Friday, September 18, 2015


Sometimes, when a door closes—a situation in our lives ends—if we're brutally honest with ourselves, we're really not that fazed by its ending, because it either wasn't resonating with our spirits from the beginning, or, over time, our priorities changed and now that scenario isn't in alignment with our path.

But still ... when that door closes, sometimes there's this [long or short] moment of freak-out, where we get all up in arms about its dissolution, and we may even go out of our way to try to keep it, causing ourselves undue stress, when in reality, the thing isn't what we're trying to keep; it's the end result that we're attached to, the way that thing served us, how it kept us comfortable or safe in some way. That's what we're scrambling to hold on to. The fear of that door closing and not having that end result, either ever again or for a really long time, is what drives us to dishonor ourselves by clinging to something that our spirit has decided it's time to let go of and make room for a bigger, better, even more satisfying scenario.

Everything changes and everything ends, in one way or another. When doors close, let's remember (I'm saying "let's" cuz I'm talking to myself, too) that it's because, in hospital terms, "visiting hours are over." We're just visiting with these scenarios until it's time to advance. Some of them last years, decades, even. But at some point, the visit will end. And when it does, it'll be because we're ready spiritually, even if our ego says we're not.

Trust your spirit when doors close. Spirit is supreme. It knows when enough is enough. So pack up, say a jubilant good-bye, and walk away with anticipation of your next place of visit, in a new, grander situation.

Visit me at Honor the Spirit for more info about how I can help you stay centered and at peace.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


I went to school and obtained my bachelors degree based on advice from a previous manager, with the intention of becoming a senior accountant.

After I spoke to Charlene about my dilemma about training people in accounting to be promoted over me, being passed over for promotions and not being paid what I'm worth, or being called upon to do the work with a promise of a promotion and raise that never came to fruition, she explained that I was not "honoring my spirit," meaning that I was not believing in my self-worth, and that settling was not an option for me. When asked why I was allowing myself to be treated like that, I didn't really have an answer. I just knew that for the last 10 years I had been called upon to do major accounting duties at various jobs without getting paid to do them, all the while being told that I wasn't qualified for the position. She also explained to me that while I was holding up my end of the bargain, they were not honoring their side of the bargain and that’s why I was left unhappy and unsatisfied; and if I didn't stand up for myself and truly believe in my skills and abilities, then nobody was going to give me what I wanted. After talking to Charlene and thinking, I realized that I was being taken all along, and I was not going to stand for it anymore.

I had employers calling me because I had decided to leave my position for that reason. I told myself that I wouldn't take anything less than a senior accountant position paying $80k, an income goal I had for years but never pursued, and wasn’t even close to making. A senior accountant position that I had seen advertised previously on Indeed popped up on my newsfeed again. While this job had been open for 2 months, I thought I would not be qualified because I did not have ALL the skills they were looking for. With my new attitude, I decided that I had the majority of what they were looking for and the only thing they could tell me was no. I applied for the job, and they literally called me the next morning to schedule an interview. Not only did I get an interview, but they were nice enough to try and accommodate me on my lunch hour (so as not to cause an issue with the job I was seeking to leave). 

The interview went so well that when I went back to work, I had the audacity to call my boss (who worked in another state) and give my two-week notice that day, without knowing whether I had the job or not. I've had interviews where I thought I had the job, and then they called and said that it was between me and someone else, and they were more qualified. This time was different, and I KNEW it. My boss came to me with the whole spiel of not holding their up end of the bargain and they would see what they could do about getting me a raise and such, which was just idle chatter to me at that point. Not to be swayed, I turned him down without a second thought. Less than 24 hours later, I received the call that I got the job and that my salary was starting at $88k!!!! I thought I was going to pass out!!! That was more than what I was asking for!!!! I had never felt so happy, fulfilled, and appreciated in my life!! I am now happy and employed with a GREAT company where I can move up, and I feel challenged at the same time!

I was in a bad place, but the advice Charlene gave me helped me to honor my spirit and know my self worth. I am a person that is very honest and gives great advice, but sometimes I need people to help me out in this area as well. Charlene did that for me. She listens and can actually ask you the tough questions that you may not be ready to answer but need to face. There is nothing to lose by talking to her about your situation, only knowledge to gain.

Charlene, thank you so much for helping me to see what a disservice I was doing to myself. You actually saw the potential and how smart I was, but because I had believed for so long that I was not qualified, I let employers just walk all over me when I would NEVER let that go in any OTHER aspect in my life. I appreciate the love and support.

~Monica Gardner~ (Senior Project Accountant)

*UPDATE! As of August 2016, Monica is now Senior Revenue Analyst for the Google Maps Enterprise!

For more information about how I can help you, please visit Honor the Spirit.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Last month, I asked a friend to do something for me, that, from my perspective, wouldn't take more than 10 or 15 minutes. 

Now, before I go on, let me say that this is no regular friend; she's my lifelong friend; I've literally known her since birth. Our mothers were childhood friends, and it just so happened that they birthed us 19 hours apart—same sign, and less than an hour shy of being born on the same day. We even used to have joint baby birthday parties. She was truly my first friend.

The following is the story of how I almost let a cowardly dance poke a hole in our 46-year friendship.

Let's retrace the steps. In August, I asked her to do me a favor, and she said she would. For the first couple of weeks after the request, I wasn't really worried about it; I was caught up in other life stuff. One day in mid-August, she texted me and asked me to remind her to take care of it that night. I said okay. But I forgot. The next day, I texted her to say I forgot, and to see if she could do it that night. That night wasn't gonna work for her. No prob. I moved on. It hadn't become an issue ... yet.

Let me pause for a moment to insert this bit of info: She has a husband, two high-school aged boys who are very active in sports, a new job, and she's in school pursuing her Master's. Her schedule and mine are completely different. I was aware that I had to get in where I fit in, and that was fine.

Back to the episode. A week later, I texted her to see if she could do it that day. She said she'd try. I told her if she was busy, then do it another night; I'd remind her again. Five days later, I texted her about it. I got silence. Watch how quickly things unraveled on my end.

By that time, we'd entered the month of September, and something about her silence rubbed me the wrong way. It was a little odd, since she always answers my texts.  I wondered what the deal was. Hmmmm ... it had been weeks since the request, and now, all of a sudden, I was getting silence. Was there a problem? She said she'd hook me up, but now I was getting the feeling that since so much time had gone by, maybe there was some issue she didn't wanna let me in on. Did she not wanna do it? Why would she not wanna do it, though? It wasn't a problem when she agreed to it. So why was she now ignoring my texts? Did she not understand the importance of the request? It should only take 15 minutes, tops, so what was the big deal? Did she need some help getting it done? Yes, that must've been it. She needed more info, a way to make things easier. Then I remembered that I really did have some important info that I meant to send her previously, so I decided to email it to her. That should take care of it. Boom. I had it all figured out.

Late into the next day, when I still hadn't heard back from her, neither in reply to my text from the day before, nor to the email, I decided to send yet another text to alert her to check her email. I got silence again. Then I was really shook. What the hell? The next morning, as I realized a grudge had started to set in, I texted her to confirm that she'd gotten the texts and email, because I hadn't gotten any replies. She texted me back about 20 minutes later and told me she wasn't trying to ignore me but she'd been busy with school and her sons; she said she'd look at all the info in a bit. Ah, yes! I forgot about her tight schedule. Phew. Of course that was the culprit. I assured her it was no prob; I just wanted to make sure she got all the info. I figured she'd take care of things that day. I felt better, like everything was ironed out. We texted about some other things for a few minutes and then moved on.

It's now time for an Honor the Spirit break. As you can see, I was clearly on the fast track to emotional hell, and it was all because I didn't make my peace of mind a priority the minute I knew I had gone from "no prob" to "prob," which was when I got the silence. At that point, the healthy move would have been to call her for clarification about what was going on, because once she got quiet, that's what I wanted to know. Instead, I danced around the subject with a bunch of texts and an email, went inside my head and put on that oh-so popular song called "Assumptions and Conclusions" and played it for nearly a week, while I not only made up my own stories and came to my own unverified conclusions about what she was doing, thinking, and feeling, but I also pushed myself into a space of stress and anxiety. I felt bad about the situation and bad about myself. Why myself? Because in my making-up of stories, I had decided that she just didn't wanna help me. Period. Why? Well, because. Because that's what it looked like, and that's how I felt. I saw that she had time to post and comment on Facebook, where she tee-hee'd and ha-ha'd with people at all hours of the day and night, but when it came to me, I couldn't get any love. So she must not have wanted to help me after all. That hurt my feelings. I was offended. I felt rejected. And as a result, I felt bad about me.

This is not how you honor the spirit. Ever.

The pursuit of our peace of mind and nurturing of our self-esteem are very deliberate, conscious actions that we often don't put enough effort into. Too many times, we allow ourselves to enter into and stay in an unhealthy emotional space because we're A) accustomed to being in such a state of mind so it really does feel normal and, dare I say acceptable in some cases; or B) we're too afraid to take the purposeful action needed to feel better, healthy, and stable in record time. Maybe it's because we lack the confidence to speak our minds; maybe it's because we're afraid of the worst-case scenario playing out in real life, just like we see it in our heads; maybe we're simply afraid of confrontation altogether. There are so many reasons we allow fear to keep us from prioritizing our self-care. It's self-sabotage and a severe disservice to ourselves when we don't put feeling our best as soon as possible at the top of our daily to-do list. It's sad that we're "okay enough" with feeling bad that we let those feelings run rampant way longer than they need to ... sometimes until they destroy us emotionally.

In my case, I came to realize that I really was afraid that my friend of 46 years didn't give that much of a damn about what I wanted—not based on past occurrences or a shoddy friendship history, but based on my own warped ego. Although I knew it was a bad move to continue assuming that about her, and although I knew I should probably call and confront her and put myself out of my misery, deep down, I didn't wanna hear her tell me in her own words that she didn't have my back, if that were the case. As self-destructive as it was, I contemplated never asking her for clarity and just continuing to assume the worst, while I waited for her to maybe fulfill my request. Mind you, a huge part of me was also aware of the fact that her not wanting to help me made absolutely no sense, since it wasn't like I had asked her to help me commit a crime, hurt someone, compromise her livelihood, or do something she wasn't capable of doing.

Three days after our "everything's okay" textersation, my request still hadn't been fulfilled, and she hadn't said anything more about it. Then I realized I was mad. I paid very close attention to how awful that made me feel, and in that moment, I sternly checked myself about the fact that I wasn't honoring my spirit by letting myself do an emotional nosedive. I also admitted that I wasn't honoring our friendship by allowing myself to harbor a theory-based grudge that could easily be dispelled if I would just call her and ask for the truth. Not text. Call—you know, that thing we used to do on a regular basis to engage in voice-to-voice, heart-to-heart communication, as little as a decade ago, before the advent of the now totally overused text. I remembered the famous quote that I'd seen hanging in many an office building over the years that says: "Seek first to understand, then to be understood." In reality, I didn't understand what my friend was doing, and it was time to find out. That's when I decided to turn off the damn "Assumptions and Conclusions" song in my head and stop dancing to its tune.

Okay, I did send one more text, but it was to tell her I needed to talk to her and confirm when she'd be free for a conversation. We agreed on the next day. When I called and asked her point-blank why she hadn't done what I asked, the answer she gave me was nowhere near what I expected, nor was it the worst-case scenario swimming around in my head.

It turned out that I was way off regarding what I thought my request meant to her. In fact, it was so important to her that she said she hadn't done it because she realized she needed ample time to make sure she got it right. She explained in detail about the way she wanted to do things and why, and it made perfect sense to me. She didn't wanna rush and do a half-assed job, not only because that's not how she does things in general, but also because it was for me, and she wanted to give it her all. This "all," for her, couldn't be given in a mere 10-15 minutes. Admittedly, once I thought about it, the task would be more effective and beneficial for me if done with the proper finesse. She also said that if she had allowed me to rush her into delivering what she knew would be mediocre results, she wouldn't have felt good about herself. So you see ... she had been honoring her spirit the whole time.

For the next half-hour, we talked and laughed about a lot of things—friendship, honesty, the damage that assuming can do, and so much more. But the most important thing that came from our conversation, aside from clarity, was a deeper appreciation for each other. She thanked me for being forthright (finally) and not letting things go sideways between us, and I thanked her for her openness and wanting to have my back in a way that I never considered.

For all of you out there who are running around with the "Assumptions and Conclusions" song blaring in your heads, letting it take you deeper and deeper into emotional wreckage, holding grudges against people, whether you love them or not, refusing to attempt to get the information you need to be at peace, I ask you now to please turn that ridiculous song off and stop butchering your self-esteem—and your relationships. Not only do grudges wreak havoc on your soul, but if you let them fester for too long, they'll also take you down physically.

You're not really about that life of self-inflicted torture ... are you?

Always remember to Honor the Spirit! <-----Click there for more info on how I can help you with that!