Illusion Pod

Gabi Abrão & James Francis

Two LA-raised spiritualists candidly observing passing phenomena, with meditation breaks in between. Hosted by Gabi Abrão (@sighswoon) and James Francis (@goteamjames)

All Episodes

Gabi and James talk exclusivity, globalization, nihilism and being remembered. After an off-air cupcake break, they discuss the recent events at Astroworld and their past experiences in large crowds at concerts. Support Gabi and James:Gabi's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sighswoonGabi's Merch: https://www.sunshineshop.la/product/sighswoonJames' Newsletter:  https://nowisgood.substack.com/subscribeJames' Shop: https://www.goteamjames.com/shop/

Nov 20

1 hr 18 min

We talk about the Pete Davidson effect, our pete davidsons, first kisses and crushes, being bullied by crushes, amongst other things, and then we eat burgers  and fries :)

Nov 15

1 hr 4 min

We discuss the condition of “yearning”, Lana Del Rey, what men have taught us about ourselves, and sooOoOoOooo much more.Support Gabi and James:Gabi's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sighswoonGabi's Merch: https://www.sunshineshop.la/product/sighswoonJames' Newsletter:  https://nowisgood.substack.com/subscribeJames' Shop: https://www.goteamjames.com/shop/

Oct 28

1 hr 25 min

Gabi and James sleepily return to the mic to discuss LA’s unpredictable weather, bad vibes in general, life advice from Uber drivers, being recognized, the metaverse, conspiracy theories, CIA leaks, media narratives, accountability, how to process fumbling on the route to your dreams, and our personal takes on the viral article “Bad Art Friend” as an important cautionary tale to anyone who assumes a creative identity.Support Gabi and James, if you so desire:Gabi's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sighswoonGabi's Merch: https://www.sunshineshop.la/product/sighswoonJames' Newsletter:  https://nowisgood.substack.com/subscribeJames' Shop: https://www.goteamjames.com/shop/

Oct 17

1 hr 35 min

I explain how the term “I am constantly shapeshifting, adapting, and evolving” became a mantra and truth for me - derived from a real life constant struggle between defining myself within the romantic gaze, the feminist mission, social expectation, narrative, and more. Each word in the phrase was chosen and placed in that order with specific reasoning. I also share the stories behind: “the cyborg in me recognizes the cyborg in you” for making peace with the internet, as well as the infinity mirror, sigh swoon, certain angel numbers, not a bot, and more.  This is a podcast from Gabi’s Patreon, originally posted on September 8, 2021. For more weekly episodes or writing from Gabi, or to find these phrases on merch:Gabi's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sighswoonGabi's Merch: https://www.sunshineshop.la/product/sighswoon

Oct 11

1 hr 1 min

After booking a room at the famous location for Gabi’s birthday, James and Gabi discuss the Chateau Marmont and its standing as an iconic LA staple - illustrating the power that story-telling has on value and experience. We discuss the Met Gala in this context as well which leads us to delve into theories on infographic brain, gossip currency brain, politicians as celebrities, why the left can’t unite, and other general political grievances. We also share takes on Virgo season energy and why you should never book a hotel with a third party website.Support Gabi and James, if you so desire:Gabi's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sighswoonGabi's Merch: https://www.sunshineshop.la/product/sighswoonJames' Newsletter:  https://nowisgood.substack.com/subscribeA Guide To Self - Guided Meditation: https://www.goteamjames.com/shop/p/a-guide-to-self-guided-meditations-1Portals Are Everywhere Tee: https://www.sunshineshop.la/product/sighswoon-illusion-pod-portals-are-everywhere-tee/

Sep 19

1 hr 44 min

James and Gabi approach the question “What is an artist?”, soon realizing that the question may actually be “What is an artist in a world of poets in a world of non-poets?”. We search for the answer in a variety of mediums, from Daniel Johnston’s song “Story of an Artist” to interviewing a couple friends. This is Act One of a continuous series on this topic.Support Gabi and James, if you so desire:Gabi's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sighswoonJames' Newsletter:  https://nowisgood.substack.com/subscribeA Guide To Self - Guided Meditation: https://www.goteamjames.com/shop/p/a-guide-to-self-guided-meditations-1Portals Are Everywhere Tee: https://www.sunshineshop.la/product/sighswoon-illusion-pod-portals-are-everywhere-tee/Not A Bot Hat: https://www.sunshineshop.la/product/sighswoon-not-a-bot-hat/

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Sep 7

1 hr 23 min

James and Gabi discuss varying ideas of success, celebrity culture, fan vs. artist relationships, parasocial relationships, Lorde’s album, Kanye’s album, Kanye in general, cancel culture, the concept of self expression vs. attention grabs, and more. Also, Gabi’s dad calls us mid-pod.

Sep 1

1 hr 16 min

Following Tesla’s announcement to create AI robots to perform “boring human tasks”, James and Gabi discuss everything BOT. Feeling like a bot, feeling like not a bot, philosophies on a world where AI serves humanity, working in the service industry, how we would design the AI robot species,  AI bots as memes, channeling your bot-ness on purpose, and much more. We interview a friend, who we will call “space x anon”, who works at Space X as a software engineer and has seen Elon Musk in the flesh at meetings. We also touch on measuring energetic frequencies, getting a tour of the Scientology church a few years ago, and our pantry moth infestation in our first apartment. FRIEND OF THE POD, EZRA KLIEN SHOW:Sam Altman on the A.I. Revolution, Trillionaires and the Future of Political Powerhttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-ezra-klein-show/id1548604447?i=1000525043188Is A.I. the Problem? Or Are We?https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-ezra-klein-show/id1548604447?i=1000524209501MOVIES MENTIONED: HER, (2013) I, ROBOT, (2004) Support Gabi and James, if you so desire:Gabi's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sighswoonJames' Newsletter:  https://nowisgood.substack.com/subscribePortals Are Everywhere Tee: https://www.sunshineshop.la/product/sighswoon-illusion-pod-portals-are-everywhere-tee/Not A Bot Hat: https://www.sunshineshop.la/product/sighswoon-not-a-bot-hat/

Aug 28

1 hr 23 min

***This is an episode from 2/12/21 unlocked from @sighswoon’s Patreon!***This episode explores the entirety of my experience and theory on symbols as an important vessel and language. How I was taught the vital role of symbols in conceptual art, symbols as they are used in ritual and magic, and symbols as they are used as a language with the subconscious. I highlight the importance of understanding the power of symbols on both a custom, personal level as well as the mainstream symbols (representative imagery, beauty standards, sex symbols) thrust upon us daily through media and advertisement. I offer stories and examples of how these theories came to be, as well as some activities to help explore and define your own symbols.Mentioned in this episode:- Psychomagic by Alejandro Jodorowsky- Creating your own Lexicon project- Symbols Worksheet in the Spells & Rituals Guide, which is free with your Patreon subscription and found in the Patreon feed with downloadable PDF. It is also available for purchase at www.sunshineshop.la/sighswoon  

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Aug 3

58 min 33 sec

Gabi fills James in on the cultural significance of Saddle Ranch and we hear about her recent date at the TikTok magnet. We then reveal our results of both Disney Princess and Meyers-Briggs tests. We discuss ramifications of using personality tests in the real world and ponder the societal need for protagonist forces. For more content from Gabi and James:Gabi's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sighswoonJames' Newsletter:  https://nowisgood.substack.com/subscribe

Aug 1

1 hr 8 min

James returns to Los Angeles after visiting family and attending a not-wedding in Chicago. We discuss our experience with having our extended family thousands of miles away, but having our parents in the same city our whole lives, and how this plays a part in connection, communication, and boundaries in the family realm. We unbox a gift! We also share our opinions on 23 & me, ancestry, and the importance and clues we can find in DNA and family ties.For more content from Gabi and James:Gabi's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sighswoonJames' Newsletter:  https://nowisgood.substack.com/subscribe

Jul 21

56 min 42 sec

This meditation playfully rejects seeking vast corners of outer space, by offering a look inward.  We will focus on finding easy expansion, while tapping into the eternal space of being. If you enjoyed this meditation and wish for more content from James, visit:https://nowisgood.substack.com/subscribe

Jul 12

8 min 42 sec

Topics include: How to work on something when you feel resistance towards itOur paranormal experiences Finding a personal styleSmooth brain, no thoughts ---For more content from Gabi and James: Gabi's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sighswoonJames' Newsletter:  https://nowisgood.substack.com/subscribe

Jul 4

1 hr 5 min

In this highly space-themed episode, we discuss mercury retrograde, Jeff Bezos’ plan to fly to space for 11 minutes, the first space tourist (Dennis Tito of LA) no one is talking about who paid Russia 20 million to go to space way back in 2001, all the main contenders in the current space race, and Lorde’s new song, Solar Power. This episode is sprinkled with thoughts and fun facts on space bodies, human bodies, space tourism, energy vs. matter, stars as fully evolved beings, and much more.***We have reached capacity for this round of Q&A submissions***Mentioned in the episode: Dennis Tito, first space tourist in 2001: https://www.space.com/11492-space-tourism-pioneer-dennis-tito.html Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=enPodcast about wealthy people's brain changing:We searched far and wide and simply could not find it again

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Jun 19

1 hr 6 min

This meditation takes you on a little visit to the gallery of being. Here you are free to wander and listen to the sounds of nearby visitors while you envision your version of abundance. If you get lost in a loop of thought, James checks in regularly to bring you back to center. If you enjoyed this meditation and want more, subscribe to James' newsletter:  https://nowisgood.substack.com/subscribe

Jun 14

7 min 7 sec

James and Gabi discuss going to their very first post-covid LA house party and share their thoughts on Made in LA 2021, the Hammer Museum’s iconic biennial. Following an exploration of said curated art exhibition, we enter the concept and meaning of “curating a life”. We share the systems in which we curate our own lives, touching on the importance of choices, energy & matter, vibrational frequency attuning, breaking ancestral patterns, and much more.If you'd like to access more content from Gabi and James:Sign up for Gabi's Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sighswoonSubscribe to James' Newsletter: https://nowisgood.substack.com/subscribe

Jun 8

1 hr 40 min

In this meditation, James offers one of her favorite protection meditations. This can be especially helpful when you feel pulled down by external energies and need to reboot. Ellen DeGeneres, this one is for you.  If you enjoyed this meditation and want more awareness based content from James, subscribe to her newsletter: nowisgood.substack.com

Jun 1

9 min 21 sec

Gabi is back in LA, and we have our very first post-pandemic outing in our city together. We catch the final day of Shattered Glass, an incredible group show at Jeffrey Deitch gallery, and discuss its affect on us as an important ode to Los Angeles, collaboration, and consistency. Following the LA theme, we discuss Kendall’s new tequila brand, 818 (the area code of her LA neighborhood), and the backlash she received for her campaign. We then get into a general discussion on the phenomenon of cancelling public figures - from the Ellen Degenres show ending to highly loved spiritual guru Mooji, who was accused of abuse and sexual misconduct at his ashram in Portugal. We missed doing episodes together in person and are so happy to be back. 

May 24

50 min 57 sec

Following up on Gabi and James' discussion surrounding self-branding, this meditation asks us to sit with the personality and it's limited ability to portray the fullness of our being. If you enjoyed this meditation and want more awareness based content from James, subscribe to her newsletter: nowisgood.substack.com

May 23

7 min 53 sec

CW: Death, drowning, tragic story, bystander effect.After witnessing a tragic freak accident drowning death on a popular Maui beach, Gabi shares the experience. Perplexed by the inaction of individuals on the heavily populated beach, we discuss the spooky psychological phenomenon known as the bystander effect. We then travel into conversations on “self-branding”, the concept of a human as a brand, our experience in that realm, and more.   If you wish to skip the scary part, our talk on self-branding begins at 52:10

May 15

1 hr 21 min

James and I return to the pod to discuss Khloe Kardashian’s “leaked body shot” and the public’s response which claims that the Kardashians created a toxic body standard that they are now confined to. Spoiler alert: We don’t necessarily agree with the discourse. We then engage in a general discussion on Instagram bod, the Kardashians as performance artists, the future of body augmentation, the history of ever-changing body standards, and the perceptive key we believe allows us to transcend these constructs to simply witness them as passing expressions, performance art, and feeble fads.

Apr 23

1 hr 8 min

James shares the wild tale of hunting for a COVID vaccine and acquiring it, including being part of a “VAX HUNTERS” Facebook group and finding herself in line at 5am in a desert outside of Los Angeles. We also discuss getting “spiritual vaccines” from the angels as directed by the Brazilian spiritist community, and reflect on the pandemic year anniversary. Then, we share our experience downloading the new audio-based, exclusive app Clubhouse, and our feelings and confusions on cryptocurrency, NFTS, and digital art.

Mar 18

1 hr 21 min

In our first call-in Q&A episode, we answer your questions regarding: contradicting inner & outer perceptions, wanting your boyfriend to go down on you for the first time, imposter syndrome in both career and new love realms, sound healing, music aiding spirituality, and our go-to mindsets for practicing non reactivity. 

Mar 7

2 hr 9 min

We talk Valentine’s Day plans and Kim Kardashian’s brush with the public after they said North West’s expert-level painting was a fake. Then, recognizing our generation’s obsession with casually diagnosing people with narcissistic personality disorder, we explore this phenomenon and discuss our experience with the label - both on the giving and receiving end. We also touch on the popularity of infographics in a cliff notes-esque 2D culture. We pose the question - when do labels simply just soothe our need to run from effort and complexity?

Feb 13

1 hr 6 min

Following Gabi’s romantic weekend in the jungle with her crush, we discuss the mating call of dating schticks, the trapping nature of tropes, and our frustrations with mainstream millennial Astrology as a flawed personality signifier.  We then explore the concept of emoting vs. expressing, and pose the question - what does it mean to be a character in the show of life?

Feb 6

1 hr 20 min

In episode 11, we finally figure out how the stock market works after the big Reddit Gamestop takeover, and we start dreaming big. We discuss the Robinhood app’s sketchy response to it all, bringing up theories on what terms of agreement contracts signify in consent culture, written vs. social agreements, sexual consent, and the Armie Hammer case. We close with the concept of money as a circulating energetic frequency. Happy investing, everyone (emotionally and financially).

Jan 30

1 hr 20 min

We discuss the inauguration, celebrity intertwining with politics, the importance of celebratory ritual, the concept of having custom souls, the spectrum of tangible reality, and past lives. We then share some very LA tales, including James’ debut on Lana Del Rey’s Instagram last week, as well as her vital role in Lana’s new music video.   

Jan 23

1 hr 26 min

We discuss the illusions that permeate Los Angeles, Sofia Coppola’s recent film “On the Rocks”, the storming of the capitol building, grappling with the unknown, living in review culture, review-reading etiquette, and some passing moments in tech.

Jan 11

1 hr 15 min

Gabi shares the details and dramas of her move to Hawaii, then we discuss the illusion of expectation, our end-of-year takeaways, and the importance of having a personal victory song.

Jan 1

1 hr 15 min

We discuss the influx of abstract, minimalist style nativity scenes and what they reflect about the true essence of spirituality. We talk about God. We then theorize on the different ways objects hold energy, including our experience using objects in magic rituals. This episode is dedicated to Rose Greenberg and her work, closing with a clip from an interview we did with her last month.

Dec 2020

1 hr 29 min

We discuss the mysterious Utah Monolith and what it says about media coverage, art, reaction, intention, nature, and more. We then discuss the illusory phenomenon of CURSED IMAGES.

Dec 2020

1 hr 13 min

Through cultural theory and personal experience, passive influencer @sighswoon (Gabi Abrao) and active influencer @veryharryhill (Harry Hill) discuss the illusions of influencer culture. We share the story of the “very LA” way we met, we talk dating, ad money, Club Penguin, Neopets, early Facebook, Tumblr, Molly Soda, Coketalk / The Coquette, blue checks, power structures, perceptive trips, and much more. This was recorded in the car during a road trip up the entire coast of California and back.LINK EDIT:Coquette's / CokeTalk's tumblr archives can be found at: dearcoquette.com and blog.dearcoquette.com

Nov 2020

2 hr 39 min

Through the lens of energy and past romantic experiences, we do a deep dive into the concept of love in all forms. We get into the 5 love languages, the differences between love and partnership, and the illusion of unrequited love. We then analyze a series of popular love songs from different genres. 

Nov 2020

1 hr 31 min

We discuss the late election results and our feelings about Biden and Kamala. We also discuss Gabi visiting a long distance lover (LDL)  in Hawaii during covid era and the online reaction to her doing so. 

Nov 2020

1 hr 25 min

We discuss crying men, crying dads, and crying in general following our experience witnessing the emotional Dodgers World Series win in LA. We then unpack and enjoy some national anthems from around the world and offer our election predictions.  

Oct 2020

48 min

We discuss Emily Ratajkowski's pregnancy reveal video, pregnancy in general, Epoch Gallery's virtual reality group show experience, and analyze the concepts of tumblr art and hope. We also do a study on the intention behind posting on Instagram, featuring input from Harry Hill of @veryharryhill and Marta of @marta.

Oct 2020

1 hr