TED Talk: Speaking Your Truth is Good For Your Health

Published on December 13, 2011 by Lissa Rankin, M.D. in Owning Pink // Psychology Today

I recently got up on the blue backlit stage to deliver my first TEDx talk at TEDxFiDiWomen in San Francisco, and as I stood there in the spotlight, I felt the gravity of what I was about to do.

Looking out over that sea of people who were anticipating what I was about to say, I felt the butterflies in my belly, but they didn’t keep me from leading off my TEDx talk with a bold statement – “Caring for your body is the LEAST important part of your health.”

Stunned silence followed. Then I went on to explain what I mean by that comment. You can watch the whole talk here: http://youtu.be/7tu9nJmr4Xs

When I finished speaking and the audience rose to their feet, I was gifted with the validation of deafening applause. And when they posted the video and the sweet comments, and “Likes” started appearing on YouTube, I knew I wasn’t going to get burned at the stake because there are enough witches like me out there who think like I do so that I will be protected and lifted up.

But here’s the thing.

I really don’t care about the applause or the comments.

I speak my truth, not for you, but for me and my health.

The Body Craves Truth

For years, I kept my truth bottled up inside. I stuffed it down. I covered it up with masks. I allowed myself to be silenced so I wouldn’t make waves. I wanted people to like me. I wanted to blend in.

But my body hated it. My body started to whisper – and then it started to yell.

When you squelch what is true for you, the body releases harmful stresshormones that raise your blood pressure, elevate your heart rate, and weaken your immune system. When you speak what’s true, the body relaxes, your muscles stop tensing, your blood pressure lowers, your pulse slows, your happy hormones get jump started.

Speaking Your Truth Is Preventative Medicine

I could have gotten up on that TEDxFiDi Women stage and mimicked what others have said before. I could have tried to be Deepak-lite. Christiane-lite. Mehmet-lite.

But I don’t want to be anybody but me. This is my truth. This is me being unapologetically me. This is what I believe, and I’m sticking by it.

Ever since I started speaking my truth three years ago, my body stopped yelling. It stopped whispering. Finally, my body is at peace.

There’s no going back. Once you find your voice, you can’t quiet it. Some people won’t like it. Some will wish you’d go back to stuffing it or covering it up. Some will prefer the old you.

But trust me on this. The REAL you is the one who can heal you when you’re sick, tend you when you’re wounded, lift you up when you’re down.

TEDxWomen & TEDxFiDiWomen

On December 1, tens of thousands of women around the world gathered to listen to women get on TEDx stages and speak their truth. The speakers were all invited to distill our truth into 18 minutes, so the world could hear what we really care about. Our truth is now being broadcast on YouTube and TED.com around the world, amplifying our truth to reach women who couldn’t be in those live audiences with us.

What we spoke can now reach those who aren’t allowed to leave the house, who can’t afford to travel, and who have limited access to the kinds of radical ideas we spread. My hope is that our empowering messages can help others speak their truth and live their truth.

The Dalai Lama said, “The world will be saved by the Western woman.”

The TEDx affiliates are helping us world-savers do our job. Thank you TED!

What Truth Do YOU Want To Speak?

What would you say with your 18 minutes in the spotlight? What truth do you want to speak and live? What do you really want to tell your partner/ boss/ mother/ best friend/ the world? What do you care about so deeply that you want to broadcast it virally over the internet? What’s true for you?

Speak your truth. Live your truth. Reclaim your health. Be vital.

Oh – and if the truth I shared in my TEDx talk inspired you, would you please tweet it, Facebook it, repost on your blog, and email it to anyone you think might benefit?

Shouting it from the rooftops,


Learn more about Lissa Rankin here. 


“If the body doesn’t shape how we live our lives, what if the body is actually a mirror of how we live our lives . . . “

“The body speaks to us in whispers, and if we continue to ignore the body — it starts to yell . . . When any of the  facets of what make you whole get out of balance, the body is the first thing to start whispering.”

“When we let our true self be seen, when we let our inner pilot light radiate — we heal from the inside out . . . and it’s more powerful than anything medicine can give you from the outside.”

“So, I ask you: what is it that you need? What does your body need to get healthy? What is it that you need to change? What needs to be tweaked in your life?  If you knew that stripping off all of your masks and letting us see that beautiful light within you was THE solution to your health problems, would you be willing to do it? I dare you. It just might make your body ripe for miracles.”

* * * * *

Oh, sweet sweet inspiration . . . :)

with passion & gratitude — jennifer


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