Dear Self: Having an Oh Sh*t moment? Read this first.

This morning I went to Creative Mornings – which you probably know is consistently one of my favourite events in Toronto. The speaker, Shannon Lee Simmons of New School of Finance wondered: What does it mean to be a boss?  So she did a bit of research in preparation for her talk.

Of course any serious research begins with an instagram hashtag search. Simmons was puzzled by her findings: is working #likeaboss about having fancy pants? Working from the beach? Shenanigans with cool coworkers? Joking aside, she determined that the sweet spot of bossdom lies at the intersection of enjoyment, purpose, financial stability, and a sustainable future. Basic enough formula…right? Sure. but Shannon also admitted that she has been in the #likeaboss zone for about 4 hours of her entire career.

If a successful entrepreneur like Shannon’s bossdom is so fleeting, where does that leave the rest of us? It leaves us exactly where Shannon has spent most of her career: taking risks, facing the fear (or as she called it the ‘Oh Shit moment’) that arises every time she takes a leap, and then struggling onward and upward until the next ‘Oh Shit moment.’

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Acknowledging this pattern, she wrote a letter to her future self, to break out at the next ‘Oh Shit moment.’ (Her letter is here, and it’s great). I left Creative Mornings and headed straight to my coworking space (a.k.a. not the beach), where I pulled out the laptop and started writing a letter to my future self. I asked myself, what does my future scared, stressed, depleted, anxious, paralyzed self need to hear?

And I came up with this formula to help you write your own letter:

  1. Reassurance: Remind yourself how awesome you are. That it’s not the first time you’ve felt like this and you’ve always survived. That you are your own best teacher and problem solver.
  1. Reframing: Look squarely at the fear, shame, or whatever negative emotion you are experiencing and reframe it as a positive thing, something that will lead to growth.
  1.  Recommitment: A call to action. Encourage yourself to go for it and commit to moving through the fear.
  1. Relax & Recharge: Bring it back to wellness – encourage your future self to get out of her head and into her breath or body. Literally move through the fear.

And of course, sign off with love.

Here’s my letter. I know I will bust this out over and over again as I take risk after risk to grow SheCoSystem. Because it’s huge. And scary. And will lead to lots of awesomeness if I just keep staring down the Oh Shit moments and moving through the fear.

Dear Future Emily,

You’re doing it again: jumping off yet another cliff into the wild unknown. First of all, remember: you’ve done this before and you survived. And not only did you survive, you grew. And if you act in alignment with your soul in this moment, just as you did before, you can feel confident that this unknown leap will land you somewhere good. Remember how it feels to act from your inner Wild Woman. Remember that you have an incredible support system including the people around you, the natural environment, the healthy habits and creative practices that nourish you, and the whole damn universe itself. Look at how much you have accomplished and how many people you have touched – you’re a resilient, amazing being! 

You might be scared shitless at the moment, but listen to that fear. What is it telling you? Are you legitimately afraid, or are you letting fear keep you too small and too safe? Remember the motto you’ve relied on before: fear means go. You weren’t content with the status quo and it’s better to feel afraid, anxious, or overwhelmed than to feel depleted and dead inside. Remember what you’ve told your students for years: discomfort leads to transformative growth. I know it’s hard to take your own advice, but you know these things are true. Acknowledging your fear and vulnerability is a courageous act, and the growing pains you feel as your comfort zone expands are totally natural. Your authenticity and Just F’ing Do It attitude attracts supporters, mentors, helpers, and collaborators. Don’t be afraid to let them in, and don’t hesitate to draw on these resources – they WANT to help.

So go for it. Leap with two feet. Commit to growing, to challenging yourself, knowing that when something feels not good enough, you must do something about it.  The status quo was draining you, and you’re already on your way to fixing that leak and refuelling yourself. Stick with it.

Now: pause and take ten deep breaths. Inhale abundance, exhale gratitude. Seriously, DO IT – let’s do it together, even if ten breaths feels like it takes an eternity and you don’t have time. Fuck it – make time. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Roll your shoulders back. Stand up and shake. Get up and grab a glass of water. You’ve got this.

Love you up to the sky, down to the ground.

xo

Present Emily

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ARE YOU PART OF A THRIVING SHECOSYSTEM?

I told you I was done playing it safe and small. I told you I was ready to create something. Well here it is: after months of visioning, researching, and dreaming, it’s time to let you in on my next BIG thing.

After hearing myself go on and on about ‘holding space’ and ‘creating safe space,’ I’ve decided to create a real, physical, bricks and mortar space that reflects the values I hold dear. I want to unite the ecosystem of working women so that we can all become more resilient and radiant.

I am going to start a coworking space designed from a feminine paradigm that values self-care, sisterhood, holistic wellbeing and showing up authentically in our working lives.

It will be an environment where working women thrive – personally and professionally.

The SheCoSystem, as I’ve named my evolving project, is modeled on my core belief that just like everything in our natural ecosystem, working women thrive on interconnectedness. The more we come together, collaborate, share, and learn from each other, the more resilient we become as individuals, businesses, and as a community of working women. SheCoSystem will facilitate this connectedness by providing a collaborative, engaging, accessible and supportive workspace for the mobile workforce. It will be a hub for our city’s existing women’s networks and a purpose-built home for women’s events.

So that’s the plan. But it doesn’t start with bricks and mortar; it starts with community. That’s why I’ve joined forces with Women in Biz Network to host weekly events:

 Coworking, Wellness & Mentorship Meetups

Emily Antflick coworking meetup

Join us every Tuesday morning from 10-12 in Studio 106 at Artscape Youngplace on Shaw Street.

We have our own private, light filled room with fast wifi and strong coffee. Every week a group of women meet up to cowork and engage in self-care. After a quick check-in, we get down to business – each woman focussing on her own projects, occasionally turning to the group (or to our in-house professional mentor) with a question, an insight or a helpful resource to share. Then we take a purposeful break to dance, stretch, meditate, or learn together.

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Pay as you go: $8 WIBN Members/ $12 Non-members

Monthly pass: $30 WIBN members/$36 non-members

 

Join us to create a new coworking space and community hub for women in Toronto. This is your opportunity to be a part of a the conversation and help us shape the space to suit your needs and values.  Join us to become a founding member of a vital new community, investing not only in your own business but in the future of women’s work in Toronto.

You are a part of the SheCoSystem if:

  • You are a woman who wants a workplace where you can show up in an emotionally authentic way without feeling fear or shame
  • You value holistic self-care and recognize that your business will thrive only if you take care of your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing
  • You want a purpose-designed home to host your workshop, meetup group, club, or event
  • You are a wellness practitioner looking for a space to offer your services
  • You are looking for a safe and all-embracing space where you can take risks and work in integrity
  • You believe that growth can arise from serendipitous connections
  • You are passionate about lifelong learning and personal development
  • You love to collaborate and share your success – and vulnerability – with like-minded others
  • You want to prove to the mainstream business world that the full expression of the feminine is a viable and sustainable way to work

Want to know more? Contact me and I’d be happy to tell you more about the vision – or just show up next Tuesday to help co-create the SheCoSystem to suit your needs.

Psst – Here’s a peek at our space and the wellness portion of last week’s Coworking & Wellness meetup!