Separation vs connection

Have you ever found yourself separating from other people?

Sometimes it sounds like this…

  • She’s so negative.
  • She isn’t into personal development.
  • I can’t stand how much she complains.
  • We don’t have anything in common.

While all these statements may be true, they may not be useful. In fact, they may be causing unnecessary separation.

I’ve been guilty of this, too.

But what if we found ways to connect instead of ways to separate?

You can redirect your brain to look for connection instead of separation.

It won’t do this naturally. You have to direct your brain. You have to show it how.

I’ve done this in my life and the result is magical.

Listen to this episode to learn how to increase connection and have better relationships as soon as today.

Here are more of my favorite resources for this episode:

Full Separation Vs. Connection Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.

Hello, how are you doing today? I hope you are having an amazing day. I know I’ve said it before, but Chicago in the summertime is heaven on earth. It is so fun and I just am really enjoying it. It’s my first summer here and I am so glad that I moved here and it’s crazy to think about where my life was a year ago and I always hope the same for you.

I hope that every single year gets better than the year before and I totally think that this is possible for anyone and everyone who is into personal development and growth. If you’re not in the free personal development course that I have, I highly recommend it. Jumping in there,, you will get five days of free content that will help you kind of jumpstart personal development and also for today’s episode we’re talking about separation versus connection, which is about relationships.

And this is something that I included in Personal Development For Her. So if you are in that course, make sure you look at the new relationships module. It’s so good. And I think that I don’t talk about relationships enough and part of my program from the life coach school and becoming a life coach was a lot of relationship work. And I’m so proud of the work that I did myself. And um, it’s ongoing and I think that this episode will be one of many to come about relationships.

This in particular is going to be about separation versus connection. And I want to start off with something that I’m noticing a lot from people who are into personal development. It might be my friends, it might be my students, um, or clients. They’re really into personal development and many of them will start to see shifts in their relationships, which is totally normal because as you kind of shift your mindset and you shift the way that you see the world, you’re going to have shifts in every area of your life, including relationships.

But what I find is that in that first sort of shift, it actually shifts to a negative sort of place. So there’s an example of one of my friends, he is really, really into personal development and he’s very successful in business and he has probably one, two, three, maybe three friends. That’s it. And this is by design, but he’s a little bit negative about it.

Like he will talk about his former friends and say that they’re just not into success and growth and how he doesn’t want to be around that. So he really just doesn’t have a lot of friends. And the way that he says it, it’s not from like a place of abundance where he’s saying, yeah, I’m happy with my few friends and we spend time together. And I really enjoy them. Like he’s saying it in a negative way as if the rest of the world needs to be into personal development in order for him to have friends that are worth his time.

It’s kind of like the energy and the conversations that we’ve had, and I hear this a lot. It’s not just from him. It’s like, okay, I’m into personal development and where my life is growing is so much in a different way than so many other people who have been in my life up to this point. And now it’s like those relationships have to end and now I’m just like alone. It’s kind of the energy that is behind a lot of what people will tell me about relationships that they’re in, particularly when they’re into personal development. 

There’s like this new added expectation that everyone in their life needs to also be on this personal development journey. And if this is you, you know that they don’t want to be, right. It’s like really cool if you meet someone who’s into it. But a lot of your friends and family won’t be into personal development.

And what I want to do in this episode is bring your attention to the fact that this is happening and what to do about it and kind of talk about connection in general as well as separation. So the overarching theme and what I really want you to get out of this is that I want you to start looking for the connection between any human that you encounter instead of the separation between you and the humans. And this won’t be intuitive.

So I really want to dive deeper into what connection is and how it happens. So connection is a feeling. It’s this high level feeling and it feels really good. It’s abundant. And when you feel connected, you feel connected based on your thoughts. And sometimes it’s really easy to come up with thoughts that generate that feeling of connection. You know, if you’re into personal development and you meet someone else who’s into personal development, then you might have all of these thoughts immediately.

Like, Oh my gosh, this person is amazing, she likes what I like, and then you just feel really connected. So that’s like that easy connection. It’s that effortless connection and it feels really, really good. But what I want to let you know is that you don’t need to be similar to the person or have something in common with them in order for you to feel connected. You can train your brain to think thoughts that generate feeling connected to anyone.

I love the example of people saying that I just don’t love him anymore. This is something we hear a lot about in the media and people are just very confused about what love is and the feeling of love. Right? When you say, I just don’t love him anymore, especially with that word, just it sounds like this happened to you as if like, well that’s just the way of it and I’m not responsible for it.

You’re always responsible for your feelings. So when someone says this, what’s really happening is that at one point it was probably really easy for them to feel love and connected with a person because their thoughts came to them very effortlessly, maybe in like the very beginning of the relationship or whatever, and now years later those thoughts aren’t coming to them so easily. They have different thoughts that are generating different feelings.

And the fun exercise with relationships is that you can actually increase or decrease your connectedness to someone by changing the way you think. So I really want you to think about a relationship that you have with someone that you would say is struggling or you know you don’t really love or whatever it is. It’s sort of this negative relationship. I want you to write down all of your thoughts that you have about that person.

And notice it’s no wonder that you don’t feel connected to them, that you don’t feel the love for them. And like that’s your choice. It’s totally available to you to not feel love towards someone. But I just want you to understand that feeling love is a feeling and it’s something that’s caused by your thoughts and you can decide to feel love all the time, all the time, or at least whenever you want.

And the great news is is that this is up to you and no one can do anything about it. And you get to feel the love. You get to feel the connection when you do this work. When you think thoughts that generate feeling, connection or love, you feel that it’s not like someone does something and then their feelings jump out into you, right? Or that circumstance. It’s like there’s a circumstance.

Someone does something and then you have a thought about it. And that thought generates the feeling when you choose not to love someone or not to be connected to someone, you are the one who doesn’t feel the connection. It’s not them, it’s you. So when you love and when you have more connection, you get the benefit of that. It’s amazing, right? And this doesn’t mean that you lower your standards or you’re just going to stop your personal development journey.

What it means is that you reframe standards and expectations. So instead of having all of these expectations for all of your relationships, you can remove that, release those expectations, and just notice that they’re a human. Just like you’re a human and you can choose to feel love and you can choose to look for the connection, right? So notice if you’re expecting too much from your relationships, instead of focusing on you providing value to that relationship and you giving and then you feeling love or connectedness just because you want to, you can have high standards without high expectations.

You can end relationships and start new relationships, right? It doesn’t mean that you have to be in relation with everyone, but what I see happening is that people who get into personal development and do this work really want everyone else in their lives to also do this work. And it doesn’t ever work that way, right? It just doesn’t.

And that’s okay. Like you can just let them be them and you can be you and you can just love them. And you can look for connection in a different way. And you can form new relationships with intention, but no one is perfect. So what I want you to do is I want you to look for that connection instead of looking for the separation. It’s so normal for you to look for separation. And for me, I’m not just saying you right, because it’s our brain.

Our brain is always looking for what’s different. So you’re going to notice what’s different between you and another person. And so funny, just two nights ago, I was watching an interview with Jay Z and David Letterman was interviewing him and Jay Z talked about this. He is, I swear so wise. It’s like amazing to me. But anyways, he said that connection is abundant and it feels really good. And he said that that separation comes from fear. And he said, I’m black and you’re white. Right?

And it’s that fear. And I think this really highlights how much it comes from your primitive brain because your brain’s noticing the difference and the separation. And it’s just trying to protect you. And I want you to be onto your brain and know that you can redirect it and you don’t have to listen to that part of your brain. You can notice the difference if that’s what you know, immediately notice.

And then you can say, okay, well where’s the connection? Right? I do this all the time actually. So a little background, I love kids. Like I’m the oldest of three, I was a mother’s helper. I just adore children and I really think like, I was born to be a mom. I can’t wait to be a mom, but I don’t have kids yet.

So when I go out into the world and I see kids, like I love them, they’re so sweet. But when I go out into the world and I am like working and a lot of small children come around to me, especially, you know, if I’m, you know, somewhere like at a coffee shop or something, for example, I have this immediate thought that’s like, Oh my gosh, please don’t be loud. Please don’t sit near me. Like all these things, right. It’s kind of like the same thing on an airplane.

And I know it’s not just me. I know it’s even people with kids. It’s kind of like the other example of when you’re riding a bicycle on the street, you like hate cars cause you think they’re gonna run you over. But when you’re in the cars, you like hate bikers. It’s like whatever situation you’re in you like, but you look for that separation.

And what I want you to do and what I’ve started doing as well is look for that connection. It like releases that fear. I do this all the time in the littlest situations, including when kids come around me when I’m working and it works so well, you can redirect your brain and just ask, where can I find the connection with this person? It is so, so powerful because instead of like listening to your brain, your primitive brain that’s noticing the separation and that fear, you are directing your brain and you’re talking to your brain and you’re saying, no, no, no, look for the connection here.

And of course that was just with strangers, but the same would be true of your friends or of your acquaintances, right? It’s like, why does everyone have to be into personal development? Just because you are right? The real work is you bringing the positivity to the world, not you expecting other people to. Let other people be who they want to be. Right?

So when you say she’s always complaining, you’re actually complaining, and when you say he’s so negative, you’re actually being negative. So instead of bringing more negativity and giving more energy to that, just notice it, let it pass and you decide to bring the positivity. That’s the real work. So what I notice a lot is like there’s the kind of like the beginner personal development work where you’re just opened up to all of this information and that’s kind of like step one. And then step two is like you really go through the change, but then you’re kind of noticing other people and you’re still in your own judgments and negativity and projections and you’re expecting other people to come along with you and they don’t.

And the next level of growth is letting go of trying to control people and trying to get them to do what you want them to do and having all these expectations of them, right? And you letting them be them and you being you and you practice, you know, finding the connection and letting them be them.

It’s amazing to connect with people who are different than you. And this doesn’t mean that you have to stay in relationships, but it means that it’s your choice and whatever your decision is, do it from abundance. So my dad is an alcoholic and growing up we pretty much lost everything. He was a very successful dentist, so he’s very high functioning and just slowly but surely we really lost everything and he’s still alive but cirrhosis of the liver and it’s like the very end for sure. And I just love him and I let him be an alcoholic.

And it’s so interesting because I’ve done so much work in this relationship that I feel very much at peace with it. But like I see other people in relationships that they’re trying to like fix the other person and change them. Right. And you can just let the other person be that other person and you get to decide if you want to have a relationship with them or not. But you will know if you’re doing it right because of how you feel.

So if I was in a relationship with my dad and I was saying like I expected him to change and be a certain way and like I would feel that energy, it would come from scarcity. It would be very, very different and it would be like that push pull and very volatile like father daughter relationship. And instead what I do is I come from abundance and I let him be him and I choose to have a relationship with him.

Now someone else in my position might not want to have a relationship with their father. And you can do whatever you want. You can have a relationship with whoever you want, right? And end whatever relationships you want. But what I teach and what I believe is do it from a place of contentment. Do it when you’re happy, do it from a place of abundance. Because when you don’t, you will end relationships looking for positivity in the next relationship. And that’s not how it works.

You are the one who creates that connectedness by your thoughts. You create love by your thoughts and again, notice how you’re feeling because that is the key difference. It’s not whether you’re in relationship with someone, it’s how you feel. Okay? So you can be in a relationship that’s based in scarcity and negativity. Or you can be in a relationship that’s based in positivity and comes from abundance.

And you don’t have to expect anyone else to do anything for you, right? You can love someone lean in and seek connection without them doing anything for you or having anything in common with you. You can also have certain relationships that you do want more connection with in terms of having things in common.

So you know, you might have business relationships and those are different from your personal relationships. And those are different from your acquaintances. And those are different from your friends. And what I want to encourage you to do is to just look for ways to connect with the humans all the time. It’s always up to you and you get to feel that connectedness. And it feels so good. I really, really love redirecting my brain. So whenever I feel disconnected or judgmental, I know that every judgment is just a projection. Something I learned from Byron Katie, right?

So I’m always very curious. Oh that’s so interesting. I’m being judgmental. What’s that about? It’s actually about me, not the other person. So if you want more connection in your life, which I think you should, there’s always more room for more connection.

All you have to do is think thoughts that generate that feeling of feeling connected. And when you interact with someone, whether it’s the person at the bank or at Trader Joe’s, or whether it’s your sister or whether it’s the small child who is at the table next to you, or whether it’s your husband or your boss or your employee, look for the connection. Where can I find the connection here? There is always a way to feel connected with someone. It’s simply your thoughts. So that is what I want to leave you with. Go about the day and just interact with people and ask yourself, where can I find the connection?

This little tip, I swear to you is so powerful. If you really start to do this over and over, you will find yourself feeling so much more connected without anything in your circumstances changing and without you needing everyone else to behave in a certain way or be on board with your personal development journey. This is a really powerful place to be in, and I think that’s what life’s about, it’s like the humans, right? I’m always looking for ways to connect with the humans more so that includes you. I feel very connected to you. Thank you for listening and I cannot wait to talk to you next week. Have an amazing week. Bye bye.

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