KRATI: Thank you so much for being here. You are a unique guest we have on the show today. Someone who targets two very different areas, leadership coaching and strategic and a strategic parenting expert. Is that right?
Heather Chauvin: Yes, yep, yep.
KRATI: So, so let me ask you, how did this happen? How did you start doing this work? What brought you to this world?
Heather Chauvin: Yeah, so it was actually motherhood that kind of put me on the personal development path. I was 18 years old, I was a young mom and I didn’t know that I was ambitious. I didn’t know that I was an outside of the box thinker, but it was when I looked at my son the first time and realized I don’t want to become a statistic and I don’t want my son to feel the way that I felt as a child. And so what I realized is moving forward, I got a job as a social worker. I went to school, did all the things that I was supposed to do. I was checking the boxes and as I’m doing these things, I’m realizing, is this the life that I want? Like there’s something inside of me that’s like that more that’s pulling me.
But I’m looking at all the adults around me and they’re telling me, this is parenting. Like this is what it is. Like suck it up buttercup. It’s going to be stressful. So fast forward, I got the courage to leave my job as a social worker and start my business online and I started podcasting and I just started talking about conscious parenting and then it was 10 years ago. So this is, I became a parent 18 years ago. It was 10 years ago after I was building my business and I was in startup and at that time I had three boys, so my youngest was a year old, my oldest was nine. So they were like a year, five and nine years old and I was diagnosed with stage four cancer. That’s when I realized I don’t want to do this anymore, just living in survival mode and I started transitioning my message from focusing on the child and focusing on the child’s behaviour to how do we want to feel as women and learning how to reverse engineer that. And that’s kind of where I’m at now.
When I say leadership, it’s really how do we lead our lives? How do we feel in our lives, in our personal lives and in our professional lives? And yeah, there’s kind of a one core concept that I teach that I’m sure we’ll get into that, you know, makes everything feel more in alignment in our lives, both at home and in our work.
So that’s the quick version of my story.
KRATI: Yeah, that’s quite an eventful journey. I have to say quite a lot of ups and downs but you said that you recognise that you are actually ambitious and you wanted to pursue that idea. In doing the work that you do, have you ever found that ambition is something you cultivate? Like I know that there are women who are perfectly happy being mothers and that’s fine and then there are women who are perfectly happy having a job and being single and not having kids ever or just being married and not having a family, although a couple is a family but not going any further than that. And that’s perfectly understandable. But did you ever find that your clients or whoever it is that you’re working with immerse themselves so completely in one role that they sort of turn themselves blind and deaf to what else is available out there and that doesn’t necessarily mean in a negative way. That could also be healthy for them in that phase of life.
But do you ever find that that is the case that ambition is something you can consciously cultivate.
Heather Chauvin: Yeah. I find the word is interesting and I’m sure maybe like, I live in Canada, so I’m like recording this in Canada and I’m sure it’s, it’s culturally different as well, like dependent on how people see it. But to me, what I see, especially in the online space, everyone’s like going after ambitious women.
It’s like, what does that mean? So to me, ambition is a feeling. Everything I do is a feeling. It’s not something out there that you’re just like, okay, let’s grab on to more. Let’s go after it. Let’s do it. Because then that leads to burnout. Right? And so I’m all about how do you want to feel? What is that?
Some people say it’s ambition. Some people say it’s. Um, a feeling some people it’s desires or they’re like, I just want more. And it’s like, but if you already have everything that you want, like the money, the relationship or not, like, what is it that you are actually seeking? And that, um, I dove head first into that after my diagnosis, because I was like, what is the feeling I’m after?
And there was a book that I read around that time, um, called Danielle Laporte. Um, her book desire map and what I took away from that experience was it’s not the thing that you want. It’s the feeling. So if my feelings are now my goals, then the physical manifestation of what I want, that’s just the icing on the cake.
And so I personally do find, especially with the women that I’m working with, it’s like. Yeah, know what you want and know why you want to go after it. But if you’re sitting there at the end of the day going, I’m exhausted, like all the time, not just this week, like my whole identity is exhausted and this doesn’t feel good.
You kind of have to call yourself out and stop and say, what am I doing? And why am I doing this? And sometimes I do feel like we’re chasing something unconscious and outside of ourselves.
KRATI: I love that. I love, love that answer because I feel a lot of concern around the shifting narratives in society about how much Society is, in the name of feminism, pressurizing women to take up certain roles that they clearly don’t want for themselves. And also creating narratives around things that don’t need to be politicized, that don’t need to be so controversial all the time.
Like taking your husband’s last name, or staying at home. And giving up your job. If that is what you want to do, you should be able to do that. How much do you think that plays a role in, in the burnout that women experience, in the pressure and the stress and the anxiety that they experience? Because it almost feels like there is a life that you want to live.
There is a life that society approves and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a middle ground, to find a balance that is all your own and doesn’t pander to anyone else. Yeah.
Heather Chauvin: I think the key there is all your own because we’ve been, you kind of alluded to it, but we’ve been culturally raised to please other people, like please and nurture other people. And so beyond history or politics. If you want to work, work. If you don’t want to work, but you have to work, right? Cause you’re have to bring in some financial means.
Then you have to get honest with yourself and say, I can’t do it all. So there’s these gender roles of who you’re supposed to be and what you’re supposed to be. But then you put another role on top of that and another role on top of that. And then you wonder why you’re so burnt out. And I’m like, ladies, we are so intelligent that it is okay.
And I think that more and more conversations that we have, it’s okay to say, I don’t have the capacity for that. And I remember, um, when my kids were little, I was told like, just make enough money to buy the groceries. And that statement made me angry and resentful. That statement did not bring me joy at all.
It was not a desire of mine. So I knew that that resentment was something that I had to pay attention to. And then when I looked at my husband and I was like, you need to make more money. You need to do this. And he looked at me like. That’s not my desire. I realized that our gender roles were actually flipping and that was by, that was naturally occurring.
That wasn’t like forced upon us. And so I looked at my, what I desired and it was like, go for it. But I had to give myself permission to do that. And my husband was like, I don’t want to go for it. Like I want to, I will do be more domesticated. And it was almost an identity crisis if I’m being completely honest, because I still have guilt of like, I should be doing this or I should be doing that.
But I do catch myself cause I have the self awareness to say, should you like, whose thought is that? Is that yours? Is that society’s? Is that your mother’s your grandmother’s like, is that lineage? And if something needs to get done. How can you put systems in place for them to get done and really connecting to my mind and my body and going, am I in alignment or am I going to burn out?
Because I almost died once because I was in a critical state of burnout because I was taking society’s messages. Um, so if my, I’m calling them my mentors, but I mean. The, the women that were around me, if they’re the one and not women, just like all humans, all adults, if they were the ones around me saying, you got to keep going, you got to hustle, you got to push, suck it up, buttercup.
You’re supposed to feel like crap all the time and never have energy. If that was the message I was getting, I’m not going to take their advice anymore. So I’m going to create my own path. And that’s, that’s kind of, yeah, that’s what I had to do.
KRATI: Yeah, I love that. I love how it beautifully came together for you and your husband where You want to go down this one path that works perfectly with the path that he wants to pursue But usually you know it gets there are more struggles involved and i’m sure you had quite a lot of work to put in as well Um, but let me ask you this, um, because this is a struggle i’ve personally faced where because you are so aware of What society deems appropriate for you.
What society wants from you. You also feel, because if you’re an educated woman, if you are someone who comes from maybe like a privileged background, you feel, feel this pressure to represent the rest of your gender. And you feel pushed to be driven, be ambitious. Uh, I, I chose certain, um, things for myself, and then I felt like those decisions were my own, but they needed to be represented a certain way to appease everyone else.
Or… It’s almost feel like it is my duty to represent the rest of my gender but I am someone who you know has had therapy who was working [00:11:00] is constantly in conversation with myself and Constantly journaling. So I was able to catch that pretty quickly and work through it And I fortunately also been raised in a very like in an environment where I was always told to be very bold very defiant Almost so it was easy for me but I know that this same struggle is faced by women across the world all the time.
So, let’s talk about how they can recognize when they’re getting sucked into this narrative, how they can identify that, then how they can build the identity they want. Because, you know, saying that this is not how you think it should be, like you shouldn’t allow society to have as much of an opinion on your life, and actually being able to do that and shut out all the noise is…
It’s not easy. So can you please talk about that a little bit?
Heather Chauvin: It’s interesting because I look back on even, I’m just going to use parenting as an example. So being a mother for 18 years, almost 19 years. I can see how the culture has changed within almost 20 years in parenting alone and the expectations of who I need to be. And I can see the pressure of social media and how the visual of the energy input constantly.
If I had a baby today for the first time, what that experience would be like versus what it was 20 years ago for me. And I think, like you said, to have the self awareness or the privilege to know, like, okay, yes, I’m going to be bold and I’m going to do all these things. So, the practicality of it, okay, so I’ll give you some, like, step by step, like, what, exactly what I teach my clients.
But before I go there, Because everyone can listen to podcasts, they can read books, they can Google this stuff. You have to give yourself permission. And giving yourself permission to change your identity or change how you want to feel is incredibly emotionally uncomfortable. And that’s the sign behind me, it says emotionally uncomfortable.
And that’s what my podcast is called. Because I don’t believe things are hard. I believe they’re emotionally uncomfortable. And when you choose yourself, when you eat, they could be like the tiniest boundary that you put into place. You are disrupting your ecosystem and your ecosystem may just be in your house.
It may be your family, like you’re going to watch the ratings get bigger and bigger and bigger and it is Fascinating to watch that not only is it really uncomfortable for you But you’re seeing the ripple effect of somebody else if you say no to something That you have always said yes to people are gonna be like Is she okay?
What’s going on over there? So expect the ripple, expect the waves, and know that it’s going to be emotionally uncomfortable, but give yourself permission. And when you are ready, then this is what you implement. So I just have to say that, because everyone’s always looking for quick tips and strategies.
And I’m like, You can Google that stuff. The reason why you’re not implementing it is because you might not yet be ready because you’re scared and that’s okay. So the first thing I tell people to do is get a pen and paper, put a timer on your phone, five minutes or whatever timer you want to use and use this journal prompt.
Wouldn’t it be nice if, so wouldn’t it be nice if is not, I’m not asking you what you want. I’m not saying make a list of your goals. I’m saying, wouldn’t it be nice if, and there’s like a magic wand, wouldn’t it be nice if I could have a glass of water right now? Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could cook dinner?
Wouldn’t it be nice if I could travel? Wouldn’t it be nice if I could get education or less educated? Like whatever it is that you are, wouldn’t it be nice if I could go shopping? Wouldn’t it be nice if it wasn’t so hot? It doesn’t matter. Just, I want you to like line by line write everything out that comes to your mind. That is your desires. Those were put inside of you just for you to act on and to create. Right? I always use the joke, wouldn’t it be nice if I could knit cat sweaters? Like something so random and what I mean by that is The person next to you is not going to have the same list as you. It is now your responsibility to look at that list and say, I am worthy of starting to chip away at this list.
Then, step two, I want you to go line by line through the list and ask yourself, what is this feeling that I’m after? So wouldn’t it be nice if I could have a glass of water right now? Like, what is that feeling you’re after? Hydration, nurtured. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could, if there, we had [00:16:00] no plans this weekend.
Great. What is the feeling you’re after? Space. Wouldn’t it be nice? If someone could do X, Y, Z for me, what is it after? So usually people start saying, or what’s the feeling? Usually people start saying abundant, free, spacious, alive, energized. So now you have your feeling word. Then step three is you’re going to pick one of those words, alive, energized, whatever it could be for you.
And you’re going to start asking yourself, and this is where it got really sticky for me. You’re going to start asking yourself, When did I feel that way in my life? What was I doing? And oftentimes I hear from women, well, I was like in my 20s or I didn’t have responsibility. I didn’t have many bills to pay, but you need to really think about this.
And this question may take you a while to answer. You might go back to your little self and think, Oh my gosh, I used to love art. I used to love dance. I used to love whatever. And you also may think like right now I have a cup of tea. I purposely grabbed a cup of tea before this conversation because I wanted to feel warm and cozy.
I didn’t want to have a cold glass of water. So like I’m choosing things that are aligned with how I want to feel warm, calm, connected. And we don’t think like this. We don’t ask ourselves one. How do you want to feel? We don’t ask ourselves, um, like what is the feeling that I’m after? Nor do we like shift our communication towards it, our actions, align our schedules with it.
And so I started teaching this to women and I’m gonna, I like to use a story that I experienced that really dictates this of how I didn’t have to like blow up my life to really cultivate and create the energy that I wanted. So when I was post treatment or when I was going through treatment, when after my diagnosis, I woke up one night and I was repeating in my mind, I’m going to die.
I’m going to die. I’m going to die. My body was in a state of fight or flight. I was like incredibly panicked. And of course my nervous system is in overreaction mode and I didn’t know what to do. So I go in the bathroom and I’m repeating the story. I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m so scared.
So scared. And then I stopped myself because like you I had the self awareness to be like, but is this true and journal about it? I stopped myself and I’m like Heather be present. You are here. You are here. You are here You are not dead yet, so I could get my brain stuck from survival state, which is the fight or flight, or sorry, which is the comfort zone.
And it always goes to the negativity bias to keep you safe. I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m in a state of fear. Then I come back to present moment. You are here. You are alive. Then I asked myself that question, how do you want to feel? And the answer was alive. So I wanted to feel the opposite of dead, depleted. And so I’m like, I want to feel alive. I want to feel alive. I want to feel alive. And then I was scared again because I didn’t know how to feel alive. When I wrote that list out of how do you want to feel? I never could remember a time in my life when I felt completely alive. I became a mom when I was 18.
I was at that point nine years into parenthood and building a business and getting educated and finding a job that I was in such the state of survival mode. And everyone was like calling me a superhero because I was ambitious and I went after what I wanted. And I thought, not this, not this. And so it was that day when I started doing what I just explained to everybody.
I started asking myself, what does a live feel like? And I had to start putting those tasks on my calendar.
KRATI: Yeah. I love that. It’s um, A very, like a simple exercise that could lead to some very massive revelations. Uh, I love that. And how do you think we can use the, this very same exercise and go deeper into it and build an, uh, an identity, I, sorry, an identity for ourself? I mean, I get that. Um, I am someone who’s now more leaning towards not being too attached to the identity you pick.
I mean, understand that it’s for perhaps that season of life, or that phase of life, or even just a project but at the same time, I think we need to know how we’re gonna project ourselves, how we’re gonna show up when we step out of our little, uh, bubble. So, how do you, how do we do that going further into this exercise?
Heather Chauvin: so for me personally, I’m more of a live as the person I want to be right or I want others to be so I’m not going to get into the science behind identity or neuroscience or anything like that. I love people who do it, but it’s just not the way my brain is. This is my understanding of identity. When there’s repetition, right?
You, your personality becomes your personal reality. If I look at the person I am today and who I identify as today versus who I did 10 years ago, I will tell you, focusing less on the identity and how I want to feel has just naturally shifted what I identify as. And so I remember when I became a mother, my whole identity was motherhood. I lived and breathed for my child slowly, slowly, slowly and mainly it was because I hit rock bottom when I started figuring out how, how did I want to feel and reverse engineering that and doing that in my business and in my life and all areas. I’m like, that’s one aspect of me.
Now I’m so far removed from that. And I’m like, Who am I? I don’t know. I identify as a soul having a human experience. Like, I don’t even know who I am. What do I identify as? The job, the relationships, all of this stuff is just icing on the cake. And so I’m like, I don’t even know. I’ve gone to the extreme of, I don’t even know what I identify as anymore.
But I’m telling you right now, your daily habits, It’s what creates the identity where you focusing your energy and attention is what creates your identity. And so if you don’t like what you identify as or what your life feels like, I’m telling you right now, you literally have to focus your brain on how you want to feel.
Kind of like I did when I was like sick and I’m like, I don’t want to die. I’m sick. I’m doing it. And I’m like, I had to get my brain all the way over here. To all the way over here. Does that answer your question?
KRATI: Yeah, I love that. I love that you have shifted the focus because this is a hard conversation to have. It’s not exactly like you can give people one, two, three and go and you’ve gotten a look. You’ve got an identity for yourself. It’s it’s and also I’ve always like observed that it’s an ongoing process like you’re one person today and another person tomorrow because that is what that day and what the challenges of that day require from you.
So I love this idea of actually focusing on the feeling And, but at the same time, I’m a little, like, I would like for you to explain this to me, because there is something that I have learned from the work that I do, from being a volunteer, from just being a human being, and observing all, all of what is going on around us.
I feel like we’ve become emotionally very, very indulgent. I, like, if I share my own example, I’m someone, what helped me get out of depression was understanding that expressing your emotions Feeling your emotions, it’s a privilege, and you shouldn’t abuse that privilege. Like, losing someone is a problem.
Not being able to buy a certain brand of a cell phone is not a problem. So, of course, you know, like we say that different people have different thresholds of pain. The same thing applies to problems. Someone may identify something as a problem, and someone may identify something else as a problem. But at the same time, I feel like we are…
We as humanity have become very emotionally indulgent and not in a good way. Like we catastrophize too much these days. So we want to chase the feeling. I love that idea. I think it’s a great thing to do. And it feels very healthy to me. But at the same time, how do we make sure that we are maintaining a healthy balance?
Because you’re a mom. Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of indulging your feelings and your emotions. Sometimes it’s all about the other person, your kid, perhaps, or maybe your husband, or maybe just the role that you’re supposed to play on that particular day. How do we balance that out? How do we make sure that we are creating good, healthy boundaries for ourselves?
Heather Chauvin: Like, we all get along. It’s the same for me. We all the wellness space has gone. Like I could scroll on Instagram right now and everyone is going to diagnose me with something, right? Or they’re going to tell me all the things and how my parents screwed me up and all of it. It is that that definitely was not available 20, 30 plus years ago.
And this is where I feel that if someone’s like, I don’t want to work today. That does not feel in alignment with how I want to feel. That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is, at the core, what did I need to do energetically to show up to this conversation closer to how I wanted to feel? I literally was preparing for this all day.
Literally like awareness of it meaning like okay. This is later in the day. I’m gonna take some rest I’m gonna do whatever I need to do to energetically show up in alignment with how I wanted to feel eating nutritious foods Going for a walk Working out doing all the things. Here’s the thing I tell people the second you go after what you want and desire in your life Everything that is stopping you is going to show up self doubt Whatever people label as imposter syndrome, um, maybe even depression or depressive energy.
Um, all the things like judgment from other people are literally going to come up. And that is what, why I call my podcast Emotionally Uncomfortable. Because if you want to feel the joy, you also have to feel the grief. But you said something that I want to talk about, which is boundaries. Because when I started this journey, and this is what I often see people do is they’re like, I want to live a joy life.
I want more. Great. So they start putting all these things on their calendar. They start doing all these things and they’re like, why do I feel so bad? Why do I feel so guilty? And like, listen, if your cup is filled with guilt and anger and rage and depression, and like all these quote unquote feelings, you don’t want to feel we’ve labeled them as negative. You literally have to start pouring those out. But as you said, so then you start going to therapy, then you start feeling your feelings. Okay? Once you start feeling your feelings and you’re trying to figure out how to choose joy, how to feel worthy enough for feeling good. This is what I now have to do.
I’ve been at this for a while. I’ll be in bed. I wake up in the morning. I have things on my calendar to do. Sometimes it gets done, sometimes it doesn’t get done. My value is not dictated by my calendar or my to do list. So if I don’t get it done, I have not failed, but let’s say I get up and I’m like, I don’t want to get out of bed, right?
This is where intuition comes in. This is where the art of self trust comes in and knowing what resistance feels like, Oh, you’re tired. You don’t feel good. But I’m like, there’s no reason why I should be tired. I just, I spent three days resting or I need to take action on this thing and I have some self doubt coming up and it’s big.
That is where I put up a boundary and I’m like, you are not running the show today. So I think step one or phase one is actually learning how to feel your feelings because culturally doesn’t matter where you live in the world. We are taught to suppress. You suppress, you suppress, you suppress, so you’re not feeling, you’re numbing.
You’re numbing out with television, you’re numbing out with shopping, you’re numbing out with like food, alcohol, drinking, whatever it is, right? We numb. Then you start to feel, and it’s like you’ve blown the top off the can, and that’s kind of what you’re talking like indulgence in our feelings because we’re not understanding them.
Then the phase after that is like balance. boundaries. Okay. I see you anger. We’re going to address this later, but right now I have to go cook dinner and that’s where you have the boundary, but you have to come back to it. And when it comes up and out, you develop a deeper relationship with your emotions.
You process them much quicker and then you learn how to navigate that. And it becomes very intuitive and a very trusting relationship with yourself. But you kind of, I feel you, and I don’t know about your opinion, but I feel like you have to go through the, like, I’m not feeling too, whoa, now I’m feeling everything too.
Okay. Where can I find the middle of this?
KRATI: I love that. I, so is it, would it be right for me to say that you believe that account, like as much as you are focusing on your feelings, you have to take accountability along. And instead of mindlessly indulging your emotions or valuing in them rather. You have to actually be actively working through them or at least get to that point like as you said When you start feeling your feelings, it’s hard to get to the working through them part of it But aim for [00:31:00] it at least
Heather Chauvin: Yeah, you have to start. You may, it may make sense to you. It may not make sense to you. You know, I just spoke to a client today and I gave her some feedback and I knew she was going to be triggered by my feedback and she said, I took the weekend. My first response was anger. I was really angry at you. And I thought, how can I make you angry?
What I did, like, if this is her physical body, the cup is her physical body, and I said words to her, which was just honest feedback, and it triggered the anger that was inside of her. So the anger was spewing out, and that’s what happens. Someone triggers us, and then we’re spilling out our anger. So I’m like, you have to look at who you’re angry at, and why you’re angry, because it’s not me.
All I said to you was observing what I was witnessing. And so then you have to go to the anger. Once you go to the anger, you can [00:32:00] find the joy. But it’s like, yeah, you can’t live in survival mode. You can’t fully avoid your feelings. You have to, you have to do both at the same time. And it is a balance, but this is life, right?
Our emotional state is connected to every area of our lives and these are skills that we are never taught unless we actively seek it.
KRATI: Yeah, I would also love to talk about this further with our focus on labels. I feel like a lot of it is again coming back to social narratives. A lot of it is labels like the good girl narrative. With my clients, it comes up so frequently, it drives me crazy. We still have shows in India that have the main heroine in it running a business.
And she would be this perfect woman. She constantly forgives. She’s also getting up early in the morning and cooking breakfast for everyone. And she’s the super mom, the super wife, and she never disrespects, she never talks back. And I’m like, this is still going on. Like, this is 2023. And we’re still watching the same shows that were like the same theme that was on television when I was growing up, which is crazy to me.
I’m 32 come on, but I feel like we pick up these labels or maybe our parents, like my mom always told me to be bold, be bold, be bold, be bold, speak up. Don’t ever let people, you know, treat you like a doormat because of her experiences, she wanted to raise a daughter who was the extreme opposite of her. So.
It was my label, but it worked for me. But there are so many labels that don’t work for you. How much of that do you see in the work that you do? And what advice would you give to people who are carrying all of these narratives, even into a session with a therapist or a coach?
Heather Chauvin: I don’t think, you know, going back to identity, is who am I without my labels? Who am I without my story, right? Like, oh my gosh, I’ve told myself this story, it’s a label here, and I don’t even realize it because it’s so unconscious.
And so, again, it goes back to like, is it working for you? Does that label work for you? Your body, your brain, your mind, your emotions will tell you if you have outgrown a label, if you have outgrown a story or a narrative. Because it will say, not this. If you are getting up in the morning, and you are working, and you’re making the breakfast, and you’re angry and resentful, and you’re like, not this.
That is your sign that you have outgrown a label. You have outgrown a narrative and so I think just the awareness of the symptoms, but the challenges we live in a culture, I mean, this is the human experience that. That’s normal, right? Like I actually don’t want to be normal. Like being normal to me feels awful because being normal to me being sick, miserable, broke, depleted, resentful.
Um, just getting by and I know that the fact that I live in a country with like so much that it’s a privilege to be able to think outside of that and actually create that, but it takes energy and effort. And I just think collectively, if more of us did that and took ownership for how we wanted to feel those labels are like non existent, right?
Like what, who we are today, what we do today. Versus what a woman could do 50 years ago has definitely shifted. There’s always going to be. The negative and the positive, but that’s because 50 years ago, women started. And I say 50, of course it went way beyond that, started to speak up like people like your mother and being like, no, not this, be bold, use your voice.
And then we come we’re bolder. We’re using our voice. And then we’re like, okay, now I need to tone it down a little bit. I need to have boundaries around this or whatever it is. So it’s like, it’s always going to swing. We just have to have the inner discernment to say. Is this label still work for me? But I really come back to this.
Like I look outside, but I don’t, I try not to take outside voices and expectations too much. I can feel it when it comes in. And then I’m like, is this mine? Or is this somebody else’s? And I really spend a lot of time with myself. And really asking myself, does this still feel good? And if it doesn’t, I, of course it’s uncomfortable, but I do try to pivot to realign myself, if that makes sense.
KRATI: Yeah, I love that. Um, and I’ll just share this little thing here. Something that I do which plays perfectly with what you shared is because when I was coming out of depression, I sort of realized that I have to build myself from scratch. So I used to, like, treat myself as a project and I had, like, a notebook that said Project Krati version 2.0. And I would just be like, okay, everything’s new, everything’s new, so I would keep reminding myself of that. And it’s something that I’ve carried on to, you know, even though I feel super healthy now, [00:39:00] everything feels good. But I do this sometimes when two to three days go by and I’ve not felt good. I’ll just try on a new persona.
I’ll just pick an alter ego and I’ll be that person for that day.So what you’ve said actually makes so much sense here that you, I think this is a brilliant exercise that we should all do and I think it will take us to wonderful places, especially where kids are concerned because they start taking on labels so quickly and I think that creates It’s a lot of unnecessary baggage for them. So I love that. Thank you so much for sharing all of that.
Heather Chauvin: Yeah, and I just hearing your perspective, what I’ve noticed within myself is I evolve pretty quickly and because I’m taking action and I’m always asking myself, of course, it’s never quick enough in my head. But when I think about seasons of my life, like I do when I show up to something, I’m like, okay, like, how do you, what energy do you want to give off?
Okay, you’re motivated or excited. Like I had to do this talk on the weekend and I’m like, it was called empower her. Okay. These women want to feel empowered. I need to embody that persona of like, ladies, let’s go. Right. Rather than if I was the participant, Okay. Oh, man, I would walk in there. I’m wildly introverted.
I would be like, I’m not talking to anybody. I don’t want to be here, but then I can go on stage and be a different person, but myself, it’s not like, who do I want to be? It’s how do I want? I’m always coming back to how do I want to feel? You’re going to hear me say that a million times because And then act as if, so like you were saying, when you were going through depression, I’ve had depression as well.
Usually the people who are like compassionate and empathetic, that’s the shadow side, they can go there if it’s not managed well, like I’m raising three very sensitive boys. I think most humans are sensitive. Some are just. Guarded and, you know, don’t know there it’s a coping strategy, but as you heal, you discover parts of yourself.
And I’m in this era right now where I’ve never identified as an athlete ever in my life was never athletic was I put on the persona and the label that I am not athletic. And I carried that for many, many, many years. Now I run endurance. races, endurance events. Um, I lift very heavy things in the, in the gym.
I still don’t fully identify as an athlete, but I act like a, like someone who wants to develop healthy habits, who wants to feel strong and alive. And then now I look at my friends who have not, who are not into personal development, and I think. You used to be the athletic one, what happened to you? And it’s funny how we can change and evolve our personas or identities, just [00:43:00] literally based on how we show up every day in those micro action steps.
And so, yeah, then as I’m constantly feeding that, and then, you know, I don’t even know who I’ll be by the time new, the new year rolls around. It is fascinating how much you can uncover and grow if you’re focused on growth.
KRATI: Yeah. I love that. Focus on growth. This is something I think you talked about permission. I think you kind of automatically give yourself permission even though I agree with you. It’s a process and it’s the hardest step of it all. But I think you kind of do that when you start focusing on the growth and feeling as you said feeling a certain way not necessarily good but alive like you you mentioned with your own experience and Feeling like you matter like you’re creating value.
I think that can uh, Do amazing things. I mean we have so many tools out there Thanks to the podcast that we listen to all the books that we read But often it’s it’s as you said, it’s giving yourself permission and keeping your focus on The finish line of whatever goal you’ve identified for yourself, be it growth, be it feeling a certain way, that can actually help you get there without leaning on any particular tool but I do know that you, doing the work you do, you do work with a lot of particular tools. So let’s talk about, um, re parenting. That’s something that comes up. So, Can we please talk a little bit about that? What does re parenting look like? And I, I understand the concept, the generality of, in a general sense, but can we go a little bit deeper into it?
Heather Chauvin: Yeah, I think that’s what makes it great. It’s like a reboot. I think so. It’s something that I utilize more and more and more, which is funny because I think we are all, I mean, people will talk about inner child, they do all the things, but I think we’re, that’s all we’re doing is constantly trying to nurture and parent ourselves.
And so often we’re craving. Who our parents should have been when we were growing up. And then when you have, if, and when you have your own children, it’s such a mirror to be like, Oh my gosh, my parents were actually doing the best that they possibly could. Cause they were overwhelmed. They lived in a certain time.
They lived in the culture they had, you know, they didn’t have access to the resources that we have access to now, whatever it is. And, um, Reparenting is just being the parent to yourself that you most desired to have. And every day, like you have to think that you are worthy of nurturing, that you are worthy of healing.
It’s actually fascinating to watch because my son, my oldest, is the same age that I was when I became a parent and that. Brought up all of my 18 year old self. So everything it’s almost fascinating to watch. And this is like a tip for anyone listening to this, that has parent or children, not parents, children.
Whatever age, like something could have happened to you, but let’s say it’s six or seven and you’re like, oh, it was so easy until the child turned six. There’s something that happened at your six year old self that actually needs to heal. And that healing happens when you say, what are they triggering inside of me?
Is it the shame? Is it sadness? And it’s funny because the duality, and I know we’ve talked a little bit about this of like boundaries with your feelings and all of that. But in the last two years, I would say it was like a deep, deep grief. Like it didn’t feel good. I felt like I was in this messy, mucky middle, but I had to hold boundaries with those feelings too.
Like I had to be like, okay, you’re here. Let’s listen. Let’s process. But if I would have like fully let go and like went down the rabbit hole in those feelings, I wouldn’t have ever gotten out of bed. And so I also had to like consciously choose joy every single day. Like get up, go for that walk, go do the thing that you don’t want to do and then watch my energy come back.
And it was like this yin or yang while I was like in the middle of healing. So that is reparenting, like giving yourself what you need in that moment, identifying like what you actually need and then giving it to yourself.
KRATI: Yeah, I love that. Uh, you’ve, you are saying a lot of things that I think don’t get said enough, but actually need to be said repeatedly for us to internalize, um, the message here. So I love that you actively chose Joy even on hard days, which is, I think, I’ve always believed that life is not meant to be a struggle in the sense that it’s not supposed to feel like a drain, like, you know, struggle can mean a lot of things and people work hard to achieve things, which is a good kind of struggle, but it’s just, you know, life shouldn’t feel like a drain and what you’re sharing can I think go a long way towards helping you make it so that life feels so wonderful that you never think of stepping away from it, taking days off or just Not being present at all.
So I think I really love that which makes me want to talk about something that I read on your website The state of abundance. what is the state of abundance and how we can access it?
Heather Chauvin: Before, okay, before I talk about the state of abundance, because abundance is a feeling to me. It’s like, what is the same as aliveness, but I want everyone to invite themselves into like, how does that feel for you? And let’s just be curious about it. Like make that your project, right? Like, I’m curious what this feels like, but here’s the challenge. When I started this, I went on YouTube like 20 years ago and I’m watching motivational speakers on YouTube. Most of them were men and they would say, get up at 5 a. m. Do this, do your two hour morning routine, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And you start to do these things and you start to be like, okay, I might feel a little bit better, but then there’s like a lot of shame around it, of not doing enough.
And so you’re adding more to the list. And now I’m in such a place, like, in a state of self trust. Does it feel good to you? And if it doesn’t feel good to you, what do you need to do? So, I think there’s also this, like, illusion of Yeah, I’m not suffering, but I probably feel more pain than the average person because I feel more joy and I feel more abundance, and so I’m a feeler, like, I don’t numb myself.
I mean, yes, I still do numb myself once in a while, but like, like with chips or like Netflix or something like that, I’m human. But it’s not this like state of bliss all the time. It’s giving yourself permission to go after what you want to go after. And I work with so many women that are like, I can’t because of my children.
And I say, How does that feel if you were that child or how would that feel if you were that child and your mother looked at you and said, I couldn’t because of you and your Children. There’s no reason why if you crave To read a book, there’s no reason why you cannot do that in the presence of your children. If you crave to have a bath, there’s no reason why you cannot do that in the, like, with [00:51:00] your children in your environment. Like, yes, make sure they’re safe, make sure, whatever. But, like, we live in a culture that is so, like, we need to entertain everybody else and go, go, go, go, go all the time. No wonder why you’re not in this state of abundance.
So abundance is a feeling. It’s that access of more. And the only way you get there is by giving yourself permission to say, what allows me to feel that way? And then slowly, slowly, slowly, kind of stack habit stacking and putting those things on your physical calendar and following through with them. So example, you know, some, I’m very, very practical person, but let’s say.
Having no, I just had this conversation with a woman the other day. She’s like, we should get together. And I said to her, I would love to, you know, and then they say, you must be so busy and blah, blah, blah. I said, I would love to. But like my social battery is full and I don’t feel the need for like more connection in my life.
If I’m putting more appointments on my calendar for coffee and tea dates, that is actually feels anxious to me and overwhelming. So thank you so much for the invitation. But I just don’t have the capacity right now and I said that as a boundary to then allow more abundance in my life, knowing how I want to feel and just being like boundaried with it.
Instead, it was so uncomfortable for me, but abundance is just, it’s the feeling that we all have access to. You just have to learn boundaries and face your fears and sit with your emotional discomfort of disappointing people.
KRATI: Yeah, I love that. Something else that I think needs to be added to that list is just sort of making sure that what you are trying so hard to make room for and make space for and do is actually coming from you like we talked about throughout this episode. I think it should be all about you.
Like I’m someone who makes a lot of decisions based on how this affects my parents. For me, my, I often say, I will say this like to people all the time and some people don’t like it. Um, I would say that my world revolves around my parents. They’re everything to me. And people are like, for a confident, bold, ambitious woman to say that means that she’s, she’s not as confident or not as strong as she makes it out, herself out to be.
And that’s not true. That’s a role that I’ve very consciously chosen. And even when I make sacrifices for them, it feels awesome to me, it feels so good to me, it’s, it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, it feels great, because I’ve consciously chosen it and it doesn’t matter what perception other people have of it.
So I think that should go on that awesomeness because I think that would come together beautifully and you can actually get to that place of abundance that you talked about. And you’re right, it is a place of feeling, but because of all the books that have been written on the topic, we feel like it’s something that you can just create out of some tools.
Heather Chauvin: That’s a really good point because when I started my journey, I read, uh, The Secret and watched The Secret, the movie, which probably is global, worldwide. And I was like, okay, I’m going to manifest, I’m closing my eyes, I’m meditating, I’m visualizing like, Hey, where is this feeling? We’re like, we’re chasing this feeling.
Meanwhile, I never knew that abundance in that moment could have been. Instead of having this panic and anxiety inside of me, I’m like, Where is it? Where is it? Where is it? Like, I had control over it. I could have been like, I’m just gonna, like, go for a walk and drink some water. And I love what you say about consciously choosing because it sounds like that’s alignment for you.
Like, that feels good to you for some other people. They’re like, that would not feel good to me. My parents are toxic. I cannot be around them. I don’t want to be. For me, like my mother lives with us and it was always me and my mom growing up. And I said to my husband, like having her with us feels like, yes, I’ve always kind of been the responsible for her, but she.
She was a single parent and she took care of me and she didn’t give up on me. And although we had difficult times, there’s a bond there and including her in my life and knowing that she’s going to be taken care of, that brings me so much joy and it’s, she’s not a burden to me. And I do believe that she could feel like a burden to me if I didn’t do the inner emotional [00:56:00] work.
But she feels like. Like an add on to my life and Yeah, it’s hard to explain when somebody’s not used to doing the inner work, but I think it sounds like you understand it
KRATI: Okay, so we’ve talked so much about like consciously choosing what it is that you want, like focusing on the feeling of abundance, and I think that would help a great deal. But also another, I think, a burden that people take on unknowingly, unconsciously, is getting everything perfectly right. So, forgetting that there are some very real challenges that people face, like not having enough money. Which is a very real challenge and then that creates a lot of negativity, a lot of toxicity.
So how do people go after whatever it is that they want? Focusing on the feeling that they, focusing on the feeling rather than, you know, focusing on anything else. But then how do they also be okay with this idea that they’re not gonna get everything right? They’re not gonna get, they’re not gonna get to feel how they want to feel all the time and work through that.
Heather Chauvin: So, okay Let’s use money as an example because I remember being on government assistance and having absolutely no money and learning this Concept of law of attraction and whatever. And it wasn’t about swiping my credit card and buying more stuff. And that’s going to make me feel better to me. Money is energy.
And there are very real situations in life where people are like, I can’t pay my bills. That is a fact. And those people also should not be investing in certain things at a certain time. It’s like, you gotta do step one before you do step two. And I’m gonna give you, I’ll give you an example of what I went through, but also what I see people who follow me.
Someone will come to me and say, do you do one on one coaching? And I’m like, I don’t do one on one coaching anymore at a beginner level. You have to go through the process and go like, and be at a certain level. If I, if I had one on one conversations with you. It wouldn’t even do you justice. Not only would you not be able to maybe afford it, but it wouldn’t do you any good because you have to get the foundation first and so if somebody’s coming in and they’re like, not taking action, then nothing is going to change. And I remember having the belief that if I wanted something, I just had to close my eyes and think about it. And it’s going to show up because that is what I believed. The toxic wellness culture was perceiving now you do need to put energy and effort into something.
You may need to sit behind your computer and you don’t want to do that, but you have to also understand the yin and the yang and things come to you through resistance. And so I talked about this in my TEDx talk dying to be a good mother after my diagnosis. And I did not know this before, but after I realized.
The things that I’m resisting the most doing that everything I desire is on the other side of it. And so I say this to people all the time. You say you want to make more money. Here’s the actual list of action steps you need to take. You keep resisting taking those action steps. So do you actually want more money or do you want to feel free?
And if you want to feel free What do you need to do today in this moment to allow yourself to feel more free? And sometimes it’s looking at your credit card and canceling a whole bunch of Subscriptions so that you’re not in this loop, but you have to go back to the feeling while you’re taking the action To get to the next level vision But when you tell yourself lies like when I make this much money then I’ll feel this way You will always get to that goal and then realize oh my gosh I was not here for the goal.
I was here for the journey and the feeling and it’s incredibly cliche because it is about like the resistance and who you become as you’re facing your fears and your resistance and doing the things you don’t think you’re capable of doing and then the abundance comes for a moment and then the money comes in and then you’re like, it wasn’t about the money and then you learn the tangible practical skills of like, yeah, How to, you know, balance a spreadsheet.
And, you know, I see sometimes people spiritually bypassing and I have, I’ve had a friend who’s like, I’m in this hole again. And I’m like, of course you are. You didn’t learn your lesson. You keep swiping the credit card, making more money, putting it on the credit card and swiping it. You have to be able to hold the feeling of more without spending it. You get, if your cup is full and you fill your cup, you don’t need to pour it out right away. You can just sit in the more and say, I am worthy of feeling more, feeling good, having more energy than just enough. We’re so used to just enough that we want more money, but do we really, or do we want the feeling that we think it’s going to give us?
So you’ve got to do both at the same time.
KRATI: Okay. I love that. If you were creating an emotionally intelligent superhero, because if you’ve seen superhero movies, they are not generally emotionally intelligent people. They can’t be with the work that they do. But if you were creating an emotionally intelligent superhero, what would that superhero be like?
What would the superpowers be?
Heather Chauvin: Empathy, they would be able to, they would be more empathetic and less judgmental and they would. Um, be able to actively listen to other people rather than judge and project their emotional crap onto other people. They would be able to sit and listen, have a respectful conversation, co create with them.
Um, yeah, the world would be, everyone would feel safer, like psychological safety. So, empathy.
KRATI: I love that. I am now imagining a superhero kicking, physically kicking someone’s ass, but also trying to hold a conversation with them, then sitting with them, holding their hand. I love that. Imagine Batman doing that. Okay, I, this was so amazing. I’ve still got, I feel like I can keep asking you questions, but this has been so lovely. Thank you so much. Let me stop the recording.