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The Illusion of Separation

Episode #14

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. 


View episode on YouTube.


Key Takeaways:


  • 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 divisions 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're all doing the best we can right now. 
    • At the same time, it's essential to do inner-work so that 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. 


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