September 2011 - Rev. Dr. Charlene M. Proctor

Archive for September, 2011

The Artemis in You

The independent, feminine spirit is personified in the Greek goddess Artemis. Her imagery shows us a woman who seeks her goals on a terrain of her own choosing. Although we need both masculine and famine qualities to achieve inner balance (this is the true meaning of wholeness), Artemis reminds us modern women to maintain emotional and intellectual balance in our lives.

The assertive Artemis

In Greek mythology, Artemis was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. She favored nature and lived in the woods, where her companions were nymphs and wild animals. She punished mortals with unerring aim. In one story, the hunter Actaeon had the misfortune to discover the goddess while she was bathing. She changed him into a stag and set her hounds on him. They chased him and tore him apart. This is why you should never disturb a woman who’s taking a relaxing bubble bath at the end of a long, tiresome day!

Artemis was also very competitive, and kept love at arm’s length, though she loved the hunter Orion the hunter. One day her twin brother Apollo spotted Orion swimming far out at sea. He dared his sister to shoot an arrow into this target. Not knowing it was Orion, the goddess accepted the challenge and took aim. She beheaded her beloved Orion. Her one true love was a casualty of her competitive spirit.

Free spirit and independence define an Artemis woman

Cruelty and competitiveness have their place in our lives but so do sensuality and femininity. Because Artemis was also portrayed with the moon and stars surrounding her, she is considered a virgin goddess of the moon. She’s not a virgin in the sexual sense, but in the sense of being “one-unto-herself,” whole and free-spirited. The moon is a symbol of this independent virginity, of intuition and mystery, of the deepest intact parts of a woman’s self. In Artemis, we see this feminine, independent spirit as something that belongs only to her; when we see ourselves as Artemis, we are independent and not subservient to others. “Being “whole unto yourself” means you have a sense of completeness that is not defined by others. It’s living life on your own terms.

How can we embody these aspects of the goddess Artemis to create a balanced life?

  1. See yourself as a whole image of creation. The independent and confident spirit within you grows when you see yourself as a beautiful and whole, not just as a parent, wife, mother, business partner, or caretaker. You are not just an appendage to others; you’re complete as you are. Feel good about who you are!
  2. Seek your goals on a terrain of your own choosing. When you embrace the Artemis within, you must maintain inner and outer balance by embracing both beauty and cruelty, both life and death, as part of the earth experience. Life is reciprocal, and you can’t give all the time without accepting gifts, too. Self-worth is created on a two-way street.
  3. Honor your competitive spirit. Don’t suppress your energies but create them productively. To lead a balanced life, you need to respect both masculine and feminine qualities within.

Part of your ability to cope with life comes from knowing and respecting all your different aspects. Begin your day with an affirmation that helps you recognize your “wholeness.”  Let’s affirm:

“Today, my life is filled with meaning and wholeness. I am alive with purpose and am a unique and special creation. I am a shining star among many constellations, and my light is bright. I am whole and powerful, and I feel full, knowing that I illuminate others across the universe. I make a difference in millions of lives.”

 

Every Blessing,

 

 

 


For all you Goddess Aficionados, here’s an Artemis quiz to text your mythological knowledge:

1.  Artemis can be characterized as:

  1. A Greek Goddess who was dependent upon Zeus to provide her with happiness
  2. An independent spirit, a self-sufficient goddess who understood her masculine and feminine qualities
  3. One of the Seven Wonders of the World
  4. The best friend of Diana of Ephesus

2.  Why did Artemis shoot Orion?

  1. She was preparing for the biathlon competition in the upcoming Greek Games with Apollo
  2. Orion caused Leto to be in labor for nine days
  3. She was being true to her nature at all costs
  4. He had an affair with Callisto and Zeus asked her to seek revenge

3.  Artemis was associated with:

  1. Bows and Arrows
  2. Deer, stags, and mountain streams
  3. The moon and stars
  4. All of the above

4.  Why does Artemis exemplify the concept of virginity?

  1. She could be “whole unto herself,” spiritually autonomous, and was comfortable in her sense of inner completion
  2. She could not find a satisfactory relationship and had no other choice
  3. She had to remain pure in order to be part of a triple goddess
  4. Actaeon desired her and she agreed, but she first took a bath in a mountain stream

Correct answers are: 1 (b), 2 (c), 3 (d), 4 (a).

© Charlene M Proctor and The Goddess Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Read Let Your Goddess Grow! Click Here to buy.

Planning an Ascent: How Do We Create Positive Change?

Planning an Ascent: How Do We Create Positive Change?

Human relationships are enhanced by setting a new mental equivalent and practicing mindfulness. We can do this in at work, at home, or any place we wish to ‘rise higher.’ Changing your thought patterns will elevate your energy and attract new and better conditions in your life. But when it comes to making positive change, some of us need advice on how to adjust our thinking to make it happen. How do we attract new and powerful opportunities in our lives?

Have Clarity and Passion

To consciously co-create an empowered life, we must have clarity and passion for what we want. It is the secret to demonstrating any idea or thought pattern as our real-world reality. Emmet Fox, a New Thought minister in the 1940’s, encouraged people to change a perceived reality by making positive mental statements. He believed the foundation for all productive expression is positive thinking.

Emmet used the phrase “mental equivalent”. To create the equivalent of every experience or object in the physical world we much change the thought to which it corresponds.  We must have a conscious awareness of our daily thought processes to make change in our external environment.  You receive that for which you provide the mental equivalent for.  It could be anything – abundance, a loving relationship, or excellent health. Energy attracts similar energy and conditions. Establishing connectivity to Spirit or your spiritual source, he said, was your unlimited supply. This concept was also taught by many mystics – including Rumi, Jesus, the Buddha, Gandhi, and many others across all wisdom traditions.

The reason, Emmet used to say, that we do not have world peace is that humanity still has a mental equivalent for strife and scarcity. Until we unseat our need to have war and poverty, we will remain a world community with war and poverty.  This mental equivalent, he said, begins within each individual. It is our inner reality, where our potential resides.

How do we build a new mental equivalent to attract success and positive change in our lives?

  1. Use Clarity and Passion when visualizing a new goal.  Clarity is to know what you want precisely. Passion is the positive energy and feeling you project outward about what you want. These are the key ingredients to create anything new and wonderful! If you only think about a new job once in awhile and don’t have any consistency or passion for what you visualize, you won’t get any results. It must be consistent to change your consciousness, a steady broadcast.
  2. Be aware of negative thinking and seek to turn it around.  Worry, self doubt, and the lack of feeling connected to your Source can be unseated with sustained awareness and discipline of what enters your mind. You have a choice about what to think every day.  Use it to your advantage.
  3. Use auspicious language.  When I was in India, the monks emphasized the use of positive language.  They said swearing, slamming people, criticizing others, or nasty speech carries a negative energy charge that is released and sets more negativity into motion. Energetically pull yourself up by using positive, loving language.
  4. Change your ideas and attitudes about work activities.  Work is about offering a larger community your special talents.  You download your gift from the matrix. Nobody can do it like you because you are a unique rendition of God, an individualized spark of divine creation.  When you offer this to your family, organization, neighborhood, or community in a positive exchange, you light everyone up by raising the group’s vibration. That is what work is, so stop complaining about it. Rejoice in your ability to work. With this attitude, you will naturally attract more opportunity because light and positivity attracts opportunity and love.

Success in any corner of our lives is always articulated and precise. With a little discipline, self love, and mindfulness we can easily broadcast our intentions to the universe. So, let’s begin our day with an affirmation that will help us be mindful of the clarity and passion we need to make positive change. Let’s affirm:

“Today I begin a new, higher level of self-awareness of what I am attracting in my life. When I desire a better career, I hold thoughts of working in a loving environment with people who recognize my creativity. My new position feels like a rich, life experience because it is filled with love and joy. I am mindful of my Source, which is unlimited. I am filled with potential.”

Every Blessing,

 

 

 

 

Find more articles on positive thinking on my website. For more affirmations, read The Women’s Book of Empowerment:323 Affirmations that Change Everyday Problems into Moments of Potential. Click Here to buy.

Present Moment Awareness is Where Empowerment Begins

Life’s most important moment is NOW, not yesterday or tomorrow. When we live with conscious awareness of the beauty and magnificence of the present, we conserve energy and remain centered, even during the complexity of life.

Present moment awareness is vital to our growth as humans. Negativity pollutes our present moment and doesn’t allow us to fully experience the goodness of today. Past emotional baggage and hanging on to resentment, or even clinging to negative self-imagery prevents us from experiencing an empowered life. Since life is all about relationship, we need to experience people in the NOW, not in yesterday or tomorrow. We cannot experience our total beautiful self, nor engage in life fully, with so much heavy baggage. We are the ones who choose to carry our own suitcase.

Be Mindful and Learn to Let Go

There is a negative and heavy energy associated with worry, self doubt, fear, and unforgiveness. Of course, as human beings these are all phases we go through, but we need to be mindful about reorganizing and overcoming these states of being. We can never change a personal condition until things are set right inside first. Awareness of your inner state is called living a conscious life, where you are mindful of your inner and outer state.  This mindfulness is a daily, spiritual practice.

Children who have cancer are challenged beyond words but are still an inspiration to everyone.  Why?  Despite their prognosis, their light shines bright because they live one day at a time. Their expressed hope keeps the rest of us going. They cling to nothing. They are the most illuminated people on earth.  They make you think, “If life can be this good despite the odds this kid is living in, then why am I holding myself back from the present moment?”  They show us something we may refuse to see about our own, potentially robust lives.

Women Tend to Cling to The Past

Women also are natural complexity managers, and manage the schedules of their children and parents very well.  Often, they are so busy that they forget to rest in a space of enjoyment – with fully appreciating the moment. Even though they manage complexity well, they spend too much time on an emotional treadmill instead of directing energies toward taking in the best of life.

Women’s brains are wired differently. They tend to use the right brain more in decision making. The left brain has to do with logic, linear progression, and doing, and the right brain deals with gestalt, intuition, and being. Women activate more neurons in the brain – they have between 10 and 33% more neuronal fibers in the brain then men, in the forward part of the corpus callosum, the dense fibers that link the two hemispheres of the brain. Because they have more connecting neurons between the left and right hemisphere, they tend to use both sides of their brain more than men when problem solving.  Women are much more aware of their emotional depth, while men compartmentalize and divide tasks. Men usually can tremendous focus on a task (translation:  they do one thing at a time really great!) but women can perform multiple tasks simultaneously (multitasking!) and are better at integration and seeing the big picture.

So, although women manage complexity well, they often do not easily let go of superfluous details.  Women are wired to keep taking it all in and need to learn how to “let go” much more than men! Because they tend to manage their “communities of people” (children, parental relationships, families) they often keep regurgitating the past, and don’t stay in the present moment as well as they should.

Today’s Tips

Do you ever wonder how to stay centered while dealing with the daily complexity of tomorrow while still feeling good about today? How can we train ourselves to stay more fully present in today, and not yesterday or tomorrow?

  1. View the past as a learning experience. Life events trigger our emotional collection, and we tend to interpret our current experiences through this lens.  Allow the good to shine through and know the universe may be showing you a part of yourself, and your spiritual self development, that you need to see.)
  2. Focus on your capability to address the present. Stop agonizing over your mistakes, your parents, what someone said. Move forward. You can develop inner strength if you wish to. You can be strong if you see yourself so. Begin to transform your self-image to include inner strength because it will translate positively into your outer world.)
  3. Make ‘One Day at a Time’ your mantra as often as possible. Nobody ever managed the past, present, and future simultaneously very well, so give it up. If you have much to overcome, remember, the journey begins where you are not where you want to be. Don’t create more complexity in your life so you can’t enjoy what is in front of you. )
  4. Learn to let go.  Be conscious of what you are clinging to that subtracts mental and emotional time away from you, your family, and communities. Practice forgiveness, and you’ll have more space to love life.)
  5. Make loving yourself a priority. It’s not about a daily shopping trip or spa appointment. Simply, be receptive to gratitude and appreciation from others. Understand the importance of your own needs.)

 

Today’s Affirmation

Developing the discipline to stay in the present comes from affirming your capability to be balanced and powerful. We cannot live in the present moment until we learn to sift what is really important, the real from the unreal, from our daily routines.  Let’s affirm:

“Today, I stop to smell the flowers. My life is about thinking and feeling and not all about doing. By taking care of me first, I enhance my contribution to others. I am strong enough to say no when I need to, and recognize when my energies are misdirected. I focus on choosing experiences in life that contribute to my own spiritual development. I release the negativity of the past, and consciously choose to see the present as abundant, powerful, and beautiful.”

Every Blessing,

 

 

 

 

© Charlene M Proctor and The Goddess Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more affirmations, read The Women’s Book of Empowerment:323 Affirmations that Change Everyday Problems into Moments of Potential. Click Here to buy.


Today’s Bonus!  Affirmations for Everyday Complexity:

Bad Family Get-Togethers
Even though my family members are out of sync with one another and with me, I am still capable of rising above this situation and taking away only the good. At this moment, I mentally retreat to a safe place where I am reminded that I am loved unconditionally. I visualize sweeping all negative comments and behaviors out an open door and watching them disintegrate into a bright light. I am unharmed and whole, and I ask the Divine to help people in my family reach their potential.

Stuck in Traffic
At this moment, I visualize a realm where I am not confined by space and time. In my mind, I am instantly there.  Because I am already at my destination in my mind’s eye, my body catches up as soon as possible. I breathe deeply and ride the bumps in life with good humor and patience.

Meditation Super Bonus:  “Spiritual Superhighway.”

Having a better understanding of our source, and our true self, is often accomplished through meditation: take a moment to connect with your center of wisdom and open your mind to the possibility that we are far more than just physical bodies. Open your mind to becoming one with a higher power with this exercise. You can have someone guide you while in a group by reading out loud the following guided meditation. Visualize the scenario below.

Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Gently move everything from your mind but the present moment. Imagine you are breathing in a beautiful shade of pink in a world where there is no past or future, only today. Whatever was said or done yesterday has no bearing on today, and what needs to be done tomorrow does not matter at this moment.

With every breath you take, the pink stays in your body and fills every part of you, from your fingertips to your toes. When you feel full of the beautiful color, imagine you are beginning o travel on a spiritual superhighway. You are traveling on a bright light path that reaches across the fabric of time and the universe. You are on the path to meet the Divine. As you reach the halfway point, you are embraced and lovingly thanked by God for all you do. Feel the appreciation and gratitude that the entire world has on the positive effect of your words, thoughts and deeds.  Feel the essence of who you are, knowing that you are enough as you are at this moment.  You are a gift to the world, and to the entire cosmos.  Continue to breathe, gently pushing all superfluous thoughts aside, and focus on feelings of gratitude for being exactly where you are… right now…today.

Stay in this embrace until you feel completely loved and appreciated for all you are experiencing on earth. Visualize the Divine permeating your entire being, as you become a fusion of yourself and the Divine. As you begin to return to the earth plane with the Divine, know that you can travel on this spiritual superhighway at any time you feel lonely or overwhelmed. Know that you are loved. Take that feeling with you throughout this day, every day, and always.

© Charlene M Proctor and The Goddess Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Being at Ease with Yourself

We are often so busy managing our busy lives that we forget to fill up our own tank of energy. How do we refill ourselves? Going to the spa or a yoga class helps us nurture ourselves, but learning to be at ease with who we are is more important to recharging our batteries. How can we learn to be at ease with ourselves? What does it mean to be an authentic person?

When we don’t know ourselves, we can’t have a healthy and balanced outlook on life. Self-power grows through self-appreciation and self-nurturing. Being at ease is accepting yourself. People, who know who they are, express self-love calmly and confidently. They’re extremely magnetic. Ease is everyone’s natural, healthy state. People who are not at ease with themselves must force themselves to be compassionate; they exhibit impatience and are unable to be fully present when you are with them.

You are a butterfly

Like butterflies, we are all in various stages of personal growth and spiritual metamorphosis. In the butterfly’s larval stage, it’s a caterpillar. The caterpillar has to shed its skin several times in order to accommodate its expanding body. It knows exactly where it is while it’s preparing itself and getting stronger for its final transformation. It goes into its chrysalis, into solitude, into the dark, and completely reassembles its cells to make itself into a new butterfly. Shortly before the butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, the chrysalis becomes transparent and reveals the butterfly inside. To prepare for takeoff, the insect’s swollen body pumps fluids into its tiny, shriveled-up wings. This fluid, which comes from a reservoir contained in its abdomen, sustains the butterfly and allows it to expand its wings and fly.

If we were butterflies, what would happen to us if our chrysalis cracked open early and we had to emerge before we were ready? Could we eat what was in front of us? Would we fly any faster, any longer, any higher? I like to think that we develop strength and spiritual vitality when we crawl out on our own. Without this work, we would die. We really can’t choose not to emerge. That’s the natural way of things. Like the butterfly, we must pay attention to what is presented to us and integrate the inner world of awareness and the outer world of experience so these worlds inform one another. This is how we develop authenticity.

The Sage and the Mouse

There is a wonderful story in my new book The Oneness Gospel. It’s a favorite of the monks of India.

Long ago, there once was a kindly wise man who adopted a mouse. The Sage, who was also a great wizard, turned this mouse into a girl and lovingly raised her as his daughter. Under his tutelage and kindness, she grew to be serene and beautiful. She became his greatest joy. He gave her an education, and she received all the benefits of a life of refinement and abundance. When she came of age, and it was time for her to marry, the Sage, knowing she deserved the best, looked for a suitable husband for her. He presented the overseers of the cosmos to her: the kings of the sun, the moon, and the stars, all great and noble beings. They were the most excellent and honorable marriage candidates in the universe.

The girl who had been a mouse thoughtfully considered the life that each king could offer to her. She contemplated on the lofty power each one represented. Then, one by one, she rejected them, turning down their offers of marriage. Still only desiring her happiness, the Sage searched to the ends of the earth to find more noble beings who represented the different aspects of nature: the lords of the wind and the mountain, the ruler of the ocean. These he presented to her in a grand ceremony, hoping to honor and please her. Again, she kindly refused each one.

One day, the Rat Guardian, who was not invited to be presented with the other noble beings, arrived at the palace to ask for the girl’s hand. His greatest achievement was to tunnel through the hard structure of the mountains. The Sage’s daughter instantly fell in love with the Rat Guardian, whom she thought was the finest candidate of all. When the Sage saw this, he was perplexed. How could this be? Then he remembered that his daughter deserved to know her true self and know happiness. With this realization, he instantly turned her back into a mouse so she could marry the Rat Guardian and live with authenticity and happiness.

What’s the moral here? You can never deny who you really are. If you try to be something you’re not, there can be no joy, no feeling of completion. To be at ease, you must be who you are. If you can only be a mouse, then be that mouse and feel satisfied with the choices you make in life that arise from that authentic part of you. Being yourself will be your greatest joy. When you know your own truth and relax into who you are, life will always support you.

Every Blessing,

 

 

 

© Charlene M Proctor and The Goddess Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more affirmations, read The Women’s Book of Empowerment: 323 Affirmations that Change Everyday Problems into Moments of Potential. Click Here to buy.


Today’s Tips

What facilitates a state of “being at ease?”

  1. Live from the inside out.  Let’s learn to develop calmness and a feeling of inner expansion. Calmness invites focus, self awareness, energy, intelligence into our experience.  Bliss is not going to knock on our front door and asked to be let in!  Calmness is developed with diligence – we must learn to quiet the mind in meditation or contemplation.
  2. Practice inner awareness.  We must get to know our own behavior. When we learn to live as an observer, we are aware of our own behaviors and how it affects others.
  3. Be fully present with people and circumstances. Quit texting when you are talking to someone and give them your full attention. Slow your mind down and focus on the task or situation at hand.
  4. Value honesty and seek to be authentic. Part of being at ease and living a balanced life is to be an authentic individual.  You can never, ever give someone something you do not already own yourself, such as love. To try to do so is inauthentic. So, as you get to know yourself, learn to be honest with your feelings, recognize your unique perspective on life. As long as it’s not hurting anyone, celebrate you and your gifts to the world in your work, personal life, and activities.

Today’s Affirmation

Developing ease and positivity also comes from affirming the best in you. So let’s begin our day with an affirmation that recognizes our desire to get in touch with ourselves. We cannot lead a balanced life until we love and appreciate who we are. Let’s affirm:

“Today I change the way I internalize life. I inhale living spirit with every breath I take and focus my energy to help others on their soul journey.  I love my entire self and trust life. I am comfortable knowing that I am loved for who I am because I am a unique expression of creation. I am in love with my true and authentic self.”

© Charlene M Proctor and The Goddess Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more affirmations, read The Women’s Book of Empowerment: 323 Affirmations that Change Everyday Problems into Moments of Potential. Click Here to buy.