The Illusion of Separation

May 16, 2022

Feeling hopeful is a key contributor to better mental health. And don’t worry, you don’t have to be an optimist to be hopeful, as it’s a skill that we can all boost. Problem is, hope may seem hard to find right now. There’s a lot of events and messaging that makes that feel really true. In this episode, we’ll get into a key obstacle that stands in the way of hope: The illusion of separation. This is the belief that we are separate beings, with a clear separation between each of us and a separation between ourselves and the outside world. That sounds true, right?! Well, we’ll break that myth down in this episode and also touch on some key strategies to build more hope. 




  • Hope is different than optimism; you don’t have to be an optimist to be hopeful. Remember Dr. Jacqueline Mattis’ definition: Hope is optimism with a plan. 
  • What stands in the way of hope? The illusion of separation. 
  • This illusion has been built into policies, health, medicine…. And more.  
  • The illusion of separation can be broken down into four common separations we make within and between ourselves:
    • Mind and body
    • Head and heart
    • Nature and nurture
    • Inside and outside.
  • Mind and body:
    • Advancements in science continue to reveal that we are more interconnected than we ever imagined. 
  • Head and heart:
    • Whole-hearted listening is a practice that can re-engage your heart. 
  • Nature and nurture:
    • Epigenetics demonstrates that our DNA is not so concrete… let’s talk about nuptial pads!
  • Inside and outside:
    • We are all doing the best we can right now. 
    • At the same time with our inner-work, we can get more skilled at how we respond to our outer world.
    • We can build our awareness and connection (we do this at the Joy Lab program), and with that practice, so much of what bugs us just falls away.  
  • If you’re breathing, there’s room for healing. 




Discover your Resilience Type with the Resilience Quiz

After completing the quiz, you can get your free tailored mini-course, full of integrative practices and supplement ideas to help you reclaim your most resilient self.

Learn more
Resilience Type Quiz: A person wearing a white t-shirt and green pants is shown holding up falling beams.

The Case for Wonder in a Distressed World

Jul 01, 2022

The Roots of Resilience

Jun 30, 2022

Letting in the Good

Jun 30, 2022

The Surprising Benefits of Not Knowing

Jun 14, 2022

Helpful support delivered right to your inbox.

From the tangible ways you can reclaim your joy, calm, and focus—to new workshops and special offers, we’ll make your journey to wellness easier.


This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice and is not a replacement for advice and treatment from a medical professional. Consult your doctor or other qualified health professional regarding specific health questions. Individuals providing content to this website take no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. It is also essential to consult your physician or other qualified health professional before beginning any diet change, supplement, or lifestyle program.