Twenty years ago, a good friend invited me to attend a women’s gathering with her.  I happily accepted the offer and was looking forward to joining her.  When we arrived however, a rather unsettling situation transpired…

Unbeknownst to my friend, it was a ‘closed group’. If anyone wanted to bring a friend, they had to run it by the main organizers ahead of time.  Without a lot of details, I can tell you that my friend wasn’t aware of this requirement and was consequently shocked and very apologetic.

Personally, I felt quite uncomfortable immediately feeling unwelcomed, especially when I had been looking forward so much to attending.

After some discussion between the organizers… while I waited… I was ‘allowed to stay’.   In fact, at the end of the evening, I was invited to attend future gatherings as well. I guess I passed the test!

Although I felt awkward and had a hard time truly settling into the experience, I made the most of the evening.  However, needless to say, I never did return.

The experience felt odd— like a high school clique was deciding on whether or not another student could be part of their posse.  Also, their rules and their management of this unique situation didn’t feel like it matched the ultimate mission of what my friend thought this group was about:  to empower and support women.

GIFT OF CONTRAST

Uncomfortable situations like this can be wonderful learning and clarifying opportunities for us to better understand who we are and how we personally want to show up and manage ourselves in the world.

Do you have an example from your own life?  I’m sure you do.

Interestingly enough, I later heard a saying, “When everyone is invited, no one is invited.”

What does that mean?  From my understanding, it speaks to the point that if an event is open to whomever would like to attend, then it is not actually ‘invitationally based’.  The event also can’t genuinely cater in a special way to those who attend it.

This statement created an ‘ah-ha’ moment for me — especially after having had the interesting experience with my friend that I shared above. It made me realize that having parameters on an event and who it is for, is not only okay; it’s important if we want to activate a certain amount of energy and focus.

Nonetheless, parameters should be clear to everyone, right from the get-go.  In addition, they certainly should not be thrown around at the last minute, when a guest has just arrived at the door.

This combined awareness led me to a strong and clear inner knowing that if/when I was to start any kind of wellness group, I would make sure that everyone felt warmly welcomed.  Any necessary or defining parameters on whom the event was for would make sense and be clear to everyone well ahead of time.

When I first started Women’s Wellness Circles, I made it straightforward and inclusive, with only two simple and easy criteria that continue today:  it’s open to women who are 18 years of age and older.

Because of this, the first Women’s Wellness Circle that began in my hometown 16 years ago has grown in popularity.  As well, I have since mentored the training and launch of numerous other locations in Ontario, and more across Canada are coming soon.

Of course, there are other aspects to the format and structure that make Women’s Wellness Circles work so well.  The important ones are the valuable wellness information that is shared, the community spirit that is felt, the affordability, accessibility and monthly consistency.  The most important aspect is the fact that it draws amazing women!

The hosts, presenters, and attendees are heartfelt and wellness-oriented women who are down-to-earth, kind, and respectful.  The energy and experience we co-create is incredible!

DOES THIS SPEAK TO YOU?

Since there are so many monthly Women’s Wellness Circles running in various locations, we continue to achieve and surpass our goal. This is a very rewarding and fulfilling endeavour.

If you are interested, I run seasonal trainings for new hosts who want to join in our mission to uplift and nourish the world, one Circle gathering at a time.

If you think this may be an initiative that you would like to be part of, I would be happy to chat!

Circles of Inclusivity and Expansion,

Jill Hewlett

Founder & Mentor
Women’s Wellness Circles

The Seasons have shifted as they always do, and I’m so grateful to have the pleasure of writing and connecting with all of you once again.

Our planet recently celebrated the Solstice. Those in the Southern Hemisphere welcomed the beginning of winter. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, we welcomed in summer.

In my work, I enjoy teaching about honouring and celebrating the Seasons and other important and sacred earthly events such as the Solstice, Equinox, Eclipses, and Moon Phases.

With the right knowledge and tools, we can dedicate our heartfelt focus and spiritual energy on the opportunity and energy each special transition brings.

Here’s a brief explanation of just a few of our most recent universal events and how they may impact, elevate or challenge you…

Solstice: The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year. It literally means “sun standing still”. The light of this day has a huge impact on us and signals the start of summer. Just like a flower, the Sun and the Season open us up to receive and to give, such as bringing our ideas to life or receiving a bountiful harvest and sharing it with the world.

Eclipses: Eclipses run in families, and each one is connected to the next. Every 18 years a particular “family” returns, and we are offered the opportunity to “eclipse” patterns and habits out of our lives. This can be challenging as the past may resurface for clearing. However, if we are aware, we can actively work with the energy and evolve.

Moon Phases: The Moon Phases offer us a guide in the sky. Each phase brings its own unique energy to move creation forward. The Moon is there to remind us that everything is a phase, and both growth and release is essential to creation. It raises or lowers the waters in our bodies and on our earth, keeping us in balance and flow.

What I appreciate most about these universal events is that they are constant, predictable and always come Full Circle.

They also give us the opportunity to connect us to our greater humanity. By acknowledging and knowing them, we are reminded we are all one. Each cycle can be seen, felt, and celebrated individually, in our local communities, and globally – simultaneously.

While the world is full of unpredictable circumstances and ambiguity that can be difficult to navigate, there is so much comfort to the rhythm, repetition and awareness in these consistent celestial patterns and cycles. It is especially comforting to know we are moving through it together.

In a similar way, as a Globe we are still moving through this pandemic together. We have our individual experience and our collectively shared experience.

I heard a quote recently that really resonated, “We are all in the same storm, but we have different boats.” – Author Unknown

I believe we are all energy, and we come from the same source. Yet, while we all come from that same source, we incarnated into separate containers, vessels or “boats”.

Depending on the conditions, environment and our unique attributes, we have vastly different experiences. This is not to be ignored but rather used to inform and guide us.

As we come out of quarantine and move forward, we all do so on our own and collectively. I invite us to take the lead from Nature and remember these simple and profound principles:

  • We are meant to Transition Together and Individually: How everyone’s “container” looks will be different for each person. A larger scale example is summer in the Northern Hemisphere is winter in the Southern.
  • Even if you can’t see the next phase yet, Transition is Inevitable: Although it can’t yet be felt, seen or heard, we know Autumn will eventually follow Summer. The moment the Moon turns Full it is already Waning or shrinking. Life is full of constant, inevitable transitions, with one leading to the next.
  • Full Circle is Inevitable: There is comfort in the Circle of Life. There is no end and no beginning; there is only flow. In moments of Fullness we can celebrate and prepare. In moments of Waning we can accept the phase knowing once we do it is already changing.

These guiding principles have created a great faith in the intelligence of the planet and have served me well in my life, especially during these recent times of uncertainty.

Knowing there is a higher order working on our behalf gives my soul comfort and a sense safety that I require to follow the natural and intelligent divine order.

Wishing you all a Sweet Summer Season,

Amanda Perrone

Moon Mother
https://risewithamanda.com

Is there something in your life that needs to change, improve, be re-framed or perhaps released?

There’s a good chance there is and during this pandemic, it’s become harder and harder to ignore.

Can you relate?

While humanity as a whole is dealing with the common issue of COVID-19, on an individual level we are all being asked to step up and face personal and professional issues that need to be addressed.

How do we know this?

Well, it’s “written in the stars”. As well, you can probably feel it.

In this month’s online Women’s Wellness Circle hosted by our Toronto East End location, my dear friend and internationally recognized astrologer, Crystal Eves, was our inspired presenter.

She talked to us about the intense planetary alignment that is occurring and how it’s impacting us globally and individually.

The big take away:  MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR GRIZZLY BEAR!!

What the heck does that mean?

Collectively we are in a very powerful time that will last until the end of the year. Yes, this is a marathon, not a sprint; so don’t hold your breath.

While COVID-19 is impacting us on a global and planetary level, it is also affecting us individually – in unique, important, and powerful ways.

We are all being called to notice, to take stock of, and to change the part(s) of our lives that no longer serve us.

Will it be hard to figure out what this issue is?  Nope, it’s obvious, and it’s probably been around for a while.

In Crystal’s words, “the pandemic planetary alignment is not only like spotting a grizzly, it’s like finding one in your kitchen. Or your bed. Or your work cubicle. Each situation, of course, having its own ramifications.”

The trick is to not ignore this awareness that is being highlighted, or to fool yourself into believing that it will go away on its own. Because it won’t; it will only grow stronger.

While this may feel daunting, it has ‘opportunity’ written all over it!

Our lives, in many ways, have been flipped 180 degrees. There is no normal.  We must find new methods, habits and patterns anyway. Therefore, why not leverage this and make strategic and worthwhile changes that are in your best interest?

According to Crystal, “your grizzly might be your financial management, now revealing itself as unable to absorb disruptions. It might be your relationship, whose dysfunctional dynamics have become undeniable after weeks of quarantine. Your grizzly might be your health and any regrets you have about not making lifestyle changes that would have reduced your vulnerability to the virus.”

As well, Crystal adds that, “Your grizzly isn’t necessarily bad, or even a problem— it’s just the thing that has become urgent or obvious. This could mean that the circumstances of the pandemic have caused you to remember that you love performing music and that you weren’t honouring this before. Maybe you’re seeing, that despite what you have told yourself for years, the reason you don’t write that novel is not a lack of time, but instead a lack of confidence. Maybe after months in lockdown, you are rethinking the life choices that have kept you from spending precious time with loved ones.”

Well, I can tell you that everyone who attended that online Circle became very clear and excited to tackle their own Grizzly!  And the best part, we know that we aren’t doing this alone. Everyone has their own challenge to confront and opportunities to seize. Sharing in this conversation, in the space of Circle, made it that much more welcoming, safe and supported.

If you’d like a personal reading to find out more specific details on the planetary dance that is happening in your chart, you can contact Crystal directly at: www.crystaleves.com.

In the meantime, I offer you many blessings as you take the courage and steps to greet that bear that is staring right at you, calling your name, and asking you to give it the attention and care it deserves.

 

With love,

Jill Hewlett

Founder & Mentor
Women’s Wellness Circles

It is no surprise that our current worldwide Covid19 health conditions are changing the way we interact on a personal and business basis. Our monthly Women’s Wellness Circles are no exception.

As the social distancing measures rolled out the third week of March 2020, and the Newmarket/East Gwillimbury Circle was fast approaching on the fourth Thursday, a decision needed to be made.

As the host, I made the quick decision to try something different and bring March Circle online.

This experience was new to me.  However, I had a fantastic coach in Dany Spencer who led me through tutorials and thankfully the Zoom meeting platform is a very user-friendly program. Dany posted a simple reference sheet on the Facebook Circle event page, and I found a short YouTube tutorial to share.

The response for March’s topic and presenter, Chris Anne Donnelly, was strong.  I wondered if it could be as meaningful to connect through our computers or Smartphone screens as it is in our monthly, in person gatherings.

Our night arrived, and to my thrill, 35 women joined in. Not only did I have my local attendees, with the virtual venue I had women join from B.C., Toronto, Collingwood, and Bracebridge.  As well, other Women’s Wellness Circles’ hosts from other locations, joined in to support the experience.

Thankfully, Chris Anne is very comfortable communicating authentically online, after developing her numerous tarot decks with an international Hay House team.

I am continually in awe of how Spirit works to support Circle!

We had such a special evening, connecting inward with a meditation, having a beautiful conversation on how we were experiencing the unfolding of the new conditions, and finally receiving a personal card message from Chris Anne.

We all wrapped up the gathering feeling just like we do when we meet in person – reconnected, uplifted and knowing we have others supporting us during all times.

Following this, all of the Women’s Wellness Circles’ hosts gathered for an online meeting to discuss how we can move forward in each of our respective communities this way, until we can come together in person.

Our hosts are magnificent leaders, and it is exciting to watch as we continue to connect with our groups.  The power of Circle and connection has not diminished in these times.  In fact it’s become extra important in a new way as social beings, to continue to invest into support and to invest into our mental and emotional health during this self-isolation period.

As well, the gift of slowing down and tuning in, for those of us not on the front lines, provides space to make new choices and to engage in learning and opportunities that uplift and support us. These conscious actions create healing ripples and a circle of support to all, just like a warm hug.

On that note, I would like to share a special Circle poem created by our Vaughan Women’s Wellness Circle Host, Terri Klein.

Enjoy.

The Essence of Circle

A circle – an eternal bond.
A way to feel safe; to connect; to belong.

A circle of women – welcoming and inviting.
An intimate connection, both intriguing and exciting.

A women’s wellness circle –
A sacred space to gather and share.
A time for empowerment; a time for self-care.

A circle of love and support – a means of protection.
Enhancing both external and internal connection.

A shared experience – a hand to hold.
A continuous flow of positive energy. Yes, I’m sold.

For here we are valued – here we are heard,
Even if we choose not to say a word.

All can be felt – as our energies combine.
Together we grow; together we shine.

We are here for wellness – we are here to heal.
We each have permission, once again, to be real.

We invite you to join a virtual online Circle.  Reach out to the hosts and get more information.  Together we are stronger.

With much love on this re-setting journey,

Karen Armstrong

Reiki Master, Biophoton Light Therapist & Enneagram Coach
www.in-side-out.com

Recently I completed training to become the Women’s Wellness Circle host for the Ottawa-West area and was very excited to start preparing for my launch. With the unfolding of our current global events, much has shifted and been put “on hold”, including the launch date of my new Circle.

The past two weeks have been filled with many waves of emotion, shifting from feeling positive and optimistic to sad, angry, hopeless, fearful, overwhelmed and spiritually confused.

I’ve been allowing myself to be present to these waves and to feel, trusting my body and my experience, although sometimes anxiously waiting for it to end.  Eventually I experienced a shift to a place of inner peace and tranquility that has sustained. This space has offered me some clarity that I feel called to share.

My personality is governed by the archetype of “Seeker”, and my astrological sun sign is Aquarius.  Therefore, this whole issue of pandemic has me feeling called to dig deeper, search for greater meaning, direction and purpose.

I truly believe that every experience holds a different meaning and significance for each individual and that it is up to us to explore and discover what our experiences mean for our unique selves.

As a holistic nutritionist, my understanding of symptoms in the body is that they are simply messages… whispers or sometimes screams, drawing our attention to an imbalance. These symptoms are simply language, a way the body uses to communicate a need or an issue that needs to be addressed.

I view the Covid-19 virus as a symptom that is calling our attention to an underlying global issue, our relationship with this beautiful planet. I sense that the way humanity as a whole is interacting and inhabiting the planet is an imbalance that needs our attention.  Mama Earth has been expressing the need for our attention, consideration, care and support for some time.  Now she is speaking more clearly and directly than ever before.  The message I sense is this:

“People, Stop.  Look, Listen, Feel.  Stop the Distraction.  Open your Eyes, your Minds, your Hearts.  Connect inwardly. Dig those Heels into the Roots of the Earth.  Become one with Nature’s Pulse and Rhythm, the Home to our Collective Immunity. Unplug the devices.  Allow your nervous system to Settle, Ground and Relax.”

We have been instructed to socially isolate. I prefer to consider this a divine invitation to go inward and engage in self-care and to “cocoon” that has the capacity to naturally result in tremendous personal transformation.

This is a time to reconnect with our true selves, to investigate our personal values and what is meaningful to us, to reflect on the life we have created for ourselves and consider whether it aligns with our truth, and our heart and soul.

Choosing to trust this process means accepting that we are temporarily meant to distance from one another, knowing that we will reunite enlivened, recharged, and renewed, ready for deeper, more meaningful and productive connection.

Once we have done our work individually, we will be able to step forward as a collective and take incredible measures toward healing humanity and healing our planet.

I feel it. I believe it. Do you?

To assist us in this process of solitude, here are some practical self-care measures:

  • Eat whole, natural foods from the plant world. Plant foods not only provide nourishment but also increase our vibration, our energy and our essence.
  • Move your body in ways that feel gentle and natural. Stretching, yoga, dancing, walking.
  • Connect with nature. Walk, wander, hike, garden, explore.
  • Meditate, reflect, write, read, pray, breathe deeply.
  • Sing, listen to music, play, craft, laugh and love.
  • Choose carefully what and how much you engage online. In response to our social isolation, many online opportunities have been created. Some are wonderful ways to uplift, inspire and maintain some form of connection with one another. However, if not mindful, we can easily get lost amongst these opportunities and turn toward them as a way to deny, distract and numb.
  • Honour this time with sacred respect.  Practice letting go of attachment to outcome.  Some positive affirmations that work well for me are:  “I am willing to let go.  I release all tension, worry, fear and sorrow.  I let go, and I am at peace.  I am at peace with the process of life.  I am safe.”

Last but not least, let’s all look forward with positive anticipation to when we can all reunite in person. The celebrations, hugs and group sharing will be extra magical when the time comes!

A big thank you to Jill, for inviting me to be a part of the Women’s Wellness Circle family. I am truly honoured to be bringing this to life in Ottawa and look forward to sharing and connecting with a renewed sense of grace, insight, appreciation and gratitude once we are through this.

Much Love and respect,

Natasha

Wellness Educator and Advisor

https://www.facebook.com/natasha.g.villeneuve

naturallynatashav@gmail.com

I can’t express the joy I feel with my unfolding adventures with the Women’s Wellness Circle!

This role as host is something that is divinely aligned with my soul. In the last year and a half I have learned so much about myself.

When I began hosting Circle, although I knew I wanted to do it, I was still a bit hesitant to step ‘fully in’ because I didn’t know what that would look like or how to do it.

Turns out, this is a continual learning that has no end.

This way of thinking has brought me full circle with the understanding that there will always be more lessons to learn, more education to acquire, more excitement to be had, and so many more friendships to make.

Just as life is an ongoing journey, so is my Circle experience.

When I think of all the amazing women I have had the opportunity to meet and share time with so far, it has truly been a gift. My world has become richer with the countless blessings shared with others who are of like-mind and want to gather in community to learn and grow as well.

You are accountable for your own personal wellness and Circle encourages this.

What a wonderful opportunity to discover new and supportive approaches to being healthy, to being your best. Our presenters specialize in such a vast spectrum of expertise; there are many options to improve your mind, body and spirit.

Of course we have homework to do and thankfully there are many gifted women ready to share a panorama of information and perspectives that we can integrate into our decision making and daily life to attain our wellness goals.

As you broaden your view, you can make better choices that best suit you…this is genuine empowerment!

Along with gaining valuable information and education, we enjoy the story-telling, and we are touched by real life examples of healing and change.

Whether we’ve uncovered another question, made a decision, reached a conclusion or been filled with inspiration, it always serves us for the better, in one way or another.

Most of all, we gather together to experience a sense of belonging, community spirit and social interaction.

The connections made during time spent in Circle are special because you have the opportunity to develop more personal relationships thanks to the warm and inclusive atmosphere.

In this space of open hearts and open minds, I have seen some incredible changes in many of my Circle mates. They have become less reserved and are learning to ask more questions and speak their truth, without judgment.

I too, have changed…my life has become richer thanks to Circle. I see every day as being filled with great possibilities.

It’s has also taught me that you never know who will enter your world. Whether it was the day I met Jill and she shared the concept of Circle with me, or the many ladies that are drawn to gather each month, or someone you click with and you feel you have known them forever, or the presenters who provide timely information or life changing ah-ha moments.

When you glance across the faces present in Circle and see the smiles and gleams in their eyes, there is a sweeping feeling of AWE that rises up.

This is the energy that unifies us together without question or condition.

Here we find that in the busy and sometimes chaotic or stressful periods of life, the Universe is once again is in sync as we embrace a small glimpse of our own world fitting within the larger world picture.

Since our lives will always continue to move and shift, it is us who needs to adjust and remodel what we know to be true. But we don’t need to do it alone. Great minds and spirits of women from all directions come together and those bonds become real, and we take that knowing into every area of our lives.

I am filled with gratitude that I chose to be part of Women’s Wellness Circles and to provide such a special and important space in our ever changing world.

 

Come, join us in Circle!

Debbie Armstrong

https://www.facebook.com/WWCbarrieinnisfil/

Love is a beautiful and yet confusing subject, one that has been explored, defined, and redefined throughout history. Like with so many other complex concepts, guidebooks are offered, and theories and models are tested, in order to discover how to build successful relationships.

While books on this topic are endless, the one that my husband and I have found to be truly transformative is called Wired for Love by Stan Tatkin. This book reinforces “a new marital narrative…a conscious partnership.”

Tatkin explains in this new story about marriage, the commitment shifts from the needs of self to the needs of a relationship. To make this shift, he offers 10 principles.  I would like to address one of them, my favorite by far, “The Couple Bubble.”

As human beings we are naturally predisposed to the need to feel safe and secure. We all seek our very own comfort or safety zone. For this reason, we seek out a partner and/or a family and friend group.

According to Tatkin, if you’re in a marriage that feels compromised, what both partners can ask themselves is: Do you see yourselves as individuals first and as a couple second, or vice versa?

The “couple bubble” is a term Tatkin used to describe “the mutually constructed membrane, cocoon, or womb that holds a couple together and protects each partner from outside elements. It is an agreement to put the relationship before anything and everything else.

It means putting your partner’s well-being, self-esteem, and distress relief first. As well, it means your partner does the same for you. Essentially, what it boils down to is that “WE come first!”

In order for a “couple bubble” agreement to work, both partners have to create it, buy into it, own it, and prioritize it. The tasks of devotion and caring for the other’s safety, security, and well-being needs to be honored with sincerity.

What’s important to note is that devoting yourself to your partner’s sense of safety is according to what makes them feel safe by their definition, not by your understanding of what that should be.

It’s one thing to talk about the “couple bubble” in theory, but quite another to use it well. If you buy into the concept, then you will consider it to be your “primary means of support and protection.” You and your partner each get to use it at any time, in any place, and given any circumstance to ask each other for help and expect that help in return.

My husband, who attended a workshop with Stan Tatkin and delved deeply into this book, now supports and understands the “couple bubble”. He believes that “If we don’t support each other unconditionally, then we cannot possibly realize the full potential of our marriage and see how amazing it really can be.”

It wasn’t always this way for us. Like so many other couples, my husband and I have had our share of struggles. Thankfully, this past summer my husband agreed to attend a wellness conference with me: and this is where he met Stan, learned the concept, and introduced it to me. Ultimately, this idea resonated with both of us.

Experiencing this “couple bubble” together over time shifted the dynamic of our marriage and helped us to carve out a new kind of partnership. It doesn’t transform relationships overnight, as it is a process that takes ongoing energy and commitment, which is what it takes to build every new habit.

Anything we understand intellectually still has to be felt emotionally and lived experientially. This becomes an ongoing learning process and commitment.

Each of us has our own ways of feeling supported.  However, we ALL need to feel safe and secure—connected, protected, and cared for. For some it’s a “couple bubble” that is required and for others it’s a friendship circle that can act as a means of support and connection.

Women’s Wellness Circles are offered monthly and do that as well. They create an inclusive and intimate environment and safe space for women to gather and grow. In essence, a Women’s Wellness Circle can also be seen as a “bubble” – mutually constructed by like-minded individuals who are seeking support, empowerment, friendship, and community.

When people feel seen, heard, understood, and cared for, they feel happier, worthy and more fulfilled. The kinship of the Women’s Wellness Circle is available monthly and can serve women seeking comfort and safety in a complementary capacity.

I encourage couples, as well as those who are seeking a partner, to read this book, or to find other supportive means that resonate with you.

Conscious partnerships and connections ultimately build healthier and more sustainable relationships, marriages, families and communities.

 

Terri Klein

Author, Speaker, Coach

www.newlife-chapterone.com

Do you have a regular daily routine that you implement to set the standard and the course of your day ahead?

If you hit the ground running the moment your alarm sounds and your feet touch the floor, you are likely going to miss the opportunity to be grounded, centered, and focused from the inside-out.   Instead, you are going to wind up chasing after to-do lists, kids, and schedules in a stressed out and incoherent manner.

While it doesn’t need to take a lot of time, performing a simple daily routine to be grounded will make a huge difference in your current physical, mental, and emotional state and will impact the attitude, energy, and power you bring to your roles, responsibilities, and activities over the course of your day.

All of the Women’s Wellness Circles that gather monthly in communities across southern Ontario (and soon across Canada) begin with the ritual of an opening intentional activity so that the attendees have a chance to fully arrive, settle in, relax, and be present to the evening ahead.

There are many simple and effective ways to do this: quiet reflection, one minute mediation, deep breathing, visualization, prayer, gratitude, and gentle integrative movement like Brain Fitness activities.

Some of our Circle locations begin with a poem, either written by the host, an attendee, or another source. This, too, is a wonderful way to become present, ready, focused, and energized for the evening ahead.

It may be winter from the place I write this. However, it is the start of a new year, and a new decade. In this event it is appropriate to consider the words of Mary Oliver’s poem, ‘The Summer Day’, that are inspiring and that ask the most important of all questions: “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Each day contributes cumulatively to the creation of our lives. Each day we have an opportunity to show up more, less, differently, or the same as we always have.  It’s up to us!

A small daily practise can play a significant role in the quality of how we do it.

 

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

 

Copyright 1992 by Mary Oliver.
All rights reserved.

 

To your New Year and New Decade,

Jill

Founder & Mentor of Women’s Wellness Circles

www.jillhewlett.com

Winter woman walking, deep within her soul

Winter woman talking, to the dark and the snow

Winter woman waiting for the wisdom to arrive

Winter woman learning, it was always inside

Winter woman resting while to this truth she adjusts

Winter woman remembering, in her she can always trust.

The seasons are about to shift once again as they always do, giving us beautiful comfort in a higher order that holds us all. In a world with so many variables, and no matter how you feel about snow ;), we can always count on the seasons to lead us back home to our natural rhythms.

As we sit on the precipice of Winter, the ground is beginning to harden to protect what lies underneath from the elements, the animals have built up their supplies and are getting ready to hibernate, and we are starting to slow our pace as the light fades.

While a season like Summer is widely received, Winter can often be resisted or even a dreaded time for many. While I can’t and wouldn’t want to miraculously make Winter disappear, perhaps I can offer you a miracle in another way, through a perspective shift.

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The hard soil and four months of snow make the inhabitants of the northern temperate zone wiser and more able than those who only enjoy the fixed smile of the tropics.”

Here in Canada we are blessed to experience a Winter that touches all our senses. The feel of snow and cold, the view of the darkness mixed with bright white, the smell of fire and crispness in the air, and the sound of ice singing as it cracks and repairs!

Imagine for a moment you never knew that existed— that you weren’t in on this silent snowy secret that you can only know by experiencing it.  Would you feel the loss of the season and the gifts it brings?

The seasons of our lives are unavoidable, as are the seasons of the Earth. For each of us, there is an opportunity to learn and grow from all of these meaningful seasons.

Believe it or not, by experiencing Winter each year, you are learning lessons intuitively that are serving you deeply on your journey.

Our perspective is everything. So if you can shift your perspective to one of gratitude before the season arrives, then gratitude is what you will feel!

Here are lessons to consider so we can be grateful for Winter and what it teaches us:

  • You can’t bypass the dark:
    Oh, we try, desperately sometimes, to avoid this place. However, eventually we must go in, and when we do the rewards are great. Winter shows us just how beautiful this place can be! Embrace the absence of light in the season and watch how this translates into your life.
  • We are Intuitive, every single one of us:
    Watching the earth and her inhabitants prepare really gifts us with a knowing of just how intuitively smart we are. Your body calls you to sleep more, you may put on a little extra weight to keep you warm, and you reserve your energy for the things you really want to do! Don’t resist your intuition here, and watch how you learn to trust it everywhere!
  • After Winter always comes Spring
    By stepping fully into Winter you have already begun to move towards Spring! Step into the seasons of your life just as powerfully, and watch how           you navigate the more challenging time, knowing that leads you back to the flow.

Now I invite you all to look at Winter from your perspective. Find your own lessons, embrace them in gratitude, and watch how this beautiful season unfolds for you!

 

Amanda Perrone
Moon Mother
https://risewithamanda.com

An exciting announcement everyone: this month marks the 15th year anniversary since I first launched the Women’s Wellness Circles!

I can hardly believe I’ve been sitting in Circle almost every month since. What a beautiful honour.  If I’ve done the math correctly, that would amount to 180 Circle experiences.  No wonder a Circle is my favourite shape.  (I consider a heart, a Circle too!)

At one point many years ago, I was actually hosting two Circles each month. This is because I had moved and started another Circle in my new community, while I continued to co-run our flagship location with my dear friend and wellness colleague, Karen Armstrong, until she fully took it over.

Very soon my new Circle was blossoming. As well, the original location continued to flourish, where it’s not uncommon to gather a powerful 50 plus Women on a particular month.

Back then I remember saying to Karen, “Now that we have two Circle locations, I envision more developing: when the time is right and the hosts appear.”

A few years after making that comment, I had a series of women contact me, asking if I would be willing to mentor them in the process of starting Women’s Circles in their respective communities.  I was touched, and ready!

What is especially neat about this occurrence is that those women didn’t know each other. They contacted me individually, all within a few weeks of each other.

Due to the uncanny synchronicity, I knew this cluster of inquiry was my official sign that the Women’s Wellness Circles were ready to expand further.

So I sat down and began to write the WWC hosting manual. I thought it would be a very simple guideline. However, it soon became robust with insights and wisdom.

The practical details of running a Circle are straightforward, however the deeper meaning of Circle: its essence, why it’s important, and what it provides, is almost hard to put into words.

Additionally, there is an ‘inner calling’ for those who choose to host and nurture Circle on a regular monthly basis. Along with it, the heartfelt desire to create connections and community.

Once the venue is established, each month the host decides on topics, locates presenters who are the right fit, and actively spreads the good word to all who may feel inclined to join in.

This requires a deep commitment and genuine passion.

Of course, every Host will readily say that Circle has become a beautiful part of who they are, and it’s priceless for the gifts it provides in return:  such as community building, friendships, networking, learning and leadership.

From a participant standpoint, although each person’s reason to attend a Women’s Wellness Circle is unique to the individual, there are common themes.

Here are a few examples:

  • New Learning – each month carries a different wellness topic and each presenter shares useful empowering information and strategies that participants can apply in their daily life, for themselves and their families.
  • Fun and Light-Heartedness – while some topics are more contemplative in nature than others, every gathering evokes smiles, laughter, and a sense of fun and playfulness that is so essential to our state of wellbeing.
  • Self-Care and Replenishment – the root of the word “wellness”, is “well”, and this reminds us of the importance of ‘filling our own well on a regular basis, so it doesn’t run dry. Circle is an opportunity to recharge our batteries and fill our own cups, so we become more balanced, vital and whole. In turn, this allows us to more genuinely give to others.
  • Community Spirit – daily life can sometimes make us feel isolated and that we are carrying too many burdens or responsibilities on our own. Circle lightens our load, as we are surrounded by others who relate and care. This connection brings a sense of inner strength and fortification to our lives that equates to greater health and vitality.
  • Personal Insights –when life is busy, we can merely skim along the surface and not have the time, energy or understanding of how to connect deeper within ourselves. In Circle, it’s common to have special ‘a-ha’ moments and to get to know yourself better. This leads to greater clarity, confidence and decision-making in life.

As the founder and mentor of the Women’s Wellness Circles, I can whole-heartedly say that I have experienced all of the above benefits firsthand on countless occasions.

It’s truly an honour to be part of this ancient tradition, provided in a modern day format that meets the needs of such a wide array of women: from those in their 20s to those in their 80s, single, married, with and without children, working, retired or in school, in a growing number of communities.

If you are interested in joining our ‘Women’s Wellness Circles’, as a host, attendee or presenter, please be sure to contact me.  I’d love to chat.

 

Circles of Gratitude,

Jill

Founder & Mentor of Women’s Wellness Circles

www.jillhewlett.com