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Monday Thoughts 7/30/2018

Monday Thoughts

“Tennis is mostly mental.  Of course, you must have a lot of physical skill, but you can’t play tennis well and not be a good thinker.  You win or lose the match before you even go out there.”  ~~ Venus Williams

“Never believe for a second that you are weak, within all of us we have a reserve of inner hidden strength.”  ~~Victoria Addino

“To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.”  ~~Eckhart Tolle


Statement #5:
 I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.

Whether our interest lies in tennis, fancy cuisine or recovery, our thoughts are a critical aspect and steer the direction we take.  Venus Williams states quite honestly; “You win or lose the match before you even go out there.”  Jean understood this concept well and created Statement #5 to center the WFS New Life Program.

Instead of feeding the mind junk food, such as when ruminating on failure, fear or lack, there is an opportunity to pause and examine exactly what the mind is chewing on.  This can be a novel concept when alcohol or drugs have previously hijacked thinking.  With the clarity of sobriety, practice of Statement #5, thoughts can be prepared, processed and managed.

In Jean’s book Turnabout, she writes “The philosophy behind the whole program of Women for Sobriety is based upon the concept of our thoughts creating the world in which we live.  First the thought and then the action.  In another paragraph Jean goes on to write, “We must begin forming our world by beginning with our mental environment and accepting responsibility for our thoughts…. which dictate the actions to follow.  No longer can we allow, or permit, circumstances to mold us.  We are larger than circumstances.” “Exercise your mind and direct your thoughts.”  Free your mind and a 4C life follows!

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I’ve shared this bit of history before yet whenever I read Statement #5, I am brought back to that moment when I was a teen, asking my bio father if he would buy me a $25 bathing suit for my birthday. I can still here his response as though it were yesterday – “Who in the hell do you think you are, Miss Reading” (my hometown). I was crushed, humiliated and felt so rejected by that comment. I was use to his insults but somehow this cut a bit deeper. My mom and stepdad both worked in factories and they decided that I was worth that $25 and bought me the bathing suit. Still, so many years later, I can feel the sting of those hurtful words. Other things happened along the way that only added to the pain. I realized after going to therapy and having clarity by not drinking, that I chose to marry a man who rejected me as well, thinking I could rewrite history and prove myself lovable and worthy.

Statement #5 and Jean’s words were a huge revelation for me. I’m human and while I can still feel the pain of my father’s words, I KNOW the truth of who I am today. I am in charge of my identity and not a lie from the past. My father definitely had issues and he chose me to unburden his pain. My sister was shown love and usually got what she asked for from him yet, today, I am grateful because I have been given the tools to heal and create my authentic identity.

Here are 4 questions from last year. If you answered them back then, I hope you dated and kept them and out of curiosity, see the differences or similarities from that date. If this is the first time you are answering these questions, be sure to date it and keep it for future reference:

I am capable of: ____________

I am competent in: __________

I am caring about: __________

I am compassionate about: _____

I am enough, I have enough, I do enough

Bonded in accepting who I am today,

4C WFS Member

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Monday Thoughts 7/23/2018

flowers-in-field

“Done is better than perfect.”  -Sheryl Sandberg

“Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.”  -Alfred A Montapert

“If you can’t go straight ahead, you go around the corner.”  -Cher


Statement #4

“Problems bother me only to the degree I permit.”

I now better understand my problems.  I do not permit problems to overwhelm me.


Before sobriety and New Life, attempts at solving problems involved running away, denial and oftentimes, breaking down in tears.  I felt so inept at solving problems that a mere inkling of a problem brought intense anxiety which I tried to soothe with alcohol.  Of course, this never worked; the problem was still there plus now additionally, the hangover.

In our Program booklet, our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., writes, “Learning that I didn’t have to react to everything with upsetting emotions was an important part of my recovery.”  Discovering middle ground emotions assist in developing problem solving skills which can reduce overwhelming emotions.  Overtime, these new skill sets can lead to increased feelings of balance.

Sobriety and recovery encourage problem solving.  No matter where you are on this 4C journey, a brief reflection on the first month of sobriety brings problem-solving to light. Challenging thoughts about drinking or using while embracing new tools and skills is Statement #4 in action.  From this New Life beginning, the satisfaction of remaining sober is born and can fuel decision making.  This change in direction opens up endless possibilities.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Over the years, I have started using the word “concern” as it always makes me feel that I am in a problem-solving mode rather than just worrying about anything and everything. Statement #4 has helped me understand that worrying solves nothing although it can be the catalyst for awareness of a real issue that needs problem-solving/decision-making or wasting valuable time for something I have no control over.  I once read a definition by Dr. Edward Hallowell who wrote Worry: Hope and Help for a Common Condition.  I haven’t read the book but his definition stuck with me.  “Worry is nature’s alarm system.  It’s sort of like blood pressure.  You need some level to be alive and healthy.  It’s when the alarm goes off for no reason or the level stays too high for too long – that’s what Dr. Hallowell calls “toxic worry” – that problems arise.  When asked how do we know when our worrying has crossed the line, the answer was to look closely at the sources of our worry when it holds us back from doing what we want, from making decisions or living as fully as we’d like.  I believe those are great guidelines to help us recognize the difference between worrying and concern.

Dr. Hallowell suggests:

  1. Never worry alone:  Making contact with another person and sharing your concerns is often the best way to combat incessant worry.
  2. Get the facts:  A lot of times, worry is based on lack of information or misinformation.  Simply gathering data can help you develop a plan of action or even decide you don’t need to worry after all.  (I suggest also contacting a human being, not just the internet, with the knowledge you need.  -Dee)
  3. Make a plan of action:  By making a plan, you assume control of the situation. “Worry loves a passive victim.”  The more you put yourself in control and reduce your vulnerability, the less you’ll feel toxic worry.

The following checklist is a tool to help us understand the word power of “worry” and “concern” and how it can help us move in the direction of problem-solving.  It is from Ascent Advising website. 

When considering the differences between worry and concern, consider these distinctions:

  • Worry distracts us; Concern focuses us.
  • Worry disables planning; Concern helps us plan.
  • Worry blurs our vision; Concern clarifies our purpose.
  • Worry tends to give up; Concern perseveres.
  • Worry exaggerates; Concern pinpoints problems.
  • Worry focuses on self; Concern cares for others.

Thirty years ago, when I first discovered WFS, each one of the 13 Statements of Acceptance for a New Life dramatically changed my life and Statement #4 was definitely a huge motivator in relieving me of my “Queen of Worry” crown.  What a relief.  I hope you will consider the suggestions and definitions above and learn how to change worry into concern and how to begin making an action plan with the input of those you trust!

Bonded in not permitting problems to overwhelm us,
4C WFS member