TEDxFiDiWomen: Speaking Your Truth Is Good For Your Health

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.”

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Stunned silence followed. Then I went on to explain what I mean by that comment. You can watch the whole talk here:

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 stress hormones 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? Here’s the direct YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tu9nJmr4Xs

Shouting it from the rooftops,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.comPink Medicine Revolutionarymotivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.


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Carole R.
Carole R.3 years ago

Great article.

Amy C.
Amy C.3 years ago

I saw that healthy relationships was one of hte base stones in your cairn, and mental health was one of top stones. While I can see why you chose that, I would suggest that when you really come to love yourself, to accept yourself, to create what you want - that's when healthy relationships appear. In fact, maybe mental health and healthy relationships are both bottom layer stones, side by side. We don't heal alone, but we also must heal ourselves. I just don't think we can expect to create healthy relationships, before, we create a healthy heart and mind.

Tracy S.
Tracy S.3 years ago

Lissa - it is extraordinary - the more we speak the truth, the more truth is found.

Carmen S.
Carmen S.3 years ago

Great article, I always appreciate people who speak their truth, whether or not it is something I agree with, it's the only way to really share and I always wind up learning something.

Jake Cohen
Jake Cohen3 years ago

Wow. Great article. I'll always speak my truth.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener3 years ago


Reenie R.
Reenie R.3 years ago

One thing I might add is this. When we consistently find that we feel we cannot express our truths as we see them to others, we may need to find new friends, and as for family, create certain new healthy ways to interact with them, like card night or some activity that doesn't require floating social chatting that may lead to discussion of topics that are "hot."

Reenie R.
Reenie R.3 years ago

I love the movement to be, do, and speak truth. However, I wish I knew what the acronym stands for, just a picky point I suppose. I clicked on TED, but it doesn't explain the full acronym used here. I thought in writing an article you were suppose to ID an acronym the first time it is used. But very good. I still follow the wisdom given to the Beatles the Marahrashi Mahish Yogi (sorry if this isn't his correct name, it's been a while since I've referred to the book). In one section of the Guru's writing he talks about the Art of Speaking, and asks us to consider 3 things before voicing a truth...1) is it true, 2) is it kind, 3) is it necessary. I believe there are times in our lives when withholding the truth may be the best option. I prefer to live my life with a certain approach that says, love trumps even the truth. If the time isn't right for the truth, but our emotions want to let them out, well then, we are in my opinions mis-using the energy from our emotions to more or less vent aka "tell the truth". We need a lot of discrimination in this world esp. when it comes to telling our truths. Truth isn't a sabre to swish around. Sometimes, knowing the truth, and realizing the condition of those who need to hear it (that condition being fragile or foggy or whatever), then we must hold that truth close to our hearts with silence and know that the world will find a way to transmit truth due to our intention to send it...when the time is ripe for the person we want to

tiffany t.
tiffany t.3 years ago


Carole P.
Carole P.3 years ago

Thank you so much for your work. This has been a transformitive lesson for me. I am finally breaking free from the notion of just wanting to be liked to now being truthful. You have come into my life at the perfect moment and I am grateful for you.