Kate Northrup is a powerhouse, to put it lightly. A bestselling author, entrepreneur and mother, she does a lot — but somehow, she manages to be an expert in doing less.
Here, she shares everything from why it’s so important to connect with nature and build community to how she’s practicing antiracism and shifting her perspective as a mother as she wades through the very strange year that is 2020.
Your journey has always been rooted in consciousness, evolution, healing and community. Can you share with us a little about your personal philosophies and path?
Many years ago I had a dream where I looked over at my bookshelf and took a book off the shelf that had the title “Unforgettable” on the spine. I opened it up and the first page read, “If you are to live in the light, you must make your living through the sharing of insight.” I knew then and there that it was time for me to start putting forth my own ideas and creativity after having “hid” behind other brands for the first 10 or so years of my career.
Right now I’m living out this path by learning everything I can about the body and our connection to nature, and how it can guide us to do our most important, impactful, abundant work. I’m currently completely fascinated by biomimicry, or looking to the natural world for solutions to our human problems, and I see so many hopeful possibilities for healing, growth, and change if we can get back into relationship with our bodies as part of nature and nature as a whole.
You have always had a deep passion for building community. Can you share some insights on how we can grow our community-building muscles in our own communities and beyond?
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to stay curious. If we want to build true connection, releasing any assumptions about other people and instead staying curious so you can learn the truth about them is what’s at the core. Plus, when we are curious, we attract people to us because they can sense our open heart and that their truth will be safe with us. Ensuring that we’re not being transactional in our relationship, but instead truly caring about other human beings is at the core of building solid community as well.
How has 2020 shifted your perspective as a woman and a mother?
2020 has been a doozy so far! It has made me a better, more present mother, for sure. Having no childcare during the first three months of the pandemic and needing to run my business at the same time was a unique opportunity to change my relationship to mothering and realize how much more efficient I could be with my time (even though I already thought I was doing really well in this area!) I’ve moved through so many different emotions this year, and am called back to surrender again and again.
Surrender of what I thought this year was supposed to look like, surrender of what I thought our future would be like, surrender of what I thought the world should look like.
It’s been a constant practice in being with what is while at the same time dreaming into and taking action toward what is possible.
Money: A Love Story has been a favorite for so many of us. What is one of the juiciest nuggets from the book from your own experience?
The piece of Money: A Love Story that’s had the biggest impact on my life is that the journey around financial wellbeing is a journey of building self-worth and self-love. The more we develop our own sense of inner value, the more that value is reflected back to us through financial wellbeing and other forms of wellbeing. It truly is the most beautiful gift we can give ourselves because it heals every area of our lives.
As a mother, what do you do daily to stay present, peaceful, and playful with your daughters? And when you sway away from present, do you have a few go-to rituals?
Keeping my phone in the other room or in the kitchen drawer has really helped me to be present with my girls. I also try and breathe when I’m with them so I can change pace from my work life to my home life and also stay calm when they’re having meltdowns or fighting with one another or whining. And when I get pulled away from the present moment, I try to get curious about what they’re interested in and come back to noticing my breath and noticing my feet on the ground.
Any favorite reads in 2020?
I recently finished an incredibly powerful social justice memoir/manifesto by my friend Valarie Kaur called See No Stranger, and I also really loved Michelle Obama’s book Becoming.
We are loving your Instagram takeovers and your leadership in the area of anti-racism, global oneness and diversity training. What have been a few of the most impactful learnings you have been given from all of the incredible programs and workshops you have been blessed to be a part of? Can you share a few of your favorite workshops or courses?
Listening more and speaking less has been the biggest learning of all in this area for me. That’s why I’m loving doing the #keepsharingthemic series on Instagram. I loved the course Diversity is an Asset with the Adaway Group and I’m also loving learning from Milagros Phillips during her Healing Racial Trauma series.
Origin has become one of the most powerful global communities for entrepreneurs! You teach your dreamy strategies for getting more done by doing less. How did Origin begin and how has it evolved? When is the next registration window?
Origin began as just a glimmer of an idea in 2016 when I started journaling about my cyclical energy in concert with my menstrual cycle and the lunar cycle after my period came back when my first daughter was one year old. I needed something reliable that felt grounding to hold me during that time because the first year of motherhood was incredibly rough and I was struggling with anxiety, insomnia, and feeling totally out of control. The journaling practice became a planning practice and I started to realize how much more I could get done by doing less if I worked with, instead of against, my own natural energetic ebbs and flows.
I wanted more women to know about this way of living so I opened the doors to Origin in March of 2017 and I’ve never looked back!
Click here to learn more about Origin as registration just opened for a limited time.
Do Less is likely one of the most popular topics at this moment in time, not to mention your latest book! As women and mothers find more joy in the pause and the simple, what can you share from the book as a first step to living a “do less” life?
The first step is really to explore your relationship around time, work, and productivity and ask yourself if you’re working and doing from a place of passion or if you’re working from a place of proving. So many of us have been tied to the belief that in order to be valuable, we have to work harder and harder and more and more. But the truth is that the number of hours we work and the amount of energy expend is not synonymous with the value we provide or with our inherent value. When we begin to question what we’ve been taught, we begin to be able to write a new story and change our relationship to time and work so that it’s spacious and easeful and sustainable.