Notes To My Younger Self:

Notes To My Younger Self:
Conversation with my coach about getting connection in community:
My coach: “Hey, I’m starting this women’s group. The goal, being, to get a group together that will support, encourage and help each other work toward their goals. I think it would be a great experience for you. What do you think?”
Me: “Being encouraged and supported sounds interesting. The thing is, I’m not much of a joiner. I tend to work better on my own.”
My coach: “Hum…” A long pause followed by, “That’s really interesting. Since on our coaching calls, I’ve heard you say how much you would like to have support and encouragement around you as you create your stories. Others, who could give you feedback and help when you get stuck.”
Me: Gulp. “Okay, you’re right, I do recall saying that a time or two. (Or more.) But in the past, when I’ve joined writing or critique groups, the environment didn’t really pan out the way I expected.”
My coach: “Huh. Say more about not panning out.”
Me: “When the groups meet, there was a lot of talking, not much structure. Many members spoke more about the barriers preventing them from reaching their goals, instead of brainstorming strategies to move them ahead. At times, I felt drained after the meeting, instead of energized and not really making headway in my creative process.”
My coach: “When the group began, were there ground rules discussed that every member had a say in and then, agreed to as a collective?”
Me: A long pause while I thought about how helpful it would have been to not only have clear personal goals, also agreements amongst the group members. “No.” I said. “I didn’t know setting group ground rules was even a possibility.”
My coach: “Groups can create whatever they want. In the group I’m starting, every member will have an opportunity to say what’s important to them—for example, showing up on time, coming prepared to discuss agreed upon topics, thoughtful engagement, open sharing, confidentiality, letting members know ahead of time when they can’t make a meeting, creating instead of complaining—and the group will have a chance to accept or offer another agreement.”
Me: “Sounds interesting. I’ve never experienced a group like this. I think I’d like a chance to say what’s important to me.”
My coach: “It’s a useful tool to make sure everyone’s serious about doing the work in the group, so everyone can move forward in their personal goals.”
Me: “Count me in.” With a mini-knot in my gut.
Fast forward eight months. Not only do I feel encouraged, nurtured, supported, filled up and engerized by this group, I have also made huge strides in my latest novel; a Historical Fiction Story. So much so, in fact, in addition to my weekly group, I now have joined a bi-weekly and monthly group too. Yep, you read right. Ms. non-joiner belongs to three support groups. I now wholeheartedly believe, with the help of these communities, anything I dream up is possible.
E.L. Chappel author of Spirt Dance/Storm Makers/Coming very soon: The Surge
 “The only person you’re destined to become is the person you decide to be.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson
aka A woman with a purpose

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