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News and Updates

When we isolate we are not living a full or purpose-driven life, but we can change…

People isolate for a wide variety of reasons:

  • Chronic illness
  • Fear of others
  • Fear of social rejection
  • Embarrassment
  • Anger
  • Language isolation
  • Cultural differences
  • Low self-esteem
  • Mental illness, depression, anxiety
  • Living in a remote location
  • Spending too much time on social media
  • Loss of family members or close friends
  • Domestic violence
  • Trauma, fear, shame
  • Shyness and a perceived lack of social skills
  • Post-pandemic struggles

Isolation is a state of loneliness and distress, essentially a state of pain, it stops us from reaching our goals and dreams.
Isolation is not natural, nor a healthy state of being for anyone at any time.

We all need daily social interactions to effectively develop our communication, empathy and self-awareness skills.
We all desire to be socially competent and to have strong and enduring relationships based on meaning and purpose.

The longer we stay isolated the more likely we will go into a downward spiral of depression and anxiety. We will feel disconnected, and hopeless and not be able to identify our value in the world or in our relationships.

The more isolated we are the more we focus only on ourselves and our deficits, not on our strengths and our blessings. Our world becomes smaller and smaller and we become less and less visible in our own lives.

Loneliness and isolation alter our brain, changes our brain neurochemistry, change how our brain operates, it changes how we think and how we see ourselves in the world.

Essentially isolation degrades the brain and then the brain produces less dopamine, a type of neurotransmitter and hormone.
Dopamine is responsible for allowing you to feel pleasure, satisfaction and motivation. When you feel good that you have achieved something, it’s because you have a surge of dopamine in the brain.

Science has shown us that when we do not produce enough dopamine, in other words when our dopamine levels are too low, we are at risk of disease, such as depression or even Parkinson’s disease. Sadness and apathy are also associated with low-dopamine levels. This is how significant dopamine is to our daily lives.

Isolation and loneliness can also contribute to Increased alcohol and substance use and misuse Higher risk of potential suicide
Antisocial behaviour.

Poor physical and mental health Increased levels of personal stress.

It is important to note there are ways to boost your dopamine levels: Increase physical activity and exercise
Make dietary changes
Add supplements

(*Always speak with your doctor before starting a new health routine).

You may also want to consider joining a group such as, Beyond the Conversation, a group of community members who simply want to connect and share meaning.

Reach out to beyondtheconversation.org, they host interactive web-based cafes, and community events, and sponsor interesting conversations with a variety of people and much more.

Beyond the Conversation is a globally recognized Non-profit organization.

At Beyond the Conversation, the goal is to help you thrive in all areas of your life! Are you seeking to make new friends? Are you having trouble in social situations? Are you looking for deeper, more meaningful interactions and discussions? Or just someone you want to talk with?

Beyond the Conversation offers multiple ways to get involved and build quality relationships. Beyond the Conversation primarily does this through their Open Talk Cafés. They also have many events throughout the week, hosted by trained, friendly volunteers.

Reach out to beyondtheconversation.org and be welcomed into a group of exceptional, kind, emphatic, strong community members.

News and Updates

Celebrating 7 years of community inclusion and service to others

Don’t stop believing…the magic is right around the corner

Written by Connie Clark

Beyond the Conversation is celebrating 7 years of community inclusion and service to others. Beyond the Conversation has been recognized locally and globally for its vision and contributions. As a founding member, I have seen the growth, evolution, and prosperity of this dynamic and critically important organization.

October 2021, Beyond the Conversation founder Amie Peacock asked me if I would be interested in writing about my journey through loneliness and isolation as a result of becoming a hospital patient dealing with chronic back pain. I was thrilled when Amie asked me, so I got busy, completed the article, then Beyond the Conversation published the article on the website, where it stands today.

My story is important not because it happened to me, but because it may serve to inspire others who have lost hope and are in the depths of loneliness and isolation and its effects.

We know that social isolation and loneliness contribute to poor health, including, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline, and it is well documented that patients with chronic pain have elevated overall mortality rates compared to the general population. Social isolation and long-term loneliness can also lead to negative self-esteem, mental health and emotional problems, substance misuse, and the inability to concentrate, focus, problem-solve, making it difficult to move away from negative thinking patterns and toward wellness.

Having strong social connections is imperative to our health and well-being, it can reduce stress levels, ward off depression and suicide, heart disease, and boost our immune system. Strong connections are part of our humanity, our evolution, we are wired to find our tribe so-to-speak. This is the ethos of Beyond the Conversation.

Essentially, we are out of balance when we are in a state of isolation or loneliness.
Beyond the Conversation seeks to adjust this state of being out of equilibrium, by promoting its vision through its many friendship ambassadors and open talk cafe’ programs. My hope is that my story, continued from Oct 2021 will provide a sense of connection, empathy, and hope for the reader.

(On July 29th, 2019 my life was derailed by chronic back pain, I could no longer work and my life became centered around Doctors, hospital procedures, lab tests, and the concept of being disabled.

Work had been the center of my life for over 40 years, my work was in the world of social services, caring for others and now I had to take care of myself, not a role I was well acquainted with at all. The learning came hard, but eventually, I learned to put my health first and take care of my needs without feeling selfish or self-involved. I eventually realized that without my health in good order I had no future!

There was a time during this 3 year period when I lost hope, where I was lonely, and where I was most certainly isolated. I could not see a life of purpose or joy, I could not see a future, I was stuck in the mire of the situation, endless Doctor appointments, and procedures, what was the point of all of this? Then after much reflection, there was a breakthrough, the procedures were helping, and things were getting better for me, I then realized I had to push myself to get back into my life of purpose and meaning.

Amie Peacock and Neil Parker at Beyond the Conversation have always been there to promote me, inspire me, to let me know that I am not forgotten, and not alone, this is the essence and the magic of Beyond the Conversation. They reminded me that friends want to help!

I continue every day to improve my medical profile, gain greater wellness, and move toward a brighter future. I am reclaiming my life! I urge those that are lonely and isolated to reach out to Beyond the Conversation, participate in one of the many open talk cafe and become part of something bigger than yourself, be part of a caring community of passionate, supportive people who possess a strong strategic vision for the future.

So today, June 2022, I have been away from my work for 3 years and I have completed 20 back procedures at St. Paul’s hospital. My team at St. Paul’s is simply amazing, they keep me hopeful and inspired! The road ahead is still long, but it is bending toward wellness and improved mobility and functionality. I have a good sense of myself, and good self-esteem and I am so pleased to say that I am a virtual administrative/audit team volunteer in the Community Living sector, with the goal of eventually getting back to work.

I do not pressure myself to make a decision on return to work dates, that is still down the road. My Doctors remind me not to rush myself and to take the time to get well, so then I will have a greater chance of staying well. I allow myself to live in the moment as much as I can and just keep moving forward with grace and dignity, knowing that the road I have traveled and continue to travel is one of incredible learning, ongoing adaptation, and relentless revisionism.

Things can get better, belief.

Written by Connie Clark

News and Updates

Impact of Filipino Immigrants on Canadian Society

Watch the interview with our founder Amie Peacock on Filipino TV.

Amie Peacock is a creative global leader and the founder of BEYOND The Conversation (est. 2016), a grassroots organization inspired by the experiences of herself and the people around her battling loneliness. Her vision with BEYOND is to end social isolation and weave her community together through friendships. Her Southeast Asian upbringing has helped her share a unique narrative on what it means to foster a sense of belongingness within people, particularly marginalized groups, such as youth, new immigrants, and senior populations who struggle with loneliness and mental health issues.

Utilizing her entrepreneurial mindset, Peacock has inspired many to embody the spirit of friendship to help alleviate social isolation one connection at a time. She firmly believes that everyone has a right to a fulfilling life, and is uncompromising in her efforts to bring that message to life through her work in the community. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Peacock, along with her community partners, has discovered plenty of unlikely connections and opportunities. With the use of technology, BEYOND has been able to reach a global audience, their own team representing 24 countries and 22 languages.

In 2021, Peacock launched a “Social Prescription” project that works to ease the burdens of healthcare burnout, lack of government funding, and high insurance costs. The ultimate goal is to weave family and community fabrics with modern technology to bring a more holistic approach to healthcare that also includes medicine for the soul: valuable friendships and connections. Recognized by GivingTuesday: Starling Collective Fellow for her leadership and influence, Peacock represented BEYOND as one of the 50 grassroots organizations around the world that brought extraordinary, positive changes to their community.

Her greatest joy and accomplishment of all is leading an intergenerational and inclusive team of 50+ individuals who, even in the midst of an ever-changing world, are ever-so inspired to drive their

collective movement for a happier and thriving community. Often quoted in major newspapers, radio shows, and TV news, Peacock is recognized by national media for her commitment to ending loneliness and social isolation. She has also been a guest speaker at Vancouver Foundation, an academic institution, as well as at healthcare summits on, both, a national and global level.

As Peacock believes, “To possess power is a privilege, it’s a gift to be given away.” Her heart sings the loudest when she devotes her efforts to mentoring leaders, some as young as 16 years old to 50 years old

Amie Peacock is a creative global leader and the founder of BEYOND The Conversation (est. 2016), a and above, who lead not only with their minds but also with their hearts to help shape a more equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier community.

News and Updates

Reflections on A Year of Loneliness & Friendship

Watch our live stream we hosted on the 1st of January!

Special thanks to Reet and our friends from Nomads Productions for making this interview possible.

News and Updates

Giving Tuesday Starling Collective: Winner 2021

Amie Peacock, founder of Beyond the conversation has been named one of the cohort winners of the “GivingTuesday Starling Collective 2021 award”. Winning this award is proof that our work matters and we have now reached a major milestone!

Beyond the Conversation is a new wave concept of connecting people so they feel less isolated and more connected to new friends and new ideas. Once individuals attend the virtual & community-based events they often say they feel better, that they feel less alone, thus, this meets the mission of BTC which is to grow a connection, friendship, generosity and warmth in our communities.

GivingTuesday is a movement that unleashes the power of the concept of RADICAL GENEROSITY globally. Beyond the Conversation mirrors this mandate and mission.

Essentially, GivingTuesday reimagines a world built upon shared humanity, without limits. It’s about reframing old narratives into new dialogue, about ensuring a new generation of thought leaders encompass collaboration, wisdom sharing, radical transparency and overall participation by a greater number of people, essentially a new call to global action.

This global network thrives upon the ethos of helping a neighbour or stranger in need, giving to those who need our help, realizing that every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give and that everyone has value. Beyond the Conversation and GivingTuesday share the same passion, purpose, mission and mandate.

The Starling Collective was specifically designed to identify creative, passionate leaders who are working to fuel and engage unique and innovative approaches to generosity, empathy, equity and social justice. This is exactly how Amie Peacock along with Beyond the Conversation was identified as a global leader in radical generosity.

GivingTuesday and Beyond the Conversation are both reframing the concepts by which we relate to one another, emphasizing shared equity, meeting the needs of others, and building a world where generosity is simply a part of everyday life.

Read more here

News and Updates

Dreams Matter and Endurance Wins

This story starts with two women, friends, in a small Turkish café in South Vancouver, on a cold, rainy afternoon, one Autumn day in 2015. This is where Amie Peacock, the Visionary Founder of Beyond The Conversation shared with me her idea of creating a non-profit organization to end social isolation.

I knew right away this idea was relevant, important, and could evolve and be of interest to others, I also knew I had to be involved. Beyond the Conversation had just moved from being an idea to a real possibility where lives could be changed and enriched, Beyond the conversation had come alive!

In the beginning, Beyond the Conversation facilitated English Second Language groups in the community as a way of connecting with isolated citizens. Volunteers were trained to facilitate “English circles,” we came together in church basements and anywhere we could find.

On weekends and evenings, members of the community came forward to participate, we had momentum, the English circles were at full capacity, they were engaging, presenting with emerging bonds, and most importantly, new and enduring friendships. Myself, Amie Peacock and our league of truly extraordinary, dedicated volunteers knew we were onto something, something impactful, something meaningful and something that had a future trajectory.

Then on January 30th, 2016, I was asked by Amie Peacock to host & officiate a celebration for our Beyond the Conversation volunteers at the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House. Each volunteer was awarded a certificate of recognition, by the Honourable Harjit Sajjan. We had reached a milestone, we now had official recognition from a Member of Parliament. We knew we were supported by the community and now could move forward with even greater vigour on our purpose-driven path.

Beyond the Conversation then grew to include an even larger team including A Lead composer & community weaver, Director for National Development, Director for Marketing and Development, Marketing and Event Coordinator, Team Support Coordinator, Technology and Marketing Advisor, Secretary, Chair and Co-chair, Web Developer and Graphic Designer, Media representative, Cafe’ and Podcast contributors, Friendship Ambassadors, A Mentor and Marketing Adviser & A Multicultural and Community Liaison Advisor.

Beyond the Conversation then accrued major supporters, partners & sponsors: Google, Site Ground, Van City, FaithTech, G & F Financial, Nesters Market, Cactus Club Cafe’, Earnest Ice Cream, Forerunners, Fresh Slice, Canva, The Rotary Club of Fraserview, & UBC, as well as many individual donors. A website was then developed where anyone could read about our story, our volunteers, our team, our funders sponsors, supporters, initiatives, goals, community and virtual events and podcasts.

Then in 2019 my journey with Beyond the Conversation was interrupted, as a result of a diagnosis of a diseased spine and two failed lumbar-back surgeries. Then on July 29, 2019, I could no longer work at my job and had to take a medical leave of absence. I was then referred to St. Paul’s Hospital Chronic Pain Clinic for long-term treatment. I became an out-patient at St. Paul’s
Hospital and continue to be an out-patient to this day. At St Paul’s Hospital, I undergo regular lumbar and thoracic procedures with the goal of improving my diagnosis and hopefully getting back to a better level of functioning.

An important part of my story to share is that my employer has been totally supportive throughout my treatment, and continues to be today. I often receive calls, emails and cards expressing support from my colleagues and our leadership team at work. My employer has been nothing short of a lifeline of support to me, ensuring that I know, that when I am well, when I am fully recovered, the door is open for me to continue with my career. We have never stopped corresponding and this is a key component to my ongoing recovery and my sense of hope. I also have cherished friends as supporters and cheerleaders who have and continue to stand beside me every step of the way.

Then this year, 2021, as a result of my lived experience, Amie Peacock, the founder of Beyond The Conversation, invited me to produce and present my own podcast. We are now looking forward to the first podcast, “From Pain to Recovery,” going live at the Beyondtheconversation.ca website on Monday, October 25, 2021, at 7 pm PST. I look forward to destigmatizing pain, to having engaging and new wave discussions around. What it means to live with pain on a daily basis. What it means to feel isolated and alone as a result of chronic pain. How those with chronic pain can re-define their lives, not lose their identity, but re-emerge from the pain with an attitude of gratitude.

With gratitude,
Connie Clark

News and Updates

Interview With Our Friend Reet

Play Video

Special thanks to Reet and our friends from Nomads Productions for making this interview possible.

News and Updates

A Gift of Presence

On May 15, 2021, we were offering a 24-hour conversation marathon. Where different volunteers are hosting Google Meet. This virtual living room was a place, where you will feel friendliness, inclusiveness, heard, valued, and respected.

After a long winter of social restriction, many people see the spring of 2021 with optimism and excitement. They are looking forward to reconnecting with friends and family and feel hopeful about life in the near future. Others may not share their level of enthusiasm. They may actually feel even more stressed, anxious, and socially pressured this year. The way through the fear and loneliness can begin with a conversation in the safe, inclusive environment offered by our experienced volunteers.

News and Updates

A Reminder

News and Updates

A Present of Presence

“Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free."

-Starhawk (Miriam Simos)


Greater Vancouver, BC: Every year, receive and give a Present of Presence” on December 25th from 12:00 AM to 11:45 PM (PST). Beyond The Conversation is hosting a 24-hour campaign encouraging everyone to “give a gift of conversation and friendship.” Longing to have a heart-to-heart conversation? Everyone across Canada and around the world is invited!

Details: Our virtual Open Talk Cafes are known for inclusivity, bringing people together and facilitating honest conversations built on trust. It is an open space where participants can find a place to belong, be listened to, and learn from one another. Anyone seeking quality human connections and a sense of belonging is invited to join.

Please note: Beyond The Conversation facilitators are not healthcare professionals; we do not advise of any sort, and we are not a replacement for any medical services. Please see your family doctor or call 911 (112 in Europe) if anyone needs medical services.

At this event, you can expect a warm and friendly conversation, often laughter, with friends you just met. In addition, our cafe hosts are trained in communication and leadership skills, and you can be assured that the hosts will treat you with kindness and respect. You join anonymously if you prefer, and you can even join by phone if you do not have access to a computer.

To continue our local impact, we are collecting suggested donations of $5.

With our sincere thanks!

Amie Peacock

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