You Are More Than Enough Just The Way You Are

charlene-dior-blandonI believe that you are enough just the way you are. You don’t have to hide the real you. You don’t have to wear a mask. You don’t have to pretend you are someone else. You don’t have to dim your own light to fit in and you don’t have to feel guilty about your success.

You are enough. You are more than enough.

I believe that you are most powerful when you give the real you to the world. 100% of you. Stop holding back. Be all that you are.

Being authentic gives life purpose and meaning. Making sure that your external world (people, behavior, self talk) aligns with your internal world (the real you) brings joy and fulfillment.

You are enough. The real you is enough. In fact, you are more than enough.

#BeReallyYou #MakeTheLeap

P.S. I work with women just like you. Women who doubt their own worth. Women who hide through life to fit in or protect themselves. Women who have lost themselves in all the roles they have to play and all the expectations that come with those roles.

You can rediscover the real you and introduce her to the world. I can help.

To apply for a complimentary Rediscover You clarity call go to www.transformwithcharlene.com.


Grow, Don’t Crumble Through Circumstances

Grow Through Life

One of my mastermind sisters recently shared with the group that she was asked to resign from her job. The reason? She was building a business during her PERSONAL time.

The first thing I thought when I heard that was that somebody felt threatened. When we feel certain feelings we want to get rid of them as soon as possible. Intimidation is one of those feelings. We don’t want to sit in it. It’s like a hot potato. As soon as it lands in my hands I must throw it to someone else.

It instantly reminded me of why I started this blog in the first place. Everyday of our lives we get to decide how we will react to things. We get to decide what and who we will honor. We get to decide what we will grow through and what we will crumble in the face of.

“Change is constant. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” – Unknown

I’ve learned through the years that when most people are faced with a choice to grow or run they choose the latter. They run. Or they run you off. They blame. They shame. They will do anything but grow.

People will get a divorce so that they don’t have to grow. They will lose their job. They will lose their health all to avoid growth. They will excuse it by saying, “I was like this when they met me.”

So?

It’s easier to blame someone else. People like to deflect so that they can protect themselves.

It’s easier to pretend that what’s happening in your life is caused by some external factor.  It takes the pressure off of you. You get to let yourself off the hook when you pretend it doesn’t have anything to do with you.

Yet there’s no power in that. Power is in the acknowledgement. Power is found when you are willing to sit in your mess. Power is found when you are willing to sit in your feelings.

And you know what else?

That’s where your growth is too. When you process what’s going on in your head and heart you grow.

When you pretend like it has to do with another person you don’t grow. You set yourself up to experience the exact same situation with another person. I call this the Same Script, Different Cast Lifestyle. If the script stays the same it doesn’t matter who the characters are. Nothing really changes. The lines are all the same. The scenes are all the same.

I can speak from my own experience of having a bully boss who was threatened by me. Like my mastermind sister’s boss, she wanted me out. The difference is I wasn’t asked to resign. I was fired. The interesting thing is that that boss continued to have employee issues. Why?

Same script, Different Cast

I never understood why people shy away from growth opportunities. I completely get that it’s scary, but it’s necessary. Sometimes you need to just pull out that red ink pen and edit your life script. Cross out some things. Rewrite other things.

That’s how you grow. That’s how you get unstuck. You stop putting up with the same stuff over and over again. Not the stuff out there, caused by someone else. No, you stop putting up with your own stuff. Your intimidation. Your procrastination. Your excuses.

My boss could have taken a different approach. She made an earnest effort to establish positive working relationships with her staff. Yet she chose to take the easy way out.

My mastermind sister’s boss could have taken a different approach. He could have asked himself why is he bothered with her after work activities. Maybe it would have led him to acknowledge a fear of abandonment. Maybe he wants to start his own business but lacks the courage. In any event, he too took the easy way out.

The easy way out is limiting. I talk a lot about living the highest vision for your life. You have to grow to be able to achieve that vision. If you already had what you needed you would already have what you wanted. You have to develop and grow into a new version of you.

Refusing to grow hurts you in the long run. Sure, if the caterpillar decided not to grow she would never have to experience being in that dark, constricting cocoon. On the flip side, she would never get to fly.

Sometimes life forces us to grow. My sister is now in a season of growth. She was caught off guard and she has to “sit” in this situation. Just being transparent enough to share her story with the rest of us shows that she is willing to grow through this. She will not crumble in front of this experience.

I too chose to grow and not crumble. I started this blog as a resource for people ready and willing to grow themselves. I wanted to share the message that you don’t have to fear growth. You can embrace growth opportunities knowing that a butterfly is in the making.

“First life whispers, then it yells”.

Eventually the growth that you have been avoiding will come for you loud and clear. At some point your world may be knocked upside down. At some point the growth you’ve been avoiding may cost you something that you wanted to keep. That’s when it hurts. When you lose the love that you wanted to keep. When you lose the career that you thought you’d have forever.

Don’t let it get to that point. Be willing to sit in your stuff. Take off your running shoes and sit down. Grow on purpose.

If you need support as you grow let’s chat. Let’s discuss what’s going on in your life, the role that you’ve played in how things are, and how to get to where you really want to be. Sign up for a private, complimentary Transform Your Life clarity session with me. Reserve your spot at www.transformwithcharlene.com.


This Girl is On Fire

I’ve been talking lately about my experience at Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within seminar. See previous posts here –> How to Unleash the Power Within and Black Women Don’t Need Personal Development? One experience I didn’t talk about is the infamous fire walk.

If you’re familiar at all with Unleash the Power Within and Tony Robbins you’ve probably heard of the fire walk. Walking on fire has been around for thousands of years and it often serves as a test of an individual’s strength and courage. (Source: Wikipedia)

As we celebrate the fourth of July today I’m reminded of my experience walking on fire. It was in a way my own independence day. I was set free from the fears and limiting beliefs that were holding me back.

I’m not alone in my quest to push through everything that was preventing me from doing more, being more, and having more. Many celebrities have “walked on fire”.

Oprah Winfrey walking on fire:

Arianna Huffington had this to say about her firewalk experience, “It was a powerful experience of the inner strength we have to create the lives we want, not the lives we settle for — an inner strength greater than we often give ourselves credit for. And my tiny blisters were a reminder of that!”

As for me, I didn’t make it all the way across. I took three steps in and didn’t feel a thing. But then…

I took a fourth step. My foot landed softly on the burning coal beneath me. This was the step I felt.

This was the step that hurt like hell.

I immediately jumped off! Many people might say I left “state”. Actually, I was strolling across the fiery coal like a walk in the park on a sunny day.  They said to walk normally. They said I wouldn’t feel a thing.

If I would have picked up my pace maybe I would have made it all the way across.

Even though I only took four steps my feet was burning afterwards. Both feet. I could hardly walk. It hurt even more to put my shoes on. I walked to the car barefoot. I stopped at one of those “stop and go” gas stations on the way to my hotel room.

I needed something for my feet. Badly.

I purchased a no brand burn cream. I sat in my car and covered my feet with the cream. Foot burns are no fun.

Nevertheless, it was still a great experience. The next day my feet felt 95% fine. By the third day everything was back to normal again.

Originally I thought, “I’m never doing this crap again!”

Being on the other side of it I feel a bit empowered. I feel confident. I feel like me.

The whole weekend was an experience of awakening of sorts. It was an awakening of me, Charlene. I spent 3 and a half days in a room full of strangers screaming off the top of lungs, dancing, sharing, and wondering, “Who is this girl?”

At times I couldn’t believe what I was doing. I don’t scream. I don’t hug random people. I tend to guard my dreams. And I definitely don’t walk on fire. I was the shy girl. Yet, here I am screaming and dancing and carrying on without a care.

I felt on fire. I hear Alicia Keys song in my head.

Being on fire is being courageous. It’s living up to the standard you know you deserve and making everyone in your life live up to your standard as well. It’s never settling for good enough. It’s making lemonade out of lemons.

Being on fire is taking the opportunity to develop and grow yourself. Only then are you unstoppable.

“It’s not about the goal. It’s about becoming growing to become the person that can accomplish the goal.” – Tony Robbins

What does being on fire mean to you? How would you finish these sentences:

  • This girl is on fire because …
  • When this girl is on fire she …
  • Watch out! This girl is on fire so …
  • You’ll know this girl is on fire by …

Now ask yourself, “Am I on fire?

If you’re not on fire it’s time to light a match! It’s time to blaze through life. It’s time to be seen. It’s time to be felt. It’s time.

My invitation to you, the girl who wants to light her life on fire:

Sign up for a one-on-one, complimentary Transform Your Life clarity session with me. Leave this call feeling energized, clear about what you want, and ready to set your life on fire! Reserve your spot at www.transformwithcharlene.com.

♪♫♩ This girl is on fire. She’s walking on fire.  ♪♫♩

I just might walk on fire again. And next time hopefully I’ll make it all the way across.

What about you? Are you celebrating your own independence day today? What are you free from? What do you want to be free from?


I don’t like Brussel Sprouts, Yet No One Knows (Your Soul Needs Healing)

Heal Your Soul

 

Yes, it’s true. I don’t like brussel sprouts. I’ve tried to. I’ve experimented with different recipes and cooking methods. Still I just don’t like them. Yet, no one knows that I don’t like brussel sprouts (well until now….shhhh don’t tell anyone). Do you know why no one knows? Because I don’t talk about it. Ever. In fact, I don’t even think about it.

It amazes me when I see or hear someone constantly talking about or posting about someone or something that they swear they can’t stand. I’m thinking,”Why are you always thinking about it then?” Why is that thing always on their heart if they don’t like it? I do not carry brussel sprouts around in my heart. Trust me!

I say that it amazes me, but honestly I understand. And I’m not trying to negate what anyone feels. I get it. There’s a disconnect between what that person believes and what they want to believe. Take for example someone who grew up in a spiritual household that worshipped God. Something bad happens to that family. A death. Maybe a divorce or financial troubles. As a result of that thing happening there just can’t be a God of love and healing and restoration. So God doesn’t exist anymore.

Or perhaps someone has issues with money. They never had any. They were told money is the root of all evil. Or maybe money destroyed some aspect of their life. So now money is the enemy and people with money are the devil.

Sometimes when we can’t reconcile why things happen we have to make up stories to rationalize it. We have to establish a new “truth”, because the old one wasn’t good enough. But that doesn’t solve the problem. The problem is that we are hurting or we’re afraid of being hurt. Covering up that hurt and fear doesn’t help. It just creates a new problem. A problem where there is incongruence with what we believe and what we think.

When we’re constantly thinking about and talking about something we don’t like there’s a good chance that we’re trying to convince our true selves to believe this new story. If we could just convince our selves of this new truth we wouldn’t hurt anymore. We wouldn’t be mad at God or money or love or whatever it is we’re mad at. That doesn’t work though. It never does. That’s why they keep talking about it. When the soul needs healing you can’t skirt around it. You have to heal your soul. You have to heal your relationship with God or money or love.

How? You take small steps. You say, “God, my heart and soul are in turmoil over my belief in You. Give me wisdom. Help me to see. My heart is open.” You attempt to trace back the events of your life to see what got you here so you can examine the unhealed parts of you. You let yourself feel the hurt and cry the tears. You decide to trust a little. You open your heart a little to love. You go out on a date or hold hands with someone special. You must allow yourself to entertain the idea that what you’ve been saying to yourself all this time may not be the truth.

People don’t naturally gravitate towards negative things. Not at the core of who they are. We embrace laughter, love, bright sunny days, and joy. Your soul is love. God is love. You have to know that wherever it is that you don’t feel love you need healing.

I want to specify that I’m not talking about the things that are against love that you take a stand against. It you want to fight the war on drugs or poverty you should. If the message you send is grounded in love, positivity and improvement, continue to share your message.

If your message is one of hate or dislike and is unproductive to anyone including you, pay attention to where that is coming from. Ask yourself, “Why am I so against…..?” “Why am I always posting negative comments about…..?” “Why is this on my heart and mind so much?”

Paying attention to your routine, negative chatter can be life changing. It’s a clue to who you really are and what you really believe. You just have to follow the clues. Be willing to do some soul searching and self-discovery. When you align your thoughts and actions with your true beliefs you will find a joy and peace like you’ve never known before. I pray you open up your heart enough to receive.

 


Picking A Fight is So Unnecessary

Don't Pick Fights

For the past 7 days I’ve been participating in Jeff Goins‘ 7 Day Intentional Blogging Challenge.  The exercise for day three was to pick a fight with someone. Here we are at the last day of the challenge and I have yet to pick a fight.

I’ve thought long and hard about this. Who should I pick a fight with? What do I want to challenge? What do I believe in? With all that searching and reflecting I just couldn’t come up with anything. I realized that I don’t want to pick a fight with anyone over anything. It simply goes against my personal motto, a motto I think everyone should adopt.

My personal motto is to Be Really You. Not just a little bit of you, but 100% of you. Not the you, you pretend to be or feel forced to be. I believe everyone should be the you that they really are.

I also believe that life conditions us at a young age to suppress who we really are. I’ll never forget going to a senior ditch day breakfast during high school. Everyone was talking and laughing. Someone said something I found to be funny so I laughed. Apparently loudly. My classmate said to me,”You laugh loud!” In that moment I felt myself shrink. She picked a fight with me and I started to wonder if something was wrong with me. I didn’t rehearse that laugh. It is just what naturally came out of me. Now, I felt the need to monitor my laugh. I felt the need to not be so loud next time. I felt the need to study other people’s laugh to learn what’s acceptable. I felt the need to not be me.

That’s how it happens. You go through life with people picking little fights with you here and there. They pick a fight over your laugh, your clothes, your dreams, your thoughts. And one by one you change your laugh, you change your clothes, you change your dreams and you change your thoughts. Until one day you find yourself surrounded by chaos or feelings of insignificance. You don’t know who you are. You don’t know what you want. You don’t know how you got here or where you’re going. So (ideally) you start to knock down the walls, peel back the layers, and remove all the masks you’ve been wearing. You start to search for who you’ve really been all along.

I believe life is best lived when you are your true self. Joseph Campbell said, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” I agree. That’s why I do the work that I do. I help people embrace who they really are and live their truth.

For that reason, I don’t go around picking fights with people when they share their truths. I celebrate them. I honor their courage not knowing how long it took for them to get to this place. I respect their journey not knowing how close they are to shrinking back like I once did.

It takes great personal strength to stand up and be seen in a world that is so judgmental, vain, or self absorbed at times. I refuse to fight against those who do. And with that, I’m picking a fight with you, Jeff Goins. Put your dukes up.

 


Where Happiness Shall Be Found

Everybody wants the same thing. To be happy. We think we want different things and that causes conflict at times. Furthermore, we think happiness lies in places it cannot be found. Nonetheless, we all just want to be happy.

The mystery is how we get there. It seems like this elusive thing. No matter how fast or long we chase it, happiness can be fleeting. We’ve been playing a game of cat and mouse with happiness. It keeps us wondering, “who moved my cheese?” Or more like, “who moved my happiness?”

But happiness isn’t what we think it is. It never has been. Somehow it got muddied and masked or disguised in this other thing that looks just like it. Somehow happiness started to look like perfection or possessions or “I’m doing better than you”-ness. Somehow we got lost in the search for happiness. It is time to finally be found.

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My belief is that happiness is a state of mind. It originates from within. It is not something you can buy or steal. No one can move your happiness. It comes from you and it consists of two things.

The first being contentment. Contentment says I am satisfied and dare I say proud of where I am today. Everything is not perfect. I haven’t acquired all the things I want. I haven’t met the love of my life or started an adorable family of my own. I didn’t get that big promotion or take an adventurous trip to South Africa. My past – well, it isn’t perfect either. I’ve dated some guys I shouldn’t have. I’ve put up with things I’m embarrassed to admit. I’ve made dumb mistakes. I’ve lost friends. I’ve wasted thousands of dollars. I’ve been picked on, laughed at, and discounted more times than I can count. However, I am content in this moment.

The second component of happiness is confidence in the future. I know what I want. I know where I want to be and I’m taking steps today to create the future I desire. I am confident, in due time, if I stay the course my future will be more than I can ask or think. I believe in God, I believe in myself, and I believe in my future. When you’re content with and can acknowledge how far you’ve made it, you have stronger faith in how far you can go.

That’s it. Contentment and confidence.

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The problem is most people are not content. They are too broken to be content. The truth is we are all broken this side of heaven. Some more than others. Some of us are broken in ways that make contentment and therefore happiness impossible. So we run around chasing the appearance of happiness. We try to fill the holes and cracks with artificial happiness, but it’s really just a distraction.

Broken parts need to be healed, but we’re afraid to heal. We’re afraid of the cast. It’s too big and noticeable so we reach for a band aid. Band aids can’t heal bones and they can’t heal your soul.

We’re afraid to admit we’re broken as if it were a secret. Our minds tell us no one notices but us. That’s  just a lie. They notice. They’re just too afraid to tell us, because they don’t want to hurt our feelings. We’re already broken, insecure, and spiritually damaged enough. They don’t want to make it worse, but where’s the healing in that? Perhaps, they’re too broken themselves.

Everybody wants to get to happy, yet we’re too afraid to heal. But why? We are placed on this earth for the purpose of growing. And isn’t that the beauty of life? That you can begin life one way and end another? Everybody loves a rags to riches story, but we’re too afraid to create our own story. We walk around saying, “What rags?”

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I am a little obsessed with caterpillars and butterflies. What a wonderful example they serve to us. Just like the caterpillar transforms into the butterfly we’re designed to transform too. We’re not meant to stay the same. We’re not meant to stay broken and discontent and unhappy.

Maya Angelou so famously said, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it had to go through to achieve that beauty.”

We’re just hoping we can find happiness without our participation. We want so badly for happiness to be found outside ourselves. That would let us off the hook. Growth is scary. At the same time the scary thing is often the thing that’s worth it.

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Caterpillars have it better than you and I when it comes to growth and transformation. They don’t concern themselves with the outside world. In fact, I imagine that they can’t. They just follow their instincts. I’m pretty sure the caterpillar doesn’t have little friends to tell her it’s time to build her cocoon. She just instinctively knows that her future is dependent on her willingness to grow. On her willingness to be afraid. On her willingness to take a chance.

It is my intention to share that truth as far and as wide as possible. Your future is dependent on your willingness to grow. Your happiness is waiting on your healing. Once you’ve healed in ways you never thought possible you’ll look back on how far you’ve come and you’ll know that the future is your oyster.

And that is where happiness shall be found.


Why Caitlyn Jenner is Courageous

Courage

Ever since Caitlyn Jenner announced herself to the world there have been mixed commentary on both sides. I often see her compared to war veterans who have lost body members and women who have given birth. The suggestion is that Caitlyn Jenner’s actions are not courageous. I disagree.

Everyone’s courage is different. You cannot compare courage. Courage can be climbing a mountain, falling in love, fighting a war or simply saying, “I’m sorry.” What being courageous means is being afraid of doing something and doing it anyway. What might take courage for one person might be easy for another. We all have different fears and insecurities. It’s natural.

The truth is a lot of people lack courage. We see it all the time. Entire companies have collapsed (think Enron and Arthur Anderson) because someone who knew better lacked the courage to say something. Nearly every time I get on Facebook I see a fight. I see dozens of teenagers standing around taking pictures because 1. they think it’s entertaining and 2. they lack the courage to take a stand against the crowd.

I have definitely acted without courage many times in my life as well. I think it’s safe to say we all have. That’s why when someone steps into their true selves despite the fear, the guaranteed ridicule, and insults we should celebrate that person. We should find ourselves attracted to that person with the hopes that whatever courage they have on the inside of them would rub off on us that we too may live courageously. When one person embarks on a difficult and frightful journey despite their fear it gives the rest of us permission to do the same.

Caitlyn could have continued to live her life the way it was. She could have pretended that everything was great. She could have suppressed the feeling inside of herself telling her that she wasn’t living an authentic life.  That would have been the easy thing to do. That would have taken no courage.  Instead she chose to follow her heart knowing the attention and bad press someone of her fame could possibly receive. She knew the risks and she did it anyway. That’s courage.

Is the military soldier who leaves his wife and kids courageous? Of course. So is the wife. So are the children. Is the pregnant woman courageous? Sure. Is Caitlyn Jenner courageous? I think so. Everyone of us has some courage and some fear directing our lives. It takes courage every single day to live your own life and be your own person. It takes courage to face life and make the difficult decisions we are all tasked with making. It takes courage to forgo what is safe for what is ultimately the best for us in the end. Everyday, multiple times throughout the day we are faced with a decision to act out of courage or to act out of fear. Anytime we choose courage, no matter how big or small the issue, is a victory.


Choose Again

ChooseAgain

Iyanla Vanzant said, “If my choices do not bring forth the best in myself and others, I am free to choose again.” I worry often about the choices I’m making.  After all, my future is being created today.  Along with that worry comes paralysis.  I don’t want to make the wrong decision or a bad decision so I’d rather make no decision at all.  But making no decision is still a decision.  It’s so encouraging to know and come to the realization that I get to choose again.  If I make the wrong choice the answer is simple, choose again. If I invest in an unprofitable stock or business, no problem. I can choose again.  If I end up in a relationship that does not make me happy, I owe it to myself to choose again.  It’s never too late to choose again.