I’m not much of a note taker. I can’t tell you how many times I listen to a podcast, hear a golden nugget of wisdom, and forget all about it the second an episode ends. (I tell myself I’ll come back to the episode and write down my takeaways, but usually it doesn’t happen).
This month—instead of soaking everything in and buzzing with anxiety from too much information—I decided I’d listen to podcasts with intention. I’d keep track of my favorite episodes and I’d type out the quotes or ideas that spoke to me the most.
Here are some of my favorite sounds from the month. I hope they help you overcome some decision fatigue next time you open your Spotify app.
(Wanna skip straight to listening? Follow my sounds of the month playlist).
Favorite podcasts this month
1. Ashley C. Ford on Storytelling, Truth-Telling, and Liberation
Every storyteller and writer needs to listen to this episode of Unlocking Us with Brené Brown.
Last year, I remember telling my therapist everything I hated about myself and all the fears I had about my business (battling imposter syndrome and low self-esteem). She got super serious and asked: “Where is there proof? Where is there proof that you are not good enough?”
I have a content writing business—I get paid to write—and I STILL struggle with calling myself a writer. This year, imposter syndrome started to sneak its way back into my life, per usual. I needed a reminder of last year’s lightbulb moment and stumbled on this episode just in time. Ashley C. Ford talks about the resistance she felt about being a writer, even when she had no evidence she wasn’t a writer:
“And I could come up with so many excuses for why I was not who I very clearly was, or that I wasn’t good at doing what I very clearly had some talent for doing. And the evidence would not bear out. The evidence that that was true, that I was bad, that I shouldn’t do it, that I couldn’t do it, it never showed up.”
It never showed up. No matter how often I convince myself my next client email will say: “LOL you think THIS is writing????” It never happens. There’s no evidence saying I am not a writer.
So think of the very thing you want to do and ask yourself: Where’s the proof you can’t do it? Where’s the proof you’re not good enough? And while you’re at it, give this episode a listen.
2. Foraging Ecology (EATING WILD PLANTS) with @BlackForager, Alexis Nikole Nelson
Remember pretending you were making a soup with twigs and leaves as a kid? (Just me?). I was super outdoorsy growing up. Finding out about the world of foraging sparks some of that childhood curiosity for me. Alexis Nikole (@blackforager) was already one of my favorite accounts on Instagram. She has so much love for the outdoors and plants (and spontaneously breaking out into song); I swear her joy is contagious.
And she’s a great teacher, too! Alexis is constantly sharing foraging tips and recipes in a fun and entertaining way. Did you know dandelions are edible? I mean, I knew there was dandelion tea, but I never thought much about whether you could eat one or not. I just love how they look. All yellow and bright and happy (I hate that mowing lawns is a thing).
Anyway, I was so excited to find out about this episode of Ologies. Alexis shares her story, talks about how she fell in love with foraging, and the history of land stewardship. If you’re interested in sustainability or plant-based eating, give this episode a listen.
3. You’re Not Crazy. Childcare Is.
About once a week, my partner and I will realize how easy we have it. No matter how stressful and busy work and life gets, right now it’s just the two of us (and our little pup). We’re nervous about the future because of how hard parenting and working will be. Parent or not, the pandemic exposed the absolute mess of a childcare system we have in the U.S. (That is: pretty much no system).
Gloria Riviera, the host of the podcast, said it best: “What was hard became impossible.”
The topic of motherhood is near and dear to my heart, especially after almost two years working with a nonprofit that supports new moms experiencing poverty, I cried multiple times while I was listening to this episode.
I don’t have a call-to-action or an answer. But listening helped me realize how much more work there is to be done.
4. Selling On Instagram: What To Do & What NOT To Do
I’ve been meaning to get around to Captivate + Convert for a while now. Kept telling myself I’d take a listen and kept forgetting. (Also always hesitant to start a new marketing or copywriting podcast in case I fall down the comparison trap of hating myself). Then I saw Christy shared a huge podcast milestone on Instagram, and I thought, “Go support her will ya!?”
Now. I don’t think this is a secret. I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. So much love that one day—I’m posting a ton, feeling like everyone is my BFF and I can’t wait to learn everything about them. Then the next— I’ll go days without talking or sharing much of anything for some reason. Maybe I see a post that makes me think I’m falling behind and I decide to swear off the platform? Then, for good measure, I kick myself for a few days and wish I could pull myself together. (Are you exhausted? I’m exhausted).
If any of the above rings true for you, you MUST listen to this episode. Christy Cegelski’s interview with Tay Daniels had me taking so many notes. Including:
Ignore vanity metrics. Followers don’t equal sales.
You don’t have to be online all the time to have a successful business.
Be intentional about your time online. Set a timer and stick with it.
My personal favorite quote from Tay: “You should only compare yourself to YOURSELF.” (So. Stinkin. Good). I LOVE comparing myself. It’s half the reason I don’t show up online. I’m intimidated by everyone who seems to be KILLIN’ IT in their business and in life. But this episode was just the reminder I needed: vanity metrics mean nothing and you have to show up in a way that’s right for you and your business.
Favorite songs this month
You know how you get used to your Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify, and Monday rolls around and you realize you forgot to save the songs you loved? I’m trying to be better about that. Here are some of my favorite songs this month.
1. The Dirt by Tor Miller
Harmonies freakin’ galore. Go listen right this very minute. Please.
2. ok ok? by half alive
I’ve had this whole album on repeat most of this spring and I doubt that’ll change this summer. (Thankful for my music friend-fam for sharing this one—lookin’ at you Kels + Mike). Listen to this song and you’ll wanna hear the rest of the album too.
3. Cig by Baby FuzZ
Cig by Baby FuzZ makes me feel nostalgic and hopeful and sad and optimistic all at once. Put your windows down and drive around some curvy roads. (17-year-old me woulda loved it).
4. This Will Be Our Year by The Zombies
Right around the time I got my second vaxx (and spring finally kicked in), I started listening to this All Out 60s playlist. This song by The Zombies kinda feels like the veil of 2020 lifted a little bit. It’s the perfect summer tune.
What have you been listening to?
Your turn! Is there a song you’ve had on repeat? A binge-worthy podcast you love? Send me a message @karonicapaige and tell me your favorite song or podcast this month. I’m always on the lookout for a walking buddy to sing me through the sidewalks. (Or a grocery store narrator so I can feel double productive).