Sacred Self Care

5 TED Talks to Expand Your Mind


One of the quickest ways to improve your state of mind is by learning something new. I am a huge fan of watching TED Talks to expand your mind.

Here are a few of my favorite speakers (in no particular order) that have helped me on my self-care journey:

12 truths I learned from life and writing

Anne Lamott is wonderfully eloquent in her observations on life. She is passionate and sincere while retaining her sense of humor and wit.

“A few days before she turned 61, writer Anne Lamott decided to write down everything she knew for sure. She dives into the nuances of being a human who lives in a confusing, beautiful, emotional world, offering her characteristic life-affirming wisdom and humor on family, writing, the meaning of God, death and more.”

The beauty of being a misfit

Lidia Yuknavitch is a woman who embodies triumph over tragedy. I adore her and recognize her as a kindred spirit. She brought me to tears with this talk:

“To those who feel like they don’t belong: there is beauty in being a misfit. Author Lidia Yuknavitch shares her own wayward journey in an intimate recollection of patchwork stories about loss, shame and the slow process of self-acceptance. “Even at the moment of your failure, you are beautiful,” she says. “You don’t know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That’s your beauty.”

Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

Like many others, I first heard of Elizabeth Gilbert when I read ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ in 2006. Although we were different types of divorce survivors, there is something universal about the quest to rediscover yourself and rise from the ashes of failure. She continues to resonate with me and I have loved following her journey through the years:

“Elizabeth Gilbert was once an “unpublished diner waitress,” devastated by rejection letters. And yet, in the wake of the success of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ she found herself identifying strongly with her former self. With beautiful insight, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple — though hard — way to carry on, regardless of outcomes.”

The world needs all kinds of minds

Temple Grandin offers insight and a greater understanding of the different ways our mind thinks. Having worked in the early child development field for 16 years, I have seen first hand the rapid rise of diagnosing children with ASD. I have also seen the cruel way families are dismissed by administrators in a position of privilege, the misunderstanding other families have when their child’s classmate is “different”, and my own co-workers missing out on learning new ways to communicate with these brilliant minds. Expand your awareness:

“Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, talks about how her mind works — sharing her ability to “think in pictures,” which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids.”

The brain may be able to repair itself – with help

I am fascinated with neuroscience and research into brain function. Having sustained 7 concussions throughout my lifetime, the idea that our brain is able to repair itself gives me hope! Jocelyne Bloch and her colleagues are at the forefront of this research and she explains it in a way that makes it easy to understand (hint: healthy foods are crucial to support brain health):

“Can we, as adults, grow new neurons? Neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret says that we can, and she offers research and practical advice on how we can help our brains better perform neurogenesis—improving mood, increasing memory formation and preventing the decline associated with aging along the way.”

Now it’s your turn. Do you have a favorite TED Talk speaker or motivational author who has influenced you? Let us know in the comments below!