Kate Northrup Graces The Show!

Dec 03, 2020

I am so excited today to have my very first guest and she's a very special and important guest to me and many other people, so welcome Kate Northrup. 

Kate: Thank you so much for having me Krysti, thrilled to be here.

Krysti: So I would love to start with a little more snapshot of your history, and business, your passion, that kind of thing.

Kate: Yeah, so I started out in the health field actually, although I will say if I back way up, I thought I was going to be an art dealer or a museum curator. I actually have a degree in art history. But anywho, then I started a business in the network marketing industry in nutrition and I just sort of never ended up getting a job because I was running this business and it was going well and so I kind of fell into the being an entrepreneur backward. And then I was teaching these workshops all around the country; I was around this road trip with my now-husband, which was sort of our first date, but we were just like living out of my car for 10 months and I was teaching these workshops called women and wealth and they were for my network marketing business, but then I ended up getting invited to teach one at a conference like a real speaking gig.  It's like one of my first speakings and so I changed it all up and then I ended up getting a book deal from that conference and I was just like "oh what is happening right now?" None of it was my plan. I didn't sit down and say "oh I'm going to be an author" or whatever. I did a while back, I was going through some stuff in my mom's basement and I found this packet of papers that my sister and I had typed up, like on the first computer my family had you know, how the computer print paper would come out with the little dots on the side and you had to take that part off. Yeah, it may not be relevant to some people who are listening, but it will date me. But anyway, so I found them and it was this packet of papers from this whole pretend thing that we had invented called the "Brookside Academy for Girls" and it was this whole dossier of a welcome packet getting these young girls at our pretend school sort of organized and helping make sure they felt taking care of and I realized when I found that because now, I have this online platform for female entrepreneurs all about helping them to really access their greatest power and their greatest sustainable power and regenerative power through running their businesses basically by accessing their bodies and being in their bodies. And I was just like, that's so cool. I guess there was a part of me that always knew this is what I was going to be doing because I remember just like we would always be pretending about, running stuff and gathering people.

So anyway, I had the first book and then I got married, I got pregnant, I went through a very long fallow period creatively where I was just like I don't know what I'm doing -which was weird because the book was really successful! I was on the Today Show, I had great opportunities, but  I had nothing after that. I was just like I have nothing further to say like, I don't know what to do. And so I thought, Well, maybe that was it. You know, maybe I just like was sort of a one-hit-wonder and like I don't know, maybe I'm meant to be a quilt or something. I mean, I was really like I had no idea and then my period came back after my first daughter and with it came to this just like a huge download of fascination with bodies in this way that I had never been doing, despite being raised by somebody who was publicly talking about women's bodies my whole life. I was sort of annoyed by it quite frankly.

And so anyway, I realize I started realizing - because I've also always been a time-management and productivity junkie and I just started really realizing like, "wow." This whole experience of getting pregnant was so wild and it was a traumatic birth and my baby was sick and for the whole first year was terrible, but despite that whole time by prioritizing my body and her body, and living within the rhythms of what bodies required of us. By working less than half the amount of time I had ever worked in my adult life, we still made we made more revenue in our company that year and I was just like wait a second. If I could work less than half the amount in a year and make more money. What have I been doing? Like, busting my ass this whole time? So that's kind of where Do Less came from; I have my daughter Penelope to thank for it.

So then there was a book, and there was a membership, and there's a planner, and there are all the things.

Krysti: Amazing, we will definitely tell them about all of these in more detail. But thank you so much. I always think hearing the genesis and the origin of all of these ideas and really the people, the stories behind the people are so helpful. So I personally have had a great experience with Kate over the last year. I have been in her Mastermind, and she has helped me to uncover so many different things and I would love to discuss Rah's book; so can you walk us through, because obviously, you went through this period of time where you have to figure out what that was. I've heard you tell the story as if you hadn't really thought that this was something to put time and energy into - so can you share a little bit about that and how now your newfound clarity and passion has been helpful this year for you and business?

Kate: Yeah, So it was actually you know life is just so funny. So I was sitting on my living room floor with this Mastermind that I used to be a part of locally in Maine after my Do Less came out; So it was June 2019. I quit coffee yesterday, and so yes, just temporarily so I may be slightly more tangential than usual, but I'm going to try to keep her between the rails. So I was sitting there just like having a meltdown and I was just like, I don't know what I'm doing, I don't know what my business is for. I'm going to quit everything and that was June of 2019. So, I was having this major postpartum hangover after Do Less came out. The reason I am saying this is because I think we had just I do certainly but I try to remind myself like we really have a tendency to look at people on the Internet or authors or whatever and assume that they know what they're doing and I just really have to say like, yes, they do in certain areas, but everyone's always working on something. I had just had this great book launch and I just was like, I think I'm going to quit everything. I don't know who I am. I don't know what I'm doing. So I hired this coach Rah Goddess because I had been at the speaking gig with her earlier in March and I just saw her and I just was like, I have to work with her and that was it. Like I didn't know why, I've known her for years, but it was all of a sudden I just have to work with her.

So during our session, and I highly recommend her book The Calling I didn't even know what I was signing up for. So I show up at my thing in New York and I realized that like, oh we're going to uncover my purpose which, PS I had thought was such BS - like I really was just like, our purpose is to be human and follow our purpose and be of service- everybody. So like why are we spending all this time on the purpose of our conversation? And then, and then Rah walked me through her process and she talks about in the book- what I love about that book is she really holds nothing back. I was like, wow, this is literally what we went through when I paid her a lot of money.

I realized that like if I had looked at the breadcrumbs through my whole career and each person listening, you can do this, look at the bread crumbs.  I was a dancer in college and sort of my lineage where I've come from, and all of the things I've always been fascinated by - but I thought were random.  I don't know if you know this Krysti, but I have every mind-body-Fitness certification under the Sun. Why am I doing that? I'm never going to be a fitness instructor, but I just can't stop getting certified in stuff. So she helped me to articulate that my purpose is helping powerful women access and ambitious women access the power in their bodies to do their most powerful work in a regenerative way. 

We need women on the planet living in their bodies because women's bodies are the most, well are one of the most powerful places on Earth, right? We are where human life comes from. So it changed everything for me because I realized I had been living like just adjacent to my part to my calling and my purpose instead of right on it and there was some friction because I would get distracted by things that were not it but because I hadn't articulated what it was. I didn't know that and then nine months later, I would be like, why did I go do that thing? That seemed what - was that and I'm a 7 Enneagram; So it's very easy for me to say yes to things. So I really needed this to keep me between the ditches and it is enhanced and expanded everything and it's allowed me to simplify my business so much because it's really clear. I'm like, oh this is part of a calling or this is not. This is also the most effective expression of the calling and this is not.

Krysti: Yeah, the boundary factor, the boundaries as you have taught me, I thought I had good boundaries before I met you and I had actively worked on them a lot. But I love the clarification of the calling really kind of being the backbone of your boundaries because everything has to go through that filter and the filter is so beautiful and passion-filled, you know, it's not a filter of no, it's a filter of holding steady and firm on what you know you were put on this planet to do and so, therefore, nothing gets through the filter that doesn't pass that test which I think is just a completely different level of boundary than most anyone has gone.

Kate: Yeah, and before that, I knew that I needed to say "No" to more things and I've also been good at saying no to things for years. So that wasn't new but it was, I think that the way I was saying no to things was more around "is this in the highest and best use of my time?" Which I think is wonderful and I still use that but I was sort of like, "Is this in the highest and best use of my time according to what? I just didn't have something to measure that against since it was based on 'does this feel right to me'? Which I love, I'm all about intuition. But sometimes I hate to say this, but sometimes I really cannot trust myself because I am so enthusiastic. I have to I really have to rein it in and so the calling piece has been huge because it's so obvious: is this furthering it or is it not? It's just much deeper than is this in the highest and best use of my time.

Kate: I think the whole highest best use of time is kind of the masculine way that we were all taught to do boundaries. If you really think about it, it's more like well, could I hire someone with an x-dollar amount to do this thing, when I'm probably worth  "X dollar amount per hour" and the more I think about that the more it's like well that doesn't really feel very aligned with my femininity and my way. So, I think this calling-way of boundaries is much more sustainable and it is regenerative. So let's go back to that word because I would love to have you tell everyone about that. So most recently we did our Mastermind Retreat and Kate had this fantastic presentation about regenerative business. I would love to know where that came from with you, what sparks that, and what has that meant to you for however long that's been ruminating.

Kate: Yeah, so I first heard about regenerative agriculture through Dr. Zach Bush and his organization, Farmers Footprint, so I just started learning about that. I spent a semester of school on an organic farm - I'm super into the food movement. The sustainable agriculture and I hadn't known about regenerative and I was like, what is this regenerative? So I started learning about it from a farming perspective; Not that I'm a farmer but I'm into it because obviously, I don't have to tell the people listening like our bodies are so affected by the food systems and what we put in them and toxins in the environment, right? So then I was at a retreat where this guy, whose first name is Rafael, he's a famous branding guy and he talked about sustainability in brands and his belief is that brands are actually going to heal the world. I was like, it's interesting. But I think it was in his presentation - I think it was like 10:30 at night and I was really tired but I think that he said that the difference between sustainability and regeneration; sustainability is "we can keep doing this in this way forever." But the thing is we are at this point ecologically, you know environmentally on the planet and from the perspective of people's health that we actually need a level deeper than sustainable because we have taken so much out of the system. I think you know, this is true of our natural resources, but I think we can we can look at this metaphorically in terms of our bodies and our relationship with capitalism. We have like depleted the system to such a degree that sustainability actually won't work, we actually need regenerative. Regenerative is through the processes, through my practice, is through my daily life, my way of running a business, my way of being a mother, you know, I'm actually putting back in more than I'm taking out. Or if it comes to our bodies, I think we can really think about it in terms of like, "am I receiving as many inputs as I'm giving out" right? So you don't always have to be the giver because I think that could very tricky with women and with healer saying like, "oh you need to be putting more in than yours taking out." I'm pretty sure you already are, and so looking at that from which side of that equation are you on and so this whole idea of regenerative where we're taking responsibility not only for the interaction with our client or a customer and following it all the way through, is that a regenerative relationship? Also the relationship with the people that we work with and then also even backing up two steps ahead to even to a simple as what are the office supplies that are coming into here? I went to a virtual conference this summer and they sent me this box of Swag that was essentially like plastic crap from China that ended up right in my recycle, but still, I was like, this is dumb. This is dumb you spent money on this and like you're upholding the systems of toxic capitalism and consumerism by spending money on this and I spent money on it and now it's in my trash like 30 seconds after I opened it.

I was pissed, and so, I just think about okay, all the way back and then through what happens to this thing? I make a physical planner and who made it? What were the materials? What happens with the shipping? What happens when someone's done with it? So that I'm actually taking responsibility for as much of the cycle as I possibly can and not just being like well, you know, once it passes through my door, once I have the check in the mail, doesn't matter anymore, but it really does.

Krysti: Yeah, this is something that you really awakened in me this year of just looking at the journey of not just things, but the journey of everything and not just in my business, but just in my life, so anything that we are being exposed to or anything that we have a hand in how do, we look truly at the whole picture. This is funny because, in Chiropractic, this is how we approach every single patient is with this true whole-body approach. How do we go all the way back often to birth even when people are an adult and we talk about where that where they came from, what stressors have been involved for decades, what type of life do they want to live in the future? So we are really bringing this regenerative thought process to what we do in practice every day.

I think I could blanket statement and say that a lot of us aren't that great at applying it yet to our own lives because we spend so much time and energy pushing that forward for our patients that it's hard to have a ton left then for us. So if we back up just a minute, I personally wanted Kate to talk to all of you about this calling and the regenerative business model because one of the biggest things year that she taught me, was to slow down and really ask myself why things were happening; not just in my online business, but in my practice, why were things happening with our patients? Why were things happening with our team? What does the journey look like and for most practitioners I think we don't spend enough time really clarifying those pieces and understanding our calling because we already know we're in loving service to all of our patients. That's my calling - I'm just in loving service to all my patients. So you attract a ton of holistic healers into your membership Origin and I would venture to guess that a lot of them are attracted because of your tenants and your body first, business second message. What do you tell them and what would you tell anyone listening who hasn't been exposed to, why do they need to go on this journey as a holistic health practitioner? Why do they need to clarify their calling? Why do they need to take care of themselves and not just continue to perpetuate this message of selfless service? We are taught to give-love-serve without question.

Kate: So let's start with the word selfless, you are supposed to be without a self - like you're supposed to disappear; So the whole idea is of annihilation through your own practice. It is literally is without a self which means it is destroying you - so let's stop using the word selfless and I love that you brought it up because that is like this whole defecation of sacrifice needs to stop. People are so sick - women in particular. adrenal fatigue, breast cancer, and I am not saying that you manifested them but they're happening right within our families, within our communities, within ourselves. I really had trouble with my milk supply with my first daughter and she wasn't gaining weight and she was sick - it was a whole thing. I just read all the books and listening to all the midwives and it's just like the more you relax, you know, the more milk you'll have. The more you rest, and the better you stay hydrated, the more of these lactation cookies you eat.. I mean, of course, I had heard a million times: You cannot give an empty cup.

Okay, so that's just when you have a child and when you're nursing obviously that's a very small example. However, when we think about if you did not exist if you were selfless think about what would happen to your children - think about what would then happen to your patients, then they don't have you. I had this amazing experience with a dear friend of mine who's an acupuncturist and he does this crazy - to our spiritual practice every morning, he's really dedicated to it - and I sat in his office for the first time for my first treatment with him and his energy it was one of the most profound experiences of just being in a healers energy who is really taking care of themselves. It changed me as his energy field changed me, and it was this, it was almost like I got a download like a horizontal transfer of permission.

He is tending to his highest vibration and his full presence; I mean, I just had almost never felt anybody so present in my life and he helped me with some symptoms I was having but more than that. It was just like wow, that's what being in the presence of someone who has taken very good care of themselves feels like and he was just able to care for me in such a profound way.

So, you know if we are here to be healers, and while I'm not a chiropractor and I don't have the medical training, I definitely consider my part of my work a healing work. If we are going to be able to continue to do that we need to be putting in as much to the system as we are taking out and in this case putting into the system, part of the system is you and your energy field and your body.

Krysti: This is why this conversation is so so important to me because as I'm listening to you, so many things are going through my mind, but first and foremost, I'm thinking about because most of the people listening to this are females and holistic health practitioners, in my mind, we kind of have a double whammy against us in taking care of ourselves. That's based on my experience with, at this point, thousands of Docs that I have seen. We're wired as women to take care of everyone else. It's how we derived our worth in society for however many years or at least what society told us our worth should be around. Then now we get this dogma of selfless service and all the things. So I love I mean if you go back and listen to what Kate said about that word, I think that alone should help you want to replace that word. I mean, we're not telling you not to be in service. Of course, that is such a fantastic gift to this world, but I think you have to deepen. I love that you use the pour from an empty cup analogy because we have all these analogies but it doesn't really mean much to most of us. I think you have to go on this journey and figure out what it means to you, to really take care of yourself.

Kate gave us this beautiful example, that a very small percentage would have the level of awareness that Kate has, however, that doesn't mean that even though they aren't consciously aware of your energy, their body is still very aware of your energy. This is something that we're taught that you leave your stuff at the door and you are 100% present with the person that you are with as part from a patient perspective, I think as practitioners, that's not a perfect science - that doesn't happen all the time. So if you aren't going on this journey to identify your calling figure out what it means to be in service without being a martyr, then it is impossible for you to energetically serve the person on your adjusting table at your highest level because you haven't prioritized serving your own body, soul, self, at the highest level. Looking at it in that way, I think is only something that someone like Kate can help us understand because our profession has had blinders on for a long time, and bringing in these outside perspectives really helps you to heal.

What would their next step be? Let's say that they're just exhausted and drained and they're an empath and they wear everyone else's energy home, and they feel like they can't take care of themselves, or their family, because I mean this year has been crazy-pants-bananas.

Kate: So I mean there are obviously a million different places you could start but I'm just going to share where I started because as an ambitious person, I really struggle with slowing down, and I struggle with the whole self-care conversation. I mean, I'm the first person to be like, "how long is that going to take?" I'm not sure that I have time if somebody's like telling me about some ritual or self-care meditation.

For me, what's been so helpful as doing things that are quick that really pack a punch in terms of I guess that's sort of aggressive language but really give you a big gift. For me one of them has been cyclical tracking and cyclical awareness. So if you are having a menstrual cycle that's unmedicated and it's relatively regular that would be your menstrual cycle. If you are not having an unmedicated regular menstrual cycle for whatever reason that would be with the moon.

So here's what's so cool about this.

We go through every month, these four energetic phases whether they're in concert with your menstrual cycle or the moon or maybe a little bit of both and that's happening whether you're aware of it or not. So just like the planet goes through Four Seasons we go through every 28 days these four phases. One of the things that I have found the most healing has been giving myself permission to feel the way I feel when I feel that way. Because we add so much extra friction and extra stress unnecessarily by beating ourselves up for feeling how we feel and thinking we should feel this one certain way - which is based on a hierarchy of the patriarchy which tells us that there's one right way to be and it is male-white-able-bodied cis-gendered, really smart, and really productive, and wealthy. If you are not naturally born one of those things and or you have not become one of those things or all of them, then you are falling short and you are less than. So we spend our lives trying to get to the top of this hierarchy which was never built to honor who we are, to begin with. It certainly was built to honor a tiny percentage of the population who has of course historically held all the power.

So what ends up happening is if we have a week of the month where we feel lower energy or where we don't feel like talking to anybody or we feel cranky or we feel more intuitive and less, 'let's get up and go let me run the 5K and do all the things', right? Then we beat ourselves up and we add all this on top of distant learning for so many people running a practice, an incredibly difficult year for so many reasons not to mention all of the normal difficult things of life. Then we're also telling ourselves that we're wrong for feeling the way we do.

So here's the deal we're cyclical creatures. We experienced a personal spring, summer, autumn, and winter every single month. So we are going to feel a little bit different every week and that's beautiful. It's actually responsible for human life - our cyclical nature is why we are here.

Cycles are responsible for everything and the whole idea of linear growth - that you should like always be making more money than you did last year or always be doing more adjustments than you did last week or always be losing more weight or eating more spinach or whatever. It's just not how nature works, it's just literally not how we were designed. So that was an extremely long answer to your question. But my answer is, actually to start tracking your menstrual cycle or the moon and just notice what day you're on and notice what phase of the cycle that is. There are four phases of the cycle, there the menstrual phase which is like winter energy. There's the follicular phase which is the week after you have your period, that's Springtime energy. There's the luteal phase which is the 10 to 12 days before you get your period, that's Autumn energy. And oh, I skipped one, which is this week after your follicular phase is ovulation, that's summertime energy. And then you have your luteal phase. So you go through and you'll start to notice when you start to pay attention like, oh I'm having Autumn energy this week, like cool. How can I do my week in Autumn? Oh, I'm bleeding I have winter for these three to five days, how can I be a little bit more winter-like in my energy? Honor it and you'll find you have so much more energy when you're not wasting it all beating yourself up.

Krysti: I definitely will do an episode about my own personal journey with this because I'm so glad that you took that time to really explain -so what Kate is describing is really a cornerstone of her work. So we'll definitely find the best way in the show notes will link up something that you can really go deeper with her on what that all looks like - because I'll tell you this is how I was introduced to Kate. So I actually heard her on Amy Porterfield Podcast in 2019 where she was describing all this and my brain exploded while I was driving. I was like, okay, I'm a health practitioner, I'm a doctor, and I have no concept whatsoever about any of this. So after I got through my momentary shame then I was like, this is revolutionary and I like just rocketed through her book and then in full disclosure. I tried for two months to plan my weeks in this way and to really utilize it to its highest level and I didn't fail, I just really found it difficult to get in the zone. I cast it aside and I joined her membership and I got her amazing Do Less Planner and I looked at it in February and I was like, oh this feels really overwhelming to me.

Having two businesses and a family and whatnot and I just immediately went back to this two-month time where I was like, oh, yeah, I'm gonna do all my sales calls during ovulation, I'm gonna do all my content batching, I'm going to do all these things. I really want to circle back to what Kate was saying because this is the first time that I've heard her vocalize it in a way of permission. So just tracking your energy to give you permission that you are not on a 24-hour cycle of energy is revolutionary. I think many women probably hesitated to track their energy. I know I did because literally I have been adrenal fatigue for a long time and I was like, I feel like crap all the time. I will say I have been tracking my energy over the last almost month and I have now seen that's not true. I am totally All-or-nothing thinking myself into, I'm so busy and I have shitty energy all the time. I have had plenty of days where I'm like, oh I definitely felt more verbally fluent, I felt more energetic, I really loved that workout.  So I really want to challenge anyone that's listening; I know many of you are likely already familiar with Kate's work, you probably already read her book. So if you have tried to do this in the past and it just wasn't the right season for you. Pick it back up again and look at it one more time. Really, I think to continue to look at it until the season of your life allows you to continue with it because I think a lot of it just depends on where you currently stand emotionally and what's going on in your world. That permission factor is so helpful at the end of this year to just really give yourself some space and some grace to do what needs to happen.

It can be easy, you don't have to make it hard. We tend to just overcomplicate everything and we want to make it fancy and all these steps and I just it doesn't have to be that hard and that's one of the most beautiful things about Kate's planner and she has an energy tracker that is a companion to that. It makes it easy. It's the Do Less way of doing it because it's right in front of your face and I'll tell you there are some questions in there that literally will knock you on your booty as a woman like, what do I actually feel like doing today? The first time I read that question I was like, I don't ask myself that like - that's a foreign concept. So I think this is one of the best places for you to start and if they run into roadblocks, Kate, what would be your advice? What do you say in those instances?

Kate: So the first time I read about anything like this was in Alisa Vitti book Woman Code and I was like, that's fascinating but who has time for that and that was years before I thought perhaps I might try it. So I think even in terms of you know, this is meta but relating to our cycles, we are cyclical. So I think that you will go through periods of time where you're like all about it and then also periods of time where you're just like, you know what I really just need to not even pay attention. We can call that dissociation, we could call it that there is certainly some numbing behavior in there. 

Krysti: I really hope that you just heard the permission. I mean how many of us have evolved in business life hearing like oh if you don't have a morning ritual that you do every morning, then you are not going to be successful as a business person. If you don't have a planner, task management system, that you do religiously, right -  this is what we are immersed in every day and the permission to just be real about business is it is revolutionary. I think I mean I have not as a 13-years entrepreneur, I have not been exposed to any person except Kate that is actually giving us permission to be human beings; that's wild that the vast majority of business mentorship and this happens. 

That's when you actually have the capacity to heal yourself, so you could actually heal others at the level that Kate was sharing with her beautiful acupuncturist friend. So I really hope that you are thinking about all the places where we are poking holes in some of those societal expectations the patriarchal expectations, whatever you would like to call them and just taking a deep breath at the end of this year.

We all just need to take a deep breath, and really this is one of the biggest reasons why Kate has helped me so much this year is just being willing to as a mentor recognize and honor that we need to be human and it's okay and giving us space to do so in business. So thank you so much for that.

"Nature never rushes yet, everything gets done"

Kate saying that quote and just pay attention to how your body feels when you hear those words because this is where Kate has taught me the real magic happens when you tune in to what your body is telling you and you don't let your brain run the show, then you can actually see some long lasting change.

So so tell us where everyone can follow you, you know, what's coming up for you maybe share a little bit about the membership because definitely some of them would I think love some more information about that right?

Kate: So you can find me at {katenorthrup.com}; If you want to get kind of a starter kit for a the, Do Less weekly planning ritual and then I'm on Instagram and the Origin Collective is the membership about growing your business while doing less. As Krysti said we do serve a lot of holistic health practitioners in that membership, there's a lot of alignment there. So really the biggest result that I hear from people is, I'm working less but making more money and so I guess that's what I teach how to do.

Krysti: Thank you for being the champion you are for women but also for women in holistic health, I think it's so transformative to have people in the entrepreneurial world really understanding and fighting for what we do. So, thank you so so much.

Kate: You're welcome, Krysti. Thank you for all of your beautiful work. 



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