Catch the other Women Who Flourish spotlights.
I’m thrilled to bring you another Women Who Flourish series with my friend Chelsie Antos! I first started following Chelsie on Instagram when we both were pregnant and I was too sick to get out of bed or even open my eyes. She was pretty sick too and we hadn’t told many people we were expecting but for some reason I felt like I could trust this stranger on the internet with my story!
Chelsie is the co-founder of Trades of Hope, a social marketplace that employs women all around the world crafting beautiful artisan products, wife, mama and entrepreneur!
She and her husband (sweethearts since 8th grade) are wise far beyond their years and started the #takebacktheweekend movement to hold themselves and others accountable to taking a few days off from the daily scroll!
You will love her words on true rest, learning to balance wearing lots of hats and how she has learned to embrace saying yes and no in order to live more intentionally!
Here’s our conversation together! Welcome Chelsie!
Women Who Flourish: Chelsie Antos
You approach life, business and your family with a deep love and passion? Where does that beautiful intensity come from and how does it fuel you? Does it ever drain you?
C: Thank you! I think the first answer would be in how I was raised. My parents were passionate people and taught us that the ups & downs of life can actually bring us more appreciation and passion for the beautiful things we’re gifted with.
The second answer is that I went through an extremely difficult & traumatic period of life in my early 20s. I felt like all the passion I had been taught to live vanished and I couldn’t find my way in my faith or identity.
After realizing some very important principles and experiencing incredible healing from God, I learned sustainable ways to keep my passion alive through gratitude and intentional living. Now, the passion I have isn’t draining because it comes from a place of rest and present mindedness.
Can you explain what #takebacktheweekend is and why you do it? You totally inspired me to do this and it has changed everything for me, especially really calming my spirit and heart!
C: Yes! So #takebacktheweekend is something my husband and I became passionate about in the last year when we had a baby. We are work-from-home entrepreneurs and, though we LOVE what we do, we noticed that our computers and phone were always in front of our faces. I also learned that the average child today spends less time outside than a prisoner. I was so shocked and convicted.
While we want to teach our kiddos how to be entrepreneurial and use technology well, we also want them to understand that rest and peace come from outside a screen. True peace is found in real life….the outdoors, your faith, your community, the people you love and who love you. It doesn’t come from scrolling. ALL of us need at least a day or two to recharge in that real-life kind of rest each week.
So we started claiming our weekends as technology free zones. We eliminate any ‘scrolling’ apps and anything that feels like substitute rest for us. It has totally CHANGED our lives!
This works different for everyone! For some people, they have to work on the weekend so different days are better for this. But we’re passionate that #takebacktheweekend can help individuals and families cultivate rest in some way, shape, or form!
After a weekend off social media, what difference do you notice on Monday?
C: When we are doing #takebacktheweekend, we spend more time outside, being creative, and with friends.
As we come back into Monday and into ‘work’ time, I notice a lot less anxiety when I begin the week. Taking our weekends back reminds me of WHY I work. I work because I love it and because it creates a beautiful life of freedom and purpose with my family. We all need a day or two to be reminded of what our work is even for. And when we remember the WHY, it makes us EXCITED and not anxious for Mondays. This wholehearted lifestyle of balancing my work and my rest is how I want to model life for my kids.
I also find that I come into the week with more creativity. The ironic thing is that the internet has SO much creative inspiration on it, that it honestly can deaden our own innovation skills to think outside the box. Having a few days to myself helps me stop comparing and keeps me innovating and thinking uniquely as an individual.
You wear many hats, as an entrepreneur leading a team, a wife and mother—the demands of life can be exhausting at times. How do you work to cultivate rest and create a safe haven in your home away from the chaos of the world?
C: Yes! There are many hats to wear – it is exciting and sometimes exhausting for sure. I think #takebacktheweekend has been a huge part of cultivating that rest. But we also are very intentional in the other things we choose to do during the week.
Whenever opportunities arise, we ask if taking that opportunity leads to the kind of lifestyle we want. We aren’t afraid to say YES and we aren’t afraid to say NO. We just believe in making decisions based off values and not fear of finances or missing out. If we have to cut back in certain areas for a time because we said no to a certain opportunity, but we like our life more because of it, then so be it.
We are also very careful of the kinds of stressors we let into our home. That can include many things, from the movies, shows, & books we read. It can also include us having feed blockers on our phone and computers that block our FB feeds and instagram feeds.
I used to get very unsettled after checking FB and I never knew why. Then I realized that I was seeing every horrible news article, opinionated political thought, and death story. It was making my mind run rampant. So now, we choose intentionally when we want to check our FB & instagram. It’s important to be educated and engage with your community, but we never do so without knowing that we will have the burden of knowledge afterward. And when the weekend and evening time rolls around, we know that it’s our time to have away from the chaos of the world.
You are about to become a mom a second time—what is something that has surprised you the most about motherhood?
C: How much I like it! 🙂 I’m not the mushiest person and I always thought I would be awful at motherhood. I love to work and thought that the two were incongruent. But I’ve realized that, with intentionality and balance, I can love both things. I can be a good mom and also be a creative entrepreneur. It takes some practice, but it was a surprising idea in a world that I felt made me have to choose.
Motherhood has also pushed me to be more creative and efficient. Instead of 8-12 hours a day of work, I have 4 hours. But I’ve found that I actually work quicker and smarter because of my compressed time, and I love how that’s challenged and grown me!
You and your darling family are always off on an adventure! How has traveling expanded your mind and views of the world? Why is this a priority to you all?
C: I love understanding different cultures and perspectives. I find people so fascinating and believe everyone is made in God’s image, so why wouldn’t I want to meet and understand as many people as I can? That’s been so much of our motivation when traveling! I also know that I’m so privileged in how I was born, that I want to use my resources to help others who didn’t grow up with that same privilege.
Because of travel, I feel like I have a community of people I love around the world. This makes the world feel more friendly. Community adds joy and fullness to our life. I want to model this kind of life for my kids, so it’s something we make a priority!
As a to-do list oriented person, do you ever struggle with comparison or feeling like you didn’t accomplish enough in the day? How do you remind yourself that you are worthy and enough?
C: Yes! I love checking things off and getting stuff done, and motherhood has had to reframe this. It’s now less about quantity of tasks completed and more about quality of life lived. A beautiful switch, but a hard one for my numbers oriented, achieving mind! 🙂
I think my faith has been a big part of reminding myself of who I am. I know that, at the end of the day, God looks at me as his daughter. I don’t applaud my one year old for how many tasks she checks off. She has no idea what tasks even are! I adore her because of who she is at her core, her essence and quirkiness and silliness. I spend every morning praying and talking with God, asking him to remind me of how he sees me, as a daughter and not a project. This is the best help when that comparison sneaks in!
As someone who has many different roles and titles, how do you confidently own your story and keep your identity in who you are uniquely as Chelsie?
C: This is hard for all of us! But I will say, it has thankfully gotten easier with age and experience. At 20, I was still finding so much worth in accomplishment. But now, after trials and joys and tears and life lived, I feel like I am finally understanding the core of myself.
I’m here on this earth to love people fiercely and to remind people of God’s love for them. I’m here to raise children that know they are loved and love others. So every project, job, or task I do has to somehow bleed into that. Knowing my purpose gives me permission to say ‘yes’ to the right things and ‘no’ to the wrong things. It reminds me to stop comparing, because my purpose isn’t comparable to anyone else’s. Living intentionally, taking crucial time off social media, and finding wholehearted joy in the present has helped solidify these ‘fully’ Chelsie moments that I want to live in more often.
How would you define healthy living in this season of life?
C: Working hard at something that feels purposeful and joyful.
Resting and playing hard with people that fill me with joy.
And then, having the right awareness to know when the two get out of balance. This is life, we will all get out of balance sometimes. But recognizing when it happens and quickly having intentionality to re-balance. 🙂
What are some practices or routines you do each day that you believe are directly tied to your success?
- I spend time with God every morning. This is crucial for me remembering my true purpose and source of joy.
- I leave my phone/computer in one room of our house as often as possible and deem it the ‘work room.’ When I enter, I’m at work. When I leave, I’m back at home.
- I work out a 3-4 times a week, for my mental energy and physical health
- We try to keep a healthy balance of community/friend oriented activities every week. We know that, introvert or extrovert, we all get lonely if we don’t have friends. So we try and do at least 2 things a week with people we love.
What does it mean to you to flourish?
To be growing toward your next season with joy and passion, feeling excited about the future and restful in the present.
If you were a taco, which flavor and toppings would you be and why?
Chicken and avocado. No onion, garlic, or weird spicy stuff. I’m a plain jane when it comes to food!
What is one quality you look for in a friend?
Can I be honest? Independent friends and joyful friends. I’m a very independent entrepreneur and I value friends that get me and aren’t offended when I need to work or commit to my family. I love friends that I don’t need to see every second, but then when we’re together, it’s easy and happy and like no time has passed.
What is one thing you say no to and why?
I am pretty strict about the kind of tv shows, movies, books and content we let into our house. I believe that our mental clarity, spirituality, and health can be influenced by so much and I choose very intentionally to put content in my heart that uplifts me and inspires joy.
Favorite time of the day?
The hour before sunset. It’s when I wrap up work and we play outside as a family with our dog.
Your word for 2019?
Fun + Freedom