Episode #97: Rest & Trusting Your Body – A Conversation With My Mastermind Group

Today’s episode is a little bit different. A couple of months ago I got together with my three beautiful mastermind sisters, Willemijn Maas, Danielle Brooker and Genevieve Parker Hill.


Listen to the Episode:

Ruth Poundwhite 0:00
Welcome to this special bonus audio guide to creating a co lead Business Mastermind. Just in case you’re finding me through one of my mastermind sisters sharing this, let me just introduce myself. I am Ruth Poundwhite. My website is Ruth poundwhite.com. I am a business coach and mentor for sensitive and ambitious humans. And this guide was originally put together as a bonus to the podcast episode we did on my podcast quietly ambitious. It was episode 97, all about rest and learning to trust our bodies and the kind of conversations we tend to have in our mastermind group. At this point, I have been in a mastermind group with my three beautiful mastermind sisters for around two years, I actually forget how long it may have been more than that. We actually met through a paid programme, but the mastermind itself is unpaid and is CO lead which means we each take interns to run the calls once a month, sometime around when the new moon happens. And we have a little Whatsapp group in between to keep in touch with each other. And we are all blown away and we regularly share our gratitude with each other. That is still working even though we all started off based in European time zones. And through the years, we now have our time zones literally span from West Coast, USA to Europe to Australia. And we’re still making it work. And honestly, I think it is really rare to find a free mastermind group that works this well. So whenever I talk about my co lead mastermind group, and by the way, like I’m in different groups, but this one is the most long standing and I would say with the deepest friendships. Whenever I talk about it. I get asked questions about how it works. How do we make it work, so I asked my mastermind sisters to share why they think it works and how it all was set up with so much intention. So I really hope it helps anyone who is thinking about creating their own mastermind group. And let me hand over the mic to Genevieve Parker Hill, followed by Danielle Brooker.

Genevieve Parker Hill 2:08
Hi podcast listener. This is Genevieve Parker Hill, and I’m going to reflect a little bit on the mastermind that I am in with Ruth, you may hear some bird song because I am currently resting outside under my beautiful orange tree. So the process of creating the mastermind was one of trial and error for me. I wanted to start a mastermind join one and have one many years ago and I tried to create one from a community on Facebook, a different community, not the one our current mastermind is based in. And I had a I set up a meeting I wanted the mastermind to be free. And I wanted us all to kind of CO create it. But I was okay with leading it. And what I noticed during that first meeting many years ago was that I really loved the women I loved their energy. I loved what they brought to the mastermind, but the space itself was very chaotic. I think it was three other women, business owners, and one of them was really late. Another one was in the car trying to feed her toddler yoghurt at the same time. And I think another one was multitasking and trying to create trying to do something in her life, all while we were on this call. And so while what we shared was valuable. That first call felt really chaotic, and the space did not feel very respected to me. So afterwards, I set up another call with the same group. I think a month later, and I think no one showed up. I believe everybody cancelled. So I felt discouraged and I thought, Oh, this isn’t this isn’t working. I wonder why I wonder. I theorise that it was because it was a free group. And I know that we often tend to value what we pay for more than what we get for free. And I also doubted myself maybe I wasn’t a good enough leader. So I didn’t try to create a mastermind for a long time after that. And then a few years later, I was ready to try again. I really was longing for this kind of support in my business in my life. And I was part of another community and I really felt that everyone in the community shared my values have a really great work life balance. And this is the origin community by Kate Northrup. And so I put out a request for mastermind members in the Facebook group that can be At and got a good number of responses and learned a lesson, which was well, I learned several lessons, which was to clearly express the expectations and boundaries, and what all the members would get out of the mastermind. So I knew that four people was a good number. And I and I also learned something else from previous attempts to start a mastermind, which was that we all loved it. And that we had this instinct, all all the women on the call had this instinct that we should do this more. And so with, we said things like, oh, let’s do this every single week. And what I learned was that that’s too much, and a monthly commitment was doable. And it was nourishing, but it wasn’t too much of a commitment with everything else we had going on. And I also learned that it was really important to me that it was co-led, I was no longer willing to lead the group alone.

Genevieve Parker Hill 6:14
As an unpaid group, I felt that I wanted to share equally, the leadership of the group with all the members. And so we experimented with that for a while. And I noticed that some people are not comfortable with that not comfortable with sharing leadership, which also has to be defined. So for me, the the definition of leading a mastermind group was getting clearer and clearer. And what I came, how I came to define the leader is it’s someone who makes sure the call happens, they hold this space, by confirming that the call will happen by scheduling the call. And by creating the space, whether it’s a zoom link, or however we’re going to meet, and reminding us that it’s going to happen. And then during the call, that we all do our best to show up on time, with childcare. And just doing the one thing, just the call not multitasking, that we have childcare for our children covered, of course, emergencies come up and the kids do pop in once in a while. But generally speaking, it was really important that the leader emphasise the value of the space every single month. And I think that having those clear boundaries, around just creating the space every single month has helped us to continue meeting. Because once the meeting stop happening regularly, it becomes it’s almost like it’s contagious. Like if we skip this month, then somehow it becomes more likely that we’ll skip next month. That’s something that I learned. And there’s entropy out in the universe, everything tends to fall apart. So why has this mastermind not falling apart? I think and why has it lasted so long? Well, in addition to holding, being really clear on our expectations, and keeping our boundaries, like I already talked about, I think we do something else. And this is something that I heard about recently on a podcast by Glennon Doyle, who I love and she has a podcast called, we can do hard things. And she said that her podcast was inspired by this group of friends she heard about and the group of friends. One of them said, I want to we’re going to go walking every Friday afternoon, and I want all of us to bring our hard thing. Whatever is going on in our life, bringing the hard thing to the walk. And they would just walk and talk about the hard thing and they wouldn’t share advice or try to solve problems. And she said that group of friends grew closer than they’d ever been before. Because that’s what we’re meant to do here. We’re supposed to help each other carry our hard things. And I think our mastermind does that I think I feel comfortable sharing really vulnerable information that’s going on in my life. And I know that whether it’s in my business or my life, it’s all interconnected and my mastermind sisters will help me carry it.

Danielle Brooker 9:23
Hi, listeners. I’m Danielle Brucker, a joy coach and my business is the daisy patch. And I just absolutely love what Genevieve has already added to this incredibly important conversation. And I want to add I guess to the latter half of what she was sharing because the first half is very much my personal experience to that craving for connection that craving for more like business minded conversations and strategizing but also just wanting a support space and that kind of trial and error. Will it work here will I go and do traditional networking What about over here and nothing Never quite feeling like it, it clicked into place for me. So I have a very similar experience of Genevieve even on that journey through I, you know, personally like individually, but then also in like trying to set up an initial mastermind to begin with. And so I just wanted to re echo what she shared, I wanted to add to the bit around expectations now in this current group, and why I believe it works so beautifully. And part of that process has been, you know, I love this connection to Glenn and Doyle, you know, we can do hard things because this particular mastermind started on the foundation of, you know, something that may feel hard to begin with, which is articulating super clearly boundaries and expectations. And Genevieve was the actual one who put that into words for us when we, when we began, I’d been part of an initial group with her previously and we’d had some trial and error there. And then we wanted to start afresh and welcoming new members. And we just went okay, well, let’s just be like ridiculously open, honest blatant about what we want and what we don’t want. Because why not? Like we’ve only we’ve only got something to win, if that’s how we can articulate things. And I’ve learned so much through Genevieve, she really is the boundary queen, the boundary got us. But really, it’s more, it’s not just about boundaries. It’s not about what’s okay, what’s not, okay, it’s about what you expect of each other in the group. And so along with all of the logistics and the practical stuff, which was super clear from the get go, I think what started to unfold along the way is that we all agreed, and we would reiterate on the calls, not just how grateful we were or how appreciative we were for the space. We would also say things like, Oh, I haven’t shared this and other spaces, or I feel comfortable saying this here. Or we would leave a voice note and say, Hey, this is just I’m venting. Like, I don’t I don’t want you to resolve this for me, I’ve I’ve got this. And I think each of us having that intention behind every single time that we show up in this group, whether it’s talking now, you know, monthly, you know, online chats whether it’s just sharing in our WhatsApp chat room, via text via voice note, we are very intentional with you know, now it’s subconscious. We’ve been doing this for years, but in the first place, and it was very intentional. For me, it was like, what specifically am I asking here? Do I just want to show up and share? Do I want some support and feedback, because that was part of my own personal trial and error and seeking support and connection? through other groups. It’s like, sometimes I just want to be like, wow, like, this isn’t working, and everything’s ridiculous. And I don’t want someone to tell me, Oh, you’re amazing. It’s gonna be okay. I just want something to just be like, yeah, it is ridiculous. But other times, I need this strategy. I need the steps. I need the feedback. So one of the lessons I guess we’re why I believe this group has worked. So you know, so well and had the consistency and continuity is we’ve continued to build on that foundation and groundwork around being clear, and intentional about what the group’s for but also what we’re receiving from it, and what we would like to receive from it. And we have done some hard things. We have had, you know, like practical things about meeting times. And it could have been easy to just say, No, we’re not going to do it. Or it could have been easy to skip over a little frustration, but we don’t we get in here and we share it and we say hey, no, let’s do it. Let’s change it. Let’s do it a different way. So we’re very open in that way.

Danielle Brooker 13:32
The other reason I believe it’s so magical or has really led to a deeper friendship is the continuity and consistency. So yes, we have been going for many years and it very much does stem from the fact that yes, it’s the monthly kind of live online coal, coal. However, it’s the in between stuff that has really mattered at least I can say that from my point of view, and I know that it matters to the others as well. And what I mean by that is we’ve all been intentional about following up if someone said hey please hold me to account to this or please check in with me this month every single call we ask each other what do you need for support in the coming moon cycle like what what are you calling on this group for what would be helpful and sometimes what would be helpful is just being like, Oh, I just I may or may not be checking in on this thing. You know, like it’s it can be vague at times. Sometimes it’s super specific. Like I said, I was going to do this thing please make sure I do it. What I love about that is it’s created an environment or a space in which we all feel great about checking in here in the WhatsApp group chat group. I’m saying here because I’m recording this in a whatsapp Voice Note conversation with all my beautiful mastermind is so we’re also super practical There you go. And, but what I mean by that is like the value of consistent check ins throughout the month is just incredible. And it means that You know, you get a feeling for what’s going on in everyone’s lives. And sometimes that’s not just business, we’ve always been very open about the fact that this mastermind group the intention is business. Absolutely, like that’s the core interest. And we all get that business is completely integrated in life. And that’s, that is part of the magic, we’ve allowed each other to open up and share parts of our life that do impact our business, which, you know, really is, all of our life impacts our business. And we have needed to at times, for example, call on each other for support, that may not necessarily be directly business related. Yet later on down the track, we realise how it’s had an influence. So that has made a huge impact as well. I trust that the shares have been valuable. And I really encourage and invite anyone you know, who’s seeking that extra level of connection and depth and support and their business to absolutely find that group of incredible you know, in my circumstances, being these incredible women, whatever that means to you. Find your people and trust that if something’s not working, or if it feels a bit off, or if you’re just not getting what you need. Trust that it’s okay to speak up. And trust it, it’s okay to ask for what you want or what you want to change your need. Or if you’re like, oh my god, I just can’t do Mondays anymore. My favourite days Wednesday, can we talk then, like trust that any of those calls for like tweaks are more than okay? And if it’s not working with that group, or that particular mix there, your people are out there and have fun with it.

Ruth Poundwhite 16:36
And before we finish this little audio guide bonus, I mean, Genevieve and Danielle pretty much shared it all. But I also wanted to give a shout out to our other mastermind system or main mass. And please do have a look at her website and Facebook group for all things business systems in a way that honours our needs as humans. All the links are in the guide. And yeah, let us know how it goes. Are you thinking of creating your own mastermind group? I definitely think it has an important place in your business alongside paid programmes and coaching and all of that so good luck.


Note: at this time transcripts are automated and unedited, which means errors may occur. But we hope you find them helpful!


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“Lack of energy, lack of money, lack of time…we are taught there is a lack of everything and we need to shift to an abundance mindset”


Show Notes

Today’s episode is a little bit different. A couple of months ago I got together with my three beautiful mastermind sisters, Willemijn Maas, Danielle Brooker and Genevieve Parker Hill. We’ve been in a co-led mastermind group – set up by us, not a paid thing – for around two years now. We all share so many values, and we quickly realised that one of the things we most often talk about – and that we’ve learned is so IMPORTANT – that we talk about, is the topic of rest and learning to trust ourselves and our bodies. So I decided to bring the mastermind group to the podcast, and we’re talking all things rest, from ingrained beliefs about what hard work has to look like, to prioritising rest while still being driven, to real-life examples of magical things that have happened when we rested.

You’ll hear each of my mastermind sisters introduce themselves individually at the beginning, and if you want to follow any of them all of the links are in the show notes for this episode. I also have an extra special bonus for you if you listen to this and feel like you’d love to be in a mastermind like we have. We’ve each recorded a few thoughts on how we set it up, boundaries and expectations we have for each other, and why we think we’ve been able to keep this going so successfully for so long. Just go to ruthpoundwhite.com/mastermind to download this extra special bonus episode.

“I wish it wasn’t just well-deserved but I wish we could celebrate rest in our lives and cultures” 


Some of the things we talked about:

  • The power of rest and learning to trust ourselves and our bodies
  • When magical things have happened as a result of rest
  • The power of a co-led mastermind
  • How we support each other to rest and what it’s like to prioritise feelings in a mastermind

“Me valuing rest is not at the expense of the money I want to make or the impact I want to have


Links from the episode:

Tips from each of us:

  • Willemijn – Whenever you’re at red traffic light, take it as a reminder to breathe deeply. It makes you enjoy red traffic lights!
  • Danielle – Yoga Nidra changed my philosophy around rest. Practice becomes a coffee date with yourself. Read Danielle’s blog post on this here
  • Genevieve – I recommend Freedom From Busy by Danielle Brooker

Other episodes you might like:

“My beliefs were: keep going, do your best, achieve as much as you can…but there was no stopping point


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Where to Find the Podcast…

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When you subscribe to updates you get access to 3 bonus episodes of the podcast – exclusively for email subscribers – that dive behind the scenes of my business (I talk about failures, money, community & more!)