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,


Founder & Mentor of Women’s Wellness Circles

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

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,


Founder & Mentor of Women’s Wellness Circles

After being part of Women’s Wellness Circles for over 13 years, it is indisputable that one of the strong bonds that bring us all together is a will to “say YES to life”.

From my initial curiosity to come out to a Circle experience all those years ago, there was born a magnetic pull to keep coming out.

Yes, I had all kinds of excuses when the week would come around due to my busy schedule, unexpected issues arising, feeling tired and just wanting to stay home— but I didn’t.

I said “yes” anyway, and I always came to the end of the night feeling so happy that I participated. There was an uplifting energy in the room, kind and friendly faces, a warm hug, and typically a fantastic presenter who shared their journey of life and the gifts that resulted from their challenges.

By going to a Women’s Wellness Circle, we gain a different perspective, a new skill for our tool belt, or simply a chance to fill up our cup with positive energy. This, in turn, enriches our life and ripples outwards to all those that we touch. Over time, these beautiful moments create the special memories that make up the story of our life.

We seem to be in a huge energetic shift on this planet, one that makes it difficult to manage the constant “To Do List” in our head. It is affecting us to the core of our being, stirring up all the old patterns that have kept us living smaller than that of which we are capable.

Let’s face it— living on the edge is scary! It takes determination, focus, physical and emotional energy, and the biggest challenge— putting ourselves first!!

What does that look like?

It takes courage to go against the expectations of society and to tune into what is important to us.

It often takes a burnout of some kind to give us permission to stop and re-evaluate, asking ourselves some of those tough questions: Why am I here? What do I value?  What unique gifts am I here to share?

No one else can do this work for us. No one knows our inner soul being like we do. No one is us, but us ourselves!

The women, and sometimes men, that come to share their gifts at a Women’s Wellness Circle, have typically gone through a life challenge that put them back on track to live a more authentic and rewarding life.

They share their story with us, and in doing so, inspire each of us to stop and listen differently to our own inner stirring.

Last night at my Newmarket/East Gwillimbury Circle, it was a young 29-year-old woman who had a near death experience when she was 25.

At a very specific moment, she decided to say “YES to LIFE”.  Her story is powerful, emotional, and represents the real life struggles that each of us deal with in our own way. I encourage you to check out her link:

The women that come to Circle are also drawn, because they choose to say “Yes to Life”. They make space in their schedules to put themselves first, to fill their cup so they can be there for others. They rise above all the reasons that life is too busy and there are too many other things to do.

Some come out monthly, some only a few times a year, some once a year. We come when we need the medicine that Circle offers based on our own life commitments. I am forever grateful for the inspiration that called Women’s Wellness Circle into existence through Jill Hewlett.

I am forever grateful for saying YES to hosting and forever grateful for all the presenters and attendees who continue to say YES.

I would like to close with one of my favourite poems; may it ring true for each of you. Here’s to saying YES to life!

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001


By Karen Armstrong

A decade and a half ago, just before I launched the first Women’s Wellness Circle, I invited a group of holistic practitioners to come together at our local library to share ideas, resources and mutual support.

I was grateful and elated with the response and turnout.  Over 50 people showed up, and we had a fun, empowering and community spirited experience.

I had come to know several of these people through the wellness cable TV show I was hosting and producing as well as others through networking and personal connections.

Since that time, many of these individuals have been presenters at our Women’s Wellness Circles.  ‘Love how the connections continue to expand and strengthen!

Although the road less travelled can be very rewarding, it can also feel lonely and confusing at times, especially as an entrepreneur in the wellness field.  This was even more so years ago when I first had the inspiration to call forth this meeting.

So it made sense to come together, to recognize and to affirm that we aren’t alone.  While our wellness offerings may differ in appearance, at the core we share similar and complementary values and paths.

As I was preparing for this gathering, one of my fellow wellness colleagues shared this powerful Hopi message with me.  I knew it was perfect to share with the group, so it was part of my opening remarks.

Reading it over again now, I can see that the words are just as true, if not truer.  Therefore, I’d like to share them with you.

Take heart, feel the message, and know that while we continue to be in an incredible period of change, you are not alone.  We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

A Hopi Elder Speaks…

“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour and there are things to consider . . .

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?

Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.”

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time!

There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.  They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.

Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.

And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

Hopi elder,
Hopi Nation
Oraibi, Arizona

Perhaps this message resonates with you as well?

As we begin to shift towards a new season, you may feel drawn to create some new experiences for yourself, learn some new self care and wellness strategies, and share in a welcoming and vibrant community oriented space.

If so, Women’s Wellness Circles invite you to take part!

After all, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.


Jill Hewlett
Founder and Mentor of the Women’s Wellness Circles
Brain Fitness Expert and Wellness Authority|

At some point in my twenties, I forgot who I was. I’m not saying I sustained some kind of traumatic brain injury and ended up with amnesia. I just seemed to lose touch with my true Self.

If I take the time for introspection, I can tell you almost exactly when it happened. However,  this is like our first date. I’m not going to divulge all of my deepest darkest secrets!

It doesn’t really matter why though, not for the purpose of this story. What matters is what happened next, because it’s a pattern I’ve seen over and over again in friends, colleagues, and clients.

Once I lost touch with my Self, I began to let other people’s ideas and beliefs take root about who I was “supposed” to be. I was swept up in the “shoulds” of life.

I should work towards a promotion.
I should find a boyfriend.
I should get married.
I should buy a house.
I should

You get the drift.

There’s a progress to life that, as a society, we seem to expect of everyone. However, trying to squeeze myself into those expectations meant I was not only slowly squeezing out what remained of my Self, but I was also lying to everyone.

The lying was unintentional, of course, but it was still a lie. I was people pleasing, and people pleasers are the best liars. Unfortunately, when you’ve been lying about who you are, unintentional or not, people get hurt. I got hurt. And hurt people hurt other people.

Fast forward a little over a decade, and I found my Self again thanks to a renewed yoga practice (that led to yoga teacher training, that led to returning to school for holistic practitioner training). However, in finding my Self again, I discovered I had made decisions in the past that did not serve me well.

In 2015, I turned my entire life upside down, and you guessed it, people got hurt.

During that time, I can’t sufficiently express in words, just how important it was for me to have the support of a strong, understanding community of loved ones. There was a boat load of shame and guilt that came along with my decision to change my life, even though I knew in my heart it was the best decision for everyone.

Knowing I had a community of support, a group of people who were willing to simply hold space for me, kept me moving forward through one of the most painful times in my life. That community carried me through, and they helped me become the stronger, more resilient, truer expression of me.

Thanks to their support, I found the courage to buy my yoga studio. I found the self-care tools that work for me, and I found my higher purpose of Mindset Coaching for Joy + Abundance.

There is no one right path for everyone. We need to be able to explore, to try, and to fail or succeed, knowing we’re surrounded by a community that will offer us grace – even when we struggle to give ourselves grace.

This is one of the reasons I resonate so deeply with the Women’s Wellness Circles. Not only are we gifted with new wellness experiences each month, but the community that’s built is exactly the kind of community we all need to be surrounded by.

By Michelle Robson

There is a common and shared thread of energy that ties the tapestry of women together; our visions are woven in the same fabric

Women encircling women and valuing each other and everyone’s contributions; with acceptance, without judgment

A safe haven to express our thoughts, release a tear, receive a hug and give a hug; it’s in that calm and nurturing space that a shifts take place.


Since discovering Women’s Wellness Circles a year and a half ago, I have grown to understand the importance of circles of women coming together. Women have gathered in circles since the beginning of time. It empowers us to delve deeper into ourselves, learn, grow and speak our truth!

Thoughts, ideas and opinions send out vibrations of energy that effect us all. It is a powerful transformation for women who share that sacred space with other women, and it ripples out into our families and communities.

Thoughts that are repressed or dreams that are forgotten are slowly brought forward to the light to be nurtured and celebrated or acknowledged and released.

The world is changing, there is a definite shift and women are gathering together to assist in this revolutionary movement.

During circle, gifted presenters from many Holistic realms share their wisdom with us, and we take from them what serves us and leave the rest. It’s in those moments of sharing, role modeling and possibilities that we discover the women we are, and who we can become.

Dr. Daniel Amen, the author of (Unleash the Power of the Female Brain), stated that “Women are health leaders in their families and communities and they typically reach out for help and community support.”

 Our Women’s Wellness Circles offer this perfect opportunity to keep abreast of health and wellness alternatives and integrate them into our lives.

Life has many stages, with plateaus to rest and breathe, and then we continue to move forward sometimes feeling challenged, other times with open hearts and inquisitive minds.

In this beautiful circle of feminine energy, we can more powerfully live into the present moment, connect with the universe and find our inner joy.

The sisterhood of circle grows stronger as every woman sees every other woman as an equal part of the (whole) or circle, regardless of age or stage of life.

Nurturing ourselves with friendship and laughter builds self-esteem that we draw from and inspire in one another.

The value of circle is in the undeniable support and inspiration given and received. Change is inevitable, but the connection shared is innate and runs deep.

In our sacred place of Women’s Wellness Circles, you can expect an environment of inclusivity and acceptance, and within that freedom of space you grow – mind, body and soul!

Women are nurturers by nature. When we devote time to ourselves, in developing a strong inner life; our outer life reflects it.

With the same love and support you give your projects, colleagues, friends, family and/or children, there comes a time when the focus is to find a way to morph into a newer authentic version of yourself.

Together we can celebrate our worth, life changes and self discovery.

Its right and good for women to share, connect and be woven into this tapestry  called life, represented by Circle.

My response: “I’m in.”

By Debbie Armstrong

This year it seems as though there was no Spring. The Winter was an epic marathon as we braced ourselves from the cold. Yet as the school year draws to a close, our thoughts dare to turn to summer.

Those of us parenting or caregiving for school aged children are about to shift into a completely different gear…


I know for myself, I always think that summer will be such a nourishing break, both from routine and from the rush, but I have had enough experience to realize it’s often busier in the summer, and that a constantly changing schedule requires even more preparation.


I am the owner of my own business, so I do have some flexibility. In fact, that is one of the biggest perks of being an entrepreneur. So, at this time of year, I think “I have about 6 weeks to finish everything up for the year, prepare for my summer working schedule and plan for the fall so I can be present for my precious summer and my precious child.”

These summers with my daughter are a precious few.  She will soon be more interested in hanging out with her friends, and in time, focused on building her own life and family.


Sharing time with the children in our lives is a tremendous gift.  Nevertheless, the challenges and responsibilities of parenting are often arduous. Balancing caregiving and cultivating your child’s independence requires consciousness, focus, patience, discernment and compassion. This requires a lot of energy.

As parents we can often move into sacrifice, where our needs end up at the bottom of the to-do list. Personally, without my self-care practices I feel like a panicked chicken with my head about to be cut off!!


In truth caring for our children and caring for our selves is not an either/or situation. When we care for ourselves, we have the capacity to take good care of others. I have always appreciated the analogy of the oxygen masks in an airplane. The rule is, put your own mask on first and then your child’s. If we do it the other way around, we could pass out and we’d all be in trouble!


Everything is Energy. It cannot be created or destroyed, only harnessed and transformed. WE are Energy, Vibration, Sound, and Light. The Sun, whether it is behind the clouds or shining down upon us, is a powerful source of energy. In the winter, when days are short, we can feel depleted and many people experience SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). As a yogi, throughout the dark winter I practice Sun Salutations and Tratakum (candle-gazing meditation) to remember the light within.

As the sunnier weather returns, we feel renewed. So much so that there can be a temptation to fill every moment of our long summer days with activity. Yet running too much energy can create crisis in the body such that we have trouble resting, and that leads to burnout. Just as we need sunblock and sunhats when it’s too sunny, regulating our energy flow can protect us from burning. As a yogi and meditator, Pranayama practice (breath techniques) helps to stabilize my energy states.


Women are often the planners for the family. If you are like me, the social schedule runs through you. The summer can be chock-full of plans; camps, cottages, BBQ’s, baseball games…you name it, the possibilities are endless.  So much fun to be had, but too much time with family and friends can also be overwhelming. If we want to enjoy our social time without burnout, we must schedule time for the Self.

Schedule time (without the kids) throughout the summer. Once a week plan a walk in the woods, a yoga class, or attend the monthly Women’s Wellness Circle near you to join other women committed to their wellness.  For maximum benefit, start a daily meditation practice. Even 5 minutes a day will create the space to listen to what it is we need in order to balance, replenish, recharge or release.


Here is a simple daily mindfulness practice I put together:

-Put whatever is in your hands down (especially a cell phone!)

-Bring your attention to your body

-Notice the sensations moving through your body

-Allow them to be exactly what they are

-Notice and feel the sensation of your feet connecting to the ground

-Notice your sit bones and buttocks if you are sitting

-Invite your body to soften and release down to the earth beneath you

-Notice your breath

-Invite your belly to soften

-Receive the breath (Prana – Life force energy) deeply

-Release the breath fully

-Receive the gift of light from the sun and through the breath

-Release the breath through the body down to the earth

-Continue to receive and release staying present with each breath

-When the mind wanders, just notice without judgement, and bring your attention back as you receive the gift of your next breath.



Only we can create that inner space for Self.  When we do, our time moves from pressure to preciouswith a renewable flow of energy to share our precious Self in the precious Sun alongside our precious Children.


-Tanya Porter

Founder and Living Arts Director of The Inner Space

mental health poem by terri klein womens wellness circle jill hewlett

Because May is mental health awareness month, I feel that it is essential to share this poem about the overthinking mind with youMy poem, A New Kind of Partnership, speaks to the importance of building and strengthening a new and healthier relationship with your mind. It has been proven that a trained mind can quiet an overthinking mind. 


 It greets me first every morning  

And also tucks me into bed 

It’s my constant companion 

The voice within my head 


I set every intention to lose it  

To give it wings—to set it free 

Yet it always chooses to stay 

And to inhabit ALL of me  


My overthinking mind is very much like yours 

I’m at its beck and call 

It orders, commands, and loves to take charge 

It’s not a program I would ever choose to install 


But evolution deemed this necessary  

To help me to survive  

Yet my wants are so much greater 

So now I’m choosing also to thrive  


I’ve had enough of my unhealthy stories 

I’ve had enough of “mind-made” me 

There is a greater vision  

That my future self can see  


Beyond the overthinking 

And all of my false truths 

Beyond the limiting beliefs 

That still remain with me from my youth  


Yes, I’ve suffered because I’ve been bullied 

Yet it is I who am to blame 

It is my self-created “stories of struggle” 

That constrict me time and again  


By the way, this realization  

Took years to unfold 

And I can promise you, without question 

That it is worth its weight in gold 


There is nothing more valuable 

Than a peaceful mind and an open heart 

Mind training is immeasurable 

And it’s the only place to start 


But it has to become a daily practice 

To rewrite your script and to rewire 

For you are teaching your miraculous brain 

completely new way to fire  


Remember, you’ve been using specific words 

Thinking specific thoughts, and behaving one way 

You’ve developed habits, good and bad 

That you’ve been living and supporting each day 


It’s the inner work that will lead you  

To overall ease and well-being 

There is nothing more transformative 

And ultimately freeing  


Than rewriting your most important stories 

And creating new versions of self 

And learning just how to prioritize  

Your state of mental health  


I’ve stopped needing to fix every part of me 

And everything I deem wrong in another 

I spend less time wanting for life to be different 

And so I’m a much better person and mother 


And so whatever life may throw my way 

I now have a tremendous toolkit with a golden key 

One that I can choose to open  

As needed—just for me 


So yes, it still greets me first every morning,  

And also tucks me into bed 

It remains my constant companion 

But it’s a new and improved voice within my head  


Because I have learned how to manage it 

And I continue to train it well  

My mind and I have developed a new partnership 

With a new and enriched life story to tell  


You too, can learn how to do this 

Your trained mind can be at your beck and call 

It will be kinder, gentler, and more mindful 

A program you would gladly choose to install! 


We have a duty to evolve the brain  

And a very real obligation 

To change collective consciousness 

For every future generation  


Essential? Absolutely 

Possible and doable? Oh yes 

The alternative…it’s not pretty 

Underlying unhappiness and chronic stress  


So let’s make this happen—  

One person at a time 

The responsibility needs to be shared 

For it is both yours and mine 



Terri Klein 

Author, Speaker, Coach 

self-care women's wellness circle toronto york region

What is self-care? The Oxford English Dictionary defines self-care as “The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s well-being and happiness, in particular during times of stress.” So, it’s exactly what it sounds like: taking care of oneself. It’s an activity or practice that is embraced solely for the purpose of one’s well-being.

But what is a practice? It’s the actual application of an idea, belief, or method; as opposed to simply theorizing about to it. We have all heard the term self-care, but how many of us have a practice around it? Something we intentionally incorporate into our lives.

We all get caught up in our daily lives of work, kids, relationships, errands, aging parents, and more, so much so, that we often leave little time for ourselves. Mornings usually consist of some version of; hopping in and out of the shower, slapping on makeup in the car, getting everyone else out the door and eating breakfast (if we eat at all) while sitting at our desk. We’re very busy. There’s no time for self-care then.

Evenings are no better with supper, which perhaps you pick up on the way home, homework and dealing with the problems that the day has delivered to the rest of the family. Then you fall exhausted into bed. Again, no time there either.

Even the idea of self-care can feel indulgent when there are people relying on you. If you’re in this camp, and the very thought of putting yourself first makes you feel uncomfortable and selfish, think about when you are on a plane and the flight attendants go through the safety drill. They always say that if you are travelling with small children you should put your own mask on first. Why do they say that? It’s simple, you cannot care for others until you look after yourself.

What’s a Girl to Do?

Life is a whirlwind and there is clearly no time for self care, right?

But here’s the thing; if we don’t find the time or intentionally make the effort to care for ourselves we can become worn out, lack energy, lose perspective and be plagued by physical and mental ailments.

While it seems like there’s no time, what if I told you that by taking just five minutes a day for yourself, you can amplify your ability to accomplish everything else in your life. Five minutes spent on you will calm your mind, which allows you to approach everything else from a more abundant and balanced place.

Some Suggestions for Quick Five Minute Self Care Boosters:

  • Drink a cup of warm water upon rising
  • Go for a walk-in nature
  • Lie in Savasana for 5 minutes and just breathe
  • Express gratitude for who and what is in your life (gratitude has been proven to give both the giver and receiver the same heart-centered lift)
  • Dance around your living room to your favorite song
  • Meditate

Once you have incorporated five minutes of self-care into your life you can look for other opportunities to build on your practice.

  • Go to a women’s retreat weekend
  • Visit an old friend
  • Sign up for yoga or Tai Chi classes
  • Go to a Women’s Wellness Circle near you
  • Take a course or class in something that interests you
  • Read a good book

If you need some ideas on how to approach change and incorporate your own self-care practice, check out last month’s blog by Karen Armstrong.

Make Self-Care A Priority

Of all the changes you resolve to make in your life for the year ahead, make taking care of yourself your number one goal. The investment in yourself will give you an amazing rate of return. You will feel calmer and more ready to tackle the ups and downs of life. Your friends and family will also benefit from having a better you. And the calmness and grounding that self-care can give you showers out around you and can impact the lives of strangers. When you feel balanced and good it is easier to be kind to others, share your beautiful smile with strangers, and make their day a bit brighter.

Whether you do five minutes of self-care everyday or something else that feeds your soul, it doesn’t matter. It is about what works best for you, as long as you remember it is a practice and not just something you do when you’re exhausted.

If we think about it this way – self-care is not indulgence, it is a gift you give yourself and everyone around you.

Make today the day you start to care for yourself with the same love, kindness and forgiveness that you give to others. You are worth it.

To Your Health and Wellbeing,

Jill Erridge Certified Personal Trainer and Coach,

Active Aging Specialist.