As you may know, I’ve been training our newest team member for a while now.
This is my chance to tell you aaaall about her. I did the usual things, took some pictures and wrote a bio, but for this newsletter I want to share the top 4 things that make me most excited about sharing this dazzling being — Sophia Apostol — with you.
One: She’s a total book nerd. She loves reading and writing. She has a Bachelor’s in English Lit and a Master’s in Library and Information Sciences. After our first interview she emailed me a photo of her bookshelf, which she’d recently reorganized by colour. I almost died.
Two: She has a writing story that almost everyone I know can relate to. Like so many of us, Sophia lost track of her love for writing for a long, long time. It got swallowed up in university and her first job at a book distributor. “Adulting” stepped in and the magic stepped out. Sound familiar?
Then a couple years back, a friend dragged her to a Firefly retreat. She thought, “Well, I can’t write, but the beach will be nice.” On her first morning she sat around a circle, hands shaking, reading a story she’d just written about her childhood in Georgia. And whoosh, just like that, her passion was back. It hasn't left her.
Sophia will working with beginner writers — writers who don't call themselves writers, writers who want to be in that circle but don't know why or how. She'll bring all the permission of her story own to those people:
It's okay that you stepped away.
It's not too late to come back.
You can let your hands shake and your voice waiver.
You're here. That's beautiful.
Three: She has a way of making people open right up. In the past Sophia has worked as a confidence coach, coaching people past shame surrounding body image. She has facilitated workshops in understanding your inner saboteurs, feeling confident naked, and “how to stop your inner judge from messing with your mojo” among MANY others. She loves helping people feel at ease and she really gets how to.
This is partly because she’s not afraid of the depths. She has lots of experience having deep, crunchy conversations and is always ready to journey deeper. She’s done a ton of personal work, which leaves her confidently connected to the full truth of any moment.
On a personal note, I walk home from every training session with Sophia feeling clear and whole. Every time, I realize that I told her things I didn't plan to, easily following the path of her curiosity into new and unexplored places. I trust her as a guide and partner on the inner path, and I'm excited to share that with you.
Four: Did I mention finger testicles? If you weren’t at our last open mic, let me walk you through the last 5 minutes. It was getting late and the energy was starting to lag. Sophia, who was co-hosting, had been tasked with creating closure before sending everyone out into the night. She got up, put her hands up in the air, and invited the audience to do the same, waving their fingers in the air. Sophia said, “What do you feel in the room? What’s here? Call it out!” People were saying words like “willingness” “courage” and “possibility”. I stood at the back, watching those fingers wave, feeling the tingle of warmth and connection all around me.
Sophia was so encouraging, so in-the-moment, reminding us to, "Wave your finger testicles through the air..."
Then she stopped short, her eyes flashing wide. “You guys! I just said testicles!” A roar of laughter overtook the room. I mean a roar. Of course she meant tentacles, and she was momentarily mortified, but she stood there, hands up high, belly laughing with all of us, reminding us that to be human is to say the wrong word sometimes, and that words are funny and wonderful.
It was a perfect moment. The energy of the night bounced right back, and everyone left smiling. Sophia was IN.
If you’d like to welcome her personally, you can find her at her brand new email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to new beginnings!
Here's to expanding horizons, and all the possibilities of forward motion. Here's to Sophia and all that she’ll unlock in our beautiful community. Here's to all the roars of laughter ahead as we keep on rolling down this path.