The Other Way

042: Embracing Authenticity: Navigating Life Transitions and Personal Growth

June 13, 2023 Kasia Season 1 Episode 42
The Other Way
042: Embracing Authenticity: Navigating Life Transitions and Personal Growth
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever felt the urge to redefine yourself and make a significant life change? In a candid conversation with George from the True Life podcast, we explore the challenges and rewards of embracing authenticity and navigating big life transitions. Listen in as I share my personal journey of leaving a corporate job and the emotional roller coaster that comes with rediscovering who I am and what I want to do.

We discuss the importance of finding the right environment and people to support our journey of self-discovery. Delving into the fear of change and the insecurity that comes with making life pivots, George and I share our experiences and how we have learned to accept and embrace these transitions for our own growth and development.

Drawing inspiration from Chinese medicine, our conversation emphasizes the importance of integrating our mind, body, and spirit, as well as the merging of Eastern and Western philosophies. We hope that our thought-provoking discussion will resonate with anyone going through major shifts in their lives, inspiring you to recognize the interconnectedness of all things and find a way to bridge the gap between the analytical and the symbolic. Join us on this journey and let your authentic self shine.

Check out the original podcast episode on TrueLife:

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To connect with Kasia

Kasia:

Hello and welcome to Nourish. My name is Kasia and I'm an entrepreneur, a longtime meditator and a student of Chinese medicine. My mission with this podcast is to share the tools and practices to help you integrate your whole self into every aspect of your world. As someone who is both a Taipei high achiever and a deeply spiritual, vulnerable and empathetic being, i know firsthand how it feels to be living a double life showing up one way at work a different way alone and struggling to reconcile the two.

Kasia:

This disintegration of authenticity is one of the biggest causes of burnout, health flares and anxiety. For me, understanding how the mind-body connection is crucial to health and success, cultivating a strong sense of inner self and applying the healing philosophies of Chinese medicine and Zen Buddhism to my life has allowed me to lead from a completely heart-powered place, letting go of other people's judgments and finding peace and allowing my multi-dimensional being to shine. My hope is that this podcast may inspire you to do the same. I want to call out. It is a practice, it is a journey, but I believe it is the most important thing that we can do for our bodies, minds and our ultimate potential. Enjoy.

Kasia:

Hi everyone, welcome back to the show. If I still sound congested, that's because I am, i know, shocking. But thanks for bearing with me. I kind of like the recipe deeper voice. Do you Let me know in the comments? Shoot me a DM on Instagram. Anyway, today I have a really cool episode and it's pretty different from others that I've done. Today I'm actually sharing an interview that I did for another podcast. Scary, i know, but I loved my conversation with George from the True Life podcast. I am sharing it on our pod.

Kasia:

Today We are going to be talking about authenticity, big life transitions and navigating the limbo of the unknown.

Kasia:

To share a bit of context, i dive into my personal story of going from 11 years of climbing the corporate ladder as a product manager most recently principal product manager at Microsoft to completely redefining who I am, what I want to be building and the tumultuous parts of recreating your identity.

Kasia:

I feel like there can be so many examples of highlight reels, of restart your career or do the thing you love, or just a lot of talk around pursuing your dreams, but I don't think, at least I was not prepared for the emotional roller coaster that would go along with that the uncertainty, the doubt, the imposter syndrome and really what it looked like to not just shed layers of myself but shed relationships to make this huge change. This is a really raw and real episode and I think it'll resonate with anyone who is going through or has recently gone through some major shifts from career pivoting, becoming a mom, changing your identity in that way. I think the topic of identity shifts and how to lean into that discomfort will definitely be relevant for you if you resonate with that. We chat quite a bit around realignment with some tactical how tos, how to also accept the things we hate about ourselves, and how compassion is perhaps more important than positive self-talk, and so much more. I love this episode. I hope you do too. Without further ado, let's jump on in. Enjoy.

George from TrueLife:

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the True Life podcast. I hope everybody's having a beautiful day. It's Friday in the beautiful state of Hawaii. We have a fantastic guest for you here today, the lovely Akasha, who is a health and wellness entrepreneur, the host of the Norwich podcast and so much more. We're going to get into some of the things she's doing, some of the things she's done, and just have a really interesting conversation. Akasha, thank you very much for being here today. How are you?

Kasia:

I am great, even better now that I'm talking to you.

George from TrueLife:

Thank you for that. There is this incredible young woman who I've been listening to her podcast and I think it's really about to blow up. She does this thing where she starts off. I don't think she'd mind me copying it this one time. What she does is she asks the person give me three words that describe you.

Kasia:

Well, i do love this question being thrown back at me. I have to say I haven't thought about this answer, which is crazy because I've asked countless guests this question. I'm just going to roll with whatever comes up. The first thing that's coming up for me is passionate. I feel like that is just such a descriptor of me as a human being. Curious, which is why I love the podcast so much just the level of conversation that can come up there. Then I think the last one would be mindful. That's something that I'm really working to cultivate, because I think I would have probably used the words ambitious or some sort of extremely achievement-oriented terms to describe myself. I feel like, not that those aren't true, but I don't want them to be the descriptor of who I am. I'm going to choose mindful. I think that applies to not just the mindful practices that I participate in, but just the way I'm trying to live my life.

George from TrueLife:

Yeah, I love that. I love it. It's fascinating to think about. Do you think that the language we use kind of dictates the path that we walk on?

Kasia:

Oh my gosh, 100%, 100%. I think that the language we use is just a reflection. In some cases it may be more or less accurate, but it's just a reflection of the way that we describe ourselves and the way that we identify. That dictates a lot of how we show up and what we do.

George from TrueLife:

Yeah, i like that answer. I like that you said the words we use describe who we are. If you think about it, that's a pretty powerful statement. You can fundamentally change the way people see you and change the way you move through this world If you just change your language. That's pretty powerful, right.

Kasia:

Oh, absolutely, Absolutely Wait before we even move on. I feel like it's only appropriate, Now that we're talking about it, for you to please share your three words with your audience here.

George from TrueLife:

Well, well played, very well played. I would go with curious as probably my second one. In the second one I would go with punctilius, but not punctilius in that stiff neck or really rigid, but punctilius in that I have a rare obsession with attention to form and connections. I find it almost like umami. I find it beautiful to tear into this connection of things happening. Sometimes I blow past the initial person or I blow past the initial thing that I'm thinking about and I go right to this connection. Why is that there? I get hung up on that. I guess for the third I would go with maybe, like I think I'm a little delusional at times. I would go with curious, punctilius and delusional.

Kasia:

Oh, my God, i love that. That's like followed by your laugh, which I adore, i have to say. But this is why I think this question is so interesting, because definitely the first one and the last one, those are words that I would have maybe described you, you know, to somebody that I just met, but punctilius, never Like it, just never even crossed my mind as a word that I would have used, and maybe if I had known you a bit better that would have come up. But that's just so fascinating, so fascinating.

George from TrueLife:

Thank you, thank you. I think it's these odd, peculiar things about us that sometimes we are embarrassed about but really give us the true flavor of who we are, and I think people should embrace them. I think when you do begin to embrace them, then you really begin to allow yourself to become the best version of yourself, because these things that we're nervous about, or these things that maybe we're embarrassed about, are like our gifts sometimes 100% like.

Kasia:

Cannot resonate with that more. And it's so funny that we're bringing this up right now, because I'm part of a mindfulness program It's called Heart of Listening, with Deborah Eden Toll. She's a Dharma teacher from the East Coast now lives on sorry, from the West Coast, now lives on the East Coast. And that is actually the topic that we spent a lot of time talking about this week, which is how to really own the things that we in a way, hide about ourselves, because what we don't, what we hide, if we don't own it, it owns us, so to speak. It's hidden in the shadow And when you bring it to the light, it doesn't have the same level of power And it can show up completely differently when we're not hiding from it. And that's just such an important topic.

George from TrueLife:

Yeah, I like that And some levels you should steer into the crazy. I think I've learned that, while it can be dangerous, way better to steer into it than try to whip the wheel the other way. And then you just reckon everything And I know it sounds kind of nutty, but maybe that's kind of like leaning into authenticity a little bit right 100%, 100%.

Kasia:

I'm curious, though, like a question that comes up for me when I think about that is and I feel like a lot of people might be maybe reflecting on that themselves as well Like these things that we are maybe ashamed of, the things that make us unique, that maybe we hide.

Kasia:

Sometimes putting them out into the open is scary because you imagine being judged for that, or kind of things. Going into disarray, like turning the wheel too hard can actually end, you know, can leave you crashing into a tree, And so I think it's really interesting to figure out. You know, is it that that is what's happening, that it's causing like a level of disarray when we show up as our authentic selves, even when it's not the most popular thing or the coolest thing or might be a bit weird, or is it that we're just in the wrong environment And for this particular environment, that's just not resonating? And I'm curious to know, because you know you use your eccentricity in a way as one of the words to describe yourself. So how have you seen this show up in your life, like, have you leaned in more into that and then have that kind, you know, had that show up in a positive way? Or do you feel like you know it's just always been that way, so you don't really know a different way to be?

George from TrueLife:

Wow, that's a good question. I feel that that it's almost like a skill. I'll give you an example like when I was a young kid, i would always say things and people wouldn't understand what I was saying, and so I just got this idea that, like I wasn't right, i wasn't the same as everybody, you know, and I didn't get the best grades in like grammar school and stuff like that, and I just didn't see the world the same way everybody else did. But I was really fun to be around. All my friends love me And sometimes I would say things that would really piss people off. Like I would, you know, be talking to my teachers and some of my friends And I would just kind of the emperor has no clothes Just point out this obvious thing, and the people would get really mad at me. Like George, you don't say that kind of stuff And I'm like I don't why. Like I think that that person is getting beat up, mom, like why shouldn't I say that in front of people, or you know? and like we don't talk about that. And in some ways it was like a unique superpower, because I could see things that were happening to people but you weren't supposed to talk about them And the more that I look at it, it's usually these gifts that we have or these things that we're leaning into are things that happen to us in our life.

George from TrueLife:

Like my father was bipolar, so I got to live in this world of two extremes where we were either, yeah, we're going to get up and go to Gibraltar for a ribbon cutting ceremony, or like the cops are knocking at my door, like you guys have 30 minutes to grab all your stuff and leave, and so, yeah, it's interesting, but it's. You know, maybe it's epigenetics, or maybe it is learned behavior or innate behavior, i'm not exactly sure. But I think the answer to the question is that in the beginning, you don't know how to utilize the skill, you don't know how to utilize the behavior, so you just try it out, and when trying out anything, you use it wrong, and then you learn to use it right. And not until you get older do you thoroughly understand who you are and the gifts that you have and how to use them in the right way, and does that answer?

Kasia:

the question Yeah, 100%. So it sounds like it's kind of a blend of, you know, using it right. When you say using it right, it means probably having like the effect that feels in alignment with you, the effect that has, perhaps, whatever outcome you are seeking, like you know. I don't want to say like good or bad outcome, but an outcome that seems to resonate well with your essence. That kind of happens when you're saying when you get older and you know it's an element of environment, people maybe like your path, all those things coming together. But so it does sound like, if I'm hearing you correctly, like there is an element of perhaps the environment or the people or the circumstances you were in just weren't willing and able to receive what you had at the time, versus the idea that there's something that's wrong with that. You know kind of weird elements of self that you had to learn to hide, and I think that's just such a powerful message, such a powerful message.

George from TrueLife:

What do you think? Do you think it's the environment or do you think it were just in the wrong? If I pose the question back to you, what's your opinion on it?

Kasia:

So I have to say and this is just such a relevant question for me because I feel like I'm undoing about 15 years of conditioning, like in the past three weeks, frankly, and I can get into that But I truly think that it's not that the kind of quality or skill or way of being is wrong. I actually believe it's just about finding the right environment and the right group of people. And right before we went live, we talked a bit about our mutual friend, sebastian. Shout out to him, and he was my first podcast guest on the NERJ podcast And there was a line that he said that still sticks with me, which is, if you're not going to be, if you're not being yourself, how will your people find you Right?

Kasia:

And I just think that's such a powerful statement, and so it's my belief that the more we lean into authenticity, the good, the perceived bad, all of that. There may be an element of things shedding away as you're moving away from what's no longer right for you, but that doesn't mean that you're doing it wrong. Perhaps by the time you're at the other side, you can actually reflect and see, looking back, that it meant you were doing it right, because you're realigning with what's right for you in terms of people, environment, opportunities. I think that's what resonates with me, frankly, yeah.

George from TrueLife:

That's really well said. I got to give it up to Sebastian too In his podcast Leadership Delics.

Kasia:

Leadership Delics. I know it's so hard to say It's me, that's part of it.

George from TrueLife:

It's so true, though, because he's all those things. He's psychedelic in nature, he's a leader, he's down in Peru, He's all over the West Coast. The guys do it all kinds of amazing things. He's got flute Fridays that people should be turned into. It's an amazing thing, and it's interesting this idea of if you become your authentic self, that you do start attracting people into your life that are drawn to you for the right reasons, i don't know.

George from TrueLife:

Sometimes I think, kasha, that you have to go through all those trials and tribulations in order to become your authentic self. If we just look back at mythology whether it's the hero's journey, or we look at Nietzsche's camel to the child it's in all the great stories, it's in all the great literature, it's in all the performance of the storytellers of this past is that you're constantly rebuilding yourself and trying to refine yourself Right And hopefully. I heard a good quote one time that was said every night you have the opportunity to die and every morning you have the chance to be reborn, and it just seems that when you get to a certain stage of life, you're faced with this choice. Do you continue to walk down this path that has been laid out for you? that was the product of the people you admired most and their dreams and their visions? Or do you kind of go off the beaten path and be like I got. I just hear this call, this siren call. I got to walk down this way. I think we all have that choice. What do you see?

Kasia:

that too. Oh my gosh, i feel like you're reading my mind, george. It's a little weird actually. Yes, 100%, and I love that you brought up kind of this rebirth process and even kind of reference back to mythology, because I think as a society we've in a way, forgotten that it's okay to pivot, it's okay to make changes, it's okay to experiment, and I think as we get older, there's kind of you know, on one hand, you get more in touch with what's authentic and true to you, but on the other hand, there's also a lot of fear of change. And this just resonates so deeply with me because and I don't know if we had, if you had talked to Sebastian about this before and you know this or not but I've spent Sebastian and I we met at Microsoft And prior to us meeting, i had spent, i mean, a total of about 11 years working in the tech industry, in product management operations, marketing everything from building software from Microsoft, working for AI companies, organizing TEDx events, and I feel like I was always moving towards what I thought at that time was the dream right To end up building a very successful tech company and whatever that looked like.

Kasia:

And you know, i think that there's an element of struggle with that, and so I kind of accepted that as being true as I went on the path. I got the promotion, i got the next job. Then I started to explore entrepreneurship and what that would look like from like a very boxed view, which is that it looks like this you know, you, you have the idea, you follow the playbook of raising money and what that looks like. And it was actually very recently that it started to occur to me that perhaps that's not the only way of doing things And perhaps this may not be the way that resonates with the way I want to show up in the world.

Kasia:

And I struggled with that a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot, and the idea of experimenting and deciding that something's not right for you, especially when you've committed to it, or taking a different path or turn. There's just so much insecurity around not having it figured out. Being like this is exactly what I'm doing, this is who I am, and changing that it felt so uncomfortable. And it felt so uncomfortable when I left my Microsoft without a very solid plan figured out and started grad school studying Chinese medicine. It was so uncomfortable to then pivot into building a business and then recognizing that perhaps the way that I'm doing is wrong and wrong for me, not wrong for everybody And so I think this idea of accepting life pivots. Not just being okay with them in the context of a startup is pivoting to, you know, be more successful. But applying that to your own life is just so so, so important, so important, and I just love that there's that historical reference that you mentioned with that. It's so crucial.

George from TrueLife:

I love it. I'm curious. Fear seems to be a paralyzing emotion And when you're going to leave, like you're in this area you're making good money, you have good connections, you're probably feeling pretty good about yourself, at least on the society's level, of what success is defined as. But there's fear there to leave And that's probably why a lot of people don't. But you did. How did you? was it a surrender to fear? Was it an overcoming of fear? Or what was your relationship to fear? And how did you manage making that jump? Oh my gosh.

Kasia:

Yeah, george, it was. I don't know if I can curse on this podcast, but it was terrifying. Do it. Terrifying, Fucking terrifying, terrifying, and I just want to emphasize like it did not happen overnight.

Kasia:

I mean, i felt so much misalignment for a while And it's not to say that there is anything wrong with the company or the people I was working with. I mean, it's almost even harder, by the way, when you do like the people and you're thriving, because that's the thing right. When you're doing something that isn't the right fit and you're failing at it, maybe at one point you'll be like, okay, well, i feel like I failed enough And maybe this isn't the right thing for me. But it's almost harder when you're doing well and you're getting promoted and you're making great money and you're getting these incredible offers, and it was so scary to walk away from that. There is the fear of what will other people think And, in fact, when I told people I was leaving, not only did everyone pretty much try to convince me not to leave, but people thought I was going crazy. I remember one person, a very senior person, actually had told me well, don't tell the senior leadership team what you're doing, because they're going to think you've lost your mind. Don't tell them that you're leaving and you're starting to go to grad school to explore, by the way, spirituality, the essence of Chinese medicine, which is what has interested me for so long. And I remember feeling like, oh my God, there's this shame associate. Not only is it scary, but it's like there's this judgment of shame, and that was probably the worst thing that somebody could have said to me at that time. And now that I heard it I was like, all right, well, that was the lowest, so it can only go up from there. But no, it actually got worse because you try to leave and they throw other opportunities at you. You're really second guessing.

Kasia:

But honestly, i think the most powerful antidote to fear, i really think, are two things and they're connected. One, it was this deep rooted feeling. I had this moment of realizing that I only have one life And if I were to pass away tomorrow, how would I feel about my life? Like even knowing that I tried and failed would feel better to me than feeling like I never tried at all. And so that thing of like really coming to terms with, in a way, your mortality and your authenticity, those two things like getting a taste of what is really meaningful to you and how. Just not trying would not be giving my life and my identity and myself a chance, and that seemed in the moment to be more important. But to say that I didn't have panic attacks like clinically diagnosable panic attacks, doubts, before and after the fact, uncertainty, fears, all those things I mean that I just, i just have to admit, like ice, that was there And yeah, i guess I surrendered to it, just rolled with it.

George from TrueLife:

Wow, thank you for sharing that. I think it's something that people who are on the fence about finding a path in life can sink their teeth into, that Sometimes I've found that there's this look of despair that other people give you. It's almost like they feel sorry for you, like, oh, you're doing that For me. I'm like, oh, that person thinks that about me. Oh, my God, you know what I mean. It's like that's so hard for me sometimes, so I want to ask you something I want to ask you something.

Kasia:

Yeah, do you actually get that kind of a comment from somebody, or are you perceiving that that's what they're thinking when they look at you?

George from TrueLife:

It's the second one, it's the perception. Maybe the projection I'm seeing is just a projection on me. I'm like, oh my God, i could never do that. But maybe that speaks volumes of how I feel about myself in some ways. But yeah, that was a great observation on your part, because I do see it that way sometimes. But it's interesting to be in that position where you're walking away from something that is working and you're like OK, i'm just going to do this other thing. Did you have people next to you that were like a rock for you, that supported you? Did you have people there that you could turn to if you needed them?

Kasia:

Yeah, 100%. And first of all, I do want to acknowledge that the question you'd asked me about feeling like people were looking at me like that I had my own version of that, So I just want to acknowledge that. But the reason I asked that question is because I spent a lot of time kind of reprogramming in my mind. Like well they didn't say it to me, So do I know that it's 100% true, And I couldn't say yes to that, except for that one person who had said it to me.

Kasia:

But then what I did and this is no shade on his life, by the way- I just looked at his life and I was like well, is he living the life that I would want to live, and maybe he's very happy with it? So this is not a shade against that, but the answer was no, and so then the path was clear, right, or the direction I was going to make. But I just I want to acknowledge that Now, in terms of support system, yes, i absolutely did, but I also want to acknowledge that it required a shedding, the stepping into your authentic path and making these choices for yourself that are so scary. It required me to also shed the people in my life that weren't supportive. So I will be very honest to say that my parents, who are now my biggest cheerleaders and best support system, were not supportive of the decision. They were supportive of me leaving Microsoft, but partially because my dad always envisioned me to be an entrepreneur, but he did not support me studying Chinese medicine. And, just for context to this, my parents have always said that and this is just a frame, this is not that I agree with this but they have always said that your college education is not finished until you get a higher degree, but studying Chinese medicine did not count for that And they made that so, so, so clear. They were like we're not helping you with this, we don't support this decision, you're on your own here.

Kasia:

And so there was an element of feeling like I disappointed my parents, and it did require me for a period of time to create some space and set some boundaries. I literally had told them. I was like look, if you're going to show up with a face that seems like you're not supportive of this, if you're going to tell me that you're not supportive of this decision, like I heard you, i'm digesting it. You don't have to repeat it And if you want to, I'm just going to let you know that I'm going to cut that conversation short because I'm scared enough as it is And I don't need this feedback from you.

Kasia:

And, by the way, my parents are my biggest supporters now. And so I think setting that boundary and showing them you know that this is what I need, this is what I don't need, was so helpful. But I did finagle my own closest group of people And frankly and I tend to do this when I'm going through a large change I hermit it as well, like kind of pulled away for a bit, to figure out who were those people Who did I feel comfortable sharing about my changes or my thoughts with, who showed up and cheered me on, even in times of uncertainty, and so I think that's really important. Recognizing that just because you don't have the support around you at the moment does not mean that you're making a wrong decision. You might just be surrounded by people who you know believed that the path you were on is the path, and so, of course, they're not going to be supportive, but having that tribe of people around you is so important for sure.

George from TrueLife:

Wow, you are a really great communicator. I love the way you're able to tell people like I think I'm going to just cut this one short because I'm already like that's really well said And sometimes it seems that people get caught up when they maybe. When words fail for some people, they turn to emotions like anger. Was anger ever something that happened? It kind of seems to me that you know, when you look at the friend's life who was saying some things about you, that taking a moment to understand that that person may not be living their full life is a great way to circumvent the anger instead of just taking it in a way that could make you angry. Was there any anger involved in the decision making, or was it a byproduct, or was that ever there?

Kasia:

Oh yeah, I mean, how can you not? Of course, I mean there was anger, there was grief. I mean I'll just use the example with my parents as an example, because I was so angry that I didn't receive my dad's support at the time. Right, There was anger, there was grief, there was shame.

Kasia:

I felt like you know, maybe he was ashamed of what I was doing. He was ashamed, how would he introduce me? I'm not the daughter that works at Microsoft with X Fancy title anymore And maybe I'm not choosing the same path he had wished for me. So of course there was anger. But you know, i think after a period of time when I really reflected on the emotions that were coming up, there's an element of I can't control his response to me. I can only control my own reaction to him and what I do with that, which in my case was to set boundaries and they didn't last forever.

Kasia:

But at the time I set very strong boundaries and same with the friend And I just I want to emphasize that of course now it sounds so graceful when I'm telling you, but in the moment it was not graceful. I mean I swear I would have these phone calls with, like, the head of my department and then, you know, like super composed and firm in my ground and my decision, and then I get off and I'd cry hysterically to my boyfriend now husband at the time, right Or call up one of my friends who was supportive. So just, it doesn't look this pretty And I sound so firm in my decision because I know it was the right one for me. But there's nothing scarier than going from what isn't right to uncertainty, or especially if it's going from what isn't right to some sort of uncertainty. If you're going from what isn't right to a clear next step that feels right, that feels so great.

Kasia:

You know, and this applies not just to work situations. I think it applies to so many two relationships right, like when you break up with somebody that isn't the right fit, that is almost the perfect next, perfect right fit. You don't necessarily just jump right into an next relationship, you know. And so I think that just recognizing that those emotions are so normal and that they will pass, and that anger is okay, grief is okay, all those things are okay, is just really validating. It was validating for me in the moment, although it didn't I didn't do such a great job of that when it was happening I need to say that That's so awesome.

George from TrueLife:

You're so honest and I love the fact that you're not afraid to be to explain exactly how it was, because I think that helps a lot of people. You know, i often use this phrase as above, so below, and when we start thinking about the situations where you know you are composed and then you're crying, and then you're upset, and then you're, you're trying to find a way, and then you relate that to patterns, like you said. Okay, what's happening in my job and it also happens in your relationships. Is there something that we can learn by panning back and seeing that as a pattern, like, wow, i manifested this new part of me to create this new part of life. Is that something, once you've gone through it, that you can draw upon going forward to become a better person?

Kasia:

Oh my gosh, i love that observation. That's so good, george, That is so good. And frankly, by the way, i, i think, absolutely I think, that trusting, i think an element of trust is so important here Believing in something bigger than you like trusting these instincts so so, so crucial.

Kasia:

And so I did spend actually a lot of time when I was making this career leap reflecting on other times where taking this leap into uncertainty had served me well. Like leaving my past relationship, which was a very serious relationship. I thought it was going to be forever. This person was with me through such difficult health struggles, he was almost everything that was perfect And he truly, he truly was perfect. But there was just something within me that was telling me that he wasn't the one for me. And you know, i could rationalize with my mind, but my heart just knew. And going through that breakup and, you know, moving out, going from having a family to having no one on the West Coast, i was alone again. But then later, a few years later, meeting my now partner, you know, i can kind of look at that path and be like wow, like taking that leap and all those emotions and all those things like they brought me to where I am now And what if the same thing could be true for this. And so I definitely think looking back at examples is so helpful.

Kasia:

I also want to call out maybe this is something that you were alluding to, but recognizing the patterns and you're becoming more aware and mindful of your own reactions to things.

Kasia:

As a means to kind of I don't know if I want to say transcend them, but kind of integrate them into yourself, can also be so valuable, right, like, for example, this whole experience has brought up a lot within me. What are some of the patterns of? you know, where did this kind of lack of trust in myself and lack of authenticity or kind of trying to fit a mold, like where did this come from And where does it show up in my life? You know, it showed up in a way in my past relationship because I'd been in it for so long, even though I knew it wasn't right for me, and so I see it here again. What is that connection? So that can also be really helpful. Looking at past kind of life cycles of things and also recognizing the connection and investigating within yourself, like what are some of these patterns and conditioning and the behaviors. That can be very, very powerful.

George from TrueLife:

Wow, It's, it's really well said. Do you think that maybe seeing these patterns and living the life that you did and are currently living, when you think about all those together, the patterns, the life you're living, the things you've been through, can you see sort of like a magnetic pull from those things to Chinese medicine? Like what is it about Chinese medicine that attract it? It seems like there's there's, there's an aryachtry thread that runs through there.

Kasia:

So I want to be very transparent for folks to share that. I want to be clear that I'm actually communicating this all from still being on the journey, right, the journey of evolution. And I think I alluded to having that recent kind of transition in my life where I recognized, okay, no, entrepreneurship is for me, but the way that I was doing it and actually I was built in the midst of building a tech company in the spiritual plane and really recognizing, well, you know what, like the traditional route of VC funding is not the route I want to take. That was kind of the recent revelation for me and that's like undoing 15 years of conditioning. So I want to really share that. I'm still on the path and the journey And, you know, in a way I feel very grateful for that because I can speak to past experiences but I can also speak to the very present things that come up in the midst of this. But the reason why I do want to share that as well is because Chinese medicine has enabled me to have this powerful shift in my perspective.

Kasia:

So for those who don't know much about Chinese medicine, philosophy without like explaining all of it, because that would be a whole nother podcast, but it's a philosophy that is rooted in thousands of years of knowledge And really it's based on observation, observation of the human body as it relates to nature, and it's based on Taoist theory as well, and so it's really rooted in the principles of interconnection, that everything is connected your mind, body, your spirit, that disease. Of course there are things like you know, external disease factors like a virus of sorts, but actually the vast majority of disease originates from within and it stems from unprocessed emotions or lifestyle habits that are misaligned and cause basically a lack of ease disease.

Kasia:

Disease I love it.

Kasia:

I know right Who would have thought, and so it is just. This principle of that interconnection is so, so, so valuable, and I think it just has brought this awareness into my life that we kind of compartmentalize our lives so much Like this is my work self and this is who I am at work, and work is this and this is my home life and this is my free time life. Yet all of this is your life And actually how can we bring more synergy and more integration to all of that? It has really become my personal mission and journey, and so it's just really changed my philosophy on not just, you know, health and well-being, which it's absolutely done that, and it's something that this is what I talk a lot about on the NERJ podcast you know how to become truly healthy in mind, body and spirit, but also how to integrate your whole self into every aspect of your life, and so that's really been the primary influence, that sense of that perspective shift and that integration which is just so powerful, so powerful.

George from TrueLife:

You have a degree in English, is that correct?

Kasia:

Yeah, I do.

George from TrueLife:

OK, so I brought that up because I've been reading a lot of Ian McGillcrest, who wrote this book called The Master and His Immacery, and he's written a two volume series called The Matter with Things And he talks a lot about the left hemisphere of the brain being this linguistic scalpel in which we continually find ways to specialize behaviors or specialize things. And he refers to the right hemisphere of the brain as like the master, and the left is the emissary. And the master has like this grand plan and it sees these large mental images and is able to understand the symbolic nature and has the symbolic modeling of metaphor. And so he talks about the world we kind of live in today is much like you said. It's like this compartmentalized, closed off, boxed labels of different people. And when we look at the Western societies, we see this idea of linguistic as a higher order of thinking.

George from TrueLife:

And when I listen to you speak about Chinese medicine, right, i look at the characters in which they use as letters over there. That's probably not the right thing, but they use the characters and it's like this symbol of a heart, like busy, as a symbol of a heart and a heart dying, and like there's so much more symbolic nature in the way they communicate. And it sounds to me that you found a way to bridge this gap between the analytical scalpel of linguistics And now you're merging this big picture idea of the right hemisphere and you think you could think of East versus West or however you want to look at it, and then we take it to the world of integration, like they're integrating together, and then we throw psychedelics into that mix, like that's kind of shut them out the back door but take that anywhere you want to. What do you think about that?

Kasia:

So, ok, this was just such a beautiful reflection. I just want to pause there because I'm just, first of all, like you're going to have to follow up with the author that you mentioned, because I haven't read that book, but it sounds fascinating.

George from TrueLife:

So you'll love it, You know it's give it to me please. I will, i will, yeah, yeah.

Kasia:

Sounds fascinating. But first of all I want to start by reflecting on the Tai Chi, which is that symbol of yin and yang, and I think that thinking about symbolism, of sorts understanding that symbol, was just so profound to me. Because in Chinese medicine, you know, we see a picture of it And so it's static, and you can see the dark side, the light side And, if you'll notice, there's a bit of darkness in the light, there's a little dot and there's a bit of lightness in the dark, and so the notion is that within one there's always the other. One cannot live without the other or exist without the other. And in Chinese medicine, when things are in flow, these two symbols are actually spinning and they're merged So you can't even tell them apart, right? And that kind of constant changing the flow, that there isn't anything static Like that is in a way kind of health in Chinese medicine, like stagnation in the body actually is reflected in pain, where something isn't flowing right, and I think that just so aptly describes also a diseased kind of perspective or way that we live our lives, like the more division and separation that we create within our lives, between our identities, who we are, between ourselves and others, the more disconnected we feel.

Kasia:

Right, and at least that is something. And when I say all of this, i want to kind of echo, like I'm not speaking on behalf of any particular author. This is just something that I've observed in my own life and something that just really translates to how I want to live my life. And so I think you so well described the way we in Western society are compartmentalizing And there's this division of East and West and like how do you bring them together? And I guess this is all to say that I definitely agree with you, right, like step one, i agree with you.

Kasia:

I'm curious in your eyes, like you know, you live in Hawaii and you're kind of witnessing. You're actually in a way in the middle in between the East and the West. You're actually on an island there And I'm curious, how are you noticing, perhaps, especially when you throw in kind of this whole psychedelic movement, are you noticing a shift away from compartmentalization? Do you think that that's still on the fringe? Like, what are you noticing in the world around you and in your own life? Like I'm just going to throw that right back at you.

George from TrueLife:

Yeah, well, thank you for giving me the opportunity And I love the way you describe that. I, if I, if I touch on the that symbol, like the Yin and Yang symbol. I went in Hawaii. They have like the people that do the fire. If you see them, in the beginning they'd like the torch and it's like a just a torch, but then they begin spinning it and it's always in the dark and all of a sudden it's a circle, the flame is in a circle, but when they stop it's just a stick on fire. When you tell it, it's like this beautiful motion And like you know.

George from TrueLife:

That seems to me to be similar to that, and being from like Caucasian acres in San Diego and coming to Hawaii was an incredible cultural journey for me. I learned a lot about all the things that I don't know And I think that here in Hawaii it is like this melting pot. I'm married, the love of my life, my wife Kay. She's Laotian, and it's fascinating to get to be in a relationship where it is East meets West. You know there's this. I always, she always says you come out with your guns blazing. I'm like, yeah, you always hide your knives, you know. And so it's this weird way, you know. It's like this weird way we interact. But I bring that up because it's kind of a metaphor for the way the West and the East communicate, like people do kind of come out with like their guns blazing sometimes and people over here are much more concerned about, you know, discipline.

George from TrueLife:

And, on an interesting example, in my kid's school we had a parent teacher meeting where the teachers were getting up and it's a very diverse school And there's a lot of different cultures that go there And so you can imagine that the teachers and the principal are very cautious about the way they explain the curriculum. And so in one of the beginning parts that we had, one of the teachers said may I ask the parents here what it is they want to see their students become? And this Japanese lady stood up and very kind and just, beautiful woman And you could tell that she was an educated woman and she was doing well. And she said I want my child to be obedient. And for me I was like how dare you? That's the last thing I want for my kid. But it wasn't so much that we wanted different things is that we had a different definition of what we wanted, and I think that, being in Hawaii, you get to see that, like if you're East and West, it's very easy to come to this idea of what the other people are. But when you sit down and you talk to them and you go, well, what do you mean by obedient? Well, i want them to be disciplined, okay, well, again, what does discipline mean? What discipline means doing what you're told And I'm like, oh and what? and I'm like, why won't my child to be disciplined? But I prefer that my child be disciplined in that what they say they're going to do, they do. But I see the bridge there And I think that the there's another great book.

George from TrueLife:

It's called Storming Heaven And it's by J Stevens And he talks a lot about the psychedelic movement in the 60s and how what some of the people in the Far East were saying is that the psychedelic movement is sort of like a Trojan horse to bring the ideas of the East to the West.

George from TrueLife:

And you can see that now in this explosion of psychedelics, like people are talking about mindfulness, people are figuring out ways to see spirituality in a way they never have before, and so I guess that's a long-winded answer of being in Hawaii, i do get to see the merging of East and West, and I think what you're seeing here is like a first outbreak of this new merging together of East and West, and I think it's moving.

George from TrueLife:

It's the same way that the storms move from here to there, so, too, are we seeing this merger of East and West beginning to move towards the mainland. So I see it happening here, and I think I bet you can see it on the West Coast If you look at some of our mutual friends that are going to Peru, or whether they're starting their own retreats or they're starting to entertain the ideas of spirituality being more than connecting them. I've even seen churches that are starting to bring together the idea of all the gods You know, and I see that as such a positive and beautiful thing. But mostly, what I see too, kasia, that I want to bring up is the idea of people having their personal transformation, like you, like you having this personal transformation and becoming the best version of yourself. I think that that is part of the East versus West kind of thing. I know that that was a lot there, but do you see the idea of East and West coming together where you're at?

Kasia:

Absolutely, Absolutely. And before I even jump into that response, I just want to say thank you for sharing. I think it's so fascinating to hear what it's like on the island. My cousin grew up there. It's beautiful, Yeah, it's so beautiful, And it's just so fascinating to also see what it looks like to have a melting pot of different cultures all in this one place and how that shows up and how beautifully you are all able to communicate.

Kasia:

It sounds like from what you're describing And kind of find the bridge, which is just amazing, Amazing There should be. Like you should teach a class on that For folks first of all. Yeah, let's start there. So absolutely, here on the West Coast, I mean, I think it's showing up in so many different forms. I think there are a couple of trends that I'm noticing. There's obviously the psychedelic movement, which I think just opens people's minds and shifts perspectives, And I think that is just so important to recognize, I think, the interconnection of all things and have a perspective shift and feel more of that kind of one, the feeling of oneness as opposed to separation. That individualism is, I think, very traditionally like a Western thing. And there's also, I think and you can call this East or West, because I think the element of spirituality is kind of all permeating, but there's definitely a pull for a deeper sense of connection from a spiritual sense.

Kasia:

And I find this to be pretty fascinating because statistically there's been a decline in organized religion And I think if you read on the literature around and I can send you some stuff afterwards you can want to hyperlink it, but it's something like 25 to 30%, according to Pew Research, of US adults identify as spiritual but not religious, and a huge chunk of that is kind of described as people feeling like they don't quite fit into the box of X organized religion. And so I think that there's this space of exploration of what is spirituality mean? How do I connect to this that's deeper and that can show up and then be reconnected through to a psychedelic journey or kind of a separate kind of spiritual journey. May it be the exploration of all sorts of things, but in a very kind of and this term might be weird but like a fluid way, right Where it's not any one thing, but like a kind of exploration of all sorts of things together to create a more deeper sense of self.

Kasia:

Now, but in terms of the transformation, i will say I think that there's like a rise of this, but I don't know if I would describe that as traditionally Eastern or Western. I still think it's like fairly individualistic and in a way, i have to acknowledge like I feel so fortunate to even have been able to go through this, because I think, in order to be in that place to do it, certain things need to line up right, like I don't know that I would have had that kind of awakening and change. Not, I may have had the awakening, but my actions would have been different if, for example, i was a single mom supporting several kids right now.

Kasia:

I grew up from a place where I was not able to afford a lot of things and I grew up in a lot of lack, but I have earned a great salary at Microsoft that made that possible for me. So I just want to acknowledge that. But yeah, definitely this trend of transformation on a deeper level is pulling through and I love it.

George from TrueLife:

I really think you brought up a really great point in that. Being fortunate enough to go through a transition. That is not easy, especially if you don't have the resources to do it. After going through this, how do you feel about your relationship to responsibility now? Do you feel like a greater responsibility to try to give back to people?

Kasia:

Oh my gosh, 100%. I also think that's actually front and center for me, and especially this recent transition of intention that I had around how I want to build businesses in the world. That comes from a place of, really because I was going on this path of the traditional, like going back into tech, but from an entrepreneurial side, and integrating my experience of technology with my passion for mindfulness and spirituality to build some sort of a big tech business And there's nothing wrong with that, by the way, i want to call that out. But I realized as I was going along the path, the way that I was doing it, i was becoming very disconnected from my original intention and purpose, and that is really to serve, and I think that's really important to acknowledge, because we talk a lot about burnout in our culture And, of course, a lot of that can be attributed to lifestyle choices and decisions that may or may not be within your control.

Kasia:

When you have to work really long hours, you're not living a balanced life. You have kids to take care of, like all these different things. However, i think a part of it as well is losing a sense of purpose, and there's pretty fascinating research around longevity and how much a sense of purpose has an impact on living a long, fulfilling life. And purpose in the sense of giving back to people, creating something of value. And if we're talking about how to harness energy that is, clean energy from within, that is sustainable, it has to come from the heart. It doesn't just come up from here, it has to come from the heart And so, yeah, that is like my utmost intention And that is where my focus is going. Like how can I maintain that and whatever it is that I do, podcast business, like all of that.

George from TrueLife:

I love it. In a way, i think you've defined spirituality like what it means to you by talking about having the responsibility to give back to people. And when I think about spirituality like I was never raised going to church on Sundays and I've read quite a bit in different types of different religions, but I wouldn't say that I'm Eastern Orthodox or a Christian or a Catholic or anything. However, i do find myself looking at different scriptures now and really finding a lot of incredible meaning. And when I looked at recently was without a vision, the people perish, and it seems so true in life.

George from TrueLife:

Like if you have a vision of what you can be, like for example, you've decided that you had a vision at some point in time like this is not the right thing for me. I'm going to take a chance out here. You follow that vision And in doing so, you light the path for other people to see that vision, while it may not be the same vision. Like you've handed, like the torch back and like lit someone else's candle so that they can walk forward, and I just I think it's a beautiful spiritual thing When you think about different sort of scriptures, whether it's in the Talmud or the Bible or any sort of the Quran. What do you think about spirituality and scripture and incorporating that in your life?

Kasia:

Oh, that's such a beautiful question And I also just want to reflect that other people who choose the path less traveled do that for me. So, yeah, just want to shout that out And I appreciate you mentioning that. Yeah. So right now I have a long laundry list of books that I'm reading, that I want to read and that I'm reading now. I find myself really drawn to Buddhist texts right now. Zen mine Beginner's Mind by Suzuki Roshi is definitely one I'm reading right now. It is Luminous Darkness by Deborah Eden.

Kasia:

Toll who I mentioned earlier, and it's about how to lean into the dark, uncertain nature, or like limbo or uncertainty, or even dark places, like when we're going through difficult times. And I think that's just such a beautiful book And it's based on Buddhist philosophies And I think the reason why I feel so pulled to it is because I think it's so important to as much as possible for me personally to start to tap into again like heart led leadership intention that is not overwhelmed by ego. And it's so easy to go in the other direction, especially when we're talking about anything that is going to create a monetary kind of exchange or value in the world. It's so easy to be overtaken by things that perpetuate financial success or power. Those are places where the ego thrives And there's nothing wrong with that.

Kasia:

I just want to call that out. But I think that it's so important to keep like an intention that is meaningful, kind of front and center, and the thing that powers you And when I say you, i speak really of myself and my intention here And so that is what I'm leaning into Like how can I really continue to cultivate that part of myself and not let the ambitious, striving side, which is definitely purely ego driven to overtake things. That's kind of where I'm coming from with that.

George from TrueLife:

It's amazing to me. We're kind of coming up on an hour right here. Kasia, I just want to say I know I know this is way too fast. I yeah, this is really fun And it has exceeded all my expectations. I'm really thankful for that. So we'll have to do it again. I think I would really like that. But before I let you go, you are the podcast host of the nourish podcast And I thought maybe you could share some things with the audience about, like, what you've learned so far from podcasting. I think it's a pretty cool medium And you get to see yourself in a different light and you get to see other people and you learn about communication. What are some things that you've learned along this journey so far?

Kasia:

Oh my gosh. Well, first of all, i love, love, love, love podcast And that is a heart led venture, a hundred percent cannot emphasize that enough. I mean I can definitely get into all sorts of things here. You know from the technical stuff, which I think is less interesting, the nuances of how much heart, love and effort goes into this. So all you listening to the true life podcast right now give George a lot of love for this. Thank you, because it is definitely a lot of blood, sweat and tears go into productions like this.

Kasia:

But I think the thing that I have found that I'm so grateful for is just the guests that I've been able to have on the podcast.

Kasia:

I've learned so much from them, everybody, from doctors of Chinese medicine who share perspectives on autoimmune conditions and the emotional connection to autoimmune diseases, through to the co-director of the Stanford Sleep Clinic sharing about sleep and kind of the science behind it And you know I was able to kind of connect the dots with that and Chinese medicine through to mindfulness and like how can you cultivate heart led, heart powered leadership principles and show up from your heart as opposed to just from your mind?

Kasia:

I mean these topics are just so, so, so important And, you know, maybe it's selfish to say because I'm giving them as a gift to everybody, because I know that I'm not the only one who feels some of these uncertainties or is trying to navigate the world in a more human way. But there is also this like incredible selfish gift that I'm grateful for, which is I learned so much from the guests. So I think that's the main takeaway, which is just the power of human conversations with people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives is just so life affirming And it can really shift your perspective on yourself and on life, and that is just so beautiful And I'm so grateful for that. You're awesome.

George from TrueLife:

You're a great teacher and you have incredible topics and the people you have on there, I think, are the conversations really engaging. I really enjoy them And I love the idea of giving back to people that could maybe learn from it and maybe inspiring someone you'll never even meet in your life that could pick up the torch and keep walking with it and stuff. I always ask this question at the end. This set of questions And those questions are where can people find you, What do you have coming up And what are you excited about?

Kasia:

Well, first of all, george, I just want to say that everything you just mentioned that I do with the podcast I have to throw right back at you because you're doing that with the True Life podcast. So I'll write back at you, and this was such a joy. Thank you so much. So you can find me on the Nourish podcast, which is available on pretty much every podcasting platform out there. You can search for Nourish And then I should be one of the top results. But if you don't find me, just type in my name, ksia, and you'll definitely find me there, and that's really my main platform.

Kasia:

I do post on Instagram and on LinkedIn you can find me there. So on Instagram it's nourish underscore podcast, and on LinkedIn it's my full name, so you can connect with me there. I would just love to connect with the community. And then, in terms of what I have going on, well, i have some incredible guests that are coming onto the podcast, so definitely check that out. And the other thing I have going on is some entrepreneurial exploration. So I kind of shared a bit of the transition that's pretty recent here for me And I'm going to be working through this limbo in a very graceful leaning into it kind of way, and I'm excited to see what that produces and how I shift, how I build some of the ventures that I'm building, and I'll definitely be posting about it, so yeah, Fantastic.

George from TrueLife:

I can't wait to see the light that you shine on to the rest of the world. So thank you for that And hang on for one second. I'm going to close this down here, but I wanted to talk to you for one more moment. So, ladies and gentlemen, check out the Nourish podcast. The links will be in the show notes. I hope you all enjoyed the conversation as much as we did, and we will be back soon. Aloha.

Kasia:

Aloha.

Kasia:

Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of Nourish. If you enjoyed this conversation, please leave a review. Five Star Reviews helped the podcast grow And I'm so grateful for that. I publish new episodes twice a month, so hit the subscribe button to be notified And, if you want to stay connected in between episodes, join my community on Instagram and TikTok at Nourish underscore podcast. All right, that's all I got for you today. See you next time.

Navigating Identity Shifts and Authenticity
Finding Authenticity and the Right Environment
Embracing Life Pivots and Overcoming Fear
Patterns, Trust, and Finding Purpose
Chinese Medicine and Integration
The Merging of East and West
Rise of Transformational Trends
Heart-Led Leadership and Giving Back

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