Release & Empower is designed for women who are often attending to other people’s needs. We are all helpers in some way, whether that happens as mental health professionals, health and wellness practitioners, teachers, moms, or go-to friends. Everyone is used to giving a lot of themselves, and most really crave some space to receive. If this sounds like you, maybe you’re also wanting to:
- Release negative emotions and shift into a more relaxed, centered way of being regardless of what’s going on around you
- Feel strong enough to make courageous choices and clear about your next steps
- Be able to set healthy boundaries and feel heart-centered and balanced in your relationships and responsibilities
- Appreciate your life and know you are not only good enough, but really worth it
The Release & Empower Women’s Circle is not therapy or interpersonal processing work. It is women caring for their own hearts and finding their own strength, together. We gather in ceremony each week, releasing from the mind, body, and heart through four simple practices:
(1) THERAPEUTIC WRITING: Compost the dark/heavy/negative thought patterns in your mind and gain surprisingly easy access to your own intuition and guidance
(2) SOMATIC RELEASE: With no one watching, use movement, voice, and music to let go of emotions stored in the body
(3) GUIDED MEDITATION & SELF-COMPASSION PRACTICE: Deeply relaxing, this is time to journey inwards and receive
(4) SPEAKING AUTHENTICALLY: Speaking the truth of your experience without other people’s advice, opinions, or judgments
Themes for our sessions synchronize with the moon cycles and with the rhythms of our emotional and physical bodies, returning us all to the simple but profound truths available to every living being. Having a practice community can be foundational for self-healing and for renewing your sense of purpose and ease. If you care for other people professionally or in your personal life, and you’re craving space to find your own voice again, this group was created for you. See below for details.
HOW IT WORKS
All sessions are held on Zoom for an hour and fifteen minutes. Group space is limited, and spots fill on a first-come, first-serve basis. *Registration for fall will open in late June, but you’re welcome to apply now and be put on a waitlist. If you’re not ready to apply or the schedule won’t work for you but you’re still curious, just sign up to hear about future women’s circles.
TIME AND DATES
Tuesday Evening Circle @6:30pm CST (7:30pm EST//5:30pm MST//4:30pm PST)
New Year 2023 Series (16 sessions): Jan 31st-May 23rd: FULL/CLOSED
Fall 2023 Series (12 sessions): September 26th-December 19th (break week Nov. 21st)
Thursday Morning Circle @9:30am CST (10:30am EST//8:30am MST//7:30am PST)
New Year 2023 Series (16 sessions): Jan 26th-May 18th: FULL/CLOSED
Fall 2023 Series (12 sessions): September 21st-December 14th (break week Nov. 23rd)
COMMITMENT & PRIVACY
Once you register, your space is saved in the circle for the entire series. You can join us every session or skip weeks whenever you need to. Showing up a little late is fine too, once you get the hang of our rhythm. Sessions are not recorded, to protect the privacy of the women who are present.
New Year 2023 Series, 16 Sessions, fees are paid in 4 monthly payments of $175/month starting on the day you register.
Fall 2023 Series registration will open late spring of 2023. Sign up here to be put on an interest list.
FOR QUESTIONS OR TO REGISTER
I know we all love the quick click sign-up, but it’s important for me to get to know you a little bit better so we can make sure the circle is a good fit for you. Just fill out this application, and I will get back to you as soon as possible, usually within 1-2 business days. Please do ask your questions on the application and if we need to follow up further, I’ll make sure we do so. If you are a returning member of the Release & Empower community or if we’ve already gone through the screening process, just email me and let me know you’re ready to sign up.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is this program right for me?
Release & Empower Online is designed for women who “hold space”/give a lot of emotional care to others. It’s a great fit if you’re a helping professional going through your own life transition, wanting to be healthier and kinder to yourself, finding a new path after a loss, struggling with low-level anxiety, living as an empath or highly sensitive person, or just trying to avoid burnout and maintain equilibrium in crazy times. It won’t be the right fit if you’re struggling with major mental health issues, PTSD, an abusive partner, or active addictions. If you’re unsure, just fill out the application, ask me your questions, and we’ll figure it out together!
What if I have to miss some sessions?
Of course, this will happen sometimes (hopefully because you’re doing something else for your self-care!). There is no obligation to attend every session, though you are always welcome.
I get tired of screens and talking/listening all day. How will this be any different?
I’m glad you asked! At the start of every session, I set the tone that we will be connecting with each other on a heart level rather than trying to reach through the screen. To that effect, we are only actually sitting in front of the screen (or looking at it) for the ending share component. The rest of the time, you’ll be writing, moving, and meditating in whatever positions feel good to your body, without the self-consciousness of people seeing you. When we do share, the speaking times are brief and contained, so we get to the essence rather than the story. People are welcome to close their eyes and are encouraged to be centered in their bodies while speaking and listening. I’ve been told by many participants that the no cross-talk sharing is a real relief and a reminder of how powerful just bearing witness can be.
Who is welcome here? What are you doing to make this space safe for BIPOC?
The Release & Empower Circle welcomes self-reflective humans who identify as women from every race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and culture. I am continually looking for ways to create safety for personal healing work within diverse community. This includes screening before anyone joins, privacy/silence for the writing/movement/meditation practices, and no cross-talk during the speaking component. This group is about doing inner work supported by the power of a collective. We’re not getting feedback from anyone, and we’re not sharing our reactions to others. We do that processing for ourselves, in silence, with encouragement around boundaries and self-care. Our time together is about each woman restoring herself to her own essence. If a microaggression does occur, and I don’t see it, I welcome feedback and will take action to course correct ASAP.
What kind of experience do you have facilitating groups like this?
I’ve been leading groups, workshops, retreats, and classes similar to the Release & Empower Circle for more than twenty-five years now. My offerings have incorporated ritual, writing, meditation, movement, sharing and witnessing, and other forms of creative expression in programs designed for helpers. I started leading women’s circles in 1999, some of which were time-limited and some which continued for years. Examples of day-long retreats and cyclical workshops I’ve led include Remembering Ourselves: A Retreat for Helping Professionals, The Soul of Service: Being Present To What Is, Learning Our Lives: An Exploration of Self and Purpose, Loving Presence: Rediscovering Compassion for Self and Others, Motherself: A Mindfulness-Based Support Group, Contemplative Writing Workshops, Dance It Out: Therapeutic Movement Workshops, and Intergenerational Women’s Retreats. Community healing and honoring the divine feminine is a big part of my life’s work. I began facilitating online in the summer of 2019 and have welcomed some surprising and unique opportunities for self-healing available through this virtual format. Please note that while I am also a psychotherapist, Release & Empower is not a therapy group. It is a mix of teaching and ceremony, a weekly refuge for healing and personal empowerment.
Are any groups in person?
Our weekly women’s circles are always held virtually, so that people can join from anywhere and for a variety of other reasons. We do have occasional, optional in-person intensives for current and former women’s circle participants and their friends. Our spring intensive is entitled Reemergence: Being Creative With Change and will be held in Austin, TX. More details will come through email to participants; others interested in future virtual circles and in-person retreats can sign up to be added to an interest list.
I’m interested in the group, but unsure and a little nervous. How do I know if I’ll like it?
I understand! Please listen to this podcast interview where I talk about the group and the practices in more detail. If you have hesitation about groups in general, you might also check out this blog post. If you need more help discerning, we can schedule a brief inquiry call and talk further. Just fill out the application and write in at the bottom that you’d like me to give you a call (let me know some times you are available). I also send all applicants a short video of me describing the circle process and what to expect.
“As someone that struggles to slow down, it has been incredibly valuable to have a designated day/time where space is held for me and I’m guided through self-reflection and self-expression. Julia really gets the need we have as caregivers and sensitive folks for SPACE- to show up as we are and be 100% with our own experience, rather than tending to the needs of anyone else. “
“Julia skillfully and lovingly provided one of the most powerful group formats that I have ever experienced, both professionally and personally. I didn’t anticipate the change I experienced– Freedom! I first began to experience freedom to be myself within the group meetings and it wasn’t long at all until I began to experience freedom to be me outside of the group and as it related to the group. This has been one of the most powerful experiences of my life.”
“A beautiful, sacred, safe, free of judgment space to express myself without having to explain the backstory. This group gives me time to be open with myself without the pressure of having to make it look a certain way.“
“Julia is a masterful facilitator, one of the best I’ve ever worked with. People have been telling me I seem much more clear and grounded, and I have to attribute that to this group. Though I hadn’t known what I was looking for when I found this, it’s exactly what I needed.”
“This is an amazing experience. I don’t think anyone could come away from this unchanged.“
Curious but can’t make it this time? Sign up to hear about future circles.