I’ve been practicing being more intentional about what media I let into my life. Everyday we are bombarded with messages and images whether we want to see them or not. Depending on how you get by in this world, those images, those stories, that content can cause you to have a negative outlook on the world, on yourself, on your surroundings, on your future.
There is nothing wrong with limiting what has access to you (your time, your energy, your mental state of being). With this in mind, I’ve subscribed to more of the content that uplifts me. Does this mean that I’ve shut out the world? Sometimes! What it really means is that the first thing I do in the morning isn’t turn on the news or dive into social media. Instead I’m listening to a podcast or reading an article that resonates with me. Think you could use some more goodness in your life? Here are 7 gems that I’ve found that have brought me joy.
The Red Table
Red Table Talk is an American web television talk show starring Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris that premiered on May 7, 2018 on Facebook Watch. As I write this, they just wrapped up a two part episode where Will Smith and Jada had real talk about their relationship, being broken, being whole, and how they had to redefine their understanding of marriage to make their relationship work. But if you dive into any episode of this show, you’ll see that Jada has created a space where she, her cohosts, and her guests can come to the table and simply be. I love these spaces where you don’t have to wear masks on put on a show. I love that we can remove the pedestals that we usually hold for people in the lime light, and start seeing them as the beautiful human beings they’ve always been. If you’re looking for a dose of humanity served up at a round red table, this is a good place to be.
Jane Fonda on Finding Yourself Late in Life
“We’re not meant to be perfect. We’re meant to be whole.” – Jane Fonda. Two-time Oscar-winning actress, author, political activist and fitness pioneer Jane Fonda discusses her celebrity upbringing, her film career and her controversial activism. Jane explains why it’s never too late to become who you were meant to be. She was famous from the day she was born. Despite what appeared to be a storybook upbringing, hers was a complicated childhood scarred by her mother’s suicide and an emotionally distant father. The survival mechanisms she developed as a child and her ensuing quest for perfection laid the foundation for the life lessons she would not unravel until many years later. Now, from the vantage of what Jane calls the “third act” of her life, one of the most scrutinized women of our time opens up like never before, sharing how she learned to forgive herself and let her vulnerabilities show, and why she feels that she is finally “whole.” Listen to the podcast episode here as part of Oprah’s Master Class series.
Choosing Wonder Over Worry by Amber Rae
Choose Wonder Over Worry is your official invitation to face your fears and create a life that reflects who you truly are. Author Amber Rae says “I’m not a therapist, neuroscientist, or life coach. I’m a woman who’s obsessed with the human condition, what our emotions are trying to tell us, and how we can express the fullness of our gifts. My hope for you in reading this book is that you become whomever you want to be and uncover what’s burning inside of you — whether that’s a revolution, a piece of art, the best sex of your life, or inner peace.” If that’s not an invitation to do a deep dive, I don’t know what is.
Feeling the Fear and Doing it Anyway
Fear keeps us stuck in these real life circumstances that simply do not serve us. It keeps us from receiving our highest good. How do we feel the fear but do it anyway? Live anyway? Love anyway? Create anyway? Take risks anyway? We as humans are alchemist, so how do we alchemize fear? Check out this Alchemy with Ambi podcast episode for one woman’s experience with fear and lessons on how to work with and move past it.
The Daily Good Newsletter
“Our human physiology often reflects what’s happening in nature. In a season distinguished by excess movement and dryness, it’s normal to sense an elevated restlessness or anxiety within ourselves. Give yourself permission for soul-nourishing activities that ignite your creativity and keep you grounded.” – Wise words The Daily Good newsletter. This is one of the first emails that I open in my inbox every morning. It always has a great find for me, and some gems of wisdom. Whether it be a new artist to listen to, an article or podcast, or an awesome brand I should be following, it’s always left me in good spirits.
Put Yourself in the Way of Beauty
For me, it’s important to fully engage my senses in beautiful things. And I’m really big on seeing things that are pleasing to me, particularly because of the colors, the subject matter or the words. I have stumbled upon two great finds: Erica Chan Coffman is the co-founder and executive editor of HonestlyWTF, a lifestyle blog that curates stories covering fashion, art, travel, interior design and DIY. Her passion for design and craft comes from her previous experience working in the art industry and her extensive background in jewelry and accessory design. Her Instagram feed brings me so much joy. Check it out to find out why. My second find is I Am Her Tribe, an instagram account featuring the raw and empowering poetry of Danielle Doby. Danielle says “I write for my own healing. I share to meet my courage. The magic happens when someone sees their reflection in the words.” Take a look and let me know what you see.
Song Exploder Featuring Janelle Monae
Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. Each episode is produced and edited by host and creator Hrishikesh Hirway in Los Angeles. Using the isolated, individual tracks from a recording, Hrishikesh asks artists to delve into the specific decisions that went into creating their work. Hrishikesh edits the interviews, removing his side of the conversation and condensing the story to be tightly focused on how the artists brought their songs to life. Janelle Monáe is an award-winning musician and actress who released her first record in 2007. She’s been nominated for multiple Grammys and starred in the Oscar films Moonlight and Hidden Figures. In April 2018, she released her third album, Dirty Computer, which includes the song “So Afraid.” In this episode, Janelle Monáe takes “So Afraid” apart to explain how she built it, step by step—beginning with a trip to the dentist.