Blogger: Joan Poirier, “The Worrier Princess”

So for all of you that follow the “Feels”, you have bared witness to my last few posts with a focus on anxiety, depression, and all of the horribly debilitating side effects of that. You have heard about my family strife, the woes of my heart, and my struggle to just get through a day, a week, a month….  For March, the “Feels” has focused on “Me-Ness”, offering up daily inspirations and things you can and should be doing to care for yourself.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with TED Talks. They are my go-to for a multitude of reasons. I seek and watch them for inspiration, hope, joy, laughter, understanding, and most importantly knowledge and growth of self.    To celebrate my “Me-Ness”,  I have compiled a list of my top five TED Talks that inspire me, give me hope, teach me something, or just sometimes, make me laugh or feel less alone. These are talks I have bookmarked, and I have watched multiple times and can quote, and do quote, on a regular basis. The speakers and the topics have resonated or moved me in some strong way that I repeatedly revert back to them. I hope that you all can find some resonance in them too. Sometimes the comfort comes from knowing that we are not alone.

Brene Brown – Listening to Shame

She is number one, and if you make it to the end of my list, you will see she appears twice.  She is not only an amazing speaker, but has made a career out of studying the parts of human nature none of us want to talk about and starts the conversation.  Things like shame and vulnerability.  What?  Who talks about that?!… she does and does so in a way that makes it almost comforting.

She has a great way of simplifying what shame is.  “Shame drives two big tapes — “never good enough” — and, if you can talk it out of that one, “who do you think you are?” The thing to understand about shame is, it’s not guilt. Shame is a focus on self, guilt is a focus on behavior. Shame is “I am bad.” Guilt is “I did something bad.” How many of you, if you did something that was hurtful to me, would be willing to say: “I’m sorry. I made a mistake?” How many of you would be willing to say that? Guilt: I’m sorry. I made a mistake. Shame: I’m sorry. I am a mistake.


Andrew Solomon- Depression, the Secret We Share

Andrew Solomon is a genius.  On so many levels.  The more I learn about him, and read what he has to say, the more I am convinced he is of a superior intelligence to any of us, and just might be an alien.  But jokes aside, if you have ever suffered from depression, or anxiety, you will find comfort in the knowing that you are not alone, that someone does understand, and though treatments today are sorely overlooked, and lacking, there is above all things HOPE.

” Valuing one’s depression does not prevent a relapse, but it may make the prospect of relapse and even relapse itself easier to tolerate. The question is not so much of finding great meaning and deciding your depression has been very meaningful. It’s of seeking that meaning and thinking, when it comes again, ‘This will be hellish, but I will learn something from it’. I have learned in my own depression how big an emotion can be, how it can be more real than facts, and I have found that that experience has allowed me to experience positive emotion in a more intense and more focused way. The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and these days, my life is vital, even on the days when I’m sad.”


Chimimanda Ngozi Adicihie – We Should All Be Feminists

This story of a Nigerian woman’s upbringing and the cultures that defined her world, as well as her insight into how many cultures and outlooks still exist today in how the world views woman, is gentle, but insightful and provides a thought-provoking look into why we should all try to be a bit more “Feminist”.

“I am a feminist. And when I looked up the word in the dictionary that day, this is what it said: “Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” My great grandmother, from the stories I’ve heard, was a feminist. She ran away from the house of the man she did not want to marry and ended up marrying the man of her choice. She refused, she protested, she spoke up whenever she felt she was being deprived of access, of land, that sort of thing.  My great grandmother did not know that word “feminist,” but it doesn’t mean that she wasn’t one. More of us should reclaim that word. My own definition of feminist is: “A feminist is a man or a woman who says, “Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today, and we must fix it. We must do better.”


Lily Tomlin/Jane Fonda – A Hilarious Celebration of Life Long Friendship

This is a hilarious, light-hearted look at two women who have been friends for a lifetime, and the value that this bond has given to their lives.  They are poignant, funny, and sometimes a bit irreverent.  An all-time favorite of mine that explores the depths of the importance of having that “tribe” of women who lift you up when the world is beating you down.  Prepare to laugh!

“The Harvard Medical School study has shown that women who have close female friendships are less likely to develop impairments — physical impairments as they age, and they are likely to be seen to be living much more vital, exciting and longer, more joyful lives.”


Brene Brown – Empathy

And finally, we return to where I started, with the phenomenal Brene Brown.  Only this time in a video short, narrated by her, explaining empathy in the most simple and profound ways.  As an empath, I feel this to my core, then again, I feel everything that way.  A blessing and curse.

“Empathy is a choice, and it’s a vulnerable choice. Because in order to connect with you, I have to connect with something in myself that knows that feeling.”


Joan Poirier is an Empath, a goddess, a woman, a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend.  She is you, and she is me.  Just a real woman, embracing her age and her wisdom, and not afraid of opening the dam and making some waves during her short time on the wild ride of life. She is on an ever-growing quest to live better, do better, be better and taking all the lumps that go with it.

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