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December 15, 2021

How I Found “My People” in Podcasts.

 

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Before I started my own podcast, I had only ever listened to one other show. It was “Literally! with Rob Lowe,” and I only tuned in for the Demi Moore interview.

As a child of the 80s, I couldn’t miss a mini–”St. Elmo’s Fire” reunion even if, as a Gen Xer, it took several Google searches before I figured out what a podcast was and where to find them.

I remember vividly that it was in the middle of summer, and I was painting a giant plywood sign for a friend’s business. Surprisingly, I became so absorbed in the conversation while I coated the wood that I continued to listen to a few more episodes. Plus, Rob Lowe cracks me up, so shedding blood, sweat, and tears was more enjoyable that afternoon.

Fast-forward through a COVID-19 nightmare that fatally impacted my family, my only child’s biggest moments as a high school senior, and so many other aspects of life on a global scale, I had an inspired thought. One totally random thought that I would start my own podcast.

Then a second thought followed—its name, “Slightly Unmeditated.”

While today’s technology is far more advanced than it was in the mid-90s, when I graduated from the music and video program at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, the basics were the same: mic, headphones, editing software. I simply Googled the rest to light the flame of my passion project. Then I asked a childhood friend to talk with me on record for an hour each week.

The concept of my podcast dealt with the aloneness I often felt (and still feel) on my spiritual journey. I figured if I was confused or overwhelmed by all the philosophies of spirituality, other self-aware people must be as well. And if there were only a few people I could talk openly to about this stuff, it must be the same for others. I wanted to create a space in a casual talk environment where I, and others, could feel comfortable talking about the Law of Attraction and similar things.

All this and I was still side-stepping the fact that being in front of a mic to speak to the world was not exactly in my wheelhouse. However, it was a revelation (and still is) how smoothly conversations flowed and shows lined up without much effort. This is what passion is all about. It’s never work if you love what you do, and I truly do.

There were so many episodes where, upon completion, I would swear I was channeling information from somewhere outside of myself. Then people started to reach out, asking how we knew what they had been thinking about on the very day they listened in. This, and the many other synchronicities still happening, tells me that this is my path—my purpose.

I even aligned with an incredible life coach who always wanted to start a podcast of her own. She has since created “Find Your Center with Life Coach Kim Perone” on my now-expanding podcast channel. There is no such thing as coincidence. Much gratitude, Universe!

However, even with the weekly opportunities to delve deeper into my spirituality and the journeys of others, it wasn’t enough. I was still lacking “my people.” I had several clearing out years where those who didn’t serve me said “Later, gator” without looking back. While I was happy for the release, I was disappointed that the open people slots weren’t being refilled fast enough.

Since the start of “Slightly Unmeditated,” I began making lifestyle changes so that I could walk my talk and put into action what I was trying to guide others into doing—improving their own lives. I literally started walking a few miles a day. I quit smoking after 32 years, and even became slightly less unmeditated by learning how to guide meditations.

It was on these walks that I discovered the real power of podcasts and found my people.

At first, listening to the “Armchair Expert” podcast helped me stay moving on walks for a full hour or more several times a week because I had so many episodes to catch up on. Then that show and others began to have a more profound effect on me. I started to feel like I was one of the gang, like I was finally part of the conversations I so desperately wanted to have.

But it wasn’t until my co-host at the time triggered an on-air epiphany while recording one night that I realized what podcasts were doing for me. While I was once again lamenting my lack of people, she said the most profound thing: “Those podcasts are your people.”

Game-changer.

I purposely never listened to other podcasts in the early days of creating my own. This was so that my instinct and intuition wouldn’t be influenced by anyone else. Once we had a few months of our episodes established and online, I tuned in to finally see what others were doing. It was then that I found so much more than I expected.

Listening to the backstories of other creative people was a homerun for me. I received so many affirmations that my out-of-the-box thinking wasn’t so far-fetched. And it gave me the confidence to follow through with my intuitions in an incredibly public way.

One particular interview helped me find the courage to live more authentically, on-air and off. It was life-changing for me and the feedback I got from listeners tells me there’s a ripple effect of authenticity—and that’s a beautiful thing.

While my spiritual beliefs remind me that I’m never truly alone, loneliness can be an overwhelming emotion for any human being. We are designed for connection with others and with our source. As my open people slots continue to fill up, I’ll always be grateful for the soul connections I continue making through podcasts, both mine and others.

What flows through my old-school headphones flows directly into my heart and means something to me. I’m dually blessed to have podcasts to listen to and podcasts to participate in and produce. Even though there are millions of shows available, every voice matters. I mean, have you been to a library or bookstore lately? Yet, we still need new writers to find the courage to do their thing.

It’s always a joy to find voices that resonate with me. And it’s absolutely soul-bursting when I hear that my show has had a positive impact on someone else’s life.

~

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