with CK


Letting go of artificial constructs and integrating emotional creativity with objective reasoning.

October 11, 2020

Practice Session #33

Welcome to my show notes for this week’s session of Practice!

We record these sessions every Sunday. I try to publish the audio on the same day of recording, but once in a while, I may get delayed due to various reasons.

Also, I will usually have the AI-generated transcript and my initial notes published on the same day of recording as well. On Fridays, I’ll go back through and proof the transcript while I add all of my notes.

I’ll be utilizing this opportunity to clarify and elaborate on points that I may not have conveyed as well as I would’ve liked to. I’ll also provide links to further information and resources.

So, on Friday, I’ll intersperse all my notes with the transcription from the audio below (unless I don’t 🤷).


CK: Test test check, check. Okay. You ready?

Pam: I am ready.

CK: Here we go, Hey, yo, I’m CK and you’re listening to practice. I’m your functional systems integrator. And this is my podcast where practice is not just the theme of the show, but the whole purpose behind it. What started out as a pack practice of podcasting, as well as speaking in general, has evolved into a practice of self coaching and self reflection while it’s spazzing, half thoughts and providing unsolicited advice.

As always, I’m fortunate to be joined by my practice partner and partner in life, Pam.

Pam: Hey, that’s me.

CK: Pam is also my pattern awareness manager. And every Sunday we reflect on the past week and my progress with this practice along with other lifestyle practices, as well as theories and ideas behind the virtues of practice itself, we’re doing it.

We’re doing this on the fly, so don’t hold me responsible for what I say here. Make sure to check out my show notes where I’ll provide some fact-checking, self-psychoanalysis and commentary on things I could have done better. You may find this some more information about this project at ForcesOfEqual.com/Practice.

Today, we’re recording on Sunday, October 11th, 2020. This is practice session #33 and already I’m stumbling right out of the gate. I don’t know what’s going on with my speech today, but…

Pam: Do you think that your brain was still trying to do the old script?

CK: Ooh very possible. Yeah…

And I might’ve gotten a little too comfortable with the intro in general and less mindful. So I’m just kind of not thinking about what I’m saying, I guess, as I’m saying it. So yeah, we’ll see if we can improve on that.

Pam: Getting sloppy.

CK: Yeah. But anyway, this week has been really weird for me. Like, I feel like we just recorded our last session yesterday, but at the same time, it feels like a long time ago. So, yeah, it’s a weird feeling going on.

And I don’t know, I’m going through a lot of thought processes this past week, so I’m kind of all over the place, but how about a quick evaluation for your week, Pam?

Pam: Pretty chill got into, you know, past the first week of the month. That’s always really busy for me. Kind of got back into the flow, felt like I got some of my creativity back that had been. I’m weaning for the last, I don’t know. I would say six weeks. I started to get into a little bit of a funk before my birthday in mid September. And I feel like I’m starting to come out of that a little bit. So, um, other than, uh, physical issues and pains, I had a good week.

CK: Cool. Any insight into why you were in a funk and how you’re getting out?

Pam: Mmm. Oh, there’s so many things. Um, there, there was, there’s definitely some astrological things going on, but I don’t feel like I’m, um, fully equipped to speak about those. They’re affecting everyone. So if everyone else maybe felt like they had been in a little bit of a funk for the last six weeks to, um, that could be why, but I think that, um, I had a lot of, um, Dissonance between what I was spending my time on and what I wanted to spend my time on.

So I’m spending, you know, I have to continue, you know, working and making a living while I’m feeling drawn to a lot of other projects. And so, um, So that has been causing a lot of dissonance for me, and also just really, um, wanting to be ahead in, uh, in the future to where we’re living somewhere else and kind of like building the environment that we want to be in and a lot of that kind of stuff.

So getting out of that has just taken mindfulness practices and, um, you know, being present and understanding that you can’t rush anything that everything happens in the. Time that it happens and that I’m making yourself miserable right now. Doesn’t make the future come any faster.

CK: Yeah, good. Well, I mean, it doesn’t sound like it was anything too drastic or anything like that. Just trends. Yeah. I get that. I can see that. And I kind of. Have been experiencing something similar, but before I get into that, let’s get the quote in for this week. And this is another quote from Lao Tzu.

And I believe I quoted Lotsy last week as well. And I’ve been in on a Taoism kick lately. And I think we can go into that a little later, but here’s the quote colors blind, the eye. Sounds deaf in the ear flavors, none. The taste thoughts, weaken the mind desires, whether the heart. it’s the quote goes to say stuff that’s along the same lines that we’ve been talking about the past couple of weeks.

And it’s mainly to me in terms of how as humans. We put boundaries on reality and we categorize things. And so like the first line colors, blind eye. So, and this kind of elaborates on what I was saying before, when I was telling you how I’ve been decoupling my vision from my site.

Pam: When you’re meditating.

CK: Right, right, right. Or, I mean, I I’ve been able to tap into that pretty much any time that I want to, or anytime that I’m mindful of it, but it’s along those same lines where what you see is computed through your brain and output into.

Or I’ll put by your brain with the constraints of the categorize, the categories and the language, and what are, whatever else you use to compute that information. So basically things in reality are none. I mean, they’re just things and, uh, this is going to be difficult for me to explain, I think, because it’s pretty esoteric, but if you zoom out really far things in reality are just things.

And we, as humans with our cognitive abilities are able to. Label things and differentiate things from each other. And this is how we develop language and categories and notions and concepts out of these patterns that we observe. And so it’s just, I’m just. Trying to explain how what’s out there constructed or seen by us. Well, uh, what we see is constructed by our brains. So, uh, are, do you think you can come up with a better way to

Pam: well, yeah. So what I’m. Getting from that. And tell me if I’m getting this wrong, but what I’m getting is that everything that we experience, whether it’s seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting it, whatever it is, everything that we experience, we. Are, um, we, it only has the meaning that it has because of the label that we put on it. Like, we, we experience it as a certain way because of the, the meaning that has been applied to it. And that in reality, nothing has an inherent meaning. Everything is a construct that we’ve put

CK: right. Yeah. Yeah. There you go. And I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s the, like the label that we put on it doesn’t necessarily. Forced the meaning that we get out of it, but it highly influenced it, influences it. Um, and the reason that I want to clarify that is that, you know, there’s some things and I can’t come up with an example, but there are things like, you know, there’s something else to something that, but you can’t explain it.

Um, I mean, I, I’m very familiar with this, trying to explain all the abstract concepts in my mind, but, uh, I’m not sure what I’m getting into anyway, but the point is like, okay, so this just popped into my head. Let’s just take the simple Adam or chemistry and molecules and compounds. For example, if we get.

Cool. Okay. So now we might get quantum with this, but let’s okay. Let’s stick with the Adam. If we zoom down to the Adam, Adam’s have protons, neutrons, electrons, protons, and neutrons are in the nucleus and electrons are floating around orbiting outside, and every single Adam has this character has a structure and.

All Adam’s are Adams. So there’s that category of Adams. Now, if we zoom in a little further, there’s different characteristics to these atoms. And as we observe them over time and observe a larger and larger data set, we can Clear patterns that develop with certain structures of atoms. And so this is how we can delineate between different elements.

And so, you know, the hydrogen atom only has one neutron. Okay.

Pam: You’re asking the wrong person. Isn’t it. Electron.

CK: And no, I think, uh, they have varying numbers of electrons. And

Pam: chemistry is not my strong suit.

CK: I think number refers to the number of nutrients or. Uh, it’s on a fly, so don’t hold us responsible for what we see.

Pam: We’re just two idiots talking about chemistry. Okay.

CK: But anyway, the point is an atom is an atom, and then it doesn’t become an element until we observe that pattern. And categorize with that specific pattern. And, you know, we’re talking about protons, neutrons electrons in the case of Adams, they’ve obviously determined that I should stop talking about chemistry

Pam: If you run into another problem.

CK: Yeah, I’m still stuck on neutrons, but anyway, uh, Point is that when you zoom in so far, things become less and less distinct. And like, if you’re talking about animes, it’s more and more difficult to tell an Adam apart from another Adam. And then if you zoom in even further to an electron electrons, I, you know, I can’t come up.

Uh, off the top of my head, like I can’t delineate electrons. Like we can delineate elements. So, you know, electrons are more uniform and they’re all the same. So there’s less of a, there’s less categorizations that we’re aware of now that we’re able to observe. So. I’m a man, this is just a really long roundabout.

Yeah. The way to try to illustrate that things in reality are just things and yeah, they’re there and they’re not really anything. And tell humans, put some kind of meaning to it. So, uh, yeah, I mean, that’s what I was trying to get across. I don’t know

Pam: that what I said.

CK: Yeah. I guess basically I was just kind of trying to insert different perspectives.

Pam: Okay, well, let me follow up and say that we were both wrong because the atomic number is proton.

CK: Uh, I was kind of thinking that, okay. I don’t want to get, um, I don’t want to get caught in that thought cycle. But anyway, it’s the whole notion that we put constraints on things that aren’t inherently constrained. And so I’m like, I like this quote because it just goes on to elaborate the transition that I’ve been going through in terms of, in terms of.

Kind of like getting more in tune with my emotions and letting go of these constraint constraints and abstract or not abstract, but artificial constructs that we’ve developed and put on things and just. Letting go, which I’ve talked about before the whole concept of letting go and not adhering so much to these supposed dues of, you know, how you’re supposed to act or how you’re supposed to be, or what do you think other people think you’re supposed to be doing?

So I’m getting more comfortable with the stylistic way of. Being more intuitive and going with the flow and seeing where my emotions and creativity go and kind of come out, uh, as I try to assert myself. So, yeah, I don’t know. Listeners can hear that, but that’s one of our neighbors loud cards anyway. Um, yeah, go ahead.

In my mind is, um, mixed up right now.

Pam: well, the, um, so the first few lines of that quote, um, I feel like are a little bit confusing for me as a very like practical person. It’s hard for me to, um, wrap my head around, you know, colors, blinding the eyes, but the last line is what got me, which I think it was that thoughts, whether the heart

CK: Thoughts thoughts weaken the mind desires, whether the heart.

Pam: Okay. So desires whether the heart, I thought that that was really apropos for what I was talking about at the beginning where I have been anxious about. Uh, the future and like getting where we want to be in that, that has been, um, like negatively impacting how I’m feeling right now. So the desires have been withering my heart because I I’m I’m wishing for something that we don’t have that isn’t reality right now.

CK: Right, right. Yeah. Great example, because obviously when you get into desires, they’re derivatives of thought and thinking is a derivative of putting boundaries on things and labeling things and, you know, Trying to connect things.

Pam: sure.

CK: So, yeah, I mean, it’s virtually impossible for humans not to do these things, but the point is that we are in such a vicious cycle of doing things, these kinds of things.

And if we’re mindless about it and mindless about where this information is coming from and where these thoughts are coming from and how they’re. Cultivating your present thought patterns. For example, like I mentioned before, you know, if, if you’re starting with an incorrect piece of data and you’re building on top of that, then your whole structure is unsound it’s suboptimal, and it’s based on a faulty foundation.

And so we need to be mindful of what. Is actually out there and, you know, what’s actually out there is not really defined. It’s random and it’s expansive and it’s all interconnected. And so it’s this notion that I’ve been transitioning into more and more, and that I’ve been able to. Bring into mind and be mindful of more and more and more.

And it’s just all related to the headless way in the process of transitioning into the sear and my model and thoughts on. The vast awareness systems and systems in general, like the systems perspective and integrating sub systems with the super systems. And so it’s just kind of a really profound perspective and I need to get better at articulating this stuff because I, what I want to do is.

Try to help other people achieve this perspective and cultivate it. So, yeah, I’m just trying to figure out how, how I’m getting into it and what I’m experiencing and how it’s coming out and trying to relay it to others.

Pam: Would you be able to explain a little bit or give examples of how it has changed, how you think or feel, or like why this has been beneficial for you?

CK: Yeah. And that’s a great question because it goes into something else. That’s been nagging at me this past week and. It has to do with getting into this creative flow or a creative flow state, which I’m still struggling with a bit because it’s just such a different mindset than I’ve been in before. And I still have a lot of letting go to do per se.

And I still find that I have strong tendencies to. Be methodical and analytical and objective with my creative stuff. And I think that’s, uh, I I’m, I’ve been trying to deconstruct the obstacles and the struggles that I’ve been experiencing lately. And I think that has a lot to do with it. Like I get into these holes and cycles of trying to optimize our particular thing.

And, you know, I may get a handle on that or I may conquer that and then see that the next piece isn’t as optimized or I’m not at that level or a similar level. So I continue that cycle with every little piece. And then when I go back to revisit one of the first pieces, it’s, that’s behind the, you know, Yeah.

In terms of the level of, um, uh, yeah, the low level of quality in terms of the piece that I just finished with. So, you know, I’m continually improving my processes with every little piece, but then there’s so many pieces that, uh, you know, I, I can just continue this cycle. Infinitely

Pam: you’re, you’re stuck in a perfectionism trap.

CK: Right.

Right, right. So I’m trying to call up this intuition and innate kind of emotional creativity more and just kind of like go a little more and not get into those objective cycles. And. Just let go a little more. And that’s why I think that’s why the, uh, that’s why Dow was talking to me a little bit in terms of going more with the flow and being more intuitive and taking things as it is and seeing things as it is.

And yeah, just letting go. Basically, I keep saying that and I keep reiterating that, but it’s difficult when. I’ve been operating in the other mode for such a long time, but I feel like I’m getting there and I am noticing improvements in, like I said, you know, I’m able to call up the headless way and the perspective of the sear more and more often when I need to.

So yeah, I think it’s just kind of working on that. Those kinds of things and realizing that kind of thing and just kind of coaching myself through it. That’s put me into like this weird flux over the past week or so, but yeah, that’s where I’m at now and that’s what I’m working on and that’s what I’m trying to figure out.


Pam: Well, this is a little more practical, but, um, if other people are identifying with what you’re talking about with, um, getting, you know, like into the weeds with stuff and like trying to make it. Perfect or, um, like kind of getting caught in this cycle of constantly improving. Um, I struggle with the same thing and my coach asked me to define perfection and you can’t because it doesn’t exist.

So, you know, whatever project you’re working on, if you try and define perfection and you realize that you can’t, that is helpful because then you realize that you’re aiming for something that doesn’t exist. But then also, if you, um, picture, like what would be like what you think you’re trying to reach and then think about whether you, like what you would do when you got to that point and for people who are like, truly like perfectionist and overachievers, when they got to that point, it still wouldn’t be satisfying.

They would, they would try and reach another level on another level and you start realizing that you can never. Get out of this cycle, you just have to quit at some point. And I don’t mean quit in the sense of like stop producing, but like, you just have to make the deal with yourself that like this, this is enough.

CK: right, right. Yeah. That’s a, that’s great advice. And I. Maybe I can try incorporating my vast awareness framework because I’ve been thinking about this lately and the more pieces seem to be coming together. And I think what I’ve settled on the acronym being is values in action over systems and time. And so when I’m thinking about my values of. Optimizing and being a perfectionist and, you know, getting the highest quality out of my work and thinking about that in the perspective of systems. And when I talk about systems, the, I think the most pertinent system is obviously the human system and the social system.

So human system being. Uh, you, the human and your subsystems and then the super system being your social system. And so when I think about my values of wanting the highest quality for my work and think about that in terms of the super system or my social system, it’s because I want to be perceived as.

Someone who does quality work and you know, who does optimal stuff in the work is perfect.

Pam: okay.

CK: But in terms of the systems and also time, the whole point of this awareness framework is to balance these dimensions and to. Get yourself into the middle of the momentum wave and, um, or, uh, sorry, not just that, but get yourself toward a balance of integration between both sides. So I’m talking about the super system, which is my social system and how I want.

People that perceive me as doing good quality work. I need to balance that with my own system. And so we need to integrate that. So where is my value or what is my value in action for myself? So why do I want to be perceived as someone who does good quality work and. So my value in that sense is in knowledge and in being knowledgeable.

And obviously I want to be perceived as knowledgeable, but that’s again, that’s considering the super system what’s in it for me is having knowledge and being able to help people. Obviously. So, I mean, helping people again is part of the super system, but that’s also my own value. It’s that’s gonna help me because that’s what I want to do.

And that’s how I want to assert myself and how I want to plug into the society. So, so with those two ends of the spectrum in mind, how do I integrate those? And. Be able to help people. And also provide quality work. And if I’m just focused on being perfect and providing quality work, I’m not going to be able to help people.

You know, if the word doesn’t come out and if it’s, you know, if I’m stuck in that cycle. And so I have to maintain mindfulness of the. Other side where I want to assert myself and integrate those two sides. So there’s a balance. So I can realize that I can’t get stuck in that cycle of perfectionism.

Otherwise I won’t reach balance there. So yeah. Yeah. I mean, that’s, uh, how I see the vast awareness framework kind of working out and that kind of what helped me this framework and the thought process that it put me in is kind of what helped me realize my tendencies and how my tendencies still tilt toward the super system.

And so I still need to assert myself more and then. You know, of course self-assertion and your self identity correlates with your emotions and the side also correlates with your creativity. And so I guess we’re all kind of circling all the way back to the notion of me starting myself and trying to tap into this creative side and let go.

And. Go with the flow and not be tied to artificial constructs.

Pam: Uh, and also understand that you could work on one thing for the next 50 years and still not have it perceived the way you want.

CK: Good point.

Pam: You have absolutely no control. You could be the smartest person in the world. You could craft the most amazing piece of music and then put it out. And once you have put it out, you have absolutely no power in how it’s received or how you are perceived.

CK: Right, right. Yeah. It’s interesting. But at least on that end, you’re asserting yourself creativity or creative creatively.

Pam: Yeah. That, that’s what I’m, I’m reinforcing that you need to put yourself out there and, and not be worried about how it’s perceived.

CK: You got to let go of how the super systems can affect you. So, yeah.

Pam: I think, um, shoot, what’s her name? The woman that wrote eat, pray, love. I’m totally blanking on her name, but I love, um, one of her books about creativity.

And she says that, um, is, is when you’re writing a book it’s yours. But as soon as you release it, it’s theirs. It’s the readers. You have, you have no ownership of it anymore. So you can’t have any, you can’t really take any stock in the reviews or how they feel about it because once they read it, it’s theirs because they’re the ones experiencing it.

CK: Elizabeth Gilbert.

Pam: Elizabeth Gilbert. Yes.

CK: Yeah, I think so. We can end things there this week. And yeah. I’m I don’t know. Do you have anything else that you wanted to talk about? Anything going on with the stars and planets?

Pam: Um, well, there is, so right now the sun is in Libra and it is squaring Jupiter in Capricorn. So both of the planets are not really happy where they’re at right now. And there’s tension between them. In those two signs. So, um, but with that combination, there there’s a lot of interpretations, but one of them could be, um, overextending yourself and over-committing taking on too much.

Um, it could potentially be good in the long run because it Capricorn is really about like achieving longterm goals. But right now you could like way over extend yourself and end up in a situation where you’ve got too much on your plate. So that’s going on right now. And then, um, I pulled a tarot card for our show before we started and I got the death card, which sounds really scary, but it’s actually think of it as the Chrysalis.

So it’s actually the, the rebirth. So it’s the DRA the huge transformation and the like letting go of the old body so that you can transform into the new and become something better.

CK: Uh, so like the rising of the Phoenix.

Pam: Yeah.

CK: Okay. I like

Pam: about that thought that was apropos for talking about, you know, letting go of all this stuff that is holding you back so that you can become the new creative you.

CK: Yeah, definitely. I like it. Perfect way to end things this week.

So Pam, where can people find you?

Pam: You can find me on Twitter, where I am @Pamela_Lund.

CK: And you might be able to find me on Twitter @cKdisco. And so thank you for listening in this week and thank you to Pam for joining me as always. And I hope you come back next week and keep on practicing.



It’s taken me until the age of 40 to feel comfortable in my own skin. Now I’m trying to find my voice.

CK Chung

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