Fall Onward

Here we are once again at what feels like the unofficial New Year – the beginning of the Fall season.

As the school year, work routines, and social activities recommence here in North America, a new cycle unfolds.

Along with it, the air turns fresh and crisp, the colours of nature light up our environment, and simultaneously we begin to stir inside.

Change is happening, and we can feel it.

Typically, this has been a time to make room for new ideas, projects, learnings, and activities. Much has changed in the world and in our personal lives over the past year and a half, so that it may not look like it usually does for many of us.

Thankfully, the rhythm of nature stays in a constant flow, and her cyclical container that envelops us, provides us all with gentle reminders and nudging guidance on where and how to place our energy.

Another place that provides me with inspiration and insight is in the Magnolia Magazine, to which I subscribe and I joyfully delve into each issue as soon as it arrives.

The fall edition was titled, “Forward Motion”, and one of the writings was so moving for me that I wish to share it with you.

Year after Year, Autumn Returns to the World in Her own Good Time

“She can sneak up subtly or arrive all of a sudden. Either way, she rides in on wild winds and under a harvest moon the colour of honey. She comes to dim the daylight and stretch out the night. She colours the trees and urges the songbirds southward. She has returned to set the natural world afire, to bring the sun low, to usher in the fall of a year – a time so very familiar to us and, yet, always anew. Wherever she goes, autumn lights up the senses and stirs up memories. She wields the power to enchant us all – in fact – to transport us back in time, back into ourselves. One way or another, the amber magic seeps into each and every one of us. And while the natural world softly fades into winter, autumn is busy changing us from within. She whispers gently, speaking silent incantations to both body and soul, reminders of just how far we have come and how far we still have to go.

Autumn reminds us to harvest the best from another year of life lived. Reminds us to savor these moments of transformation. Reminds us that all things must pass from gold to grey before they can come to life again. Reminds us there is no going back. Change is the only way forward, the only way onward. Don’t be afraid. You have been here before. You will come here again.

Come, she says, let us go together. Forever onward, hand in hand.”

There are so many wonderful journal promptings from this piece. I encourage you to sit with a notepad or journal and contemplate this entry. See what comes to mind for you, how it speaks to you, and what personal meaning you derive from it.

For me, it was a reminder that no matter how crazy the happenings of the world are right now, we can find comfort in the cycles of our life and feel embraced by how nature constantly moves forward with the familiar and the new.

Walking down the street, sitting in a nearby park, or simply looking out a window, the colours of autumn beckon us to drink in the panorama of this beautiful place we call home.

In our busy schedules, we can, if we choose, create time to slow down and take it in, before this, too, passes and cycles into winter.

The Women’s Wellness Circles have offered me the chance to tune into the seasons and to bring in presenters that offer a complementary gift to support the energy of topics, themes and current issues that are showing up in our lives.

Like nature, Circle is a constant and yet ever-changing energy exchange. It’s where every-day magic happens.

May this season bring you magic and an opportunity to acknowledge the road you have travelled to get here and a vision of what you want to create in the days and months ahead.

Let fall enchant you, transport you back into yourself and provide blessings of awareness and abundance for this harvest season.


Karen Armstrong

WWC Host, Newmarket/EG

Reiki Master, Biophoton Light Therapist & Enneagram Coach

Woman walking on boardwalk across field near mountains

“Follow Your Happiness!
It is calling to you!
.  .  .  leading you
to the place
where you will find
your greatest

-The Way of Love, by Joan Walsh Anglund


Every morning when it’s still dark outside and my day is just beginning, I sit with this powerful little book of poems, accompanied only by my thoughts and my favorite mug of delicious, hot fresh coffee. I am inspired for the day to come as each poem is perfect and gives me cause to pause, smile, re-read and think about life.

Reflecting back on 2005, at age 45, I was ready for change; and I made the big decision to re-locate from The Netherlands to a small town in Northern Ontario.

I was leaving all that was familiar:  family, friends, indeed life as I knew it.  I was packing a roller-coaster of memories to bring to the new world — memories full of courage and laughter, discovery and love, and hidden in the cracks were sadness and anger to round it out.  It was a veritable suitcase of ‘heartship’.

Finding happiness had been elusive up to that point, and I was on a quest to find it.

For many years I searched, but I wasn’t sure what real happiness looked like or how to create it. Despite some happy moments over the years, I could never seem to reach the blissful stage of full-on happiness.

Then, in 2010 I hit a wall. BAM! It took more courage and a newfound sense of discovery to leave my failing marriage, rise above my sorrows, and claim a life of “heartship” for happiness.

Then in 2012 I moved to Toronto. Things went well for a while.  I developed some great new friendships and established a kind community of women. However, after three years of trying to make it work, I still hadn’t found the sweet happiness most of us yearn for.

Depressed and detached from my creative abilities, my heart, and my deepest feelings, I was beginning to know and understand that I was the only one who could make the much-needed change and next step for myself.  So, in quiet moments, I would sit and reflect and reconsider my life yet again.

What makes me happy?

What is calling me?

And leading me to the place where I find greater good?

Out of the blue, in June 2018, a close friend answered my prayer. She invited me to visit her on Vancouver Island and stay for six months. Was it possible I was being given another chance at happiness?  Could I once again figure out a possible new life, one full of new happiness? Instantly my heart said YES!

Leading up to this next part of my life-changing journey, another friend of mine became a Channeler and began transmitting guidance and messages. She said I was being openly and divinely supported from The Universe with a future filled with transformational years ahead and with finding my happiness and peace.

I told myself: “Okay Saskia, as you are courageous and bold enough to trust what The Universe hands you, you might as well go for it”.

Life is interesting… if you dare to listen, choose, and act.

By the end of August, most of my belongings had wonderful new homes, and I started my drive from East to West on September 5, 2018 – taking only my most precious items that fit in my car and my dear friend, the channeler, in the passenger seat.

Thus began our trip of a lifetime.  Magic unfolded every day, and we found our happiness hidden in the energy of our shared courage, discovery, and “heartship”.

With much gratitude and a dose of happiness, I landed on Vancouver Island and the initial six months flew by… again in roller-coaster mode.

Inspired and ignited, I became a British Columbian shortly after.  I have manifested a wonderful living space surrounded by nature. I could see my happiness coming and feel my happiness starting to vibrate. I was choosing and creating more happiness as the weeks and months went by.

I dare say, it has led me to the greatest good so far.  In addition, I know there is more to come as I grow further in my happy place.

Following happiness is inspiring and life transforming.

Choosing happiness takes us on new journeys and discoveries.

Connecting with happiness allows us to meet wonderful like-minded people and communities.

Embracing Happiness is a CHOICE.

A choice that each one of us must make for ourselves, at any given moment. Connecting with like-minded and caring people is natural for most women and having a circle of women close by to support growth and inspiration, where happiness is encouraged, is a wonderful gift to have.

To further my happiness journey, I am looking forward to launching my Chapter of the Women’s Wellness Circles in Nanaimo, live and in-person, at an inspirational and spiritual location. A great recipe for HAPPINESS! Is it calling you, too?

Circles of Happiness,

Saskia de Quaasteniet

Women's faces and hands in a circle

Looking back, I realize what a special gift it had been to be able to guide my students through regular yoga practice. Each pose progressively prepared them to fall into a state of greater self-awareness and quiet stillness. Why? So that they could ease into a mindful state, completely devoid of judgment. This is not to mention other benefits like increased balance, strength, flexibility, and reduced stress.

However, March of 2020 put a stop to my privilege of serving others in this way. Government regulations told us to stay home. Yoga studios closed indefinitely; long-term residences locked their doors to outsiders; and schools shifted to online student instruction. These were all spaces in which I had taught yoga classes and guided mindfulness sessions.

When closures were announced, I knew I would no longer see my beloved students – my seniors, my pregnant moms, nor my families and kids. What I did not know was that it would last for over a year and a half. That is almost 550 days and 234 yoga classes.

It took me a few weeks of feeling sorry for both myself and my students as well. However, there were only so many days I could let myself sleep in, have ice cream for breakfast, and lose myself in an uninspiring and mind-numbing marathon of Netflix.

Enter:  Women’s Wellness Circle.

What a blessing it was to have been approached by a former yoga student of mine with the possibility of reconnecting with women in our community. The idea of co-creating a safe and inviting space that honours connection, nurtures self-expression, and ignites transformation was not only intriguing, but what I had longed for during the pandemic. I was craving it!

The fact that the Circles took place on ZOOM did not matter to me. In addition, it turned out that it did not matter to the women in our growing community either. Being together and seeing each other’s smile close-up was so needed after having been isolated for so long.

What did COVID teach me?

COVID taught me that we need social connection; it is essential to our humanness.

It has been proven to lower anxiety and depression and helps to improve self-esteem and empathy. When we neglect our need to connect, we neglect our health.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, research shows that loneliness was on the rise even prior to Covid. A lack of human connection can be more harmful to a person’s health than obesity, smoking, or high blood pressure.

COVID taught me that flexibility is more important than ever – even off our yoga mat. The past year-and-a-half has brought extraordinary change. We have all been forced to evolve quickly and creatively. Our virtual Circles are a clear testament to how resilient we are and to how important is our ability to be flexible in the face of uncertainty and adversity.

COVID taught me that gratitude is essential, especially when the world around us can be unpredictable and scary. Being grateful reminds us of how blessed we are, even in the face of challenges and stress. Ultimately, gratitude practices improve health, happiness, and the ability to build strong relationships – all things we benefit from in our Circles.

COVID taught me that impermanence does not only apply to difficult yoga poses. One of the biggest fears of the pandemic is not knowing. Although I do not know how long the pandemic will last, I do know that at some point it will end. Then we will enter our new “normal” with a re-awakened appreciation for every day.

All these learnings have helped me maintain a calm and generous spirit during uncertain times. These learnings are ultimately allowing me to support a more secure, socially conscious community. This kind of support is something that many women are doing by holding Women’s Wellness Circles in their own communities all across Canada.

I am hopeful that yoga classes will resume soon, and I’ll be able to see my fellow yogis in person again. However, what has carried me through the isolated, quiet times of lock-down have been the Women’s Wellness Circles.

Co-create with us and lean into its unfolding at our next Circle!

Circles of Gratitude,

Janessa Gazmen

Co-Host of WWC Markham

Women in a circle

Today, I went for a walk. I am travelling this week in Vancouver, searching for a place for my daughter to live as she attends the University of British Columbia in the fall.  So, this walk was not my ‘usual’!

I had a specific destination in mind as I set out.  However, as I started to walk, I found myself heading in a different direction.  Intrigued, I decided to just let my feet lead me.

I was fascinated as I walked, almost observing my movement as much as passing by the amazing sights!  It was like I was ‘looking down’ on myself while being in the experience at the same time. Have you ever had this sensation?

As I walked, I kept crossing under the big concrete overpasses. I marveled at the strength of their arches, the breadth of their span, and, curiously, in what I discovered underneath them…

Picture this:  a charming chandelier, hanging high, that must have been over 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide. How spectacular and odd!

A beautiful garden, carefully tended in a seemingly unfriendly and hidden concrete landscape. How amazing!

And a gathering of people.  Socially distanced.  Some wearing masks.  Some not.  Singing.

The sounds of their voices drew me forward to where they perched, standing on a gentle incline under the overpass.  The melody was sweet, and their voices gained strength as I approached.   The lilting notes washed over me; and I stood there, in reverence, soaking it all in.  What a blessing!

It has been a long time since I stood in the presence of song. In the presence of other people.  Gathered.  The strength of their collective energy was palpable.

What treasures to find under a highway overpass.

I noticed, too, that they were standing in a loosely formed circle, and it made me smile and think of our Women’s Wellness Circles.

Soon we will be able to gather in-person again. To share our strengths, like the grand sweeping concrete arches of the overpasses. To shine with one another like the crystals of that chandelier. To tend to one another so that we can flourish in whatever landscape life presents us. And to gather with our voices. Voices that share stories, knowledge, and challenges. Voices that have the power to lift us up.

I reflected on all of this for the rest of my walk. When I looked at a map later, I realized I had walked in a giant circle. Truthfully, it brought tears to my eyes.

Today, I invite you to consider letting your feet wander. See where they take you.

Be aware of the many treasures all around you and within you.

Even if you, too, find you walk in a circle, arriving back to the same starting point, you may also find you are not the same person you were when you started out.

To the Meaningful and Magical Circular Nature of our Lives.


Lauren Helmkay

WWC Host Georgina


Do you wish you were braver or more powerful?  Have you ever felt scared, small, or invisible?  Have you ever been afraid to speak up?  Have you ever craved to be heard?

What if you could live your life from a place of power, compassion, and bravery and practice self-love all at the same time?  Would that appeal to you? But how can you do this?

It is easy…  We find a place where we can go to feel supported and safe and where we can share it all:  the good, the bad and the ugly. We share even when it is uncomfortable. We share our successes. We share our failures. We share our goals. We share our fears. We come together and open our minds and hearts to the power of Gathering in Circle.

There are so many transformative blessings that are gained from participating in a Women’s Wellness Circle. Here are three that top the list:

Sacred Time and Space

Our schedules are hectic!  Even in this pandemic-ridden world we are living in, where you may still be experiencing lockdowns or gathering restrictions, you may find yourself over-scheduled with countless Zoom meetings and phone calls. You may be juggling multiple roles as you navigate this new “working from home” scenario.

Finding that sliver of time that is just for you is perhaps even more important now, than ever.  Ensuring that you are getting some ‘me time’ and self-care on your calendar will provide you with countless benefits.

Joining a Women’s Wellness Circle is a safe and supportive vessel that will give you permission and a way to create this Sacred Time. It will provide you with a monthly ritual that is just for you and a time that you will look forward to so you can fill your well.

Create Everlasting Friendships

When you attend your Circle each month, you are telling yourself that this time is sacred and that this is an important part of your self-care. You are signalling to your inner Self that you are committed to your own growth. And there is more…

You are also helping to create a safe environment where your Circle Sisters can come to be heard. You are holding space for them, just as they do for you.

You will learn from each other. The topics will be thought-provoking, educational, and varied. Value will be taken from each one, based on what you need to hear and are ready to implement at that time.

By attending Circle on a regular basis, you are creating a powerful and supportive bond with your Circle Sisters and Circle community. This type of connection is foundational to your well- being and social nature. It is one of the key pillars to mental health and wellness.

Find Your Voice

One of the most beautiful results of being part of a Women’s Wellness Circle is that we are encouraged to find our voice and to speak our truths in safety within the support of the Circle space. Wellsprings of empowerment are uncovered when we find our true words and can freely express them.

Sometimes we need help with this. When we sit together and learn from one another, this provides just enough spark to allow us to find that bravery within ourselves to let our voices be heard.

Allowing the other Women of our Circle to hold the space for us to dip our toe into that bravery-pond just might be what we need! This may give us the jumping off point we need to share more freely and confidently outside of the safety and comfort of the Circle as well.

Does this sound inviting to you?  If so, here is what you can do to ensure that Circle is part of your personal growth journey going forward.

Next Steps

  • Take some time right now and have a good look at your schedule and what you have coming up over the next 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Notice if there is any time that is intentionally scheduled just for you, for your own interests and self-care. If so, great; and if not, why? This is important to assess.
  • If you do not have special sacred time scheduled just for you, or you would like to insert more, use your calendar, day timer, phone reminder, or whatever method of scheduling you use, and consider joining a Women’s Wellness Circle.
  • You can see if there is a host in your local community and join that group. If there is not a Circle in your area, then feel free to join one of the other locations. Since many are meeting up online, there are lots to choose from.
  • Schedule in your Sacred Time with pen and promise yourself that you will keep this time set aside just for you.

Most of all, enjoy being committed to yourself, your time, and your personal growth. It is your responsibility and opportunity to make this worthwhile investment, and the blessings are tremendous!


In the Spirit of Being in Circle,

Anne Caissie

We are basking in the energy of our Empower One event:  a celebratory gathering shared by our Women’s Wellness Circle hosts and attendees across Canada, in honour of International Women’s Day.

This 4th annual gathering took place online instead of in-person due to the C-19 restrictions. This worked out in our favour, however. Since the growth of new Circle locations across the country, online made it possible for everyone to attend regardless of distance.


The theme of the event was a live, virtual vacation! With our e-boarding passes in our hands, we ‘flew’ to the Caribbean, thanks to the creativity and networking connections of Tracy Tuberfield (an Ontario-based travel agent that had to pivot her business online during the pandemic). With her bamboo sun umbrella, tropical attire and pineapple cocktail, Tracy provided dedicated organizational skills and a fun vibe that transformed our stay-at-home orders into a unique and special adventure.

Our first destination was connecting with Karolin Troubetzkoy, the owner and director at Jade Mountain in Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia. Her resort is an exquisite paradise surrounded by incredibly lush nature, the Caribbean Sea, and a special view of the famous Pitons, which are volcanic plugs and spires that many tourists will hike. Plus, there was the bonus of a visit to the onsite ‘Chocolate Lab‘ where we learned about the harvesting of cocoa beans and watched chocolate delights being concocted right before our eyes.

Everyone was empowered by Karolin’s personal story of taking a leadership role in the Tourism and Hospitality industry – a position not held by many women in the past. Staying true to her course, she has acquired an extensive biography and is well-known locally and internationally. This was a reminder that we can do anything we put our minds to with perseverance and tenacity.


Next our trip flew us to South America where we had an up close and personal conversation with Life Coach, Marisa Ferrera, from her home office which is situated right next to a beautiful and breathtaking view of the Andes Mountains.

Marisa inspired us with her personal story. As a result, we were enlightened on the importance of healthy boundaries and how to magnify our magnificence to create a life of our dreams.

Having grown up in an abusive environment where she feared her father daily, she lost her ‘voice’ and self-esteem. Over time, Marisa realized it is about the choices we make and how important it is to be aware of our inner guidance. She decided at eighteen years old to step outside her comfort zone and face her fears. Learning to listen carefully to her heart and inner voice, she went on her way, breaking free from the abusive home environment and discovering that she had unlimited possibilities. Sharing some of the ups and downs of her journey, we were inspired by how she gradually manifested a life in alignment with her highest good and a healthy and supportive relationship. Marisa eventually left Canada to explore warmer parts of the world and ultimately re-located full-time to South America with her partner.


Next, we did a short excursion over to the island of Hawaii, thanks to an inspired pre-recorded video provided by Naomi Irons, who has a beautiful retreat and healing center located there. Her life journey took a dramatic turn several years prior, when she and her family followed their inner knowing and sold their bucolic acreage in Nova Scotia. They relocated to the island paradise of Hawaii, where her two beautiful children are life-schooled in deeply intuitive ways on the beaches and in the waves.


Finally, we completed the international adventure by landing back on Canadian soil in nature-filled Nanaimo, British Columbia. Saskia, who is originally from Holland and moved to Canada in her adult years, is also an inspiration to all who want the encouragement and role modelling of following their heart and dreams. She shared West Coast pictures and insights into her plans for the venue where she will soon launch a Women’s Wellness Circle in her community.


There were common themes and messages conveyed during this special event, such as:

  • Trust your intuition and inner guidance – They have so much wisdom to offer you.
  • Triggers are our teachers – Don’t ignore discomfort, tune in and learn from it.
  • Wounds creep up to the surface to be healed – Anything unresolved will linger until it’s addressed and look for ways to be healed.
  • Never say Never – You may be very surprised by what is possible when you listen to your heart and go for what you really want.

Based on the tremendously positive feedback from our participants, guest speakers, and WWC hosts, and the fact that after two and half hours of this amazing event many people continued to linger on Zoom to chat and share their enthusiasm and gratitude, we can all agree that Empower One was a huge success.


To Empowering All,

Debbie Armstrong

I am in a reflective space as I write this month’s blog on the countdown to our Empower One, International Women’s Day event.

Excitement is mounting as we embark on a completely new experience this year that is going to take us on an international adventure. Yes, you heard me correctly! We will be ‘traveling’ in real time, from Canada to the Caribbean, then to Colombia and more… without leaving the comfort of our own homes.

Normally this special annual event that is led by the Women’s Wellness Circle hosts, is held in person. Women attend from nearby communities and surrounding regions.

Last year our special Empower One event was held in downtown Toronto, just before the world ‘shut down’ due to the C-19 virus. We have an abundance of memories of this ‘magnified’ Circle experience:  laughing, sharing, dancing, and celebrating together in a three-dimensional space.

Never did we think that we would need to plan things quite differently and move our event online! Of course, with the rise in technology and online learning and work roles, it is not a surprise.  However, the idea that a year later we would still not be able to gather in person was initially quite frustrating and a letdown.

Based on the number of people complaining about ‘Zoom fatigue’ and the overuse of technology, we could easily have decided to skip this year’s event; but that did not feel right.

More than ever, with the stay-at-home orders, repetitive routines, and lack of variety and social stimulation, we need genuine opportunities to connect with one another, to do something novel and to have fun. So, what was the solution?

Thankfully, I had had the opportunity to attend an online ‘Virtual Vacation’ weeks prior to our creating the event, and it was an amazing experience that left a positive impression on me. This international excursion was created by Tracy Turberfield, an inspired local travel agent whose business was greatly impacted by the C-19 lockdown regulations. Courageously she chose to be adaptive and resilient, and pivoted her business focus online, innovating fun virtual travel offerings.

When I contacted her about incorporating an experience like this into our Empower One event, she jumped at the idea. We brainstormed and landed on tropical St. Lucia in the Caribbean as our first destination point.

This wonderful collaboration inspired me to investigate other international possibilities with wellness colleagues who live on other continents and in different time zones. Before I knew it, I had Colombia, South America, and Hawaii on the itinerary as well!

Plus, we would complete our international tour on Canadian soil looping back to the west coast of Canada on Vancouver Island to visit with Saskia de Quaasteniet who is our first Women’s Wellness Circle host to expand our reach nationally by offering these monthly gatherings outside the province of Ontario.

Plus, Tracy’s friend created a special clip of Steel Pan music dedicated to our Empower One participants, and we had singer and songwriter team Joan Marshall and Deidrey Francois who provided their latest singles titled, ‘Hey, That’s Life’ and ‘Luminosity’, which we danced to.

The cherry on top was a sweet video of my dear friend, Geraldine Bettini who is a nutritionist in the south of France, and her daughter.  They would lead us through making a healthy and creative sweet treat.

As you can tell, our event schedule is overflowing with fun, culture, and enjoyment from beginning to end!

So, while each of us will be at home on our own devices, we have the gift of being able to connect in real time to beautiful local and far-away places.

As a person who loves to travel, has been to many countries and cities worldwide, and has countless photos to show for it, the stay-at-home orders have been starting to catch up with me. I was longing to pack my suitcase and change my environment! Maybe you can relate?

At the heart of my motivation to do something different and to create a unique and memorable experience for our participants was also my own longing for this as well.

As well, each year a portion of the event proceeds goes to a local charity of choice. The first two years we donated to Girls Inc.  Last year we picked the Red Door Shelter. This year we are donating to a local woman who attended our Women’s Wellness Circles many years ago when they first began, and who is currently dealing with a tremendous health crisis.

There are so many good things that happen when people unite, and our monthly gatherings are an ongoing example of that. The bonus is that with a growing number of hosts across the country, we can team up to offer even more opportunities on a larger scale such as Empower One and really make a difference individually and collectively.

I have my virtual boarding pass ready – I cannot wait to set sail on this year’s online adventure!

Circles of Connection,

Jill Hewlett

Founder & Mentor of the Women’s Wellness Circle

I have said it countless times, “Circle is the gift that just keeps on giving!” This could not be any truer now. Even though we cannot gather in person, I am so grateful technology is keeping us connected until we can meet in person.

Even virtually, this sacred space is felt as we are invited to be curious, to ask questions, to tune inwards, to reflect, and to experience the interesting and often ancient knowledge that is delivered through our guest speakers: abundant gifts for the taking!

This month I was grateful to offer that safe and inspired space for our participants as we took an important and courageous dive into the foundation of ourselves and became curious about our beliefs. We questioned them and decided which ones were ours and which ones were not! This is a powerful practice to keep us on track to create a life that aligns with OUR true values.

Our beliefs are the foundation from which everything we create is built. They can be the beginning or the end of what we wish to manifest for ourselves. When our beliefs and dreams are aligned, WE create a space in which those dreams have the power to succeed.

Beliefs are at the root of everything we do, and we have so much to gain by ensuring they are distilled purely by US. This can be tricky in a world that is often telling us what to believe!

At every turn we have well-meaning experts, news articles, friends, and strangers on social media – offering a suggestion. This can be a great way to gather information and stay connected.  However, if we are not clear on what we value, and do not make space to question what is true for us, we can end up taking these suggestions as “truths.”  These truths then shape our beliefs which is where all creation begins.

Let us consciously check in with our beliefs and ensure that what is true for us has a space to be heard. Here is a great exercise to get you started.


  1. Take a few moments to bring your awareness into your body. Take a deep inhale and then let it go. Do that several times.
  2. Next you are going to have a look at your inner dialogue and your inner thoughts, which will guide you to unsupportive beliefs that may be hidden and unknowingly guiding your actions.
  3. Now it is time to get truthful and think of an automatic response or conversation you’ve had in your mind with someone lately.

 Here are some examples:

  • You see someone successful in their business, and you think, “Sure, if I had the money to invest in a website, I could be, too.” (Belief underneath: “I can’t succeed without money to invest.”)
  • You see someone in a store without a mask and you think, “Wow, how selfish.” (Belief underneath: “Humans are generally selfish, and they are putting me in danger.”)
  • You see someone in great shape, and you think, “Ha, must be nice to have so much time to exercise!” (Belief underneath: “I don’t have time for me.”)

When you check in with your automatic thoughts and imagined scenarios, you can see the feelings they create and the beliefs that are driving them.


You have the power to question that belief, to see if it is true and if it supports you and where you want to go.  If it is not true or supportive, you have the power to change it!

  1. Take your own example and ask yourself what must you believe for that thought to exist.
  2. Without questioning if it is true or not, ask yourself if that belief supports or hinders you.
  3. Where did this belief come from?
  4. Are you open to changing it or looking for evidence to the contrary?

Here is an example:

“Ha, ‘must be nice to have so much time to exercise.”

  • Underlying belief: “I don’t have time for me.”
  • Does this belief support or block you? “It is blocking me from making myself and my health a priority.”
  • Where does this belief come from? “The belief comes from outside. I grew up watching my mother ignore her own self care while keeping busy caring for everyone else.”
  • Are you open to changing that belief to support you? “Yes, I am open to shifting this belief to one that supports me.”


Intentionally reframing your belief.  For example: “My health is a priority. As I insert exercise into my schedule, this will benefit myself and my family.”

Our power lies in discerning what is true for us and allowing that to guide our actions. We have unique individual experiences and thoughts for a reason. Let us celebrate that and create new beliefs that support how we want to feel, rather than let outdated or inaccurate beliefs decide for us.

To the Creative Power of Your Beliefs!
Amanda Perrone

Moon Mother. WWC Host Oshawa

On a recent meeting for Circle hosts, Jill, the founder of Women’s Wellness Circles, spoke briefly about a book she recommends called: ‘Gift from the Sea’ by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. She referred to it as timeless and mentioned that it reflected many of our Circle concepts.

I decided to order it. It has since inspired me to write and share the GIFTS I am receiving in my own life:  the kind that arrive unannounced, in various shapes and forms, without a box or bow.

Immediately, the cover of the book caught my attention. It is a gentle sea green, with a soft pink glow that radiates from the center…like a heart center. There is a delicate shimmering silver seashell with the word GIFT just below it. The back cover describes the author and alludes to the deep reflections she had while on a brief beach vacation. What an invitation to open it and start reading!

I was only on page four when I had my first “a-ha” moment. In the words of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, “…as I went on writing and simultaneously talking with other women, young and old, with different lives and experiences – those who supported themselves, those who wished careers, those who were hard-working housewives and mothers, and those with more ease – I found that my point of view was not unique. In varying settings and under different forms, I discovered that many women, and men too, were grappling with essentially the same questions as I, and were hungry to discuss and argue and hammer out possible answers.  Even those whose lives had appeared to be ticking imperturbably under their smiling clock-faces were often trying, like me, to evolve another rhythm with more creative pauses in it, more adjustment to their individual needs, and new and more alive relationships to themselves and others”.

BOOM! These words struck such a strong cord within me. I immediately inhaled and sunk deeper into my chair, allowing the thoughts to absorb into my being. As I leaned back, I could feel my heart soften, and a whisper from within emerged as the word ‘WOW’ drifted from my mouth. She captured and articulated so clearly what my heart had such a hard time putting into words.

The meaning of the word ‘Gift’ is to endow with some power, quality, or attribute. This is what has been happening in my own life, in unexpected ways. My mixed-up emotions suddenly received the GIFT of aligning with her words and providing me with clarity.

During the pandemic, I have been given a special and unexpected GIFT:  a complete halt and re-adjustment to my daily busy routine and the space for my own rhythm to be revealed.

In the early months of Covid, after I had begun to slow down and unwind, I found myself worried I would somehow get pulled back into the faster moving waters once regular routine started again.  I was concerned that I would not continue the ‘creative pauses’ that I started incorporating into my life.

Yet with each day, week, and month that passes, I am given the space to sink more deeply into a new and more alive relationship with myself. I am taking care of myself better than ever and developing the habit of incorporating necessary breaks. In fact, I am finding spiritual freedom in my ‘creative pauses’, and I am less fearful of going back to what was. What a GIFT!

Another piece from the book that struck me was Anne Lindbergh’s analogy of certain sea creatures living in shells. This is similar to how we are being asked to ‘bubble’.  Along with this, is the idea to simplify and, as sea creatures, ‘shed’ our existing shells. We, too, are being asked to let go in some respects of our own shells of the familiar routines that we have known so well. There are GIFTS in this transition and transformation.

The author’s simple, yet profound, noticing of how Mother Nature reflects our personal nature provides great insights. This has led me to looking up ocean waves on Spotify, because I love the beach. This GIFTS me with the opportunity to listen to ocean sounds all year round.

As I sit closing my eyes and listening – immersing myself into the rhythmic sounds of nature, enjoying a ‘creative pause’, the GIFTS of clarity, change, and growth wash up onto the beach of the shoreline of my mind.

I feel alive and aligned sharing these thoughts. Perhaps you can relate, too? What is washing up on your beach?  What will sink into the sand and remain and what will drift back to sea? What are the GIFTS you are receiving, and what are you releasing?

There is a circular rhythm that emerges when we listen to nature and tune into ourselves. I see similar GIFTS in our Women’s Wellness Circles.

Just like the cover of the book, I have my own soft pink glow that is now radiating from my heart…and I recognize the GIFTS that I, too, share.


By Jennifer Bruder

Women’s Wellness Circle Host – Cambridge ON


Reflecting on the best way to describe a Women’s Wellness Circle, I realized that the majority of the most accurate and powerful words begin with the letter ‘C.’

If you’ve attended a Women’s Wellness Circle or another kind of circle gathering, I’m sure you’ll resonate with the following C-word descriptions:

Community – Humans are social beings; we crave connection with others. Not only does our safety depend on it, our happy brain chemical ‘Oxytocin’ is activated when we sense we can trust another and when we find safety and belonging in a group. In a Women’s Wellness Circle, we immediately feel a sense of community spirit that we are all part of.

Connection – Modern day busy life can feel disconnected and many people report living in ‘silos’. Family members residing under the same roof are frequently on their own tech devices vs. spending quality time together. We crave a network that we can be present to, interact with, share ideas and resources. In a Women’s Wellness Circle, we feel this type of connection with all of the new and familiar faces that gather.

Cooperation – Human beings rely on joint cooperation to survive and thrive. Our ability to work together harmoniously exists at the heart of our human lives and society — it’s how we were able to survive this long on the planet. From daily life interactions to some of our greatest endeavours, co-operation has been a human necessity. In a Women’s Wellness Circle, we are in a co-creative, collaborative and co-operative space.

Clarity – Our personal view of life can become narrow and limited when we lack the input of others. When we are exposed to other people’s experiences, stories and points of view, we have new information and ideas to work with, and can better understand ourselves and clarify our own lens, which will assist us in making better choices and more timely decisions. In a Women’s Wellness Circle, we gain access to clarity that wasn’t otherwise available to us.

Communication – We can become entrenched in our own thoughts and internal dialogue. This can be limiting and repetitive. When women are feeling pressure or stress, we tend to reach out to others for support and dialogue. When we are able to freely express ourselves, and share our stories, our emotions and our values; we are able to gain personal insight and understanding. In a Women’s Wellness Circle there is an on-going spoken and unspoken form of communication that weaves all of the participants together.

Camaraderie – In this busy, tech driven age, making new friends, let alone new acquaintances can be challenging. Friendship is an integral part of everyone’s life journey. Many studies show that friendship boosts our health, well-being and happiness levels, and can provide a reality check when we are not being honest or true with our self. In a Women’s Wellness Circle, new connections and friendships are regularly made.

Courage – It can be easy to get stuck in our own comfort zone and prefer routine over change and adventure, but this inhibits our brain growth which is stimulated through novelty, and stretched by new endeavours. In a Women’s Wellness Circle, we have regular opportunities to build our courage muscles as we expand our horizons; being around new people and exposed to fun and novel experiences.

Confidence – When people notice someone that exudes confidence, they tend to believe that it just ‘comes naturally’ to them; but confidence is not an ‘all or nothing’ skill. It’s easy to have confidence in areas we already have experience or skills. In order to build our confidence we need to be exposed to opportunities to cultivate it. In a Women’s Wellness Circle, we have on-going opportunities try new things, learn and develop skills and confidence.

Coherence – Stress is an incoherent state, whereby our body (actions), mind (thoughts) and heart (feelings) are not working together as a unified team. Daily life demands can easily shift us into incoherence, so we need reminders and strategies that can ‘assist and uplift’ us back into balance and coherence. In a Women’s Wellness Circle we gain tools to support ourselves in reducing stress, investing into our self care and elevating our well-being.

Communion – While we can certainly enjoy our own space and company, there is a powerful energy that is co-created when we are with others. Hearing another person’s point of view, being present to their laughter, tears, insights or ‘ah-ha’ moments can provide a special spark and timely impact on our lives. Likewise, we bring these very gifts to others when we show up, share of ourselves and take part in these group experiences. In a Women’s Wellness Circle, every month we are empowered by the energy and grace of communion.

Of course, we know that Circle is so much more than these 10 descriptive words, but it’s a great place to start. I encourage you to take part in a Women’s Wellness Circle and share with us, the many words and ways you would describe it.


To Your Circle Experiences,

Jill Hewlett

Founder & Mentor of Women’s Wellness Circles