when speaking your truth is medicine for others too
This week marked the 100th upload of the Spiritual Feminist podcast – a pretty amazing milestone if you ask me!
Early 2019, I started the podcast because I was craving a safe space to figure out my truth, talk about spirituality and feminist issues in a way that didn’t feel so ‘public’ (lol, I’ll explain later) and express myself in a different way than I had been doing so far.
About that public piece. Of course, a podcast is one of the most ‘out there’ things you can create, where people intimately connect with you through their earphones or speakers on their walk, as they’re cleaning their home or on their commute. But at the time, it felt like a very anonymous way to start talking about these vulnerable and sometimes radical topics. It was outside of the gaze of Instagram, plus people had to first search for the podcast, actually know it’s me, and then continue to listen to a 30 or 40 minute episode to fully know the message. It felt like there were enough barriers between me / the pod and people who had no place in this new sphere of mine.
Now, over 116,000 downloads and probably over 4000 minutes (or about 70 hours!) or my voice recordings later, I still feel like that. By starting the podcast, I created a safe haven for my emotions, imperfect thoughts and raw process on this spiritual path. Plus, of course, I invited other people to share their truth too – some of them well-seasoned podcasters or public speakers themselves, some people coming on for the first time (and sometimes not even in their native language!).
Safe to say that the podcast jumpstarted my love for sharing about my own self development path (which I then quickly also started doing on Instagram) – but it also made me grow and learn in so many unexpected ways. So, to celebrate this huge milestone, I would like to share some reflections and lessons of uploading 100 episodes of the Spiritual Feminist podcast. On to many, many, many more!
1. Podcasting is a hidden two-way street
When I first started out with my podcast, it felt a little like I was shouting into the abyss. I talked into my microphone, edited the audiofile and uploaded it to the server. There, done, now it’s the Universe’s to play with. But what no one really tells you is that podcasting is unlike most other social media. On Instagram, Youtube and Twitter – there’s something called comments and likes. You can get direct feedback (granted, good AND bad) from people tuning in with your content. With podcasting? It can feel like a one way street. All you do is give – your words, your time, your energy, your vulnerability – and god-knows-who is on the other side tuning in, maybe despising what you have to say, maybe absorbing everything like a sponge.
But then, as I also saw the statistics increasing, I started to receive DMs from women saying they found my pod ‘by chance’ and started listening from the very first episode. I received messages from sisters who thanked me for finally speaking up about an issue they also struggled with. My words turned out to affirm something, some intuitive nudge, within them – and me receiving a thank you note about that affirmed in me that I wasn’t alone on this path either.
I’ve gained mentoring clients because of my podcast, because women feel like they already know me.
I’ve gained Instagram followers because of my podcast, because they are curious about what else I have to say (and perhaps how I look!).
I’ve gained a network of sisters because of the interviews I’ve been able to do – which sometimes even included a little travel to cute places, and always involved cosy mugs of tea.
Having a podcast can feel a little isolating at first. But once you get clear on the web that your pod is weaving for you, you never want to leave!
2. The title helps the algorithm
This will always be fascinating and funny to me at the same time. I think it was during the first year of me podcasting that someone sent me a DM telling me they found my podcast in their app when they simply typed in ‘spiritual’.
I couldn’t believe it at first. The brand name ‘the Spiritual Feminist’ came to me very intuitively early 2019 and I thought it a perfect name for the podcast too – but I never thought about it as a good marketing strategy or a smart biz decision (especially because back then it was still a tentative hobby!).
Now, when people indeed search for ‘spiritual’ or ‘feminist’ or any other topic that is featured in the title of one of the episodes, the pod pops up. And the women who get the energy behind the term ‘the Spiritual Feminist’ will for sure want to tune in, which makes me so excited every time.
3. A safe space exists because you make it so
I’ve had a few people (emphasis on FEW) slide into my DMs or inbox after they listened to a podcast episode, expressing their disappointment or frustration with a conversation I uploaded. It often was around the definitions of womanhood – especially because I often aim to seek the edges of that what defines ‘us’ as women.
And I get it. Maybe not immediately in the moment, but soon after I always saw these messages (as well as the hundreds of positive ones of course) as confirmation that I was doing something right.
Because if I wasn’t showing up vulnerably, authentically and in all my rawness, other people wouldn’t feel the space to do the same.
So whether women are agreeing with me or not is besides the point. It’s not my mission to convince you of anything. I’m simply speaking my truth, and I forever hope that by me showing up with all my imperfections I’m creating a safe space for all of us – myself included – to explore this messy path that we call life.
4. Podcasts are the exhale – the antidote to fast-paced media
With 24-hrs stories and 15-second reels, an old-fashioned sit-down conversation of approx. 40 minutes (granted, mine are usually a *bit* longer, ahem) that you can pause at any time, tune in to at any given moment, is the exhale we all need sometimes from this fast paced media landscape. You know the episode is not going anywhere, which can give a sense of peace when you’re consuming content.
It’s also a very intentional way of consuming content – you may watch 5 reels you don’t necessarily love, but you’d never commit to a 30 minute rant about gardening, pulling cards or Western politics if you weren’t absolutely interested in it.
5. Speak your truth & grow your voice
If you now go back to my very first episode, uploaded on June 3rd 2019 (but please don’t, lol) you’ll hear a very different voice. A quiet, unsure voice reading from a huge list of notes.
I don’t hate it, because I’m glad I started when I did and that I just *did* the thing without needing to perfect it. Because perfection doesn’t exist and it sure as hell doesn’t exist on the Spiritual Feminist podcast, thank Goddess!
But the most unexpected thing that has come from me podcasting for almost 3 years now, is that I’ve grown comfortable in speaking in (virtual) public, I feel secure in owning my message and thoughts, and I’ve honed my skill as an interviewer. In turn, this has given me a lot of confidence and self trust, not to mention some irreplaceable Zoom-people-skills!
And even though I hardly ever listen back to my episodes, because that still makes me cringe just a little bit, I’m glad that they’re there to meet people on their journey, when they’re in the right place, at the right time. I sometimes get messages from women who have stumbled upon an episode of 2.5 years ago, telling me it served them deeply. And even though I may have moved on from my truth back then, evolved in my beliefs and values, that episode is still providing value for someone else on their path. Without my interference, the podcast is still opening people’s hearts, expanding people’s vision, upleveling people’s mind and connecting us women altogether, weaving a web of trust, support and grounding. And what a true blessing that is!
P.S. Listen to the 100th episode here, a special I recorded with my boyfriend in which we talk about all the (past) versions of ourselves and how we can celebrate them. Since I’m usually very private about my romantic relationship, I am so excited for you to get to know Joris a little and hear us together!
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