• Catherine Hansen MD, MPH

Reflect and Release

Picture: All that is left of the things we released on 4 December 2019. Nothing will hold us back in 2020!

Every month our Empowered Women’s Circle gathers to learn new ways of being a powerful woman in our modern world. While we often focus on physical health, digging into the best ways to nourish our bodies, lose weight, prevent cancer, manage chronic disease, establish sleep routines and mitigate the effects of stress, our most recent event was very different.

Modeled after teachings by Claire Zammit PhD, Founder of Feminine Power, our experiential evening together involved celebrating successes, turning challenges into opportunities, releasing obstructive patterns and tapping into intentions that would have us source actions and decisions from a place deep inside our soul.

My hope in sharing these exercises is to invite you on a new path as you say good-bye to 2019 and to encourage you to let that woman inside of you out for the world to see! She is beautiful and she’s been hiding for way too long.

For you to receive the most benefit, I invite you to pour as much energy into this 1 hour practice as you wish to receive from it – that means sitting down with pen and paper and listening inward to answers that have been muted by the busyness of your daily life – until now.

This hour is yours and it has the potential to determine your destiny as we move into a new decade, perhaps your most meaningful decade yet! By doing this work in an ongoing way, I have seen women make-over their bodies, ignite their careers, deepen their marriages and step into true authenticity like never before.

Don’t underestimate the power within you!

Starting with a quiet place, close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply for 2 full minutes allowing your awareness to sink into your body. If thoughts arise, notice them and re-focus on your breath.

Next, ask yourself what you are most proud of from 2019. List 3 things you believe you have done well and for which you wish to be seen and acknowledged. These are the areas you invested time, energy and resources and they have risen to the top as your most meaningful experiences in the year gone-by.

Now celebrate them! Celebrate YOU! Too often we wait for others to recognize our strengths instead of allowing us to feel the happiness and pride that comes from revealing (even to ourselves) our unique gifts and talents. We are all profoundly gifted in different ways.

Interestingly, the things we do well are often the things we don’t notice because they come to us easily. They integral to who we are. It’s time to take notice of those innate abilities, recognize the positive ways they impact our life and the lives of those around us and embrace them.

For me, creating the Empowered Women’s Circle incites a deep sense of accomplishment. Since inception in 2017, we have built a community of like-minded, inclusive women seeking health and well-being and our work in 2019 added the solid infrastructure that is necessary to take us to the next level.

What are you celebrating?

Now, turn inward with loving self-compassion and ask yourself what you have found most challenging this past year. Life is a series of ups and downs and sometimes we bounce back while other times we are completely overwhelmed. As you record your biggest challenges, do so with love and grant yourself permission to feel the pain associated with the downturn of events. Grieve, cry, scream, punch; whatever feels right to you but stay grounded in a place of resourcefulness and power, knowing that you have fought and you have won! You emerged victorious, battle scars and all. Even if some wounds are still healing and the road to complete recovery or remission is long, you are taking steps forward and putting pieces together, gathering support and resources where you need them. You are capable. You are strong. You are competent. You are resourced. You will be okay!

Now get up and move – shake off that feeling. Emotion is energy and it’s time to release it and start anew.

As you return to your seat, ask yourself what you wish to LET GO of as you become a new woman in 2020. Write 3 things on a scrap piece of paper.

Of the things that you have control over, what will you no longer tolerate in your life?

For me, I release resentment, fear and lack. I release a need to please. I release a need to feel accomplished by doing more for others than I do for myself (or they do for me). I release all concern over how others may judge me and the decisions I make for our family.

What do you no longer wish to feel, have or do? What is there no more room for in your life as you co-create the life of your dreams? Write that down. Now crumple up the paper and throw it across the room. Kick it if you want to. Stomp on it. Burn it safely outside if that makes you feel better. The women in our Circle symbolically burnt and released all that wasn’t serving them under the night sky and it felt fantastic! You can see the remnants of our burning in the picture attached, it was so powerful it blew the side off the chiminea!

Do you feel lighter? Enjoy it for a moment. Integrate that sense of “relief” into the cells of your body and then move on to our final questions.

When you are ready, describe your overall intention for the next 365 days. What is the north star of your life? What guiding principle will inform ALL of your decisions and actions? After you have clarity about this intention(s), ask yourself (out loud),

“What do I commit to in the upcoming year? What are the first steps that I can take RIGHT NOW?” and write them down.

Post these actions where you can see them every day, perhaps where you brush your teeth. Take them down only when they are complete or replaced by new actionable items that will propel you closer to the guiding principle of your life this year.

My overall intention is to embrace my worth, integrate a positive mindset and believe that there is a deeper intelligence to my life that will unfold as it is intended. I commit to shine brighter this year than last, to acknowledge my limitless potential and to live with abundance, faith, love, confidence and power. Beyond these words, I commit to real action in the ways I show up in my life with radiant self-confidence, loving self-compassion and firm boundaries. To our Circle, I endeavor to attract other powerful women who are yearning to disrupt the status quo as intensely as I am.

I look forward to reporting my progress (aiming for progress not perfection) and I am even more excited to hear YOUR updates.

This year will be overflowing with opportunities to connect with the Empowered Women’s Circle in ways that are most meaningful for YOU and YOUR life’s journey. Learn more and stay connected: EWCircle.com

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