THIS IS ISSUE.008 OF THE SMRT LIST
There are 18 days of 2022 to go and I wanted to induce a little mind fuck to trigger you to begin cultivating new habits in 2023.
I’ve been obsessed with habits for the past couple of years and the best thing is that once you start seeing these changes, you become mind blown with neuroplasticity and how you can train your brain to do ANYTHING you want.
You have the power to create your own reality.
It makes you feel powerful AF.
You can’t say no to an extra self-confidence boost because when you work on yourself, you become a better person for everyone around you.
It’s much bigger than you.
In the grand scheme of things, we don’t matter. At all.
Homeless & Happy
The past few months have been an incredible journey of watching my mind expand— inwards and outwards. It’s pretty cool to “see” your perception of the world change and feel every essence of it.
I’ve literally been homeless since August, completely thrown out of a routine I brewed in for the last decade. What you do and see daily becomes your world— sometimes you forget that there are other lifestyles out there. But when you get thrown out of your familiar environment, two things can occur depending on where you are in your journey:
Thankfully, I experienced the lather by unconsciously — but consciously — throwing myself into that situation (my subconscious knew I needed a drastic change!!). It was a mental rollercoaster. I rode the highs because I love and thrive on change…
… while working with my mind as it was trying to sort out what the fuck was going on, and why things were so different. 🧐
That’s your brain for you— when you do the same thing over and over, it gets hardwired. Your monkey mind will get stuck if you’ve been living the same way for a long time.
But when your life suddenly changes, the lack of control and unfamiliarity will literally drive your brain crazy, which can drive you crazy if you’re not aware of its only purpose, which is to keep you alive.
Don’t worry, it’s simply a survival mechanism and you can overcome this by stepping out of your comfort zone and resisting the urge to go back to old behaviors!
Sometimes this lack of control is precisely what we need to take us to the next level.
We call this “inner work”— it’s like peeling away endless layers of an onion. Those layers of your self are infinite, just like the expansiveness of the universe.
Life Is A Paradox
The magic of personal development is that mentally you’re going inwards but metaphysically, you are expanding outwards.
When I came home to Vancouver at the beginning of November, I moved a decade worth of things out of my apartment for renovations and decided to stay with my parents since my grandma passed away the same weekend. It was perfect timing. I still believe she gifted me this opportunity to face something I have been trying to avoid: living with my parents.
Talk about cosmic timing. That’s all that matters because even Einstein will tell you man-made time is a lie.
There’s nothing wrong with my family— my parents are cool and chill but it’s self-induced pressure: not knowing how to express to my parents many of my bad habits came from them unintentionally (attachment theory). How do you explain that to an Asian family that never taught you how to show emotions growing up?
Imagine moving back home as an adult.
What’s up, triggers! 👋🏼
But thank god for these demoralizing moments because they take you right out of your self-absorbed anxieties. I’m old and wise enough to know to not run away from my triggers, instead, to observe and figure out why these annoying reactions occur.
I spoke to my coach last week and he exclaimed, “Katy, I just heard 6 limiting beliefs in your last rant.”
That’s what coaches are for, right? To blast you with the hard truth that your reality is the story you tell yourself.
So I moved away over a decade ago, saw the world, did some crazy things, and suddenly came back home.
I was out for a run one night trying to get 10k in but the neighborhood I grew up in that used to be my entire world felt annoyingly small— I couldn’t even get 10k in after 2 laps before getting bored of the same scenery (was at 9km so it was close enough to warrant an excuse to go home).
That’s what happens when you choose to live and travel: everything in your past gets smaller and smaller… insignificant.
Insignificance: A Liberating Truth To Set You Free
I’m sure you know how it feels to return to your routine after an awesome weekend away. Or in my case 3 months.
You go home and discomfort begins to creep in as you begin to face unsettling questions about how you are living your life. Even when it’s already good, you wonder if it can improve.
Self-doubts are a blessing because that’s a signal something internal has shifted. Since everything begins with our thoughts, these shifts of awareness are absolutely required to level up.
The irony is that experience and insight are a double-edged sword in that once you bring something to awareness, there is no way to get rid of it.
In this case, you saw what life could be.
You saw another life outside of the bubble you’ve been contained in all your life.
Grandiose thoughts begin to whisper. You suddenly want to quit your job, completely switch careers, dump your partner, go back to school after 40 years in the job market, or save the world thinking you have some noble purpose to fulfill.
These hollow projections set by society are a standard set so high that we kill ourselves trying to achieve them.
Sure, there are a few human beings who had god-sized dreams and truly put a dent in the universe and contributed to gigantic shifts— Gandhi, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mother Teresa, Darwin, Aristotle, Steve Jobs… but they are rare.
For most of us, we are a speck of dust in an infinite universe or a star that flickers faintly before fading into nothingness.
What is Cosmic Insignificance Therapy?
The truth is that the universe doesn’t give a flying fuck about you. Someone even wrote a book with that title.
But I’m talking about a term Oliver Burkeman, author of Four Thousand Weeks coined: Cosmic Insignificance Therapy.
I had an aha-moment I heard this term because I had my first out-of-body experience when I was six. I heard someone talk about it on a podcast when I was climbing the mystical Mont Ventoux this summer and it occurred to me that is exactly what I experienced— naturally (there are methods you can use to induce this). I’ve been looking for an answer since. Is it a coincidence that someone came up with a term for it?! Or is it just cosmic intelligence?
Cosmic Insignificance Therapy is just a liberating reminder of how irrelevant we are on a cosmic scale.
Your life begins when you understand this transformational truth.
It’ll give you a sense of relief when you realize the definition we put on what it means to “live a meaningful life” is robbing you of your youth.
It’s just another label tied to conventions and expectations set by your parents, society, and trends— all meaningless man-made stuff that has zero significance in the wholesome intelligent design of the universe.
Simple labels are a blessing for our primal brains but to our intelligent selves, a savage curse.
Once free of this, you learn to do only what YOU think is meaningful to YOU.
Free from unrealistic standards. Free from other people’s opinions. Free from outcomes. Free to live life the way you want without judgment.
Curiosity Is The New Intelligence
🔊 The Human Upgrade: Battling Pathogens and Building Immunity Begins In Your Gut (Robynne Chutkan, M.D.)
- Great podcast reminding us of the obvious that so many people just don’t get: healthy people deal with sickness and diseases better than unhealthy people.
- Crohn’s may be linked to antibiotic use.
- Ladies, stop it with the douching.
- Proton pump inhibitors (antiacids) should not be taken unless absolutely necessary. From personal experience, “high stomach acid” is not the root cause and blocking stomach acid is only going to make your symptoms worse.
🔊 Impact Theory – When You Feel Depressed & Unmotivated, Listen Closely (Gabor Maté)
- Chronic disease and autoimmune issues are usually correlated to personality traits (eg. many people who have ALS or rheumatoid arthritis are people who are hard on themselves, never ask for help, and suppress their emotions). I’ve seen this from my own experience and research from my own healing journey. Everything literally begins with yourself.
- We need to learn how to connect to our bodies emotionally to overcome anxiety and depression.
- “Happiness is not to be pursued, happiness ensues.” – Victor Frankl
🔊 The Genius Life – How to Balance Your Nervous System to Reduce Stress and Heal Trauma (Dr. Nicole LePera)
- When my body shut down in the summer of 2020 from stress and trauma, the first thing I did was to reduce as much stress as possible through energy healing, meditation, and vagus nerve healing. Then I focused on good habits and nutrition. I did the hard work instead of going on meds and ‘waiting’ for our broken medical system to diagnose me. Along the way, I learned so much about my brain, body, and healing! What a journey!!
- The best health practitioners are those who have healed themselves from someone’s trauma.
- Our nervous system is WIRED to avoid the unfamiliar at all costs (survival mechanism). This is the root cause of FEAR (uncertainty = danger). In reality, fear is an adaptive function so being aware of this can help you overcome it.
- Once you learn how to sit and witness an event (eg. why you are stuck in a relationship), you’ve already created separation to make new choices and grow in consciousness. This is the most empowering space to be.
- Healing is not being. Healing is learning how to feel safe.
- Most people are on auto-pilot because they’re dysregulated, busy, and overwhelmed. They’re not living or behaving with intention.
- Reframe emotion as data (eg. anger is data— trace it back to the root cause of that trigger).
⏱ Current: You can live on a cruise ship
💕 Love: Treasure your friends
🥂 Life: The Buddhist concept of “Mitakpa”
🔮 Future: Four Great Decisions per Year
⌛️ Past: Lessons from my 103-year-old grandma