The Tao Te Ching Path to Self-Discovery with Jessie Kanzer

Not many have the privilege of knowing who they are from the start.  For most of us, life is a journey of reflection and self-discovery.  Jessie Kanzer, actress and reporter turned author, joins us today to share her journey as a Russian Immigrant feeling lost in an alien world to her discovery of the Tao Te Ching that set her on the path to becoming the person she is meant to be. Listen to her grounding message that will not only benefit each of us personally but our loved ones as well. 

Do not miss these highlights:

02:10 – A look into Jessie’s book, Don’t Just Sit There, DO NOTHING: Healing, Chilling, and Living with the Tao Te Ching, and an explanation of what Tao Te Ching is about.

6:21 – How these teaching influenced her coming from an “achievement-based” culture

9:05 – Connecting and trusting your inner voice and begin listening to our intuition, especially when it comes to parenting our children

14:55 – Realizing that stepping into our awareness requires vulnerability and that authenticity does not come in a form of perfection

17:22 – Jessie summarizes the Tao Te Ching to three concepts; simplicity, patience, compassion

23:15 – A look at how losing your identity can be a gift to find yourself again.

28:07 – A discussion about labels and the hindrance they bring to self-discovery

32:12 – The importance of helping our children to fully understand what they are feeling and put a name to it. 

36:05 – “When somebody else questions their identity, it almost becomes a mirror. And if you have never faced the nuances within yourself, including nuanced emotions, that is very uncomfortable.”

39:33 – How The Tao can cure you of perfectionism

41:11 – The importance of embracing stillness

About the Guest:

Jessie Kanzer was born in the Soviet Union. At the age of eight, she emigrated with her family to Brooklyn. She is a writer, former reporter and actress.

For years, Jessie felt like a failure, unable to hustle hard enough to “make it” either as an actress or in the rat race. Her childhood as a Russian immigrant in post-Cold War America heightened her insecurity and threatened her identity, desperate as she was to fit into a culture that was alien at best and hostile at worst. This loss and eventual reclamation of her sense of self sent her on a spiritual journey during which she discovered the Tao Te Ching, which changes everything for her. The Tao taught her that there was power in stillness and that all struggles come bearing gifts if you know how to recognize them. Her message will connect with listeners desperate to find grounding as we move into a new year filled with trepidation and no guarantees of a return to normalcy.

 

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Transcript
utroWelcome to Just Breathe::

Parenting Your LGBTQ team, the podcast transforming the conversation around loving and raising an LGBTQ child filled with awesome guests practical strategies and moving stories host Heather Hester always makes you feel like you're having a cozy chat. Wherever you are on this journey right now, in this moment in time, you are not alone. And here is Heather for this week's amazing episode.

Heather Hester:

Welcome to Just breathe. I am so glad you are here today. I am delighted to introduce today's guest, Jessie Asya Kanzer is the author of the new book, don't just sit there do nothing, healing, chilling and living with the Tao Te Ching. When she was eight years old, her family emigrated from the Soviet Union to Brooklyn sending her on a several decades journey of self discovery. That was not always kind. And then she discovered the Tao Te Ching learning there is power and stillness. And that all struggles come bearing gifts if you know how to recognize them. Today, she shares with us a grounding message that will not only benefit each of us personally, but our loved ones as well.

Heather Hester:

Jessie, I am so happy to have you here today. And I'm so excited to learn because this is a topic that has long fascinated me, but I honestly don't know a ton about it. So when I was connected with you, I was so interested in excited to have you on the show, because I know that you have a lot of really interesting and valuable insights to share with us today.

Jessie Kanzer:

Thank you so much for having me. And I am thrilled to share the message that I wrote about in the book far and wide.

Heather Hester:

Good. Well, this will be this is just the beginning, right? I mean, this is such an exciting thing. And we will start I will start by letting everybody know about your book. And then you will end with that as well just so everybody has it on top of mind and knows where to find it and when to find it and all those good things. So Jesse just wrote a book called Don't just sit there, do nothing, healing, chilling and living with the Tao de Ching. And it's coming out at the beginning of March March 1. And I just think this is this is fascinating. So I'm sure there are many people out there like me who don't really have a full understanding of what the Tao de Ching is, could you give us a little, little one on one on that,

Jessie Kanzer:

of course, that's why I'm here. That's why That's why I actually wrote, don't just sit there do nothing, because I've been using this ancient wisdom for a long time to benefit my own life. And I just wanted to share it and I bring it into a very modern kind of way of looking at it. And I make it very approachable and easy because I don't think everyone has the time or the wherewithal to just sit and dissect dozens of dozens of translations, which is what I did with the doubt a Ching. And so just to back up. It is an ancient philosophy, a sacred text actually from sixth century BC, China. And it's a simple text and that is just 81 versus 81 little poems that talk about the way to live with more ease the way to cope with this human existence in a more easeful, balanced, peaceful way. And I myself came upon the doubt a Ching when I needed a big dose of healing I, I was born in the former Soviet Union. I came here to America as a refugee when I was eight. And there were a lot of identity issues for me because I, I wanted to fit in so badly. My name was Asya. I was from the Soviet Union, which back then was very different. It wasn't just Russia, it was um, you know, it was like a black and white world. And America was Technicolor. Lots of choices. Lots of you know, all of my photographs from that time, they look like probably, most people's grandparents photographs, like they're black and white. Everything was very limited. And so I had to really become someone completely new in America in order to fit in in order to make my life easier because it was a struggle for a long time. And that all caught up with me. I had a kind of a loss of self. I struggled with an eating disorder with depression with anxiety. Shortly after graduating college, I was super unhappy and I got into this major car crash and really had to pause physically had to pause, and emotionally was broken. And I was reaching for any kind of self help and spiritual teachings that could help lift me up. And the doubt a Ching was really, really good for me. And I've used it over and over again through my life, because life doesn't just become smooth, all of a sudden, it's, you know, ups and downs have been flow. And I've used it when I became a mom and I dealt with postpartum depression. So I use these teachings to constantly bring myself back to a place of peace to a place of grounding. And don't just sit there do nothing. I wrote about my own path, and I wrote some suggestions for how to bring these teachings into your life, in this modern day, chaotic world that we live in.

Heather Hester:

Which is, I love that so so much, because you're absolutely right. It's, it's messy. Right. And, I mean, even when everything is, you know, you feel like you have everything together. It's still messy, right. And so I think that having, you know, something like this, that can ground you and help you stay connected to self is really, really important, right? And helps you kind of show up as the best version of yourself.

Jessie Kanzer:

Yeah, and, you know, we teach what we need to learn, I really believe. So I, I totally get, you know, I come from this achievement base neurotic culture. And then you really have to hustle as an immigrant. And so I really need these teachings. To be honest with you, I wrote the book I need to read as well. And I did it in a way that it's like fun, and it doesn't just drag because a lot of these spiritual philosophical teachers can be a teachings can be less than approachable. So I wanted to just bring it down to like, you know, take all the intellectualism out of it, and just bring it down to like a fun, basic level. So at the end, you know, each of my chapters and they're just there do nothing starts with a verse, but then I simplify to just modern day speak, like, like, for example, one of them's just, like, stop keeping up with the Joneses. So that's what the verses but simplified to where we can all you know, understand what it is.

Heather Hester:

Right, right, where we can digest it. And yeah, like, you know, I don't know about, you know, everyone out there listening, I, I'm gonna venture a guess that we have a lot of evening readers, right. So at the end of your day, and that was a form of relaxation, or a form of just like, you know, when you just bring me to bring it down. So it sounds like this book is the perfect book for that, that type of reading where you want something you want to, you know, learn something and bring something in and have, you know, perhaps action items, but you just are not in the mental space where you can digest stuff that's so difficult, right?

Jessie Kanzer:

Yeah, yeah. And I also think, you know, I, I want it to be kind of like bite sized. So that you don't need to sit down and spend the entire day reading this book, you can read honestly, five minutes a day. And it gives you this is what the doubt aging did for me in my very difficult times. It gives you something to carry with you. So even if you open it in the morning or at night before you go to sleep, it gives you something a takeaway that you can carry with you into your day into your life. Instead of feeling like you have yet more stuff on top of yourself that you need to do so right.

Heather Hester:

Oh, I like that. I like that. So so much. So I know one of the things that the dowel does is it teaches you how to trust your intuition, which is something that I talk about a lot is really listening to that, to your intuition to your gut feelings, right? Can you talk about that a little bit?

Jessie Kanzer:

Absolutely. The the dowel does teach us to kind of block out all of that external external noise and all of that messaging that's not our own, and to connect with our own innate power, which I think is probably as challenging as it's ever been, if not more. So in our you know, I just read recently that we consume on average, in a day more information that than 100, couple 100 years ago, people did in their entire lifetime. We have so much coming at us all the time from technology from, you know advertising all of this information from our parents, from society at large. And it's really important the doubt teaches this and I found this in my own practice. It's really important to find stillness of the mind, however, that stillness looks and maybe meditation and maybe walking to find stillness where the noise is blocked out, and you can really hear your own inner voice. It is the like, I would say the number one life changing experience is connecting with this inner power, inner voice that sits within you all along.

Heather Hester:

I would definitely agree with you on that. And I think that a lot of times we hear like a snippet of it, right? Well, we'll catch like a glimpse of it, and we're like, Ooh, what is that? You know, what, what something is trying to tell me something, and it feels like I should listen to it, but I'm not quite sure what it is. And there's this dance that I think we do with our, you know, with that inner self with that intuition, you know, whatever you want to call it. And it is lovely to have a process, something that we can, you know, learn to do, or we're like, oh, okay, that's what that is. This is how I connect with it. This is how I listen.

Jessie Kanzer:

Absolutely. And, you know, I will add a caveat that, of course, we don't always listen to our intuition. I've had so many, right, like, I've so many situations where I've had people tell me, I knew he was no good. I knew it. I heard that in there. And, you know, I felt it in my gut. And I just, I just jumped for it anyway. And I want to add the caveat that that's okay. To the doubt a Ching actually says, and I people have told me that this is similar to what's in the Bible, actually, the Tao says, there's a time to be ahead, there's a time to be behind, there's a time to exert yourself, there's a time to be exhausted, there's a time to be confused than a time to know. So our life I think our human life is set up to come with mistakes to come with, you know, mishaps and it's okay. So it's, the more you become aware of your inner voice, the more you could choose what to do, and sometimes you don't hate it. And that's okay, too. But the awareness is really important.

Heather Hester:

It is the awareness is really key. Right. I think that is one of the key things that you know, I've certainly learned over the past number of years. And and you're absolutely right. I mean, I think there are lessons we all have to learn. So even if our intuition is screaming at us, or sometimes we just need to learn those lessons, because it's going to make us a better version of ourselves or what whatever that lesson happens to be. I mean, I know and I've, I've shared this before, that it when Connor first came out, I had this strong, it got stronger and stronger. Every month, I had this new just feeling and I was like, What is this feeling? What does this tell it's telling me something I feel like it's telling me something that I need to know about Connor. And you know, every day, every week, every month, it kept getting stronger and stronger. And I just kept like, pushing it away. I don't want to hear it. i This seems like it might be scary. This seems this is unfamiliar. uncomfortable, right? And, and the moment that I was like, Okay, I need to like settle into this being uncomfortable, I need to listen. So much opened up, good and bad.

Jessie Kanzer:

And how, how beautiful to be able to do that. As a parent, I think that is it's vital. And you know, my kids are young. Now, as I told you before we started they're five and seven. But even at very young, at a very young age, it really behooves us to be in tune with ourselves and our knowing of our kids, because, in a way, nobody knows our children as well as we do accept themselves. Right. And I think that this is something that did not exist in warmer versions of parenting and former generations. It just didn't.

Heather Hester:

No, no, it did not. And I think it's it's something that actually is encouraged. Right, it's something that we talk about and encourage others to do. And and we work very hard ourselves to do that. But it is it's new and it's people don't like to be you know, as humans, we don't like to be uncomfortable, but that can be

Jessie Kanzer:

a change, right? We don't like change either. We don't like we want to keep the status quo.

Heather Hester:

Exactly. I mean, you know, in a lot of ways, it's the former generations there, that was a little I don't want to say easier, but it was just it was a different way of approaching relationships. And I think stepping into this awareness, this connection, this, you know, it requires a lot of vulnerability. It requires a lot of recognizing, you know, knowing that saying, I'm going to make mistakes, because I'm human, just like you're human, and you're gonna make mistakes. And it's okay. Right?

Jessie Kanzer:

Yes. Because authenticity doesn't come in the form of perfection. It just doesn't it's, and I say this all the time, you know, I say this, and don't just sit there do nothing. I tell my kids all the time, like, ooh, Mommy made a mistake, like from a very young age, because I don't need them to have me on some pedestal the way I think that old paradigms of parenting, where were the parents up here and the child's down there, I don't need that. I want to be seen as my human, imperfect self. And that forms the more authentic relationships with our kids, where they can be imperfect, where they can trust us with their vulnerable information.

Heather Hester:

Right, absolutely. And you know, what a gift that your kids have that at such an early age. And that is, you know, something that my husband and I both have shifted? You know, literally one ad, but our kids for, you know, oltre and yeah, so for them, it was kind of that it was, you know, messy for everybody, because it did go from very much the old paradigm to this new like, okay, you know, what, we're just gonna be real about stuff, because there's a lot of real going on here.

Jessie Kanzer:

You know what? I think that's, that's perfect. And that's that they think that's lovely that you acknowledge that because, look, we're all evolving, and we're all doing the best we can with what we know at the time.

Heather Hester:

Exactly. That's that is. That is exactly right. And I think that is something I know that is something that we all have to remind ourselves of. Right? And it is like before, no, I was just gonna say I'm guessing that the Dow has something to say about that, too.

Jessie Kanzer:

Yeah, you know what that is so funny, you read my mind, you actually read my mind. That's exactly what I wanted to say. So if I had to boil down the Dow, I would boil it down to this one verse where it says, here in my basic teachings, Lao Tzu who said to have written it, he says, I basically teach three things. Simplicity, patience, compassion, starting with compassion to your towards yourself. So you just simplicity, and especially in difficult or, or uncomfortable times, is really important to simplify everything to here is what's going on now that we need to focus on. Or to simplify our frantic thoughts, to simplify all of our many goals. And then patience is understanding that no change happens immediately. No, no understanding or communication becomes perfect immediately. And nothing gets achieved immediately. So understanding that the timeline is what it is. So that's being patient, and compassion. Starting with compassion towards yourself is about forgiving yourself for your mistakes and your humaneness. And for when you do that for yourself, it is so much easier to do that for other people.

Heather Hester:

Absolutely, oh my goodness, I think that has been one of the greatest gifts is to, to realize that, you know, to learn that and be like, okay, and to put it you know, when you kind of try these things on, and you start practicing them and you actually see the like, results, you're like, oh my goodness, this, this is kind of amazing, like this, all three of those, you know, just different scenarios that you stated. It is so interesting, but one of the things that I think people it's so important that everyone remembers as a human being that things take time. Change takes time. Understanding takes time communication takes time. Everything takes time. And so learning to embrace that

Jessie Kanzer:

and a thing especially challenging in our instant gratification kind of society right like night What do you know, it can be

Heather Hester:

harder? Yeah, right. Sure. That yes, definitely. Because we get everything else so instantly, so why can't we have you know, patience instantly and compassion instantly and

Jessie Kanzer:

yeah, yeah and comfortable. Yeah, yeah. Why can't we just like, Okay, I'm ready to change. Boom changed? Yeah. Yeah, it's so funny. It is so funny. And listen, again, like, this is something so real for all of us. It's something I deal with all the time. But, you know, I had to learn that as well, because the process of writing and publishing a book also has an example takes. It takes patience and takes time. And I used to be such an instant gratification type of person. And I, I say that that's part of the reason I dealt with certain addictions and addictive behaviors, like binging and purging when I was a teenager and early 20s. And love addiction later. And like, all of these things, were about instant gratification. And I had to really learn to pull that back. It is very challenging in today's world. Yes,

Heather Hester:

it is so challenging. And I think that it's even more challenging for our kids. Because they, that's all they've ever known. So we've kind of moved into it. Which is confusing also. But our kids like to kind of communicate to them or, or share with them, like, how to do this. They've never seen it any other way. Right? So, you know, everything is, you know, I can jump on Tik Tok, and find this, or I can jump on Google and learn this, and, you know, whatever it is like, everything is like that. So,

Jessie Kanzer:

yes, yes. And you're right, that it's even like the small behaviors of in our day having to, you know, go to the library, and perhaps look at encyclopedias or resource books and, you know, having to gather information all of that has become very instantaneous. So, our expectations do become instant change. In the answers,

Heather Hester:

instant answers, always instant answers. Yeah, it is, it is. So it is so fascinating. And I always have to giggle when, you know, one of them will say to me, you know I read this and I heard this and I'll be like well, you know where did where did you hear that from? You know, who is your source? What? You know, and half the time I heard it on Tik Tok.

Jessie Kanzer:

Awesome tech is not news.

Heather Hester:

Right, exactly. Okay, let's have a discussion about that, you know, is so? So kind of moving on, because this is i There are so many questions I want to ask you, but there are a couple of things that we've touched on just a little bit. You've talked just touched on kind of your, your story of just kind of your life story. But can you talk a little bit more about how that losing sight of your true identity? How that can really be a gift? And, and how kind of how to find it again, you know, or what the steps were that you went through to do that?

Jessie Kanzer:

Yes, I'd love to talk about that. Because while it seems that we're all dealing with some sort of identity crisis right now, in our society, whether it's like a literal identity crisis, or more top line, like what, you know, what, what do we believe in? We're all we're all dealing with that in the years of the pandemic, and, you know, perhaps being failed by our government. And I think we all have a lot of major questions, whether they're personal, or, you know, or more like top line, but I, because I've dealt with this in my own life, I do feel like I just want people to know, it's okay. It's okay. Like, it's okay to have identity crisis, because crises, because what I've learned through this process of losing this, you know, I was this little good little Russian girl named Das. And then that disappeared, what I've learned, and what I've learned with the help of spiritual teachings, like the dowel is that there sits within us an identity that goes beyond all labels. And that's where our true power lies. And I would have never gotten to that. Had I not had to struggle to figure out who I was. So the beauty of the struggle, the beauty of the not knowing and not fitting in so, so easily and so clearly, into, hey, I'm just a suburban American kid, as an example, you know, not fitting into a box is a gift. And I'm starting to realize that I think, folks, many, many, many folks don't and try to fit themselves into that box. And therein lies What I call, you know, many people living lives of quiet desperation. I think that because when we try to fit in an outward mold, that society kind of tells us we need to belong in. And if we don't go on this search for our true self, we do feel pangs of disconnect. When you go on this process, when you go set off on the search of like, well, who the hell am I anyway, you start to understand that beyond the labels of osteo, or Jessie woman or man beyond, you know, immigrant or American, or wherever, beyond the labels that are kind of put upon us sometimes at birth, there sits a a godlike power, a source power within all of us, that doesn't care about what other people think, doesn't care about how we're perceived by the world, but just cares about this connection between this human you and this spiritual you. And once you're able to connect with this truth, you can do be and have anything, that's how I see it.

Heather Hester:

Wow, that is.

Heather Hester:

I just want everybody to kind of sit with that for a little bit, because I don't really have words for it. And I believe that is something so incredibly powerful, important. Something that every single one of us could benefit from, even if we don't think we're going through an identity crisis, right. Really thinking about that, because there are a lot of layers that to that, that you just yet as you were describing that I mean, there are a lot of layers there. They're the, you know, the layers of labels, you know, what, what do we really think about labels? And why do we need them? Right? Why? Why did we start putting labels on everything? Is that because humans just like to have things in neat boxes? And it's uncomfortable when they're not? Right? I mean, there are many ways you could I that's I don't know that that's the answer. But that's just something I've thought about, you know, over time. And then kind of connecting to that the fact that we are really souls having a human experience, not the opposite, actually. Right. And thinking about what that really means, and that your spiritual connection does not need to be in a neat little box either.

Jessie Kanzer:

Right? No, it does not. It's and it's very personal. And I think it's so interesting that the Dow comes from sixth century BC, like I said, and yet that's, you know, it even starts off with that. Why do we label everything? You know, why do we label the world it says, the Dow that can be told as not the doubt. And you know, if you, if you boil that down, the name that can be named is not the name, the item, the person, the boxes that we create, the labels we created are not the thing itself. So you need to start looking beyond all that. And what is the thing? What is this person, this being this, this consciousness that that is me, right? And I would argue that even if people don't realize they're having an identity crisis, they probably are because because the human experience is one of constant change. And when you are always changing your identity to is changing, it is difficult. I see this in just, you know, I'm just a suburban mom, in some ways. Of course, I'm much more than that. But I'm saying like, in some ways, that's what I am. And I see a lot of moms struggling with this. Because they were people before they were moms there are things they want, you know, regardless of being moms and yet they feel boxed in and this is just a very standard role, right, like, mom, but I think I think and then, you know, you see this, you see this and folks who perhaps are not happy with the with the profession they chose and yet they have the weight of their family. You know, on their shoulders, you see a lot of the struggle because I think we are constantly labeling and putting ourselves into boxes. And, you know, I would love if it's okay with you to bring up one chapter that I have and don't just sit there do nothing Yes, which is called where it's called, we are all one. And I wanted to share this specifically with your audience, because I think it is beautiful to know that this was written so long ago, to understand that what you're going through and the struggles you're going through, they're not new and they're not abnormal. So, the dowel said, Hold your male side with your female side, hold your bright side with your adult side, hold your high side with your low side, then you will be able to hold the whole world. And then I kind of they they set that that's to mean honor the opposites within you feminine masculine hardsoft, introvert extrovert, allow for diversity within and rejoice in it without, without meaning externally. And you know, then I have like little chapters in their little sections within the chapter that says girls will be boys the great unity, this understanding that I think all of us have to embrace more of both the feminine and the masculine, both the extrovert and the introvert, we all have everything within us. Right. And even those of us who don't struggle with our identity, we've usually hidden one aspect of ourselves at the, you know, at the expense of the other. And bringing both sides of ourselves bringing the various opposites into balance, it serves us well, when we're able to do that.

Heather Hester:

It does. And I like that you I liked how you use the word honor. Because that is a it's not a command, it is a to me, at least it inspire such a feeling of, you know, kind of hold gently and take a look at explore it. It's kind of a word of pot, many possibilities. And I think you're

Jessie Kanzer:

right, like an invitation. Yeah, it's more of an invitation. Yes,

Heather Hester:

thank you. Um, but I do, you know, I think that is sometimes these things can be quite scary. And so to approach it in, in a way that is an invitation that is honoring, that is exploring. That is it's not, it kind of takes that scariness away from that, right. And it also, name has a lot of things. And I always think, you know, I say, with my kids, you name it to tame it. So just, if you can, you know, what I'm feeling I'm feeling anxious right now. I am feeling sad. Right now. I'm feeling angry right now. You know, being able to name whatever that feeling is or that whatever you're dealing with, helps you kind of pause a little bit. You know, just

Jessie Kanzer:

I think you're, you're, you're so right, you're so right, because I you know what I'm realizing like, my kids are little but my, my seven year old, she's super sensitive, which I can relate to. Because I think a lot of my struggles, you know, a lot of us are empathetic empaths. And it takes takes a lifetime to learn to not take the pain of the world into your own heart. And she says things sometimes like, oh, I want to kill myself, like it's seven, you know, it's sort of 16, things like that. And it doesn't come. I don't say that. So we've had to have conversations of unpacking that. And what are you actually feeling? Because you don't actually, she doesn't actually, first of all understand the full meaning of that. And second of all, want to kill herself. She doesn't. But there's a lot of emotions that she doesn't know how to express yet. Sure. So we've had to start unpacking to understand what's going on beneath all of that frustration, sadness, etc. And I think you're so right, if you tame it, if you name it, you can tame it.

Heather Hester:

And I think that's part of like learning emotional intelligence, which kind of goes goes along with this. But you know, these were a lot of things that I didn't learn as a younger person and so has been so sad for me, right. So I think I have like six words to describe emotions right. And so, learning that there are there are all of these different kind of nuances. And then, you know, like you teaching our kids and having these, that is such an important conversation to have, because every human being at some point or an Neither either thinks that or says that. So it's, I mean, I think it is so important to say, okay, you know, I, I love how you did that, you know, I hear what you're saying, let's talk about what's underneath that, like, what's what and really teaching like, well, that's this feeling maybe seems more like this or maybe it doesn't feel like this and kind of teaching them how to really feel into different emotions. I'm angry, it's okay to be angry.

Jessie Kanzer:

Yes. And, you know, it's interesting in that same chapter in the book I talk about like, what, where does the discomfort of other people come from? Like, yes, you have your own discomfort when you're trying to figure out who the hell you are. But I believe other people's discomfort comes from there, not them not having faced the nuances within themselves. A lot of us have, you know, grown up in a way of like, This is who I am, this is what I do, you know, you kind of put yourself in these very delineated categories. And when somebody else questions, their identity, that it's almost becomes a mirror. And if you have never faced the nuances within yourself, including nuanced emotions, that is very uncomfortable.

Heather Hester:

Yes, yes, it is. I am glad that you said that. And I think too, you know, one of those things that. I wonder, this is I guess, it's a something that I contemplate as, as you know, I hear different stories, and I, I come against, you know, come up against things, and my kids come up, you know, against different situations. with other people, I think there's a lot of fear. And, and I mean, that speaks to what you just said, right? The I bet, I think that would be one of the, the emotions associated with that, and I'm uncomfortable, I don't want to see that. It brings up this fear. So instead of, you know, it's kind of that first stage before they're able to start asking questions, or start kind of relaxing into it, or opening up or whatever it is. So I think that's something that over time, I like to remind my kids like, remember, that's, that's fear, for a lot of years. And I have to remind myself that too, you know, like that person, they don't necessarily mean to be mean, or they don't mean to be judgmental. There's a lot of fear of air.

Jessie Kanzer:

And it's never about you, the person who is who has triggered their fear. It's really about what they have not faced, or afraid to question, or face or see within themselves. I think there's a lot of fear for people, that everything they've known, is not. So that is a scary, you know, for those of us who have struggled, whether it's with identity or with things like depression. And so for those of us who've struggled in this world, in the way this world is set up, I think that I think that it's not scary, nothing is scary, because you've already questioned everything, you've already had to dig your way through the big questions. And, you know, I'm not saying you, we've gotten to the answers, but we're comfortable in the space, we've gotten comfortable in the space of questioning because we've had to write and the people who haven't had to, I get how that could be scary. And it's never about you the person triggering their fear, it's about themselves.

Heather Hester:

And that's Thank you, that's a very important reminder, because it is very easy to take that very personally, right, of course, especially if you are a sensitive person. So thank you for that. Very good reminder. So I just, we have been having such a lovely chat. And there's so many things that I still want to ask you. So

Jessie Kanzer:

we could do rapid fire. Let's

Heather Hester:

let's do a little rapid fire. There's a couple more questions, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. And I want to be mindful of your time as well. So let's start with how the Tao can cure you of perfectionism.

Jessie Kanzer:

I believe, you know the phrase like, perfect is the enemy of the good. Yeah. So and listen, perfectionist people pleaser recover in recovery. And yeah, and I think that a lot of perfectionism according to what the dowel says as well as it's a lot of it a lot of practice. Be patient with what others will think of what it is, whatever it is that you are doing. This. Perfectionism is not actually an internal, it's not an internal state, because if you're just doing and you're present with what you're doing, you're not really obsessing about, will it be perfect? Will it be good enough? Will I be good enough, you're just doing it. So the dowel always tells us to simplify. It says, do your work, then step back, the only path to Serenity. Do your work, then step back, whatever it is you're doing, do it, be with it, move on, step back. That's it, what it will how it will be perceived in the world. That's okay. It's none of that matters. So, you deal with perfectionism by being in the present and doing what's right in front of you and then continuing and not obsessing over it. A lot of our stress comes not from what it is we actually have to do. But from the anxiety and the over analysis. All around all of those actions, activities, putting ourselves out there, etc. Right? So simplify, do move on the external

Heather Hester:

noise, right? Yeah, that really helps with that. That is awesome. Oh, my goodness. Okay. So next, why it's important to continue to embrace stillness, even as we are at this place. Where we're seemingly moving a little bit back toward you know, whatever, quote, unquote normal is, I think that that that's a fair many words for that. But why it's important to really keep this at the front of our minds and learn to practice this and make this a priority.

Jessie Kanzer:

So, of course, a lot of us are itching for certain things to come back, I know that I am in some ways, and what I believe if you remember, I said that I got into a major car crash, right after college that kind of stopped me in my tracks. Because I had no choice physically stop me, I, in the end, don't just sit there do nothing I talk about this pandemic, being a sort of societal car crash. Oh, and we have an opportunity, not just to go back, which I don't think by the way, is even going to be possible, but not just to go back to whatever normal we had before, but to reconstruct. So when you miss certain things, again, you get quiet, in that stillness in that space you give yourself to just hear your own voice versus all the surrounding noise. You you get quiet and you ask yourself, what is it that you actually miss? And then you can recreate more of that? Because if it's connection, well, there's a way to create connection, no matter what's going on in the world. If it's, you know, fun, if it's joy, how can you bring that in? This is our opportunity to get really honest with ourselves and to figure out what we want more of in our lives instead of just going back on autopilot.

Heather Hester:

Right? Right. It's an opportunity to, to become aware and stay aware.

Jessie Kanzer:

Right and stillness, as we've already talked to, at length, at length about stillness is that opportunity to connect with your inner voice. You have to still your mind, and and you have to kind of shut off the external noise in order to hear yourself.

Heather Hester:

These are important things Everyone, listen, listen up.

Jessie Kanzer:

Honestly, like I said, you teach what you need to learn. This is why I put it in a book because I need these remind I freaking you need this as much as everyone else. Sometimes you're like, Well, I have to say yes to every invitation I have. And then you're like, Wait, do I do I

Heather Hester:

know. Sometimes the word know is like the greatest gift you can give yourself?

Jessie Kanzer:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And that's what the Bible says, care about the opinion of others and you become their prisoner. You've got gotta just do what is right for you. And you got to get still with yourself to figure out what that even is.

Heather Hester:

Right? Exactly. Exactly. Oh, my goodness. Okay. So one more time, I want to just first Is there anything else that you would like to share that we haven't touched on? And then I want to remind everybody where they the name of your book where they can find it, where they can find you all these wonderful things?

Jessie Kanzer:

Yes, I'd love to do all that housekeeping stuff. But before I do, just I know this is a difficult time for a lot of people in general. It's been a challenging couple of years. And so there's like external challenges. There's internal challenges. And I just want people to know what the Dow has taught me. It's Okay, wherever you are on your journey, it is okay. It's not supposed to be good all the time. And by going through and moving through the muck, we we are able to learn and grow. So wherever you are, no matter how much it sucks, it's okay. And if you allow that acceptance and that okayness it'll get a little bit more easier.

Heather Hester:

Right? And to remember that you're not alone in that. No,

Jessie Kanzer:

no. Right. And separation is an illusion. We're all going through shit. Some of us are just hiding it better than others.

Heather Hester:

Exactly. That is exactly right. Oh, my goodness. Oh, well, this has been so much fun. So just enlightening. And I am really excited for everyone to read this book. I'm excited to read this book. I will be ordering it as soon as I can. So I assume we can get it on Amazon is that

Jessie Kanzer:

Amazon? Yes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble bookshop, that's for the indie bookstores, it's available everywhere. And on my website, jessiekanzer.com, J E S S I E K A N Z E R .com. You see all the preorder links or order links very soon in a few weeks. So you can, you can see, you could just kind of go to one place to see where it's at. But, or if it's just easier, you can go to Amazon and grab it as well.

Heather Hester:

Wonderful, I will put all of these links in the show notes. So you all can just click right through. And if you I would, I would love to go to your website, if I were direct people to go to your website just to learn a little bit more about you and see what you want.

Jessie Kanzer:

I have freebies, I wanted to say actually have freebies on there as well, I have the first couple of chapters that you can just look at before you order the book, if you want to see if it's for you. I also have bonus materials that you can get like bonus chapters that didn't fit into my word limit that they set for me. And I have a few a couple of free guides based on the teachings of the doubt. And I have a lot of events coming up some of those free as well. So it's a good place to go. Just to check out if there's anything you want. No charge because I look. Of course I want people to buy my book because I want to keep working and doing the stuff. But I also wanted to be of service. And you know, I tell people all the time, if you really want my book, and you can't afford it, just email me. We'll take care of it. Just email me.

Heather Hester:

Right? Well, and it is it is a lovely. It is a lovely gift to the world. And I think you thank you so much for sharing your experiences sharing, just so honestly and with such vulnerability and it was really, really fun to have you here today.

Jessie Kanzer:

Thank you. It was it was really great for me as well. Thank you.

Heather Hester:

Thanks so much for joining me today. My goal is to make this journey a little easier for you. So reach out with questions or topics you'd like to hear me talk about. Check out the show notes for my email and website information. And if you love today's episode, I'd be so appreciative of a review. Until next time.

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