• Catherine Hansen MD, MPH

Who do you want to be?



As founder of the Empowered Women’s Circle and having come through a tough time of transition with our Circle, I’ve been doing a lot of reading, researching and reflecting on leadership. Looking back, the natural growing pains were inevitable but the stretching was no less uncomfortable. What we have learned has ultimately filled in the structural gaps, reinforced resilience, laid deeper roots and make us all-the-more ready for expansion.


The Empowered Women’s Circle is not just a social community of women looking for friends. We are up to bigger things so, at this juncture, we ask ourselves (and you),


“What does the world need us, as women, to do and BE to participate in a shift in worldwide perspective? How do we strengthen the push for gender equality, amplify necessary environmental healing, contribute to global conflict resolution and raise a generation who are not blinded by greed in an “us” versus “them” mentality?”


Leadership and the ability to lead, seem to be moving targets; dynamic, evolving, forming and taking shape as the ground shifts beneath us and time is running out to unite the divide, share the resources, transcend the borders and be in service to a bigger picture for our world and our fellow humans.


But every change starts on ground zero. In our home, there is daily talk about leadership, stemming from my husband’s military training and my “control-freak” approach to life but I’ve noticed that the expectations have changed considerably over the last decade. While we used to expect complete obedience, we now sit and listen to long negotiations, backed by solid arguments and loving discourse (sometimes exhausting but always enlightening). While we used to demand non-negotiable chores and timelines, we find ourselves in constant re-evaluation of what’s most important to equip our kids to be their best in the ever-changing ecosphere.


The entire concept of leadership has changed and our children are being asked to lead. To lead their peers on the soccer field, to lead their friends with “right” actions, to lead their siblings when there is a gap in understanding, to lead adults to better appreciate how teens are different today than in the past and, most importantly, to lead themselves.


By stepping into leadership in their own lives, we hope they become more intentional about what and whom they surround themselves with.


We hope they take ownership of their actions and reflect on the bigger purpose for their lives.


And I don’t think our home is unique.


In the current world climate, leadership means something completely different than it did only a few years ago. People who developed leadership skills in the hierarchical, male-dominated era of the past are not the people equipped to lead modern day. Leadership used to require forceful confidence and having all the answers. Never saying, “I don’t know” or asking for help. Not anymore. Respect is garnered when people are real, transparent, authentic and willing to learn. We want to be around people we can relate to. We trust those who admit their mistakes. In today’s world, thinking that you are right and others are wrong becomes part of the problem, it expands the chasm and prolongs the conflict.


So, as an individual awakening woman with knowledge and expertise to share, how do you bridge this divide? How do you bandage the wounds? How do you start the essential, long overdue conversations?


And collectively, what does our powerful Circle of brilliant, inspiring and capable women need to take us to the next level in radiating our individual and cooperative genius into the Universe?

There is only one answer to these many questions. Healing the world, elevating heart-centered leaders and leaving a legacy can be described as “simple”.


It may not be easy but the concept is fail-proof if we each invest to the fullest extent of our energetic capital.


The solution is to just BE YOU. Not the YOU who plays small or hides behind fear. Not the YOU who places others ahead of yourself until you are too exhausted to move. Not the YOU who constantly seeks to be something you are not, defines your value by accomplishments or yields to external pressure. It’s time to leave her behind, she has served you faithfully so give her a hug and wish her well.


What the world needs at this crucial time in history is for you to be the REAL YOU. Boldly and unapologetically. To focus with intention on the inner guidance that informs your decisions, aligns your actions and creates your future from the inside out.


The YOU that listens for the inner voice, hears the whispers and takes action on those guiding messages. No matter what they say.


The YOU that deeply contemplates how she can access the resources, germinate the seeds, fertilize the soil and blossom into that version of you that happens so naturally and organically that it feels like coming home.


The only (and simplest) way forward it to shine your authentic radiance. There is only ONE you.

And that is the YOU that the world needs now.

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