Women Connected Graduate with Major Growth
We almost made graduation caps and tassels out of pizza plates and ribbon. I am not disappointed that we didn't. I am happy we had the idea.
On our May graduation date a group of eight women, completed our Women Connected sessions. With a nod to the extreme busy-ness leading up to each 3:30-6:00p.m. last Wednesday of the month session, our host called in Pizza Luce and pulled out party plates from her stash. Within moments we were catching up over The Athena.
For the last of 12 sessions, it seemed appropriate that our coaching book guide, Women Connected, ended on a chapter entitled, Celebrating Us! It was time to reflect. We had come a long way since our initial Afternoon of Exploration in May 2015, which was an invite to come and learn more about the sessions and see if it was a fit for each of us. Two graciously bowed out and the rest each committed to and made nearly all of the 12 sessions, worked on our own personal goals between sessions and met with one other woman (our selected Go-To-Girl) for that month to support each other.
In two previous blogs, Real or RHONY: Ways that Women Connect (June 2015) and Circle Up: It's Not Selfish! (Oct 2015), I captured a snapshot of our journey. Now, seven months later, I have some notes to add.
Networking: My view of networking has changed. Our group came together for the purpose of self-improvement and growth. Through this process, we came to know each other so well personally and professionally, that a connected life will surely flow. If the by-product is a referral for business purposes, that's a bonus, but not a goal or necessity of our relationships. I do less event, quick meet and exchange business cards oriented networking gigs now. A time saver in many ways.
Creativity: Even the most analytic among us is creative in some way. Women Connected walked us through probing questions and seeking to get at the heart of our passions and start bringing out our creativity and celebrating it more everyday. Using visuals (like the one here from the Brand of Me chapter), diagrams, magazine cut-outs and construction paper, we disconnected from bullet pointed lists and circle-diagrammed and connected dots in a visual story to represent our whole being. This story represents us in our most fulfilled state when our life's passion correlates with our life's work.
Growth: The very nature of the group diversity and dynamic propelled me to do more. There was an accountability, yet supportive characteristic to the group. I can list off the ideas I brainstormed at the onset that have become reality from wellness to improved parenting and financial progress. To do these things, these seven women helped me embrace my strengths, define my purpose, dispel myths about my story and break down my dreams into attainable actions to reach them.In the past year, I started a wellness business (Empowering All); held my kids more accountable for meals with a Kids in the Kitchen day and our joining a CSA this spring; worked with 1. an accountant to manage my businesses, 2. a business coach to refine my direction and 3. a financial planner to think more holistically and plan for the future.
If anyone would have told me at age 35 that life just keeps getting better, I would have doubted. I can say that now, at age 44, it's pretty sweet. It's rich and full of experiences and relationships. I can't wait to share this with other women. Will you be ready to put on your handmade pizza plate graduation hat and celebrate your growth with your own group of Women Connected? If interested, RSVP for party of one here.