I love listening to people. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to talk, and for me talking things out helps me to think them through. By talking something through, I can usually get to a better level of understanding. But we can’t live in an echo chamber, just surrounded by our own thoughts and opinions. Sometimes we need to listen to other thoughts and perspectives and opinions so that we can find things in them that we want to agree with, or disagree with, or discuss further, or love so much that we want to adopt them for ourselves. Expressing thought through speaking and storytelling is so powerful, and I love the times that I spend listening to new perspectives and using them to really reflect on myself.

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Here are a selection of people, talks, podcasts, or even just words that have really spoken to me, ones that have really made me stop and think and reflect. I hope some of them can do that for you too.

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(Newest inspirations will be inserted at the top, so scroll down for older ones!)


Conversation to Listen To: The Liturgists Podcast - Episode 34 - Black and White: Racism in America

  • I first heard William Matthews talking about race on the Unspoken Podcast (see below) and was blown away by his eloquence, but also by the vulnerability of the conversation.

  • The reason that Ruthie & Miles found William in the first place was his involvement in a episode of the Liturgists podcast recorded back in March 2016. I took the time to listen to that conversation and wow. This is such an important, poignant, and relevant discussion for the current climate of our American culture.

  • As a quick disclaimer: I’m not a church person. I was raised in the Catholic church, but there were a lot of things that as I grew and started asking questions… I just couldn’t agree with. So while this conversation does have some roots in the church experience, those parts of the conversation lend to the discussion instead of detracting from it for me. And I think regardless of your religious background, you will think the same.

  • Overall I can’t encourage listening to this enough.


Podcast Shoutout: Unspoken with Ruthie Lindsey and Miles Adcox

  • Finding this podcast was a bit of a journey…. but in a few steps:

    • I started following Sophia Bush on instagram (and just generally in life) because I find her voice so amazing. She is an activist and intellectual who uses the platform that acting gave her to do so much good in the world. Regardless of if she is speaking out for human rights, encouraging others to #adoptdontshop for a furry friend, or just spending time with other great humans to recharge and focus on some self-love, I’m constantly inspired by her.

    • Through following Sophia, I found Jedidiah Jenkins (see below for more), another great source of inspiration.

    • Through both of them, I found Ruthie Lindsey. Ruthie has an incredible story to tell, but it’s not the story that is important (but listen to that too, it’s amazing). It’s how that story has turned her into this wonderful, kind, caring, empathetic person who sees the world in such a beautiful way. It’s how she has taken what could have been the end of her life and turned it into a whole new beginning.

  • Fast forward to Ruthie starting this amazing podcast with Miles Adcox. Before the podcast I knew nothing about him, and am happy to have a change to learn more via this platform. Both of them are sitting down with a series of friends and inspirational people to have honest conversations about life and the thoughts and feelings that too often go unspoken. These are conversations worth listening to.

  • Find them on iTunes Podcasts or Spotify, and or check out some of my favorite episodes so far with Sophia Bush or Eduardo Garcia embedded below.


Oprah Super Soul Session: “First the Pain, Then the Rising” by Glennon Doyle Melton

  • I saw a clip of this talk, the part starting around the 18:00 mark, and when I realized it was part of a longer talk I knew I needed to hear the whole thing.

  • I heard Glennon speak without really knowing who she was, but the words and ideals and messages that abound in this talk are all worth a listen. How to embrace the hard things in life, because they are the most worthwhile. How to support the empowerment and betterment of all peoples because it will empower and better ALL people. And on and on. She covers a lot of ground in 23 minutes, and every one is a great chance to stop and reflect.


Podcast: No Filter with Mia Freedman interviews guest Glennon Doyle

  • After hearing the talk she gave at an Oprah Super Soul Session (see above), I knew I needed to know more about Glennon Doyle. I didn’t know that she was a NYTimes bestselling author, or that she had a hugely successful website, or that she was married to US soccer superstar Abby Wambach. But I did know that to speak so profoundly, her life must have been filled with a lot of pain and sadness. Out of all of that she managed to turn that pain into strength. And it’s clear that after finding her own strength, she wants to help others to find theirs too.

  • I’m not entirely sure how I found this particular interview / podcast, but if you saw the talk above and wanted to know more like me, this is a great discussion and a wonderful look inside the mind of an inspiring individual.


Link to Barnes & Noble

Link to Barnes & Noble

Person to really listen to: Jedidiah Jenkins

  • I somehow found Jedidiah Jenkins on Instagram a while ago, and ever since have been inspired by him on pretty much a daily basis. He is an extremely mindful, thought provoking individual and whether I’m reading one of his lengthy captions on instagram (or watching his usually hilarious stories), looking forward to reading his new book, or finding interviews and podcasts to listen to, Jedidiah finds a way to make me reevaluate how I approach life, and how I interact with other people.

  • Here are some ways I’ve enjoyed listening to / learning from him:


TED Talk: “Do schools kill creativity?” by Sir Ken Robinson

  • There is a reason this is one of the most (if not THE most) watched TED Talk of all time. As the child of educators, I know the hard truth that no one method works for every child. There is no perfect way to make every child succeed, there is no magic formula. But the best teachers love their craft, and they love working with every student to help them in the best way that they can.

  • This talk is a great reflection on what things we prioritize in traditional schooling, and what we might be loosing by leaving other things out.


All photos, videos, audio, or other media above include links to their original sources. I don’t own any of this media, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.