Vanessa Bell Mumbition the Podcast


The Podcast By Mums & Co

Episode 38: Self care it’s your safe space

Sonia Bestulic

Founder of Talking Heads Speech Pathology

August 16, 2022
Take a look at your to do list for today - is wellbeing on there? One of the most powerful reminders for women, particularly working mums, is to make yourself a priority.Sonia Bestulic is an award-winning author, speaker, podcast host and entrepreneur leading and empowering women to embrace high level change.

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Talking Heads Speech Pathology


Produced & Edited by - Morgan Brown
Interviewers - Carrie Kwan and Lucy Kippist
Guest - Sonia Bestulic

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Episode 38 Transcript

00:01:47:24 - 00:02:11:04

Carrie Kwan

Take a look at your to do list for today - is wellbeing on there? That's one of the most powerful reminders that today's guest wants to reiterate to women, particularly working mums. Sonia Bestulic is an award winning author, speaker, podcast host and entrepreneur leading and empowering women to embrace high level change. Sonia, welcome to Mumbition!

00:02:12:07 - 00:02:15:16

Sonia Bestulic

Thank you so much for having me. I'm very, very excited to be here.

00:02:16:18 - 00:02:23:14

Carrie Kwan

Us too! Now for those who don't know about the incredible work that you do, can you please tell us a bit about your business?

00:02:24:16 - 00:05:36:16

Sonia Bestulic

Yeah, so I have a few businesses on the go and all of them are very much based on my lifelong mission to creatively empower positive change and healing in the world. So, with that mission, pretty much from childhood, I went into allied health and became a speech pathologist. I am founding director of an allied health company now sixteen years in, and as you mentioned, author of children's and adult books and podcast host of Chat About Children, again, empowering parents and professionals to grow with the children in their life.

My most recent business book is Flourished For Mums: Twenty One Ways to Thrive with Self-Care and Acceptance is the name of the book. I'd love to share a little bit of the inspiration behind the book and the business because that certainly gives an element of context and flavor to the listeners. Essentially over my decades working with thousands of mums, all across the globe, as a speech pathologist, I observed a really strong pattern with mothers. That was that they often weren't feeling like they were enough, they often felt like they were failing, that they were feeling at fault for anything that wasn't going right in their lives or the lives of their children.

There was a lot of guilt and there certainly wasn't that element of including themselves in their own circle of nurture. There actually seemed to not even be “how do I even do that?” in an authentic and elevated way. So then four years into running my speech pathology practice and business, I had my first child and then I had two more very quickly.

I had three kids all in two and a half years. I was feeling the exhaustion of trying to get mothering right, trying to be a great wife, trying to be an excellent company leader, you know, that high achiever kind of thing going on; I was exhausted. I just couldn't sustain that level of trying to get it all right because I realized that didn't exist.

But at the same time, I was feeling all this immense joy because I had these amazing humans in my life. So it felt like a real rollercoaster. So for me, I needed to do my own deep soul searching, and I needed to take the inspired action to shift from surviving to thriving and flourishing. So that's really what I teach and coach, and that's the essence of Flourish for Mums, being that bridge for women who know that they should be looking after themselves better, but don't know how or where to start.

Being that bridge for women who want to shift from feeling like they're constantly chasing their tails and doing for others, not quite knowing how to elevate their self-care practices. The business, the books, the programs, the resources, it's all about helping mums around the world to thrive and to flourish with elevated self-care as the fundamental cornerstone. For mums in business, it means that they're able to nurture themselves and their families whilst empowering their business.

00:05:37:14 - 00:06:36:14

Lucy Kippist

I can listen to you for a long time and I know that the people listening to Mumbition are probably nodding their heads at the same time, that lived experience that we've all felt. But what I loved is that you have this focus on healing with no judgment, and there's also this integration, like this holistic approach, and they're all interconnected, which is what we do when we talk about our harmony of ambition, livelihood and wellbeing, they're all so important.

So amazing work! I remember too, I'll just mention that at our last Be Empowered Conference, I know my sister actually attended and I'm pretty sure she bought your book. I sat next to her and literally bought your book on the spot. So you definitely resonate with so many women, unapologetically blending their ambition and livelihood.

00:06:38:08 - 00:06:47:08

Sonia Bestulic

Absolutely. Thank you to both of you and to the Mums and Co team, because you're really that important platform that makes that integration really happen.

00:06:49:12 - 00:07:14:12

Carrie Kwan

Sonia, self-care is obviously fundamental to the brilliant work that you're doing. I love the words that you are using to describe it in terms of being elevated, having an elevated sense of self-care, thriving and nurturing yourself. Given that you're an expert in this field, what are three habits or rituals that you have in place to harmonize your own work and home life?

00:07:15:11 - 00:10:47:19

Sonia Bestulic

I would say the first one is the morning being an absolute sacred space for self, that's how I view it; the morning ritual is a non-negotiable. I love waking up early and this does not mean everyone has to wake up early. Can I just say that? For me, that works well because silence is golden; there are no other interruptions.

It is really just that sacred space for me to wake early. I have a shower, I do a full body moisturize. I'll usually select an essential oil and I create a multi-sensory experience. So that's what I always want to do is create an experience with my self-care. Then part of the morning ritual is what I call heart based breathing, heart based activation and meditation and I'll choose a keyword or mantra that is relevant for me for that particular day.

That's a beautiful way to start the day and it really sets me up to be connected to self and to be grounded and to be present when everyone else joins me for the beginning of the day. So that to me, really does set the scene.

The second habit or ritual, nature, is another non-negotiable for me. There's so many beautiful ways that we can incorporate nature in our daily routine. I'm very blessed that I am near the ocean and I will get there pretty much almost every day, even if it's just for a few minutes. I see nature as my friend. We talked about harmony and interconnectedness and nature is very much part of that.

I love being with the energy of the ocean, whether that's walking, meditating or just being. Sometimes I say the tranquility of the trees. I'll ask myself, what do I need today? It's really about tuning in. What do I need? Do I need the energy of the ocean? Do I need the tranquility of the trees? And just waiting for that answer.

If none of that’s possible, there are beautiful images of nature that I do have on my laptop. So it's always there as a reminder. If I need to pause and just take some deep breaths with a beautiful image, I will do that. So nature is the second one.

The third is how I close the day. I say how do we because it's something I teach the women, how do we close the day? Gratitude is a really popular one. But what I love with elevating that further, is celebration. So reviewing the day with gratitude and celebration and not just all the outer stuff, because we can so easily go, “I'm so grateful for, I don't know, like getting that proposal or that pitch was successful” or all that outer stuff. That's awesome.

But really coming into you, I'm really grateful that I was patient today when I could have lost the plot when my child was having a tantrum. It's like those things are really big for us. So it's really taking those moments to celebrate those inner aspects that you are growing and you are evolving, and you're acknowledging that.

You can hear me getting excited because I get excited about this, when you see it within yourself and when others start to see it and acknowledge it within themselves. So they would be my three kinds of key rituals is, the morning, incorporating nature, and gratitude and celebration to close the day.

00:10:48:04 - 00:11:32:13

Lucy Kippist

So beautiful, I love that you've got three. I also love that each part of the day was looked at and particularly I love the celebration aspect, because we don't do that enough. Actually our colleague Sarah was only talking about that this morning about how the more you do that, it actually rewards that center of your brain, encourages you to do more and more.

Sonia, we met on social networking on LinkedIn, and I'm wondering what role does networking generally have in the day to day growing of a business? I know you've been established for, as you said, about 16 years now, but do you have a favorite way to connect with other business owners digitally?

00:11:33:16 - 00:13:21:24

Sonia Bestulic

Yeah, digitally, I would say I love LinkedIn, obviously. I think that's a great tool digitally to reach out to people but I know this is going to sound really obvious, but with a community that Mums and Co has established, there is so much opportunity there and this is where I love connecting, because I know that when I see someone else as part of the community, as you can easily do, and I say LinkedIn as well I've connected with Mums and Co members via LinkedIn because there'll be a comment on one of your posts or within the community group.

I'm feeling like I’m more able and ready to say, “Hey, I'm from Mums and Co too,” and there's already been that icebreaker if you like. We already know we have something in common and so that would probably be my favorite way. Looking at the communities that you really resonate with and reaching out digitally and saying, “Hey, let's just have a coffee date, you know, over Zoom 15 minutes,” do a bit of an intro, the stuff that you do, the lunches, obviously the Mumbition conferences in person which is even better.

Digitally, I also feel like taking away the awkwardness, because networking can be really scary for people or just feel awkward for people. I used to feel that way two years ago, but I feel now if you're going in with a sense of authentically saying, “I just would love to learn more about you,” and wherever it goes, it goes, have no expectations, but really genuinely, what can I learn from you and about you? How can others I know learn from you and about you? That's a really important part of growing you as a person and your business.

00:13:23:24 - 00:13:50:13

Lucy Kippist

So, you know, I would love all those opportunities to connect. I hear this theme of connection is such an important function for you. Flipping it to another area of running a business, how about navigating the business risk side of things? Can you share some of the systems or the processes that you use to support yourself?

00:13:52:11 - 00:15:57:22

Sonia Bestulic

Yeah, from a business point of view, yeah. I've got to say, I personally do find it boring when it comes to things like policies and procedure manuals and operational manuals and things like that, which we have to do. It's not my favorite, but they are so important and they would probably be one of the big ones and having people that do enjoy it team up with you to do all the stuff you don't enjoy, is a really big one, because otherwise you just put it off and put it off and put it off.

So find the people that thrive on the stuff that you don't enjoy, and that always is a beautiful compliment. So those manuals are really important and keeping accurate notes and keeping things in writing is a big one. I know it sounds really obvious and it's something that I have learned, I guess from an ethical point of view, being in the health industry, to keep really clear notes and note meetings that you have, or anything that you've organised, put things in writing so you've got that running record and you can come back to things as well and reference them.

That's a really, really important one. I guess generally what I've done, because there are lots of pots on the boil and some things I do, I've got a team around me and other stuff I do, it's really just me managing some of my own gigs, if you like. For that context, that's where I've really devised a system where I document everything in a secure way.

But what I mean by document everything is, what's my map? What’s my passwords to things, what's the map to everything? The reason for that is, and I only share that with a trusted person, it's really to have that emergency backup. So what if something happens? And if someone needs to access this to speak to ABCDE, how can they do that?

So having that kind of emergency backup, we don't like to think about it, but it's super important. It actually gives you peace of mind, too. So they’re kind of some of the few bits and pieces I have going on.

00:15:59:02 - 00:17:32:14

Lucy Kippist

I love the collaborative concept, because often when I have got the, we call it the frog of the day, like it's in your throat, you just don't want to do it. I always find that if I bring someone else to just even workshop the idea through, normally we'll have a good outcome out of that.

I've actually got my thinking right. It's drawn it out and then you've got a solution, which is amazing. That is actually a very interesting part of how we work at Mums and Co when we provide this psychological safety to run a business. When you are psychologically safe, it means that you are more open to collaboration and that means you are more productive.

So it's very interesting. The other thing you I was listening to when you were talking about taking notes, I take notes because I've got a really crap memory right now and I'm not sure if it's because there’s a lot on our plate, we're doing hard stuff. But I need to take good quality notes because I cannot for the life of me remember a good portion of what I need to do and that's probably just because of the sheer quantity of what we do as well.

We're having a look at your Instagram feed and there's lots of encouraging reminders there, including a favorite, which is to put yourself at the top of your to-do list. What's something you do each day to help keep yourself grounded?

00:17:34:16 - 00:19:00:04

Sonia Bestulic

My one word answer for that would be dancing. Dancing. There's probably more than one thing, to be honest, that I do to keep myself grounded, and that's when it comes back to what do I feel I need today? But dancing usually does come into the picture, to be quite honest, it's an awesome grounding tool.

What happens is your dance changes each day depending on where you're at and what you need, because you just choose music that suits what you need and then you move according to that way. Scientifically it is also a very powerful grounding tool. So I totally am all for dancing.

I'll share this with you, not many people know this. We've had a dishwasher for I don't know how many years, I've never used it because I like to dance with the dishes. Seriously, washing the dishes for me is great quality time. I can put my headphones on, I can get into me space and I can dance and sometimes I'll share it, so if one of the kids is helping with the putting away the dishes, it's a great opportunity to connect with them. So they choose the music and we all have a bit of a boogie. I guess my point is I love looking at opportunities that are there every day, they’re staring at us in the face. What can we do to just make the most of this time?

00:19:00:20 - 00:19:12:11

Carrie Kwan

That is the cutest! I'm visualizing microphone spoons and lots of sliding across from wiping to washing.

00:19:13:02 - 00:19:13:23

Sonia Bestulic

Yeah, why not?

00:19:14:14 - 00:19:40:12

Carrie Kwan

Really, really, really cute little anecdote, Sonia, thank you for sharing it. I was just thinking the only thing I can relate to is that sometimes I wash up with my earplugs in, listening to music too, when I need to tune out. There's a little bit of noise going on around me, I don't necessarily share that moment. It's just for me, but I totally get it. It brings some joy to a fairly mundane task.

00:19:41:05 - 00:19:50:05

Sonia Bestulic

Totally, totally. And I think that's when a lot of your great ideas come too, is when you're not thinking about them and you’re just creating that space.

00:19:50:11 - 00:20:12:14

Lucy Kippist

As you're well aware, at Mums and Co we recognise the supportive community around us. It's in our name, the Co part of our name. So I'd love to finish today's chat with a bit of an insight into your Co. Who are the men or the women, the family, the partners, the clients, or the friends that really support you and the business?

00:20:13:20 - 00:21:01:23

Sonia Bestulic

There are many of them. I think I'm going to hone in on the immediate family, my husband, my children, they're incredibly inspirational. My kids particularly, I love learning from them. I just love the fact that they are unfiltered, they are honest, and they are present and they really do teach you a lot about yourself.

So I just feel like there's so much to celebrate. As long as we open ourselves to the good, the bad and the ugly that our kids mirror back to us and embrace it and grow with it.

00:21:08:17 - 21:47:20

Carrie Kwan

It can't get more validating than that, that's beautiful. Thank you so much for joining us on Mumbition the podcast today. If you'd like to hear more or learn more from Sonia and all the work she does to support women, you'll find her on Instagram and LinkedIn. If you haven't already, please come and join the thousands of business owning women, just like you at mumsandco.com.au

Thank you so much for that, Sonia. So our question that will come from one of our children is what’s one of your favorite ways to connect with your kids? Just imagine a child asking you that.

00:21:48:18 - 00:23:12:08

Sonia Bestulic

I'd say one of my favorite ways to connect is Mum dates, and we look at doing this pretty much every school holidays. So with the three kids, because they're so close in age, they're so used to doing everything together, and everything is done as a group. We love school holidays where they each have a say in what they'd like to do on a mum date.

I'll share this story because you are creating memories that they just treasure, they do and you do. I know one of my last mum dates with my son, seven years old, we went on a two and a half hour bush walk and it led to the ocean and then we had dinner for two and, and when we finished the walk he said to me, “Mum, if I ever have children I'm going to bring them on this walk and I'm going to tell them I did this walk with my mother.”

Then he said, “Oh, and if I don't actually have kids, I'll come as an adult with my friends and I'll tell them the same thing,” so it's just that kind of experience that just stays with them. The fact that he shared it in that way is kind of, “I'm going to do this again and I'm going to remember this. I'm going to on-share it.”  It just reinforced just that importance of making that time and just enjoying it.