Our hope at The Seattle School is to be led by our alumni and their stories. Hillary Augustine graduated in 2007 with her Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC). She recently shared with us more about her new book, The Currency Paradigm, her studies at The Seattle School, and her life today.

Tell us about your book. Congratulations! How did it come to be? What was the process like?

book cover for Currency ParadigmThe Currency Paradigm was born out of years of financial consulting. Early on in my work I realized that many consulting conversations would start with money themes, but quickly advance to include bigger life questions and currencies (plural). As I listened to people’s stories, I began seeing patterns and connecting dots through the lens of four currencies (not just one): Time, Money, Energy, and Space. The Currency Paradigm is a multidimensional tool for navigating life’s big questions. The four-currency guidance system is rooted in one simple concept: if you want to experience a greater sense of wholeness and meaning, you must acknowledge total currency flow. Learn more at www.thecurrencyparadigm.com or www.hillaryaugustine.com.

What are your hopes for this book?

I love what I wrote in the introduction of The Currency Paradigm, “Because of my roots of unbelonging within larger structures and systems, this book doubles down on my commitment to support the expression and the cultivation of new imagination and new worlds for people who don’t historically find themselves at home inside traditional frameworks.”

What drew you to The Seattle School and how did you find and choose the MAC degree?

I discovered The Seattle School through the program director of a counseling support group ministry. I continued to spark my interest in the school by reading the Mars Hill Review. (a literary journal from a long time ago!) The thought-provoking journal answered and activated my percolating questions.  

What was your experience like as a student?

I was just reminiscing with another alum about how many heart-felt people I met at The Seattle School. As a student, I was surrounded by people with passion, questions, and fortitude. I loved the way my brain synapses would fire while my heart (often) acknowledged that I was in the right spot. To this day, my years as a student still symbolize a massive season of personal growth and change.

What is your life like now? 

I live as a traveler. Although my current residence is in Richmond, VA, I operate and exist from multiple places and spaces. I often travel to foreign lands to interact with new energy which sparks my creative juices. 

What’s your favorite part of your work?

One of the favorite parts of my work is when clients and I both “get a download” (as I call it). It brings me so much joy when something lights up in our work that is bigger than we both expected. These moments are paradigm shifting…and they often include tears and laughter! Expansive creativity and Aha! moments keep my work alive and fresh.

How have your graduate studies at The Seattle School informed and shaped your life journey, your vocation, and your work today?

The Seattle School played a significant role in helping me develop beyond either/or thinking. The realm beyond the dualities is where I love to play!

Would you have any advice to share with current or potential students?

Pay attention to the conversations and topics that make your heart sing. In the same way, attune to the aspects of your educational journey that produce a strong emotional response. Chances are these sparks hold the seed of what wants to be watered and cultivated for your future vocation.