctor in LA did you go to ?

  • beautiful share 🙂 thank you. 

  • ananda peace

    thank you for sharing this …. we are all plagued with something. Identifying with our addictions consisting of (usually ) a combination of attachment to drugs, love, power, success, food or many other vices we use and “need”… and understanding that “hole” can be filled with God energy, with possibility, with creativity … brilliant.
    thank you

  • Joy

    Hey Mastin. I think you are awesome! I totally agree
    That many times people eat the wrong things
    To correct biochemistry, however taking anything to
    Alter your chemistry natural or not, is still keeping
    you down and not getting to the source of the problem.
    You can change your biochemistry with FOOD!!!!

    I have been working with people’s diets to CURE everything from ADD to
    Bipolar and autism and we have been very successful . I am a health
    Coach and an EFT Coach.
    I want to encourage people to go for the CURE ! Enough band aids!

    • I am seeing an NAET intuitive. Her name is Dr Marilyn Chernoff. I have stories that would BLOW people’s mind. All in finding the cure-the cause- of my families medical challenges. Rather than-the “band aid.”  Being a coach, you may want to look into it. 

  • This a great post, Mastin. I am glad that you found a way to focus and balance your biochemistry.  I understand about self-medicating and trying to use willpower to overcome something. It’s funny that whenever I talked to someone else and they said the doctor told them to do something, I would advise them to listen. But, when it comes to myself, I am so much harder and less forgiving. I expect myself to overcome incredible odds with help from no one. Then, similar to you, I get angry that no one wants to rescue me or that I have it so much harder than everyone else. I realized that being my own best friend is much better than being my own worst enemy. It takes great compassion to stop using pride as a way to deny yourself the love you deserve from yourself and everyone else. Thank you for sharing. Your post is a great reminder of how we distract ourselves from the healing we seek and how God works through others to bring it to us. 

  • Jennifer

    Louise Hay would say you can in fact, over time, talk to your cells and your “chemistry” and make changes…and I believe it (although I’m not bashing all medicine…either conventional, alternative…or complementary).  I also highly recommend Myrtle Fillmore’s biography “Torch Bearer to Light the Way”…early on, it was even more influential on my beliefs about the mind and health/healing than Louise’s work.

  • Gina

    How do you find a Chinese medicine doctor and what medicine are you taking?  I know someone with a drug addiction and ADD who cannot take ADD medications without adverse reactions who could benefit from your experience.  Thank you.

  • Francesca

    Hey there, Mastin! Your daily letters of love are awesome, inspirational and best of all positive. I too use an acupuncturist for ills and visit her on a monthly basis.  Quick question – are you referring to GABA when you speak of the homeopathic cure? Just curious. 

    • Sazza123

       Yes I’d also be really interested to know too. I have been using cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to cope with my attention issues and I have been advised to see a homeopath, so any advice as to specific treatments to ask about would be greatly appreciated. Is ADD something that naturopaths would be widely familiar with treating?

  • Hectorc1974

    Thanks for sharing. The thought of being of service to others and this community is exhausting! I feel like I’m constantly giving of my time and talent but I don’t get my hearts desire in return. The addiction to please has left me jaded and skeptical of reciprocity.

  • Craig L. Sanders


    Great post today. Thank you for your openness, generosity, and vulnerability to share your insights and experiences. You are making a difference! Your post made me think of this powerful quote: “Everyone is addicted to something. We don’t choose our addiction, we choose to deny our pain. However, our new choices supersede and override all of the choices made before it. Choose to live in peace and not pieces.” -Iyanla Vanzant @IyanlaVanzant

    All the BEST to you and your readers!

    Craig L. Sanders

  • So crazy! This article has come at such a relevant time!  This is my first time to visit the Daily Love and I am, well, in love 🙂  I have self medicated since I was about 15 or 16.  I’ve dabbled in nearly everything out there but luckily I have never “gone off the deep end” so to speak. 

    I recently went to the doctor as well and was prescribed an antidepressant because, just like you, my neurotransmitters were ALL over the place. I was reluctant to take the meds, because I wanted to have the WILL to overcome it.  But I was so tired of fighting.  I gave in.  A month later, I’ve never felt more focused, alert, positive, and EXCITED for what I have to offer the world.  Getting my biochemistry back in order has made my body and mind reject these toxic chemicals that get in the way of what my purpose is.  Me boozing with friends, dabbling in drugs, eating gross food, etc, was just a way to escape the responsibilities of taking my life into my own hands.  It was the easy way out.  

    Thank you for this post and I’m so excited to start getting a lil love in my inbox everyday.  So glad that you are balanced and happy!  Much love!


  • Addiction. I used to think of it only as in..addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs, food, sex, and you know the drill. Until the day, I went to my first LIVING LOVE CLASS given by Cinnamon Lofton. This is where I learned about “ADDICTIVE DEMANDS.” Addictive Demands are emotion backed demands when we want something in our life to be different than it is, AND we suffer  because of it. It is a program. After a few months of attending, I knew…I had addictions all over the place. It  was then I created oneness with all my fellow substance abuse addicts. I used to think I was in the clear. Somehow, better than they were. Now, I know differently. Ken Keyes Jr, writes, “Happiness becomes an effective reality in one’s life to the degree that we convert our Addictive Programming into Preferential Programming-the kind that does not activate negative emotions.”  For when we have upleveled our addictions to preferences, we can accept whatever life variables might present themselves without triggering the emotional feelings of disappointment, frustration, and suffering.” In our LL class, we bring up our created frustrations-often. My dad did this…My friend did that….my boss is unfair…etc, etc, etc. Cinnamon replies…and your addictive demand is….  This keeps me/us responsible. I have struggled with Addictive Demands to be respected, heard, liked, and the list goes on. The more I do the work, and SAY…”YES” to the what is-including FEAR…I am creating Heaven On Earth. Oneness. Love. And, because I am making those addictions become more of a preference-I am following my bliss and my calling.  I am out of my own way. Thanks Mastin!  I hope this comment helps and humbles those who THINK they don’t have addictions-like I used to. The Daily Commenter, Kathleen

  • Jason

    Thank You for the Daily Love (my daily inspiration). Thank you Mastin, you’re awesome!

  • Raj

    Hi Mastin,
                       It is a great post. Raj

  • Elizabeth

    I like the “Inverse Theory” and will have to check out this author. Having been down the path of addiction (and bulimia), it’s now my intention to show others the way to self-healing. I have wondered about and asked God why there is such an epidemic.. feeling terrible about the many lives that have ended because of it. What I have gotten in response is so many of us (Souls) volunteered to have this experience so that once healed we will be able to make a huge difference in healing  the planet. One of the biggest gifts of the experience of addiction is learning compassion, what the world needs more of. Daniel Pink said the future of our nation belongs to all the right brainers.  Now is the time for us to heal the world. God Bless, Elizabeth

  • TDL reader

    Mastin….I don’t know what you meant by it exactly, but I love reading TDL & everything you have to offer. Don’t refer to yourself as a ‘college drop out’ (umm, yes mum) it almost sounds like you put yourself down & you are SO highly regarded, there is no need for that! You may have dropped out of college (you shared that), but you are not a ‘college drop out’. Different connotations!

    You are not offering medical advice. I could share a similar experience with a Chinese doctor, & I have to say that it makes all the difference when you find a great practitioner. Anyway just giving you a loving mindful smack 🙂 incase that was a ‘put yourself down’ (which i have to catch my own self from doing the same at times). Anyway, just saying 🙂

  • Tim

    Mastin I really enjoy your daily post. I have been sober for over 25 years but still deal with sugar addiction. I would love to know what you are taking. Keep up the awesome work. -Namaste

  • Cassandra

    What if your calling is something that no one wants, and you can’t make a living doing it? Does that ever happen?

  • Mastin, I have recently made large changes to my diet including no sugar, wheat, dairy or nightshades. I have a mess of issues from food sensitivities to long term chronic pain and fatigue. I also have a  problem focusing, brain fog is a real problem. It’s gotten to the point where I have anxiety about going out and dealing with people. Could you tell me what your remedy contains that helped so much with your ability to focus?

    • Cassandra

      Hi Eric,  I have had problems with extreme food sensitivities, fatigue, brain fog and pain, and the diet that has helped me is very simple foods such as cooked whole grains and vegetables.  I don’t eat any animal foods, nuts, seeds, or extracted oils, and very few legumes and fruit.  The book I recommend is Paul Pitchford’s Healing with Whole Foods. As for homeopathic remedies, they are individualized based on the big picture of everything that’s going on with you, and what helps one person may not help the next.  That said, there are some great homeopaths out there, and homeopathy has helped me a lot.

  • Cathywrites

    I wish to offer you this additional insight.  I too have experienced for many decades that have been comprised of  regular periods of time throughout the day when I could NOT focus as I wished.  I spent much time covering it up and hoping that others did not notice.  I was SHOCKED and delighted when I stumbled upon a solution also.  [Skipping the backstory….] I was intrigued to try the Wheat Belly nutrition plan and Voi La I was lifted from the fog.  My conjecture is that although I am not diabetic I am not appropriately insulin sensitive and this diet’s methodology of steadying nutrients made a significant difference in my life.  Perhaps you wil find that this helps you too and has some overlap with your Chinese Herbal break throughs as well.  Peace to you and thanks for all you do.

  • gb

    Thank you SO much for sharing this incredible insight. I’m experiencing what you described in your experience, and am going to seek out a Chinese Medical Doctor. I too dropped out of college, was recently laid off from a career that I was not happy in. I’m not at a major crossroads in my life where growth in my body/mind/soul are ready to move forward to a more enlightened and happy path. Thank you kindly for sharing your wisdom!

  • gb

    ps – I meant to say “I’m now at a major crossroads” (instead of not). 🙂

  • wholeplantfoodsheal

    Mastin, please share the name of your Chinese medicine doctor.  I want to schedule an appointment if near me and see about homeopathic herbs.  Thank you … posted this just a few minutew ago, but didn’t see it here.

  • Mina

    Mastin, I am new to your blog and can’t believe how much your daily message speaks directly to me (especially this one).  I too have slowly pulled myself away from the distractions of drugs and alcohol over the years.  The last piece for me is my addiction to food.  I’m clear enough to be observing myself and the unhealthy eating patterns I’ve created, but still feel powerless to escape the grip it has on me.  I know it’s my path to heal myself and in that healing, I will be able to help others.  Still, it’s frustrating and humiliating to feel so out of control at times and I am present to the toll it takes on my energy that can be put to much more important endeavors.  I know we’re all here for a purpose and I just need to be patient along my path to healing.  My latest insight has been that I used to think I was “hurting” myself when I would binge eat at night.  I now realize that I’m actually “loving” myself during those times, and I just need to find a new way to love myself 😉 

    Reading your blog has helped me to realize this consistent wiring of my brain has most likely changed my biochemistry and I plan to seek help instead of just relying on sheer willpower!   Thank you for all the love 😉

  • Priyanka88

    please Mastic can you advise the medicine …

  • TheDailyLover

    great great msg Mastin, thank you, makes me think about those things that have been so difficult to change….hmmmm……  all i know is i have a great support team and as i work with naturopaths i have understood myself more deeper and fully than when i work with a medical doctor.  The MD is there when i need them, and i appreciate them, however typically they are just going in and working on a PART of the WHOLE, thus are not trained to view things as connected/interconnected/holistically.  
    thanks again

  • Dan

    It’s almost uncanny how well this article speaks to me, and I’ve noticed the same in other comments. You would not believe how much I needed to find this site at this moment in my life! Thank you for writing this. 🙂

  • Dan

    Hey Mastin. Thanks for this article, has really made me think in a new direction. I also share similar problems of crippling lack of focus, I had a suspicion in the back of mind it could be body imbalance but wrote it off as just an unchangeable part of my personality. After reading this article I am started to look at it in a different light, perhaps there is a way to re-balance my body which can help my lack of focus. It would be great to get more information on what type of homeopathic remedy you were prescribed? Thanks. Dan