My Favorite Enlightening Podcasts

I’ve shared my favorite murder and crime posts, my favorite journalistic podcasts and now, the goldmine –  my favorite enlightening podcasts. A girl needs something to balance out butchery and muckracking, right?  By enlightening and enriching podcasts, be clear this is no trip to the spa. In fact, most of the podcasts listed here require deep listening and might even inspire some intense soul searching.  If you are anywhere on an enlightenment journey, choose one of these.

“If you’re not in the arena, also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”

Unlocking Us, Brene Brown

Unlocking_UsBrene, brene, brene (bra-nay). She is so relatable; I sometimes get confused and forget that we aren’t in fact best friends and we’ve never actually met. I have heard her speak many times. Once was at SXSW, in one of those supersized conference rooms in the Austin Convention Center. There were thousands of people in the conference room and I was two-thirds of the way back in this cavernous space. Still, I was convinced that Brene was looking directly at me when she said, “If you’re not in the arena, also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.” That one phrase (which I firmly assumed was meant specifically for me) changed my life. From that moment forward, I was truly, madly, deeply able to quell the inadvertent criticisms from people that often froze me in my tracks.It was one of those quintessential aha moments. After processing that phrase,  I was able to live a life and pursue a career where I was indeed, “daring greatly.” (Note, Daring Greatly is the title of Brene’s second book). So yes, Brene is my sage, my spirit guide, my shaman. I keep a picture of her in my office. She may not know it, but she’s on my advisory board and I seek out her wisdom often. (Thanks, Brene!) 

Do I binge listen to Brene’s podcast, “Unlocking Us?” Hell no. I take in each podcast the way I do a fancy dessert, relishing each bite and working off the calories for days.  Brene interviews plenty of famous people (Obama, Melinda Gates, Ibram X, Kendi) and that’s cool. However, it’s her interviews with people I’ve never heard of where I often glean the greatest learnings. She has a fabulous episode on the art of gatherings with Priya Parker. There’s a really insightful one on burnout and stress with a sister duo named Emily and Amelia Nagoski which blew my mind.

So no, I don’t binge-listen, but I do carry the podcast learnings around, for a long time, hopefully forever. If you listen to Brene’s podcast and have your own “aha” moment, will you promise to tell me?

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