written by
Srinivas Rao

Heather Chauvin: Decoding the Language of Human Behavior and Confronting Mortality

2 min read

These are cliff notes from an episode of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast

Heather Chauvin had an extraordinary life, beating odds many times and navigating numerous ups and downs. Srini and her talk about education, going against the grain, raising happy children, resilience, claiming our own desires and a lot more. Below are my favorite ideas.

1. Speaking of high school experience, Heather says that a lot of what is perceived as misbehavior is actually a language and call for help. Unfortunately, many children do not get the help they need and we need to dive deeper and not solve problems only on the surface.

2. Heather was raised by a single mother and she often had a lot of responsibility as a child. Doing internal work was a crucial component of Heather’s improved relationship with her mother. Also, compassion and understanding that we are doing the best we can and that we are all in need of healing and growth.

3. Boundaries are very important for all human relationships and very much so in child-parent relationships. Teenage kids try to push boundaries as much as they can and in doing so figure out who they are and what is allowed. Parents should set boundaries that kids will be grateful for in the hindsight but probably not at the present moment.

4. We are all self-conscious to some extend and unaware of things that make us beautiful and extraordinary.

5. Heather gave birth to her first son when she was 18 and she decides to pursue a college education because she saw that it will give her better opportunities. Her mantra was ‘don’t become a statistic’ and she fought really hard to choose and stay on a different path.

6. More often than not, we are consulting authority about what we should want, and we forget to tune in with ourselves and follow our own desires. Our ideas about what we should want come from our society and social media and whoever we perceive as people who have ‘figured it out’.

7. Our thoughts create our reality and our emotional traumas get stored in our bodies, which manifests as stress or disease. Heather was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 27 and it was a life-transforming experience because it led her to question so many assumptions about motherhood and life.

8. Resilience is the skill of consistently showing up to what is happening in front of you and showing up again and again.

9. When we try to set boundaries and people have negative reactions, Heather is suggesting setting and reinforcing boundaries with compassion. Also, we often do not have to respond right away, we can give ourselves some time and react from a more composed place.

10. Some people are going to love you and your work and some people are going to hate you. Although that is hard to swallow and accept, it’s normal and OK. However, we must learn to adapt to creative criticism but to stay true to ourselves. If we don’t stay true to ourselves, we cannot achieve sustainable happiness and do remarkable work.

11. To be unmistakable, according to Heather, you must ask yourself what do you exactly want and then go and do it.

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