5 podcasts to inspire an authentic life
2019 was the beginning of a new direction in my walk with life. A direction that was both terrifying and exhilarating. In the first few months of that year I made the decision that I want to live an authentic life. A life that is based on my own terms and conditions rather than those society would like me to subscribe to.
But after firmly grounding myself in that decision, I realised I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about this whole ‘living authentically’-thing. It felt wobbly, unstable and very uncertain. I had to slowly reacquaint myself with my intuition and learn to trust what it had to say – even, and especially, in the face of fear and doubt.
To help me with the process of unravelling my heart’s calling and finding the courage to follow it, I have been listening to some inspiring podcasts hosted by people who are much further along their path of living authentically. They hold a tender wisdom that has carried me through difficult decisions, moments of doubt and times of confusion.
If you want to go on your own journey with authenticity, I can highly recommend allowing the suggested podcast below to illuminate your way.
On Being with Krista Tippett
Krista Tippett is a journalist and author who interviews the most incredible poets, scientists, activists and spiritual leaders to unravel what binds us in our humanity. Tippett and her guests don’t shy away from big questions and approach the complexity of what it means to be human with integrity and sincerity. If you listen to only one podcast from this list of suggestions, I encourage you to choose On Being. A wonderful episode to start with is the one with late poet and theologian John O’Donohue. It is the ‘most beloved’ episode Krista has ever shared, and it is not hard to understand why. The mystical wisdom that O’Donohue puts forward here is a soothing remedy for the troubles of modern-day life.
Super Soul Conversation with Oprah Winfrey
This podcast is honey for the soul. Super Soul Sunday is hosted by perhaps the most famous interviewer of all time, Oprah Winfrey. The podcast features selected conversations that Oprah shared with well-known thought leaders, spiritual teachers and wellness authors. The guests share deep insights into what it means to live a good life, and, perhaps more importantly, how to be a good person. Speaking to a broad audience, Super Soul Conversation is more accessible and a little fluffier than On Being, but still manages to distil profound wisdom into beautiful words. My favourite episodes are Oprah’s two-part conversation with poet and teacher Maya Angelou. In this episode they share a quote by James Baldwin that has reshaped the way to I think about history.
“Our crown has already been bought and paid for. All we have to do is wear it.”
Listen to part 1 and 2 of Oprah’s conversation with Maya Angelou below:
There are other ways with Fiona Barrows
There are so many people living authentic lives that deviate from the norm. There Are Other Ways does a beautiful job at sharing the stories behind some of these unconventional life choices. In this podcast, Fiona Barrows interviews people who have been brave enough to explore a less well-trodden path in life and abide by their own terms and conditions. The stories that are featured on this podcast are very diverse and offer great inspiration for shaping your own unique story. I suggest starting with the episode where Maddie Lawson shares how she decided to leave behind academic achievements to work in a local homeware store and live on a rural shepherd’s hut site.
Sounds True: Insights at the Edge with Tami Simon
Tami Simon has similar guests on her show to Krista Tippett, but the approach of her podcast is more practical than conceptual. Whereas Tippett and her guests urge listeners to live within the questions, Simon’s guests offer simple, yet profound advice for dealing with the gritty parts of our existence. I often find myself nodding along to the thoughts shared in this podcast. This podcast touches beautifully on the common humanity we all share and the ways we can begin to approach the struggles that come with being alive. A useful episode to start with is the one where Fleet Maull urges us to take radical responsibility for everything that happens to us in life.
ReWilding with Ella Grace Denton
The last podcast I recommend is one that will appeal to young women primarily. In this podcast Ella Grace Denton invites women to unravel the conditioning they have taken on about what it means to be a woman. Denton interviews guests and also shares her own journey towards becoming a more authentic woman. This podcast is the most hipster, ‘new age’ spiritual of the bunch (you have been warned!). But if you can appreciate a little millennial wallowing, this podcast contains refreshingly honest and sincere advice from sincere people who are figuring it out just like the rest of us. This is great podcast to listen from the beginning, so I recommend starting with the first episode.
What are some of your favourite podcasts?