Transcript:                    Thanks, Allan. This is David Brower with Your 20 Minute Podcast. Our special guest today is Heather Criswell, the founder of WiseInside; a speaker; an author of the award-winning book, How to Raise a Happy Child (and be happy too) and Wise Talk from the Other Side. She also is the host of Wise Talks. It’s a live broadcast sharing a revolutionary approach to heart-centered communication.

David Brower:              Hey, Heather, welcome to the show. Glad you’re here.

HeatherCriswell:          Thank you so much for having me. I’m so happy to be here.

David Brower:              Oh my gosh, I’m so excited to have you here. Everything I read about you, your website, listening to your voice, visualizing your smile coming through your voice. I mean, your whole aura is nothing but love, it’s really exciting.

HeatherCriswell:          Well, thank you. Thank you. It’s been quite a journey. I’ll tell you that’s my motto right now, just rooting for love. Rooting for love for ourselves and our families and our community because we need love more now than ever before.

David Brower:              No question about it. On your website, it says, which is, folks, WiseInside Building Communities, Rooted In Love, as you just said, because you can rise, let’s rise; because it feels so good, let’s love; and because you were meant to shine, let’s shine. It’s fascinating to me to be able to come across something so powerful and so positive and so consistent with that love and positivity. You don’t run into this stuff very often.

HeatherCriswell:          Well, thank you. I appreciate that. Also, there’s a piece of me that’s really hopeful that it spreads like wildfire because I think that we are inundated with so much information, number one; but also, two, just a lot of opinions and advice. We forget that we have this inner guidance, this connection within. I mean, it is based in love. When we operate from that space, then we are able to rise from any circumstance and shine brighter than we ever imagined.

HeatherCriswell:          That’s the whole idea behind WiseInside is, connect back into that wisdom within. We know it as babies when we’re born. We know when we’re hungry, we cry; when we need help, we cry; when we laugh, we enjoy. We forget it over time. It gets chipped away over time. We start looking to others for everything that we should or shouldn’t be doing. What happens is, is we disconnect from that inner self and that’s where all of the pain starts rising from because we are pretty magical when we connect into that love for ourself first, and then share it out.

David Brower:              Then when we don’t, it’s oftentimes, I would think, and you would know better than I, but I would think oftentimes, we don’t know we’re in that dark place. It just feels normal to us.

HeatherCriswell:          Yes, exactly. Lik this hog oftentimes of life, right? It’s Groundhog Day, right? You get up, you get dressed, you have your coffee, you go to work, you come home, and just put it on repeat. Occasionally, there’s a fun event. What I noticed the most is when I really notice a fun event and really notice how much fun I’m having, that’s when I also notice, “Oh my gosh, I’ve been missing so much fun, and joy, and laughter, and lightheartedness.”

HeatherCriswell:          Just for the fun of being, not to be doing anything, in particular, or accomplishing a mission, or whatever that is, but just for the fun of being. It’s certainly, there are responsibilities in life and what not, but I think that we lose sight of it because we get in the minutiae of life.

David Brower:              Well said. Well said. How did this come to you? It’s said to be some kind of epiphany calling, hit over the head, something done. Where did this all start and how did you find your way?

HeatherCriswell:          Probably a mixture of all of those things. As time has gone on, my life started off very interesting. I was raised in the South as an overweight little girl that was bullied, when bullied wasn’t framed as just being mean, when bullying was really just sheer bullying, just a constant state of being demeaned, demoralized, dehumanized, everything, right? My mom said-

David Brower:              Right. All of it face to face, not on social media. All of it in your face. I remember those days well. Yeah.

HeatherCriswell:          Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. Getting on the school bus and the one kid, in particular, “Heather is getting on the bus. Everybody hold down, the whale is coming on the bus, it’s going to go down.” What I realized over time is my mom was one of the best teachers in my life in that moment. She said to me after I came home and I just couldn’t do it anymore. Certainly, at that point in time, I was maybe eight or nine years old and I didn’t think suicide in the sense of suicide, but certainly the idea that why did I even matter, why I was here, what does that even matter. She said to me, “It’s not true.” She said, “You were a miracle. You were born on purpose. I wasn’t supposed to be able to have children.”

HeatherCriswell:          She had cervical cancer, and part of her cervic is removed. They said, “Even if you had a baby, you would never carry it to full term.” 10 pounds, 4 ounces, 2 weeks late, here comes Heather into the world. She was very clear that I was a miracle. That mantra just stayed in my head.

HeatherCriswell:          What I realized over time is that people are talking some pain often, not from their heart. That’s what I learned after many years of working with children. I’ve worked with over 30,000 kids. I owned a preschool for years. The truth of who we are is our children. They are clear, they are articulate, they are sometimes blunt.

David Brower:              Yeah, absolutely.

HeatherCriswell:          They are truth, and they speak their truth. They also come from a space at their heart. When a three-year-old would say to me, “Ms. Heather, why are your legs so big?” They weren’t intending to hurt me. They were just simply asking, “Why are your legs bigger than my mommy’s legs?” It’s one of those things that I’ve realized over time as we come on to this planet in pure love and in heart. As I say, it gets chipped away over time. That happens from the external, our influences, and our families.

HeatherCriswell:          Unintentionally often, where my grandfather would say, “Well, you need to lose weight. You’re going to get diabetes. You’re going to be sick like your parents.” Certainly, that’s not what he was wishing for me at the time, but he was scared. He was trying to convey that fear, which was not successful.

David Brower:              Well, yeah. When you get in those situations, and this is very hard to do. When you get in those situations, you have to be able to walk through the fog and look at their intention, not what they’re saying, but the intent of what they mean. He was worried about you, he was scared for you, and he didn’t have any other way to communicate that, right?

HeatherCriswell:          Absolutely. I think that, that is our biggest job on this planet is how do we stay connected to our heart and how do we operate from that space. A reframe to what he could say is, “I’m really concerned about you, I love you so much. If you were not on this planet, I would be heartbroken every single day. That concern comes from the things that I have heard about being overweight. You are incredibly beautiful. This is not about your body. This is about your health that I’m actually concerned about in this moment. How can I support you? How can I help you? If this is your journey, I honor that and accept that as well, but just know that I want you on this planet, and you matter to me.” Now that’s different. It’s very different.

David Brower:              Oh my gosh. You think? Do you help people figure out how to meaningfully articulate those feelings in a better way than they might otherwise?

HeatherCriswell:          I do. I do a lot of it through story because I think that we can relate to each other through story. That’s been generation after generation, we used to sit on the porch step and tell stories around campfire stories because stories give us the opportunity to see ourselves in another story, somebody else’s story and work it out in that way instead of it being you’re doing this wrong, you’re not right. Certainly, I think that everybody’s story has a point to it and a way to come back to that love for themselves. That’s how I often share a lot of the wisdom that I’ve gathered along the way and help people remind them of that wisdom that they have and remind them who we are because over time we forget, we get into politics, and we forget who we are.

HeatherCriswell:          Because I have people that are on my Facebook page that I absolutely love and adore on the far, far left, and I have some on the far, far right. They are the most amazing people on both ends. The beauty of it is, is that for me, I have to look past their post and know who they are, who I know them to be. That I know that my friend that says something about Trump, that he’s great and that he is amazing, that whatever, and she says it in a way that could be offensive to other people, I have to look at them and say, “I know who she is. That is she is not an offensive person. She is one of the most kind, loving people I’ve ever been around.” On the left side somebody that says that Trump is so wrong and so bad. I know who you are. When we can hold a space of who we are, then we can work on the skills to communicate how we work together, and how do we come together in that space when you have somebody that loves Trump and somebody that hates Trump.

HeatherCriswell:          Just using Trump as an example in this moment because it’s always in our media in this moment. How do we see the greatness in each other and see the love in each other, and know that love, and then say, “Okay, that’s not who you are. So what are you trying to say here because that’s not who you are. I know you to be a really compassionate, kind, caring person. What are you feeling here? What is this triggering for you? How can I support you and help you?” It’s a real evolved state. It’s something that we have to work on consistently.

David Brower:              That’s part one of our interview with Heather Criswell, where life is rooted in love.

Allan Blackwell:            Your 20 Minute Podcast with David Brower has been brought to you by Audible. You can listen to any of David’s podcast anywhere podcast can be found including iHeartRadio, the Spotify mobile app, and at Until next time. Thanks for listening.