In our latest Inspirational Mom segment, HerScoop is happy to share the story of Heidi Oran.
The 30-year-old Canadian writer and her husband Jay are parents to three sons: Cooper, 7, Sawyer, 6, and Archer, 19 months. Through her writing, Heidi inspires people to “follow their dreams and connect with their calling.”
With her blogging background, Heidi founded her own blog, The Conscious Perspective, where she engages and encourages readers to ask the tough question: “How do we live a life of meaning, purpose and joy when we’re feeling lost, or misguided?” On the blog, Heidi discusses many soul-searching topics, such as conquering the quarter life crisis, learning to surrender and accept change, how to embrace acceptance, and so on.
Heidi is homeschooling her sons on their organic family farm in Eastern Canada. The busy mom-of-three opens up to HerScoop about her upcoming book, how she balances work and motherhood, and tips for busy moms who want to re-connect with their center.
Continue reading our interview with Heidi, who explores the negative traits of our generation (e.g. narcissisms and entitlement), and encourages us to stop the soul-crushing search for happiness.
HerScoop: Tell us about your blog The Conscious Perspective. How did it evolve into the blog that it is today?
Heidi: “‘The Conscious Perspective’ is a term I came up with to describe the shift I had experienced in my life – and have been working to foster ever since. It’s the ability to step outside of oneself and view the world without bias or judgment, and instead with compassion, acceptance and gratitude.
It’s been three years since I launched it, and funny enough, it’s evolved right back to where it started. It’s like I had a clear vision three years ago, and I experimented with that and tried to go in different directions, but eventually realized that I had it right the first time.”
HerScoop: How did you start your career in blogging? Why do you love blogging? What’s your best advice to people thinking of starting their own blog?
Heidi: “I started my first blog in early 2007 after having my oldest son. It was a private blog just for my family and friends – very simple! I then contacted Lisa at Celebrity Baby Scoop when I learned she was looking for contributors in the fall of 2007, and the rest is history. (Thanks Lisa!)
I really love blogging, because it has provided an opportunity for everyone to tell their stories. I think that storytelling in its various forms is really critical to raising the level of compassion and love we feel toward one another – now a whole new group of people who never would have had access to reaching others, are able to. It’s incredible.
As far as advice goes, I would say the most important thing to do is just start NOW. A lot of women I know (myself included) are perfectionists and we have a high level of expectation of ourselves. While that’s important, it can also hold us back. Don’t let your perfectionism kill your progress, sister!”
HerScoop: Tell us about your upcoming book. What is it all about? How are you hoping to make a difference with this book? What inspired you to write the book?
Heidi: “I’ve had the book, The Conscious Perspective: A Guidebook for Millennials Seeking Meaning, Purpose & Joy in me for years and I can’t wait to share it. Basically it’s an extension of the themes I explore on the blog: how do we live a life of meaning, purpose and joy when we’re feeling lost, or misguided? How do we find answers to the big existential questions when we aren’t a member of a certain religion? How do we make change in the world when we don’t know where to start? All questions I’ve had and know that so many others are seeking answers to.
My generation, the Millennials (b. 1982-2000), are known for some of their very negative traits: narcissism, entitlement, that sort of thing. In the book I attempt to break down the divide between generations, tackle religion versus spirituality, and look at the breakdown of our institutions and how this has shaped us, until I gradually reveal the 5 elements of a conscious perspective: gratitude, generosity, acceptance, compassion, and perseverance. The book will share some tangible examples of how we can implement these elements, and also bring in a variety of perspectives from science and religion, to psychology and philosophy.
According to a historical theory called Generational Theory, the Millennials are set to become the next “Great Generation.” This means that we’ll be handed down a lot of issues that we should be able to tackle and make some important changes. I don’t believe that we’re prepared for this. I don’t think we’re taught what’s really important in college text books. This is why this book is so important to me. I think it can help lay the groundwork for the inner work that is required to change our outer realities. That’s my hope anyway.”
HerScoop: Tell us about your family. What are your sons’ names and ages? How do you balance your family life and writing career?
Heidi: “I have three little boys whom I adore: Cooper 7, Sawyer, 6, and Archer, 19 months.
I stay home with them and homeschool them actually. We live on an organic farm just outside (10 minutes) from a good-sized city. It’s perfect!
The key to balancing writing and mothering for me is that I make sure I wake up early – 2 or 3 hours before my kids. It may sound crazy to people, but it sets the tone for my day, and I savour the early morning hours.
I also try my best to just be present in whatever it is I’m doing, and just surrender if things aren’t going as planned.”
HerScoop: It seems like your passion is to help people find their passion and inner peace. How do you attain these things for yourself? Are some days better than others? What are your top 3 tips to busy moms who feel like they’ve lost themselves in the rigors of motherhood?
Heidi: “Yes, I’m so obsessed with helping people follow their dreams and connect with their calling!
For me it’s been a gradual discovering. I have a lot of passions: Music, acting, writing obviously. What I realized one day is that our passions and our callings are two separate things. My passions, as I just said, are music, writing, etc. My calling, I believe, is to help people. It may sound vague, but I think it’s different for everyone.
Your calling may be that you connect people. Or maybe you are gifted at teaching. So right now, I know what my passions are, but what I do with them may change – regardless, I know with certainty that wherever I end up, it will be in alignment with my calling. I have doubts like anyone else, but the when I sit down and think about it, I know I’m on the right path.
I’d love to say that meditation or yoga helped me get to the place I’m at today, but the reason I am able to keep my inner peace in check, is because I literally re-programmed my brain to think differently (though I didn’t know it at the time.) There is something called neuroplasticity (forgive me I’m not an expert!), but basically what it says is that we can train the neurons in our brain to wire a certain way by teaching them to. For example, if we think a certain way, we can start thinking differently and eventually it will override what was there before.
I’ve submersed myself in spiritual books, podcasts, etc. for years and eventually I’ve gotten to a point where I can barely access the old thinking. When I am feeling off, I think about the 5 elements of a conscious perspective and ask myself what is not in balance.
And it happens all the time – I would never claim enlightenment with a husband and three young kids - I just try to sort it out when I realize there is an issue.
For the mamas out there, I know how easy it is to lose yourself. Here are my top 3 tips to help you re-connect with yourself:
- 1. Start a sacred ritual – When you are feeling lost it’s because you’ve lost touch with the inner-you. Even if you only have 5 minutes, put on a guided meditation or some music and just sit quietly. Or start a routine where you wake up a little early and sit on the deck with your coffee in silence. You need to have something to look forward to that nourishes your soul on a regular basis.
- 2. Create a vision board – This is one of my favorite activities when I need inspiration. Grab some magazines, scissors and glue and make yourself a board of how you envision your future. This can be a dream board, or a 2014 board, or a business board. Visualizing what we want for ourselves can help remind us we will get there, and encourage us to start taking steps to get there.
- 3. When in doubt, surrender – When I was pregnant with my third son I really learned the art of surrender. I could barely walk, it was hot, and I had two other kids to care for. I’m so glad that he taught me this lesson, because I realized that things will get done at some point and it’s okay that it’s not NOW. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself some room to surrender.
HerScoop: In your opinion, what are some of the greatest soul-crushers of our generation? (e.g. smartphone addiction, gossip, affairs??)
Heidi: “It may sound odd, but I think that the search for happiness may be the biggest soul-crusher of our generation because I think we’re chasing the wrong thing. We know we want to be happy. We know what being happy feels like. But it’s impossible to be happy all the time.
Things happen in life, and we’ll never truly achieve that feeling we’re looking for in the ways that we’re reading about or seeing on the social media feeds of our friends.
Instead, we need to really focus on finding that inner peace – that ability to not be controlled by our emotions and therefore we see things differently and appreciate what we do have more.”
HerScoop: What is your best advice in helping people ‘get back to themselves’ and connect with their inner peace?
Heidi: “We’re all so different, and because of that, we will each have a different path to inner peace. I do believe that we have to have a spiritual element to our lives in order to truly find peace.
So many people today are turned off from organized religion and they don’t know where to look. I know the feeling. I suggest opening up to every religion, every theory, every perspective, and see what resonates with you.
We’re lucky enough to have the freedom to choose what we want to believe, so go to your local bookstore and read the back covers and pick one up. If that doesn’t work, try again. The key is to persevere. It takes a while to change – 30 day guarantees are lies. So be patient, and don’t give up.”