In November of 2015, I attended a Hay House conference in NYC. During that conference, I had the pleasure of hearing Kris Carr (the super inspiring woman behind CrazySexyCancer) speak about saying YES to your life.
I was a brand new life coach at the time and was so full of energy, ambition and hope for my future and business and clients and self!
I came home from Montréal ready to say YES to so much more in my life. One of those things was saying YES to an office space, outside my home.
I had been working on my dining room table, in the middle of our open-concept home for the past year and I was intensely craving some private space to call my own.
Within a week or so after coming back from that trip to NYC, I found a teeny office space a five-minute walk from my home. The rent was cheap and it was perfect. My heart was filled with excitement, pride and gratitude. My lease started on December 1st. I carefully picked out my IKEA furnishings and set up shop.
2016 was an amazing year in my business. I was living my dream. And my little office space was my sanctuary. I relished in having my own, sacred spot. It was no one’s but mine.
My name was on the door and my name was on the directory in the front of the building. I felt like I had “arrived”. It had always been my dream to have an office on the prestigious Boulevard St-Joseph, where signs for Psychologists, Therapists, and Oral surgeons abound.
But as the year came to a close (and as a the result of a health scare that turned out to be nothing) I had decided to make some changes in my life and business.
I needed to go inward, to further excavate my own authentic self, to bring her forth more deeply into my work. And I needed to have more fun! I was taking this whole “work” thing very seriously and it was starting to feel draining rather than what I had envisioned when I first said YES to changing careers and becoming a Life Coach.
So 2017 was my year for going deeply inward. I did an intense 3-month course, Pillars of Genius, which helped me identify my “genius” more clearly.
I gave myself a lot of space to reflect (meaning less clients), travel, just be and have the fun I was craving…although looking back it wasn’t always all that fun.
I did a lot of it at home. In my living room, in my kitchen, from my bed. The dining room that had previously served as my desk was now long gone, sold off once we realized, after it had become my desk, that we mostly ate in the kitchen anyway.
And, truth be told, I felt awful a lot of the time. I felt guilty for the empty space my office had become. It sat there, untended to and uncared for, as I sat comfortably at home, with my dog at my feet. Or on my bed. “Surely this was no way to conduct a business. Get yourself to your fucking office, woman!”
But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. And I certainly couldn’t understand WHY.
Once I finally admitted this aloud (because we all know how much easier it is to keep things concealed when we don’t speak them aloud), I got coached on it. And coached on it, and coached on it.
I finally had a breakthrough and discovered that I felt “safer” at home going through my metamorphosis than being in my office. I needed the comfort and safety of home to really allow myself to dig into the inner work I was committed to doing.
“Fair enough”, I thought. “This feels true.”
Well, it turns out all that inner work actually did produce something tangible in the world, as My Field Guide (the sixty page coaching guidebook I created) was born and I held the first copy in my hands at the very end of 2017. I was euphoric!
The creation of this guidebook came to be during the summer months, so when September came around, I had more clarity, purpose and a product I was producing. I was ready to go.
Except, I still didn’t have this whole “weird relationship I have with my office” thing figured out quite yet until…
I realized I wanted to have a home office AND an office away from home. I even wrote about it here and it was such an A-HA moment for me at the time. I felt like I had finally given myself the permission I didn’t even realize I needed to have two offices. For whatever reason, I felt like I had been holding myself back from this desire. YES, this felt like truth!
So I bought myself a desk for home and declared to my husband, who also works from home, that I would be spending more time “officially” working from home (because all the hours spent in the living room, the kitchen and our bed were not “official” enough for me, I guess).
Except…I bet you can guess what happened next!
I was SO confused and the guilt I was feeling for 1. paying for a space I was hardly using, and 2. not feeling motivated to go to my office and making it mean ALL sorts of things about myself, was really starting to fuck with me.
So I got coached again and again, and I came to a different level of understanding this time around.
The this is the real hard truth: I was lonely.
BOOM! That hit me hard. you know truth by the way it feels and this felt true (peaceful, sad, and right).
Being an entrepreneur can be really freaking lonely. I missed having colleagues to see first thing in the morning. I missed team meetings and lunch dates. I missed the camaraderie.
I was alone now, most of the time. And my little office space felt even lonelier than staying home, as I was usually alone in our office suite too (a space shared with two other practitioners that worked primarily during hours I was not there).
Not to mention, there was no communal space or kitchen, just a tiny waiting room and our individual offices. Showing up to our dark space, turning the lights on and being alone, when I could be home with my dog and on my bed or make a delicious lunch and curl up on my couch for my call with a client, well…you can guess which one won out time and time again.
So I finally made the decision to say goodbye and move into my home office, full-time.
And, people, I’m scared!
As I write this, I am here in my rented office (see the pic below). This will be the last time I sit here, as I move out this weekend.
When I popped in the other day, there was music actually playing in the waiting room, and I could hear the muffled voices of the other practitioners with their clients. The sun was streaming in ever-so-perfectly through my window, the birds were chirping outside.
And so I stood there for a moment, taking it all in. And then the thoughts starting coming at me:
“What was I doing letting this gem of a space go? Oh my god, I made a mistake! It’s not too late; I can tell Bianca (my landlord) that I’m staying. She’ll be so happy. I’ll be so happy. YAY!”
Deep breathes. More deep breathes. This was crazy talk and I knew it.
So I did what I needed to stop the spinning and get super clear on what I wanted.
I sat down at my desk, grabbed a piece of paper, and wrote out what it would look like if I came to my office everyday…held regular office hours for myself here, in this space. Because that was the only way I could justify even considering hanging onto it. No more office at home.
Then I wrote out what it would like to be at home, same regular hours.
Well, let me tell you, my body spoke loud and clear. Even though my mind seemed to want to convince myself that this space was just perfect and it made so much sense to keep it, my body led the way to my truth.
I felt constricted when I imagined coming here regularly.
I felt EXPANSIVE when I saw myself at home.
Why? To be honest, I don’t quite know. My mind certainly didn’t like the answers my body gave me.
But what I do know is that I trust the guidance my body is providing me. I trust in the unknown of this decision. I trust that my resistance all these months is for a reason that is going to make sense in the near future. I trust, I trust, I trust.
And just so we’re clear, I am still having moments of freaking out. “What if I never find a place this cute or affordable? What if this is the beginning of the end of your business? What if just knowing you have nowhere else to go drives you mad.”
You get the drift. Right?
So I bring myself back to my trust, to my body, to the truth I feel in my soul.
I wanted to share some of these truths that have come to me in the last few months with you:
- Having a rented office space does not mean you are more professional.
- I can coach a client just as well from my bed as I can from my office space. (Um, I think I should mention here that I coach over the phone or video. Actually having a client on my bed with me WOULD be very unprofessional. LOL!)
- My worth, as a coach and as a human, is not bound to whether or not I have an office space.
- I want more human interaction in my working life.
- I want more community in my work.
I want to be surrounded by inspiring people.
- I want to work in a space that inspires and nourishes me.
- I want to spend my days while working with my dog (this is not a new truth, but rather a reinforced one).
It’s funny, but saying YES to this new phase of my life and business by saying goodbye to my office space has already had a ripple effect of magic in my life!
After I told some women in my networking group that I was lonely and my office space reinforced this loneliness, not a week later and I got an invitation to join some super inspiring women for a monthly work day, in a gorgeous home, with a scheduled lunchtime for socializing, complete with all you can drink tea and coffee…and I could bring my dog too!
You cannot make this stuff up.
Magic is real when you say YES, when you honor your truth, and when you trust in what feels right even when you don’t know what the heck is going on.
So here I am, saying YES again to something new.
Saying YES to letting go of what was once a dream, even when I don’t see the entire staircase in front of me, because I trust that what’s coming is only going to be better than what’s been.
Sometimes saying YES actually means saying goodbye. And that’s ok.