This article originally appeared in Natural Awakenings magazine.
Natural Awakenings recently caught up with Charlene Proctor, Ph.D., author of Let Your Goddess Grow! 7 Spiritual Lessons on Female Power and Positive Thinking. Her book reveals how women and men can harness the power needed to create a positive and balanced life. She is also the founder of The Goddess Network, an online community with over 25,000 members that inspires women to embrace the idea of the divine feminine and celebrate the feminine principle. Within minutes of our meeting, I felt immediately connected to her. She was very comfortable to be around and had many fascinating stories to share. We spoke for awhile when she told me how The Goddess Network came into being.
CP: My background is a social scientist and I spent many years pursuing that particular paradigm; the logical, orderly type of left brain persona. One day I pulled up into this organization I was working with and I couldn’t get out of the car. I was over 40 years old, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks that I‘d spent my entire life pursuing only half of what constituted me as a whole person. And rolled into that was a dedication to a very male value set. At that moment, I realized that if I didn’t spend the second half of my life balancing this analytical perspective on life with the intuitive and feminine side, and to integrate a sense of spirituality into my work, I just wasn’t going to make it. That was the day The Goddess Network was born.
NA: What are the biggest, positive thinking challenges women face?
CP: The first lesson here is about release, and until we allow more room for growth, until we make space for it, how are we going to get there? You have to look back and honor your past, which is hard for us to do. We have a great need to engage in a grounded spirituality, one that honors our path. Women really need to seek meaning very deeply in the everyday. It is very hard for us to compartmentalize and our brains don’t work that way anyway, and I talk about that in the book.
Women want to be like Spiderwoman of the Native American tradition. She is a wonderful metaphor for everything women are all about today. We see ourselves as the center of this web that emanates from our heart center. Because we have a deep desire to bind our communities and relationships and families together, we tend to fill our minds up with so much of that instead of letting go of the things that no longer serve us well. And of course, that is when we short circuit. So, letting go is definitely a positive thinking challenge.
Another challenge is that there is still so much old world family ideology and old cultural values and elements of our wisdom traditions that tell women that they are blemished and half of a person, that they are not whole unto themselves. And if we talk about old mental programming that might affect our perspective in life, this is still very evident to me. I see it all the time. I have been to workshops where women will tell me they grew up their entire lives and never heard anything positive about being female because they were being told who they were based on some particular religious doctrine. That is very damaging because we not only carry it around in our collective female psyche as a group energy with all women, but we hold that inside, and there is so much pain in that.
Now if a woman can begin to think positive and release the past and old mental programming about who she is as an authentic person, the final bridge to cross is truly believing that we are individual sparks of divinity, which is our natural state. So if you get to that point in the process and you don’t accept that, you can’t be a conscious co-creator of your reality because you are not accepting who you are. I think that embracing the concept of the divine feminine is a missing part of us. I would hope that would be one of the big ideas that a person, man or woman, would take away from this book. And when we can really understand what that is, it brings us a sense of balance.
NA: Many people, including myself, find themselves starting their day already on a negative track. How can we change that?
CP: One of the challenges that women have is that we don’t set our energy immediately on the right track. We need more practice at positive thinking and we need the discipline to do it all day long. Do you remember what Joe Dispenza said in the movie What The Bleep Do We Know!? about consciously creating your day? What he was telling us was that we need to spend more time being the witness to our experience. Be the observer of your life and step back, you aren’t denying your emotions or your earth walk. You have to do this first thing in the morning. Get up and say “I am conscious of my emotional state, I am calm and centered, I am without boundaries, I am limitless, I am experiencing my The right mindset to achieving abundance is to embrace your divine nature. You have to truly internalize that you are an unlimited creation. true self and I am a marvelous spark of the divine. It is always the ‘I AM‘“. That really is one of the most powerful phrases that any of us could speak. It brings the idea into mind that before we start our day we are inviting this genius to operate through us. Your mind will fight it, but the mind is much more elastic than we ever thought possible.
When I consciously create my day, I am not referring to the “to do” list. It is about achieving an awareness of who you are. It is a very intuitive process and moves you into feeling more balanced.
NA: How can we arrive at abundance thinking?
CP: Everybody is concerned about abundance, and I tell you, abundance is a spiritual lesson about getting the whole thing. It’s about manifesting and materializing that. The right mindset to achieving abundance is to embrace your divine nature. You have to truly internalize that you are an unlimited creation. Once we really, completely surrender ourselves to that idea, to let it reverberate through us like a song, we are able to think unlimited and attract that abundance into our lives because it is our natural state of being. That was a difficult lesson for me growing up, and I learned the hard way because I never had anyone to teach these things to me. I had to discover it on my own and take a lot of self inventory.
NA: How did honoring your past help with writing Let your Goddess Grow?
CP: We use our own lives as a process to help bring other people along. If it wasn’t for my past, I wouldn’t be a good writer. This book came from a lot of my own personal experience and certainly in the subject of positive thinking. The house that I grew up in was the antithesis of positive thinking. My parents were from the depression era so I grew up in a house where abundance was not a concept. When you have old mental programming that tells you that you don’t consciously create your life and that things happen to you solely by luck or accident, then you are left with a sense of not being in charge of your life, and not having any idea how much power the mind has to manifest your external reality. It always starts internally, that is the natural law. As within so without, as above so below. We still don’t get it. We are in a physical existence and there’s earth rules.
NA: Did you ever feel the pressure when you were writing this book, like why me?
CP: Oh yes, the calling. When Mother God dials your number, you take the call. And you don’t hang up the phone . Certainly that day in the car was a calling for me to change directions. And that doesn’t mean we need to leave everything behind. Wherever we find ourselves on our journey incorporates everything that we are up to that point, so it’s never lost. You have to put yourself in neutral, take your foot off the gas and just go. And so, I never looked back.
NA: How does it feel, just putting yourself out there and knowing how the work you’re doing is affecting so many people?
CP: Putting yourself out there and finding that voice within you is very hard for everyone. It doesn’t come naturally at all for most of us, and for women, oh my Goddess; we have a lot of trouble getting that voice out. That is why I am really firm with people who come to the workshops that you have to vocalize, to speak something. I don’t care if you are just going to say your name. Get those words out and get it started. Pull it out of yourself and declare your name and who you are and why you came. It is important for us to do that. We are all participating in our self-evolution. My advice to people on a similar path to finding their voice is simply this-try to surrender a little bit more. And to not be so fearful because we are all going to land softly. Explore your life and your journey with a sense of imagination.
For more information on Charlene Proctor visit www.thegoddessnetwork. net.
The following are affirmations excerpted from The Women’s Book of Empowerment, 323 Affirmations that Change Everyday Problems into Moments of Potential, the companion book to Let Your Goddess Grow.
Worrying: I am safe and secure knowing my needs are anticipated by divine order. Today I surrender to the flow of the universe with trust. Everything I need appears at the right time. I no longer feel compelled to plan every move. I make my choices freely and look forward to the surprises that come my way, knowing they are for my higher good.
Feeling As If I’m On a Treadmill: 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 sense that my energies may be misdirected. I focus on choosing experiences in my life that contribute to my own spiritual development.
Money Never Comes Easily: I am grateful for every gift in my life. I am an open channel to receiving all my goodness, no matter where it comes from. I am now opening the door to an abundant and prosperous world, and I step through with joy. I love being receptive to all good in my life. I thank the universe for every gift that comes my way and know I am always ready to receive my good from everywhere, everything, and everyone.