Healing my Energy Body by Pressing the Red Button

I’ve been working with a healer for a couple of months to get my energetic house in order so that I can do my work (big picture work, not just my 9-5) with clarity and grace. At her instruction I’ve done some purging, some candle-lit journaling, some mantra chanting.

 

Last week’s advice was a bit unconventional.

 

Let me rephrase that: it would have been perfectly conventional advice, had it come from an SEO specialist or a business coach. But I was a bit surprised to hear that this week, my spirit guides are asking me to post more videos on social media.

 

And you know what? It’s the hardest spiritual challenge she has given me so far.

 

In spite of  my full awareness of the practical (and apparently spiritual) importance of sharing video content, it makes me deeply uncomfortable. I can post a boomerang of my dancing feet or a video of other people at our coworking space, but am terrified of flipping the lens on myself. I can admit my ignorance in a meeting or bare my soul on a panel, but when it comes to video I think I have to be perfect. I’m  touched and inspired by the vulnerable video shares of some of Shecosystem’s members – Barbara and Sam‘s instagram stories, for example – but when I think of doing it myself, here’s what floods in:

Negative personal associations

A tendency toward self-effacement

Pressure to be original

Self-judgement

Any of these holding you back? Here are some of the hesitations that arise and how I’m flipping them.

 

1. Negative personal associations: Talking to a video triggers visceral memories of an ex who was a serial personal development vlogger, hijacking special moments by talking excitedly to his camera. The moment I flip that screen, I hear his Aussie accent shouting, “Live youah best loife!” The 5-easy-steps-to-success tone makes my skin crawl.

FLIP | Creating new associations: Is it really video that’s triggering? No. It’s the overblown, hyper-positive tone that so many adopt when they are speaking to perceived audiences of tens of thousands. But there are lots of others out there who vlog from the heart, with a full range of emotions in their videos. So instead of rejecting the entire medium, I ask myself

  • Can I speak as if the video is just a mirror with only my own loving gaze on the other side?
  • Can I speak as if the video is my journal, a record for me to flip back to when the only thing that helps is remembering my own resilience?
  • Can I come to associate posting videos with MY voice, not (insert annoying video personality here)?

 

2. Self-effacement: My business is not about me – it’s about holding space for others to work and connect, so who cares about my voice? I don’t want this to be a cult of personality so I’d better stick to being the invisible hand behind the scenes rather than the star on the stage.

 

FLIP| Self-love: Today on the Becoming Wise podcast I heard Pico Iyer talking about the Icarus myth: that we deleted the part about Daedalus warning his son not to fly too low or the wings would become weighted down with moisture. We only see one side of hubris – flying too close to the sun – and forget that limiting our own ascent is equally destructive.

My business is about me. I brought it to life through my own creativity and my ability to connect with others. Reading reviews online, about half of my clients mention me by name – my smile, my vision, my commitment to service – and keeping myself out of the frame doesn’t help anyone.

Showing your face and speaking your voice do not equal stroking your ego, and erasing yourself only means that you are depriving others of this connection and this message.

 

3. Pressure to be Original: I’ll never be able to come up with original content. There’s enough of the same inspirational pap out there, why bother creating more useless internet noise.

FLIP | Honesty and Integrity are more powerful than importance or originality: First of all, the internet is a big place and by putting more content out there, I’m not displacing anyone’s “more important” or “more original” message. I know that what makes a text resonates for me is not necessarily its originality but often the opposite: it’s when I read something and think, “I know that is true in my heart of hearts! That’s just what I’ve been wanting to say!”

(Side-note: I’m laughing at myself as I think, “I should look up that thing by that famous person about why we don’t need to be original.” Please know that  just as you don’t need to be “original” you also do not need to substantiate what is deeply true to you by quoting someone famous who said something similar).

Maybe you’re reading this and the Icarus thing made your feel the weight of your own waterlogged wings. Or maybe you were just scrolling around on Facebook procrastinating from recording your own video and this is exactly what you needed to hear. If I stop myself from recording because I think it needs to be original, I miss out on those small moments of connection.

4. Self-judgement: I sound like Ernie. My ‘s’ sometimes whistles. And what’s with that wrinkle between my eyebrows that makes me look worried all the time?

 

FLIP | Showing up authentically: This is the reason I started Shecosystem: a safe space for people – especially women – to show up in their work-lives without the social pressure to look perfect, hide their flaws and failures, and appear to be always on top of everything. If I can’t show my wrinkles on video, then say goodbye to #3 (Integrity!).

Practising the core values of my business with integrity means giving myself permission to show my imperfections in the same way I encourage others to. Instead of letting self-judgement make me feel ashamed and afraid, I let it be fuel for another courageous leap.

So here I go. Healing my energy body by pressing that red “record” button, going live with my imperfections, and sending an unoriginal but honest message to the people out there who just might hear an echo of their own soul in my voice.

Jessica Rowen supports people during their career journey

Name: Jessica Rowen
Business:Marketing & Community ManagergdR | Grossman Dorland Recruiting


What is at the heart of your business?
Supporting people during their entire career journey.

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

I had looked into many coworking spaces as an alternative to my office – somewhere to gain focus and inspiration – but none stood out like Shecosystem! The space and Emily Rose just spoke to my soul.

 

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?


I hope that I can be someone that holds space for other members – a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen. I would also be very happy to provide advice or feedback on anything marketing or recruitment related. And for me, it’s about surrounding myself with inspiring women that push me to be my best self.

What does thriving Look like for you?

I hope that I can be someone that holds space for other members – a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen. I would also be very happy to provide advice or feedback on anything marketing or recruitment related. And for me, it’s about surrounding myself with inspiring women that push me to be my best self.

Shecosystem’s core values are: openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

Feminism. Because I believe the other core values are a result of truly embracing feminism.

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life:

If I’m being honest, I don’t do a good job of this. I try to take walks, but it’s usually just to grab a coffee so that I can work more. This is definitely an area I would like to improve and feel that working at Shecosystem will help me do just that.

What’s your top piece of advice for other entrepreneurs?

“Nevertheless, she persisted.” — There will always be barriers, but if we help elevate each other, we all win.

Anything else we should know about you?

I am a co-director and mentor for the Parkdale Mentorship Program (PMP), I LOVE hip hop and I’m only discovering the greatness of Harry Potter now.

 

Meet Leyla: Helping Products with Purpose make a Profit!

Name: Leyla Razeghi
Business: Product Strategist, Leyla Razeghi


What is at the heart of your business?


I work with purpose-driven product-makers and store owners so they make more money, grow a sustainable business, leave a legacy and build the lifestyle of their dreams.

I help my clients build strategic plans for growth that align with their purpose, values and target market + I share retail industry secrets that I learned in the top Fortune 500 retail and consumer products company.

 

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?

I love the energy and activities! Coming to Sheco is an amazing experience of productivity, networking and self-care.

 

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?


Give: Business advice for products + emotional support for ups and downs in business and life.
Get: Connections, spiritual sisterhood, self-improvement, potential clients.

 

What does thriving Look like for you?

Having freedom to work the hours that I want in things that I love. Being able to invest in things that make me happy.

 

Shecosystem’s core values are: openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?

Sustainability is key in both life and business.

 

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life:

My morning ritual of affirmations and journaling.

 

What’s your top piece of advice for other entrepreneurs?

Focus on your foundations first (the back-end of your business) before you start investing in marketing or what I call “the pretty things”

 

Anything else we should know about you?

Reach out if you want to know more about latin food and culture 😉


If you want business tips for product-makers, I want to invite you to my free group: www.leylarazeghi.com/worksmarter


Join Leyla for a workshop on Perfect Pricing | April 11 at Shecosystem. Register now!

leyla pricing workshop

 

How are you showing up for yourself?

It was dead quiet here on the morning after the buzz of International Women’s Day, and it felt like a hangover. Instead of appreciating the peace and letting my introverted self regroup after expending so much energy on Wednesday, I panicked and decided that Shecosystem is doomed and I may as well quit now. I anxiously scrambled to take action on scattered projects, and in no time was overwhelmed by the number of to-dos on my list.

 

From being on top of the world and flushed with gratitude I plummeted into fear and exhaustion.

Sound familiar?

 

The beauty of having moments like this at Shecosystem is that there are people around who truly empathize, and we don’t have to hide our emotional reality from 9-5. That’s one of the reasons I started Shecosystem: because I know I am not the only one who wants to be able to show up completely authentically at work.

 

Heather, the only member working at the space that day, went out for lunch and came back with a donut and bottle of Kentucky bourbon and we took a break to drink and cry together.

 

As we sat there getting buzzed at 2PM, a woman I’d never met before walked in the door. She apologized that she hadn’t made it the day before for the Open House and wondered if she could have a tour. Sure, but first would she like to have a drink and experience what Shecosystem is really about?

 

Without shame, I let this stranger witness and join in this very vulnerable and “unprofessional” moment. We talked about life and business, and it turned out to be exactly what all of us needed. For her: a moment to slow down, reflect, plus some pretty real insight into how this coworking space is unlike others. For me: validation that there is a purpose behind what I’ve created, and a gift that has helped me stay centered since Thursday. She asked me ‘a very coachy’ question:

 

“How am I showing up for myself?”

 

I have not been showing up for myself very well lately. I push, over-commit, eat saltines for lunch at my computer, book meetings during times I promised to keep open, prioritize networking over working out, and say yes to things I know are “shoulds”  while my personal projects shrivel up.

 

How do you show up for yourself differently than you would show up for anyone else: a friend? A colleague? A child? I have no problem committing to other people’s standards and timelines, serving and loving others, but struggle to do the same for myself.

 

Here’s how I want to show up for myself this week:

 

  • Being compassionate and forgiving myself when I say no to invitations.
  • Keeping appointments with myself. Firm.
  • Not shaming myself when things don’t go as planned or when I feel crappy
  • Accepting offers of support – and asking for help when it doesn’t arise spontaneously
  • Being committed and disciplined in personal development projects that I know will have a positive outcome in the long-run
  • Practising what I preach and sticking to my core values

 

I love that it’s a question, not a statement like “I will show up for myself”  (too much pressure!) because in some moments the answer to that question is, “not very well.” I can lovingly accept that in the moment.

 

I wrote it on a post-it note and stuck it on my laptop, and over the last couple of days, it has disrupted some of my negative mental habits and helped me make better decisions. It will stay there, on my keyboard and on my mind, as I try to re-fill my tank this month. And as that tank fills up, I know that I’ll be showing up better for others.

 

How are you showing up for yourself?


I want to invite you to show up with us this Spring.

I’m offering 10 Day Passes to use at your leisure between now and June 30.  Grab yours here.

Get the 10 Pack before March 31 for only $180 – that’s $18 a day instead of $30! 

10 ways to celebrate International Women’s Day in Toronto

It’s palpable, this groundswell of sisterhood in the 6ix.

For 35 years of my life I’ve been inundated with stories and images of leaders and change-makers who are male and white. Finally I’m seeing and hearing about a gorgeous diversity of women in this city who are galvanizing and working their asses off to manifest a more positive future.  It’s not an echo chamber or an algorithm, because this goes way beyond social media.

But for all of the positive impacts women are having, and for all of the support we are feeling in our communities, celebration is underscored with struggle. It’s impossible to deny that the feminine is rising, and it’s equally impossible to ignore what it’s rising against.  

So this year on International Women’s Day, I celebrate, and struggle with, the women of Toronto who are courageously carving greater and greater pieces of this city into safe spaces. Spaces where we can enjoy the rights that we deserve, express ourselves authentically and vulnerably, wield power as  responsibility, build relationships with empathy, and change the world.
 

Here’s our list of 1o ways Toronto women are making it happen on or around March 8

 

1. Organize! The Women’s March wasn’t just a parade… | March 6

 

The Women’s March Committee is hosting a Town Hall event to bring together community organizations who are at the forefront of advocacy and activism in Toronto. The organizers are hoping to have around 10 organizations on board including Idle No More, International Women’s Day Committee,  and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.  This is a chance to listen and learn and to find opportunities to get involved.

 

2. Party with some Nasty Women at the AGO | March 2

 

For this month’s First Thursdays, the AGO partners with OCAD to explore, through a feminist lens, a future that imagines possibilities for diversity of representation and experiences—a future that is more open, more free, more feminist, and non-deterministic. Headlined by d’bi.young anitafrika and featuring performances and installations throughout the gallery.

 

3. Gather to sustain yourself, your business, and the environment (because after all, they’re the same thing) | March 9-10

 

Studio.89 and Raine Network present the second annual Power of Women (POW) Symposium, a two-day celebration incorporating community, collaboration, conscious living, mentorship, and networking. In support of Studio.89’s youth and community programming, the symposium features power-mentorship sessions, professional development workshops, keynotes and an onsite female artisan market! It’s also the launch of their 2nd annual #WritesForWomen campaign!

 

4. Give Marginalized voices the spotlight | March 1

 

Celebrating Our Voices highlights the contributions of diverse young Black, Indigenous, women and trans-feminine people of colour to Ryerson and the broader Toronto community. As a part of Fondation filles d’action – Girls Action Foundation National Day of Action activities, this event aims to understand young women and trans-feminine peoples’ histories and cultural diversity, empowering them to become leaders for change in our communities. Featuring speakers from Black Lives Matter, Ryerson’s Newcomer Students’ Association, RyePride  and more.

 

5. Seal the Deal with Women Entrepreneurs & VCs | March 8

Startup Toronto has gathered a panel of Women Venture Capitalists and Successful Entrepreneurs who will give you their best advice on how to Seal the Deal and get the financing you need.  

 

6. Feel the goddess energy an interactive art performance | March 4

 

Woman Unmasked promises to be a visceral experience, commemorating International Women’s day through a series of performance pieces, live installations, and visual art. Described as “very sensual, goddess oriented,” the show will transform a Geary Ave warehouse into a dreamscape featuring the National Ballet of Canada’s First Soloist Chelsy Meiss, aerial performance, and live music. The event is a fundraiser for The Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness.

 

7. Join in Resisterhood at the annual IWD March | March 11

 

IWD has been celebrated for more than 100 years, with the first march in New York in 1909. March with thousands of social justice, labour, health and women’s rights activists. Join the rally at King’s College Circle, march in solidarity, and attend an info fair at the Ryerson Student Learning Centre.

 

8. Raise the sisterhood vibration with a global meditation | March 8

 

Join a worldwide synchronized meditation for International Women’s Day! Thousands of women worldwide unify through an online broadcast of a Sacred Sisterhood Heart Meditation, transforming ourselves and transforming the world. There are a couple of live gatherings around Toronto – check the website for locations.

9. Write Her-story (or at least edit it) | March 4

 

Join the local international Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon. Bring your laptop and your Wikipedia account, and put the AGO’s thousands of artist files and books to use as reference material for building up Wikipedia content on topics related to art and feminism.

 

10. Share our space for the day | March 8

This year’s IWD theme is Be Bold For Change, and Shecosystem is boldly changing the face of entrepreneurship.  Spend the day being Bold for Change at a free coworking + Wellness open house, with our regular opening and closing circles, a lunchtime Potluck & Perspectives, an afternoon movement break, and lots of time to connect, get your work done, or just exist in this safe space for a day. See you at Shecosystem! 

 

Nothing replaces face-to-face connection for our Shecosister Gina Li

Name: Gina Li
Business: Owner, GRL Translation + Communication


What is at the heart of your business?
I help businesses communicate more clearly and concisely. Whether that’s turning French copy into compelling English, writing newsletters, articles and blog posts or editing marketing materials, my goal is to create captivating content that connects with the target audience.

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?
I was really drawn to the idea of connecting with other creative, passionate and big-hearted women for inspiration, encouragement and support. We need sisterhood now, more than ever. And also, the wellness aspect, which has always been an important part of my life.

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?
I’m eager to connect with other creative souls, so we can share our unique experiences, perspectives and insights and help one another succeed.

What does thriving look like for you?
For me, thriving is about feeling connected (to myself, my family, friends and community), having abundant time to play and create, achieving success on my terms and feeling like I’m making a difference in the world.

Shecosystem’s core values are: openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?
Community and wellness are right at the top of the list for me. I’m very much a solopreneur, but I really thrive on meaningful connection with others, and wellness has always been a core value of mine.

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life:
As much as possible, I try to get outside for some fresh air every day. When I’m in the thick of a project or working against a deadline, I can easily tell myself that I don’t have the time. But when I go out for just a little bit, it clears my head, grounds me and helps me come back to my work re-energized.

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?
Get out and network. In the digital age, we may be tempted to think that we can build our businesses just by tapping into social media and working on our laptops from the comfort of our home or our favourite coffee shop. But nothing replaces face-to-face connection. Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can to connect in person. It builds trust and rapport in a way that no amount of online interaction can ever do.

Anything else we should know about you?
Although I can be quite chatty and sociable, at heart, I’m an introvert. I love connecting with others, but at the end of the day, I recharge my batteries through solitary pursuits – reading, journaling, creative writing, yoga, meditation, time in nature and hot baths. Of course, with a very extraverted 8-year-old, it can sometimes be challenging to carve out time for self-care! But I find that the more I do, the calmer and more patient I am as a parent.


Meet our other members…or sign up to be a part of the Shecosystem communit

Shecosister Stefanie Fiore reminds us of the importance of self-care (and cat videos)

Name: Stefanie Fiore
Business: Creative Director, Crrumb


What is at the heart of your business?
Storytelling. Crrumb is a creative studio with a focus on web design and illustration. We love creating custom, immersive experiences for our clients.

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?
Shecosystem feels like a 2nd home to me– it must be something about the good vibes and the essential oils!

What does thriving look like for you?
Feeling grounded and expansive at the same time.

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life:
I try to check in with myself every hour or so and see what I need. A drink of water? To go for walk? Watch a cat video from Youtube? (Cat videos are the fastest way to uplift your spirits, in my opinion!) It’s important to give yourself the permission to take care of yourself. Even these tiny decisions can have a big impact on your day.

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?
It’s okay to say no.

Anything else we should know about you?
I love singing karaoke! My current go-to songs are What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes, Believe by Cher and My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion. We’re in a prime karaoke neighbourhood, so I’m looking forward to planning some outings.


Meet our other members…or sign up to be a part of the Shecosystem community.

Meet Shecosister Sissi Zhang, a true coffee addict!

Name: Sissi Zhang
Business: Coffee addict & explorer, CoffeeAddictToronto


What is at the heart of your business?
Explore coffee bars and share experience

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?
Friendly working environment and nice membership

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?
Share the experience and make friends

Shecosystem’s core values are: openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?
Collaboration

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life:
Always make plans in advance

 


Meet our other members…or sign up to be a part of the Shecosystem community.

Our Shecosister Susheela Ramachandran flourishes in connection

Name: Susheela Ramachandran
Business: Founder, Intuitive Guide and Healer, Intuitive Access


What is at the heart of your business?
I’m passionate about helping female creatives live and thrive as their most expressed and empowered selves.

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?
I flourish in connection and working in nourishing environments; Shecosystem offers both.

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?
I wish to give to this community the knowing that every one of you is a bright light and you deserve and can shine. I wish to receive from this community lots of love and support as I seek to fulfill my soul mission in the world.

What does thriving look like for you?
Loving your professional life, being financially free and having a nourishing personal and inner life.

Shecosystem’s core values are: openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?
Wellness resonates the most with me as I believe that if I am well then I have the energy to offer the best of myself in each moment.

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life:
Taking breaks (walking, stretching, having a great conversation, power napping) whenever I find myself tired, stressed, unfocused or bored.

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?
At any moment you’re doing the best you can, even if it doesn’t feel like it because “if you knew better, you’d do better” (adapted wise words of Maya Angelou).

Anything else we should know about you?
I love yoga, dogs, dance and hugs. I’m deeply passionate about environmental sustainability and social justice. I have worked in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship sector as a community manager and project coordinator. I have a large network and love creating connections for and with people.


Meet our other members…or sign up to be a part of the Shecosystem community.

Practicing self-compassion and love as a new skill everyday with Shecosister Kate O’Connor

Name: Kate O’Connor
Business: Emperor, Sweetheart Empire


What is at the heart of your business?
I photograph weddings, families, couples, and individuals. My mission is simply to help my subjects feel safe — to show, and be seen as, who they truly are.

Why did you join a women’s coworking and wellness community?
What happens in my biz is an expression of my internal life – heart, head, body, and soul. Combining work and wellness just makes sense!

What do you wish to give and/or receive from this community?
Compassion, love, sisterhood, accountability, advice, and work breaks where we dance it off.

What does thriving look like for you?
Practicing self-compassion and love as a new skill everyday. Being grounded enough that it feels safe to grow. Feeling that my cup runneth over, giving me the strength to share my gifts with the people around me. “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” ~ Marianne Williamson

Shecosystem’s core values are: openness, community, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, feminism, and wellness. Which of these resonates most with you and why?
All of them resonate, but the one most unique to Shecosystem is feminism. To be surrounded by folks who appreciate the challenges of patriarchy, and who work intentionally to break it down and overcome it – that is exciting to me.

Tell us one way you integrate self-care into your working life:
I meditate for 15 minutes every day. I use the Headspace app and highly recommend it.

What’s your top piece of advice for other women entrepreneurs?
Don’t try to please everyone, or even “most people”. Do what you do best, and your clients will self-filter to be people who truly value you… I’m still learning how to take this advice myself.

Anything else we should know about you?
I manifested my boyfriend with a vision board. Like, to a T… That shit is cray.


Meet our other members…or sign up to be a part of the Shecosystem community.