Life is a spiritual journey that takes many forms. Whatever comes our way, we must see the good in it and keep our hearts open to every experience. If we want to live an empowered life, we must project gratitude for all our life lessons. Years ago, I gave programs on positive thinking to women who were homeless and jobless. Despite their circumstances, they wanted to learn. I was humbled by their gratitude for what they had. They gave me the simplest of gifts—pictures cut out of discarded magazines, a single rose purchased from a street vendor, and pictures they had drawn. They had nothing, yet they found something to give. I was inspired to keep on teaching them. Like these courageous women, we can all do a little better for one another, no matter our circumstances. Isn’t it true that when someone shows his or appreciation, we want to give more to that person? The universe works that way, too.
When we get in the habit of giving thanks for what we experience on our life path, when we acknowledge the blessings that have been a consequence of these experiences, that’s when we acknowledge the most empowering connection that exists between human beings and Divine Spirit. We no longer sit at the sidelines, waiting for something to happen. We become conscious, creative participants in life.
Further, we can never fully receive anything that we do not already have within ourselves. If we want more love, then we must practice the art of love. If we want more friendships, then we must first practice being a friend. If we want to be thanked and appreciated, we must first express gratitude and feel it at a deep level. It’s all about reciprocity.
How can we learn to practice more gratitude?
Say “yes” to the goodness of life. Quit being a “doom-sayer.” Stop complaining about the state of the world. Don’t make a habit of creating daily exchanges filled with fear, blame, and doom. Use auspicious language. Encourage others to be thankful for being alive and for all their experiences. Count your blessings!
Find ways, no matter how small, to thank others. I write tons of thank you notes, and wherever I go, I show up with a compliment. I’d rather receive a compliment from someone than a fancy hostess gift. At the next party you attend, take an affectionate or caring compliment. Tell your friends how much you appreciate their sense of humor or their graciousness. Don’t ever assume people don’t need to be thanked. That’s a need everybody has, whether they admit it or not. When you learn to get the words out, their energy will circulate back to you.
Use the Law of Attraction. Don’t you always feel more inclined to give more to someone when they’re enthusiastic and appreciative? Consider the times you’ve helped a friend or employee and were overwhelmed with thanks. Did it make you want to give more? Of course it did! “Like attracts like” is a scientific principle at the sub-atomic particle level. Put this principle to work in your life every day!
Give thanks for all you are, for being part of that limitless, magnificent, empowered relationship we call life. Let’s affirm:
“With each breath, I expand my love and gratitude for the many opportunities that await me. Today offers me a chance to live in appreciation of all the blessings in my life. My thankfulness is my true state of being. I create positivity with my thoughts, actions, and words. I am grateful for the abundance that sustains me during my life lessons. I am alive with vitality and enthusiasm. I am grateful for everyone and everything.” Watch the corresponding video on The Balancing Act here.
Having a healthy and empowered outlook on life includes taking care of our bodies. We must not only tend to our diets and exercise, but also make time to strengthen our inner connection with spirit, which is the source that provides unconditional love. It is part of a healthy body-mind-spirit regime. A mental diet of self-love is just as important to, if not more important than, your success on the scale.
When I had back surgery a couple of years ago, I was physically inactive for a long time. The weight piled on. The worst was the heavy heart I got by realizing that I could not ski anymore or do certain other things I used to do. I hurt all the time. Pretty soon, I began to see myself as an injured or incapacitated person. I was sending my body continuous messages of being limited. The body does not heal quickly when we do not support it mentally and emotionally. Until I changed my mental process, I had difficulty losing weight, but once I changed my thinking and released those energies, dieting became a joy, not a burden.
Everyone knows there is no magic to losing weight. It’s about diet and exercise. But what is overlooked is our mental equivalent, or our self-image. Do we love ourselves? Do we feel confident about who we are and what we contribute to the world? Are we experiencing positive personal growth in our lives? Get your head and heart aligned while you diet, and the excess weight will easily fall away.
What can we do to create a positive self-image that supports a healthy diet and lifestyle?
Celebrate every bite you eat by loving your body. Shift your mental state from counting carbohydrates and calories to feeding your body with love. Food is fuel, and fuel makes things go. It allows you to do your soul work on the planet! Adopt a nutrition consciousness and let it become a way of life. Focus on what you can feed your beautiful body to give it energy and kindness. Don’t focus on what you are not feeding it.
Center yourself every morning. You’ll be more in tune with your physical needs when you take a few minutes each day to go within and center yourself. Meditate to align yourself with the concept of perfect health, slimness, mobility, grace … whatever your physical goals are. A few minutes a day is all you need. Say, “I see myself as healthy, wealthy, gorgeous, and wise.”
Know that you are a beautiful human being. Shed negative and unnecessary mental and emotional baggage along with your excess weight. Make forgiveness part of your daily diet. Expand your vision of who you are as a limitless being. Know that no matter what your body size is, you have tons of potential! See yourself as whole and beautiful inside.
Pull the light inside your body. This light is love, so you’re lightening yourself from the inside-out first! Let’s affirm:
“Today, I reset my priorities to include a healthy and nourishing routine. My diet is about purging all negative thoughts, including guilt. I love and approve of my body and of my whole self. I shed this weight easily as I become more positive, lighter, and in love with my true self. I feel safe and protected. From this day forward, I choose a healthy and nourishing diet and state of mind.”
We must accept ourselves, and see ourselves as beautiful works in progress during any weight loss program. Weight loss never lasts if you don’t feel good “from the inside-out,” so be mindful about your positive self-image. See yourself as healthy, wealthy, and wise and bask in self-love and self-appreciation. These are the keys to deeper inner growth and permanent body transformation. Watch the corresponding video on The Balancing Act here.
For other affirmations about positive body image and weight loss, and Charlene’s Lose Weight, Feel Great, Meditate Diet, please click here to download. For more affirmations, read The Women’s Book of Empowerment: 323 Affirmations that Change Everyday Problems into Moments of Potential. Click Here to buy.
(Press Release) Bloomfield Hills, MI –October 6, 2011—Bloomfield Hills, Michigan native and best-selling author Charlene Proctor, Ph.D. will launch a new local series entitled “Your Journey to Joy” this November on Comcast On Demand. She is the founder of The Goddess Network, an online community with thousands of supporters, which inspires women to lead authentic lives with confidence. She is also a contributor on Lifetime Television’s The Balancing Actwhere she offers spiritual perspective on everyday life to millions of viewers.
Your Journey to Joy series is designed to help viewers search from within to look for what they need to create their own personal journey to joy and happiness. Viewers will be able to select from several lessons presented by the renowned author, researcher and educator who coaches and speaks on positive thinking, self-discipline and empowerment.
“Joy is a word that sounds wonderful, but is an illusion to many,” said Proctor. “With my new series I will share some simple, easy ways to train your mind to help create the life and joy you desire. It will be a different journey for everyone depending on where you are in your life.”
Proctor’s own journey has not been easy. Prior to authoring several books on personal growth, self help and spirituality, the mother of two struggled with her then teenage son’s alcoholism and the toll it took on herself and her family. Proctor suffered from a debilitating back injury, depression and weight gain and began searching for a way to release her emotional suffering. She traveled to Fiji and India to study at the Oneness University. That experience led her to discover what true joy was and how she could translate it into her everyday life. She took up ballroom dancing as an outlet and found she loved it and it loved her back. She lost 32 pounds, healed from back surgery and went on to win numerous dance awards with her dance partner Blake Kish from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bloomfield Hills.
“We all encounter tough times and challenges in life and I am so grateful to bring Your Journey to Joy to metro Detroiters. I want to help my audience create positive change by taking charge of their own thinking,” said Proctor. “Through greater self-awareness we are all empowered to find our joy no matter what obstacles we face.”
Your Journey to Joy series will be available on Comcast On Demand and Proctor’s website, www.charleneproctor.com, beginning in November.
Proctor is the founder of The Goddess Network, an on-line educational resource for topics on spiritual growth, positive thinking, consciousness, and unity. Charlene inspires people to rediscover their own ability to lead authentic lives. Currently, she is a weekly empowerment expert for Lifetime Television’s The Balancing Act. She also offers advice on SelfGrowth.com and Beliefnet.com, the world’s largest personal-growth web sites. Her affirmations, lectures, and electronic programs reach a worldwide audience daily. She is a frequent media guest and among the Top 100 Thought Leaders of 2007 (Warren Bennis Leadership Magazine).
Proctor earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Michigan.
Autumn is the season when we can fully appreciate our connection to what sustains us—our home and hearth, families and friends … and our food. Having a balanced outlook on life means you know you are part of the whole. It’s understanding the energetic exchange between you and the universe, your symbiotic relationship with the whole. The fall harvest is a great time to recognize that growing your own food and eating it is part of your interdependency with your spiritual source and with the planet.
We are interdependent with nature
Our culture and society of convenience have divorced us from our natural connection with the earth. Capitalism has changed how we nourish ourselves. Our kids no longer see their connection with nature. They think our food magically arrives at the grocery store in microwave-safe baggies. We adults have also lost our reverence for nature. I remember the time my son wanted me to buy him something. “Sweetie, we can’t today,” I told him. “I don’t have enough money for that.” What did he say to me? “Don’t worry, Mom. Let’s just go to the ATM and get more out of the money machine! Don’t you know that’s where money comes from?” It’s up to us to teach our children that we and nature are one, big organic equation.
We depend upon nature, upon our Mother Earth, for our sustenance. Mother Earth’s bounty is awesome. We need to remember to express regular appreciation for it. It begins with connecting with our food—how it’s grown, what the soil smells like, how good it feels to harvest the miracle of nature that is one vegetable, any vegetable. When we sit down to bless our food and eat, we experience a more compete state of gratitude. We give thanks for our beautiful opportunity to be alive as a human being.
When we see ourselves as part of this larger equation, we become empowered and awaken spiritually, too. I have a friend who is now a monk living in India. When he was going through his awakening process, he sat down to dinner one night and began to laugh hysterically. “What’s going on?” we asked him. He was practically rolling on the floor. “What’s so funny?” He said he’d just realized that by eating his food, he was eating himself. He’d just realized that we are all one, that the universe is one and we are all part of this magnificence we call oneness. For him, it was a moment of happy spiritual awareness where he realized that he was a part of all oneness.
In everyday life, how can we better understand our oneness and appreciate our connectivity with all life?
Get out in your garden more. Spend less time (and money) in the store. Get close to nature. Smell the soil, dig in it. Show your kids how to plant seeds and watch them grow. Take time to talk to your kids about the miracle of nature. Everything is eating something else in this magnificent cycle of life! There’s a whole world going on out there that we don’t fully appreciate, so let’s learn to be part of it! When harvest time comes around, pick fruits or vegetables together and eat them for dinner.
Meditate outside regularly. Get quiet. Look up at the sky. Listen to the sounds of nature. Project a vibration of gratitude for the miracles of nature and for the planet. Don’t be embarrassed to be a tree hugger.
Bless your food. The family dynamic of connecting around the food is an important ritual. It’s an acknowledgement of sharing the things that sustain us physically. It’s acknowledging what we have in common with everyone on the planet. Blessing our food is an expression of thankfulness to the earth.
When we think of these simple acts in life, we are learning to live consciously in the present.
So, today let’s affirm (and let’s do this outside):
“At this moment, I see Spirit as my Source, my food, and I recognize this in myself, in every individual, and in everything on this beautiful planet. From this day forward, I choose to see the energy of goodness in everyone and their contribution, no matter how small or large. I am supported in the dynamic equation of life.” Watch the corresponding video on The Balancing Act here.
Creating balance between the heart and mind is important when you want to create an empowered life. We cannot navigate through life through thought alone; we need the feminine qualities of the heart to work in conjunction with the masculine logical mind.
The heart is interdependent with all life
Science has shown that the heart communicates in a language all its own. The heart, which is the source of emotional energy and generates the largest rhythmic electromagnetic field produced in the body, has about forty thousand neurons. It starts beating before we are born. Rollin McCraty, PhD, executive vice-president and director of research for the Institute of HeartMath, points out that our emotions affect the heart’s electromagnetic field, which influences people around us. At both physiological and psychological levels, the heart is the basic building block we can use to optimize what’s going on in the world.
Researchers have been investigating heart-brain interactions for more than eighteen years. They study how the heart and brain communicate with each other and how this communication affects consciousness and our perceptions of the world. In their studies, they have identified a state called coherence. When we are feeling positive emotions, they say—appreciating the sunset, feeling love, showing compassion, or expressing concern for someone—our heart beats out a unique message. The heart is deeply enfolded into the unseen energy fields within and outside our bodies, and through intention we can spread goodwill and bring harmony to the whole world. How can we use this information to impact those around us and change the world? When we shift our emotions, we can change what we encode in the field and use it to lead more compassionate and joyful lives.
When HeartMath scientists looked at the spectrum analysis of the magnetic field radiated by the heart, they found that emotional information is actually encoded and modulated into magnetic fields. All electromagnetic fields are force fields that carry energy. Like an electric current flowing in a wire or coil, these fields are capable of producing an action at a distance. Magnetic and electric fields exist around appliances, power lines, electric wiring, even light fixtures, but electromagnetic fields are generated only when an electric current is flowing. Since electrical currents also flow through living organisms, all living things are surrounded by magnetic fields extending out from their bodies. These currents can be influenced by external magnetic fields, too. The magnetic field produced by the brain can be detected and measured from several feet away from the head.
But it’s the heart that generates the body’s most powerful and extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field, which is even stronger than the brain’s. Compared to the electromagnetic field produced by the brain, the electrical component of the heart’s field is about sixty times greater in amplitude. It permeates every cell of the body. The heart’s magnetic component is also approximately five thousand times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body with sensitive magnetometers. What the HeartMath team discovered in their research was that brain rhythms naturally synchronize with the heart’s rhythmic activity.
These scientific studies, and others in the field of neurocardiology, suggest that the heart’s nervous system enables it to learn, remember, and make functional decisions independent of the cerebral cortex. The heart actually sends signals to the brain that influence the function of the higher brain centers involved in emotional processing, perception, and cognition. In other words, also though the heart works as a pump, it is also a sensory organ that has a mind of its own. Because it can make decisions, we need to think and ask from the heart more often.
Your emotional state
A person’s emotional state is communicated throughout the body by the heart’s electromagnetic field, which interacts with our organs and informs our bodily functions positively or negatively. If you’re angry, the beating pattern of your heart is erratic, disordered, and incoherent, whereas if you’re feeling positive emotions, it beats in a smooth, orderly, and coherent pattern. When you’re feeling gratitude or love, your respiratory rhythm, along with your blood pressure and other systems in your body, entrains to your heart’s rhythm. As pulsing waves of energy radiate out from our hearts, they also affect our environment, our relationships, and our experiences in our social environment. Because our heart’s electromagnetic field can be detected by other people, love, compassion, and joy can change our external environment. There is also evidence to suggest that a subtle yet influential electromagnetic or energetic communication system operates just below our conscious awareness. Isn’t it true that our social interactions have magnetic or repulsive components to them? That’s because our hearts’ electromagnetic fields transmit information between people.
When the electromagnetic fields of two hearts merge, they begin to entrain, or synchronize, with each other and exchange information. The information embedded in each field is taken in by the receiving organism. This produces an informational gestalt and becomes something more than the sum of its parts. This harmonization, or exchange of heart energy between individuals, is measurable. When we generate a smooth and coherent heart rhythm, our brain waves can actually synchronize to another person’s heart.
The heart is vital to our spiritual awakening
Finally, science has proved that a clear and beautiful mind, which is the expression of love and compassion, makes us sensitive to those around us. The merging of our heart energies is a natural process. When we spiritually awaken, we can direct our attention outside ourselves and become aware of vibrations generated by our encounters with everyone else’s external electromagnetic fields. When our hearts touch other people’s electromagnetic fields, we can feel their encoding, and, when we are highly tuned in, we can feel the beat of every living thing. We are in total harmony. Those who reach a state of samadhi, a mystical state of complete absorption into the Divine, have suspended their mind’s activity. Now the mind can become aware of itself, as if looking in a mirror. A person in samadhi will often say he or she feels one with all plants, trees, and various wild critters.
If we immerse ourselves in nature, we experience coherence with the environment and connect as a single, synchronized natural system. This might explain the feelings of awe and appreciation we gain from seeing the Northern Lights or the Rocky Mountains. It’s our heart perceiving the electromagnetic field of our planet. Does our heart sense the Great Mother as a sentient being who has a consciousness of her own? I tend to think so. Our hearts are meant to communicate with the outside world and the endless energy in existence on earth. We can, in fact, extend our electromagnetic fields to beyond the planet and into infinity.
The potential of a coherent electromagnetic field can lead to powerful dialogues. This potential is a natural part of our spiritual awakening. If we want to relate to the world and use all our capabilities, we need to shift more often from brain- to heart-centered awareness and elevate our heart’s mind into our decision making. This is what it means to have an empowered heart.
If science says we can learn to better perceive the information encoded in the heart fields of those around us, then why are we holding back on compassion and love? In our brain-dominated world, we have lost our ability to trust our heart’s conversation. Our cultural conditioning has trained us to discount our intuition. If we choose, we can grow more intuitively as we grow in spiritual awareness.
How can we empower ourselves with heart-centered awareness?
Know that you can change the world with your heart. When the electromagnetic fields of two hearts merge, they begin to entrain, or synchronize, with each other and exchange information. Science can actually measure this. Starting today, know that all this information is being received by someone. Know that what you feel with someone becomes more than a sum of its parts. It’s very empowering to understand how you can change the world.
Rely upon your heart in your decision making. The heart is deeply enfolded into the unseen energy fields within and outside the body. Through intention, we can spread goodwill and bring harmony to the whole world. Shift your emotions toward leading a compassionate and joyful life. Life has an intelligence all of its own.
Live with an open heart. Your body is physically designed to send messages to your environment through your heart. There is an information exchange that constantly goes on. No matter what you say out loud, your heart speaks its own vibrational language. Be aware not only of what you say, but also what you energetically project.
Watch the corresponding video on The Balancing Act here.
Let’s affirm the presence and the importance of our heart center:
“Today, I rejoice in the cosmic power of love. I open my heart to receive more love. I begin to leave logic behind. By knowing love, I am experiencing the highest power possible. I use my love power to manifest good in my life, no matter the outcome of any relationship or circumstance.”
Affirmations are a simple tool we can use to feel better about ourselves. By repeating aloud or silently the positive things we want for our lives, we train our minds to move past other people's views and our own internal scripts to embrace new and joyful possibilities. According to Charlene Proctor, Ph.D., affirmations help "arrest the impulse to self-doubt and give you more energy to focus your attention on a life filled with prosperity, love, good health, and happiness."
Her affirmations, lectures, and electronic programs reach a worldwide audience daily. She is a frequent media guest and among the Top 100 Thought Leaders of 2007. (The Warren Bennis Leadership Magazine).
Charlene, your words inspire me each and everyday! They open my mind and expand my horizons to places I've never traveled. keep up with all the wisdom and words of encouragement!! My god bless you and keep you healthy and safe. Just one more thing. I would so vote for you if you were on Dancing with the stars !!!!!!! David
Thank you for your kind words and becoming a great friend and mentor. You positive words help lift my spirits and inspire me. I look forward to having the honor to offer a great service to you.Gods Grace be with you, Aimee
Amazon review from: Let Your Goddess Grow! 7 Spiritual Lessons on Female Power and Positive Thinking (Paperback)
I purchased the book for my 19 years old daughter as a Christmas Gift. She's enjoying the reading and is happy about owning this book. I can see a slight improvement and a learning as on a mother daughter day she'll explain to me how she's learning to think positive based on her reading....