Practice Session #14
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We record these weekly sessions on Sundays. Please note that I try to publish episodes the day after recording: Mondays. I generally will have the transcript and initial notes published on Mondays as well. From there, I may continue adding and modifying the show notes throughout the week.
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CK: Okay. Here we go.
Heyo! I’m CK and you’re listening to Practice. This is my podcast where practice, isn’t just the theme of the show, but the whole purpose behind it. I’m using this platform to practice podcasting as well as speaking in general, while espousing half-thoughts and providing unsolicited advice.
As always, I’m fortunate to be joined along with my practice partner, and partner in life, and pattern awareness manager: Pam.
Pam: Hello. That’s a new title.
CK: Yeah, do you like that acronym I made up?
Pam: Oh, I didn’t even realize that it was my name.
CK: Yeah. Pattern awareness manager.
So every week, we’ll be talking about my progress with this practice, as well as various lifestyle practices, along with the virtues of practice itself.
And today it is May 31st, 2020. We are recording the 14th practice session, and it has been a good week for me.
How about you, Pam?
Pam: Uh, yeah, good week personally. Hard week nationally.
CK: True. True.
The latest on my podcasting practice.
CK: But yeah, this has been a good week considering last week’s session that I went through, and I actually haven’t published it yet.
Pam: I was wondering about that.
CK: Yeah. I just kind of had to get away from it. But I listened back to it this morning, just a little while ago, and it’s fine. It’s better- way better than I thought it was.
Pam: I thought it was a great session.
CK: Yeah. I mean, I was just not in the best mindset at the time of recording. So let’s get right into the first segment, which is where I talk about this process of practicing podcasting.
And so last week we recorded our 13th Practice session, which I designated as our first quarterly review session. And that- I really struggled through that. And listening back to it, I could tell that my mind was elsewhere and I wasn’t able to pull concepts together. And I- even though a lot of what I was saying made sense, and it was kind of flowing… I mean, it was a little herky-jerky here and there.
And… do like that…
Pam: I think that’s a dance and I’m picturing you dancing.
CK: I mean, yeah, whatever you picture that dance to be like, it was probably how I was talking.
But yeah, I mean, all in all, it was a fine episode. And I think I- for one, I mentioned during the session that I may have put too much pressure on myself for making- like, designating it as this big quarterly review thing.
And I had ideas before that of things that I could do, but, I mean, I don’t want to get too ahead of myself with this podcast specifically with Practice, because as I’ve said before, it’s more of a doorway into other projects in other creative things that I want to be doing. So I want to keep that in mind while I’m doing this and not kind of spin out of hand and have these delusions grandeur. So that’s one thing.
Spending the week exercising my default mode network.
CK: And so I used, like, this past week to get away. And I mentioned in last week’s session that we’re reorganizing and rearranging this second bedroom office into the Forces of Equal studios. And so I have everything rearranged now. It’s not a hundred percent finished, but things are in a more productive layout.
And I feel a lot more better in this space and I’m excited about finishing it up. I should be able to finish most of it up this week. We have some things coming in to organize the workspace. And so- excited about that and doing that and kind of being out of the creative- I mean, I was still in a creative zone and mindset, but it was different because I wasn’t working on the computer directly on, you know, the podcast or audio stuff or music.
I was just in my room, kind of thinking about the layout, where things go and how to make things more efficient and finding different things that I haven’t seen in awhile in the room, and just cleaning stuff out and purging, and getting rid of all that dust that’s piled up in the corners.
And that time, you know, puts- it gives you the opportunity or it gives your brain an opportunity to function differently or be in like a different space per se, and organize and maintain different thoughts and ideas in a different state. So, you know, I’m away from the computer. I’m moving around, I’m cleaning and ideating in terms of layout and organization. So it’s a whole different kind of mindset, but it allowed my brain to function in turn its gears- different gears and maybe same gears differently.
And so I had like- it was- it’s just a different way of ideation, I guess you could say. You know, I mean, if you’re in the habit of being in front of the computer and you have this schedule, like I have a schedule where I have a certain time period where I want to be in deep work. And, you know, my brain is churning and I’m trying to get into this flow state, which I’m usually able to do, but, you know, there’s benefit in stepping away and getting out of that state.
And we’ve talked about this before (in Practice Session #11), whether it’s, you know, just getting away from work and going outside for a walk or, you know, being in like green space and nature and getting your brain into that default mode network state, where you’re kind of daydreaming and reflecting and reconsolidating different thoughts.
So yeah, it- this whole week was great for me to get away from everything that I was doing and kind of running myself really hard into the ground with over the past 12-13 weeks. So yeah, now, I’ve gotten that time, regenerated, and I’m excited to get back into things. And I think I’m going to be even more productive and even more efficient, especially since the room has been reorganized and the environment’s more friendly for what I’m doing and what we’re going to be doing.
And so that’s where we’re at with the podcasting. I mean, I didn’t really do too much in terms of podcasting specifically because I haven’t published last week’s episode yet, but I’m going to do that. I’m going to batch it up with this week session and do that all tomorrow.
So I’ll get that out and finished tomorrow. And then get back into it with the podcasting and get into our projects and start hitting it hard again, uh, with the mindfulness that I need to take breaks and realize where I’m at and kind of make sure that I get back to the things in my system that I know that work. And kind of not spin out of control with all these ideas and, you know, these grand ideas in the hopes and wishes and stuff.
Effort ≠ Productivity
Pam: Well, we talked about this a little bit this week, about how you are a person that is very, um- you put a lot of focus on effort. That you think that effort equals output in a lot of ways.
So if people who are listening, if they maybe have that same feeling where they’re the type of person that works really, really, really hard at something, and they put a lot of stock in how hard they’re working or how much time they’re putting into something and that that’s what they’re valuing, that, um, this- these tips might be really valuable for them because we realized that you are totally okay with taking time off when that time off was scheduled for a specific purpose.
So you have your beach morning and your trail running morning. And when you have those two things, you have no problem using that time for relaxation, but there was a morning where you stayed in bed a little bit longer and were kind of doodling around on your phone. And that- even though that was rest and relaxation for you, you didn’t feel like it was, or you didn’t feel like you should be doing it even though you needed it.
CK: Right. There was some anxiousness that crept up behind it.
Pam: Right. That you should be doing something else that you should be being productive. So I don’t know whether the tip there is to specifically schedule downtime and know that- that it’s part of your schedule and maybe think of the downtime as effort. Or if the tip there is that maybe you just need to like learn to be okay with downtime.
Maybe it’s a little bit of both.
CK: Yeah, exactly. I’m glad you brought all that up and you laid it out really well and kind of said everything right there. But yeah, I- So last week, I thought that a lot of my anxiety was coming from the pressure I was putting it on myself for the review episode, but as I kept thinking about it, and after the session, we kept discussing things more and more-
And that’s another thing that came out of this past week. Like we had some great conversations and some great therapy sessions between the two of us, basically, where we went through like a lot of psychology and stuff, which is where this notion of effort equals output came up for me because we kind of broke things out and started looking into what was really bothering me.
And it wasn’t necessarily that I wasn’t getting something done. It was that I wasn’t working hard enough to get it done. So once we separated that out, then it’s- it was a lot easier to see that, you know, there’s this, there is a separation there, and that you can have one thing without the other, basically.
Pam: Yeah, you can, you can have an outcome without having to work, you know, ridiculously hard for that outcome. Like finding what is the outcome that you want and what do you actually have to do to make that happen? Nothing more, nothing less.
CK: Exactly. And that would be more efficient if you can proceed in that manner, and in the end, more intelligent. So maybe that is the road to me getting the right mindset. You know, if I’m doing something stupidly, I don’t want to keep doing that. So maybe I could see it as doing the more intelligent thing
But either way it’s- I do also feel like I need to get comfortable with the fact that it’s good to get away and rest and give your brain a different space to do its thing. And yeah, I think I’m getting more comfortable with that notion. And it’s tough because these days, everybody’s, like, you know, you have to be more productive and for some reason being more productive means putting in more work these days.
You know, where it- I mean, that’s not what it means. It means not having to- it means putting out more work without having to do as much work, basically. So, yeah. Uh, yeah, I mean, I’ve made strides with that mindset, So yeah, we’ll see.
Pam: got some ideas that we can talk about later. Maybe we’ll bring those into the next episode.
[14:18] CK: Cool. That sounds good. So yeah, that’s where things are right now and yeah, things are much better.
And- Oh, so I was- what I was getting at last week was, you know, I thought that I was all anxious and riled up because of the pressure I was putting on myself with the quarterly review. But then as we kept talking, I realized that there were a lot of other things that were- that just kind of came up last week that I wasn’t… I basically didn’t realize how much they were affecting me until… until I realized it. And then I realized that those things were taking up a lot of my mind space while I was trying to talk through that episode last week.
And talking about these other topics and looking back, I can tell that, you know, there was something else going on in my mind that was distracting me. And one of those things was the Michael Jordan documentary, The Last Dance on ESPN. We just finished that last week, and I loved it ’cause I grew up in Chicagoland and that was my formative years growing up with Michael Jordan as the greatest athlete in the world. And he’s like right there in the next town over doing his thing.
And so that was like the last- like their last three championships have been while I was in high school. So like totally formative years. And I’ve had a lot of issues that went toward mental health issues that I experienced a couple of years ago that began in high school, or were thinking that it- a lot of this stuff originated in high school.
And so all that, like the flashback from The Last Dance kind of put me back into that high school mindset. So a lot of those things were coming up. And then I also had an issue with a old friend from high school that came up and I don’t want to go into that, but it was something that, like, looking back, I could see that it was affecting me.
And- but at the time I didn’t realize that I was being distracted by that. So, like, at any moment, there could be hundreds of different things affecting your mindset that you’re not aware of. And so, you know, you could be doing something and get in some kind of mood and not have any idea what triggered that mood.
And it could be because of something that happened before that your brain is still trying to process basically, or, you know, something along those lines. So, I mean, that’s just something to think about. And I don’t know if I could have gotten there without kind of stepping back and thinking and getting that space and time to think and reflect.
So that all just goes into this whole notion that I am trying to articulate of taking time for your brain to rest and rework itself and regenerate. And do its thing rather than having it just going 100 miles per hour all the time.
Pam: And if you are not doing any sort of therapy and want to kind of work on processing these things, talking like you’ve been saying, even if it’s just an audio journal… kind of free-flowing thought and free-flowing talking, you find yourself making connections that you wouldn’t if you weren’t vocalizing what you’re going through.
CK: Yeah, that’s a great tip too. It puts your brain in a different mindspace and kind of drives you into, like, that self-reflective mindset.
Freetalking about wave-particle duality in bissociation with emotions.
CK: So, yeah. Uh, that- so that’s where we’re at. And I think we’re just kind of flowed right into the freetalking segment where I make tangent salads with the half-thoughts that are floating around in my mind. That was like a half thought right there.
And so, yeah, I mean this, all- everything I talk about basically flows into mindset, spectral, potentiality… and the VAST framework that I’ve been talking about for the past couple of weeks has kind of stalled and. I think I just kind of let that sit for the past week and just let my mind think about other things.
So, I’m still high on my VAST Awareness framework, but I’m just kind of letting it sit and see where things are and let things come to it right now, rather than the past couple of weeks, I’ve been kind of actively trying to put it together and organize it.
So now I think I’m not necessarily stuck with it, but I’m in a place where I want to let other ideas come in and see if I can keep improving that model. So that’s where I’m at with the VAST framework. And let’s see, we’ve been talking about spectrum potentiality…
And I kind of wanting to talk about wave and particle- wave versus particle duality. And I thought there was something else that I wanted to talk about, but I’m not sure…
But I guess the wave and particle duality idea actually fits into what I was just talking about earlier. And that is this notion…
Okay, so first of all, wave and particles – when we’re talking about that in relation to quantum physics, we’re talking about how the smallest particles, when you observe them – seem to be- seem to exist in two states at once, and that’s as a particle and as a wave. And this is kind of the basis (or rather, a fundamental concept) of quantum physics.
And then there’s the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, where if you- I believe it’s when you try to observe the position of the particle, you can’t observe the speed (momentum) of the particle or something-
Sorry, I just got distracted by my phone. I don’t know why it just made a noise. It’s never on. So…
But anyway, the- I think it’s speed (momentum!) and position or something like that.
There’s another measurement that’s escaping me. So if you measure one, you can’t measure the other. And then, but if you, and then if you measure the other, you can’t measure the first one.
So you can’t like locate. The particle and the speed or the size or whatever that other measurement was. So you can’t get like an exact measurement of the particle.
Pam: So you can either know where it is or how fast it’s moving. You can’t know both at the same time.
CK: And… well, actually I guess that would make sense ’cause if something’s moving, you can’t know exactly where it is, but I dunno. I’m getting kind of confused here, but that actually doesn’t have to do with my little theory or whatever- whatever you want to call it.
So there’s that notion in quantum physics and then I’m trying to take it and translate it over to mindsets. And so the notion of the particle and wave, I’m thinking like viewing mindset or thinking as a particle- particle and wave.
So rather than “particle,” I’m going to say like “point” or “spot” or like “point” versus wave. So with emotions and mindset, I’m thinking like the point is the emotion or that spot in time where you’re thinking or feeling a certain way. And then the wave is that feeling or thought over time.
And so the point is kind of static and fixed and there’s one emotion or thought to it versus the wave where it kind of goes in and out of certain thoughts or emotions. And so it kind of spans more of a spectrum… and so there’s this, I’m not sure where I’m going with this.
We’ve talked about this before, right? So…
Pam: Yeah. So is this what we were talking about where, um, the wave is kind of your- just you- you are the wave. Your thoughts are the wave. And the point is when you have a really strong emotion or strong reaction, and that’s like- this is- this is static. This is happening right now. And that extremely strong thought or strong reaction isn’t going to last for a long time.
W- that’s just how we are as humans. We have- we have very strong reactions, strong emotions for a- for a acute point in time. And then over time they diminish or you may stay angry or something, but it’s not a really, really strong feeling over a long period of time. That’s the wave.
CK: Right. Yeah, exactly. Like, yeah, I’m glad that you understood that the first time we talked about it, ’cause you pretty much put it perfectly right there.
And so there’s this notion of the point being a specific point in time where you notice that emotion or thought that you were feeling, and you kind of put more emphasis on it or it kind of directs your mood more because you recognize that specific point in time.
And it’s almost kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy where, because you felt that specific thought and emotion at that point in time, that you keep thinking that the same thought and emotion for those specific events or circumstances. Whereas in reality, your thoughts and emotions are always ri- riding the wave of the spectrum that can encompass, you know, the whole- all the different thoughts and emotions that you can be having.
And at any given time, you can be experiencing a certain degree or level of an emotion… So let’s say we’re talking about joy and happiness. When you’re feeling joy and happiness, you’re probably not feeling… Well, let’s say not all the time. You’re probably not feeling a hundred percent joy.
It might be like 80% joy. Maybe there’s 10% guilt. Maybe there’s- maybe there’s 5% anxiety. So, you know, there’s all these different thoughts and emotions that you’re feeling at the same time. And then that goes to speak towards the wave part of the function. But then when you, for whatever reason – whether it’s like a high stress situation or some kind of traumatic event – and you notice the point of that thought or emotion during that specific time, and that kind of just encompasses your thoughts and emotions on that point.
So those thoughts and emotions kind of override the wave of thoughts and emotions or this whole spectrum. And that’s kind of how you could get into like a chronic state of a certain emotion or thought because you lose sight of the wave and you’re just focused on the point.
So, I don’t know, I’m just kinda rambling here and I’m not sure where that is going. It’s just kind of another notion in crossover of concepts that I’m working out in my mind.
Pam: I think it makes sense. And I think it’s valuable because we can get stuck in grief or anger or a stress cycle anxiety. We can get stuck in any emotion and or any feeling, and that may come out of an acute instance of that feeling, and then you can- your- your wave can get overridden by this- this strong feeling.
Right? So, um, I’m kind of picturing this in my mind of there’s this intense feeling and then a wave of that intense feeling coming off. So instead of feeling joy or happiness or- or whatever you were feeling before that intense moment happened, your wave kind of gets taken over by more of the grief or more of whatever the new feeling is. And having the- the presence and the recognition that you can feel multiple things.
There can be multiple experiences that you’re having. Maybe you can only think of one of them at a time – you can focus on joy, you can focus on grief – but there are other things that are happening. You are experiencing other things in life, and those are all happening in the wave. And the one that you are focused on is the one that you’re going to feel the most.
So recognizing that this wave is happening and that you can, um, tap into the other emotions are there and that it’s okay. You don’t have to stay stuck in grief. You know, those other things are available to you and it is okay for you to find other points on the wave.
CK: Yeah. Beautiful. You put it beautifully there.
So yeah. Thank you.
And so, yeah, let’s finish, let’s end right there with the free talking and yeah, I hope that made sense. But I think you put it well there so that it makes a lot more sense than the way I put it. But let’s see…
Practicing the practice, and other practices.
CK: The third segment is on practices and practicing, and I’ll keep this short because I don’t have too much to add. We’ve just kind of been flowing throughout this whole session today.
So we’ve been talking about structure and the schedule as the past couple of weeks. I’m still going really well with my summer napping schedule, so that’s good. And today we’re pretty much on schedule. Last week, I was a little worried about that and I was getting anxious about that.
So today we’re on schedule and, uh, this episode- I’m feeling a lot better about this episode, but- although I- I’m probably being too hard on myself about the last episode, but yeah, so… Yeah, um, let’s see…
Is there something we could say about structure and scheduling? I mean, I would just reiterate the notion of taking a break and getting your mindspace into a place where you can think differently and let your brain kind of wander… and even daydream, or just think, or just try to do nothing even,
Pam: Yeah, like on your break time, don’t look at social media. Don’t distract. Like this has to be time where you’re actually allowing your brain to process and not be distracted.
CK: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And yeah, Pam give out another great tip there. So I think we should end with that. So, yeah. Thanks for coming back to listen to another week of our practice session and we’ll just keep doing this every week, like we’ve been doing, and I think that’s it for this week. So don’t forget to come back next week and keep on practicing…
Oh, actually, a Pam, where can people hit you up?
Pam: Oh, you can find me on Twitter @Pamela_Lund.
CK: And you can find me on Twitter @cKdisco. I almost forgot my Twitter handle.
And so that’s it for this week. So come back next week and keep on practicing.