Why I’m here: Emerging Women Live 2014

allison.emergingI looked around at the 400-or-so women in the room. Some thoughtful person had arranged all the chairs in the Sheraton ballroom into circles of 8.

I claimed my chair and smiled at the 7 other women occupying the seats in my circle of 8.

The first to speak was Amy, a 20-something Australian who now lives in London.

Amy wants to change the world. She works a corporate job, but moonlights as an Interfaith minister. She is starting the process of ordination.

She pointed across the circle at her mom (pictured left with me). After Amy attended last year’s EWLive conference, she made plans to attend this year for another dose of inspiration…and vowed to bring her mom, Allison, all the way from Australia to share the experience.

Then I took my turn to share with our female octet.

Our mission was to answer the following 3 questions:

1 – Where are you passionate and playing BIG in your life?
2 -When do you hold yourself back & what support do you need?
3 – What is emerging for you as a woman & a leader?

The facilitators encouraged us to be real & speak honestly.

So, I took a breath & dove in…

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 7.59.55 AM1 – I feel most passionate when I am teaching a class, speaking to a group, or sharing in a heart-depth conversation with another person.

2 – I hold myself back when I feel afraid.  The silver lining? My peeps! They provide all the best kinds of support.  They cheer me on, give me a push when I’m about to birth a new idea, & allow me to push the “pause” button when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the grandness of my own vision.

3 – I am emerging as a woman & a leader. After years of doing my own personal growth work, I am committed to supporting others in their own exploration.

The details? Well, they are still arranging themselves.

And I am showing up to see how it all comes out!

A creative girl & her bookkeeping

The coaching continues…

I’m sometimes a little too honest on facebook.  Mind you, I’m not the type to post TMI about deeply personal issues and I don’t blast friends who post political opinions on their status updates.

But I do procrastinate.  And last week I got “caught” on facebook.

My post was innocent enough.

Need a way to learn to enjoy my bookkeeping duties. I would rather be doing ANYTHING other than sitting here with a spreadsheet! : (

Ten friends commented.

One suggested rewarding myself with a margarita after I finished the work. Another offered to trade desk work for yoga classes.

Two friends said they love bookkeeping (not fair!).

But leave it to my mother’s comment to spur me to action.  When she suggested hiring my dad as bookkeeper and them moving into my guest room, I knew I had to do something fast!

I went for my coaching session with Bill Burtch.  I didn’t even have to bring up the bookkeeping brouhaha.  He did.

“I saw your post on facebook about the bookkeeping,” he said.

“Can we talk about something uplifting?” I asked.

We had a productive time together, mostly talking about the things I like:  my most valuable relationships, core values, how money enables my life.  We worked on my core purpose and my vision.

Then that budget thing came up again.  I brought it up this time.

After several coaching sessions I have learned a lot about myself. I learned that I’m motivated by social experiences and altruism.  I like to be with people and I like to feel like I’m doing good in the world.

I’m a creative type.  Boxes, charts, and spreadsheets make my eyes cross.

It’s amazing how fiscally responsible I have been my whole adult life – considering this aversion to logs, charts and graphs.

It’s not that I mind paying for things; I’m just not a line item kind of girl. Why sit around logging things into Quicken when I have people to meet, yoga classes to teach, and the beautiful old growth forest just footsteps from my door?

Bill challenged me to reframe my paradigm about managing finances. So I’m wondering.  What if I call my line items something compelling? Something, well, more fun. More meaningful. Maybe something that doesn’t sound so accountant-like.

Mortgage, rent, homeowners insurance sound so droll. What do these line items really mean to me?

They mean home.

What are some other names for home?

Sanctuary, Midtown Bungalow, Court Avenue Cocoon, Chez Nichols

Then someone suggested making each line item sound completely lovely.

So, I’ve set up a new category in my Quicken expense item list.

I just can’t wait for the accountant’s call when she reads my next expense report and discovers I’m paying $900 a month for something called “Love Shack.”

Looking forward to seeing Bill again next week to continue my coaching odyssey.  Who knows what we’ll come up with as we forge ahead? What do you struggle with that might be reframed into something more enjoyable?