Affirmations Archives - Rev. Dr. Charlene M. Proctor

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Moments of Joy and empowerment

charlene proctorThis month’s Pro-Am Spotlight is the Reverend Doctor Charlene M. Proctor who tells us how to take the positive path, in the ever changing world of ballroom dancing.  In 2015, she was a U.S.D.C. National Rising Star Smooth Champion and an Ohio Star Ball Rising Star Smooth Champion. Her reflections on how to manifest success while finding joy in the ballroom will help you on your own personal dance journey.

Life Outside of Dance

I have a very close family.  My children Jason, Vaughn, and Shenghan Bai are all recently or nearly out of college, and my husband Tom Proctor is at the helm. Currently, he is an L-39 formation pilot and instructor, and flies many aircraft for the World Heritage Air Museum. My house in Michigan is Grand Central Station.  It is constantly filled with family, friends, dance partners, coaches, employees from all of our companies, (both Tom and I moved our businesses home several years ago), along with our Brittany Spaniel, Proctor’s Bird Buster aka, Goo Goo Baby.

charlene proctorMy father Rudy “Ludomill” Chalko, (Milovník Ľudí) was Ukrainian. None of my relatives from my dad’s side spoke English, they spoke Slovak, and my mother was one of seven Silesian children.  The family base was in Chicago. Food was a symbol of prosperity and love, and the center of family gatherings. Hence, I have a kitchen the size of an aircraft carrier because it is where all our silly stories are shared, our drama, dreams, joy, politics, and sorrows.  It is where the grocery list resides, which is always a mile long because we never know who is staying for dinner. Proctor Family Translation: Cook like you mean it and think big, which is one of our family’s practical philosophies that applies to all areas of our lives, including ballroom dancing.

Entering the World of Ballroom Dance

charlene proctorMy mother, Veronica Margaret Victoria Czerná, encouraged my brother and I to be musicians, and explore the arts.  We were raised on a heavy dose of musical theatre, ballet, acting classes, and we traveled to many competitions with our jazz band and orchestra when we were young. We were taught to have an incredible work ethic, strive to be educated, provide exceptional hospitality at home, and appreciate our good fortune to be in America. As an adult, I was an athlete in a number of sports, and raising two boys seemed to put me on the football or soccer field.  As they matured, I went back to dancing.  I took lessons with Tom and then all of us at Fred Astaire Bloomfield Hills attended the Holiday Dance Classic nearly seven years ago. I was mesmerized by competitive dancing and that was it.

Getting Through Difficulties and Struggles

charlene proctorFrom the beginning, I thought it would be interesting to keep track of the amount of times (heats) I danced on the floor.  It became a habit after I was asked to calculate this for an article long ago. So, I kept track after each of the 103 competitions I have attended.  I have danced with seven different pro instructors, exactly 23,850 times.  When I walk on the floor, and question my abilities or feel my courage waning, it reminds me I have been there before, and most likely, will be there again, and all is well.

I’ve seen the inside of more hotels in the U.S. than I can remember, and I have been in airports for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, birthdays, family get-togethers, and anniversaries. There is personal sacrifice from being on the competition circuit all year, but it is the people and what you learn in relationships in the ballroom world that make the experience special.  When I’m 90 years old, enjoying nature and perhaps playing Mahjong and reminiscing about life, I will say it was worthwhile because of what I have learned. I’ve watched my colleagues and the professionals dance thousands of times, and still love the skill and art of ballroom dancing. When I go to a competition and walk into the vendor area, I’m excited to see the ballroom.  The sparkle is still there!

Preparing for a Day on the Floor

charlene proctorI always pray before I go on the dance floor, and I’m sure many people have seen me pray.  I’m always in the on-deck area when I do. I call forth the essence of Spirit and thank God for the love, light, and protection I am about to receive. I harmonize with Source, knowing I am protected and guided. I ask to be a vision and expression of grace on the floor. And I ask the same for others.

Empowering Moments

charlene proctorI remember dancing in San Diego when I was in bronze, and smooth was a relatively new style for me. I was leaning against the wall in the ballroom with five ladies: Two of them were top pros, a prominent smooth coach in the industry, and another competitor.  All of us were at least six feet tall, dressed in gowns, and we stood within inches of each other. Wendy Johnson walked by, looked at our line-up, grinned, and gave a nod of approval.  “Ah,” she said, “There are my American Smooth girls!”  It was a simple and empowering moment to be in such classy company. It felt great. One of the most endearing parts of our industry is the support of many coaches, who constantly encourage us to expand our dance vision. From their teachings, we strive to think like champions, and be that, no matter our level.  When they say “Job well-done!” after the competition, it feels magical.


Dance Challenges

I have danced with many different pro instructors over the years, and commuted thousands of miles for practice. Long distance arrangements are very challenging, and everything in our household revolves around The Dance Schedule.  I could not do this without the geniune support of my family.  Currently, I am dancing three styles with three different pros, in three cities: Viktor Tkachenko, Smooth (Fred Astaire Bloomfield Hills Michigan), Hayk Arshakian, Latin (Fred Astaire Wisconsin), and Igor Kiselev, Standard (Atlantic Ballroom, Baltimore). Each of these men bring a unique teaching and perspective to my life, and our team is very positive. Hammer Nutrition is our sponsor, and all of us are working to maximize our physical bodies in order to bring our best to the floor.

Inspiration to Keep Dancing

charlene proctorI enjoy the relationships, of course, and the hugs and humor when dance seems overwhelming.  Ray Rivers always says, “Everything is simple. Nothing is easy” and I am still learning to apply this philosophy after many years of practice and competing.  Patience is not my strong suit, and it has been difficult to switch pros so often, but lives and people change and I just have to accept that is another part of the experience. Over the years, working with my coaches has been one of the most consistent and enriching aspects of my dancing. Also, the welcoming vibe of the Fred Astaire family has been wonderful.

Last year I was invited to dance in the team match at Millennium, and by the end of the evening, those on the team who had been on the floor all day were dazed. Janice Gonzalez, who is one of the funniest people I know, kept me in stitches goofing around in the on-deck area that night. I laughed so hard at absolutely nothing, I think my dress split open at the sides. We were like silly children. Those moments in the ballroom, when we remember to play and be in the moment for the joy of it, are always among my favorite experiences at competitions. They remind us to be part of a greater community, no matter the score.  We can still have a good time when we don’t take ourselves too seriously.  Those occasions are good food for the soul.

Life Challenges

charlene proctorBecause of the amount of travel on the circuit and the numerous training hours, it can be difficult to keep my nutrition in check (yes, we all fall off the wagon at times). Sometimes I overdo it in all areas, resulting in injury or sheer exhaustion. Balance is a constant challenge. Moving up to the higher levels invites stress because it is yet another goal or milestone. The bar is raised to win, and it becomes more difficult.  All athletes go through periods of questioning their potential.  Like others, I wonder, “Have I reached my potential already? Is this as good as I’m going to get? Is it time to re-adjust my objectives and goals?” And so forth.

In our private lives, those who are outside of the ballroom dance world see what we do as a glamourous mystery, and often remind us to dance with joy. To ENJOY and take it all in at its fullest moments and be proud to be there.  To be FULLY PRESENT.  It is challenging when we establish a goal of being a U.S. Champion or winning a scholarship at a major event, and when it doesn’t happen, we must return home and get it in perspective. My mother is 92 years young now and in a wheelchair, and can’t attend any more competitions to watch me, but all the times she did, she said it was a privilege to dance. It’s truly special. That’s why it is important to get grounded after an event.  When I walk into the kitchen after being on the road for days and things didn’t go very well, words of encouragement from my family to keep striving toward my potential are what gets me back on the practice floor on Monday mornings.

Being an Ambassador

I am a Ph.D., an interfaith minister, and have five degrees.  I have studied in India, Fiji, written several self-help books and articles, and have done numerous programs to help empower women from all economic levels of life. I have done TV and radio shows on joy, positivity, manifesting abundance and prosperity, and I seek to teach others the importance of a positive outlook.  The challenge with ballroom dancing is that it comes from such a deep place inside of us.  It LIVES inside of us. Dance is emotional and heartfelt; it is a private place.  Thus, we tend to question our abilities, and we forget who we really are: we are spiritual beings here to learn and help each other evolve.

My greatest challenge in my ballroom career is to follow my own advice. To balance the joy of dancing with my athletic, competitive nature. I strive to be positive and affirm the best in myself even when the chips are down. Dance is not a quest for perfection, nor is a score a reflection of who you are as an individual. We can never dance perfect, there will never be a perfect round, or a perfect day on the dance floor. Adopting a champion state of mind, as Stephen Knight says, is projecting your inner soul outward and fusing the totality of everything you are at the moment and surrender to being present. That alone takes a whole lot of practice, both on and off the floor.

I choose to be an inspiration to people who are beginning their dance journey.  And I want to say to them that when we fall short of our own expectations, we cannot let it assault our positive self-image.  Dance is an experience that contributes to our own self-development as human beings because we are learning many lessons that have nothing to do with dance.  We are learning to express grace, pray for other’s success as much as our own, and be more loveable people.  We think we are learning the Jive but we may be learning discipline, or how to relate better to our pro, or patience, or math, or any number of other things. It is an interesting environment.  Overall, we must learn to be magnanimous and learn to manifest a positive vision of our own success, and help others do the same.

Dance Philosophy

charlene proctorTo be generous toward others is important.  It expands us. It makes us exceptional. It allows us to cherish one another and sets the tone for individual and spiritual growth. In such turbulent times where much of the world lacks peace and prosperity, we, in the ballroom world, can nurture our basic human desire to be loved and appreciated by bringing our own unique rendition of dance to the floor.  We truly are one musical body of light when we all get it right.

I do not ever forget to thank God for my ability to participate in the world of dancing.  Gratitude for everything I have in my life is ever present even after a hard day on the floor.char16  We must remember to dance with bliss, excitement, and celebration and fill ourselves with courage and joy. We must believe we have abundant talent and are fearless, powerful, confident, and strong. These are the empowering thoughts that make a champion and drive us collectively to success.

Many Blessings,

© 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.

DanceBeat releases our next Pro-Am Spotlight: Charlene Proctor.
Get Charlene’s incredible life story at…/m-pro-am-s…/item/1270-charleneproctor

Charlene Proctor















Angels Help Us Experience Positive Change

angelA few months ago, I visited the Notre-Dame Basilica, whose stone foundation was built between 1672 and 1683. Located in the heart of Montreal, its towers, sanctuary, and chapel are a breathtaking and spectacular piece of architecture that is rich in history.

Often when we feel troubled, solitude quiets our mind, so the heart can listen. Usually, in the peace and quiet of churches or gardens, it is easier to receive answers. We can set an intention or just pray for the health and well-being for those we love. I needed clarity about my dancing, so I went to Notre-Dame to meditate and reach out to The Universe, thinking it was a good time to reflect.

Dance is a testing ground to resolve cultural differences. It allows us to channel our competitive instincts. We get a taste of success then question if we have reached our potential. We learn forgiveness in broken partnerships or earn trust through longevity. And then, if we dearly love our dancing, most of us see it as a means to emanate joy and change the world. I always said you can change the world with one good dance. You never know how much it can affect a person. That’s pretty powerful.

As I lit candles for my family’s health and well-being, I asked for help in the biggest sectors of my life. Relationships were always on the list because they were the most challenging. Work. The health and well-being of my mother. My children’s futures. And, of course, dance. You wouldn’t think that dancing was an arena for spiritual growth, but it’s huge. In the last six years, it challenged my self-worth and how I made peace with my aging body.

Broken Partnerships

Dancing, or anything you love to do that brings you joy, should be generous and true. In a partnership sport, like competitive dancing, when the relationship lacks a feeling of free emotional movement, it won’t last. You need two, congruent minds who believe that it is possible to train and win. The creative process needs to be shared.

Even with my good intentions, and focus on success, I had three broken relationships in one year. What happened? I asked. I showed commitment. Did my job. Lived my truth. Was patient and honest. Practiced positivity. In the Basilica, I approached my situation with an open heart, and humbly took inventory of all the things I didn’t do so well. I embraced my errors in thinking and mistakes which are never easy to admit but nobody’s perfect. I sat in the pew and prayed for assistance. It’s a good thing, I thought, that nobody has to listen to all this drama except God.

Praying for Change

True prayer initiates a change in consciousness. In prayer, instead of lamenting over our numerous errors, we must shift our thinking and see every experience as an opportunity to recognizeBasilica wisdom in its many shapes and forms. We must see ourselves as successful and uniquely talented human beings, and invite God to express through us. And occasionally ask ourselves, “What is God’s idea of Itself as my life? If I were a channel for The Divine to express, what would I bring to others?” Unity Minister Reverend Michael Beckwith says opening a bigger picture on what we naturally and joyfully could be expressing in our lives really expands our thought process and makes us more available to wisdom, and to the signs that are a response to our prayers. We need to be good listeners. Paying attention to what we ask for and how Spirit communicates with us is so vital to our spiritual journey.

Having great faith in the asking part of the process, I mentally shifted to seeking and knocking at God’s door. My intention was to find a sensible situation, and be surrounded by positivity. I left the door open on how that was to happen, as I believe in giving The Universe an open invitation to create circumstances that are right for me. So, after raising my vibration, and attuning to an elevated consciousness, I asked, sought, and knocked. Jesus assured us these things are the predecessors to fulfillment of our desires. I figured I was in good hands.

Angelic Signs

Spiritual requests for help are always met when powered by a strong desire. Our life events are immediately realigned in order to receive what we want, as long as there is consistency and clarity in the request. Years ago, when I studied in Fiji with the monks of the Oneness University, I actually saw this process of prayer fulfillment. In a deep meditation, I connected to Spirit and I asked for some new conditions in my life. I saw the Divine Mind realigning the energies and pathways for changes to occur. It was an incredible experience to actually see it. I know that once a consistent broadcast goes out, in the form of prayer or intention, it is met with a realignment of conditions that provides an opportunity to grow.

Because we are often surprised about how new experiences are attracted to us after prayer, we don’t notice that conditions realign for our benefit. Often, it feels, or looks like, an upheaval, but I believe that once we ask and release our attachment to the outcome, whatever comes our way is meant to help us become more, never less, that our authentic self. We are more open to experience positive change.

Signs also come to us after we choose bigger picture thinking. They are usually subtle and arrive in the form of colors, phone calls, music, or feelings. These are the comforting little things that let us know we are cared for. Watched over. Validated. Loved. At the Basilica that day, I realized I had been so focused on finding a new partner and overcoming past hurts, and fixing it all myself through analysis of what a great dance partnership would be, I didn’t expand to include a greater vision of myself and capabilities. So I could not attract the best situation. I forgot to let go, and trust that big decisions in life are not made entirely on my own or by taking advice from friends.

AngelI knew that to initiate change in my conditions, I had to stay on the highest possible course, keeping my thoughts positive, and stay centered in affirmations. As I left the pew, and walked out of the church, I saw a stained glass depiction of angels. I remembered that Archangel Michael works for the higher power. The Archangels are always available to help improve our lives. Surrounded by peace, I felt his presence. A peaceful energy came into me. What took you so long? You know I am here, I heard.  Just ask. My purpose is to help you live a life of peace. I realized no job was too big or too insignificant to turn over to an angel.

Archangel Michael gives encouragement and comfort to make decisions and is concerned with physical and spiritual protection. His signs are designed to reassure, and to help empower us and have courage, faith, and release fear and anxiety. I should know this already, I thought, as I have a painting of him in my home. He is often depicted with sword, a spiritual warrior who slices through heavy circumstances. When called upon, he is a spiritual force that helps create good foundations for stability. I asked him to become my guide on relationships and be a permanent fixture in my life.

Reordered Conditions

Earlier that summer, a man named Michael (go figure) from New York was recommended to me by a prominent coach and a friend. He flew into town to dance with me for two days under the watchful eye of my coach. I thought the distance between Detroit to New York City was too far to practice. At first, he didn’t strike me as having much of a sense of humor. He was poised, quiet, and conducted himself like Fitzwilliam Darcy, an 18th century gentleman from the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. Against the advice of my coach, I passed him over and chose Guy #3, a funny, energetic, extroverted, superb salesman, who painted a glorious picture of what our dance future would be together. After the last partnership was dissolved, I thought it would be great to let my hair down with somebody who had a sense of humor.

Over the next 2 months, I learned that his intention was not in alignment with mine, a painful realization. After I left the church that afternoon, the relationship with Guy #3 ended with a debilitating conversation, and we called it quits over lunch. It was one of the most unempowering conversations of my life, and during the cab ride back to the hotel, I wondered, Angels, you were supposed to fix this, not make it worse! It was the third set of material I had in just over a year, and nearly 100 different patterns and routines. I was discouraged with constantly starting over, and weary of spending more time and money to dance and compete. There would be no United States Dance Championships or Ohio Star Ball for me, and at this rate, maybe never. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t make any arrangement work, but another coach made me see it very clearly. “It’s just an experience,” he reminded me over and over. “It’s not good or bad. It’s just an experience. Your vibrations didn’t match. That is all, nothing more.” Certainly, failure in a relationship is not something I should choose to wear on my sleeve the rest of my life. Asking for help in the Basilica that day meant circumstances had to break down, before there could be any rebuilding on a solid foundation.

Sri Amma Bhagavan always said that to find peace, we must consider life as is, and see reality clearly. And to find our personal truth, we must seek truth everywhere, from many different sources. We must keep learning. Question everything. And come up with a version that is right for us. I put my energies into being humble when I returned home, and called New York Michael, and told him I was eating plenty of humble pie. I said I made a mistake and chose the wrong person, and if he would still have time and the desire, would he mind dancing with me? I knew it was a long shot. He calmly said, “I liked dancing with you the first time, so I don’t think that will change.” Sometimes, we don’t get it right the first time. If we ask the Angels for assistance, who desire so much to bring us peace in our lives, we will get there because it is never too late for anything we want in our lives. If we give the Angels a chance to work with us when our human efforts fail, all will be well.

Moving Forward with Grace

When we sense imperfection, incompleteness, loneliness, despair, or when we feel unappreciated, stranded or discouraged, it’s because we’ve failed to acknowledge the assistance coming to us at all times. This is the energetic connection with the Presence called “grace.” Receiving grace is natural, and it takes no effort on our behalf to do anything. All we have to do is be open to God’s dancingunlimited concern and care. The Angels are great at opening our channels so that we are receptive to receiving our download of grace. They help facilitate putting the Divine’s hand in ours. Suddenly, serendipitous or lucky events seem to multiply when we recognize them as God’s grace in action, because when we become aware of God’s intelligence and consciously align with it, we attract better situations.

After prayer, and if we are truly open to improving our situations, coincidences seem to connect us with people who are the resources we need to solve a problem. This is part of the realignment with grace, which often, in the beginning, might look or feel like an upheaval. Recently, New York Michael’s wife told me that earlier last year, she had prayed for good people to come into his life. She said she had wished for it so deeply that when I came along, she knew that her prayer had been answered. Our dancing, which has now reached the six month mark, is filled with warmth and appreciation, and has a very upbeat bond. There is a deep sense of appreciation, and even though we’ve hit a few speed bumps along the way, the dancing is getting technically sound and looks joyful on the floor. When we occasionally disagree on an issue, I ask the Angels for information, and thus far, they indicate I am still on a positive path. They will leave me little signs in the form of white feathers or a friend will suddenly call and say something to me that seems to be just what I hear at that moment.

Because the natural state of the Universe is ceaseless change, we must remember that help is available to make better choices. Relationships are our biggest teacher, and we can depend upon the higher power for input. This year, wings became a symbol of freedom for me and a reminder that the Angels are there to steer us in the best direction. Obstacles are only learning experiences that challenge us to find more strength which will always inspire other person. We may not always predict a problem (and often they come in the form of dance pros), but it’s good to know that Divine intelligence always sees farther than we do. Sometimes, we just need to pay attention to the right signs. And have faith in the outcome.

Next article in the Angelic Series: Feathered Friends and Finding Five’s.

© 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.



It’s not easy to jump into the unknown


Power thoughts for today


How do we walk through a challenge without fear?

Charlene Proctor

How do we walk through a challenge without fear? In the last 3 ½ years, I’ve been fortunate to have only had a pulled hamstring as a dance injury. But after limping home early from Holiday Dance Classic in Vegas, and the entire break dedicated to rest and meeting with good surgeons, I’ve learned that my feet are very angry. Lately, I’ve been thanking them for all the years they have given me, and for holding me up during years of competitive sports – sailing, squash, golf, skiing all over the world, and of course, ballroom dancing. Now, the bone spurs in my big toes and a host of other joint and tendon challenges in my feet and ankles are just too painful to carry on so it’s time to take a journey on another dance floor. When life shifts so dramatically, it’s usually perceived as a setback, but I’m not going to view it that way. There will be wonderful people to meet along the way and who knows? Maybe I’ll teach my physical therapist how to waltz. This is a time to practice the principles of positive thinking, and to remind everyone that 

I learned this from Sri Amma Bhagavan in India years ago, and during a prayer session and meditation with them over Christmas, I realized that there is absolutely no room in my consciousness for fear or sadness, only the energy and discipline to manifest a complete healing. I am moving forward… walking on sunshine, and going to beat this. In my mind, I already have.

© 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.


Tips for working with the power of Grace?

graceGrace is the holy presence. It is an experience. Allow it to be a primary connection to your Source. This is the place you know you are taken care of, when life has meaning. A lack of trust means you do not know grace. It shifts your perception of life.

 It is Divine Love helping you and healing you. It is like a mother who offers comfort and warmth, who folds you into her lap. There is no effort required on our behalf, and we should offer no resistance. It is free, on the house, available to everyone. It is an energy that is always there but we often don’t recognize it. When we change our perceptions on grace, and allow it to enter our experience, there is progress in the form of personal transformation and healing – a move forward in all areas.  There is a re-ordering taking place. There is peace. It is not a concept or an idea, but the holy presence. All you have to do is ask God for grace.  It is that simple.

When we fall from grace, it does not mean we are sinners. It means we have forgotten our connection with the Divine Presence! When you ‘come back into grace’ it doesn’t mean we have chosen the right religion nor done something amazing to impress God. It means we have remembered who we are as beings of light here on the plant. We have simply remembered our connection.

© 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.