January 19, 2022
Author: Heather Lowey
Clarity and Authenticity through the context of zombies, death, and a dragon. Not something you hear every day, that’s for sure!
Heather shared how checking in on your clarity and understanding who the authentic YOU truly is, creates a transformation. Clarity and tiny shifts lead to large impact.
She challenged the attendees to think about where in their life they are being a “busyness zombie” in an act of avoidance. Where their identities have shifted through the death of a loved one or a big life event. And finally, those hints (maybe from a dragon) from their past that are highlighting something they hadn’t seen before.
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Heather is the self-appointed President of the Lowey Fraternity House, with her husband Jeremy and two sons, Jake and Bryce. She explained that storytelling in her house comes with 3 elements- Are there any zombies? Did someone die? Were there any dragons?
So, she began to share her own story through the lens of a tall tale of a girl on a great adventure. One where she does encounter zombies, death, and yes, even a dragon.
Heather began by explaining her upbringing as a true Indiana stereotype.
“Farm girl, FFA, 4-H, Purdue University… can you get more Indiana than this?”
After about four pivots on her major at Purdue, she settled into the first dream. Working in sports.
“I applied to every single NBA, NFL, and MLB team and received ONE call back. The Boston Celtics.”
And so began her journey in sports.
Heather spent time interning with the Boston Celtics, then the Indiana Pacers. After graduating, she began working for Reebok on their newly signed NBA outfitting partnership. A few years into this, adidas purchased Reebok and Heather moved over to the adidas brand along with basketball and the NBA contract.
She described how her identity became tied to the role.
“I began working and sacrificing myself in an effort to continue to be who everyone thought I was. Not doing any self-checks on if I was being authentic to ME. Running a race I didn’t really know if I even wanted to be in anymore.”
She shared how personal things – like getting married, her mother dying in a car accident suddenly, having a miscarriage, and eventually having her two kids – continued to push her identity into the role.
“When everything around you is changing, even when it’s for the good, we subconsciously can hold on for dear life to the identities and labels we DO have. TOO MUCH CHANGE! This is natural. The important part though is to check in with yourself on who you are without the work. Without the culture.”
Everyone there had the opportunity to then reflect on their own identities. Creating a list of all of the labels they put on themselves or others put on them making up the components of who they are individually.
She then asked everyone to circle three of those identities where they spend the most time. Physical, on the clock time. And finally, star the three identities or roles that feel the most authentic to who you truly are. What are the differences?
Moving on from the identity exercise, Heather then reflected on what caused the unsettling feeling of “what’s next?”
What’s Next? – was the question she found herself pondering after she was promoted. There had been a climb with a lot of hard work. And then suddenly reaching the summit didn’t feel quite as fulfilling as she expected.
This is where the zombie came into play. No, not the Walking Dead zombies you may thinking. According to Heather, it’s possible to be a happy and joyful zombie. She’s referring to the zombie where there is no clarity on what is nagging or missing. Yet avoidance takes over and we don’t go the level deeper to really address the issue.
WHEEL OF LIFE
We next were shown a Wheel of Life. Highlighting 8 key areas of life fulfillment: Personal Development, Spiritual Awareness, Fun & Enjoyment, Relationships (both intimate and social), Health & Aging, Personal Finance, Career & Profession, and Family & Parenting.
Looking at life through this lens of fulfillment and satisfaction, if someone is at a level 10 at 6 of these areas, but then a 2 at 2 of them, their life is running a bit like a flat tire. Good, Good, Good, Ba-bump, Good, Good, Ba-bump.
From this lens, she then asked everyone to highlight one area they would like to increase by a point or two. Not going from a 2 to a 10 in terms of satisfaction overnight, because that’s not sustainable. But rather what small, attainable shifts they could implement to start moving the needle. Building the muscle of confidence and self-efficacy.
ENERGY FLOWS WHERE ATTENTION GOES
“Suck it up buttercup! If you don’t like where you are, then move on. You aren’t the victim. You are choosing to stay.”
This is what Heather found herself thinking when she describes being really in the zombie phase and treating herself like a victim. After having this Divine intervention moment, it really kicked her into gear of starting down a new path.
Asking the hard questions. Thinking about what she was avoiding. Even what she really liked to do and found passion and “in the flow” moments doing. She also began working with a coach who supported her in slowing down and taking some time before jumping into the next thing.
It was in this space she found her connection to writing again, starting a book and also The Mom Huddle blog. Reflecting upon this, she also realized writing had been her favorite class in high school. And the teacher’s nickname? Dragon lady.
“I told you there was a dragon in this story!”
Her coach supported her in reflecting and getting clarity on not just her identities but also taking a step back from them and looking at what they meant to her. Instead of thinking “I’m a sports marketing rep” framing it as “I’m the type of person who loves a challenge and supporting others.”
This fundamental shift also led her to coaching. Suddenly, clarity smacked her in the face. A coach and a writer.
It is easy to find ourselves confused by identity shifts from the death of a loved one or other life events. Couple this with the culture of busy we live in and no wonder we become busyness zombies.
Yet clarity comes in when we get reflective. When we find the dragon in our past showing us something that has been there all along.
In summary, Heather left us with these key points:
- When you feel out of sorts or know something is off, don’t ignore it. Give yourself white space to process what you are feeling. Check in on identities, Wheel of Life fulfillment, and your core values and how they are being fulfilled (or not).
- It’s easy to “throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks” when it comes to job searching. However, gaining clarity about what YOU want, supports you in ensuring you are running TO something, not FROM something.
- Transformation can sound big and scary. However, it’s really through tiny, sustainable shifts where we eventually find large impact.
“So, between my Dragon lady English teacher, the death of my mother, and finally snapping myself out of the busyness zombie, clarity and authenticity led me to a Transformation. Ah God’s sitcom… well played!”