K: Hi, I’m Kate Northrup and I’ve been introducing you to some of the most inspiring women entrepreneurs I know who also happen to be mothers who are experiencing sustainable success in their businesses. And what that means is they’re growing their businesses in a way that they can imagine doing for years to come with higher profits, higher productivity and less stress. So today I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend Laura Thompson Brady of the nourisedhome.com who’s a master coach , a spiritual guide and a sound healer. So let’s get started.
Hi, Laura – thank you so much for being here with me.
L: I’m so happy to be here.
K: Well I’ve been really inspired by your story, and you exude this sense of just like grounded, calm, Mother Earth Energy – not only in your mothering, though I haven’t spent much time with you and your kids, but also really in your business. What I want to know is: was it always this way? Were you always this kind of like amazing energy? Like being around you is so nourishing, honestly, that’s really the word – so you picked that branding correctly, but I want to know, was it always this way in your life and in your business where you were that calm, or not?
L: I think that the core qualities that I am, and the same way that I can say that the core qualities that I get to experience in you, are real and they are true, and I will also say that it’s taken a tremendous amount of deep inner work to feel more and more free to be in the space that is most nourishing and grounded for me. That has allowed me to be that way as a mother and certainly with my work as well. So in some ways, yes, I’m kind of who I’ve always been, but that doesn’t mean that I had plenty of moments throughout my journey as a mom – especially when my girls were really little, they’re 10 and 7 now – of really feeling kind of like a chicken with my head cut off, you know, and trying to find a deep understanding of what it looks like to live with what I call now a desired life, for the really living my desired life for them and I think that I became.
K: Desired Life Rythym?
L: Yeah, desired Life Rythm.
K: Cool, I just wanted to make sure I heard that correctly. So what is a desired life rhythm?
L: So I’ll say it began when Layla, my first, was a baby, and my husband and I were both in grad school finishing our PhDs, thinking we would follow the job wherever it took us, and life was kind of at a hurried pace, and then Layla was born, everything changed and I realized I needed to listen: what is the true environment that I want to cultivate for my child? What do I want her experience of the world to be as she grows? And I know I can’t control the journey that she has as a human being, but I do know that I can I really have the power to create a life and a family and a home that I feel is grounded and that is in a rhythm. At that time the thinking was what is the true pace of childhood? And it’s a lot slower.
K: Yes, it is.
L: Than the pace that we were living. So that was kind of a radical shift in my priorities and thinking about: what does a desired life rhythm look like for us now that really aligns with what we value, that really aligns with what brings us joy and that aligns with what it is that I want to nurture in Layla and in Flannery as well? So it started with parenting, that kind of idea of “an idea of,” and I didn’t call this desired life rhythm then, but the idea of tuning in not only to what is going to be most nurturing for them, but slowing down, feeling more grounded, really listening to what is going to support us, and the ebb and flow of the energy that we have in the day. With little kids they need to have that major out breath, and they also need to have the time for the in breath for, you know, for naps with little ones and time to just cuddle and maybe read a book, so in the simplest ways I started seeing how that had such a profoundly positive effect on my little ones and this is actually really healing for me. And getting my nervous system and my energy and my sense of knowing myself, having more spaciousness to really understand what I need and what is nourishing to me in a totally new way. So that awareness I think came through my kids and then I’ve applied that in all sorts of ways to the way that I run my businesses.
K: So can you talk to me about specifically some practices that you and your family have in terms of slowing down and creating that desired life for them, that have translated into your business? L: So one simple example that I think can be of use to any family with children of any age is the time where one is, the time in the day that we can slow down and come together, and so one of the really beautiful times that we know is good for children of all ages is family meal time. So you know that the end of the day – not that it happens every single day, but to have this time and just a simple ritual around coming together at the family table, taking some deep breaths together, lighting a candle, maybe sitting in silence for a moment or you know whatever works for each of us, whatever resonates, letting that moment ground us. And then we can share with each other in a more authentic way about: “What went on in your day? What were the high points? The low points?” So that’s kind of a simple example of a ritual that we can incorporate into something that has to happen in the daily grind of life anyway.
K: You have to eat.
L: You gotta eat, right? And so with my business, some simple examples would be creating a container that is ritualized around my work day. And again, so simple, but when I first started my business when my girls were little, it was kind of rushing into the day knowing I had just a couple of hours here – especially when Flannery was a year and half which was how old she was when I started my business – just thinking of “How can I get this list done as quickly as possible?” was kind of where I started, and I recognized in the same way that I can treat my family life and parenting, which has its big challenges, I can treat that as a spiritual practice and I can bring ritual into that. I recognize, “Oh, I can do the same thing with my business.” And so it started with some simple things like having a ritual to begin the day so that I could leave the energy of everything that was spinning in my head – about what was going on with the girls that morning or the dishes that I put in the sink or whatever – into a very grounded and sacred and powerful place to connect into “What is the core of what the work is today?” So again something as simple as lighting a candle – for me it often involves playing my crystal bowls now and just having a couple of minutes to come into that energetic space. And then from there you’re able to connect into, say for example you have a blog post to write or a piece of marketing to write or you’re about to work with clients in a really meaningful way, that you can bring yourself – the more you practice ritual the more powerful of an anchor it becomes to bring you right into the energy that’s required of you to be in the flow of what I consider your sacred work.
K: And so what I love about that is how simple it is to do. So you’ve shared with me a little bit about how you incorporated ritual and kind of creating that energetic space around family and parenting and then how you switch that energy and step into your work energy whether is marketing copy, working with clients, whatever, so how has doing that, stepping into that ritual space, and sort of creating clear boundaries energetically, how has that resulted in any kind of tangible business results for you?
L: And so we have very dynamic seasons here in Maine, which has incredible benefits and can also be a little challenging. You know, winter is kind of hard for me sometimes. So I really, again, had the experience of giving myself the spaciousness to understand that, and so I put all of that kind of deep work of winter – of creating and building – kind of underground, so to speak, underneath, behind the scenes, the vision of the work that felt so true to me. And then in the energy of spring where I do feel more a greater sense of enlivenment and desire to be out there in the world, that’s when I launched, and the energy of that was so powerful and magnetic because it was true. I wasn’t trying to act like I had this huge energy in the middle of winter when I didn’t. And so what I’ve also learned is that when I really listen to my energy, I know now is not the time to launch, or yes, I am in a space where I can with my whole heart and soul put this out there, and the combination of that with consistent and persistent action that does need to happen results in incredible success. So that was my first 50k launch when I launched the Mama on a Mission Mastermind.
K: So has running a business made you better mother?
L: It was after Flannery was born, my second child was born, I remember being in my kitchen, I think I was cooking something, and Flannery was there, like playing with some pots and pans or something on the floor, and I looked down at her, and I just am feeling that incredible love for her and just thinking in my head, “You amazing little spirit, I want the world for you,” and then it was like this incredible feeling of heaviness, it just hit me kind of like a ton of bricks in that moment: “If I want the world for you I have to give that to myself, now, if I am unable to do that, how can I expect you to know how to do that for yourself?” And I was able to acknowledge in that moment some really deep pieces of sadness in me around the parts of me that I was not expressing – that I am so grateful that I get to express now. But that was a big moment of realization and I kind of just – everything was for them – and I can really honor that that was where I was at that time in my life and I don’t regret any of that or take any of it back. It’s just what our journey has looked like. And so I started the business, and it was a crash course in understanding – okay, if I’m really serious about this idea that “if I want the world for you I need to know how to do this for myself now” and model that. I have to have strong boundaries around the time that is for work, and the time that is really centered where I can be focused and fully present to my kiddos.
K: Are there any ways in which being a mother has made you a better entrepreneur?
K: And what are they?
L: There are a couple of really neat ones. So for me -and this may not resonate with all women – but for me what I have recognized is that so many of the experiences of having children from birth on through, there’s so much better metaphor for the way that I am able to approach my business and so one is: it is a big deal to birth a child. It’s a very powerful thing, and it can be very grounded, it can be coming from a place of being at peace with ourselves and really understanding the power of our bodies while also being in surrender to the fact that we cannot control the outcome of this, and it’s not going to go, it’s never going to go the way we think it’s going to. And so when I really started getting in a space of feeling really grounded in knowing what are the big ideas, those core messages that I really want to be birthing into the world through my business, but there were just so many similarities to – I can be so grounded in the power of my message and in the power of what I think people can receive if I really put this out there, and I think one of the most helpful metaphors is that you get to this point in labor when we’re actually birthing a baby, where you feel like you cannot go any further – I can’t do this, this is crazy, let’s stop this whole train…
K: I don’t want to do this anymore.
L: I don’t want to do this anymore, and that is often times when we are phasing into that final stage of labor and are really ready to actually push this baby out, birth this baby, and if we were to be in the place of fear and not believing in, you know, ourselves or our capacity to see it through, then it’s just going to stop things up. Literally he body responds and closes up and slows down, and so that mind-body connection is such a powerful thing and a powerful teacher. So when it comes to birthing a big idea or launching a new program, again, that moment of fear in the creative process as well as in the process of putting it out there, is going to happen. So many people have written books – they were like, “Oh, you know that moment of creation is so messy” – and there are so many times where I’m like, “This is total crap” or whatever, and if you push through that, that’s where you get through the creative edge and something really powerful is created. And I feel that way with creating a program or even sometimes writing a blog post if it feels like a really edgy one, is that when were able to be with the fear and be in surrender to the fact that “I don’t know exactly what the outcome of this will be, I don’t know exactly how people will respond, I don’t know how successful this will be” by the measures that I’ve put out there of how I wanted to all go, but what I do know is that I am so called to birth this into the world. And so being able to really just be in devotion to that is so powerful. And moving through the fear and opening up to your creativity in a really really powerful way.
K: That’s so great. So moving forward what do you see yourself creating as you incorporate and continue to practice these practices that have created sustainable success so far?
L: I’m in a really interesting time of transition where I’m doing more and more sound healing work, and so in terms of all of the very specific logistics of what this is going to look like, and how it’s all going to happen, I’m kind of in that white space of – I’m really open to receiving the the wisdom and the intuition that has always guided me well, when I’m making a big shift in the work. And so what I would say to sustainable success as I move forward and what my experience has been is that more than I trust myself and sometimes even let go of my logical linear plans, by the way though you must be grounded, I must remain grounded and take persistent and consistent action in certain ways. So my way of being grounded very practically speaking, even though I’m in this time of transition, that sustains my success, is being in touch with my community regularly and communicating with them in a way that again is authentic and kind of sharing even some of the transition that I’m going through. And so having those kind of grounded persistent and consistent actions is critical I believe, and when we have these opportunities as our business is growing, and as we are growing in more deeply understanding what our truest gifts are. I think the more we get to do this creative off-the-beaten-path work as entrepreneurs, we actually have an opportunity to understand our unique capacities, our genius, and to put those callings out in a more powerful way. So when I see the future I see myself continuing to have the opportunity, that I’m allowing myself the opportunity, to have these grounded ways of keeping the foundation of my business really strong, and creating open space when it’s needed – to go within and have that experience of the work that’s evolving within me, and then again like that energy of spring that I was talking about – knowing when it is the right time to launch and to birth that next thing in a big way. So I see myself being able to the go through that cyclical process over and over and over again as I grow and work through my own fears of putting the things that feel edgy for me out there because it just keeps coming, I feel, but it doesn’t seem to end. The more that I do this work, the more I’m like, there’s this new deep layer of the work, and so having the space to do that in a way that feels really true, and feels like it’s coming from something very real within me, and then having like the big push, the big launch, and it’s the right time and it’s the right way. When I’m in the energetic space to do it that is what is going to continue to give me sustainable success.
K: So beautiful, thank you.
If you’ve enjoyed this story, which I am so deeply inspired by, I would really invite you to join me for a free workshop that I’m teaching starting May 9th called Sustainable Success, and you can learn more over at sustainablesuccessworkshop.com.
And during that workshop I’m going to be sharing with you how to tune into the cycles of creativity and your business, just like Laura described, so you can continue on that upward cycle of success and get into momentum just as she’s described. So head over to sustainablesuccessworkshop.com, and I’ll see you on May 9th.