The business (and life) that Belinda built

It takes a special kind of woman to dedicate her life to helping others – Belinda Kirkpatrick is one such woman.

When we spoke recently, I found myself awe struck by her passion, kindness and drive to get the best out of life for her clients, her daughters, and herself. The Belinda you’ll meet today is confidence and positivity personified. She’s a mother, a daughter, a hugely successful naturopath with her own clinic in Double Bay NSW and one of the most purpose-driven women I’ve ever had the pleasure of connecting with.

What you won’t see is the years of struggle, heartache and grief that fell before today. At just 24 years old, Belinda was suddenly widowed. Her eldest daughter Miah was 18 months old. She was four months pregnant with her second daughter, Ruby. Experiencing a tragedy of such magnitude is almost too overwhelming to put into words – but failing to do so would be failing to acknowledge the depth of Belinda’s character. The word strength, in my opinion, doesn’t even begin to cover it.

“My world completely turned upside down and I had to learn how to manage alone, while navigating endless grief,” says Belinda.

“I guess I overcame it because I had to. I had to focus on my babies and, over time, I became motivated to help them live their best and most healthy lives. I put all my energy into cooking healthy foods, finishing my degree, exercising and spending time with my girls. Being healthy for them became the most important thing in my life.”

Belinda did what she had to in order to support her growing family – while flying solo. She slowly started building her business from the ground up when Miah was two and Ruby was less than one. As the girls grew, so did the hours she could dedicate to her thriving business. Her mother, a single parent herself, was there to support and inspire when she needed it most.

“I am so lucky to be surrounded by strong and inspirational women. My mum raised my sister and I so she is the one who showed me, back in the darkest of times, that I can do anything.”

And so she did. Belinda’s naturopathy clinic supports herself and a small team, while offering the much-needed flexibility to work when and how she pleases, enabling her to be there for her girls at every twist and turn along the way. Yes, there are times when she needs to work after hours and do evening Skype appointments – but she wouldn’t change it for the world.

“It’s gotten us to where we are now and every single day I feel incredibly lucky to be doing something that I’m so passionate about,” says Belinda.

“I can truly say that I love my job and always want to see my lovely clients. It’s the relationships I’ve formed with them that really inspires me and I genuinely want to help them achieve their health goals – whether that be trying to conceive, maintain a full-term pregnancy, improve digestion, increase energy, ensure sleep or eliminate period pain.”

Thinking back, Belinda remembers an aromatherapy weekend course she did with her mum when she was in year nine – it was the trigger that led her down the path she pursues to this day. She loved blending certain oils to help treat specific moods or conditions and it made her realise that there was so much we can all do to take control of our health and happiness. From that moment she was inspired to consider a career in the natural health industry, but by the time she reached year 12, she struggled to find a degree to match her passion.

“I can remember sitting in my career counsellor’s room, flicking through the university guide book,” she says. “I couldn’t find a degree in natural health so I chose speech pathology. After enrolling and sitting through four weeks of lectures I found out we had to dissect cadavers (human bodies). I can’t even watch that stuff on TV so I jumped on the the very next train and headed home, never to return!”

Despite the minor hiccup, Belinda’s core passion for helping others and the healthcare industry remained undeterred. She spent the next two years travelling and working in restaurants – until she discovered a Bachelor of Naturopathy degree being offered at university. She applied. She was accepted. And she never looked back.

“I just knew that was the degree, the path, for me,” says Belinda. "I had grown up with the perfect mix of what my mum always called ‘East and West are best’ health care. We used healthy diet and nutritional supplements in addition to orthodox medicines, when needed. It was the perfect foundation from which I launched myself into a field I truly love to this day.”

In addition to her clinic, Belinda has gone on to develop an app and publish a book. The iPhone App called Seed encourages women to understand their health by giving them all the information they need for better periods, preconception and optimal health at their fingertips. Her book, Healthy Hormones, is about making small and realistic changes to help your body function at its optimum level – an ideal resource to help you start on your path toward feeling your very best. Belinda is literally arming women everywhere with the tools they need to lead a happier, healthier life.

“My key purpose is to inspire all women to optimise their health, feel their best and achieve their health goals. Seeing healthy babies conceived and born, especially, is one of my greatest passions. I won’t ever tire of this.”

And that’s the secret right there – when you find that one thing in life that gets you out of bed every morning, that makes you tick and that you never, ever tire of, that’s when you know you’ve found your life’s purpose. From there, you just have to keep on walking in the right direction.

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