Sunday, December 8, 2013


Release yourself
give me so much that
you borrow snippets
from my storeroom
to revisit your memories

let me be your bookcase
assemble your biography
among my shelves
in no particular page order
I will arrange them
to suit the way
I wanna read you each day

favorite chapters first
details embedded within me
so well that on your worst days
I can be the mirror
of your experiences
reflect back to you
the best parts of your happy
take your focus off
the trauma on page 32
devastation, 76
betrayal, 210

no worries
as specialist
of your words
I know which to extract
and with them
I will feed you back
to mental nourishment
scatter the healthiest
phrases across your tongue
tell you
let them marinate
inject your buds
with the savory taste
of every smile
and felicitous moment
that has ever been yours

now swallow
let their
medicinal properties
flush out the virus
that contains your skeleton truths
allow me to wipe up the remnants
you are not contagious
I’m not afraid of the hideous
that may seep from your soul
the parts you
try to edit out
fearing my rejection

I will always offer
the best critique of you

insert my rave review at the end
addendum to everything you deem
unworthy of public knowledge

I’ll revise your chronicle
capitalize on all of its splendor
publish a second edition
then release you back to yourself
so you can relive your saga
thru my narrative
seize its merit
give it five stars
and claim yourself bestseller
like I do

Copyright 2012 Charlene E. Green

Saturday, November 9, 2013


When she asks you
where he is
for the first time
at age seven
out of the blue
while sitting at the kitchen table
mouth gorged with Cookie Crisp cereal
milk dribbling down her chin
no eye contact
staring at the side of the box
feigning astuteness of its
foreign ingredients

when she lays
the $64,000 question
in the middle of the table
and assertively
clearly premeditated
with an air of suspicion


miss me
with the mock shock
in your eyes
you had to know
this would happen
it’s not like
he’s ever been there
to tuck her in
at night
piggyback her
around the house
twirl her in her
favorite dress
and tell her how pretty
daddy’s little girl looks
or be there at the bottom
of the slide to catch her
at the playground
drop her off
at the school bus
share an ice-cream cone
and prop her on his knee
to tell her how much
he adores her
like all the other little girls’
fathers do

not like she hasn’t noticed
bathed her pillowcase
in tears
when you turned out
the lights at night
hoping he’d become a magician
and appear in places
other than her dreams

not like she hasn’t
wanted to ask you
before today

so don’t act brand new


brace yourself
this is the single-most
important answer
you'll ever give her
you have this chance only
to nail it
don’t screw it up

and this may feel
like thumbtacks
kung-fu fighting
in your throat—

swallow your rage for him

hide your noxious words
in the alcove
of your voicebox
and deadbolt them
they're not trustworthy

detour the fatal venom
speeding down your tongue

if you let it crash
onto the table
and allow its toxic debris
to penetrate her innocence
it will destroy her
on impact

your jaws of life
won’t be quick enough
to retract any regrettable utterances
or extract her from
the spiritual wreckage
you'll entomb her in

you'll destroy her

do not rip
her embryonic esteem
from her 3-foot soul
she's precious
and impressionable
so guard her from your contempt
at all costs

acknowledge the fact
that although he left you
with the memories
of the worst of your merger
he also left you
with the best part of him
a lotus flower
that emerged from the swamp
of your muddy relationship

you were pro-him
when you let him
probe you
now the problem of his absence
and how it’s affecting you
is yours
not hers

truth is
you don’t hate him
you loath yourself
for being an open target
for a bullet
you were too weak
to dodge

so when she unglues her eyes
from the side of the box
and they meet yours
in preparation
for the critical reply


with everything you’ve got
no matter how much it hurts
and tell her
he’s there
with her
every minute of the day
in her laugh
sense of humor
the curve of her smile
shape of her hands
texture of her hair
the mole on her chin
in all the things she can do
that you can’t

tell her

how lucky she is
cuz he’s
closer to her
than he is
to anyone else

grit your teeth if you have to
hold that smile in place
with every thread of
strength your face can muster
when you profess
what a great man he is


every bit of good
he ever was
every bit of love
he ever possessed
he stored it
inside of her

©2013 Charlene E. Green

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Take time out today and every day for some healthy "spiritual snacks." You owe it to yourself! Charlene E. Green has finally compiled her array of short but potent bits of wisdom that are sure to help keep you grounded emotionally and fueled with the inspiration needed to face and hurdle life's daily challenges. Snack on them lightly, or just go ahead and consume gluttonously! You can never overindulge in positivity! And from every page that's exactly what you'll be fed. But FYI: Sharing is suggested.


Check out some of the reviews!

By the way ... LOVED Wisdom Nuggets! So much to talk about. Going to read again and again. ~Jacqueline Lee

Received my copy of Wisdom Nuggets and just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!! Really, everyone needs a copy of this. ~Kay Mainaga

Charlene, Tamika gave me a copy of your book Wisdom Nuggets and it is great!!! I brought it to work and shared it with my co-worker and he loved it!! Just wanted to let you know I have some of your sayings on my wall by my desk at work. ~Jacqueline Lacy

I totally enjoyed Wisdom Nuggets. I will carry some of your advise with me from day to day. Keep up the good work. ~L. Jackson

OMGEEE!!! You're my SHERO!!!! I pulled Wisdom Nuggets out last night and got to highlighting!!! I now carry it w/me EVERYWHERE I go to have consistent, in-reach guidance/encouragement/motivation. I'm using it as a resource daily! ~Tamika Byrd

Wisdom Nuggets is absolutely awesome. I find myself sitting in awe a lot of the time after reading a section because it just hits so hard into my life. Thank you for putting the book together and making it such an inspirational tool for people ... men and women. ~Lenora Snyder

For more information about my work and other purchasing options, please visit

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


The day will come when I'll be able
to wrap myself around you so often
that I'll be like your second skin.

Feel free to use me as backup
if you're ever uncomfortable in your own.

I'll be the sheath you wear
to heal your wounds
my warmth will melt
tension from your nerves
protect your inner beauty
from the coldness of life
you need this kinda love.

My hold on you
will be gentle 
supple only to your touch
but let 'em try to test you
attempt to break through me
to shred your spirit
earthquake your manhood
separate you
from the knowledge of your worth
and I'll grow defensive
harden like tortoise shell
tighten my grip
be as thick as skin comes
chameleon you
so they can't see you
matrix through their war zone
I'm every texture there is
for every battle in your path
tell me which one you need
customize me for your exterior:
sandpaper coarse
to smooth their disrespectful tones
gravel jagged
to trip 'em up
when they try to walk all over you
leather tough
so their knives can't pierce
your back when they stab you in it
rose-thorn sharp
to bleed 'em of their gall.

No matter how many
got you hemmed up
I got you surrounded
I'm like a bubble umbrella
when they try to rain on your glory
my barrier is wide
too expansive for their tricks
go 'head and Two-Step through that storm
show 'em how you move
when I'm on
smile cuz you know
I change with the conditions
see 'em before they hit
stay resilient through 'em all.

So save your strength
use it to focus on
manifesting your greatness
I have enough brawn
for both of us
enough warrior in my cells
to repel the offenders.

I got you covered
all your parts
permission granted
to wear me
however you need
to conquer your journey.

©2013 Charlene E. Green
Thanks for reading! Please continue to support my work by viewing my tour campaign, contributing to my cause, and sharing the campaign link with your networks!  Thank you in advance!

Monday, October 28, 2013


I cannot WAIT to see The Best Man Holiday because ...

In 1999, when The Best Man came out, I had just started writing my first huge literary endeavor, a movie script called Love's Train. It was during the writing of that project that I knew my life's mission was to be a writer. But FIRST, I had to finish the script. The night I went to see The Best Man, I remember thinking it was such a great movie with sharp, witty dialogue and well-rounded characters, so much so that my spirit deflated with each passing scene. I kept thinking, "What am I DOING trying to write a movie script?! I can't write stuff like THIS! I'm not good enough. Eff it. I'm not gonna finish it." I went home feeling like crap, and I promptly "ended" that project. I moped, chastised myself for not having the skills to write brilliantly, and beat myself down mentally for being "less than" in so many ways. But when your calling is awakened, no amount of self-slander will keep you from doing it, no matter how hard you try to walk away.

Three weeks later, after the agony of NOT working on my script had kicked my ass, I reluctantly got up, dusted myself off emotionally, and decided to take another stab at it, though I couldn't imagine what kind of greatness I was gonna come up with. So I got back on it, deflated and all. I dug deep into my life to pull out what I wanted to be a great story. As I wrote, and very well, I might add, I felt it ... that indescribable surge of "this-is-IT," and all of a sudden my world changed. I knew as I typed those scenes that writing, the thing I had been doing all my life, was what I was born to do professionally. It was the most gorgeous a-ha moment I've ever experienced. One month later, I finished Love's Train, and I was DAMN proud of myself and the script! I felt like I had actually done what Malcolm D. Lee did in The Best Man, but in my own way, one that was just as good as his.

That script is what started my journey, the thing that made me pursue moving to L.A. I shared it with my friends and family, shopped it to production companies, and once I was in L.A., I almost had a couple of deals. Even though they fell through, it was okay because by then, I had already written my first novel, ONE MAN'S TREASURE, and I knew after THAT masterpiece that there would be no more self-denigration or questioning of my mission. I still intend to make that movie. When the time is right, it'll all fall into place. In the meantime, I'm grateful for being in that theater in October of '99, because I was challenged to step up my game before I was barely out the gate. And I truly did. I'll be front & center at The Best Man Holiday, with a completely different mindset, and much appreciation for having the opportunity to witness a second go-'round of the movie and characters that ALMOST made me quit my most important career-building project.
***Speaking of projects ... Please continue to support my work by viewing my tour campaign, contributing to my cause, and sharing the campaign link with your networks!  Thank you in advance!

Friday, October 25, 2013


My self-transformation poetry is meant to shake you up, make you look at your life honestly, make you face yourself ... and wanna strive to be better. It's also meant to do the same for ME. I may write like I'm only talking to YOU, but when I pen these poems, the messages are just as much for me to heed. I have to do my own work every day on my life, too. This is no holier-than-thou mission I'm on. It's me and all of you, working together to change for the best.

In December 2010, I was suffering badly, emotionally. It was to the point where I felt I was drowning in my own misery. I hated the feeling, and I wanted an out. I knew a woman (still know her) who was also struggling. She owned a cafe I visited frequently. We would have long talks, and she would often tell me about the deep issues she was dealing with and I would offer encouragement. I decided to get out of myself and go down to her store to check on her to take my mind off my problem. When I arrived and asked how she was, she told me that she wanted to kill herself the night before. Not only that, but she said she saw herself doing it and felt GOOD about it. This stunned me at my core. I was actually speechless. I had heard [of] people saying they wanted to kill themselves, but no one had ever said it to ME, and I had NEVER heard anyone say they saw the action and felt good about it. I was truly shaken on a level I had never been. Fortunately, she moved past that moment and came to work that day, though I apologize that I can't remember what she said made her decide to stay alive. What I do know is this: Her comment disturbed me so deeply that when I left 2 hours later, my soul ached for her and everyone who's ever felt like her. That conversation made me reassess my own life and problems and how I was handling them. I had been in distress, but [that time] I didn't wanna kill myself, and I felt fortunate. But I suddenly realized how important it is for us to put our own suffering aside, come out of our shell, and embrace other people. You never know where they are in THEIR suffering, and hearing their story may change the way you view YOURS.

Later that night, as I was still flooded with angst about her, and about my own issues, I got angry about how we sometimes treat ourselves, the ways we don't protect ourselves, the situations we allow ourselves to be in because we haven't learned to love ourselves enough to steer clear of them. And then "Zookeeper" spilled out of me with fervor. In this poem, I was talking to her, myself, and everyone else out there who has ever carried burdens so heavy that they feel they're gonna break at any moment, but because of their lack of self-esteem, and often the heaviness of whatever mental health issue they may be struggling with, they sometimes can't push themselves to fight for their happiness. 

I still revisit this poem regularly, to check in with myself, to make sure I'm fighting. Cuz sometimes ... that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel just doesn't seem to be there. The darkness feels like a ruthless, weighted pillow suffocating my soul. I, too, have experienced that awful feeling of there not being any hope of getting to "the light"—of not even believing that it existed—and consequently, I've felt hopeless to go on. Thank goodness I pushed through those times.

Please listen to the poem, and then please share this post with others who are suffering. This self-work is serious. It's necessary. People need it. And I wanna encourage as many as I can to dive in and swim to the light.

Click link to listen.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Hello, everyone! It's been a while since my last post, but I've been busy creating, as usual! The highlight of my career right now is the launching of my new tour campaign, The Human Revolution Project.

Since 2010, I've known that I would eventually take my poetry on the road, but it wasn't until the end of that year that the idea for the theme of the tour came to me. I was scheduled to be a featured poet at a big event, and I was allotted a 30-minute set, which was the longest I had been offered at that time. As I was putting my set list together, I noticed an important theme among the poems I had chosen: self-esteem, self-reflection, self-improvement. In my thinking regularly about touring, the question was always what kind of tour it would be. I knew I needed it to have structure and deliver a truly valuable experience and message for my audience; I didn't just wanna bounce from place to place doing poetry randomly, simply because I could. As I looked at my set list, it dawned on me that the structure for my impending tour had developed all on its own. I had come into a full mission in spoken word that I hadn't planned on, and now it was perfect for what I intended to accomplish in the way of using my words to help people grow.

Once the idea took form, my goal was then to expand on it and really make it something marketable. Since that time, I've added many more self-transformation-themed poems to the pot, and with countless hours of their rehearsal, presenting them at open mics weekly, showcasing them at events monthly, and getting constant positive feedback on their subject matter and how they move the listeners, I know it's time to get out there and do my work on the largest, most profound level possible. Won't you help me make that happen?

Below is the link to my campaign, which contains more details about the tour, samples of some of the poems I'll be featuring, and the many ways you can contribute. Thank you in advance for your support! Please also share this post and/or the campaign link with your networks. I'll see YOU in YOUR state, soon!


Sunday, October 20, 2013


It’s more than
“Are you okay?”
“Do you need anything?”
“I’m here if you need to talk.”

Sometimes Compassion’s face looks distorted
Like it’s on backwards
Sometimes it’s dressed like a rebel
Looks a bit roughneck
Hard on the eyes
Doesn’t match up to its
Common dictionary definition
Deep awareness of the suffering of another
Coupled with the wish to relieve it

Sometimes Compassion
Is tight-lipped
Uncomfortable silence
Unreturned calls
And cancelled plans
Doesn’t behave
The way we think it should
Acts coldhearted
Throws you
A daggered glare
Instead of an answer
Keeps its distance
In the face of incompatibility
Walks out mid-argument
A volcano erupting
In its throat
Doesn’t return till
The ashes have cooled
And you call it selfish
Say it was rude
Not to stay and listen
Unaware of the mercy
Your own ears were delivered
The care with which
Your feelings were handled
The suffering
You were spared
It was in your corner
Working on your behalf

This kind of Compassion
Is that horse pill
You need to take
But loathe swallowing
Does more good than harm
Saves your ego
A bull-fight trampling
Keeps your heart
From becoming a wrecking ball
Demolishing your chest cavity
Collapsing your lungs
Bursting the pipes in your eyes
Everything Compassion does
That you hate
Protects you from
Everything you can’t handle
Don’t want
Didn’t even know
Was coming your way
Combat your soul wouldn’t survive

This Compassion
Doesn’t always come bearing
The gift of sweet words
Wrapped in humble apologies
It comes bearing the bare minimum
To make it through
Make it right
Keep it clean

Keep it safe

It isn’t always prepared for confrontation
It needs time and space
To assess
Decide how to come correct

Whether to come back at all

Compassion’s alternate tune
Is unfamiliar
It plays the B-side
Not the hit single we love
But the one we don’t wanna hear
The side that skips
The beat of pretty
Doesn't make us dance
The one we tune out
Turn off

The unsung hero

Copyright 2013
Charlene E. Green
From my book My Sentiments Exactly
Purchase at

Monday, June 10, 2013


My book Building Faith and Character Through Life Challenges is the foundation for my Life Challenge Consulting service (learn more about that HERE), but I highly recommend that it be utilized on its own, as well as with the service.

At its core are twelve stories (here's a sample), that highlight lessons I've learned, growth I've experienced; and how to use prayer, faith, and wisdom to navigate through our challenges. My hope is that the stories will inspire readers to implement healthy ways of moving through day-to-day life challenges, as well as those that are huge and really rock them to the core. In addition, there are some other valuable elements included that round everything out nicely, so you'll be spiritually full.

What I think makes this book special is that it's not written for people with specific religious or philosophical beliefs; it's for everyone. I've even said atheists can make good use of it. I've compiled the stories in such a way that I feel it really does classify as a "one-stop shop" for all beliefs. It's also short and to the point, so you can get in and out quickly but leave with a lot of perspectives to put into action.

Here are a couple of reviews:

"At the intersect of vulnerability through personal openness, compassion and encouragement, Charlene hits the mark with Building Faith and Character Through Life Challenges. In a society where microwaved results are quickly sought after, her book is a gentle, yet firm reminder that there is so much inner work to delve into, and how a focused and optimistic mindset can sustain us through hardships, yet draw the goodness of life to us. This book speaks to anyone who stands (firm or wavering) in their own faith and spiritual system, and sincerely encourages us all to lean further into it, in order to live fully and richly in our personal journeys." ~Shay Ensley, Author, Artist, Entrepreneur

"Within the genre of "self-help" books (I've read a few!), Charlene E. Green's newly published Building Faith and Character Through Life Challenges is the most profound and practical literary resource I have encountered. It is a great read--clear, logical, and full of personal experiences to support the guidelines Ms. Green has discovered/uncovered, applicable to everyone. Whether the reader be agnostic, atheist, Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist etc. etc.—something will resonate with that seeking person and make his/her journey more enlightened.

Ms. Green touches the core of everyday human experiences: interpersonal conflicts, physical and mental illness, financial distress. Yes, this book offers a doable guideline, a way to change one's thought processes and behavior habits so seemingly unsolvable situations become untangled.

Using problems, sufferings, desires as stepping stones toward enlightenment (as in living with joy, wisdom, compassion and courage), Ms. Green provides a method—using personal, honest proof, filled with humor scenes from her nitty-gritty life experiences.

This book is for the strivers--the seekers of effective and healthy ways to overcome life's challenges."

~Dianne Bye, Los Angeles Unified School District Theatre Arts Teacher (grades pre-k-12)

I look forward to having you all partake. You may order directly from here, using the link below; or, you may order from my site HERE, where you can peruse my other products.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013


We can be such control freaks. We’ve just gotta have the detailed scoop about what’s happening in our lives at every moment, or we don’t feel like we have it together. We need all our ducks in a row, everything planned out so we can sleep well at night. We really think we’re running things in our lives when we make these plans. The truth is, no matter how well we prepare our situations, anything can happen to change them (and many times does), usually to our dismay. Then we panic. The one or two scenarios we had so carefully planned out have now fallen through, and we’re lost, afraid there’s no other way to get things done than what we came up with. We end up more uncomfortable when we resist the change, out of fear, and then exert a lot of energy trying to fight it. There’s nothing wrong with double checking to make sure things can’t be done the way we want; it’s when we go into freak-out mode after hearing no, and start attempting to force the plan(s) into motion, that we’ve entered an unhealthy spiritual realm.
Then, there are the times when we’re too afraid to make moves unless a firm plan is in effect and we know how things will be accomplished. A great opportunity comes along, a goal we want to realize, but certain elements are missing at the moment that we feel are needed before we can accept it. At that point, because we think it’s backwards and senseless to move ahead with something when key factors are absent [read: not yet visible to us], we think we’re not supposed to do it, so we decline our blessing fearing that things can’t possibly work in our favor. We’ve been conditioned to do and not do things based on our current assets, or lack thereof: “You shouldn’t quit your job before you’ve found a new one; you won’t be able to support yourself.” “Don’t bother applying for a loan for that house; your credit is shot and you’ll get turned down.” “Why are you enrolling in school when you don’t even have the money for classes?” We can be such limited-thinking people that it’s sad; and we miss out on a lot that life has to offer when we stay in this space. Where is our faith, our trust that when we pursue things that are important to us, no matter what our current circumstances, we’ll have what we need when it’s all said and done? Although there were times that I was too scared to put faith into action, I'm here to tell you that I've had a lot of success when I have stepped out on faith and gone for something close to my heart, even though pieces of the puzzle were missing at first. At the perfect time, they appeared, and I was able to take full advantage of my ventures.
When we were newborns, the only way we could communicate to our parents that we needed or wanted something important was to cry. We had no choice, as beings who hadn’t yet learned the concept of rejection or not receiving, but to innately trust that we would be provided for. We had a desire, we cried, and someone eventually came through for us. We hadn’t developed the capacity to concern ourselves with what we thought needed to happen or be in place before we got it, or even who would get it for us. At that time, and even as we got older, our parents were our source of provision. Later, as religion was introduced to us, we were told that there was “something bigger than us” in charge that held the key to our provisions. We started experiencing asking and not receiving, from various sources, not just our parents. We started witnessing and hearing about planning, and being told how critical an act it was if we were to lead an “orderly” life. We learned that if you don’t plan properly, things likely won’t work out.  All of these experiences and information instilled us with fear, and because of it, our sense of faith was tainted, and we learned to live—and even desire—with restrictions.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a good plan; it’s actually advised in many cases. I’m the first to admit that not only do they make me feel better, but a lot of times they also work. It feels great when I plan something out, awesome strategy lined up, and it goes off without a hitch, yielding me exactly what I want or need in the end. Yep, sometimes plans are wonderful, but sometimes … not so much. I’ve had more than my share of failed attempts to “make” something happen. No matter how beautiful the arrangement was, no matter how many reliable people were involved, no matter how much money, time, knowledge, or clout I had, sometimes things fell through, and there was nothing I could do about it. I was reminded in those times that I was officially not in complete control of my circumstances or environment. We never really are. The only things we can truly control are our thoughts, words, and actions. Everything outside of those three things is wild-card territory. As much as we’d love to think we “know” what’s gonna happen for and to us, the fact is we can’t know from moment to moment what life will toss on our path. The doctor who’s making six figures today may lose his job next week, even if he’s the hardest working, most dedicated fella at the hospital. Your car may suddenly have a flat this morning, and you’re already running late for that important meeting. How’s that possible? There was air in it last night when you parked it, right? The woman who thinks she’s having a baby boy ends up with a girl … but she and hubby have everything in place for their son. Little girl all dressed in blue, anyone?
When we get attached to results we hope will stem from plans we’ve concocted or taken part in, assume specific resources or people will always be available when we need or want them and panic when they’re not, stress ourselves out worrying about how or when we’ll get something when we’re already doing our best to acquire it in a respectable manner, break our necks trying to force people’s hands to get what we want, only move forward in life based on what we have or assume we need, and fly off the handle whenever things don’t go the way we think they should, we are all the way out of the faith zone. I understand that it’s difficult to stay there sometimes; I’m not exempt by any means. I’ve had to talk myself down from the panic ledge more often than you know. It’s a daily challenge to stay away from it. But what I’ve found is that when I manage to only focus on staying clear about my goals (not ones imposed on me by others), ensuring that my thoughts, words, and actions are healthy at all times, trusting that I can and will be provided for in an unlimited number of ways and not just the ones my tunnel-visioned brain thinks of, and doing my very best to make faith-based efforts (not fear-based ones) when moving through my circumstances, my life is so much smoother, I’m calmer, and things fall into place even better than anticipated most of the time.
I’m learning to “lose control,” in the best way possible, a way that opens me up to all, not some, of the possibilities this life has to offer me. Relaxing, trusting that I won’t be deprived, and relinquishing [perceived] control of my situations is actually freeing. I’m teaching myself to master the process. I invite you to join me. Let’s all break down our walls of fear, lose control together, and live the most awesome lives we can. 


Saturday, May 4, 2013


I once worked for a company for a very short time, less than a month. It was a job that, in the beginning, I thought would be right for me. I acquired it effortlessly, enjoyed the interview process and initial training, found the company to be very professional, the pay acceptable, and I loved my extremely flexible schedule. Everything seemed like a perfect fit … until I actually started the job and began feeling intense unease.

At first, I thought it was just me. I was new, still learning the system, and getting comfortable with everything. I decided to give myself some time to adjust. But days and days went by, and as I rapidly figured out the system, I noticed my spirit was still out of whack. At that point, it was clear to me that there was a real problem I needed to have a talk with myself about.

I discovered that the system, though it did actually work, wasn’t working for me, and for very valid reasons, not because I was being lazy or trying to shirk my responsibilities. I’m no stranger to working diligently. I identified my issues and spent a considerable amount of time contemplating their weight, and they were heavy. It was challenging to get my work done in a timely manner every day. I never turned it in late, but it wasn’t done without unusually long hours and lots of spiritual drain.

After two weeks and many failed you-can-do-this pep talks with myself, I knew I would need to leave. If there was one thing I knew for sure, it was that I had come much too far in my endeavors to go backward. I had previously experienced what it was like to be doing work that was truly satisfying, and staying in a situation that offered me the exact opposite was not on my agenda. 

The most difficult thing about letting go of a situation (or thing or person) that’s no longer serving you in general, or is just plain unhealthy, is things can get “complicated.” I put that in quotes because when you master the art of letting go immediately, it’s not complicated. But when you’re operating from and controlled by fear, things change. It will make you remain in situations or keep people and things in your life that you know full well are not in your best interest, or that you’re not even really interested in. In my case, the core fear was that I would let the job go and then have no income for X amount of time, and I had just gotten back into the realm of having something steady to count on. Things were even set up so I could work part time if and when I desired. I knew what I really wanted to be doing work wise, but the fear that it wouldn’t manifest, either at all or quickly enough, had me considering “hanging out” at this job that I wasn’t the least bit enthusiastic about, just to have some steady income. Basically, I would be implementing the “break glass in case of emergency” tactic—using the job as backup if things got rough financially. I knew from past experience that would impede my advancement, so, despite my fears, I thanked the company for the opportunity and their hospitality, graciously resigned, and got back to focusing on and magnetizing what was in my heart.

Whether you’re hanging on to a job, a relationship, or some other situation that isn’t bringing you joy and satisfaction, which is your natural birthright, the bottom line is this: not only can you not attract anything better until you identify what better is for you, but you also can’t get it until you clear the path for its arrival. That last part is crucial, and I’ll touch on that in a minute, but first things first.

If you don’t know what you want, then you’ll need to start there. Make good use of the situations you don’t like by constructing your desired scenarios from them. Pay close attention to how you feel within those situations. If you’re miserable, don’t complain; pinpoint exactly why you feel that way and then decide what you’d rather have or be doing instead. Write it down in as much detail as you can. Your prayer (decision) has to be defined if you want precise results. If you put out a vague prayer or one that’s too broad, you’ll get hodgepodge in return.

Once you’re sure about your goal, it’s time to make room for it on your plate, which means eliminating the things (or people) in your realm that you’re afraid to release because you’re worried about being deprived of something in their absence. They’re literally blocking your goal’s entrance. Every time you cling to things out of fear, you’re really saying you don’t have faith that you can or will get what you really want; so you’ll settle “just in case” it’s the best, or all, you’ll ever have. You want a healthy meal, so to speak, but your plate is cluttered with junk food that you keep snacking on out of desperation, and it’s making you sick (unhappy). How can you expect to invite in what’s healthy when your energy and actions are wrapped up in your substandard scenario? Enforcing opposite energies will keep you at a standstill in life. You may want better, but unless you act like it, you won’t get it. Simply wanting something doesn’t pull it in. Many times, you’ll have to do things that are unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and scary to be positioned to accomplish your goals. Unless you’re willing to step out on faith and put yourself in that position, don’t expect to move beyond your current circumstances.

I should also mention that when others have a vested interest in a scenario that you’re afraid to release, you’re not only holding up your own progress, you’re also holding up theirs. If you’re involved in an undesirable situation, and the people who are also involved think you’re completely on board, you’re doing everyone an injustice by not moving on. You can’t give or be your best in situations that don’t contribute to your happiness, and by removing yourself from that space, you make room for someone who wants to be there and who’s a better fit. This life is not all about you. Your decisions affect others. The great thing is, being true to yourself allows you to help others because it means you’re staying in your own lane, not taking up space, time, and expending precious energy in circumstances where you’re ultimately doing you and the others in it more harm than good.

What does your lane entail? Figure it out. Be confident about it, whether others approve of it or not. And by all means, don’t be afraid to get in it and stay there.      

 From my book Building Faith and Character Through Life Challenges, available at         


Wednesday, April 10, 2013


we don't sleep
cuz we poets
these words
they be like
Red Bull
once we git ta
concoctin’ verses
ain't much we
really wanna talk
to a pillow about
till what we got ta say
is said
don't matta that
our eyes feel like
they just been slammed
by sandstorm

ain't our fault
nothin’ we can do
that's what happens when
you a poet

these words they

bum-rush at inopportune times
at the doctor's office
on the examinin' table
at a job interview
durin’ a work-history spiel
on the freeway
at high pace
here they come
delegatin’ us a story
all-fired urgent
make us start cussin'
cuz we ain't got no
damn paper
or pen
and they act like
they think it's funny
when we scramblin'
tryna find us a way
ta scribble down what they say
see us in a panic
start spittin’ fasta
full stanzas
no punctuation
ta even give us a chance
ta pause
just racin' thru our dome like Flo Jo
’bout ta have us crashed-up
behind a 5-star metaphor
that if we don’t
in the next twelve seconds
that bitch will
pull a Houdini ...
and escape

damn shame
the way these words
run us
sweet-talk us into
callin’ in sick
skippin’ meals
near-bursted bladders
ingnorin’ texts
cancellin’ plans
showin’ up late
leavin’ early


cuz we poets
we let ’em
cuz we ain’t alive
without ’em
so we do
what they say
when they say
how they say
till they say

it’s ova

©2013 Charlene E. Green

Saturday, April 6, 2013


You've done well
considering your former ways

Trained yourself like
an owner 
with a rescue dog
new to this life of
tame behavior

You'd been
scampering after them
for too many years
different names, faces, bodies
same end result:
no matter how obediently you sat
and waited
wide-eyed and ravenous
for acceptance
how sweetly you begged
or how many cute tricks you did
you were never charming enough
desirable enough
enough of anything
to compel them to take you home
excited to keep you
anxious to nurture
a forever companionship

You meandered
from one house to the next
scratching assertively at doors
that they wouldn't open completely—
crack but never let you in—
they could see you were hungry
but had no intention of
offering a full meal
a leftover scrap or two
but that's about it
strays who show up
barking desperately
exhibiting erratic behavior
trying to
pitiful their way into arms
that don't wanna hold them
hearts that don't wanna love them
trying to
make owners out of placaters
are always suspect
never welcomed

The goings-on
at that last house
were tragic
you left with too many
cruelty scars to count
knew you had hit
rock bottom

Time for new dogma

No more
sparse morsels
being shooed away
condescending pats on the head
splintered fingers from
clawing at dead-bolted doors
no more
spiritual euthanasia

And you've done well
credit is due

Finally spruced up
your weathered coat
tended to
your mangy esteem
found a safe home
within your own spirit
and taught your old-dog self
some beneficial new tricks
that finally get you
the respect and rewards
you deserve

©2013 Charlene E. Green

Friday, April 5, 2013


It's the aftermath
of last night's
and blaming

After they
dishonored each other
broke their promise
to never go to bed
to never leave
more than
three inches of space
between them
during slumber

I'm sorry ... what slumber?
too much malignant
head chatter
desecrating their bond
loud enough to deaden
the love they professed
the previous morning
a rare moment
when they kissed
uttered sweet good-byes
but now it's
and their mouths
are rancid
tongues mangled
from lashing
while the devil's
watching with glee
cackling heartily at
the ruinous discord
it has succeeded
in executing

You know it hates
these sissy-ass
marital unions anyway

The quote says
what God has
joined together
let no man
put asunder
here they lie
with enough space
between them
to sleep
the elephant in the room
teetering on bedsides
fetal positioned
lips tightly pursed
arms defensively crossed
reek of enmity
pouring from the pores
in their backs
to each other

unless they realize
"man" in the quote
and the devil
ain't nothin' but
a savage named Ego
alias THEM
they will never know serenity
these walls will howl
about never knowing
the peace
they were built
to surround
they're tired
of World War III
on rewind daily
of being dismantled
by flying objects
the slamming of doors
every ten minutes
rocks them like
the Bay Bridge
in the 1989 quake
just like this couple
their foundation
is fractured
just like this couple
their days
are numbered
this couple
and these walls
will never
emotional cancer

©2013 Charlene E. Green

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Have you noticed how often you tell people what you don't have, and what you can’t and won't be able to do? It's a very bad habit that only perpetuates the situation you're in. Our words are the most powerful weapons we have, and when we don't use them in the positive sense, we create negative scenarios. The next time you get ready to tell someone that you don't have, can't do, or won't be able to do something (that you actually do want), try to catch yourself before the words come out, and instantly switch to one of these two substitute phrases: "I'm in the process of [getting it]" or "I'm pursuing [it]." Or add in any other positive phrase that you can think of that leans toward your possession of or ability to do something you truly want. Whatever you do, don’t claim that it doesn’t exist.

Repeatedly claiming your lack of something doesn’t indicate your advancement in that area; it denotes indefinite stagnation. It also alludes to your having a victim mentality. When you say “I don’t have,” not only is there no indication of forward motion, but it also sounds like you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that there’s nothing you can do about it. But when you claim something as being in the process, it sounds like it’s really in motion; it could happen at any moment. Isn’t that what you want, anyway? Don’t you want what you want as soon as possible? If so, then you have to start speaking about your goals and dreams as if they really are in the process of coming to fruition any second, even if you can’t see a single shred of evidence that they are. What you can see with your eyes is not the point; it’s what you want in your heart that’s important. You’ve been around long enough to know by now that when a blessing finally appears, you almost never see it coming, and even if you do, it usually happens in a way that you don’t expect. That’s because you couldn’t see the whole [spiritual] picture. All you could see was what your physical eyes could take in, which most of the time isn’t reliable information because your perception is often clouded by other people’s opinions, suggestions, and demands, and by your own unhealthy belief system. But most importantly, it’s literally impossible for you to see every aspect of how your good is developing. There are too many people and situations involved that aren’t within your scope of vision.

“But isn’t claiming something that hasn’t happened yet the same as lying about it?” you might ask. No, because your objective behind the claiming is completely different than if you were having a conversation with someone and blatantly lied to them with the intention of deceit. This claiming is strictly about faith. Faith that your good is on its way to you, expeditiously at that, even though you don’t have the [full] details about how and when it will manifest. Speaking your ideal life into existence is your right, and dare I say your duty, and there are ways to do it diplomatically. I say, “Hey, we’re all going to the movies and then out to dinner. Wanna come?” You say, “I’m in the process of getting extra funds for splurging. Maybe next time. Thanks, though.” Yeah, I know. That was a little more work than just saying, “I can’t; I don’t have the money.” But do you see the strength behind the former statement and the weakness behind the latter? The former says that you have something definite in motion; the money’s on the way, albeit sight unseen by you. The latter just says you’re an out-of-luck, no-money-having victim of your circumstances; and unfortunately for you, nothing’s on the way. If you can remember that everything you think, do, and say has either positive or negative energy behind it, and that whatever energy you release into the universe you get back in the form of positive or negative experiences, then you can see how important it is to start rewiring your brain, and subsequently your mouth, so that every word you speak, particularly about the things that matter to you the most, is not only positive but also driven in the direction you want your life to go.

Rewiring takes conscious effort. I won't lie: I've caught myself slipping during my course of action. It takes practice and patience. You’ll have to really think about how to nix those negative thoughts and words at a moment's notice. You may have to repeat the same replacement phrase to yourself consistently during panic moments, which is when the lacktalk is bubbling over in your mind, out of control. That’s okay, because you’re probably not used to thinking and speaking about your life in forward-moving phrases regularly. You’ve been blurting out what you don’t have and can’t do for so long that you don’t even realize you’re saying it most of the time, not to mention the damage you’re doing to your life whenever you do. It’s not your fault that speaking yourself into incessant lack is second nature. This ghastly habit is rampant, and you’ve been taught well by everyone around you, including your parents, who probably meant absolutely no harm. As a child, you may have heard them say how broke they were, that they couldn’t afford to buy [you] this or that; it wasn’t in the budget; times were hard. It’s not their fault, either. They said it because that’s the phrasing they heard and learned. They couldn’t teach you what they didn’t know, so no blaming need take place. This is not just about money. It’s about having been conditioned from youth, by society at large, to speak in the negative about the existence of the things you want—even need—when you don’t see them in front of you.

I have lots of examples I can share, even recent ones, but I’ll share this one from back in the day because even now, I’m still amused by it. I was working at San Quentin State Prison, in the records department. I wanted more than anything to work in the mailroom. I was really determined to move. Problem was, there had been a long-term hiring freeze in effect, even before I started working at the prison, and the likelihood of my position change was laughable. No one had been able to transfer to a different position in an unheard-of amount of time. Yet, I told my coworker, not long after I began working in records, that I was gonna do just that. He laughed at me, then told me it was never gonna happen because of the hiring freeze. I told him to watch me. I was leaving that department. Frequently, and with a smug smirk on his face, he would ask me if I had “heard anything” about an opening in the mailroom. I would say no, and then confidently tell him that I was still gonna work there, that my move was already in progress. When he would ask me how, I would shrug and say I didn’t know, but that it just … was. He would laugh, shake his head at me, and then walk away while mumbling about how funny I was. Well, ha … ha … ha. About 14 months later, my supervisor, whom I’d also told about my interest in moving, came to me and informed me that a position had opened that I was eligible to apply for. I did, and so did a bunch of other people. But since I had already claimed that spot, I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I got it. So I left my coworker in Main Records, flummoxed and with his mouth hanging open … and no longer laughing at me.

You have complete control of what runs through your head and comes out of your mouth. You control the energy of your life and its impending direction. Why not prioritize making your mind and mouth the compasses that point your life toward all the victories you fully intend to achieve?

From my book Building Faith and Character Through Life Challenges

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I don’t know about you, but if I come home and find a thousand ants stampeding across my kitchen counter, the first thing I wanna know is: Where’d they come from? I know I’m about to kill them all, but I also know once that’s done, if I don’t know their source, they’re gonna keep coming back. The ants are not actually the problem; they’re the result of the problem, and the problem has a cause. My system is, if I see one or two ants, I wait to kill them. Instead, I watch for a while; I wait until I see them crawl to their entrance so I know exactly what spot to “blow up.” So let’s say they came from a crack in the wall. This is the formula: Crack in wall = cause/source, entryway into house = problem, ants = result. If I focus on eliminating the cause (fix the crack), I can successfully alleviate the problem, which ends the result. But if I get sidetracked and overwhelmed by the ants and only focus on getting rid of them, then I’m off track because I’m under the delusion that I can cure my problem by trying to remedy the result. The best that will happen is that the ants will leave temporarily; but as long as that crack is still in the wall, sooner or later they’ll return because the cause and problem still exist.

It’s the same situation if you have a rash from an allergic reaction. You can put medicine on it all you want, and you may get temporary relief. But until you, for example, stop eating seafood (cause), your allergic reaction (problem) will continue to be the itchy rash (result).

Sometimes, if a cause isn’t dealt with immediately and properly, your problem can spread and produce more than one result. I like to use the tree analogy here. Root (cause), trunk (problem), branches (results). Say emotional trauma is your root, insomnia is your trunk, and your branches are crankiness, lack of energy, inability to focus, and clumsiness. You try to stamp out the effects in different ways, as if you have four separate problems, but never truly get the relief you need because your focus is in the wrong place. Insomnia is your only problem, but even that won’t disappear until you conquer its root: trauma.

I’ll admit that pinpointing the cause of a problem can sometimes be tricky because it may not be as obvious as an action, words, a specific event, or something visible. Many times, the cause stems from unhealthy or misguided thoughts and beliefs about ourselves or certain situations. In that case, we have to work on mastering our minds, balancing our spirits, and making conscious efforts to do whatever it takes to transform on the deepest level so we can quell the problem and deliver new, desirable results to ourselves. Understand that when the results change, it’s because we’ve changed. Our upgraded environment is simply a reflection of the inner work we’ve done.

Getting to the other side of challenges, especially complex ones, may not always be easy. But remembering that [lasting] result elimination will be futile unless the cause is destroyed, will put you in the right position to end your suffering … permanently.