270: Intensity & Harmony w/ Princess Fortier

In this engaging conversation, Aurora sits down with the multi-talented Princess Fortier, a beacon of inspiration in the journey of embracing one’s intensity. Princess shares her remarkable story, from neuroscientist to singer and model, highlighting how music became her tool for healing and transforming her life. Together, they delve into the themes of harnessing personal intensity, pursuing passions beyond conventional boundaries, and the power of gratitude journaling. Princess’s insight provides a riveting exploration of living life unbounded and the beauty of connecting deeply with one’s passions. Join us as we uncover the synergy between harmony and intensity, and discover how embracing your full self can lead to a fulfilling and impactful life.

Discover how Princess overcame intense migraines through her passion for singing, marking a pivotal shift in her life that not only cured her physically but also steered her towards a fulfilling career in music. Throughout the episode, Princess shares her multifaceted experiences, from her challenges with perfectionism and navigating cultural expressions to engaging deeply with neurodiversity and entrepreneurship. Aurora and Princess delve into the significance of embracing one’s intensity, using personal fire for positive impact, and the liberation found in gratitude and self-expression. This episode is a testament to the strength found in vulnerability, the beauty of pursuing one’s passions, and the value of community support. Tune in to be inspired, find connection, and discover how to channel your own intensity into a force for good.

This episode not only celebrates Princess’s remarkable contributions to the field of music and arts but also sheds light on how embracing one’s intensity can lead to groundbreaking discoveries and personal healing. Listen in as Princess shares her thoughts on perseverance, the significance of music in her life, her battle against perfectionism, and her spirited advocacy for journaling and gratitude as tools for navigating life’s challenges.

In this episode:

  • Princess is an inspiring figure who transitioned from a neuroscientist to a singer/model and has been featured in shows like Abbott Elementary and All American.
  • Princess shares her unique story of how singing cured her chronic migraines, leading her to pursue a full-time music career.
  • The power of journaling, especially gratitude journaling, as a tool for self-reflection and goal setting.
  • Princess discusses the challenges and benefits of embracing one’s intensity, including her resistance to being limited by societal expectations and finding freedom in diversity.
  • The dialogue touches on topics like neurodivergence, perfectionism, the importance of setting boundaries, and the impact of cultural and familial pressures.
  • Aurora and Princess share experiences of dealing with rejection sensitivity and the internal struggle of wanting to be liked and approved.
  • They explore the concept of using one’s ‘fire’ for good, including sharing knowledge, setting examples for others, and creating transformative art.
  • Princess discusses how engaging in multiple passions, such as music and entrepreneurship, has allowed her to express her intensity in various domains.
  • Aurora emphasizes the importance of self-care and taking breaks to prevent burnout, acknowledging her own past of working on urgency.
  • The conversation also covers strategies for harnessing one’s intensity and sensitivity, with Princess highlighting the power of gratitude practices.
  • Princess encourages the audience to let go of perfectionism and embrace their passions.
  • Both speakers reflect on personal growth, the importance of authentic self-expression, and supporting others in their journey to embrace their intensity.
  • Princess shares ways to connect with her and learn more about her journey and work, including her website and upcoming appearances.


* Rough Transcript *

The Myth of Perfectionism and Introduction to Embracing Intensity

Princess: you can strive for perfectionism And if you continue to do that, you would be completely bored if you ever reached that perfectionism, you would be completely bored out of your mind. So just stop.

Aurora: Totally.

Princess: Stop it. You know, just do the thing that you do and that you love.

Aurora: Welcome to the Embracing Intensity podcast. I’ll be sharing interviews and tips for gifted, creative, twice exceptional, and outside the box thinkers who use their fire in a positive way. My name is Aurora Remember Holtzman. After years of feeling too much, I finally realized that intensity is the source of my greatest power.

Now, instead of beating myself up about not measuring up to my own self imposed standards, I’m on a mission to help people embrace their own intensity and befriend their brains so they can share their gifts with the world through the Embracing Intensity community, coaching, educational assessment, and other tools to help you use your fire without getting burned.

You can join us at embracingintensity. com.

Special Guest Announcement and Community Updates

Aurora: Hello. I am especially thrilled to share my interview with the person who inspired me to start doing two episodes a month again, so I can share more interview episodes. With awesome people like her.

Princess Fortier’s Journey: From Neuroscience to Music

Aurora: I met princess at a family creative arts camp. And when she told me about how she went from neuroscientist to singer slash model, I knew she’d have a fascinating story to share. And I was not disappointed. She’ll be speaking for the embracing intensity community on an upcoming call on the healing power of music. Princess has also been popping up on my Instagram feed with appearances on shows like Abbott elementary, curb, your enthusiasm, and a speaking role on all American. We’re also planning an upcoming collaboration.

I’m hoping to pull together this summer break. If you’d like to help me maintain two episodes a month and keep interviewing people with awesome stories to share. Consider joining one of my memberships@embracingintensity.com slash join. And you can also join the community for free. Our next call will be with Sharon Burton of spark.

Your creative on creativity as self care on Saturday, April 20th. Enjoy.

Welcome to Embracing Intensity. Today I am super thrilled to have Princess Fortier.

Princess: That’s right.

Aurora: Joining us for an interview. I’m so excited. She’s actually one of the reasons why I was so excited to get back into interviews because she has such an amazing story. We met in person this summer at a camp and She just has such an amazing story.

I really wanted to get her on the show and we’re still planning our schedule for for our upcoming calls But she’ll be speaking to the community as well on the healing power of music. So

So glad to have you. Welcome Princess!

Princess: Thank you so much for having me. It’s so cool to be here.

I’m actually going to go to the camp again this summer. So I’m looking forward to that. Are you going to go as well?

Aurora: Yay. Yes. I need to get registered.

Princess: Yeah, that part.

The Healing Power of Music: A Personal Story

Princess: But yeah, I yeah, music has been such a healing force for my life and it continues to be. And I know that’s true for so many people.

But my, my story is a little bit. unique. I think everybody seems really shocked when they hear how music has specifically healed my migraines. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. So, I’ll tell you a little bit about that. I went to I grew up in Northern California, Stockton, a small town lots of future farmers of America with a single mom, four, four daughters.

So five ladies in a household, really, really fun stuff. And I started getting migraines when I was about 13 pretty much like clockwork. It would be, they would last between 24 and 48 hours at a time. Wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. I mean, you just have to just lay down in the dark and try to have quiet because pain medication doesn’t necessarily work every time.

And anyway, it was pretty bad. I went to a neurologist who pretty much gave me anything experimental she could give me. It didn’t really work, and so I had a personal vendetta against my migraines and decided I wanted to study neuroscience in college to figure out how to cure them. So I went to UCLA unfortunately there was not a migraine specific.

Program in the neuroscience department, but I did learn a little bit about the brain and I was still very very intentional about wanting to find out about why i’m getting migraines and how I can heal them in my junior year at ucla I was in an organic chemistry lab and I started getting a visual occlusion which is like They call it an aura, too.

It’s kind of like a semi blindness that happens before migraine. It’s like a telegraph, like, you’re gonna get a migraine soon. So just a heads up. I had my lab partner, Brittany Lamar, drive me from my lab. She, I have her drive my car to my My rehearsal, I was rehearsing in a band after that lab.

I was like, girl, I can’t see. Can you drive for me, please? So Brittany, Brittany was like, sure, I’ll drive you. You sure you want to go? I was like, yes. Anyway, as soon as I got to my rehearsal and started singing, my migraine that had definitely started went away and I was like, wait a minute. This has never happened in my life.

I’ve never had the visual occlusion. And then. the intense migraine start and then just lift from me. It’s usually like 24 to 48 hours and at the end I get nausea and vomiting and then I know it’s almost over. That has been the pattern from 13 to my early 20s. So I was like, wait a minute.

God, are you trying to tell me something? Is this the cure that I’ve been looking for? Singing? I don’t know about it. Anyway, but over time you know, singing, I noticed every time I got a migraine, and started singing, my migraine would go away. So I was like, okay, this is definitely my cure. I finished studying at UCLA.

I got my degree. But I pursued singing. full time after that full stop because it was like this is my cure and singing has been such a healing thing for my expression for my migraines obviously maintains my stress levels anxiety, all kinds of things. And it’s really, really extra cool bonus points that sharing my voice has been also help, helpful and healing to others as well in their lives and in their relationships.

So that’s my wild and crazy kid story singing cured my migraines. I haven’t had one in over two years now.

Aurora: So, awesome. And singing is also connected you with other people and yeah, it just has been such a fun thing to watch all the stuff that you’ve been into.

Princess: It brought me to many, many places all over the world, many, many rooms many relationships, many successes and you know, I never thought it was possible.

I mean, I grew up. thinking that, and learning that, like, I came from a family of educators and so singing was always a hobby or something you do at church, you know? And that’s it. It wasn’t something in my mind that I could be, like, have as a career.


100 percent full time, you know, I’m a full time musician and it’s a blessing to live in LA and be able to just do what I love.

It’s fun for me and, you know, survive, thrive, even really great.

Exploring Intensity and Passion Beyond Music

Aurora: So tell me a little bit more about you and what else you’re intensely passionate about.

Princess: That’s what you mean by intensity. Okay. I was like embracing intensity. Yeah. So I’m pretty intensely passionate about journaling as well. Journaling and gratitude journaling specifically journaling has been such a compass in my life.

Journaling helps me know what I’m thinking, helps me articulate my goals helps me process trauma and, you know, notice patterns that, Maybe I wouldn’t, otherwise wouldn’t have noticed. And like break some of those patterns also, some of the kinds that are not really helpful for our success and thriving.

. And just really get insight. I think people find that kind of inner voice in different ways. Some people meditate to do it. Some people dance to do it. For me, it’s writing writing my thoughts and it’s really just like three pages. I found this really great book and I think you’re going to ask me about books later, but it’s called The Artist’s Journey.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but the writer talks about writing your morning pages. Every morning, three pages of stream of consciousness writing. First thing when you get up it’s really, really, really powerful practice. And so it’s something that I love to do.

Aurora: Awesome. Yeah. I’m familiar with that and I keep thinking that I should start that practice myself.

Princess: Yes. I was way sorry. I said it misquoted. The artist was Julie Cameron.

Aurora: So yeah, talking about the personal brand of intensity, intensity, passion, sensitivity you know, your like gifts and creativity, all of those things kind of fall under that spectrum of intensity. And so for you, like, what would you say would be some places where you see your own personal brand of intensity?

I mean, obviously like Diving deep into the neuroscience and then diving deep into the music. Obviously that’s one area.

Princess: Yeah, I would say that that’s pretty reminiscent.

Finding Personal Freedom and Challenging the Status Quo

Princess: I feel like a renaissance woman in that as an entrepreneur full time, I’m all over the place. I mean, I have a company for gut health.

We’re dissolving it now, but that’s so random, right? Like I have a, I had a company for gut health. I had a company for finance app. I just feel very free and it’s, I am very intensely passionate about that. Freedom freedom from all kinds of things, just like a nine to five, any box, I don’t want to be put in any box.

I want to be able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. And I don’t want to be limited by anything, by anyone’s. anyone’s perspective, by my own perspective, by any one career path, any one acting role. I’m an actress as well. Any type of typecasting. I don’t, I have a real resistance to limitation stuckness and Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole or however you say that.

Yeah, I think freedom’s really important to me.

The Struggle with Neurodivergence and Systemic Inefficiencies

Princess: Growing up, I think I’m neurodivergent. Okay, and this is self proclaimed though, because I’ve tried to talk to counselors about, you know, diagnosing me with, well, I don’t even know what I would call it, but maybe ADHD, maybe, ADHD. I don’t know.

Maybe I’m on some kind of spectrum. I don’t know. But every time I talk to a counselor about it, they’re like, No, you’re not. You’re just a high achiever. You’re just, you know. Maybe you’re a perfectionist, but you don’t have There’s no way, you’re just like, you know, I grew up, I was a high achieving student straight A student, all glowing reviews, except for Miss Vanna, my fourth grade teacher, I got in trouble with her because she gave us a word problem.

I’ll never forget this because it was the first time I got a bad review from a teacher. She gave us a word problem. I had the answer and answer instantly. I raised my hand and gave her the answer. It was correct. And she was like, she got almost angry. She was like, how did you do that?

And I was like, I don’t know, just blah, blah, blah, whatever. And she was upset with me for getting the right answer so quickly and not being able to explain it. In the way that she taught us to solve the problem. So I’ve noticed that I’ve had a theme of that recurring in my life. Just like people being people in leadership roles or authority roles being frustrated with me.

For outsmarting them, or, like, not following their protocol, but then I have an issue because. It’s like their protocol is slow and dumb. Like, let’s do it. So I’ve lost a few jobs in my life. Just being I don’t know if it’s rebellious. I don’t know what to call it. I just see things differently and I think they should be done.

I think things should be done efficiently. And I have a real problem doing things. in inefficient ways and I can’t continue .

Aurora: Mm-Hmm. .

Princess: If I find that it’s not, if it’s not right, or like if it’s not, if it doesn’t make sense.

Aurora: Mm-Hmm. .

Princess: I can’t, I can’t . So

Aurora: totally

Princess: Oh yeah. I’s hard for me. Like, I literally have to be an entrepreneur.

Aurora: yeah.

Princess: I mean, or I have to really find other ways to, I don’t know. It’s very hard for me to do things. In a way that doesn’t make sense.

 Like, gosh, one of my first jobs in college was I was a peer counselor and there was a program I was part of that we had to get a certain number of hours completed in order to maintain the program. I think it was a, you know, we had marked a certain, but they didn’t have the funding to really pay us for those hours.

So they would call them mandatory volunteer hours. And I said how is that different from slavery? My supervisor was like, so upset.

So yeah, I’ve gotten in trouble for being I don’t know, for seeing things. As they are and saying it, like being very matter of fact about it. Yeah, people don’t like it. But anyway, as I’m learning, you know, more about neurodivergence, like some, I think some people have neurodivergence and they’re able to mask pretty well, and so it can show up like a high achieving perfectionism, you know.

Maybe being viewed as bossy or direct or even being shy. I mean, there’s all kinds of ways it presents. But, I don’t know. I said a lot. I’m all over the place now. I’ve completely lost track of what the question was.

Aurora: Oh, no, you actually just answered my next question, which was how it affected you growing up.

So you’re all, you’re just ahead of the game.

The Impact of ADHD and Giftedness on Personal Growth

Aurora: But I will say, like, first of all, I mean, giftedness is a neurodivergence and that I don’t think there’s any question in my mind just talking to you the first time I met. That was obvious to me. But as far as the ADHD piece and things go, the thing that frustrates me is that people will blow get blown off because they are only looked at for how they are impact others and not necessarily how it’s impacting them.

So when you’re say for, if you’re both gifted in ADHD and you’re a high achiever, you look good on paper, like on the outside, everyone’s like, look at all you’re doing. You’re a high achiever. But my experience is that what drives you the things that drive you things like urgency and like pushing yourself and all of those things that keep you moving forward.

If you have ADHD and you struggle with any kind of executive functioning stuff, yes, you can, but it’s exhausting.

Princess: So draining.

Aurora: And so it’s the internal experience that gets blown off, I think, by professionals who don’t understand the intersection of giftedness and other neurodivergence. Because they just see the outside and they see like, well, look how well you’re presenting.

But they don’t see the impact it can make on your physical wellbeing or emotional wellbeing, if you’re having to push yourself all the time and then you Burnout. So that’s why, you know, that’s like my big motivator here is with my work is to let people know that they’re not alone and that, yes, you might have other things going on.

And just because someone blows you off because they see you on the outside, speaking as someone, In my late forties, like I wish I’d known earlier, some of the things that were burning me out because I think, I would have been able to take better care of myself early on because I functioned on urgency for so long that and then, Part of the reason I worked in education was because I had my summers off.

And so I could just crash, but then gradually, like, especially when the pandemic hit and stuff, like it just wasn’t enough, you know, and then it’s hard to come back each time. So, yeah, that’s my.

Princess: I can relate to that. I understand that too. My mom is saying, I think she has ADHD. She says she does.

And I really believe she does. Cause she won’t, you know, I don’t even know the name of this thing is called, but where we, I think ADHDers can have to do something like, you know, you need to drink water or like use the bathroom or eat or whatever, stretch. You won’t do it. You delay it for whatever urgent other urgent thing that’s going on.

You don’t take care of yourself and yeah, , it’s problematic. But anyway, I’m like, am I ADHD or did I just get raised by a woman who’s ADHD and then just pick up some pretty bad habits? I’m not sure. And I hate to use the word bad, but, you know, yeah, that are not ideal.

Aurora: I was just reminded of this meme that I had to download because it was so relatable. And you know, it talks about the things that motivate someone with ADHD and it says ADHD is only motivated by five things, urgency, challenge, novelty and play, interest, and being a contrarian little bitch.

Princess: Yep. Wow.

Contrarian. Yeah. It’s like, okay, sometimes I wonder if I’m a rebel without a cause, but no, I don’t know. I think there’s just better ways to do, like, sometimes there’s just better ways to do things, you know, and there’s certain things, like, I’m going to talk a little bit more about some of my experiences growing up, one of them, I learned how to do long division short, like there, I learned a shorthand version of long division.

that wasn’t the way that my teacher wanted me to do it, but it was way easier, way better. So I got all the right answers, but bad marks because I didn’t show my work the way they wanted me to show it. Just so annoying like, you know as a kid you can’t really fight the system You guys are teaching this wrong But I read I read 1984 I think George Orwell in middle school and they talked about or it might have been brave new world I read them concurrently, so I don’t know which book talked about Punching widgets, there was a, it was a concept of people in a certain class having, you know, and we’re wearing a certain color suit, having to do mindless work so that they could keep busy and be controlled.

And there was this picture painted of one person digging out a hole, you know, in assembly line style work, like one person at a time digging out these holes. And then the next person coming and filling in those very same holes with the same dirt that was just brought out and just like, that really impacted my psyche because I’m like, everywhere I’m every situation I’m in I’m looking for punching widgets.

I’m looking for. stupid processes that I don’t want any parts of it, you know? And so I’m like, no, like there’s another way. There’s a better way. Let me find that way and do that. Yeah, I find myself being a contrarian because of that, I think.

Aurora: Totally. Well, and it’s not just like, it’s inefficient, but also sometimes it can be even more difficult to do those basic things because it just doesn’t engage your brain in the same way.

Princess: Yeah, I do find myself disengaged or like bored a lot. One time I was At a conference learning about finance and Francisco pointed out something I didn’t even notice I was doing. I had my phone out, I was playing a game on the phone. I was writing in my journal. I was taking notes about the presentation.

I was, tapping my, like I was tapping my knee or like fidgeting. I was doing like five things. He was like, do you, he was like, do you really need to do all those things right now? I just was like, wow.

Finding Focus: The Power of Doodling and Fidgeting

Princess: I didn’t even notice I was doing it, but I do I do that. I, like I get bored. I get really bored and it’s frustrating.

So then I then like, I’ll be on my phone when I, and it seems like I’m not paying attention, but it’s actually helping me learn. So same thing, like in high school and middle school, college, all of it. I would doodle, I would fidget. I mean, and it helped me pay attention and maybe it looked like I wasn’t, but I was,

Aurora: yeah. Yeah, totally. And I mean, I’ve seen that a lot with students, but I experienced it really myself when, during the pandemic, because I had to do this training that’s usually pretty hands on virtually. It’s like a renewal of a certification for nonviolent crisis intervention. But It was like so mind numbing and it was like two full days and the first day I was just zoning out so much and then the second day I opened my personal computer at the same time as my work computer and I was working on like a little animation project that I was doing or the comic thing that I was doing and I found myself actually participating more in the discussions even when I had something else.

And so people think, well, just give them a fidget, but the fidget doesn’t engage your brain in the same way. And it has to engage a different part of my brain. So for me, it’s visual stuff. Like if I’m working on something visual, then I can listen better. But like, I can’t read or do something where I’m like engaging the word part of my brain on both sides.

But if I’m working on a visual thing, then I can, you know, listen anyway. Yeah. It’s just people don’t really get that. But that’s why I think, like my sister does crochet and I feel like that’s a good that’s a nice one because you can do that without people thinking you’re as rude as say, if you have your phone people.

Princess: Yeah. They think I’m rude.

Aurora: Yeah, I totally get that.

Cultural Influences on Self-Expression

Aurora: Have you found that there’s any cultural factors that affected how you could express yourself growing up?

Princess: Hmm. Yeah. I mean, I definitely, gosh, I grew up feeling so othered. I mean, yeah. And I may have created these expression limitations for myself.

Just. Kind of as a resistance to wanting to be boxed. Yeah, so I grew up, my, my parents both in different ways were civil rights activists, my grandmother as well. And so I grew up with a very present conversation about, you know, you have to be, you have to, as an African American person, you have to be three times as good at anything to get any kind of Anywhere in life, really, it’s just not even acknowledgement or recognition, but just to function like yeah, so in some ways I felt very invisible and other ways I felt very afraid or resistant to like being hyper, hyper attended to, like, if I got an attitude or if I got upset.

It would be blown out of proportion because I’m black, right? So I better be calm like I better just never I better never be late because that’s you know That’s what black people are right? This is these are this is not true These are just stereotypes that I was very present to and so then I was very resistant to and so I would Work really really really hard to avoid Rolling my neck or and I would make sure I spoke, you know standard english Don’t want to be boxed into this, like, whatever this judgment that African Americans have.

It’s so heavy. And then also I think on a very real level, like African Americans have dealt with cultural trauma generationally. And it does create this, it does create this wanting to stand up for yourself. You know, or yeah, just be able or this lack mindset that can be there. I mean, there’s all kinds of things.

I can’t even, how do you summarize this? How do I answer this? But yeah, I did develop this very like people comment on it now. They’re like, wow, you’re so, you’re so gracious and how you just got me together right now. Like I developed this very peaceful. But firm way about myself to try and, yeah, culture, like avoid being labeled or boxed or viewed negatively in the ways that I felt my, my, my, my compatriots, my cultural partners, I don’t know what to call us, have been viewed.

Yeah. So yes. Is that the answer? Can you ask me again?

Aurora: Oh, I was just, were there any cultural factors that affected how you express yourself? So yes, definitely.

The Journey of Self-Discovery and Setting Boundaries

Aurora: And that leads right into the next question of, did you ever try to tone yourself down or tune yourself out?

Princess: A hundred percent, a hundred percent.

Definitely have tried to dull my shine and definitely tone myself down. I can feel a real fire in my chest. And then to completely just not say anything because I don’t want to, I don’t want to be part of chaos or judgment or any stereotypes for sure, a hundred percent. Yes. A hundred percent.

And that’s so sad. You know, I think people should be able to be fully self expressed and so, yeah, I’m learning how to be more expressive when boundaries are crossed, as a full on adult now, you know, and that’s been really freeing for me lately.

Aurora: Awesome. Now, did you ever feel like your intensity felt out of control, whether that’s for you internally, externally?

Princess: Yeah, I don’t know how to answer that. My intensity felt out of control.

Like it could be the perfectionism, the need for independence like any of those things when it felt, it didn’t have to be necessarily on the outside, but like for you even on the inside where you felt overwhelmed or whatever.

Oh yeah, yeah, that’s, that makes me, yeah, internally I have felt, yeah kind of ruled by. Perfectionism or rejection sensitivity, wanting to be liked, people pleasing doing it and not even knowing I’m doing it. Yeah, I’m starting to see a lot of those patterns and I’m seeing how they don’t really serve me or anyone.

It doesn’t serve anyone to dull your shine or not set boundaries. Boundaries are great. They give people an opportunity to grow. They give people an opportunity to it not just the person that’s setting it, but the person that’s receiving it to be more aware and maybe not not give them a crutch, you know?

It’s great. It’s a great thing. Gosh, trying to think of a story to share why that’s so important to me that’s not too personal or too recent.

Aurora: Totally.

Princess: But yeah, that’s that’s yeah, for sure. I felt like I’ve had to I’ve been overwhelmed by This need to be liked or approved of or yeah, and I don’t I know that that’s a it’s a cultural thing It’s a being a middle child thing. It’s a It’s an anxiety thing Yeah, I Can’t tell you any stories right now because the only one that’s coming up is very recent and it’s a boundary because I don’t want to you know Out someone else in order to share it.

Aurora: Totally. I get that actually, like, that’s one of my things on my platform. Like I’m pretty open about my own personal journey, like coming out of burnout and all of that. But yeah, it’s sharing the interpersonal stuff, especially current interpersonal stuff. That’s definitely, I, Totally get it.

Harnessing Intensity Through Gratitude and Creativity

Aurora: How do you use your fire for good?

Princess: Oh man, how do I use my fire for good? Yeah, so anytime I learn a new thing that’s helpful for me, I’m preaching it to the choir. I mean, I’m preaching, I’m sharing. I share my tools with people that show me that they could benefit from it. Last year I was, let’s see, for three years in a row, I was doing a journaling club online on, on Clubhouse.

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Clubhouse. It came out in the, during the pandemic. It’s like an online podcast situation. But I had a club called The Artist’s Journey with my friend Gerard Smith. And we would host it every day at 5. 55 a. m. We had about 15 people. Some would come every day, some wouldn’t, but we would get together and we would play lo fi, chill hop music or jazz music, and for about an hour write.

We would all write together, so it was kind of like a body doubling situation. I did it for myself, really. I created it so that I would be consistent about writing in my journal every day. And so for about three years, we did that. We wrote our stream of consciousness writing. And then after we’ve completed, we would share well, in the first year we would share what we wrote about.

That ended up being taking four hours every morning. So it was ridiculous. So we ended up starting to just do affirmations and really just setting intentions for the rest of the day. And that was such a powerful practice for everyone in the room. I saw people transform their whole lives, including mine, but like, there was one person who was really, really depressed and also had ideation, suicidal ideation in the beginning of that first year.

And by the end of the year had started a nonprofit, got a grant. bought a building, was doing amazing work. Like there’s all this amazing work under this very sensitive soul that had to just process some of that trauma and then become this huge, powerful force for the world. And I saw that happen over and over.

Just from journaling, just from, you know, being present and aware and also, you know, doing some shadow work just naturally happens when you start journaling. You just look at your, it’s just a big fat mirror. But yeah I say three years because I, after three years of waking up at 5. 55 in the morning and hosting a room, I kind of, I burned out.

And now, you know, have prioritized sleeping a lot more, which is great. It’s been also really powerful for my life, but yeah, people know me as the person that can give you a pick me up when you’re feeling down or help you find an elegant solution to a complex problem that you might be having interpersonally.

So I, yeah, I’m, definitely a lot of people’s like. Unofficial therapist

Aurora: I can see that

Princess: even my own therapist was like, telling me, I love talking to you. Every time I talk to you, I feel great. I was like this feels a little backwards. I’m happy to make you feel great. That’s so awesome.

Aurora: Well, as long as you’re feeling great too.

Princess: Yeah, no, yeah, it’s nice. She’s, she’s great. She’s great. She’s got her great things about her for sure. She also does not believe that I have ADHD and I’m like, okay, well let’s find a, and this is another thing. I probably should find a different therapist at this point, but my rejection sensitivity I’m probably projecting onto her and I don’t want to like, I don’t want to like hurt her feelings or something, you know?

Aurora: So you’ve already shared several things, but is there anything else that has really helped you with harnessing the power of your intensity sensitivity?

Princess: Harnessing the power of it. You know, I think yeah, gratitude, the practice of gratitude. Yeah, I think that that gives me real clarity. I’m, I’m doing a practice from. This really great book called The Magic, by Rhonda Byrne. And she’s, really, the magic she talks about is just the magic of gratitude.

And she gives all these exercises, there are like 28 Days worth of different types of exercises. But one of the ones that she says you must do every day is write down 10 things that you’re grateful for, but not just that you don’t stop there. You say why you’re grateful for them. And it can be anything any tiny little thing or any huge thing or anything that you wish will happen.

It can be past, present, or future gratitude. But that has really helped me just. find peace and real power and awareness and clarity around what what, and fuel to keep going and to be excited about things.

I’ll give an example of one of my gratitudes from yesterday. So because, you know, and this might make sense.

 It seems like I’m on the road a lot as an artist who lives in LA There’s a lot of things all over LA and there’s a lot of traffic. But I got present to how grateful I am to the drivers all around me who You know, have not crashed into me or driven into my lane or, you know, been like the typical LA driver.

I’ve been really, really blessed to be accident free because like what you have to do in LA when you’re driving is you have to drive for other people. You have to be looking way ahead to avoid just the crazies that, or especially when it’s raining, people act like it’s acid coming out of the sky, so they just completely forget all the rules.

Anyway I don’t always drive for other people. Like I’ll slow down very far in advance, but I don’t always look way ahead and try to like avoid possible. Anyway, I’m really grateful for the drivers around me. And and that has taken some. Some of my anxiety and frustration around driving and being in traffic in L. A., all the way down. Just being present to that. Gratitude like it’s a collective thing. This driving thing. If you haven’t been in an accident today. Count your blessings because it could happen to anyone at any time. You know,

Aurora: Yeah, I grew up in San Diego, so yeah, LA traffic is definitely its own.

Princess: Yeah, it’s very different. LA and New York there. Their own their. Quite something. I’m driving in those cities. Yeah, like it’s almost bad to turn on your turning signal because if you do, someone At least it feels this way. Someone will try to not let you in, but if you just take it, then you can get it. It’s crazy. it doesn’t make any sense. Cause like in Northern California, it’s really, you turn on your signal. People give you a wide bird smile and say hello. And how are you? Like on the way, it.

Aurora: Totally.

Princess: Gratitude, that practice of gratitude has helped with my intensity, my fire, for sure.

Aurora: Awesome.

Empowering Others with Your Fire

Aurora: So how do you help others use their own fire?

Princess: I think how do I help others? Yeah, I think my example helps a lot of people. I know anytime I’m in a group chat with other singers and, You know a client tries to pull a fast one Like hey, can we have an extra rehearsal? This day over here and people are just giving their availability and I’ll say like hey What’s the rate ma’am?

You know, I’m not rude about it. But just like is there an additional rate for this additional rehearsal, you know, this kind of thing I’ll always get people saying on the side like, oh my gosh, thanks for saying that because I was too scared to say it or and I used to be in that space. So I know how that feels to not feel bold, emboldened enough to, you know, speak up for yourself or, set an appropriate boundary.

And so that’s one way by example, but also people know I’m very approachable. Like people know that they can ask me. for advice or how to, how do I say this? What’s the best way to say this? You know, I get that question almost every day. And then with my music, I think some of my songs have just been really have really taken taken me on a journey but have taken others on a journey to either feeling good or self discovery finding forgiveness, within their, you know, challenging relationships.

I have a song called Daddy’s Eyes that helped me process some trauma with my own father that I found out later was like a such a healing force for one of my friends and helping her forgive her father for not being maybe what she thought he should be. But maybe just, you know, putting on his shoes for a minute or his perspective and understanding He’s just human and he’s doing the best that he can like all of us are with the tools that we were given with the experiences that we were Presented, you know, so yeah, I share my fire.

I help others with their fire with my healing with my music with my songwriting with my example with my words of wisdom You that’s all that’s coming to mind right now.

Aurora: That’s a lot. No, that’s great.

So is there anything else you would like to share with the Embracing Intensity audience?

Princess: You know, yeah, I’m so, so glad that you guys are in existence. It’s such an inspiration to know, you know, we’re not alone or we have so much. Yeah, I’m just really grateful to be part of this project. And it’s not even a project, this movement. It’s amazing.

Embracing Imperfection and Letting Go of Perfectionism

Princess: The things that I’m, gosh, getting free around, at least conceptually at the moment is releasing perfectionism.

Okay. And I want to share that with this audience specifically, because I know that that can be one of the ways we express or respond to our anxiety is be, you know, striving for perfection. I just want to say. And I don’t even know where I picked this up. I picked it up from somewhere some meme or something or I don’t know But I immediately internalized it.

It is that you know.

You can strive for perfectionism And if you continue to do that, you would be completely bored if you ever reached that perfectionism, you would be completely bored out of your mind. So just stop.

Aurora:  Totally.

Princess: Stop it. You know, just do the thing that you do and that you love. Don’t try to wait until you. For your in order twos, whatever that is for you, you know, if you love to take pictures, you know, and you’re a model, like go take some pictures, ma’am. Don’t wait until you lost 30 pounds first or whatever.

You know what I mean? Just do what you do. Let the perfectionism go. Cause once you reach it and you just be bored anyways.

Aurora: Totally. So how can they find out more about you?

Princess: Oh yeah, there’s a website I have. It’s princessfortier. com. Spelled like princess, like the word. And then Fortier is spelled F as in Frank. O R T. As in Tom, I E R, princess4ta. com, and then all my socials and everything are linked on that website. Yeah, there’s a lot of cool stuff on Instagram.

I share a lot of stuff on my Insta stories, so if you want to follow me there, that’s totally fine. Princess4ta, it’s 4 T A. Or the number T, the letter A, the letter Princess Fortier.

Aurora: Awesome. And I just saw you on Abbott Elementary, which I learned because of your story. And I had just literally watched that episode right when I saw it.

So I went back and found you.

Princess: I’m so glad you saw that. Yeah, I didn’t have a speaking role in that episode. Yeah, but, you know, I’m looking forward to all those possibilities. And in fact, if you tune in on I think Netflix will have my. My co star role that I just did episode two of season six, it’s not out yet.

Season episode one comes out April 1st and I have to look at the paper for episode two, but I’m a co star as a reporter on All American, which is pretty cool. So you’ll hear me actually talk.

Aurora: Awesome. Very cool. It’s always fun to see. Well, Thank you so much. I’m, I knew just from the short conversation we had that we, this would be great. And I was not wrong, so I can’t wait to share.

Princess: Yay. Thank you so much for having me Aurora. So awesome. So awesome. Looking forward to the Q and A.

Connecting with the Community and Final Thoughts

Looking for ways to embrace your own intensity. Join our embracing intensity community@embracingintensity.com where you’ll meet a growing group of like-minded people who get what it’s like to be gifted and intense and are committed to creating a supportive community as well as access to our courses and tools to help you use your fire without getting burned.

There’s also a pay what you can option through our Patreon where you can increase your pledge to help sustain the podcast or. Or join us at a rate that better fits your needs. You can also sign up for my free Harnessing the Power of Your Intensity, a self regulation workbook for gifted, creative, and twice exceptional adults and teens.

All links can be found in the show notes or on EmbracingIntensity. com.

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