282: The Power of Persistence: Arielle Paul’s Story

Who says ADHD and dyslexia can’t pave the way to writing for The New York Times

May 21

Teachers once said, “She’ll never amount to anything academically,” but Arielle proved them wrong.

This podcast episode celebrates the resilience and brilliance of women with ADHD, featuring Ariel's remarkable journey. Her story is a powerful reminder that with the right support and strategies, such as neurofeedback and tailored education, triumph is within reach.

Arielle's story highlights the challenges of ADHD and dyslexia, showing how she turned her struggles into strengths. Her journey through academic hurdles to becoming a successful journalist illustrates how every challenge can lead to incredible growth.

Arielle Paul is a writer, musician, adventurer, and lifelong student and practitioner of Kriya Yoga.

Diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia at ten, she couldn't read or write. Despite teachers saying she would “never amount to anything academically” and suggesting Ritalin, her parents had other plans. Through neurofeedback therapy, tireless work with tutors, and meditation, she eventually graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UC Berkeley with a double major in English and Performance Studies.

Turning learning disabilities and the written word into something tangible and meaningful has been the cornerstone of Arielle’s journey. She wrote for the Los Angeles Times for six years, penning the My Favorite Room column and covering design, architecture, and mental health stories. Now, as a contributing reporter for The New York Times, she writes on development in live-work-play spaces intersecting with sustainability and climate change. Her feature on excess water consumption in Dubai, which appeared on the Business and International front pages, brought desalination to the forefront at last year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Arielle is also the proud mother of three adorable cats – Frodo, Hobbes, and Drogon.





"I think everyone who is neurodivergent has their formula and their own truth that they adhere to. For me, it's been a combination of things."
- Arielle Paul

"As I've gotten older, I've become much better at releasing and peeling away the layers of myself that no longer serve me. Life happens, and you learn to go with it."
- Arielle Paul

"I believe intuition is a muscle that you grow just like any other muscle, and the only way to strengthen it is through the trial and error of learned wisdom."
- Arielle Paul

"t's about learning from those experiences, growing from them, and ideally not repeating the same mistakes.”
- Arielle Paul

"You can strengthen that muscle [intuition] by doing the work and not avoiding hard things.”
- Arielle Paul

[00:00 - 14:36] Diagnoses and Overcoming Challenges:
  • Arielle Paul shares her journey from diagnosis to success, including her struggles with reading and writing due to neurodivergence and inadequate teaching methods.
  • Despite challenges, Arielle graduates from UC Berkeley summa cum laude after learning meditation.
  • Arielle discusses how neurofeedback therapy helped her and her father manage ADHD and dyslexia, detailing the use of an EEG device to improve focus and reading abilities.

[14:36 - 36:56] Educational and Personal Development
  • Arielle and Tracy discuss using multiple formats for reading and improving learning disabilities through Neurofeedback and meditation.
  • Experiences with Waldorf education, its impact on reading ability, and the decision to leave due to traditional school pressures.
  • Arielle reflects on growing up touring with her musician father, maintaining a close family bond, and the flexibility of Waldorf education.

[36:56 - 1:10:00] Creative Expression and Personal Growth
  • Arielle's acceptance into UC Berkeley, struggles with time testing and the LSAT, and finding interest in journalism.
  • Challenges with pursuing a music career, impostor syndrome, and balancing passion and societal expectations.
  • Growth through therapy, self-love, mindfulness practices, and accepting compliments.


Learn more by connecting with Tracy through Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or visit adhdforsmartwomen.com.

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Hi, I'm Tracy

I teach Smart Ass ADHD women how to use their brilliant brains to build the life they want by embracing their too-muchness and focusing on their strengths.