Practice Session #38
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 (try to) 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: Start the timer this time. Here we go.
Heyo! 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 practice of podcasting, as well as speaking in general, has evolved into a practice of self-coaching and self-reflection while espousing 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 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 and more information about this project at ForcesOfEqual.com/Practice.
Catch up with the Anomaly and the Linchpin.
CK: We are recording today on November 15th of 2020, and this is our 38th practice session. And let’s get right into the quote for this week. And, uh, I’m not sure which one to pick. I have three listed again, and these are actually three that I listed in weeks prior that I didn’t get to. Let’s see, I think we’ll keep it simple. So this one comes from Luxy once again, founder of Daoism or one of the main founders, and it goes like this, the truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words, the truth, and that’s filed suit.
And it’s as simple as that. And. It relates to a lot of what we’ve spoken about before, and you can relate it to how we’ve been talking about language and the fluidity of language and openness of language and the other side, how language can be illimited and bounding in foot. Constraints on certain concepts and whatnot.
So it’s just kind of a balanced quote that allows you to look at things from two different sides. And, you know, it’s pretty simple. It’s pretty self-explanatory in my mind.
Pam: It’s simple, but it could also be nuanced if you think about the layers that are in that quote, going back to what you just said with language, having meaning and how you can change things by simply changing the words. And in that quote, whatever perspective you use for beautiful will change the meaning of the quote.
Pam: what you think of as beautiful. Is going to change what words you’re thinking of. So something that I think is beautiful is something that someone says that I think is right or good, or that I want to believe in. Someone else is going to see as the opposite.
CK: Right, right. Yeah, exactly. So that even goes into a lot of the things we’ve been espousing over the weeks past, even further in terms of the dualism of everything and really essentially the pluralism of everything, you know, we try not to look at things in a. Oh, my God. I’m totally blanking on George by like, like two different aspects. Um
Pam: I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. We try to look at things, not in singular terms
CK: right. Or, or yes or no, or black or white. What’s that word?
Pam: a binary.
CK: Yeah. Vinery Oh my gosh. Thank you. Holy cow, come on brain. What is going on? So yeah, so I, Oh yeah. So I was just saying how this goes into what we like to say about, you know, things being on a spectrum. And the plurality of things rather than the duality, which we’ve been speaking about before.
But in essence, we’re talking about the plurality and how, like you said, language can be limiting and it all goes into perspective and how you perceive certain things in how your perception might be different from someone else’s. So.
Pam: It also made me think about, um, communication in relationships or friendships and how, uh, saying the thing that’s beautiful isn’t necessarily. The the right thing to say that sometimes you need to have conflict to make things better. And then also that it made me think of, um, charlatans or people who will tell you what you want to hear, just to get something out of you and that you really need to be aware of
CK: yeah, exactly. That lends me to, or that leads me to think about just marketing in general. And you can even think about marketing as simply beautifying things in a way that consumers will be attracted to it. So it’s not necessarily rooted in a value of truth or facts. It’s more rooted in a value of attention or some sort of persuasion.
CK: Right. I don’t want to go that far, but that’s what I was thinking. So, yeah, we’ll see if we can relate our session today to that quote. And I don’t think it’ll be very difficult because it’s pretty all encompassing, but do you want to get into our week and reflect on our week?
Pam: um, sure. Do you want to go first? You
CK: Sure. I’ll go first. Yeah, I, so I’m are already thinking back to Monday. When I was feeling a little, not necessarily sickness, but I had like a little bit of a scratchy throat and maybe a little bit of a sniffle. And I started smelling weird. Or like my scent was off, it felt like, and I’ve had instances in the past that I’ve recorded.
And of course I used to be very diligent with self quantification. And so the past two years I’ve actually recorded when these kind of weird smelling instances occurred. And weirdly enough, I noticed a pattern starting to form and. I get these weird smells in March and then in September and the pattern repeated itself over two years, and this year I had something going on in March that made me think I might’ve had COVID, but we ended up finding out through antibody tests that we haven’t gotten to sickness.
And so. I’m not sure if that was related to the smelling sensation that I’ve been noticing, but I don’t think I got that smelling sensation when I felt like I might’ve had COVID back back in March of this year. And then where the pattern usually repeated itself in September. It didn’t repeat itself until a week or so ago.
So it’s maybe a month or so later than usual. So I thought it was all related, but then I actually found some information where COVID-19 was related or some people reported symptoms of having this weird smell. And I found a description of it that said something like burnt toast and perfume, which I could relate with.
But like the smell, it’s not very easy to distinguish, but like when I would try to describe it to Pam, I said like, something like burnt, like maybe patootie or something like that. And so when I saw that burnt like burnt toast and perfume description, I was like, Oh, okay. That kinda makes sense. So I thought, you know, I might’ve.
Been having symptoms of COVID. So I got tested on Monday and of all the counts I’ve been looking at through testing in orange County. It seemed like a pretty simple and quick process. So I thought I’d be maybe out of the home for like an hour. I, you know, I’d be back in time for dinner and everything.
So I timed everything accordingly, come to find out that. I don’t know if it’s due to the rise in cases and the rise and symptoms and the rise, the increase of the spread of late, but the place was packed. Like I didn’t even end up in the parking lot until an hour after I got to the location. And then I ended up waiting another three hours, um, or about to.
Two two and a half hours in the parking lot before I got tested. And so I was out of the house for like four hours. So that’s like four times longer than I thought it would take. And I couldn’t get out of the car. You know, I just sit in the car the entire time. So I. Kind of likened it to being on a flight to Chicago from Southern California,
Pam: Least airplanes have bathrooms.
I couldn’t even get up and, you know, stretch out my legs or get any refreshments or anything. But on the other hand, I was fortunate to be in the car and had have that privacy. So I could. Do a lot of things like practice singing and speaking and exercising my voice and stuff like that, which was, which was nice to have that time to do that.
But yeah, so that’s how my week started just sitting in the car for four hours. And fortunately I had my phone mobile device with me, so I could read and take online courses and listen to podcasts and watch TV. Do a lot of stuff. So it’s, I’m very grateful to have that technology available to me. And I know we kind of rail on technology a lot in terms of how it’s distracting and takes us away from natural processes.
But. You know, if you’re mindful about technology, there’s also a lot of benefits that can come out of it. So that’s definitely one. So yeah, that’s how my week started, but I found out that I tested negative, so that’s good, but I am very anxious about what’s going on with the whole pandemic these days. So I don’t know if we’ll get into that further, but yeah, I’ve been thinking a lot about that and what’s going to happen now that.
A lot of Americans will be getting together for Thanksgiving and the holidays. And so, yeah, it’s a little nerve wracking on that end, hopefully we can move forward and get, you know, hunker down, get over this thing because the solutions in the end are fairly simple. It’s more about. Our human behavior that we need to solve.
CK: yeah. Otherwise my week’s been very good.
Pam: I’ve already seen, um, significantly more airplanes flying over just in the last two days than we have for months. So I think people are traveling for Thanksgiving and it’s not looking good.
CK: Yeah, that’ll be interesting. So how should we go?
Pam: I actually can’t think of anything memorable from my week.
CK: It’s not a bad thing.
Pam: Yeah, no, it was, it was a nice chill week. Um, got, you know, normal work done and, um, progressing through my astrology university classes and, um, yeah, this was supposed to be friends giving, but we decided to not do that because we couldn’t do it as safely as we felt we should have.
So I ended up with a few more days to work and do things than I expected because we were supposed to be gone. So.
CK: Yeah, it’s always this.
Pam: And we have a dog with us. Yes, it would have been, it would have been nice, but
CK: right. Yeah. We have a dog staying with us this weekend. Her name is pepper. She’s been a very good girl right now.
Pam: she’s a good girl.
CK: Yeah. But if you hear any kind of crawling or little barks, that’s not me. That’s Tupper
Pam: It might be me.
CK: might be found too. Then I was having some issues with her voice this morning,
Pam: Yes. We well, we went out for our a little third of a mile run. And for some reason, right before he went out, I was doing my warmup and I started feeling really good, which I haven’t for a long time. And I’m the hip that has been bothering me, the warmups that I was doing. Helped it. So I started to get really jazzed for us to go out and run.
And so we started and I was like, basically sprinting for,
CK: it was pretty fast.
Pam: for me, a sprint for me, STK, going to beat me. But, um, I ran out of gas at about a quarter of a mile and I ran the entire thing, but it was significantly faster than, uh, we’ve run before, or I have run before. So my, uh, lungs were burning and my throat is a little, uh, Ragged because of that?
CK: Did you mean to start out that fast?
Pam: No, I was just feeling good and I was like, okay, let’s run. Yeah. And then I, yeah, well, but I was feeling good and I was like, okay, well, and then I realized that you were a little bit behind me. And I was like, Oh, if he’s behind me, I’m going way too fast. So I slowed down a little bit and about halfway through, I was like, Oh crap, this is not, this is not good.
But by then, I couldn’t do anything about it.
CK: Yeah. Still learning how to face yourself.
Pam: I don’t know if I’m ever going to know how to pace myself.
CK: Good to get those faster, yet shorter distances in it’s a good exercise, especially since we can’t go for distance lately. It’s good to. Speed things up and get cardio work on that end,
CK: yeah. Yeah. And for me, is that I don’t think that’s the exact word, but yeah. I feel like my voice gets.
More supported after these runs. And like, I get more air and more force behind my voice. So I don’t know. Maybe we have that contrast, obviously we’re at different levels of cardio,
CK: but yeah, but we both had to pull back on our. I know runs. So Pan’s having issues with their hip and, um, I feel a little twisted cause I had to sit in the car for four hours straight.
I think I didn’t sleep. Uh, like after I slept and woke up the next morning, I felt a little twisted. So something happened during that period of sedentary, Venus. Um, I don’t know. I have so bad with words today, so, okay. Let’s move on. And I think what I wanna do this week is see if I can close some loops that have been running in my mind since the past few sessions.
And I actually feel very good on that end today in terms of how my mind is running and how. My brain is functioning, except for those words. So maybe, maybe I should temp my expectations a little bit, but I guess in terms of my energy and my mood, I feel really good. So let’s see if I can close some of these loops.
And we actually started talking about some of these, uh, just me and Pam earlier in the week. And so I’ve had, I’ve been thinking about some of these things, but other things have been coming up and, uh, let’s just get right into it. So a couple of weeks ago, Pam was asking me like, so we were going back and forth about the divide in the country and the divide between the politics and the bipartisanship.
On the two, two sides of the politics. And we’re going into how there seems to be a divide between individualism and collectivism. And we were talking about how one side is, seems to be much more individualistic and just more closed minded in terms of thinking about themselves for other than the collective and the whole system.
And how helping the whole system actually helps themselves. And I was asking Pam, you know, why are people feeling like that way? Or, you know, why do people get into that mode of thinking? And you said something like, because of fear and greed, and I was asking you, you know, why did they have that fear and greed?
And you said something like, you know, because they have. This close mindset and they have a scarcity mindset. And so at the time I was kind of, first of all, I wasn’t at the top of my game, my brain wasn’t working at the top of his game, but I was also kind of diving off into different tangents. But now that I’ve had some time to Mol about.
That I felt, you know, at the time I wish I would. I said that, you know, people get into these modes of thinking specifically the scarcity mindset because of fear. And as Pam related to it, you know, there’s this. Abundance of fear in green on one side, that’s causing this individualistic mindset and a lot of vets due to this scarcity mindset.
So where does this come from and why? What I’m thinking is that these days, you know, we talk a lot about. The natural processes and how these days in modern society, we’ve kind of been distracted from these natural processes and we’ve developed all this technology and all these basically stories behind what’s going on these days.
And this could go towards marketing and branding and corporate interests in. Politics obviously, but it’s all these artificial constructs in distractions. And as we were alluding to before, as we said before, in relation to the quote, the truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words, the truth.
There’s some manipulation going on in persuasion behind the rhetoric of politics in marketing. And so we’ve been getting away from notion of abundance, which if you actually think about it, and if you’re listening to this now, and if you have a phone and you can get on the internet that right there to tell you that you have abundance and. You’re probably the top 10% of the world population. If not the top 1% of the world’s population, here’s something to think about. I don’t know the numbers exactly, but this is kind of a ballpark figure, but the top 1% of the world’s population in terms of income is something like $33,000. Annually. So if you make more than something, but it’s like 30 to 35,000.
So if you make that or more, you’re in the top 1% of the world’s population and 99% of the population is below you. So yeah, I mean, just think about that and. Realize how much you have in comparison to the rest of the world. And I don’t know how well that’s going to go toward articulating my point here, but I mean, those numbers are just so huge and sometimes it’s kind of hard to relate with these numbers.
Um, so something I’m trying to get better at is. Developing metaphors and stuff like that. I don’t have a good one at this time, but I’m working on that. But cause the whole thing is like people, some people have a tough time wrapping their heads around numbers and percentages in this is the issue. And going along again with binary thinking and more limited thinking, like we’re used to some.
Hard numbers and relations. And sometimes it’s difficult for us to think in proportions or logarithmically or exponentially. And so that, I mean, that can go toward our quote again, whereas the truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words, the truth in how language affects our perceptions. So it’s. A lot to think about. And I think that may be an issue too. Like we don’t want to think that much. We don’t want to spend energy thinking about things if we don’t have to. And that’s another point that I can get into this whole thing with scarcity and abundance is what I was talking to last week about the different modes of learning.
Between the focus mode and the diffuse mode and how you can only be in one mode at a time. And the diffuse mode when you’re not so focused on a task diffuse mode basically allows you to open up your minds so that you can relate different ideas and different concepts together. As opposed to the focus mode where you’re more focused on a specific idea or a concept.
And so a lot of times in our modern lives, we’re very much in a focus mode and more of a one track mind of thinking or a one check way of thinking. And we’re not spending enough time in the diffuse mode with our. Brains our minds in the right mode. And the thing is if we are, if we are in the diffuse mode and were thinking, you know, we’re not so focused.
A lot of times in this, in the modern society, we distract ourselves with social media and technology and the news or television or other media. So. Our diffuse mode, time is being distracted. So we’re still not getting that period of reflection in memory consolidation in connections and making, you know, different relations between various concepts.
So we’re still not allowing our brains to benefit from that. Default mode network and the diffuse mode of thinking. So we’re basically never in the state of reflection. We’re either in focus mode or distracted mode and thus without the actual diffuse mode where we’re more reflective. We’re just distracted.
And that I think is contributing to our fear response or our stress response, which is basically the same side of the nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system. And this is where the notion of scarcity creeps up because we’re in this stressful state and. I kind of want to clear up the stressful state terminology, because it sounds like, so when I’m talking about being distracted from the diffuse mode and looking at social media and stuff like that, you generally don’t perceive that as being stressful, but you’re still stressing your mind and your systems physiologically with, you know, these alarming.
Messages or titles or stories or articles
Pam: or, you know, what you have to keep up with and what other people know that you don’t know and what people bought that you can’t afford. And like it’s a constant fire hose of information that you may not even realize that you’re taking in, but it’s
CK: Exactly. Exactly. So during these periods, when you’re supposedly taking a break and giving your mind a break, Your, your physiology, the neurobiology of your brain. Isn’t getting into the proper state to, you know, clean up or make connections or, you know, process things while it’s supposed to be in that diffuse mode, because it’s being distracted by all these different messages and technology and marketing.
And what are beautiful words and whatnot. And so that keeps us in this scarcity mindset and engages that fear response. therefore, you know, we’re always acting from a point of fear That just exacerbates the scarcity mindset and it’s just a cycle. And so we’ve developed this cycle and then the pattern of being in a scarcity mindset and being in a stressful, stressful state all the time.
And that’s what leads to chronic deceit, chronic disease, chronic diseases. And. You know, keeps us in this pattern of the scarcity mode or the scarcity mindset.
Pam: This gets a little conspiracy theory, ish, but it also creates a population that is easier to control and easier to keep from noticing what’s really wrong. And what really matters where we’re distracted by things that don’t matter. So we don’t have the time energy. Or resources to focus on what’s actually happening.
CK: Right. Exactly. And this can go toward the notion of immediate versus delayed gratification and it, so I wonder if listeners are familiar with the marshmallow test, are you familiar?
Pam: Yes, I am. You would pass the marshmallow test and I would fail it.
CK: So, yeah, basically the marshmallow test is, do you, uh, so there was a study. I don’t remember if it was Stanford or something like that, but there was a study way back when, and I believe it was in like the sixties or seventies where they tested a group of children and offered them one marshmallow now, or you can wait 15 minutes and get two marshmallows. And so they did the study and followed up years later and realized that the kids who delayed their gratification for more marshmallows later ended up. Scoring higher on tests and having, you know, higher income later in life and all these kinds of benefits. So it’s the notion of being able to delay gratification and that kind of mindset allows you to, I mean, it’s just a more mindful mindset in the end, and I think that’s what contributes to.
More success later in life.
Pam: And I want to say, I think that they’ve tried to repeat the marshmallow study results and they haven’t been able to repeat it with the same conclusion, but the principle is still there that if you can, um, develop commitment and, uh, think about the longterm than for anything financial or your relationship or your career or anything like that, that, that principle of, of not doing something that is going to affect.
Have an immediate impact so that you can get a better impact in the long run is kind of an understood good principle.
CK: right, right. It’s just the long term perspective on things. And going along with what Pam is saying about the study, not being able to be replicated, there’s been. A huge issue with replication in psychological studies over the past few years, that’s been discovered and continues to be discovered.
And like Pam said, the marshmallow test couldn’t be re replicated replicated. And one of the interesting findings that comes from, I don’t know if it came from trying to replicate the test or it came from re analyzing these previous tests, but. What they found that what they found is that the difference between the children who could delay gratification versus the children who just wanted the one marshmallow right away had more to do with socioeconomic status
CK: rather than the child’s personal mindset or, you know, personal upbringing or whatever influence.
So. Children who were in a more lower income situation or more scarce situation wanted that marshmallow right away, because they didn’t know for sure if they were going to get more later. Yeah. Whereas the children who succeeded or, you know, did better with the marshmallow test, they were able to delay gratification.
Fell into that weird category of study participants. So do you know which stands for
Pam: no, I thought you were just calling them weird.
CK: Oh yeah. It’s, it’s actually an acronym for Western educated, industrialized, rich and democratic. So it, you know, like first world nations. Some, uh, along those lines, they had an easier time delaying their gratification because they’ve have more abundance and they’re, you know, they don’t have to, if they take something now they understand that they’ll still have more later. Um, so there, it’s easier for them to delay their gratification because they know they’ll, they’ll always, there’ll always be a supply and if they can get more later, then you know, why not? So I feel like that’s kind of interesting and I’m not sure if I can wrap everything up nicely here. Uh, this is all just like we say, we do this on the fly.
So this is all kind of floating around and trying to connect in my brain now. And I think I would do better if I was in a more diffuse mode, but, um, I mean that focus right now trying to, trying to connect these things. But the interesting thing is like, like I was trying to convey before we are in such a era of abundance that we should be easily able to delay our gratification.
So like when it comes to something like a pandemic where wearing masks have been proven to lower the spread of the virus, and we just have to wear masks for a period of time so that we can get back to more, a more normal scenario in the near future, you know? It seems like a lot of us aren’t being able to do that because of this scarcity mindset that we’ve fallen into and this mindset that, you know, it seems like I need to be masculine now and I can’t, you know, deal with wearing a mask and it’s like, there’s no. Mindfulness around. What’s going to come about in the future, down the road, whether or not you wear a mask, you know how that’s affecting things down the line. And so, I don’t know, is this making sense, like, am I tying it up
Pam: Yeah. Um, I’m not, I’m not sure that I believe that the lack of wearing a mask has to do with scarcity so much as it is identity that, that they think, or we’re not bullying, not believing in science, which is a whole other problem.
CK: yeah, yeah. I think so. Yeah, not tying up the analogies, uh, as well as I’d like to, but I think in terms of the mask, I was thinking of scarcity of like, Scarcity of normalcy, maybe even, you know? Yeah.
CK: like the people who protest against mass feel a scarcity of this normal, the normalcy that we were in before the pandemic and, you know, being free to not have to wear a mask and, you know, interact normally and all that.
And there’s no thought toward the future and how, you know, if we all wore a mask throughout the first month that this pandemic was announced, we wouldn’t be dealing with the record number of infections and deaths happening now. And we’re like eight months into this whole thing. Like, that’s just so crazy to me.
And. It’s uh, I mean, frustrating to think about from a systemic standpoint and a complex system standpoint and a standpoint of delayed gratification and broadened perspective and collectivism. So it all comes down to human behavior and how. Our natural processes. Like I keep saying I’ve been hijacked with the modern society and technology and how we’ve been led into this pattern of thinking mindlessly and.
We just need more critical thinking. That’s something that I was trying to get across last week, but it’s all about critical thinking and it doesn’t have to do with how smart you are, how stupid you are, if you can just think better and we can be better. So, yeah, I don’t know if I completely close the loop, but I think I’m better, better off than I was before.
Pam: I’ve been laughing because you’ve been talking about, you know, restriction and like boundaries and like doing the hard thing right now for the benefit of the future. And you have a sun Saturn sextile happening right now, which means those two energies are, um, collaborating and working together. So your son is like your ego in your awareness and Saturn when properly expressed your expressed well is about self-discipline and doing the hard work now to benefit you later on.
So you have this awareness of boundaries and discipline for, for hard work for later benefit. So I’ve been laughing as you’ve been basically giving a speech about this sun Saturn. Sextiles
CK: Oh, that’s perfect. And I think we can just end things right there then.
CK: So thank you to the listeners for joining me this week. And thank you to Pam has always Dan, where can people find you?
Pam: You can find me on Twitter where I am at Pamela underscore Lund.
CK: And you might be able to find me on Twitter this week at CK disco. And I think I might be sharing some stuff this week. We’ll see how that goes. So. Yeah, thanks again for joining me. And I hope you come back next week and keep on practicing.