Northington Blog

PlanForComfort: An Introduction To Heather Nelson

Nelson 

One of the most beautiful things in life is a strong women. So beautiful, that I married one of them, my wife, Debbie Northington. These women are fit, strong, and healthy; in turn these empowered women become agents of change for their families, communities, and beyond. Heather is also one of these strong women who always lived her life boldly, professionally. And still does in her role as President and Chief Operating Officer at SEAL Corporation in N.Little Rock, Arkansas. It was about a year ago, I stumbled upon her blog, Sunshinedreams2U that I discovered that Heather was starting to live her life boldly, personally. It’s my pleasure to introduce a friend who has transformed herself right in front of my eyes, Heather Nelson

Heather, Sunshinedreams2U has been a game changer in your life, share how this blog has impacted you?

HN: Well, that is a mind-boggling question (shaking my head here). It has saved me in many ways, helped me find my voice during periods of time when it had been lost, it was therapeutic allowing me to sort out the rumblings in my brain, and it has helped me discover my own tribe. I once was a very private person, and I still am….what the blog has done most for me is helped me from becoming a hermit…it is hard to hide out once you find your own voice and a tribe. There is a deeper richness in my life today. Frankly, I am braver now.

You have, “LIVE BOLD”, on your Facebook Page, What do those two words mean to you?

HN: I have either been afraid or been fighting against being afraid the better part of my life, and ironically the result was that fear ruled my life. That is a hard thing for me to admit…even now. A few years ago I had my “game changer” moment when the worst thing(s) I thought could happen to me…did. Suddenly I found myself on my knees questioning everything I thought to be true. It was humbling and terrifying. As I slowly rose up from that, the fear that had crippled me (though I doubt anyone, including me, would have known/thought that) began to dissipate. I suddenly realized that I had lived my life very selfishly…living my life based on what fear told me I needed to do, and also living a life pleasing everyone…yet no one. For me now, to “live bold” is to operate completely from my heart…right, wrong, or indifferent….I am a work-in-process, but my goal is to be vulnerable and transparent with who I am, what I believe, and what I am passionate about….this puts everything at risk because not everyone agrees with me on…well, everything…but at least I am being true to who I really am…and most importantly to my heart.

You have touched my heart with the pictures and post on your mission trips to Haiti. How have the children of Haiti touched yours?

HN : Well, there are really no words to adequately describe that…by the time I arrived in Haiti in early June 2013, I was pretty confident that my heart no longer functioned (like a normal person’s), and I certainly didn’t believe that I had anything to give to the country or its people….I had been on a deep spiritual awakening for about 18 months that had literally been transforming my life….personally, professionally, and spiritualy….so I was raw, still pretty broken, and unsure of myself…unsure of my heart. I wrote a post the night before I left completely owning the fact that I had NO idea why God was sending me to Haiti. The first photo I took in Haiti was one of an orphan grabbing my hand….it was at the first orphanage…and the simple gesture in them reaching back and grabbing my hand…it was like a movie and my emotions moved in slow motion….electricity ran through my hand, up my arm, and hit my heart like a jolt of electricity. It was…it changed my life. These children…these people…who have every reason in the world to NOT be joyful….are the most joyful people I have ever met. They live life out loud, with a smile, and they are truly happy. Their life isn’t perfect or easy, but they grab the joy in the little moments, and they squeeze everything they can out of it; I want to live my life like THAT.

You are a huge supporter of Women’s issues here in the State of Arkansas. In your opinion, what are some of the biggest one’s facing women in our state?

HN: Education. Period. Ironically, it is the same thing here as it is in Haiti or Nigeria or any number of locations you could mention around the world. Education is the single, most powerful way to change the world. If it weren’t, so many would not be working so hard to prevent men and women around the world from getting one.

Heather, I would like to leave women who are reading this interview, one or two ideas that can impact their lives both personally and/or professionally. What would you share with them?

HN: Find a tribe. There are men and women in your offices, in your church, in your organizations, on boards with you, in the coffee shop, and in places you go alone (because we each need to do more of that so we meet more strangers and make them friends) that all have similar challenges, struggles, goals, passions, etc. as you do. They need you as much or more as you need them. The world needs more connection now than ever because in a world of amazing technologies where I can grow a tribe around the world via social media, I also need to take the time to nurture that tribe….and allow them to really know you and you them….to be known…to be truly known is the single thing all women (and men) need, and yet it is the one thing that we don’t work on enough….because we are afraid. Fight the fear; build a tribe. I spent a lifetime afraid of being truly known, at 43 I can’t imagine how I survived all of those years without my tribe…the key is that I survived, but I did not thrive. A tribe. Connection. Passion. Building space in our lives for those three things…well, they changed my life…and I believe they can change the world.

I hope you found this interview with my dear friend Heather Nelson inspiring, goose bump causing, and inspiring.  I love her advice in building your very own tribe to help confront fears that many of us have in our lives both personally and professionally.  Heather has taught me that life is too hard to go through it alone.  Relationships and support systems are important to navigating life and experiencing fulfillment and happiness.  And by helping others, we are helping ourselves. Thank you Heather for inspiring me and many others who will read this blog.

You may visit Heather’s blog at  http://sunshinedreams2u.blogspot.com/, and her company at http://www.sealtheleaks.com/seal-corporation/connect/

 

Northington Investment Group is inspired by sharing stories like Heather’s on our blog PlanForComfort.com.  We approach our Certified Financial Planning clients through a window of Financial Intimacy.  Numbers, Wealth, Assets, Liabilities are just that numbers.  Our firm cares more about the story behind the numbers, The story in combination with Certified Financial Planning may help lead to positive outcomes for our clients.  We call that living our brand at Northington Investment Group. That’s Financial Comfort.  To learn more about Northington Investment Group, visit our website at www.planforcomfort.com, email me at Stephen.Northington@Lpl.com or Call me at 501.993.0167.

 

Heather Nelson, Seal Corp, Northington Investment Group and LPL Financial are unaffiliated entities