Do you see Life on the Tilt?

Posted by Hillary on March 26, 2014 in Welcome |

White Board - Me

I am in the midst of so much creativity right now.  Excela (soon to be Hillary Augustine.com) is being re-branded, re-packaged, re-born (essentially).  There is a video being created in the midst of all this, to bring my services more front and center; and yet, my creativity, my words, my next steps, seem somewhat stuck – in me – not able to come out.

So, I begin where I tell myself and others to begin.

I start to MOVE.  ”JUST DO THE NEXT THING,” I say.

  • I sit down.
  • I start typing.
  • I see what happens.
  • Right here- on this page.

My mind makes leaps through the past three months across the many moons and years of conversations in the money realms.  I’ve been able to consult with very inspiring people who are creating their craft & honing their work in the world.  I’ve heard individual and collective themes, patterns, and thoughts.  Through all of these sessions, I’ve started to re-commit myself (again) to the core values that continue to fuel me.

As a reminder, my graduate training and experience is a mixture of counseling, accounting, traveling, and bartending (Yes, bartending is key to my consulting!).  In essence, my left brain and right brain are always trying to be dance partners. To talk to one another.  To converse.  I believe that non-linear, complex thinking welcomes new and fresh ideas which produces innovative results.  Most of my clients want something different from the industry norm (which IS changing bit.by.bit).  As one client said, “I don’t want the black suit, polished wealth manager, on the 50th floor of a beautiful, downtown tower.” “Well, that’s good,” I thought…all my suits went out the door years ago (O.K., maybe I kept one suit, maybe?).  I’m not stating the default scene – black, suited wealth manager – isn’t helpful, it’s just that people are craving new, innovative models based on my experiences.

“Open wide the gates of integrated understanding to the complexity of life and all it’s many dynamic decision making models,” I say!

So, I will continue to explore and infuse energy, life, and courage with clients who range from individuals seeking an enhanced sense of clarity and vision with their income & expense palette to the CEO/Owner Principal/Entrepreneur in need of “new juice” and a fresh perspective for the financial ecosystem of their company.  New corners of opportunity and strokes of insight occur multiple times throughout the day.  The secret is that one’s head is tilted up just enough to see how the next opportunity/decision effects the larger pattern of their financial life.  Most of life is being ready for those “chance” encounters that we can’t quite see yet – but, perhaps we sense.

I love engaging in work that is inviting folks to pause – just long enough – to see life on the tilt – from a different angle.  To become aware of the patterns that are highlighted so that thinking and behaving shifts toward an increased level of integration & flow.

Details Matter.  Patterns Emerge.  Finances Shift.  

Hillary Augustine.com

(not here YET, but almost!)



What IF?

Posted by Hillary on December 13, 2013 in Welcome |

Traveling HillaryWHAT IF you entered this next year with a stance toward discovery, curiosity, and increased vision for your financial life?

In my experience, the realms of money and finance have “resided” (or are stuck) in environments where the experts are trained to know and therefore, the client/customer, does not know.  Although, I do believe trained people bring amazing expertise and skill in certain fields…I also believe in knowledge infusion between people that fosters learning and understanding?

**It is my belief that people can “learn to learn!!!  & It is equally important to learn to ask questions of life situations to discover the multiple paths that are often available, but might be “hidden” or “unseen.”**…essentially stuck in one’s own “boxy” thinking!**

SO, WAITwhat if people (YOU) believed you were smart enough to learn about your finances in creative and energetic ways?  What if, what I see (what we see) in consulting sessions can be discussed, brainstormed, and implemented across time?  What if the topics of money and finances weren’t dry, anxiety ridden, and boring?  What if a ”set formula” of truths that help people capture an ultimate “financial number” is NOT the main point of our conversation?

What if DISCOVERY were part of learning about YOUR numbers?

It is all possible.  I witness it daily.  I know that there are seasons to your money story…but if you don’t see those seasons, then how can you consciously guide your life?

Is it time to look deeper, discover further, and expand into wider places for YOU? – Set up an Excela Session.



Posted by Hillary on November 25, 2013 in Welcome |
Merle Norman's Journal

Merle Norman’s Journal


I think in intersections & “Convergence Zones.”

What does that mean?

I often wonder (in my own life) and when I work with individuals and companies in the money, economics, and finance realms, what is converging and intersecting?

Here is a series of questions I find myself exploring in my consulting sessions: What is coming together from multiple directions to eventually meet in one’s life at points that I  call  ”life intersections?”  ”Are these life intersections creating a natural, expansive, and energetically positive pattern?”  …OR, on the flip side, “Is the intersection of one’s energy, time, and money producing non-innovative, and life sucking output?”

In other words, “Does the person (or company) I am working with expand in their capacity and creativity because of the way energy, time, and money are intersecting…or visa versa?

I am naturally drawn toward these questions.  They give me energy because I lean (& have been formally trained) toward seeing life through intersecting systems & patterns.  Patterns tell a story across time.  Patterns are seen when people look up and out AND in and through. When people ask questions of their larger personal landscape, they are rising above daily details…and entering the realm of vision and dreaming.

Both perspectives are very important in money conversations. Because without seeing patterns, one does not know what they are creating with choices & decisions that stream through one’s daily life. Money conversations must have an element of looking into the detail…while stepping back and away to see the broader -bigger picture.

If both “near and farsightedness” are not employed, the money picture of one’s life is foggy and murky, feeling like enslavement rather than freedom.

So, I round back to explaining why I inserted the quote above.  I took this picture from Merle Norman’s journal.  Her REAL journal.  I was able to hold, touch, and read the smallish-brownish journal while staying at the beautiful Rancho Merlito, in Tuscan AZ.  Rancho Merlita was Merle Norman’s desert get-a-way. (the famous cosmetic, makeup artist of the 1950′s- 1960′s)  Merle Norman’s words remind me to think expansively…They also remind me to seek the counsel and help of others when I become aware of huge ruts (like the Grand Canyon) as she says in her journal.

I was fortunate enough to “accidentally” (yeah right, accident?) come across Merle Norman’s beautiful Rancho Merlita on one of my travels through the southern border states of the United States.  The innkeeper (Patti) became aware (because she is super intuitive and caring) that I was passionate about building & crafting businesses. Patti also knew that I was en-route to see my grandmother…to continue to learn about my generational legacy…and super stoked to find out more about the women in my family.  And to top it all off, Rancho Merlita represented so much of what I love as I consult with clients who are crafting careers and businesses that have far reaching domestic and global influence – much like Merle Norman did in her era and beyond.  So, all of these details, converged into Patti offering to let me read Merle Norman’s journal while I comfortably settled into the Ranch (which is now a beautifully operating Bed & Breakfast.  The Ranch has earned multiple awards for the charm, the history…due in large part to Patti’s hospitality, of course!)  Merle Norman wrote her journal primarily to inspire and communicate to her employees. The journal is packed with at least 50 vignettes/entries of Merle Norman’s words, thoughts, and overall philosophy of business and life.Money & Mimosas 001

Reading Merle Norman’s words again this morning reminded me to continue to look for the patterns of my own life.

I could feel the convergence of history, energy, and stories when I stayed at Rancho Merlita.  I knew – again – that I was made to be with people across time as they guided money and influence to craft their life.  Even my travels bring about the opportunity to hold a “journal written by a Cosmetic Icon from another era” and know Merle Norman had something to say to me as I work with folks who are in various stages of creation and money guidance.

A business woman from 60 years ago with a huge cosmetic empire had something to say to me!

So, as you end 2013, do not underestimate what patterns arise in your life.  Take a step back at the timeline, history, and repeated intersections of your money story and life…AND ASK…Is Time, Money,and Energy working in concert with one another?  OR, are there some areas that are stuck and in need of a shift?

It’s never too late to ask the questions that expose your current reality and future trajectory.

Find out more about my work here.

**Excela Consultations**

With gratefulness,



Fresh Vision and Nimble Thinking

Posted by Hillary on November 8, 2013 in Welcome |


This week has been full with Excela Consultations.


I often envision myself in Toe Shoes as I sit with my clients.  I envision nimble ways we can move together along their life path, feeling the earth beneath our feet, while we forge NEW pathways around their money and finances with brainstorming and focused energy.


My week has been full of stories and encounters with clients who are:

  • Stuck in their own thoughts.
  • Stifled in their own beliefs.
  • Frustrated with their own personal limits.

So, we did what I feel is needed.  We put on our “Toe Shoes” (well not literally) – but metaphorically – to intentionally feel our way through the terrain of their finances while conjuring up energy and motion at each moment.


My clients are people who need to see NEW ways, NEW markers, and NEW visions for themselves.

They are cultural creatives, entrepreneurs, artists, CEO’s of their companies and their lives. They are people who are continually crafting multiple income streams while attempting to keep it all afloat; people who are are going through major economic shifts in family deaths, divorce, or marriage; and people who need FRESH eyes and mega-energy to negotiate contracts, future work agreements, and cash flow.

These are busy people living life one day, one month, and one year at a time.

& They need FRESH vision and NIMBLE thinking.

They are people that realize – for a moment – that their life has an economic component.

The economic component has an economic self that is running on auto-pilot without them.

The economic self is carving a course without their input, energy, and guidance.


I sit in my office when “these clients” finish their sessions and feel the vibrating pulse of energy.

My clients feel the pulsing energy too.

The popping vibrations that happen when new ideas hit against old pathways and magic ignites.

The economic self is kicked out of auto-pilot and given commands, guidance, and goals.

For the first time, in a long time, my clients take the driver’s seat.

In the moments of inspiration and awe, I wonder – AGAIN – for the millionth time about WHY the financial industry has been devoid of brainstorming, freshness, and innovation.  The financial industry – in general – is results driven and response based.  The expert tells you what to do.  ”Here’s what I need for your tax return.”  ”Please provide these documents for your auto loan.”  ”Could you send me this for your mortgage refinance.”  ”I need this document for your financial aid.”

I say to my clients.





All of these moments impact your economic self now and in the future.


So, I end my week content and excited.  I LOVE providing energy and vision to peoples’ economic selves.

Does your economic self need FRESH vision and NIMBLE thinking?  

Book your Excela Consultation


Large Changes & Small Details

Posted by Hillary on August 31, 2013 in Welcome |
Large Changes, Small Details

Large Changes, Small Details

Grandes cambios se producen con pequenos detalles!

Large Changes Occur with Small Details! 

I believe the phrase above with all my heart. It’s what the green, chalkboard sign said – hanging in front of a small ‘cart on wheels,” positioned perfectly along the El Camino De Santiago. The hand written sign came with a warm, friendly smile emanating from a guy named, David.  David believed that his ‘Whole Foods on wheels’ as I called it, helped the weary walker that craved the almond butter, hummus, and fresh fruit he offered. David was right.  The seemingly small act of feeding the hungry, created huge changes in my heart & my energy…I was carried for miles down the trail as I journeyed onward with a satisfied stomach and fulfilled spirit.

I ate from the cart and watched David transform the weary walker one.person.at.a.time with a hug, some food, and a vision.

From my experience, it is hard to see a new way by myself and without physical movement. Because I have introverted tendencies, it’s not as if revelations, inklings, and new visions don’t occur in the “by myself” moments, it’s just that my shift in perspective is generally ignited through engagement with another person (or group of people).  I also find that shifting locations (i.e., traveling & moving) – awakens a new, fresh perspective that is only siphoned to the surface of my consciousness when I step into the colliding energies of various places, people, and cultures. For me, the small details of life become visible as “my slow hunches” interact with other peoples’ “slow hunches” to create a bigger or “new” hunch. I draw the idea of colliding hunches from Steven Johnson’s video and book, “Where Do Good Ideas Come From.”

I believe that Excela Consulting is creating large changes with small details.  I walk alongside the creative, innovative folks who come through my door day in and day out.  Our energies, ideas, and thoughts collide.  We leave Excela Sessions with bigger imaginations for the next steps.  The moments of clarity, infusion of energy, and connections of ‘small, subtle’ details rise to the surface as we engage the hard to see, murky, down.in.the.mud places of money and finances.

The words of clients help me remember how large changes occur through the intersection of small details.


“We met with Hillary hoping to better understand the layered connections between our money, values, hopes and dreams. And that is exactly what happened. Hillary met us where we were and took us further than we could have gone ourselves.  Money can be complicated and loaded. Hillary held our boundaries loosely enough to challenge and firmly enough to provide safety. I found it helpful how she organized and delivered her insight and feedback. She worked directly with what we brought and then expanded our thinking and imagination. She was able to help us “put legs” to our dreams and develop a workable and doable game plan.  Our time with Hillary was not only motivating and inspiring, but a lot of fun!”

A funky, creative, hard-workin’ couple (J & P)


I invite you to make your Excela Appointment today: Email Hillary (imexcela@gmail.com) and Take The First Step with Excela Services.  The first ‘small’ step is huge!


The Next Step

Posted by Hillary on June 10, 2013 in Welcome |


The Yellow Arrows marking the path…pointing onward…and providing energy for the Next Step.

Each Step, tracked across time, equates to hundreds of miles

The progress that comes with the Next Step is shown on the ancient Spanish Pilgrimage, the Camino, with yellow arrows and rock piles. The arrows & rock piles “tell” the walker they are moving toward their destination. Whether I’m physically walking or consulting with people/companies, I’m always looking for the path that is lined with creativity, sparkling “out of the box” options, and catalytic energy. These are significant elements for generating helpful, imagination-fueled money conversations.   

Here’s what folks are saying about the power of the Next Step:

Hillary brings clarity to stuck, dry, crusty places…where money issues seem to reside.  Her work makes budgets come alive, so that tracking is connected to meaning-making parts of life.  I find myself seeing connections and working with numbers in a freeing way.  It’s a refreshing and hopeful process. Dan Woodard, LMHC, Advocate Counseling

I brought my muddled thoughts and ideas and Hillary helped provide clarity…shaping them into goals and structuring them in a way that allowed me to see my own progress.  Essentially, together we built cairns (rock piles that mark the trail as you’re hiking) around my business and work life.  Jason Jost, LMHC, Lake Union Counseling

Find out More about Excela Services & Take the Next Step HERE.  




To Look

Posted by Hillary on November 26, 2012 in Welcome |

The scenes that come to mind as I’ve engaged in money conversations across two decades are the moments when the “veil lifts in the room.”  The air is lighter.  The person (or people) feel a vibration, a sensation, a scent of freedom.  Sometimes a tear wells up – for both of us.  A sense washes over the room that says, “You are an agent, ready to wield your power and insight.  This is your life.” The big gulp of a throat clogged with tension might be present too…but the moment a person looks at their financial picture, they are poised for movement.  I can’t plan these moments.  But, I.love.them!

As a financial being myself (i.e., one who uses, distributes, dances, stresses, and facilitates the flow of money in the marketplace), I don’t know how to take away the shame.  The weighty cloud overshadows brillance for so many folks who’d like to just.get.one.step.ahead.  Money and morality walk in lock step…and there’s no room for breathing.  Shame and guilt steals from brainstorming.

Yes, it’s true.  I don’t know how to take away the shame, but I do know how to create the space where glimmers of goodness are invited to seep into the financial conversations.  One of my core hopes is that people (men, women, partnered couples, organizations, non-profits, and various businesses) will begin to LOOK.

So, as this year comes to an end and darkness continues to visit the northern hemisphere for winter solstice, I invite you to walk, to ask, and to look into your financial situation – no matter how dark it feels.  I offer a “jump start” – 1.5 hours of money coaching that includes a two page (post-meeting) written assessment.  This assessment is crafted (by me) as an anchor and guideline for your next steps.  It includes suggestions, resonating wonderings, and gifts of praise as I think WITH you about your financial situation.

It’s not easy out there…so I invite you to not be alone.  Let the veil lift, one-inch-at-a-time. I am offering a special promotion through 12.31.2012, check it out HERE under Excela Services!

Grateful to be in this work. Hillary



Posted by Hillary on October 20, 2012 in Welcome |

Observing the Dynamic Pattern!

For years the observation theory, put forth by the field of quantum physics, has fascinated me.  It is mind boggling to contemplate the theory that an electron acts like a particle if observed and a wave with out observation.  I admittedly do NOT understand all the science behind the well documented outcome.  After reading many, many articles my mind circles around the idea that this could…NO, i will say, this appears & feels deeply true:

Observation affects reality. 

For something to “make sense,” and have elements of “truth,” there needs to be a thread of connection to my life.  The observation theory strongly connnects to what I have experienced personally, with clients, and with organizations across a couple decades of money-focused, currency related conversations.  When I say “currency,” I mean something given and taken, with commonplace acceptance and representative societal value. 

My internal resonation says, YES, to the theory that the pattern of an observed electron changes.  If I substitute the word electron for the word money, I also say, YES, to the idea that the observation of money changes its pattern too; money’s energy, money’s short-term course, and money’s long-term trajectory are all affected.  I would also add, change occurs through intentional observation.  Primarily, I have experienced the most pronounced shifts when a person or organization commits to a period of focused time to gain understanding, to look, and to ask those deep questions (mostly fear-based questions)…of their past, their present, and their future related to complex money patterns and varied financial dynamics.

Observing one’s life in the money realms, just like one does of a freshly-birthed baby, a jaw dropping act of kindness, a beautiful sunset, or a vintage bottle of wine…IS. LIFE. CHANGING. 

If IT.IS.TIME. to apply the observation “theory” to your financial landscape, set up an Excela consultation (imexcela@gmail.com)!  I’d be delighted to work with you…as we affect your reality, just.by.intentionally.observing. 

Grateful to be in this work, one.detail.at.a.time…Hillary


To Walk…

Posted by Hillary on June 1, 2012 in Welcome |

Walking!Caminar is one of the spanish words meaning “to walk.”

I have been walking with people in life for decades.  I love to walk.  To take in the sights, sounds, and ground beneath my feet.

I’ve realized I intentionally set a walking pace in many areas of life.  The step-by-step momentum happens whether I am physically “covering terrain” with a walking partner OR “walking” with a client in a coaching capacity specifically focused toward: money, finances, career transitions, goal tracking, and business thought.  I am drawn to the human rhythm of the walk because it welcomes a new way of seeing the details of the world one step at a time. 

Just like breathing, I believe walking is necessary for life to be lived.  To commit to the pace of a walk is to say, “I invite the nuggets of everyday existence to emerge by intentionally committing to a rhythm that allows particularities and specifics to be noticed.”  A natural extension of the word “commit” is to pledge or bind oneself to a particular course (source: google definition of commit).  Walking represents a commitment to covering a path, moving toward something for some particular reason, and stepping through life. 

I am aware, as I write, that not everyone can physically walk with their feet.  The step-by-step, walking action, will look different to people with out the use of their legs…a whole reality that will be missing from my writing and consciousness because I experience life on foot.

As I think about integrating my love of walking and my professional experience in counseling and accounting through my Excela consultations, I am inspired to roll out my first Signature Excela Service.

Pondering, HoldingWalk with Hillary: Seven connection points to highlight the Financial Specifics along your life Path.  This signature service is limited to 10 people across an (8) to (10) week period of time.

We will schedule (3) face-to-face meetings, you will be invited to write (2) essays about your financial money path specific to an emerging theme in your life, read (1) book that connects to your financial journey in some way (you suggest it and I read with you)…& the last connection point?…I will create a summary of our time at the end, an archive or shall we say “walking stick/road map” of sorts to serve as a written guide for your continued journey. 

**Email me for rates and more details about the walking path: imexcela@gmail.com**

I look forward to taking in the ground beneath our feet as we notice new and perhaps resurrect “old” details of your life, again, and again.  Let’s walk, track, and look together!


A reminder: Nature’s Ebb & Flow

Posted by Hillary on April 8, 2012 in Welcome |

The words Ebb & Flow remind me of nature.  Nature is dynamic.  Always moving.  Forever changing. The reminder of tidelands

 - And so it is with people

 - And so it is with the tidelands

 - And so it is with the entrepreneur

The past 15 years, I have worked alongside the entrepreneur/owner (founder) in the capacity of coach, operations director, accounting associate, and chief financial officer.  My other hats include property manager, real estate investor, business owner, and hopeful bartender (to name just a few). 

Today, I remember a piece of my life path.  And when I reflect, I realize that as my job description has become more elusive, my life has invited deeper richness and creativity. 

In fact, the more my life journey emerges from my daily work, the harder it is to answer, “Did you work today?”   I hear myself saying, “Ahhh, yes I think so, but what did I do? 

The time passes, milestones get checked off, and ALL the while I am growing, learning, changing and innovating.  The lack of a specific job description culminating in the inability to say in three sentences or less what I DO for a living has opened me up to SEE opportunities appear before my eyes.  Each day represents another series of moments that could collide to change the very course of what I think I “DO.”

I’ve come to realize one very important aspect of an entrepreneur’s journey and of my Excela work:  I live to ignite and fan the seed of entrepreneurial imagination while honoring the ebb and flow, dynamic nature of such an existence.  My work is really about seeing and catalyzing energy.  My work lies in the sweet spot and intersection of tracking, measurement, and goal setting while being open to shifts and turns that are invited by a stoked imagination. 

ebb & flowAs Mark Twain said, ” You can’t depend on your eyes, when your imagination is out of focus.”  Ebb and flow are two companions that invite seeing with your imagination – so that the measurement and tracking is meaningful.

Are you accepting and seeing the dynamic, imaginative nature of your entrepreneurial journey? Ebb and Flow will remind you to do so. 

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