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Empower Yourself!

The week of January 4-10 is Women's Self-Empowerment Week.  The Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines the word empower this way: "to give official authorization, promote self-actualization or influence."   It even references the women's movement in the example, saying "... [the] women's movement has been inspiring and empowering women."

Some women with grown children may have a new-found sense of empowerment, if they have managed to carve out some free time for themselves, and do the things that they enjoy and that are important to them.  But even accomplished and seemingly self-sufficient women sometimes need a nudge when it comes to taking matters into their own hands and directing their life toward their own goals.

How can you empower yourself, so that you are living your life to the fullest?  Are there areas in your life where you'd like to improve, or something you want to change?  First identify the issue, then break the solution down into small, manageable action items. 

Here are a few questions to get you started in the right direction:  What small steps can you take today to help you gain more control over your life?  What's one thing you could change to make your life less stressful?  What could you change in your daily routine to make your life simpler, easier, better?

As you think about ways to empower yourself,  be realistic about how you plan to put those ideas into action. If you are ready to get healthy and start moving, you might decide to join the Y. Find the center near you by visiting www.ymca.net.  If you have a business that you'd like to grow or expand, consider joining a local networking group, such as the Chesapeake Professional Women's Network (www.cpwnet.org ) .  Partnering with other business owners to grow your company is a win-win situation that empowers everyone involved. 

Knowledge is power.  Talking with other women who have faced (and overcome) similar issues can be very helpful.  Learn from the experiences of others.  There are many support groups held at local hospitals on myriad topics, and many are free of charge.  Union Hospital in Elkton is hosting a menopause education program called "Red Hot Mamas."  The hospital's recent newsletter stated, "The program's main message is 'You are not alone.'" Visit www.uhcc.com for details.

Give yourself the authority to strive toward your own goals.  Celebrate Women's Self-Empowerment Week by making changes that improve your life, your health, and the lives of those around you. 

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