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Your Nervous System is a Leadership Tool

Trauma is not "the thing" that happened to you - it’s the imprint left behind.

Trauma is the wound that we carry around.

And, whether we know it or not, it is impacting our lives.

The sooner you realize that there is trauma imprinted on your life in some way, shape or form (little t or big T), the sooner you will have the awareness you need to heal and truly thrive.

While I was, personally, not connected to the word or feeling behind "trauma", many of you may remember the ways I shared my experiences of Hurricane Harvey. You may recall the raw sadness and pain I felt after the loss of our home and personal belongings (many memories accumulated over years of our life were lost) - let’s face it - that was trauma and I get it now.

The global pandemic has left us forever changed and, whether we acknowledge it or not, we endured a collective (and sometimes very personal) trauma.

Trauma can happen with small micro-aggressions like the day my grade 12 physics teacher told me that I wasn’t cut out to do medicine.

Or the day my children’s principal at school looked only at my husband when talking about our children’s performance at elementary school.

Do you have any experiences like these that you easily let slide?

Can you consider, for a moment, that those small episodes are still with you, even a little bit, as you go throughout your days?

Carolyn Swora has done a great thing for women leaders with her work but, even more importantly, she is creating a better world for all of us by helping us know ourselves just a little bit better.

The person you are, inside, is the person you are with every single interaction you have. This is one of the, very tangible, ways that you create your life.

"Your nervous system is a leadership tool" (-Carolyn Swora)



with Catherine & Lisa

I’m curious

I’m frazzled

I’m anxious with anticipation

I’m excited but grounded

I’m optimistic

This week, we entered our Circle space for the first session with many feelings and a sense of curiosity about what will unfold in our sacred space this fall season (preview the full schedule below!).

We heard Carolyn’s heart-wrenching story and, woman after woman, we heard how EACH of us has experienced at least some version of the pain that Carolyn shared. We all have some pain but sometimes it takes another woman’s vulnerable sharing to open our heart to the truth within us.

We saw ourselves in her story, and in each other, and we all agree - it’s time to listen inward and rewire our nervous system so that we can reclaim what is rightfully ours - OUR JOY!!

Our joy comes from hearing the reflections and personal commitments that the women made at the end of the evening -

We will share a compilation here as a way of letting you know that you are still welcome to gather with us this season and we are holding space for you to find yourself in our Circle.

  • I feel a connection to this community even though I’ve only just met all of you

  • I will make the commitment to return EVERY SINGLE SESSION because I owe it to myself to be here, it fills me up

  • I am officially in love with all of you!

  • There are so few spaces like this where I can truly be myself, I need this

And the texts, emails and special messages keep streaming in about how enlivening our evening together was - we are in such deep gratitude.

Our next session is a chance to open dialogue about the things that matter most to you.

"Your life, your story" is next Thursday Sept 28, 2023 and, once you join our Circle as a member, you will receive full access to the entire season of supportive resources, including the recording from Carolyn Swora’s gorgeous session (and a valuable tool she shared).

We cannot wait to be "heart-to-heart" with you in Circle!

If you are an EWC member - your recording is now posted so you can experience or re-live the beauty of our time together - go here and login (member-only access).



with Lisa Burchartz

"When we're overwhelmed by life’s challenges, just being around another person in their social engagement system can help us move back into ours too. Both your physical and psychological health can improve (or be impacted) by the people around you.

During my recovery from burnout and unprocessed trauma, I uncovered a vital truth - healthy, reciprocal relationships can reshape our nervous system. They offer healing for the wounds of loneliness and disconnection, nurturing our soma.

So, how can we invite more co-regulation into our lives, where connection and mutual care thrive?

Effective communication and the exchange of care lay the foundation for profound connections, fostering a deep sense of safety and belonging, especially during challenging times. These connections significantly influence our physical and mental well-being.

Co-regulation can emerge from friends, family, community, and even our beloved pets!

I warmly invite you to take a moment for reflection:

  • Who are the relationships that currently nourish my nervous system?

  • Are there relationships that drain my energy?

  • Who in my life provides safety and a sense of security?

  • Do certain relationships activate defensiveness and protectiveness?

  • Do I need more co-regulators in my life?

The Empowered Women's Circle (EWC) holds a special place in my heart as a source of co-regulation and mutual reciprocity. I invite you to consider joining us this fall, a space where we explore the power of self-reclamation, community and connection.

— Lisa Burchartz"

To your healing, health and a beautiful weekend of loving yourself!


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