Emotional Shopping and Emotional Healing (with Invisibilia and Mimi Zhu)

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Su is joined by a bevy of guests who are challenging us all to examine ourselves, our relationships, and our carts. Kia Miakka Natisse and Yowei Shaw, the hosts of NPR’s legendary Invisibilia podcast, share strategies for making the best of emotional shopping and why open carts are great for narrative tension. Later, Mimi Zhu discusses their new book, Be Not Afraid of Love — the October pick for Lemonada’s book club that forever changed Su’s perspective. Their cart is helping them stay present and connect with their inner child. Plus, we’re doing a giveaway for our 100th episode! To enter, leave us a voicemail at 833-453-6662 and tell us one product you 100% certify.

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Yowei Shaw, Mimi, Kia Miakka Natisse, SuChin Pak

SuChin Pak  00:10

Hey there, welcome back to another episode of ADD TO CART. This is the show about the things we buy the things we buy into the things we just want to remove from cart. And what it all says about who we are. Today., we have some incredible guests for you I can barely contain myself. They are the hosts of NPRs, a legendary and visibility a podcast which if you don’t know, then you just don’t understand the magnitude of this show and its importance to the world. My life, my point of view. I’m so excited to welcome them to add to cart. Yowei Shaw and Kia Miakka Natisse. Welcome ladies. Just fan girling. Such a pleasure to have both of you guys on. Thank you so much for just changing the world. I mean, is that too much?

Kia Miakka Natisse  01:09

Wow, way too much. Way too much. Thank you. So such a pleasure for us. I just have to say as a child of the 90s and early 2000s. To be on, like, interview show with SuChin Pak like woah, my inner child is being healed right now.

Yowei Shaw  01:31

This feels like, yeah, this I mean, this feels like a milestone. For me personally. Keith and I were slacking once we heard about this interview, we’re like, oh my gosh, we’re gonna meet SuChin Pak.

SuChin Pak  01:43

I mean, listen, it’s not TRL, some would say it’s better. So yeah, you know, it’s an energy and a pace that now in my mature 40s, I really enjoy here on Add to Cart. So but thank you. I mean, I’m impressed that that you all remember, TV used to.

Kia Miakka Natisse  02:14

Career goal. The career goal I never got to achieve was to be an MTV VJ. As soon as I graduated, they stopped having DJs I was just like, this is criminal.

SuChin Pak  02:25

I have had conversations with young people where I have to describe to them what a VJ is. And then but the problem was, I did that once in this podcast, because the host was like, well explain to everyone what a VJ was, you know, and I was like, okay, wait, wait, because I have to start with music videos on MTV. Right?

Kia Miakka Natisse  02:49

You also have, like, eliminate the internet. You have to be like before the internet.

SuChin Pak  02:55

You could watch everything on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, you know, there was only one place and it’s like, okay, and then I’m like, this is boring for me. I’m not grandfather time. Like don’t do me like that. You know, I know what’s happening.

Kia Miakka Natisse  03:12

You got to be there. You just have to tell them, the girls that get it, get it.

SuChin Pak  03:18

And it was a moment and we all shared it and it was special. It was like a time capsule. You have special knowledge. So, here we are very different from your guys’ podcast Invisibilia which you know, it changes and continues to change the podcast landscape here on Add To Cart as you know we like to buy things, return things, add things to cart and remove. I have not looked at your list because that’s not what we do here. We don’t prepare, all right, we don’t cheat. I like to be surprised as we go into it. But first before we get into your add to carts and remove from carts or whatever carts. What kind of shopper are you guys like how do you approach attack? The whole concept of you as a shopper? Kia, I’ll start with you.

Kia Miakka Natisse  04:20

Oh no, I was gonna say we all have a strategy. I feel like be better equipped to shop than I am because..

SuChin Pak  04:29

Your face is giving super like a steal. You know what I mean?

Yowei Shaw  04:35

For the record, both Kia and I are shoppers. We need this to be true, yeah, I have a complicated relationship with shopping. Not gonna lie. I’m the kind of shopper who emotionally shops to deal with my problem. I know that’s true. I used to feel bad about these shopping bursts you know, because it’s like you’re out of control, it’s like an addiction, like whatever. But I’ve recently decided to just accept that this is part of my mental health regimen, and to plan around the shopping bursts so that, you know, I don’t break the bank. So I try my best actually to not shop when I’m feeling good and stable so that I can make room in my closet and in my bank account for the shopping bursts.

SuChin Pak  05:27

That’s amazing. I love that there’s some predictability to the emotional outbursts, you know that so like when you look at the calendar year are you like, beginning of the year is gonna be dark, or, you know, like holidays?

Yowei Shaw  05:46

It’s a feeling in the air moment to moment, I know that it will probably happen five to six times a year when I go really out of control all out. And here I’ve gotten better at this. I’ve like hacked my own, like spiral where I try to have a list of holes in my closet or things that I need. So that there will be some method to the madness when I fall into a spiral. And just like cross my fingers and hope to God that I will click on those kinds of things when I’m in one of those modes.

SuChin Pak  06:26

I mean, I’m impressed. Alright, Kia, what about you?

Kia Miakka Natisse  06:31

It’s so funny listening to a talk about this, because I’m like, I have a follow. Now I’m like, wait, do you do a lot of returns? Is that a part of your spiral? Or are you committed? You’re like, what goes in, stays in?

Yowei Shaw  06:42

There’s a lot of returns, okay. Okay. See, that’s like, morning after, ya know, what did I do? Returns. Yes.

Kia Miakka Natisse  06:51

That’s my deterrent to online shopping. You know, I grew up. I’m a child of America Smalls. And so I grew up in a household where we would like go to the mall, every weekend, my mother is probably still this type of person, I guarantee there’s a 90% chance that in her car trunk right now, there’s like an Ann Taylor bag, or like something that needs to be returned, just gotta go to Macy’s, that’s like, my mother’s weekend, always. So, I grew up under that framework. And I think when you finally get money, and it’s like, what am I gonna do with this and like, totally had to like splurgey, like, I’m getting whatever I want. And then being like, it’s been the end of a summer where I made like, $1,500, and I have nothing to show for it, except for like, lip gloss and socks. You know, so now I am of the type where it’s like, I will make a list. I will try to like try to be thoughtful. Like, it’s not because it is it’s like either on or off thing of like, if I start shopping, then it’s just like, we’re just gonna write this thing to the wheels fall off. Like, don’t let me get into the credit cards, because then it’s just like, why not keep going keep going. It’s just like, so I do. I try to like make lists. And so I can be more thoughtful about like, what am I spending money on? And why? Because, yeah, emotional shopping is the only shopping really.

Yowei Shaw  06:59

Well, so here’s my question for all of us. So if everybody does emotional shopping, like that’s pretty much what it is. So like, for all the stuff, the extra stuff that you get that you don’t want, and you cannot return because it past the return window. What do you do with that stuff? And like, Do you have a system or method for dealing with that?

SuChin Pak  08:28

I mean, number one, dare I find myself in a place where I have not paid attention to the return window. It’s very rare. And when I am in that place, I know exactly how I got there. And it wasn’t pretty. It was impulsive, it was in the middle of the night, it was off of Instagram. And I just like the type was too small. You know. So, I am right now on a cleanse because some are ended and my brain just shifted into like some other place. And I just had to bring it down. But the thing that I started digging into was all these like second hand sites, right? Like, throw it up and real you know, that sort of thing deep, the return policy is just don’t even bother. Okay, it’s not even worth it. Number two, is a medium of medium. You know, like, what are we talking, you know, when you’re thrifting or what decade? What decade? Yeah, exactly who’s measuring it? So, I have a return box in my trunk. I have a giveaway away to friends that feels maybe too nice. And something that I know, oh, I have a friend who’s about this size, and she’ll really like this. And then I’ve got of course the donation bin, but you have to have a strategy, you know, because what are you going to do with that? What do you guys do with it?

Kia Miakka Natisse  10:09

Lots of shame and guilt. I just see it in my house. And I’m just like, that was such a bad thing. Like, see, this is why you gotta really, you know, like, that’s it. I literally have a bag full of clothes in my room right now, some of which I’ve never worn. And I’m like, wanting to take it to like the resale shops, but then, you know, like that little heartbreak of being like, I gave you all this stuff. And I got $12 back, you know, so I’m like, okay, let me just take it to like the City Mission. But then I’m like, wait, what if I still like this though, then you start going to the bag. It’s just a long process. So no, it’s shame and guilt. That’s it.

Yowei Shaw  10:45

I do the return; I really relate to the giving to friends box trunk that you have. I so like, another reframe I have for my shopping problem is that it’s really a gift that I can provide to my friends.

SuChin Pak  11:07

Generous heart.

Yowei Shaw  11:09

You know what I mean? Because like, seriously, like most people have a friend that waits, like does not buy clothes. Like truly, I have a friend who has not because probably purchased like 10 items in the last five years. Only 10 items because she knows that she can count on me to give her a huge trash bag of clothes, two to three times a year. And there will be good stuff in there. There will be like, really good. Like, just like whole outfit from head to toe. And she’s covered.

SuChin Pak  11:44

Yeah. Oh my god, that friend. Listen with that friend gets sick or goes on vacation. Let’s talk about just moving down that list. If I can somehow get on that list. I’m the friend that receives that from a friend. And still also buys way too much. So the cycle is chaos. So let’s get into the cart, you guys. So the first thing I see here from Yowei is a retired dominatrix link. And so I’m gonna click on it.

Yowei Shaw  12:20

It’s going to work appropriate. Don’t worry, you will not get in trouble.

SuChin Pak  12:23

I’m gonna say for worse. It’s a book called an Unbound: A Woman’s Guide to Power. And it’s by Kasia Urbaniak. Okay. Yes. So what is the Woman’s Guide to power about?

Yowei Shaw  12:41

Okay, I feel a little dorky that I brought my like the my Add to Cart item is a book. But so basically, while reporting a story, this season, I came across […] work. She’s a retired dominatrix who wrote this book, and has this way of thinking about interpersonal power dynamics that has been rocking my world and I have not heard of before. And basically, she thinks it is useful to think about attention when we think about power dynamics. So she has two states of attention, for people to think about that she says everybody uses the dominant state of attention, and the submissive and the dominant is where your attention is on the other person. Okay, so like we’re looking at each other right now. So like, my attention being on you, and like noticing your facial expressions, being curious about, just like your signals and asking questions. The submissive state is when your attention is on yourself. So going inward, like knowing how you really feel and what you really want. And from like, reading her book and talking to her, I realized that like, I need to be more I need to work on being more of a sub. Which basically is like working on the submissive state of attention. And that’s because like, I think I really struggle with knowing what I want and how I mean, it feels so basic, it’s so dumb, but like, that is what I struggle with. Knowing what I want and how I feel in any given moment. You know, like, at parties, I tend to default into journalist mode where I just like ask people questions.

SuChin Pak  14:49

Either you’re so excited to sit next to me or like, petrified and traumatized. You know, the most embarrassing, my husband is so embarrassed to bring me to any social function because, you know, half hour in I’m sitting in a dark room with one person on a couch, like diving into trauma. And he’s like, why? Why do you have to do that? I’m like, I don’t know.

Kia Miakka Natisse  15:23

One thing led to another.

SuChin Pak  15:24

And I couldn’t stop. And it’s he, he just hates it, he hates it. And he just thinks it’s embarrassing. But of course, he knows that about me now. So he knows that once he puts me down on the couch at a party, that three hours later, he just picks me up from that same spot. But I get it. I understand that.

Yowei Shaw  15:47

Isn’t like an occupational hazard or journalist, where you’re just because like that is essentially what you’re doing as a journalist is you’re going in the dominant state of attention. And you’re being really curious, you’re picking up on cues, you’re letting the other person lead you. And it really isn’t about you, like doing your job.

SuChin Pak  16:06

And I say, Okay, so is it an occupational hazard? Or is it kind of who we are personality wise that drew us to this? So it’s a little bit of like, what came first? Because I think I am very socially anxious. And I am an introvert in the way that I’m very comfortable asking the question, and being the isn’t the dominant, the dominant, the DOM. And so there’s complete control. I don’t have to give anything into it. And the other person gets a lot out of it. And so for me, it feels like a win-win. Like, totally. What about you guys?

Kia Miakka Natisse  16:49

Yeah, I’m always amazed by like, people offering up information without questions. I’m just like, so people just talk. They just say things like, no one asks you this question. And you’re just telling me this information? Because like, that’s my orientation is like, if you don’t ask, I’m not telling like, it’s a very rare space for me to feel like, I’m just going to share information about my, yes, it has been like the strangest thing for me to experience of just being like, Oh, I guess, I guess you can’t just like share information without being interrogated. Yeah, to ask questions. Like, I feel like I learned to ask questions as like an adaptation out of boredom, of like, when I’m really bored here. Let me ask some questions, or I fall asleep, you know, and so that’s like, what I do in awkward situations is like, right, what am I curious about here? And those people really like people like us, right? Because then they’re like, captive audience, and they walk away feeling like really close to you. And you’re like, you don’t know anything about me.

SuChin Pak  17:49

And then and then how many times have you gotten I mean; I do this all the time. And this is also part of the thing that, you know, my husband says, like, well, then what you end up having is this false relationship. And if the other person doesn’t understand that, this is how you cope. They think that they they’ve shared their innermost thoughts with you at this Christmas party, and they’re texting you to hang out and you’re deleting and avoiding, like, so I get myself into these traps constantly. It is a false sense of intimacy, you know, is

Yowei Shaw  18:26

It is incautious. Here’s the thing that blew my mind with her framework about this is that, like, she thinks power dynamics get screwy, when people don’t switch when you get locked into one state or the other. So for us, it’s like, being locked into the dominant, like, just ask question mode at parties. And then people, the other person getting locked in the submissive state, I’m just gonna talk about me, me, me, me, me, me, me. And then it’s just like, stays in that mode. That dynamic. You know, think about like the best conversations where you stay up all night gossiping, or like, the best sex or like, just like when a connection is really happening, and nobody’s bored. Everybody’s picking up the signals. And both people get to switch from like, it’s about me, I’m going to share what’s going on with me. And then like, now it’s to the other person they get to share the other day. Like, it can show up in really, like small ways to high stakes ways and also ridiculous ways. The other day, I was doing a Zoom interview. And not unlike this one. And you know, when you have to like pee during an interview, we all know.

SuChin Pak  19:50

Every minute, every interview I’ve ever done, go on this moment now.

Kia Miakka Natisse  19:57

I literally ran to the bathroom right before. Don’t put yourself in that position.

SuChin Pak  20:02

Last interview pee, you know?

Yowei Shaw  20:10

Yeah, so like I was, you know, having to pee during this interview we were getting to the end, we got 30 more minutes, which we wanted because I hadn’t gone through all my questions, and I really thought I could hold it. But dear listeners I did not.

SuChin Pak  20:29

By the way, that’s a Zoom is for, I don’t know, what is the benefit of Zoom? If not to urinate yourself in private?

Yowei Shaw  20:39

It’s like something is basic like that, I feel like is a perfect example of this submissive state problem that I have of just like, not being able to ask for what your body needs in like, the most basic way. And like nobody would have been, nobody would have had a problem. If I was just like, hey, actually, I need to I’ll be right back.

Kia Miakka Natisse  21:00

They might have had to use the bathroom too. You never know.

Yowei Shaw  21:03

Exactly. It might have been a blessing for everybody.

Kia Miakka Natisse  21:06

I mean, whenever someone offers a bathroom break, I go, you know, so it’s like, you never know. One of these days we’re gonna […]

SuChin Pak  21:15

A bathroom break is a universal gift that everyone shares in its maybe the only universal gift they say music is, but is it? You know, it’s the bathroom break?

Yowei Shaw  21:25

Really. It is a bathroom break. You’re right.

SuChin Pak  21:27

That’s profound.

Yowei Shaw  21:30

Can I ask, I want to know if like, like, I have just personally sunk to an all-time podcast journalist low. Or if this is like something that anybody else hear relates to?

SuChin Pak  21:47

Let me just say that, that I told that story, episode one, you know, and do I still regret it to this day, almost 100 episodes in? Yeah, sometimes I do. Because I have now been known in certain circles as the poise pad queen. And I remember recording that, sharing a tidbit of information that I thought was like a hack. And I don’t think it was that big of a deal. You know, like, if you’re on a long drive poise it up? You know, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, you know, like, you’re gonna stop at a gas station where the bathrooms not open and catch COVID. You just, poise it. And so I remember saying that and sharing that with two with Kulap, my co-host. And then obviously the listeners. And yeah, it’s the interesting, right dynamic, because you’re like, oh, you shared something deeply personal. And, and, and 80% of it feels kind of healing. And we’re all messy. And you know, it just yeah, we’re just bodies, and everyone can relate. And that’s why I’m doing this podcast is to like, be the sub, you know, which I’ve ever been in my entire career. But there, I mean, I think for the first probably two months of this, it was every week, I was like, I may cancel this. Like, I don’t know if I can deal with the level of subbing that is happening.

Yowei Shaw  23:29

Are you telling me that I’m going to regret, good story, I just know, because..

SuChin Pak  23:35

Yes and no. Right? Because, yeah, let’s be honest. Yes. Because it’s a muscle that we haven’t. Right? Exercise. So we’re still uncomfortable in that space of sharing something deeply personal, even though that deeply personal thing, You’ve given relief to someone who’s listening that’s like, Oh, my God, I am yes, I have been in that. Right. And that is what we why we do what we do. And that’s what I to me, it’s like, that’s, that’s like the, the best part about doing these kinds of shows and these projects and storytelling is when we all see each other. Right? And we’re all laughing together at it and it’s healing and  it’s joyful. So Yowei, you stumbled on the, you know, on the love language of Add To Cart, but go ahead.

Kia Miakka Natisse  24:33

No, I was gonna say I’m surprised that poised pad approach this show, because poise it up like a perfect like, I saw the commercial as you described everything that happened. I was like, you know what, you’re not wrong. You’re not wrong.

SuChin Pak  24:55

And I think what they’re saying at poise headquarters because, trust me, we’ve knock many a time camped out is like, we’re good. We’re good with that demographic we are really aiming for. And it’s cute that you’ve got this corner of somewhat young folk using this and let’s say off brand ways. You know what? I’ll still even without their endorsement, I’m still poising it up and yeah.

Yowei Shaw  25:29

I want the t shirt. I want that on a crop top, poise it up.

SuChin Pak  25:49

Okay, so here, let’s get to your Add to Cart. I’m going to put the link here.

Kia Miakka Natisse  25:57

You don’t even have to click it. It’s haunting me. First of all, I’m like, I’m an ocean lover. I’m a beach girl all day. Even though I never grew up near those things. It’s like where I want to go. It’s where I want to be all the time. And so the swimsuit community, makers, IG ads on me, on my ass.

SuChin Pak  26:21

This is a brand Skatie. It’s called the penny top. It’s a bikini top. And the color that I linked on is Sedona. Tell me the whole story behind this and why this is in your cart?

Kia Miakka Natisse  26:38

Yeah, you know, so this is one where I’m like, I bought some swimsuits from this company. And I was like, I love the material, beautiful patterns. I want to get some more but then this style came out at the end of the summer. And it’s like, as much as I want to buy it. It’s just like you’re not going to the beach. Like you’re just not so why you I cannot allow myself to spend this money to buy this top until I know that I will be going to the beach sometime soon. And I don’t have anything planned. So it’s just kind of like I visited every you know, week they send it to me in an email, like Did you forget something? And I’m like, no, guys, I didn’t. I’m trying. But every time it pops up, I’m like, that’s a really cute top. I love this pattern, just colorful, you know, laid back they make cute. I hate to be like such an ad for this company. But I actually I’m like, no, I love their swimsuits. And it’s everything in me to not buy another one because it’s fall and I don’t need a swimsuit for the fall.

SuChin Pak  27:32

Listen, I mean, not that I want to steer you off of you’re very restrained, and probably, you know, great and campath. But I mean, this is a pattern by the way. It’s kind of it’s not tie dye. It’s almost like a marbling. And I’ve seen the young folk and key I don’t want to make assumptions. But you look like a young folk to me. And I’ve seen people wear this, you know, with an out and about me, but I do love the restraint. You know, that’s also an Add to Cart sometimes you just have to be like, I don’t want to feel crappy, even though it’s gorgeous, you know?

Kia Miakka Natisse  28:21

And then it’s kind of nice to make yourself wait for something like not for nothing, like really build up the tension, like the shopping tension around an object like No, I’m not gonna do it. I’m not gonna do it. And then yes, and then one day when I finally have that beach vacation plan, I’m like Sedona your mind, you know, and then I’ll get it and I’ll be like, I’ve waited so long for you, you know, so it’s like, I’m building up a little bit of like, narrative tension in the press.

SuChin Pak  28:44

Oh, yeah, there’s such a romance rom com in that, and, and you know what I do, you know, this isn’t what we call an open cart. And boy, you know, I have opened carts, 1000s I would just gather all across the internet’s that span decades, you know? And you know what I say? I say I looked at the calendar and I say what’s coming up, you know, sale time, it’s the end of the year. Yes. And so I have open carts where I keep open carts or I’ll keep a list and I’ll say I really liked this I will not pay full price and I know for sure this May you know go on some kind of a sale, you just want like you said tease it out and there’s nothing wrong with that delayed gratification.

SuChin Pak  28:51

Kia, love that you are like thinking about like you’re such a storyteller. You’re thinking about like the narrative tension and like the ending like where you’re going to land this story. I feel like this add to cart is also like, it’s like the pre Add to Cart item for your eventual travel purchase. Like do you have any ideas of like you could book something, where’s your next destination?

Kia Miakka Natisse  30:01

I booked this whole vacation just so I could be justified in buying this bathing suit, no, not yet. It’s, I’m just I’m taking my time I’m gonna slow walk this bikini down, you know, like, we’re gonna both work for it.

SuChin Pak  30:14

You know like, for me the planning of a trip, the packing of the trip, the talking about the trip, researching the trip is often sweeter than the trip itself.

Kia Miakka Natisse  30:27

That’s real. So true.

SuChin Pak  30:30

I always find I’m like, oh, it was way more fun getting ready for this thing. Now I’m here and I’m like, how long do I have to stay?

Yowei Shaw  30:38

So it’s like the going out. Like getting ready for the night out with your friends is Oh, is so much more fun than like the actual party.

SuChin Pak  30:47

The beverages are more fun. The soundtrack are more fun. Yeah, for sure. And so I like to think that when you finally do purchase this penny bikini top, that man, you’ve really gotten your money’s worth out of it. Because my goodness, the hours of enjoyment, you know, the buildup. You know, like you’re making money on this thing. Like when you get it.

Kia Miakka Natisse  31:17

And it’s so many times that when I finally do it, it’ll be like, yeah.

SuChin Pak  31:26

I want to get to we’re gonna switch gears a little bit, because Yowei you have a remove from cart. And I always do. Yeah. And it’s not often that we get guests who bring remove from cart, so I’m always interested. Okay, so you’re removed from cart is all of my resentments every single one, thanks to a trick I learned from RuPaul. So I’m gonna click on this.

Yowei Shaw  31:50

Oh, my God, I just realized I have two books. Did not plan that.

SuChin Pak  32:00

I mean, nerds unite.

Yowei Shaw  32:02

Okay, so a reason I’m a late comer to RuPaul I’m embarrassed to say, but I recently, like binge every episode. And I bought RuPaul is fabulous book Guru, which is like, essentially, like this hardcover book full of fabulous photos of RuPaul. And like various outfits, and there’s like aspirational quotes and mantras. And I learned in this book that every morning, RuPaul gets up and stretches, and then gets on his knees and does this prayer, where it basically goes, Dear God, I willingly give you all my resentments. I pray that you guide my thoughts, feelings and perceptions today. Amen. That really, like it feels like a reset on all of the like narratives and projections that we all spin all the time, and just sort of like, like throwing a hammer at the matrix that we like, build in our own heads about people and things. And so I’ve adopted a version of ripples, like prayer or whatever. And I tried to do it when I remember to try to get rid of every single one of my resentments.

SuChin Pak  33:27

Wow. And okay, so define resentments for you?

Yowei Shaw  33:32

you. Honestly, for me, I think I’m deeply resentful. Like, I think that my negative feelings often are resentments, I think because it’s like related maybe to like the submissive state of attention problem where I feel like I don’t say what I want or need in everyday interactions or relationships. And then like, it builds it builds and builds and the like, of course, the people around me have no idea because I haven’t like said it to them. And so it could be anything from like, Why did I have to like book the trip for the Airbnb friend trip?

SuChin Pak  34:09

Gosh, that’s really interesting, because I think part of resentment, at least for me, is the tamping down of, and the sort of clenching. And it’ll be like, either I, for whatever reason, I’m not gonna say it, right? So it’s like was that you know, so it’s like, and so there’s a bit of denial there. There’s, and so when you bring that to light, by actually calling it out, whether it’s in a prayer or in a journal, or whatever it is. That I think could release, right, some of that stuckness. So, that’s a really, really powerful one. I think it’s interesting your way that you brought two books that are up out relationships in some way, you know more like the way that empowering to others or ourselves. Like, I think that says a lot about kind of where your cart so to speak is in your life, you know, trying to figure that out.

Yowei Shaw  35:18

Yeah. Oh my gosh, I feel like I’m, I’m in a therapy. Yes, exactly. This is exactly what I’m working on is connection. And I just, I feel like multiple people in my life from different spheres, including my cat, like, are like mad at my computer and how much I’ve been working and just like wanting, like waving a flag like, hey, what about me, like you need to, like nurture this too.

SuChin Pak  35:49

Kia, I’m gonna get to your last add to cart. And the link leads to the sound healing Academy, so tell me about this.

Kia Miakka Natisse  36:00

So I actually I have really been my esoteric bag, and just exploring other ways of knowing and one of the things I explored was a session with the Astro cartographer. Have you ever heard of this practice? Astro cartographer is someone who is an astrologer, but also uses cartography to look at a map that says where the planets are aligned, and can tell you where and where is not like fruitful for you to be. And so, shout out to Saki had to Astro cartography, reading with Saki and I was just kind of like, okay, where do you see on this map? And she was like, well in America, New Mexico, and I was like, well, if I’m going to New Mexico, like I’m gonna get fully in my spiritual bag and like fully in my esoteric thing, so I literally just googled like sound, healing New Mexico and came across this workshop and was like, Oh, this sounds really, really interesting. So it’s like a three day workshop where you can learn about like crystal singing bowls and gongs and like all the different modalities that you can use for sound healing, so I am waiting it’s still in my these are all like cart Limbo items. So it’s like it’s still on my maybe, maybe not list.

SuChin Pak  37:16

I’m all for IKEA. And guess what? You can wear bikini top in New Mexico.

Kia Miakka Natisse  37:22

I know. I know. That’s like, I could probably find a spa.

Yowei Shaw  37:27

There’s an amazing, my sister just moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and there are amazing, amazing hot springs.

Kia Miakka Natisse  37:40

This is totally in. Oh, yes. Oh, yeah. Kellyanne say yes. I appreciate this. Thank you all for putting more seats into my go to New Mexico bucket because I was like, I don’t know. This is kind of random, but I love to like go someplace and learn something while I’m there. You know?

SuChin Pak  37:57

Yeah, guys, we have traveled the astral planes we have dived into our emotional trauma as well in this episode, so I love a full cart. I love when an episode gives us the complete picture of who we are. So thank you guys so much for joining us.

SuChin Pak  38:22

Before we go though, where can everybody find you on the internet’s? Where can people find the show?

Kia Miakka Natisse  38:30

Yes. So Invisibilia, we are in season right now. Please listen, we come out on Fridays. You can get us wherever you listen to your podcasts. And then if you’re interested in following me my name is Miakka_Matisse or dot Matisse which does not is not easily spelled so put it somewhere in a link.

Yowei Shaw  38:50

Yes. Invisibilia is on Twitter. I think it’s NPR Invisibilia. And then if you’re interested in following me, I’m @YoweiShaw on Twitter and yotimesthree on Instagram.

SuChin Pak  39:05

Fantastic. All right. Thank you so much for all your carts. I can’t wait to hear about whether New Mexico is in your future. Keep us posted. Thank you again.

Kia Miakka Natisse  39:18

Thank you for having us.

Yowei Shaw  39:19

Thank you for having us.

SuChin Pak  39:23

All right, well, you know what to do if you want more Kia and Yowe, Add to Cart Invisibilia right now. All right coming up the book theme continues with a conversation about a beautiful book. That was a life changing add to cart for me.

SuChin Pak  39:49

Okay, carter’s we have got an extra packed show today and another very special guest is stopping by in just a moment. Now you may have heard Ku and I talk about the lemon nada Book Club where Lemonada Media and Penguin Random House are teaming up to pick a book every month that will spark conversation or inspiration. And October’s book is the kind of book where you as the reader will be changed once you read it. I certainly was. It’s called Be not afraid of love, and the author Mimi’s who is here today to talk about this powerful collection of essays as they recount their journey toward relearning to love after being in an abusive relationship. Mimi is a queer Chinese Australian writer, an artist whose work has been featured in The New York Times, paper ID and so much more. Now, I want to pause for a moment and add a trigger warning here, we are going to be talking about trauma. So if this feels overwhelming to you take care of yourself first, okay. And if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, we’ll have links and numbers to very helpful resources that are here for you in our show notes. So in their book, Mimi talks about their early 20s, and their first big love relationship, remember that guys, which while it was exhilarating, and passionate, was also emotionally and then physically and sexually violent. And for a long time, they couldn’t really speak about it or even dare to remember what had happened. But after years of healing and therapy, and in community, here we are, with this just transformative collection of essays that even if you’ve never been in an abusive relationship speaks about the universal longing we all have to be loved, and how we can sometimes lose ourselves in that longing. So here’s my conversation with Mimi, as we talk about accessing our inner child about self-love and healing. Mimi, thank you so much for adding us to cart. I know you’re very busy talking to everyone about the book. You know, I, it’s so hard to think about like, what are the questions to ask when you read something that completely changes the way that you look at the world and yourself? Like, where do I begin? I mean, I think that anyone reading this book, whether they can relate to the specific experiences or not really this book is about self-love, isn’t it? I mean, it’s about love in the in the biggest grandest sense, I don’t know, how would you encapsulate it?

Mimi  42:48

I love how you described it; I think that’s exactly what it’s about. And I think a big lesson for me in the last few years is I think a lot of us are taught to look at love as if it’s something external, something we seek something we look for. But what I really like to write about to even myself in my intimate writings, my journaling is to always return to the source of love within. Right. And I think that has been written about before, by, you know, bell hooks and Audrey Lorde. But I kind of wanted to tell my version of it, especially from my experience in intimate partner violence. And so yes, I would say this book is about self-love, in regards to finding the love that you embody. And then busking in it.

SuChin Pak  43:38

And, you know, the book is, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a journey about your present day awareness. But, you know, obviously, you begin with and you come back to this turbulent time in your 20s when you were discovering, and really trying to figure out what it meant to be in love, right, like that big love and I was thinking about my 20s and just stumbling through New York, you know, like trying to figure out how to be loved how to be wanted, how to feel attractive, and like just so lost. And there’s no manual and especially if you come from immigrant families, and I’m generalizing here and Asian immigrant families love is not a topic, love is not expressed love is not a word. You know, we don’t, you don’t see it in front of you and you don’t often feel it in that sense, right? Like you feel taken care of, or you feel fed or you feel comfort. But I don’t know if I ever felt like love. I guess my more specific question is knowing all that, you know, now, what would you say? To the 20 year old version of yourself, about finding love.

Mimi  45:06

I, everything you just said I care about and relate to very deeply. I think especially coming from an immigrant Asian background myself, like you hit the nail on the head. And as much as I have come to terms with that, and accepted that as part of my upbringing, and I’m grateful for those different types of Love Languages, I also think about how that has shaped me and affected me as I’ve grown up. And as a child, I never saw my parents kiss or hug. So growing up, I almost highly romanticized that kind of affection, right. But also felt like I didn’t know how to seek it. I didn’t know how to receive it. But it’s like, how do I navigate healthy loving relationships? As somebody who may not have had the healthiest relationships going up? Right? How do I learn how to be a secure partner, a secure lover, a secure friend, not having seen what secure relationships can look like in my youth. And so I guess what I would say to my 20, early 20 year old self is, is going to be messy right now. And I wouldn’t actually tell that 20 something year old person to change. But I think I would say it’s going to be messy right now. Allow yourself to experiment. Try not to hurt yourself in this process, right? Trust your decisions, trust your intuition deeply. Listen to your body, don’t make choices that you know, your body is going to hate or resist. While at the same time, you’re going to have these dawning revelations about why you love the way you do, and how you want to be loved in the future.

SuChin Pak  46:53

Who I just have to take that in for a minute, because I think that’s a message for your 20s 30s I’m almost approaching my 50s. You know, and something that, that I face this, this space of like, what is intimacy, what is this space every single day with my kids, with my partner with my aging parents, who now live four minutes away from me, you know, like I spent my entire life going the farthest I could from them as an adult. And here they are. And so all of these intimate relationships that we navigate, because they don’t all have to be sexual relationships, right. But those are love relationships, I think that feel so vulnerable. And you write a lot about fear and love, and we understand that and I was thinking about, you know, what am I most afraid of, you know, when it comes to love, and what have I been most afraid of when it comes to love even my 20s and my 30s. And for me, I come back to the Word of vulnerability, like feeling vulnerable. I would rather almost do anything than feel that I mean, physical pain, shaved my head, burn all my designer clothes. You know, it makes my skin crawl like that, that act of feeling vulnerable. And I just wonder if you have some thoughts on it? And how do we sit with it in a way that can serve us?

Mimi  48:40

That is, so real vulnerability has made my skin crawl so many times. And I think what vulnerability is, it’s honesty. But apart from just being honest about maybe something that’s beautiful, right? It’s being honest about what is living inside of us. That doesn’t feel like you can tell anyone it’s insecurity. Its shadow. It’s ugly.

SuChin Pak  49:06

Yeah. It’s a shame. Yeah, it’s a shame. Yeah, big one.

Mimi  49:10

But I think what is beautiful about that vulnerability is that it is a space opening up, and it’s allowing you to go deeper. And like you said before, it’s like asking yourself, what’s the real fear here? What am I actually afraid of here? And that’s like the deeper part of it. And that’s what I think vulnerability allows us to access, it lets us go deeper.

SuChin Pak  49:35

I want to get to some of your add to carts because I think that your add to carts will bring joy and healing to a lot of our listeners and I just I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it. So the first thing I want to talk about is building Gundam’s. Describe to everyone What a Gundam is.

Mimi  50:02

So a Gundam I actually have one if you want to see. But it’s like that. It’s like a figurine. Like, this is a Gundam. So it’s a figurine that you can kind of build. It’s like almost like, it comes in like these like two dimensional pieces. And then you kind of like, pick them apart, and you make a three dimensional model. And what I love about these, and the reason why I did add it to cart is because it is helping me get in touch with my inner child a lot lately. I think that’s been really important for me, because I, again, am kind of always acquainted with my vulnerability, always becoming closer to my younger self. And so just using my hands as well, like kind of doing a really tactile activity has been really meditative. And it’s been really teaching me a valuable lesson in like, it’s okay to take your time and to be meticulous with the things that you do.

SuChin Pak  51:10

Already adding to cart for my kid for Christmas. So I really appreciate that. Because it’s hard to find 10 year old boy, things that he’ll love that don’t involve a video game console these days. So I love that and I love, I love this feeling of accessing your inner child like, that is really inspiring, especially for a lot of us who didn’t grow up with play, totally. And I struggled with that when my kids were really little, I did not know how I realized I did not know how to play and I felt really embarrassed by it. And I felt confused. And just it was it was a kind of unsettling that I did not see coming for a really long time. Until was my son was old enough to play with Legos. I’ve never, I’d never played with Legos as a kid. And that’s what we did. And it was like the form of play that I could connect with.

Mimi  52:10

It makes me emotional. They feel like, like I said, the children within us never go away. We don’t like flip a switch and just become adults and never glance back. Like you having a child allowed you to access your inner child to and gives you permission to play, right, which we should be able to do. You know, we’re told that as adults, our existence is so dependent on work, but actually we deserve to enjoy ourselves however we’d like to.

SuChin Pak  52:42

Okay, I want to talk about a piece of music that you brought. And it’s called when swept Aden by Chico Aoba.

Mimi  53:09

So, I would describe my music taste is very cinematic. And I think a part of me loves drama,

SuChin Pak  53:21

Yeah, especially with the music because you can really just play your life out like a movie like it should be, prime time.

Mimi  53:29

Exactly. And I think what that teaches me what music teaches me is about presence, like deep embodied presence, right? Like, you can just be in meditative states all the time. And I think what music helps me do, it helps me zone in on the moment, like, I’ll be listening to this album. And it’s a lot of like, twinkling guitars and extremely soft vocals. And it’s just really beautiful. And I think a lot about what one of my friends Kiko told me a few months ago, right before my book came out, actually, and I was feeling really anxious and nervous about how it will be received, but also how, inevitably, my life is going to change. And my friend asked me like what I wish for, as the book comes out, and I told them, I was like, I don’t really know. And they said, you know, a lot of the times we wish for ABCD, like a list of different things, but at the core of it, what we really wish for his peace. And that’s really what I’ve been in touch with a lot lately. And so I’ve been engaging a lot of music, film art that allows me to just feel at peace. And so that’s what this album makes me feel.

SuChin Pak  54:44

Fantastic. Well, thank you. Thank you for this conversation. Thank you for your add to carts. But I mean, obviously, this book is, you know, it’s what you’ve left behind and I think any One who comes in contact with it and reads it and shares it, is forever changed. So you did it. You can take that off your list.

Mimi  55:11

And also it was for me to remember myself, you know, to always remember the capacity I have for love the realizations that I’ve had that the healing that I’ve done, I always want to remember that and I want people to access their own capacity and healing too. So I’ve done I’ve done it and I’m at a place where I can say I’m proud of it. And you know, as an Asian person, that’s extremely haunted. I did that.

SuChin Pak  55:42

Now, before we let you go to anyone listening who is in an abusive relationship, or know someone who needs help, Mimi has an extensive list of resources in this book, which we will also link in our show notes. And if you’re curious about this book, or want more information, sign up for our newsletter at lemonadabookclub.com. Be not afraid of love, lessons on fear, intimacy and connection is out now wherever you buy your books. One last thing before we go, I think it’s just very fitting to mention this particular Add to Cart we’ve been talking about it all show long about how we take care of ourselves. It’s something that I’ve been doing lately to prioritize my mental health, especially on nerve wracking days. And I want to tell you about Pym. Pym is a mental hygiene company founded by mental health advocate and son of Robin Williams, Zak Williams. So really this company is about how do we prioritize our mental well-being. And you know, we can do that through simple, everyday rituals, not just when you’re feeling those symptoms rise, right? And so PIM has this new thing. It’s called the mental hygiene kit. It’s four daily products formulated by neuroscientists and nutritional psychiatrists to really target your neurotransmitters with the nutrients they need to optimize your mood all day long. You know, everything from methylated vitamins to mood, magnesium, to the original mood shoes, which I love. I mean, they’re delicious. They sort of helped me kind of deal with nervousness, especially I use them like, I chew on two of them before I record all of our podcasts and it really kind of helps me mellow out. But PIM has developed daily rituals for positive mental well-being and they’ve got a range of products. I don’t know I would look into it. I think that they’re very honest about what they want to do. I think that Zach is very passionate about this. So it feels like the right kind of company. I’m sure there’s plenty of other brands out there. This one just feels like the one that has worked for me the best.

CREDITS  58:00

As a reminder, our 100th episode is coming up 100 episodes of just to arrange crazy add to carts. And we’d love to celebrate by giving you some of our favorite products. You know, Auntie’s love to give stuff away. Leave us a voicemail, and we’re asking you to talk about your 100% approved Add to Cart items, right? These are the things that you swear by. And you can leave it at our voicemail line at 833-453-6662 to enter the giveaway. Follow up on at Add to Cart pod on our Instagram for all the pretty pictures and videos. See you next time. Bye

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