What an absolute treat! This week ‘Hey Mama’ has been blessed by the ever inspiring Lisa Fitzpatrick from Sacred Women’s Business. We chatted about the delicate dance of following your soul purpose, nurturing yourself and raising well adjusted little people all at once.
I first met Lisa when she spoke at The Holistic Project’s Pursue Your Passion event. She spoke about a cycle that so many women fall into, (myself included) of playing a victim, a martyr and a perpetrator. As a mother it is so easy to fit into these roles by giving all of yourself away and then resenting the people you love for taking advantage of your generosity. Her story really spoke to me and made me step out of the negative frame of mind I was in and take back the ownership of my selflessness.
Lisa works with tons of women to empower them in finding their soul purpose and inspires them to actively pursue their dreams. She has helped many women reach their full potential through her professional coaching and was recently a finalist for a mumpreneur award! I hope she inspires you with her beautiful insights as she continues to inspire me. Enjoy!
Tell us about your kids and their personalities. My sons are Ezekiel (Zeke) aged 14 and Kalani aged 12. They’re lovely, shy and fairly quiet boys who are both quite studious. Zeke is my genetic clone. He was born on my 28th birthday, looks like the male version of me and is my little Sagittarian soul mate. He’s a fiercely passionate musician and can hear any song then play it on the keyboard. I am non-musical so I marvel at his talent. Kalani is obsessed with soccer and has the sensitive soul of a typical Piscean. He’s cool, collected and calculated on the soccer field and has turned me into a devoted soccer mum. I never even followed sport until he came along!
What are your passions? I am passionate about being a stand for women and the insidious inequality that still exists reflected in the statistics – women still earn 20% less than men, are expected to take on the lion’s share of the unpaid and undervalued work of parenting and are less likely to command their value.
I am so passionate about setting an example to my sons of an empowered, healthy woman.
I’m also fascinated by the bridges that are forming between Western science and spirituality. I love reading about these things and following evolutionary thought leaders like Barbara Marx Hubbard and Marianne Williamson. I’m excited by the new wave of conscious, feminine leaders who are taking their place in positions of power.
What do you love the most about being a mama? I love the hugs most of all! I love the quiet sense of achievement that comes when they’re asleep at night and the housework has been (mostly) done. I love how motherhood strips so much of the ego away and the level of humility it brings. It’s been the best thing that ever happened to me as a person. I love the fact that I can share my life with two extraordinary young men and see them kicking goals and going for what they want in life.
Tell us about your soul purpose and your own unique journey in pursuing it. My soul purpose is to offer hope to women who have come into this life with a big mission and a deep yearning to serve and contribute to the world in significant ways.
I came into this work as a transformational coach because I was broken open and shattered by the pain of my divorce a decade ago which forced me to re-evaluate everything I stood for as a person, a woman and a mother. At the time, I faced so much gender inequality, judgement, economic disempowerment and lack of mentorship as a single mother that I made a promise that I would become a mentor for others. I was incredibly fortunate to find mentors and inspiration in my yoga teachers, and Rachel Zinman was a significant influence on me. Pursuing and creating my coaching business was a very natural progression from my role as a yoga teacher because they are both essentially about reaching for the realization of potential. I love being a stand for other women who may be wondering if it’s too late, not possible or too difficult for them to pursue their passions.
Is there an entrepreneurial spirit that runs in your family? My immediate family are not business-minded at all – they mostly took traditional professional careers. However, I did have an Aunt who is the owner of a chain of bookstores in Perth and is a real success story. I admire women like her who do things their way!
Where does it come from? I believe my entrepreneurial spirit came from my love of variety and adventure. I have always loved thinking outside the square, felt different to others as a child and love innovation. I could never squeeze myself into the 9-5 boredom of a role. I hear these are common traits for a lot of entrepreneurs. I wouldn’t consider myself an entrepreneur so much as an innovative thinker. The coaching programs I’ve created are based on innovation but I feel I’m yet to master the entrepreneurial aspect of business. I’m committed to mastering it because I love the freedom it promises.
Do you wish it upon your kids? Yes – my oldest son has already started talking about going to university to do commerce. I will encourage him because he’s also an innovator and I can see him doing amazing things with his intelligent mind. I believe that it’s a wonderful path because it means being self-determined and not stifled by the unhealthy parameters that so much of the mainstream is operating within.
How has becoming a mother changed you as a business woman?Motherhood has made me into a business woman. Primarily because it has taught me how to multi-task, look after the needs of others and put things into priority. You become such an efficient time manager and your productivity is streamlined. There’s nothing better to shape you than the demands of motherhood.
Have you ever struggled with the feeling of first and foremost being a mum and not a person with dreams and aspirations of your own? Absolutely yes, I have struggled with the identity shift of becoming a mother. My dreams and aspirations have been put on hold for months and years at a time to prioritize my sons and this used to be very painful. However now that my sons are older, I’m so glad that they were center stage for so long, because those younger years are over in a heartbeat and I’m seeing my whole life open up again. I always recommend that mothers soak and bask in the divine moments when they’re little because it’s all over so quickly.
What have been the biggest struggles you have faced as an entrepreneur as well as a mother? Juggling the myriad of commitments as a mother and entrepreneur is simply mind-boggling at times. Probably my biggest struggle has been taking full responsibility without slipping into the victim-martyr-perpetrator cycle that I see so many of us women fall into. I have also struggled with low self-esteem and depression like many women. Single parenting has been a grueling journey as it’s so self-directed and entrepreneurship is the same in many ways. I find it difficult when women who are not mothers don’t understand the time restrictions and emotional and pragmatic commitments that motherhood brings.
Family friendly businesses can be hard to find but I like to align myself with ones that are.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family’s lifestyle? I have loved the flexible hours which were essential for my ability to be there for my sons at school bus times and important sporting commitments. I feel lucky to have worked these past years from home, determining my own pace and calibrating things according to the needs of my kids.
How do you manage your time between family and business? I do some pretty strict scheduling to manage things and I love working on a 15 minute calendar because I get so much done. I am fortunate that both my boys are at school now so there’s more time during school hours for me to work hard and focus. I love being a mother because it’s made me so much more efficient and productive with the time that I do have. I can’t believe how much time I wasted before I became a parent.
How do you define success as a mother and success as an entrepreneur? Success to me as a mother means raising healthy, well-adjusted sons with good self-esteem and the belief that they can do anything. Success as an entrepreneur is the ability to self-determine time, money and resources to stay true to your life purpose and stay healthy and balanced at the same time.
Mum guilt is very real and something that a lot of women face. Have you suffered from this?I’ve had intense mother guilt for not staying inside a nuclear family unit and for having to work a lot to provide for my sons.
I have been able to assuage my guilt by consistently reminding myself that I’m providing an example for my boys of what it means and looks like to live a dedicated, focused, purposeful life making a contribution.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ who are key members of your village and what do they each contribute? My village consists of the best tribe of women and men I could have possibly called in, mostly through my sons. Many of them are friends I made through the Shearwater Steiner School where my sons spent many years. Others are friends who have come in through my yoga world, either as students or teachers or fellow practitioners. I have one friend in particular whose friendship has been such a key support and I’m not sure how I would have managed without her. Her son is my youngest son’s bestie and we have supported each other to stay afloat unconditionally for years. We’re fortunate to share similar values and an equally similar crazy professional schedule. It’s been remarkable to me how much sustenance I get from the village as a parent and I have no idea how anyone does it without this support!
What do you contribute in your village? I try to contribute by supporting people in my community through my coaching and teaching work with Sacred Women’s Business. I also love supporting other parents by sharing the care of our kids, doing the taxi-runs that teenagers require and constantly looking out for each other.
Contribution has always been important to me and I marvel at the fact that we all have our own unique contribution to make.
Please tell us about any charity or volunteer work you’re involved in. I regularly donate to Mission Australia, Assist-A-Sister, World Vision, Well Wishers, Cerebral Palsy League and Indigenous Community Volunteers.
What gets you through the toughest days? I survive with plenty of meditation, yoga, affirmations and prayer, swimming laps, socializing and a lot of laughing with friends.