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April 19, 2022

How to do nothing and improve your health and fitness with Jessie Kanzer

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Often we push ourselves to do more, forgetting that the best path to wellness might be to do less. Today we are joined by Jessie Kanzer to discuss her book, Don't Just Sit There, DO NOTHING: Healing, Chilling, and Living with the Tao Te Ching.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:20.710] – Allan

Hello, Ras.

[00:03:21.910] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:23.780] – Allan

I'm doing well. How are you?

[00:03:25.560] – Rachel

Good. Spring is finally here in Michigan, at least today. We had some weather over the weekend. We are expecting more weather this weekend in terms of snow. But today is nice.

[00:03:39.540] – Allan

We talked about hormone changes last week, sort of like right now.

[00:03:44.410] – Rachel

Yes, absolutely. Michigan is going through the change right now.

[00:03:53.330] – Allan

But it's a spring change. So it's sort of like puberty and not like menopause. But that said, it's still kind of traumatic increase me. I think the interesting thing is I've got my nutrition kind of ratcheted down and everybody on the island knows, okay, Allan's not doing these things. He's not eating these things. Kind of funny because we will go out to dinner every once in a while and people are like, okay, well, Allan's not going to eat that. Allan's not going to eat this, which is actually kind of it is kind of funny to be sitting there and people watching me eat or watching what I order more interested in what I'm ordering than what I'm eating. But here's one of the interesting things that hasn't happened before. And this is you start thinking about getting older and how things are different because they are they can be very different as you age. I am sleeping. I'm sleeping a lot because I say I don't set an alarm. Right. And I mean that I don't really set an alarm. I think I said it one day about a couple of weeks ago, there were a couple of girls that had to catch like a

[00:04:57.740] – Allan

07:00 boat out. And they're like, can we get breakfast early? And I'm like, sure, there's one of yogurt and all that. Okay, I'll get up, I'll fix them up to go. They actually had time to eat it there. But it was just one of those. That's the only time I set alarm now. So what's happening is I'll still go to bed. Typically kind of normal this time. I'm up to about 09:00, maybe 9:30 now. But I'm sleeping 10,11, 12 hours a night, almost every night. And it's just kind of this weird. Like this morning I woke up at eight. I went to bed at nine, and I'm like and I'm asleep. It's not like I go to bed at nine and I'm up for a little while hanging out, looking at my phone. I put my phone on the white noise sound machine and I lay down and I go to sleep. I'll wake up a few times at night for the bathroom. And literally this morning got up at 8:30. I mean, really between eight and 830, I just rolled up, looked at the clock.

[00:06:00.810] – Rachel

My goodness.

[00:06:03.090] – Allan

Okay, well, on my side. I don't know that this is going to adversely affect this recording, but my power just went off. So welcome to the third world. Now, again, I do have a generator, I mean, a little battery. So I think I'm still online and everything. So we're going to finish our hello. And then we're going to get into our final segment. So if you don't know how this all works, which I'll just share this behind the scenes stuff, this is how a third world country works. Power goes out from time to time for no apparent reason whatsoever. And then it comes back on. But that aside, Rachel and I get together about once a week and we record our hello segment, and then we take a break and then we record the segment that you hear after the episode I'm going to do now is I'm going to finish this recording and then start the new recording for us to do that final segment. So that's the behind the scenes stuff. That whether you wanted it or not, you got live on this episode.

[00:06:58.070] – Rachel

Sure. Have fun.

[00:06:59.440] – Allan

Yeah. We'll talk to you soon, Rachel.

[00:07:01.020] – Rachel



[00:07:29.320] – Allan

Jessie, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:31.980] – Jessie

Thank you so much for having me.

[00:07:34.200] – Allan

Now, your book is a very interesting title, Don't Just Sit There, Do Nothing: Healing, Chilling and Living with the Tao Te Ching. And I know when I was reaching out to your publicist came off as a why would a fitness guy want to do an interview on a book, Don't Just Sit There, do nothing. But this is an important book. And I'm glad you wrote this because I think this is gonna be a great tool for a lot of people to get past one of the things that I think is one of maybe one of the biggest health issues that we're personally facing now today, especially today in the modern world. And so I really do think this is a really important book for people to wrap their minds around that we don't have to be doing all the time.

[00:08:28.570] – Jessie

Yeah. Thank you for saying that. I mean, you know, it's interesting. I spoke to the CEO of the Spartan Up program. He does those races.

[00:08:41.130] – Allan

Joe De Sena.

[00:08:43.230] – Jessie

Yeah, exactly, Joe De Sena. I spoke to him kind of when I was launching the book and in an interview. And whereas he was coming at me kind of with the opposite philosophy. Right. Like, you get it done kind of philosophy. What I showed, I think, was that there is a place where the get it done philosophy and the do nothing philosophy meets. Because, of course, you can't live in any extreme for a prolonged period of time without suffering negative consequences. And because so much of our world tout doing and achievement and accomplishment. I believe that the jokey. Of course, the jokey title of Don't Just sit there do nothing. That is actually where our attention needs to go now so that we can create balance in our lives.

[00:09:37.310] – Allan

Yeah. Because one, I'll openly admit I was ten minutes late getting on this call. And you've got the patience that you learned as you put together the information to put this book and just raising your family and living your life. The first thing I want to get into is this concept that is really hard for me because I pride myself, I always have prided myself with being an overachiever. I want to get more done. It's kind of a compliment. I only sleep 4 hours. I only sleep 3 hours. And all the things that are going on. And there's a quote you had in the book. It's a little bit longer than I would normally read. But I want to read this quote because I think it's really important for someone that's trying to figure out what we're here for to understand. And the quote goes like this, do not be afraid to lay down your load for a minute. You can pick it up anytime you wish. Separate yourself from the endless goals and grievances. It will recharge you like nothing else. Spend a breath, then two, then an hour flowing without worry and doing what needs to be done without overthinking it and bask in existence itself. This is the ultimate freedom.

[00:10:57.470] – Jessie

Thank you for sharing that.

[00:10:59.690] – Allan

And it's true. Anytime that I'm frantic, anytime that I'm panicked, I'm a wreck. I'm not nearly the quality that I need to be to be the overachiever. And so it's one of those if you rush in, that's great. It looks like you're doing something. But the looking like you're doing something often isn't doing yourself justice.

[00:11:31.430] – Jessie

That's exactly right. This practice of doing nothing, I use quotations because of course we're never doing nothing. Honestly, if you're alive, your body breathes itself, your cells are recharging themselves. Stuff is going on at all times. The one thing about this existence is it's always in motion. There is actually no complete stillness. And what this recharging that I'm talking about, this taking the time to just be really brief on a busy day. It could be as brief as a few deep breaths. But taking the time to recenter yourself, then reconnect you with a flow of life. Because there is a flow. When you enter that flow and when you are doing stuff from the flow, the doing becomes easier. So it's not like pushing the Boulder up the Hill. It's just going with the stream sort of. And what I've noticed is a lot of the problems with our very overly busy society and all of this barrage of information we constantly get and our brains become overextended. Our minds become overextended and we are exhausted before we even get started in a way. So when we take the time to reconnect and we take the time to block out all that external noise and just kind of connect with the power, with the inner guidance we have within us.

[00:13:04.060] – Jessie

Each person has within them, even when we are doing it's more easeful so that all of the stress kind of goes away and we do or some of the stress, I should say, goes away and we do the next right thing and then the next right thing. And step by step, you live your life. You do the things you need to do, but you're not overly stressed and frantic and crazy about it all.

[00:13:29.630] – Allan

Yeah, it's interesting to me because what I'll get is I'll get a client comes up and says, okay, I need to lose X pounds. We'll just throw that out there and they'll have a reason. Sometimes they have a deadline. There's something coming up. They want to be ready for this or that. They've been carrying this for too long. So they need to do something now. And the first question is, what do I do? Because we get fascinated with a result. What is my life going to be like if I'm in this Pant size or dress size? What is my life going to be like, if I'm no longer carrying this extra weight. If the scale says something tomorrow that's fantastic. What is my life going to be like? And I think in that look to the journey that looked to the results, we lose sight of the journey. And you talk about this actually a good bit in the book, because much of the struggles, much of the things that you went through, you look back and you said it was the journey I remember. The results were great.

[00:14:46.350] – Jessie

Right. Of course it's great that I have this happy life now and I'm a fulfilled person, and that's all wonderful. But it's interesting because my book just said they're doing nothing came out recently. And I have a lot of people telling me because I share a lot of myself in there, and I have a lot of people saying that's so brave or you accomplish so much, et cetera. And there's this push to celebrate this accomplishment, which I think is wonderful, but I'll be 100% honest. I like myself now, not any more than I liked myself three years ago when I started the book, because by the time I began this work of putting down my own lessons and all of the stuff I learned by following Eastern philosophies like the Tao Te Ching, and by reconnecting with my core, by the time I got to writing it, I already knew that it's not the end result that matters. And I think it's so funny and it's wonderful and sweet, but it's so funny that people celebrate the achievement. But if they actually look in the lessons that I'm teaching in the book that every failure is part of the achievement, every mistake, every fall, our entire journeys are as important as any accomplishment, any goal, any achievement that you reach.

[00:16:10.330] – Jessie

And I fully celebrate that journey now of struggle that I had. I'm really grateful for it, because that's what made me who I am. So I would really urge people who are focused on certain goals to remember to focus on the now on the journey and see what they can. That's where our greatest lessons come from. And sometimes our greatest lessons come from the bottom as well before we even get going.

[00:16:37.720] – Allan

Yeah. I was having a conversation with a client yesterday, and he was telling me he loves running, but he hates going to the gym and lifting weights. And so we spent some time talking about kind of the underlying reason that he might feel that way, and then another way that I feel like as he goes into the gym that he should be looking at that time. And a lot of the things we got into were the things that he enjoyed about running, he was experiencing in the gym, he just wasn't aware, he wasn't in the moment to recognize, oh, I can move my body and I can push more weight than I did last time versus being able to maybe run a little bit further or a little bit faster than he did last time. The same feelings are there. They're just coming in a different way. And if you're not open to them, you don't really experience them and you don't really recognize what you're going through. And a lot of it you talk about flow in the book. Can you get a little bit into flow? Because I think part of really getting into the journey is when you recognize that flow is the journey.

[00:17:55.650] – Jessie

Yeah. And actually, I think that flow is very interesting to athletes because anybody who follows any kind of sport sees a difference. We know there's a difference between, say, a Michael Jordan or an Alex Honnold, the climber. Like, there's a difference in the people who are able to exceed their physical limitations to do certain magical things that we get to watch. But the reality is everybody, in order to accomplish something they've never accomplished before, needs to enter the flow state. And then the real gift is the flow state itself. So what happens in the flow state? And it was identified earlier in the 1900, therapists identified the actual characteristics of the flow state. And it doesn't have to be a physical activity. Some people I actually enter the flow state when I write as an example, and some people do it when they paint. But what happens in the state is whatever it is that you're doing consumes you so greatly that you lose for the time that you're doing it. You lose your ego, you lose the judge, the constant judge that's looking at yourself and judging and thinking overthinking, and you kind of become one with the motion, with the flow of the activity that you're in.

[00:19:21.310] – Jessie

And it's a really beautiful experience, obviously very recharging. And this is why I say the Tao Te Ching. This ancient philosophy is very full of paradoxes, because in a way, it's the flow state that helps us reach stillness. But here we're talking about stillness of the mind. And when we become one with the doing, that is ultimate stillness. And it's a very ironic because of course, we become one with the action, but it's becoming one and becoming very present. And what happens is then is that monkey mind kind of goes away for that short period of time.

[00:20:01.160] – Allan

Yeah. And the way I look at it is, okay, you go into a gym and they have the music blaring sometimes. There's people in there, they're talking, they're doing weights or they're all about. So you're not in a confined by yourself space. But when I'm really in the flow of lifting. So during a lift, I don't hear anything. I don't see anything. I'm literally at that moment trying to envision myself inside my body, inside the muscle. And any other feedback that I'm getting my eyes or whatever is really just geared on is my head, my body, my frame, everything where it's supposed to be at this point in the lift. And so for me, the flow state is actually so present that I'm unaware of pretty much anything else. So you're talking about the monkey mind. When you get into flow, say you're only aware of what you're actually doing at that point in time, physically or mentally, but you're in that moment. And it's such a powerful moment. But this book, in your book, they're taking us through a process of trying to find ways to relax, slow down and find that space more often.

[00:21:20.310] – Jessie

Right. So I am a big fan of whatever activity can get you in the flow state as well. And one of the chapters, as you know, talks about finding that activity for yourself, because I do think it's of the utmost importance to be able to find enjoyable ways to be in the present. So it's not always another. I don't want spirituality or mindfulness to become yet another to do thing on a person's list. And the magic of when you're able to enter that flow state, the magic speaks for itself once you're able to reach it. And I say in the book that everyone's reached at some point or another, you just have to sometimes look back on your life and see what that is for you. It's that awareness. And in fact, don't just sit there, do nothing is divided into three parts. The first is identity, which is understanding who we really are beyond just the personality and the body. And number two is the awareness that you and I have been speaking of is understanding sort of the energy flow around us, of ourselves, what we bring to situations, to the world, what others bring into our space.

[00:22:37.020] – Jessie

And then number three is the creation. So it's interesting to me, creation meaning like creating the life you want, achieving the goals you want. And it's interesting because I think most people go straight to the creation. They're so right. They come and they say, how long till I can be this many pounds or look like this? We always as human beings, we're so obsessed with instant gratification that we rush to the creation part. But really it's these other journeys, these other investigations of ourselves that are needed in order to have a full joyous journey to whatever we want. So it's not just there is no snap your fingers and then you're a certain weight or a certain goal is achieved. It's not like that. And there's a reason for that.

[00:23:28.000] – Allan

Yeah. I kind of equate it with the first thing you do when you're going to walk in and try to build a house is start and grab a hammer and nails. You've missed some steps.

[00:23:40.890] – Jessie

Exactly. So what I do, don't just sit there, do nothing but what I also do for myself. Because, look, I'm a human of this world. I am very human. I also want everything I want yesterday. So what I do is remind myself constantly of the beauty of the now, the very imperfect now, not some perfect future scenario. Because of course, there really never is. That right. There's always going the movement forward. There's never really a static moment where you've arrived and that's it. And forevermore. That's not how we work. So I always remind myself and bring myself back. And whether it's with breathing, whether it's with the flow state, whether it's just a mental exercise, the ability to bring myself into the present, to practice the mindfulness, I remind myself that this is where it's at. The journey is where it's at. I don't want to get to the end of my life and have missed the whole thing.

[00:24:44.050] – Allan

Yeah. And the one thing that I find really interesting and I want people to really wrap their mind around this is the fact that you're reading these books, the fact that you're listening to podcasts, you have something huge going on for you right now. You've made some internal changes of self love and self appreciation and now self awareness to make some drastic changes. Now that will they be drastic in the means of I want it now? No. But you've already made a huge change just by listening to this podcast. Just by reading this book.

[00:25:21.850] – Jessie

Such a good point. Once you open your mind to possibility. Because I think of myself as a lifelong spiritual searcher, I'm never going to stop my quest for more information about personal development, more information about growth and anybody who is on that journey. And of course, if they're listening to your podcast, if they're reading, don't just sit there, do nothing. They're on that journey. I say you're there already because. Yeah, sometimes changes happen slowly. They're not always overnight. But when you open yourself up to new possibilities, new ways of thinking, to quote Wayne Dyer, he's a great spiritual teacher who passed some years ago that I was a big fan of he said, change your thoughts, change your life. It's not a change that happens in one instance, but you're on that journey of change and improvement and love and all the good stuff that we want.

[00:26:27.890] – Allan

Now some people will say they don't want to live forever, and a lot of people do want to live forever. But in a lot of the books that you read, a lot of the studies they go through and say, okay, well, why are certain people living to 100 years old or other? So you've heard about the blue zones and all those types of things. And one of the cores that's in there that I think is missing in the modern world for a lot of us is the concept of finding purpose. Individuals who live longer, live better lives because they have a purpose. And you talked about how you were on a particular career path, and then you had your car crash moment.

[00:27:06.600] – Jessie


[00:27:07.380] – Allan

Can you talk a little bit about that?

[00:27:09.300] – Jessie

Yes, for sure. A literal car crash moment. So just a little backstory. I am an immigrant. I came from the former Soviet Union. The country is now Latvia. But when I was born there, it was just a giant blob of Soviet Union. And I left there when I was seven. We were refugees, and my family went through a bunch of different countries before we sought asylum in America. And a lot of my early life is defined by this sort of loss of self, loss of identity, and just molding myself to what was around me so that I could be accepted, so that I could belong, so that I could find friends and fun, etcetera. And then also at the same time pleasing my family, so pleasing those around me, being the good immigrant child. So eventually that catches it up with you when you're living not for yourself, when you haven't connected with your own desires, with your own purpose, as you've mentioned, it catches up with you because you're not living an authentic life. And so I was in College, straight A student, kind of walking the path of goodness according to what my immigrant society wanted for me in business school, internally, I was really suffering.

[00:28:32.390] – Jessie

I had an eating disorder. I was depressed. I suffered from anxiety, panic attacks. And as soon as I graduated College and I had so many interviews with all the big banks lined up. But as soon as I graduated College, I got into a major car crash. And that was my really rock bottom moment because I was, of course, struggling emotionally with all of these kind of secret struggles. I think my mom was aware of them by then, but nobody else was. And then my body was broken physically. And in that moment, why it was such a beautiful downfall for me is because I realized I can't live this way. I have to figure out who I am, what I want. And how I want my life to look. And that was a very life changing moment because in my literal downfall, I reached for information, I reached for the Tao Te Ching and other spiritual teachings and my own health. And that became more important to me than the discomfort of letting people down. So my own truth became the most important guiding light of my life.

[00:29:39.770] – Allan

And I've had a couple of those car crash moments. One of mine was when the Challenger exploded in 86 and I was a sophomore in College, majoring in physics. That made me rethink some things. And then with my layoff in 2017. Now I'm a personal trainer living on a Caribbean Island. If you'd ask me, before 2017, that was not in the plan, that was not there. And I guess what I would just put forward is we probably have these car crash moments every day, every week, every month. They just aren't as rock bottom as you want. They're not actual car crashes. How do we go about recognizing when our spirit, for lack of a better word, our oneness who we are, is need something but the judges outside of us, the people have different expectations of, how do we recognize that disconnect and kind of steal ourselves for doing something different?

[00:30:42.390] – Jessie

Well, I love this quote that the universe speaks to us in whispers, and then it speaks to us and shouts. So when you go through enough shout moments, those car crash moments, it becomes more important to you to start listening for the whispers because I don't want to learn from strings of bottoms. I want to be able to learn and communicate with my life and with myself throughout, like you said, on a weekly, on a daily basis so that we don't have to wait for those car crash moments. And by the way, I also refer in Don't sit there do nothing to the pandemic, a society's car crash. And unfortunately, our societies often do wait for those car crash moments before changes just take place. But that's a whole other topic, of course. And I wholly believe that change on the big scale happens one individual at a time. When enough of us sort of awaken, the world will change as well. And the way to do that is to develop a constant communication, to understand, first of all, the understanding, just the awareness that life is speaking to you, that's really important. I don't believe in luck.

[00:32:00.180] – Jessie

I don't believe in coincidences. I believe that life communicates with us and it gives us feedback all the time. And there's a part of us, there's a center within us that knows and understands that. But often we cannot hear it, and we can't hear it because of the noise of the outside world and the messaging that we've allowed to enter within us. And, you know, I read recently that today in one day, the average person takes in more information than just a couple of hundred years ago, people did in their entire lifetime. But we're the same humans, right, with the same brains. So that's just to show how much we have coming at us. And there's nothing wrong with you for being overstimulated, for being confused, for being tired, because there is a lot coming at us. So then it becomes on us to create moments of stillness, moments of flow, moments where we shut everything else out so that the only thing we care is our own breath and our own spirit and our own inner power. And when we do that enough, we are able to recognize that communication, that constant communication with source energy, with the universe, with life.

[00:33:22.560] – Jessie

Call it what you will. I don't really care what your religious beliefs are, because it's not about that. It's about establishing a really good level of communication with you could call it life itself if you don't believe in a higher power. But there is that line of communication, and we need to be able to hear it. And that's just a daily practice.

[00:33:46.430] – Allan

Yeah. Because you're not going to get your purpose from anybody else. Unfortunately, you're not going to get it from a podcast like this one. You're not going to get it from a book. Your purpose is your purpose. And you have to be listening to yourself. And to do that, you have to be quiet.

[00:34:02.910] – Jessie

Right. And I love that you said that when you lift weights, all the noise disappears. So that's a good reminder to us that it doesn't need to be a literal quiet. It needs to be an internal quiet. And whatever gets you there. And guess what? If you don't know what gets you there, that's just like most people. And that's fine. And some days I don't know what's going to get me there. And it's just a beautiful experiment. When you look at life as this beautiful experiment, you kind of take all the pressure off because also enlightenment. I like to think of it as lightening up a little bit. We also take ourselves Uber seriously. Finding your purpose doesn't have to be this heavy thing that you carry. It could be finding your purpose today, for the day, for the week. And then when you start being more and more aligned with your inner calling, with your inner knowing, before you know it, you're living your purpose. And it's not always that put in a box or put into words like my purpose being a or, you know, when you're living your purpose because you feel fulfilled.

[00:35:08.850] – Allan

Absolutely. Now, every health and fitness coach out there has probably heard this quote from Lao Tzu. A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. Now, what most of us haven't heard is the next line in that verse, which is people often fail in their tasks just as they're about to accomplish them.

[00:35:29.930] – Jessie


[00:35:32.890] – Allan

This is really important because you may have heard the parable of the guy, the gold miner who was digging for gold, and he decided he wasn't going to find the gold, so he sold the gold mine and a guy dug like a foot deeper and biggest find in history. 1ft it was just 1ft. Can we talk a little bit? Because, yes, starting is extremely hard, so it's finishing. Can we talk a little bit about that?

[00:36:09.140] – Jessie

Yes. It's the chapter in my book that I talk about that is called journeying, actually. You are so right. So first of all, I think most people know that quote, the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. But I'm not sure if a lot of people know that it comes from the Tao Te Ching, which when I tell people, they're often floored, because that's from 6th century BC. And it's funny to me that human nature has been changed all that much. Right. We've always had a fear of starting. And yes, the other part of the equation is, of course, seeing something through to the end, not giving up too early. And people often fail in their tasks just as they're about to accomplish them. And then it says, so give as much care at the end as in the beginning, then there will be no failure. And I love that because what is failure really? Failure is only failure if you quit. Otherwise, it's a teaching moment from life, from the universe, from yourself. And sometimes and I would actually venture to say a lot, maybe most of the time things don't turn out exactly as we had envisioned, but that doesn't mean they can turn out much better than what we plan for.

[00:37:36.550] – Jessie

But we have to allow for the flow to be different. I think that human beings tend to want to control things so much that they miss the bigger picture sometimes. And I say in the book, when if you look at your life, have you perhaps quit too soon, whether it's on a venture, whether it's on your health goals, whether it's in a relationship, just when maybe it would have gotten good, but you decided to quit. But the other side of it, I would say, is sometimes quitting is the right thing to do. When your goals like in my case, before my car crash moment, when your goals are not aligned with yourself, change, of course, is absolutely the correct choice there. So again, this goes back to that connectedness with your inner self, because your inner self knows. Your inner self knows if you check in with it, just hang on longer, just keep going. And sometimes you do throw in the towel before too soon.

[00:38:42.200] – Allan

Yeah. And I think we all go into these like, okay, so I'm going to go on this diet or I'm going to start this exercise program or I'm going to do this thing, take a new course, to learn something new, to do something different. And the problem comes in is not that we can't do it. It's that we don't believe we can do it. And one of the things you had in the book is another quote from your book. I think I could probably sit here and just read the book is we cannot wait for proof in order to believe in our visions. And I think too many people are waiting for proof that they can lose the weight, that they can get healthy, that they can solve their health problems, that they can learn something new. We're over 40, so we're not supposed to we're the old dogs. We're not supposed to be learning new things. But you can. People are doing it every day, but you don't have to wait for that proof. How does someone listen to themselves, listen to their inner voice in a way that says, okay, I need to get confidence from this.

[00:39:50.420] – Allan

Because in reality, if you're waiting for someone else to give you the go ahead to give you that confidence, you're not going to be happy with the results. That's what I've seen. How does someone reach inside and find that self belief?

[00:40:07.730] – Jessie

Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it. And I say this jokingly, but in my section on creation, we talk a lot about there are steps right to getting what you want. And again, I will say what you want with a little bit of space around it, because often in my experience, things end up looking a little different and that's okay. Or there's like another step that I hadn't foreseen and that's okay. I also find that when you commit so fully to a path, you're often given some obstacles to overcome or some tests. The hero's journey always has tests on it. But to me, I kind of divided the steps of creation into three smaller steps. So one is intention, two is embodiment, and three is releasing the goals, releasing the end results. And so intention is what we're talking about of making your goal, making your vision a more clear one, because a lot of people walk around without a real vision for their lives. And for me, like, for someone like me, because I have become quite a flexible person, my vision changes sometimes from day to day. Or I allow my vision to alter, but I always have a vision and intention.

[00:41:32.250] – Jessie

And the second part is what we're talking about here. The second part of embodying it now, what embodying it means is acting as the person who already got what they wanted. And that's the really hard part. Yes, you need to believe before there's proof that's where we all get tripped up. Because it's like, yeah, when I see that I can do it, I will give my all to it, but it actually works the opposite. And the how. There's no magic bullet for the how, but I do in this case, I will go against my own title. And I'll say that sometimes in the doing, the belief comes. I've seen that for myself. So I also watch my kids closely. I have a five and a seven year old, and kids are a lot better at a lot of these spiritual lessons than we are because they haven't been taught out of them yet.

[00:42:27.820] – Allan

We haven't been out of them.

[00:42:29.330] – Jessie

Yeah, exactly. The world hasn't. And if you ever watch, how do they play pretend? They are so invested they're not thinking. Yes, my five year old loves to pretend. She's a teenager. She's 13, she's going to high school, whatever. And obviously in some level she knows that is not true. But she has no problem pretending for like 3 hours straight. I'm a teenager mom and she talks differently. And I love it because what stops us from doing it? Sure, I know on some level, for example, I have not yet lost the weight. I have not yet reached my level of fitness. But why can't I pretend for the hour that I'm in the gym for the hours that I set aside to run? Why can't I pretend that I'm already that person? Why can't I play with it and play that game of pretend and just start doing it? Because our brains don't really know the difference between pretend and reality. If we tell our brain enough times that I am this, you'll start to believe it. So you got to play with it. It's really adapting, in my opinion, a playful attitude and allowing yourself to pretend that you already are what you want to be, allowing yourself to believe in it, even if it seems ludicrous.

[00:43:48.810] – Allan

I saw this. It actually came over. It was a business podcast and the guy said it and I've kind of adapted it, but it's the same thing. And his thing was be do have. He said so many people start with the do. And he says, that's not how you do it. You start with the Be and Be being is okay. If I'm someone who is this person is healthy and fit, then that's who I am. And then what does the person like that do? Well, okay. They set aside time on their calendar and they show up at the gym, they shop and they buy whole foods, they Cook for their family so they know what they're eating. Yes. They still go out and have a drink with their friends every once in a while. Yes, every once in a while. Okay. They're going to take a holiday and they're not going to do their workouts. But a person who is reasonably in the position you want to be, if you're doing the things that they do, eventually you will have what they have. And so that's the whole principle of the Be do have is very similar to what you're saying is that if you fake it till you make it, but you still have to do the work, you got to do both.

[00:44:57.130] – Allan

There's a middle section, like you said, the doing.

[00:44:59.970] – Jessie


[00:45:00.900] – Allan

But you got to slow down and see it first.

[00:45:04.050] – Jessie

Right. And when you embody the person that you want to be, you'll naturally do the things they do. Like you said, the person who is already fit. Well, yeah. They leave time for exercise. That's what they do. And the releasing part, I think, is also very important because, again, this is where instant gratification needs come in. Releasing your timeline and your goal is important from time to time. It doesn't mean that we don't have a framework in which we operate, but releasing the rains that hold everything so tightly, so that you realize that if you aren't, for example, whatever weight you set for yourself on the day you set for yourself, but you're getting there, that's good enough. You don't need to have 100% control over everything as long as you're doing that step by step journey we spoke of.

[00:46:01.070] – Allan

Yeah. Jessie, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:46:12.390] – Jessie

this is you're asking me to define? Good question. So I define wellness and success and all of those big words that I think we all strive for as the feeling of purpose, fulfillment and joy in your body, in your life, in your situation. And that doesn't mean happiness 100% of the time, but that means that you know, you are where you're meant to be. It's that feeling. And I think we spoke of this feeling a little earlier when we have those car crash moments or those smaller car crash moments that realize we're off course, is that ability because we still have them. Even if you are living the life you want to live, you still have moments like that. And it's also wellness to me, is that conversation, that communication with life where you're able to course correct as you go along. It's that faith in yourself. And can you tell me again, the second part of the three?

[00:47:21.380] – Allan

What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:47:27.650] – Jessie

I'm actually going to use the Tao Te Ching for this one. Perfect. The three main teachings of the Tao Te Ching, which are really helpful to me for my wellness and my health. And of course, I look at health as both a mental and a physical well being. And I know you do as well. So the three kind of cornerstones of the Tao Te Ching are simplicity, patience, compassion. So to me, simplicity is simplifying all of those messages that we talked about that are bombarding us non stop, simplifying daily, even if it's for moments a day, to that conversation within yourself. That one voice, that one inner guidance constantly simplifying our craziness, our crazy mind, our crazy schedules, simplifying it as much as we can to our own inner guidance and our own physical well being, because I do strongly believe that we are in this body for this lifetime. And we must take care of our vehicle. And I'm a very spiritual person, but I will tell you that I'm also a fit person, not because I'm so great. And clearly I wasn't always because I suffered from an eating disorder for many years, but I take my health very seriously because this is my vehicle to have my spiritual growth in in this lifetime.

[00:48:55.390] – Jessie

So when I simplify everything, I understand that all I need to do is take care of my mind, take care of my spirit, take care of my body, and I'm good. And then the number two is patience. And that's what we've already discussed is the patience to get to where you want to go and not to rush things and to understand that the journey is as important, if not more important than the destination. And the last is compassion. Starting with compassion towards yourself. When you practice compassion towards yourself, when you forgive yourself for falling off the wagon, for example, if you're on a health journey or overcoming addiction, when you have compassion for your very humanness, you're able to forgive yourself instead of beating yourself up, you're able to continue. You're able to forgive and continue. And when you give that to yourself, you give that to others naturally. And so you live in a more natural state of ease.

[00:49:58.250] – Allan

Thank you for that. Jessie, if someone wanted to learn more about you or learn more about your book, Don't Just Sit There, Do Nothing. Where would you like for me to send them?

[00:50:08.510] – Jessie

My website. Jessiekanzer.com, JESSIEKANZER.com has all of that information on there. But of course, don't just sit there, do nothing is available everywhere books are sold, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, even. But the information on my website has a lot of free resources as well. I have a free ebook, I have bonus chapters you can actually read. The first two chapters, don't just sit there, do nothing for free. And I also have all my upcoming events on there. So I'm teaching at Omega Institute, which is in Rhinebeck, New York in May. But as well, I do virtual panels and workshops from time to time. So all of that is on jessiekanzer.com.

[00:50:51.350] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/534. And I'll be sure to have links there. Jessie, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:51:02.030] – Jessie

Oh, thank you so much. And I am 40 plus, by the way. I forgot to mention that, but I'm 40 and a half at this point, so I'm with you guys.

[00:51:09.430] – Allan

Welcome to the club.

[00:51:10.890] – Jessie

Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:51:19.530] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:51:21.170] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, a lot of that discussion with Jessie has a lot of correlation with my running habits, especially the flow state. It was interesting to hear her discuss flow state in a way that I never would have thought about it before.

[00:51:37.710] – Allan

Yeah. I mean, if you've ever played an athletic sport or ever done something like running consistently. So you got to get past that. It sucks part. But when you get to a point, for lack of a better word, performance where you actually are very comfortable doing what you're doing, there's an opportunity for flow state. And for most of us, our experience goes back to athletics. It goes back to sports. That's when we feel the flow state the most because there's a performance improvement, there's an enhancement to what's going on that we feel. And it's very real. I mean, you literally are doing better at that point, but we're capable of doing this with just about anything that we have some competency for. So it can be making cookies, it can be knitting, it can be at work, it can be at play, it can be at learning. I'm right now studying for my performance enhancements specialty. And there are points in time when I'm sitting there studying and it's like, okay, this stuff is really coming in. I'm understanding it. I'm doing well on the tests, pre-tests anyway. And it's just a function of the focus, the attention, and then the comfort that flow state kind of gives you.

[00:53:08.930] – Allan

And so the real specialty here is if you can slow down enough, as you said, do nothing. But even in short spurts, if you can do nothing to allow your body and your brain and everything to kind of just relax, flow state becomes a lot easier.

[00:53:28.050] – Rachel

Oh, yeah. It's interesting. She mentioned that we have such busy lives. She's true. It's so true. We're barraged with information all over the place. It's kind of frightening how much information passes through our eyes and into our brains on a day to day, hour to hour basis. And it is hard for people to be still and appreciate the silence and the quietness. And then, like we had talked about earlier in our personal lives, when everything seems to be going crazy, the car is in the shop, the kids are sick, something broke at the house. There's all these problems going on because our brain I like to use the analogy of a tornado. My head is just swirling with information, and it's hard to grasp on something to identify a problem and solve it. But if you can get into a flow state where your brain is still and you can appreciate the silence, then you can identify and solve problems probably a lot more efficiently than if you're freaking out about it.

[00:54:29.800] – Allan

Yeah, because we talked about this a little bit during the episode so many times. You want the tool, you want the strategy or tactic. How do I do this? Okay. And we're immediately into strategies and tactics instead of the pulling back in and the saying, okay, well, one, why is this important? Okay, why is this important? And is this important right now? Okay, so something's going on at your house, and it's like, okay, great, great. You know, there's a problem is this something I have to deal with now.

[00:55:08.790] – Rachel


[00:55:09.970] – Allan

And the only way you do that is to come back to your commitment, come back to your why your vision, a whole bit of it. Why are we doing this? Where are we going? And then the self awareness. Okay. I know this is going to bother me until I get this thing fixed. Is there something I can personally do to make it bother me less? Can I actually shift my brain and say, you know, I got to take care of the kids first, and I'm not going to call the repair man and argue with him about needing a window of opportunity for him to be at my house because that's when it works. Like, okay, fine, you can't make it today between four and five. Done. I'm out. Take care of the kids, get the car out of the shop, call the repairman in the morning, figure something out. But it's really hard to do that when the faucet is calling you. And so it's that self awareness of okay, yeah, that's going to bother me. But if I look at the bigger picture, the bigger journey, the who I need to be, the where I need to go.

[00:56:22.810] – Allan

Am I even going to remember that trip, trip, trip a year from now, five years from now.

[00:56:30.370] – Rachel

What I've recently told the kids, both of my kids are College age, by the way, and so their problems are a little different than my problems in life. But I tell them, do these problems require the baggage and the emotion that you're assigning to it? Is it really that important? And like in your analogy of a home, if the faucet is dripping, is that something that needs to be tended to immediately? No, because there's not a burst pipe or something that's bigger or worse. But if you could just take it down a notch, not panic about it, not fret about it and not worry about it and just assign the debt task to it and it'll get done. And like you said, it'll be forgotten in days from now, weeks from now, it'll be all over.

[00:57:15.390] – Allan

Yeah. But I'm going to be the first to admit that is hard. That step right there is really hard, which is why having the foundation, the why, the vision, who are you and who are you going to be? And so a big part of what her book is about is really getting to that self awareness. It's really getting to who you are and who you deserve to be and who you want to be. And making all those things line up in a way that makes sense for you. And is Jessie where she wants to be in her life? And the answer is no, but she's closer than she would have been if she hadn't taken this approach. And we all love those quotes. And so you kind of go through a lot of those quotes that they came from this book, not from her book, but the book that her book is sort of based on, which is she's taking that ancient wisdom, if you will. And it seems pretty weird. Okay. Someone 3000 years ago was actually going through the same emotional issue that I'm going through. And they didn't even have Twitter.

[00:58:32.210] – Allan

and so you're like, okay, well, they had wars, they had famine, they had struggles. They may have been slightly different struggles, but the human nature to approach everything as a disaster was still there. And so for someone to say, okay, is it a disaster? No, it's not a disaster. Actually, stopping and doing nothing gives me the opportunity to put it in its place and really come up with a structure that works for me for solving that problem if it needs to be solved at all.

[00:59:07.930] – Rachel

Sure. Yeah, I love that. And you guys discuss at the end that we do have concept as well. And not skipping any steps to get to the end to the outcome.

[00:59:19.130] – Allan

Yes. Because again, if you don't believe it, it won't happen. It just won't. If you don't believe that, you can lose the weight you want to lose. It's not going to happen. I tried everything. Nothing's going to work. Well, you have to believe that the next thing you do is going to work and you do that from okay, sit back, have a reason, a why, have a vision of what that is really an emotional one. And then a structure of who I am and what has stopped me in the past. And then a plan, and most people go at this with the tool, throw a hammer at it. Okay, well, it's a screw. Okay, great. And then the next time you try it's a nail and you got a screwdriver in your hand because you didn't stop to define the problem and we all do it. Everyone is just as guilty as everyone else of doing these things, because this is the hard part. This is why we struggle and we've always struggled. And that's why books like this, writings like this, exist most of the time. Those lessons were meant to be handed down to our children, to our students, things like that.

[01:00:36.700] – Allan

These were teachers. These were what we would call the intellectuals that were putting together the content of making us a better society. And so they became writings later. They were often oral at the time, and sometimes they were written. And then once they were written, then there was a printing press and then there was more of these ideas. Now there's the Internet and there's more of these ideas. The ideas are great, but you got to go back to you, you've got to go back to that very beginning of this has to be about you and what works for you and you're unique. As odd as that sounds, with over 8 billion people, there's no other single person exactly like you. What you need at this point in time is very different than what anyone else needs. The only way you're going to get that information is to be really quiet and still and listen because your inner voice is going to help you get there.

[01:01:34.890] – Rachel

Yeah, we have a saying in our family that goes way back generations and apparently my great grandparents and grandparents used to say to their kids, remember who you are and what you represent and it just gives you pause for thought. If my mom was heading out on a date or some such thing, my grandparents would tell her, remember who you are and what you represent and it's just a simple reminder to focus on yourself and what values and morals and things that you hold important to you. And remember that when crazy things happen or you need to make some decisions in life, remember who you are and what you represent.

[01:02:19.910] – Allan

Love that. So, Rachel, next time we're going to get an opportunity to talk about your race.

[01:02:26.490] – Rachel


[01:02:27.590] – Allan

As we're talking right now, you haven't quite done it. You're close, but good luck with that.

[01:02:32.960] – Rachel

Thank you.

[01:02:33.390] – Allan

And we'll talk next week.

[01:02:35.170] – Rachel

Thanks so much. Take care.


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