About Heather Plett in her own words:
“My mission is to inspire excellence in people, to facilitate growth and the discovery of giftedness, and to serve as a catalyst for positive change.”
My gifts and qualifications
What makes me qualified to run this website? It’s about passion, mostly. And my own giftedness. You can read about the journey to discovering that giftedness below, but if you’re looking for an expert before you trust what’s on this site, here’s a list of my qualifications:
- I have worked in professional communications for 12 years. (involving elements of media relations, public relations, fundraising, marketing, writing, editing, public speaking, etc.)
- I have been in a position of leadership for about 10 years, directing diverse (and sometimes national) teams in a variety of government and non-profit organizations.
- I was named the Manitoba Communicator of the Year in 2009 by the Canadian Public Relations Society.
- I have served as a director in a non-profit organization for 5 years, leading a team focused on the stewardship of resources and giftedness in the service of people who are hungry.
- I have designed and facilitated a variety of workshops on creativity, leadership, teamwork, self-discovery, etc.
- I’ve had my writing published in about 20 publications, including the Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Beyond Ordinary Living, Cahoots, Rhubarb, Geez, etc.
- As a mother of three daughters, I am always looking for ways to support their unique giftedness and personalities.
- I’m a freelance photographer and just recently took up watercolour painting (the artwork on this site is mine).
- I have traveled all over the world and have met some of the most amazing people who are using their gifts in unique and remarkable ways in the service of justice and beauty.
- I’ve been blogging for nearly 5 years, and I’ve also had about 10 years of experience in publishing professional newsletters.
- I’ve been blessed with incredibly gifted friends and associates who’ve shared their wisdom and learning with me over the years.
It’s hard to say when the journey began. Somewhere deep in childhood, I suspect, gently guided by a creative mother, a thinking father, a challenging high school English teacher, a quirky college drama teacher, friends who’ve nudged, books, music and art that have inspired… a myriad of signposts and guiding hands along the way. The start that I remember, though, is much more recent than that.
It had a lot to do with maternity leaves. After birthing babies, something else was birthed in me. On my second maternity leave, I wrote a novel while my babies napped in the afternoons. It was never published, but it reawakened my love of writing that had lain dormant while I’d built my marriage and my career. My third maternity leave was short (I’d had a stillborn son, so only had 3 months of leave). I didn’t have enough time for any major creative projects, but it was around that time that, after learning to embrace grief and the shortness of life, the world unraveled a bit and I knew I couldn’t put it back together in the same formation. There emerged a deep sense of calling for something different – something deeper.
A few years later, I was on maternity leave with my third and final daughter. Away from my full time career for a year, I had more time to wrestle with the calling that beckoned around the time my son had come and gone.
It was on a walk along a riverbank that the idea started to take shape. My spiritual community was beginning a series of eight week sessions where a potluck meal was followed with a time of learning and connecting. They were looking for people to facilitate different learning groups that would enrich the participants but also enrich the community. I knew what I wanted to teach – something that had become a passion of mine – creativity.
That eight week session changed my life. Before starting the workshop, I spent weeks devouring every book I could find on creativity, talking to anyone whose creative ideas had inspired me, and eating, breathing, and dreaming creativity day in and day out.
It was incredible. The eight women who entered the journey with me emerged after eight weeks deeply changed, but probably no on was more changed than me. More than anything, what was evident in all of us was a deep longing to be given permission to let go of guilt and shame and self doubt, to create with abandon, to claim our gifts, and to call ourselves gifted.
I went back to work after that maternity leave was over, and though it was difficult to find the time to facilitate another such involved workshop, I found other ways of nurturing this growing passion. Whenever I could, I taught various workshops in leadership, spiritual gifts, and creative brainstorming. I continued to read good books and find ways to inspire myself.
It wasn’t long after returning to work that the restlessness that was part of my calling and personality led me away from a career in government communications into an amazing role as director of resources and public engagement for a non profit organization working to end hunger in developing countries. In that role, not only did I get to travel to amazing countries and meet some truly gifted and dedicated people all over the world, but I also got the opportunity to spend a lot of time thinking about what motivated people to give financially and to be effective stewards of their time, energy and giftedness in the service of justice and beauty. I was stretched in my role as a leader and communicator and I learned a great deal about working in partnership with people all over the world.
At some point, I worked my way through a book called “The Path” in which I spent time trying to articulate my personal mission statement and calling. I knew that it had something to do with the role that I had played in facilitating the creativity workshop. I wrestled with it for months, and in the end, what I came up with was “My mission is to inspire excellence in people, to facilitate growth and the discovery of giftedness, and to serve as a catalyst for positive change.”
In early 2009, a few things happened in fairly quick succession. At the beginning of the year, I adopted as my word for the year the word “fearlessness” and I set out to challenge myself on some of the things that had blocked me in the past. I started new ventures that stretched my creativity and my spirituality. I took a watercolour course and fell in love with painting. I started a yoga class and learned a deeper connection with my body. I began to reach out in different ways than I’d done before – entering an international photo contest, sharing my art and writing, taking bolder leadership risks than I’d done before, and offering to teach people some of the things I’d learned.