Ep#095 Why Non Doing Is the Most Productive Thing You Can Do – Jessie Kanzer, Author, Speaker, Intuitive
How can a book written in 400 BC be a powerful guide for how to live today? The Tao Te Ching a classic of Chinese philosophical literature, reminds us that spending less time trying to manipulate situations, people and circumstances to get what we want and more time aligning ourselves to the natural flow of things is the way to a joyful existence. The central concept is that deep self awareness when cultivated gives us the ability to have a more genuine experience of reality which gives way to making empowering choices in our lives with ease.
Today’s guest is author, speaker and fellow mom on a spiritual journey Jessie Kanzer. Jessie Asya Kanzer was born in the Soviet Union. At the age of eight, she emigrated with her family to Brooklyn. Her intense personal struggles put her on a spiritual journey during which she discovered the Tao Te Ching, an ancient text that reminds us that there’s great power in slowing down in our lives. It forever changed her life.
We dive into her critically acclaimed book, which comes out next month: DON’T JUST SIT THERE, DO NOTHING: Healing, Chilling & Living with the Tao Te Ching. Jessie gives practical actionable insights on how we can use this ancient philosophy to help us thrive amidst our modern chaos.
Visit her Website: https://jessiekanzer.com
Free Webinar Book Launch 3/1: https://jessiekanzer.com/events/dont-just-sit-there-do-nothing-web-launch
Welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast, where you’ll discover that when it comes to your health, you’re so much more powerful than you’ve been led to believe. And now your host, she’s a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach, chef author, and Yogi, Christine Okezie.
Christine Okezie (23s):
Hello, and welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition podcast. I’m Christine Okezie. Thanks so much for being here today. I’ve come to know that the habit that we really need to change when it comes to our health is the habit of this doing, doing, doing, doing, you know, feeling like we’re always on our way somewhere, never having enough time to get everything done, equating our worth with how much we can check off that to-do list. We wear our busy-ness as a badge of honor, but in this modern world, the price for being productive is living chronically stressed. Frenetically disconnected from our true selves and the present moment.
Christine Okezie (1m 5s):
The present moment, the only place where life is really happening, present moment reality itself. So this all too common habit of living suggests that joy fulfillment satisfaction can only be found in the final product of all our doing this while the rest of our lives are experienced as something to be endured or suffered through. We forget that we are human beings, not human doings, and we make everything about the finish line and discount the journey, but living and staying grounded in the present moment is how we access our personal power to heal, transform and evolve.
Christine Okezie (1m 51s):
Of course, if you’re going a hundred miles an hour, most of the time focusing on your being-ness can feel super uncomfortable. So it is first and foremost, a life skill and like any skill it takes practice. Well today’s guest is Jessie Kanzer, Jessie Asya Kanzer was born in the Soviet union and at the age of eight emigrated with her family to Brooklyn, her intense personal struggles, put her on a spiritual journey during which she discovered theTao Te Ching an ancient text that reminds us that there’s great power in slowing down in our lives.
Christine Okezie (2m 32s):
It forever changed her life. Her new book, which comes out next week is: “Don’t Just Sit There, Do Nothing – Healing, Chilling, and Living with the Tao Te Ching. ” in her book. Jesse gives us practical, actionable insights on how 2,400 years later we need the Tao’s teachings lessons in self-awareness and grounding more than ever. Jessie is a writer, former reporter and actress. Her work has appeared in the post New York times, LA times, Huffington post wall street journal, and many more. I can’t wait for you to listen to our conversation where she’s shares, how perfecting the art of doing nothing could actually be the most productive thing you’ve done in a long while.
Christine Okezie (3m 18s):
If you do like the show, I’d be grateful if you’d leave a rating and review, and if you haven’t already hit the subscribe button, please do so. It helps people find the podcast easier. Thanks so much for listening and enjoy the episode and hello, Jessie. Thanks so much for being here. It’s a real pleasure to have you on the podcast today.
Jessie Kanzer (3m 36s):
Thank you, Christine. It’s a pleasure for me as well.
Christine Okezie (3m 41s):
So you are an expert in doing nothing. I love this. Okay. It gets, it really gets everybody’s attention and you know, just in the world that we’re living in today, but before we dive into how one becomes an expert in doing nothing, I’d like to start, if you don’t mind by sharing a little bit about, you know, your childhood, where you grew up and then just on reflection, how it’s really kind of shaped, you know, your, your journey to what you do now.
Jessie Kanzer (4m 7s):
Absolutely because right, what better way to start then at the beginning? Indeed. So I was born in the former Soviet union and my family left seeking asylum slip status in America when I was eight. And it was a really long and pretty arduous journey through various other countries. We came here as refugees and there was almost an immediate identity loss that took place for me because as a child, you’re of course not assessing where you live in any other way than this is home. This is what I know. And of course, in hindsight, I understand why we had to leave, but as a child, this is my home.
Jessie Kanzer (4m 50s):
And then this is not. And I ended up being in a place that was vastly different. I, I liken it to going from black and white to Technicolor because the Soviet Union had very little choice. It was, you know, behind the iron curtain then. And the choice here is what really overwhelmed me along with, I didn’t get a welcome from my peers. And I think a lot of it had to do with coming to America on the heels of the cold war. But as we now know, there’s always this darker side of humanity where we make someone the other. And so I happened to come at a time where I was the other.
Jessie Kanzer (5m 33s):
And so I really worked hard to fit in. My name was a different name. It was Asya when I was born and, you know, I changed it to Jessie. I worked really hard to, to get rid of my accent and to fit in and to make friends and to be the kind of person that people want it to be friends with. And along the lines, I lost touch with my natural original identity. And in hindsight, it is that loss actually that put me onto the spiritual journey that I’ve been on ever since I’m 40 years old. Now I’m still on that journey in the search for self, I have discovered magical, wonderful ancient teachings, like the Tao Te Ching , which my book, “Don’t Just Sit There, Do Nothing”, is based.
Jessie Kanzer (6m 20s):
And my low points are what created the longing for spiritual knowledge and enlightenment. Now these low points, just to quickly summarize, I ended up with an eating disorder. As a teenager, I struggled with depression, anxiety, and then I was deeply unhappy, not in touch with my true self. Nobody would know that on the outside because I presented this perfect, you know, put together person. And now when I see people who are completely a hundred percent put together, one of my eyebrows rise, because I think there’s something that might be being hidden there. And w what happened was I graduated college, got into a major car accident.
Jessie Kanzer (7m 4s):
So at that point I was physically broken, emotionally suffering. And that was my beginning with looking at the simplicity and the ease full wisdom of the doubt, aging of this ancient philosophy and using it to slowly come back to myself,
Christine Okezie (7m 26s):
Reclaiming a journey back, right? Yes. So interesting. How, and, and, and there’s so many beautiful themes in there that really do weave, you know, through every seekers journeys, you know, who am I, you know, who, who have I always been? You know, and, and how can I show up more as that in the world, right. And that’s been so beautiful to use all those tragedies and trauma to, you know, as, as opportunities as doorways as I like to say,
Jessie Kanzer (7m 53s):
I, Christina, I can’t agree more. I really think that, and it’s hard sometimes to swallow when we’re in the midst of the trauma or the tragedy, but I think that every hardship brings a gift. Sometimes it may take time for us to recognize that gift.
Christine Okezie (8m 10s):
Yes, yes. So the Tao Te Ching what inspired you to, you know, follow it, to dive into it, and then ultimately, you know, write this amazing, you know, body of work in your book.
Jessie Kanzer (8m 24s):
So I was struggling and I still sometimes do, if I’m honest with addictive tendencies, that’s what I, you know, I don’t like to label myself any longer. I used to say, I have an addictive personality, but I don’t say that anymore. I say there are some addictive tendencies in this human body that my soul is walking around and right now, right. Cause you know, like you said, a lot, a big part of identity is figuring out who we really are beyond, beyond all those limitations. And in fact, you know, I’ll say real quick that my, my book is divided into three sections. The first of which is identity identity awareness creation.
Jessie Kanzer (9m 5s):
So there’s steps to actually stepping into our powerful life. But so for me, I was dealing with various addictions. Food was an addiction for me. The binge purge cycle was an addiction for me, long after I cared about what I looked like because of something that started in that precarious teenage phase, when we are really trying to be like the perfect women we see in magazines. And now unfortunately for the girls all over Instagram and it may have started as that, but you know, many years later I did not care anymore. I just wanted to get out of this addictive pattern, but that’s not always easy.
Jessie Kanzer (9m 46s):
So I was reading a lot of books on addiction. And then I, you know, I was also addicted to nicotine. And later when I healed my, my bulemia and I quit smoking, well, mostly quit smoking. I developed a love addiction. I was just like this obsessive love addict. And so in dealing with my addictions of the time, I read a lot of books on addiction. And one of these books was called A Million Little Pieces. And it’s a book by a man named James Fry. It actually had a lot of controversy rounded later because it was presented as a memoir. There was some fiction in it. There’s, you know, there’s a lot of controversy that came up.
Jessie Kanzer (10m 27s):
But for me, what it was, was the gateway to the Tao because in his book speaking about his own recovery, he talked about the doubt aging and how it helped him and he would walk with it. And so I, to me, the biggest, how it often is it’s like an out of nowhere discovery in that book was this Tao. So I immediately ordered the little pocket sized version of the doubt etching, which I had for decades, and that’s where my journey began. And then I had other books and, you know, I had, by the time I wrote, Don’t Just Sit There, Do Nothing. I had dozens of translations of the texts because I was so curious about the various take center.
Christine Okezie (11m 9s):
Oh my gosh, what a beautiful breadcrumb to just soon to be planted there, you know, and then set you off on this quest, you know, to go deeper into it. I love it now. So before we go into a little bit more about the Tao Te Ching, it’s not religion. Right. It’s and, and so if you could just talk a little bit, so folks know understanding, is it like Buddhism? You know, what exactly is Taoism in that regard?
Jessie Kanzer (11m 33s):
Absolutely. And you know what, there are definitely a lot of parallels between Taoism and Buddhism, the Tao Te Ching, the way I look at it and the way many scholars have looked at it over the years is as a philosophy as this fairly brilliant philosophy from sixth century, BC, BC, that is as relevant today, which is amazing to me. I’m like, okay, we’ve grown, we’ve done things as humans, but human nature has not changed because it keeps talking about the human nature that we need to kind of sometimes reign in our, our need to compare ourselves our need to listen to everybody else. Our need to please people. The doubt really gets into blocking out the external noise, listening to yourself. And I think my dad, like when is that more relevant than right now when we have so much noise, but there is also of course, a Dallas religion.
Jessie Kanzer (12m 21s):
I don’t know enough about that to really talk about it. Other than the doubt, aging is only one of many texts that use that is used in the religion. Got it. Okay.
Christine Okezie (12m 31s):
Okay. Yeah. So it’s, it’s almost like, and I think you referenced it in one of your writing is it’s the oldest self-help book. That’s
Jessie Kanzer (12m 37s):
What I call it. That is what I call
Christine Okezie (12m 41s):
Brilliant. And it’s really just, you know, some guidance on, on how to live, you know, a better life. And, and that’s, what’s so wonderful about it is that it is universal and obviously you’ve made it very actionable. So let’s dive into one of your favorite or one of the most popular, you know, verses in the, in the book, which is practice, not doing everything will fall into place. Now this is really kind of hard to get your head around. If you’re going, you know, 21st century, you know, pedal to the metal living, right. What does it mean? What is non-doing Jessie?
Jessie Kanzer (13m 17s):
Yes. And it is not an easy concept to wrap your head around today. Non-doing is something that the Tao Te Ching comes back to time and time again, how being is it such a big part of existence that we sometimes lose in all of our doing? So the dowel talks about how doing, and non-doing complete each other, how life is both the vessel, which holds the stuff we want. And it’s also the space inside the vessel that allows for us, for the stuff to be there for the stuff to exist, right? It has this great imagery that it uses.
Jessie Kanzer (13m 59s):
What is really essential, the walls of the house in which you live, or the space in the house that allows you to live there. And the point of the Tao is often that you need both. Okay. So when you practice, non-doing, everything will fall into place. This idea has become really special to me because I was born in a very achievement based culture. And then coming here as an immigrant, you really do have to hustle you, you see your parents really hustling and oh, you know, we’re all, most of us are immigrants in one form or another. And we know that it comes with this hustle culture because you’re trying really hard to establish a life, to reach the American dream.
Jessie Kanzer (14m 46s):
And I think in a lot of us, we have this, I call us achievement addicts, the humans of today, you know, we ride, we need, we have the next goalpost we have, we’re always doing the five-year plan, the 10 year plan. Like we know we gotta have our plans in order, but the dowel reminds us that you also need to incorporate non being or may say, don’t just sit there, do nothing into your life. You need to incorporate stillness into your life to allow for the stuff to fall into place for all the work you’ve been doing. Give it a chance to land. If you’re always just moving forward.
Jessie Kanzer (15m 27s):
We talked about how I kind of found my path to where I am today as a writer, if you’re always pushing forward, you are going to miss the breadcrumbs that are being left for you to pay attention to. Right. And that’s why it’s so essential to stop, to pause and to take in the message messages that life itself is sending us
Christine Okezie (15m 53s):
Beautiful. So it’s not being passive. Right. And it’s certainly not doing, it’s not, it’s not waiting for stuff to happen. Right. Cause this is the, the tendency that, you know, we’re all conditioned, you know, so I have to make stuff happen. If I, you know, I have to go out and get what I want. Right.
Jessie Kanzer (16m 9s):
I look at, you know, so that the joke and don’t just sit there, do nothing is, it’s funny, you’re doing nothing. It’s like, you’re actively doing nothing. Right. Exactly. And the doubting is filled with paradoxes because life is because life is because we’re two things at the same time, you know, I say in the book, I say, I am both a sweet, generous person and I have pangs of jealousy. You know, that’s how, that’s how life exists for us in this physical form. And you know, I talk about my children a bunch and don’t just sit there, do nothing. And my daughter, my oldest daughter always used to say, when I brought the baby home, she’d be like, I love baby.
Jessie Kanzer (16m 51s):
And I not love baby to this day. You know, I kind of, I make, I make my family hike a lot. Me and my husband are big hikers, nature people. And she’s like, she’ll, she’ll say I like hiking. And I don’t because it’s such a, you know, hardships sometimes to get them out the door to get them geared up. And it’s funny, the Dao, it talks a lot about allowing for this duality to exist because, because it’s here anyway. So yes, it’s not about being passive, allowing yourself this time to do nothing to just be, but it’s allowing for moments of passivity, right. Moments. Because if you’re always doing, then you’re, you’re probably missing the gifts that the messages, the lessons that life has all around us, we need to pause to take that in.
Christine Okezie (17m 46s):
Yeah. Yeah. There’s a subtle, a subtlety and, or a sensitivity that you know, is worthwhile, you know, in, in cultivating, I think.
Jessie Kanzer (17m 54s):
Yeah. And the other thing, this is something I talk about as well. I have a chapter in, don’t just sit there, do nothing called to want or not to want. This is my, you know, as, as a someone who’s studied philosophy for a long time, and this is something I grapple with all the time. When I looked at, look at Eastern teachings like Buddhism as well. I don’t think that in our human form, not wanting is possible, completely not wanting, but I understand what the Dow would, would Buddhism what those teachings are offering us and telling us that freedom is found when you can separate yourself from desire. The devil says that as well.
Jessie Kanzer (18m 33s):
I get it that in watching myself, the second section of the book is awareness. After we realize our vast identity, beautiful awareness to me is like a super power because in watching ourselves, we really get it. We get the human condition. We’re not completely able to escape it, but in seeing it, we don’t, we know that, you know what, I don’t have to give into those thoughts, or I don’t have to give in to that constant chase. But what I’ve noticed is with desire, it’s really interesting. Do we really take the time to celebrate when we accomplish whatever it is that we’re seeking to accomplish or do we usually, I see desire as this thing that always is moving two steps ahead of us.
Christine Okezie (19m 20s):
We never arrive. We never,
Jessie Kanzer (19m 21s):
We never arrive. You’re never going to get there. And I see that now, you know, I’ve wanted to write this book. I’ve wanted to publish it. Well, here it is. Am I just like, oh my God, here it is. I’m done. Of course not, of course not. And there’s always, you know, and so if you’re just waiting for these desires to actualize, to, for you, for yourself to get the baby, to get the job, to get the husband, to get whatever, if you’re waiting for those things, to be happy, you’re tricking yourself into a life of unhappiness because there will always be another desire and another desire. So I, I think it is fine and it is normal and it is beneficial to have our desires as humans, but we need to be able to separate ourselves and to understand that it’s in the non being, it’s in the, it’s in the non-doing and in the being in the present moment where real happiness resides,
Christine Okezie (20m 12s):
That’s really the teaching. Right. And that’s what we will hope to embody is cause we, I always like to say the mind, you know, it, time travels, you know, it’s, it’s ruminating about the past or it’s worrying and trying to predict the future. And when we’re doing that, you know, we’re in fantasy, we’re also in stuff that we can’t change. So where are we? Where are we? You know, we’re missing exactly where life is happening and that’s present moment. Right? So again, I love the way that you say that, which is, you know, all these kind of notions of who we are, aren’t outside of us. And I think that in and of itself is, is really what we’re talking about. Right. Which is that, okay, I’m not the, I’m not the author. I’m not the writer, I’m not the mom.
Christine Okezie (20m 52s):
Right. And then can I be curious about, well, if that’s not true, then who exactly am I? And I think it’s that just being on that path. So, you know, so it’s this curiosity I find that’s really very playful to in, in that.
Jessie Kanzer (21m 4s):
Yeah, it is. It really is because, you know, enlightenment, I like to say is lightening up. It is understanding that beautiful. We make, we make life a lot of times, very serious at a horse there. Of course there are serious things that happen, but like, if you are enable to just have fun some of the time, what does it all for exactly. Like you said, you’ll get to the end and you’ve always been moving forward or ruminating about the past. And you never had the chance to really savor these little moments that make up a life that make up.
Christine Okezie (21m 38s):
Exactly. So in your book at the end of each section, I know you do offer some great ways to practice this right too. And you call it, “Do Your Tao”, which I think is awesome. Right? So maybe if you could share like, you know, maybe a favorite way or two, that you do your Dao to embody this theme of not doing like, you know, everybody thinks, okay, do I have to meditate on a cushion for 30 minutes? You know,
Jessie Kanzer (22m 2s):
You know, and that’s a great question. And the reason I do this mix of do your Dow, my book happens to be 47 chapters. Now the doubt aging itself is 81 verses, but this book would have to be two tomes in order to cover really the full doubt I chose my favorites. And then also a lot of the doubt is repetitive in a good way because you know, we’re thick sculpt humans and we need, we need repetition to really, and what it does I’ve noticed is that is it portrays the same idea in different ways. And so I’ve tried to do the same thing in my, do your Dow section. Some of these exercises are actual exercises for those of us, for those of us do wearers who love to write things down, you know, there’s actual exercises, which you can journal, which you can go and take this action outside of, you know, outside of this book.
Jessie Kanzer (22m 52s):
But there’s also plenty of exercises, which are just shifts in the way we think. And those happen to be my favorite, because I feel like a lot of the self-help world offers like kind of blueprints. Like if you do this and you do these steps and you do that, like you’ll be happy forevermore. And I, after doing these things for years and buying all the self-help books, I’ve realized, and I’ve taken wisdom from each of them. But what I’ve realized is there is no one answer for all of us. Everybody. What I love about the Dow is it tells us we’re all searching for our own way, because just for folks who don’t don’t know, the Tao Te Ching translates as the book of the way and what I finally realized after reading it and reading it, that what it’s telling us is we each have to find our own way.
Christine Okezie (23m 45s):
Jessie Kanzer (23m 45s):
Yes. It’s not like one universal way. Absolutely not. What it is always urging us to do is to reconnect with our inner selves to find that way. And there’s a universal way of reaching your own personal way. If that makes sense. I know that’s complicated. There, there are universal, helpful actions and shifts that will bring you more in touch with yourself to find your own way. And so, you know, I have my galley here and not there, no book yet. And I will read for you one of the, do your Dow sections. You know, I, I am not objective here. So I, I kind of like all of them, thank you.
Jessie Kanzer (24m 29s):
It doesn’t really matter which one we come upon. But see, I just, what I do sometimes with a lot of self-help books and with the Dow is I turn to any page for guidance. You know, I love, I love just trust. What do I need to know in this moment? Yes. Yeah. And I love, I, I believe in everything I like to say, I believe in everything at least a little bit, I believe in all of the mystical teachings out there, and I like to bring it a little magic into just everyday moments. So I happen to turn to a chapter called mystics where leggings, oh, there you go. Okay. Which to which the idea of that is that we’re all mystics, that we’re all teachers, that we’re all leaders gurus, et cetera.
Jessie Kanzer (25m 16s):
And so this Do Your Tao section says, who has let you down lately, your partner, your guru, your government, fuck them. Excuse my language, not the people. I mean, but your expectations release them right now with your very next exhale. Let these expectations go one breath for the guy and other for the friend and on and on and on, including letting go of the heavy demands that you put upon yourself until the only expectation remaining is breath. Notice how much freer you feel without the weight of expectations and disappointments.
Jessie Kanzer (25m 59s):
If nothing else, your own release is worth it. With this new found freedom you can seek and create your own happiness daily. And it’s also a transformative practice for your relationships. Some will strengthen other simply simply dissolve as the ropes of what is owed loosen, but set your kids free, set your parents free, set yourself free. And as with many an exercise, this one needs to be repeated over and over again. Oh my God. These days I expect little from anyone or anything in particular, but everything from the universe and the universe always delivers.
Christine Okezie (26m 39s):
Wow, thank you so much for that. Jessie. That’s brilliant. I love that so much wisdom, but again, making it actionable. Right. And it’s like you said, awareness is your superpower, right? So if you endeavor to say, okay, what is it that, you know, I always like to say, it’s, it’s like getting a clearer perception of what’s real, you know, in terms of, so it’s not like I’m changing things as much as I’m just getting more of a genuine experience of reality in that regard. Right. Cause we have so much stuff going on. We have stories and beliefs and conditioning and shoulds and supposed tos, you know, sort of cluttering up our perception.
Jessie Kanzer (27m 19s):
Yeah. And you know, what’s so interesting and doing some research, I was writing a chapter in the book about what is real actually the chapter is called what is real. And it is in the awareness section. And I came upon all of this research that shows us that even our memories are completely subjective because what happens is we experience something, our perception shapes the way we store that memory in our brain. And then we ruminate on that memory and our perception shifted even more. And so by the time years passed and we hold on to this memory, we don’t even know if that actually we do know that that’s not the exact events that occurred, but that is our perception.
Jessie Kanzer (28m 4s):
Christine Okezie (28m 4s):
That’s right. Right. And again, getting underneath of that, you know, we are so much more than our memories and you know, our, our beliefs and goals and all of that. And we have to realize that we can get stuck there. Do you know what I mean? Yeah.
Jessie Kanzer (28m 17s):
Yeah. And the section that I happened upon by accident, but like, I, you know, I need these reminders for myself all the time. I say, you teach what you need to learn. Totally. The, the, this idea of expectations that we hold of other people. It’s so interesting. It’s so interesting. The great teacher, Wayne Dyer, a spiritual teacher who I used to. Yeah. You love him as well. And he always used to say that a lot of people are just walking around, looking at something to be mad at
Christine Okezie (28m 53s):
Waiting to be irritated.
Jessie Kanzer (28m 55s):
Right. Exactly. And I’ve noticed, I’ve noticed that, well, you know, this was so interesting. If you let go of expectations, you have nothing to be mad at anyone for. Yeah. Yeah. How, how weird is that? Just to let go. You don’t okay. Because everyone’s doing what they’re doing from their perception or from their knowledge. I read this other great quote, which was stop getting mad at people for not supporting you. Most people can barely support themselves. That’s
Christine Okezie (29m 22s):
It? A lot
Jessie Kanzer (29m 23s):
Of people don’t have, they don’t have that much to give. And when you stop getting mad, you stop expecting from individuals. I have noticed that, you know, the universe does deliver, it’s just not going to be in the form that you thought it would be. And it’s often from a different source.
Christine Okezie (29m 43s):
That’s right. That’s right. I always say that, you know, is, is, you know, we can make ourselves, you know, set on our desires and centered our goals, but then if we surrender and I think that’s the major theme here too, throughout this work is, is it’s, you know, I’d love this or something better. Do you know what I mean? I, I’m going to be humble enough to know that, you know, something beyond my imagination is available. I just, you know, with, with my perception, which is limited, you know, something better is always coming for me, you know, but again, you hold that, that’s the expectation of, and that’s the energy of expectation I think is more, more empowering. Right?
Jessie Kanzer (30m 21s):
I agree with you completely because we have, as we’ve talked about a limited perception and there’s things, there are things and forces at work that are much greater than just our small little myopic viewpoint and another great little energetic shift that I love is everything is always working out for me. I use that. I use that when things feel like they’re not working out, that’s when I use it. When things feel, you know, to have gone against my plans, I say to myself, things are working out for me.
Jessie Kanzer (31m 0s):
I just don’t see the big picture, but that trust that trust is what you’re talking about as well.
Christine Okezie (31m 7s):
It’s, it’s a, it is life-changing, you know, in that regard and I’ve, I’ve actually done, you know, I, I love that one. And what I find useful is reflecting on past experiences that have really, you know, gone sideways, you know, at the moment. And then being able to say, look at that, I opened up, I just said, you know, I don’t know, I don’t understand it now. And I, and you can see, you can see how it unfolded in retrospect, exactly. And more divinely than you could have ever predicted. I mean, it’s, it just gives you chills and which reinforces, I think for me that, yes. Okay. Everything is always unfolding for me on my behalf, you know, that kind of thing.
Jessie Kanzer (31m 50s):
You’re so right on, I wrote under dissident or nothing also that if I had had my way, from my limited perspective, everything I wanted would have already taken place, I would, whatever I would have been, you know, I spent years as an actress, struggling, struggling actress. I would’ve, I would’ve been a famous actress or I would have already written 10 books. I would’ve been done. I would’ve been done. It would have been over. Everything is already, you know, and then we do see that in hindsight, but it’s really, really transformative to remember that in the moment within our disappointments, to be able to let them go within our forded plans, to be able to realize it’s working out for me, even if I don’t see how
Christine Okezie (32m 35s):
Hmm. So beautiful. So one of the, you know, the wisdom of the Dow also, this also helps us feel more for ourselves because we’re so hard on ourselves, you know, we have such, mm. We can have a lot of sort of self doubt, a lot of, you know, sort of internal judgment that we kind of walk around with that inner critic, right? How does the wisdom of the Dow, you know, help us find that level of compassion for ourselves so that we can actually feel more compassion for other people?
Jessie Kanzer (33m 2s):
Well, that’s such a good point because that is how you give anything to anyone else’s by giving it to yourself first. And the Dow tells us in one of the verses loud Sue, who said to have written the Dow, which by the way, historians think is probably an amalgam of people the way Homer was. So nobody really knows. And not that it’s important, this was them exists for us. And that’s the main thing, but allow to wrote in one of the verses that I’m really just teaching three things, simplicity, patience, compassion, starting with compassion towards yourself. And so simplicity, which I think is so valuable today these days.
Jessie Kanzer (33m 47s):
Yeah. And it’s really a lot about simplifying your thoughts, your friends, like energy. For me, a lot of it is understanding where I’m leaking energy, sometimes endless scrolling sometimes it’s, you know, cause it’s interesting. You can be really busy. Like I am right now to be really busy and also be easeful about it. Yes. And when I do my work, when I do my Dow, I get there or you could be busy and frantic. And a lot of it is about all of the thoughts and all of the obsessive rumination about all the stuff you have to do, all the stuff that is expected of you, this analyzing of what will happen, all of this running around of our monkey mind.
Jessie Kanzer (34m 32s):
So if you simplify to just what’s right in front of you, you exist in a, in a more easeful kind of energy. And then patients of course, is understanding that change takes time. That creation takes time. And then the last part, which is what you asked about compassion, starting with compassion for yourself is not beating yourself up every time you are, but human, you know, I know all of these things, I wrote this book and I, and I could be very, very humid a lot of the time and my husband jokes, are you kidding me? You’re not spiritual at all. You know, he’s joking, but you know, cause cause we all, we all have moments of our humanity, which is our imperfection and we’re not meant to be perfect beings.
Jessie Kanzer (35m 19s):
So practicing this patience and compassion towards yourself allows you to love yourself through your messages. Yes. And then that makes it so much easier to let other people off the hook. When you let yourself off the hook, you can let other people off the hook. And, and conversely, you know, when you let your partner off the hook, when you let your significant other, your loved ones off the hook, then you set yourself free as well.
Christine Okezie (35m 45s):
Thank you for that. That’s wonderful. Yes, yes. Yes. So you’ve mentioned, you know how this might be a deal, help relationships. How does this help you become a better parent? Maybe give us an example of, you know, how you do your dad when it comes to being a mom.
Jessie Kanzer (36m 0s):
So again, I am not perfect, but I do have a wonderful relationship with my girls, knock on wood. And I think a lot of it does come from awareness. I write a lot about parenthood and don’t just sit there, do nothing. I have a chapter called the devil with mom. And we’re all the great mother because the doubt aging talks a lot about being the great mother and that this great mother is available to all of us and what the great mother is. It’s an energy that gives unconditionally and never gets exhausted in the giving it’s right, right. You’re laughing. I don’t, I, I think that all of us eventually tap into that great mother when we have babies, because otherwise, how, how the hell would you even survive?
Jessie Kanzer (36m 49s):
That’s right. We tap into this great mother. That’s able to just like take care of our little Buddha beings, completely selflessly, completely getting nothing back. I mean, babies there and we are able to do it. And, and, and for me it took time. I did have postpartum depression, but when I did find my way and I talk about this, that, so with babies, what really helped me is this idea of the great mother and this understanding that sometimes the doubts has the great mother is like a bellows empty, but inexhaustible. And in the beginning I was anything. But, but what I realized is in mothering, I got closer to the great mother.
Jessie Kanzer (37m 31s):
It wasn’t that the great mother that this great instinct was just took over. That’s not how it was for me, for me in the doing, I became it. So process in the process right in the process. And sometimes I realized that when you’re scared, when you feel unsure of yourself in any format, not just in parenting and you do it and you allow yourself to just do the next step and the next step, you grow comfortable in the process, just through existing in it itself. Not, not because you find that knowledge first, the knowledge comes in the doing.
Jessie Kanzer (38m 14s):
But one thing that really, that I think the Dow really teaches, that’s really helpful for parents is this idea of letting people be who they are. This idea of allowing others. The doubt talks a lot about leadership, which I actually bring into parenthood and said, can you lead people without the needs without controlling control? Can you lead with right lead without controlling love, without expectations, huge. And for parents, I think that’s the only way to parent you. We try, we can try to control, but the motivation, it’s an illusion.
Jessie Kanzer (38m 56s):
It’s a complete illusion. And I say in the book that our kids come to us with their souls fully loaded. Yes. And we contain them. We serve as containers for them in the beginning to contain them in this world as they learn to navigate it. But we do not tell them, or nor can we tell them who to be. We watch them. And we evolve as parents with them. Yes. Because each child is different. And so I say the very useful thing to do as a parent is to let go of all of your expectations of your children. You know, I think our society is so used to like saying like, oh my wishes for my kids.
Jessie Kanzer (39m 39s):
Or I see her as this, I see him as this. And I hear, I hear parents do this. And I know it comes from a loving place, but I say, you want an easier path for yourself and your kids, let that go. Yeah. Watch your kids and really take joy in seeing them become their fullest versions of themselves in it. Let them show you who they are. That’s where for me, real joy comes in.
Christine Okezie (40m 4s):
I couldn’t agree more, Jessie. That’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. So much wisdom there. Oh my gosh. If you could go back in time to talk to what would you whisper in her ear? Like w all the wisdom that you know, now, all the experience that you, you know, you’ve, you’ve gathered to this point, what would, what message would you have for that younger version of yourself?
Jessie Kanzer (40m 24s):
This is what I’ve realized quite recently, that I wrote the book that I wish I had read in, in my time of great struggles, that chill. Right. Right. And you know what, you know what, honestly, though, I probably wouldn’t change a thing. I probably would let her, you know, I would want to, I would want to lessen her struggle, but because of course, when we look back at ourselves, we feel love for ourselves, our young confused, miserable selves, but I had to go through that struggle in order to be able to have so much joy in my life right now, you know, I really believe contrast, creates context.
Jessie Kanzer (41m 8s):
This idea of like going through hardship as a bad thing, the doubt says there’s no light nor darkness, just an endless dance of shadows. So this understanding that, that bad period, quote unquote actually wasn’t, it was the period. I needed to fully experience my power and overcoming my struggles to fully experience the joy that I was then able to create. So maybe I just whisper hang in there.
Christine Okezie (41m 39s):
I love that. Oh my gosh. Brilliant. Thank you. So these days, I’ll just wrap up with this. As we move out of this pandemic and sort of navigate this new normalcy, whatever that looks like for us, what’s the best advice you know, that you have for folks trying to live, navigate today’s world.
Jessie Kanzer (42m 1s):
I would say, please do not rush back to whatever you thought the normal was back then. Yes. Take a moment. Give yourself the time. And don’t rush this kind of understanding. That’s going to probably take us a long time to fully grasp the understanding of what this global pandemic it’s teaching us. Lovely.
Christine Okezie (42m 26s):
Yes. Take a step back. Right. And actually just notice and pause and take it all in, instead of just going back to the doing
Jessie Kanzer (42m 35s):
Right. And I’ve noticed in my life as a mom, and I’m sure that many of our listeners of your listeners can relate that a lot of, a lot of us just kind of initially brushed back, rushed back to a packed schedules. That’s right. Lots of activities, lots of, you know, let’s just feel, let’s feel normal. And a lot of it was about trying to recreate some normalcy for our children. Sure. But in watching the children, I noticed that they actually, they’re actually more okay than we are. And even when they’re not okay, you know, I think it depends on the age. My kids are still young.
Jessie Kanzer (43m 15s):
They’re five and seven. They, they adapt and diff they kind of accept whatever is going on right now. And whether they’re struggling through it, or they’re thriving, they’re doing it fully in the present. Yeah.
Christine Okezie (43m 31s):
Children have the gift of being able to do before life happens.
Jessie Kanzer (43m 35s):
Right. And I, you know, I initially did the same thing that we all did and I rushed back to all the activities. And now I’m taking a little bit of a step back and I’m trying to simplify life. However I can for my kids, for myself, honestly, for myself. And I’m allowing for space, so space to know what needs to come in, not a packed calendar, not a pecs schedule.
Christine Okezie (44m 2s):
I love it. Thank you. And so tell us, you know, about your book, where can people get it? You know, what’s going on? Anything that you’d love to share right now, maybe I didn’t ask you.
Jessie Kanzer (44m 13s):
Oh, thank you so much. I mean, I, I can talk on and on and I have a feeling you get as well, this will be
Christine Okezie (44m 20s):
A longer podcast for sure.
Jessie Kanzer (44m 22s):
We could go on and on about, you know, and I love sharing. I have so much confidence about sharing. Don’t just sit there, do nothing because yeah, there’s a lot of wisdom in it. This was the, is old. You know, it’s so much easier to share wisdom that you can’t take complete credit for, but as someone who’s, you know, who’s a writer, who’s a creator. What I’ve realized is actually all of us creators have to ultimately step out of our own way in order to let our wisdom and our beauty and our creations to come through us. So I don’t really take a credit for my creation and I’m able to take other people off pedestals as well.
Jessie Kanzer (45m 3s):
People whose work I love in the understanding that real great work, which I do think my book is, would don’t just sit there. I think has a lot to offer folks, but real great work is it’s not mine. It’s like the kids. They are not mine. It’s not mine. If it came through me, it’s beautiful. And so all my work email@example.com, J E S S I E K A N Z E R.com all the ordering options, which of course this book is available where books are Amazon Barnes and noble bookshop, et cetera at, at, at your local bookstores. But I also have free resources on my site because first of all, people can sample this book.
Jessie Kanzer (45m 46s):
They can read the first couple of chapters, see if they like it. There’s also bonus chapters that, because I had a limited word count, I committed to a word count. I went over it because I like talk.
Christine Okezie (46m 0s):
Jessie Kanzer (46m 1s):
So there’s bonus materials. I have a free ebook on there as well that I jokingly called manifestation. It’s about creating would the easeful teachings of the Dow creating our life that way. And yeah, so everything’s there, I’m on Instagram at Jesse cancer as well. And I love sharing this with folks. So whoever wants it, it’s available to you
Christine Okezie (46m 24s):
I can just see that, you know, this is, I read the first two chapters, I just want to say, and I was hooked that it was like, whoa, there’s gotta be ways to order my coffee. And, and, you know, it’s conversations like these that bring the wisdom of the ancients, you know, to life and to relevance today. And I think that in of itself is just the gift that you are, that you offer as you start these conversations and you just, you know, and it sort of has this beautiful ripple effect, which is the benefit, you know, of living these days and having a podcast and having a blog. And all of that is it’s great times, great times for this work. So
Jessie Kanzer (46m 57s):
Thanks, Christine. And I couldn’t agree more like we always talk about the negatives of living in this highly technological time, but let’s remember the positives that we’re actually, you know, all tools are what we make of them. So if we’re using it to create unity, to spread wisdom, to spread some ease to each other, I think we’re doing okay.
Christine Okezie (47m 18s):
Oh, well, thank you, Jesse. This has been wonderful. I wish you all the best of luck in your launch and I’m, can’t wait to see what you’re going to do next.
Jessie Kanzer (47m 26s):
Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.
Christine Okezie (47m 27s):