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The Power of Acknowledgement

Recently I watched an interview with Sheryl Sandberg and Oprah which I loved so much because it spoke to the heart of my work.

In this beautiful interview Sheryl Sandberg shared with Oprah how there is something so powerful about acknowledging. In this case Sheryl was referring to grief. But this applies to anything.

During a difficult time in her life when she lost her husband, her Rabbi told her to: lean into the suck!

It made me think to my last retreat I led in WA where women had to lean into their suck big time!

I usually refer to the suck as disempowering beliefs and stories but I quite like what Sheryl’s Rabbi told her 🙂

So, why is it important to acknowledge and lean into the suck?

Because acknowledgement facilitates unhooking from whatever it is that we are hooked into e.g. person, situation, memory, place, to which we’ve attached disempowering stories or labels.

It’s something which is taking up a lot of energy in our thinking, feeling and behaving. But it’s something we haven’t yet said anything about to ourselves or someone else.

Acknowledgement creates movement, ease and spaciousness. And helps us to breathe fully again.

If we don’t acknowledge, we create a vicious cycle of other emotions that get entangled in each other – called secondary emotions. For example,  I’m angry for being angry or I’m said that I’m sad.

This creates a recurring pattern or even a long-term stress response in our bodies. (You can read more about this in my recent blog “Stop Trying So Hard!”.)

1. So take a moment to reflect on what you need to acknowledge right now in your life.

If you need to acknowledge something to yourself be sure to say it out aloud – not just in your mind. For example:


            I’m not happy that I treat people with ___________;

            I don’t trust myself that if I (do) ____________ that I will _________

            I’m still feeling a lot of ____________(e.g. sadness/hurt);

            I’m angry at myself for not listening to what I need;

            I’m angry that I still haven’t made a decision about _________.

2. Notice what you feel or sense in your body when you acknowledge out loud. Whatever you feel, notice or sense in your body, be sure to:

  Stay with it, breathe into it and embrace it.

3. Keep coming back to these 3 steps time and time again.

Acknowledgement helps to lift the curtain of fog so we can start to see and feel  with more clarity and focus.

Over time this helps us to lean into our vulnerability, our pain as well as our imperfections and….most importantly to trust ourselves.

As with some of the women at the last retreat, by first spending time on acknowledging, they were able to identify deeply ingrained personal blockages which then helped them to understand themselves better and allow them to make important changes.

This created the space to learn new techniques for self-awareness, to trust themselves again and to speak from the heart- the greatest gift we can give to ourselves.

Acknowledging you for who you are,

Suzi Petrozzi.


N.B. We like to accelerate things quite a bit at The Empowered Woman Live Retreat because time is precious and we want to make the most of life, and without regrets.

We do a lot of k-pow! acknowledgment on the very first day and pave way for some other juicy stuff on day two and three. I like to call day one of the retreat as the fog-lifting day!

A powerful acknowledgement process at our last The Empowered Woman Live Retreat called “What I Stand For”

Acknowledgement is also powerful on the other end of the spectrum i.e. acknowledging something positive, like a change, your commitment to something or even what you stand for- like we do in our retreats.

There is something pretty sacred when others can offer space for us to acknowledge and celebrate a part of us we are willing to step into and grow into. Magic follows!

If you would like to go on the wait-list for our 2019 retreat in Blue Mountains please visit and just let us know via the live chat box.

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