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Organization Update 9/28/2018

"Before" and "After" photos of a cluttered and slightly-less-cluttered office, as well as a photo of the back of a minivan filled with electronic devices.

Wow! What a difference a day makes! Four competent women converged on the office last Saturday and helped with a major reorganization and cleaning effort. As Chaos33, our intrepid organizer, said, “You can get a lot more done with 5 women in 1 day than 1 woman could get done in 5 days.” And how! I was basically the air traffic controller all day, directing our generous volunteers on what to move and where. By the end of the day, we had collected most of the old equipment that is getting sold or listed for free online to the front by the door, a plethora of defunct electronics piled up in Chaos33’s minivan for the electronics recyclers, unused shipping boxes in someone else’s car ready to be returned to the post office, and all of our conference supplies and sale inventory in one place. Oh, yes, and we also rearranged a bunch of old steel desks! Sisters doing it for themselves!

Everyone had a great time – I know that sounds unbelievable, but it was very rewarding to feel like so much was accomplished, and we had amazing Sister company the entire time, too, including an impromptu office picnic on folding tables with tacos from the authentic Mexican place across the street and homemade orzo salad and fruit salad brought by a volunteer. (Sorry, I forgot to get permission from the other 3 women to use their screen names in this post.) Now don’t be jealous if you missed out on all the fun… Chaos33 is organizing another work party on October 20th, and you are welcome to join us!

In other organizational developments, we moved forward on a couple of projects to help incarcerated women access the New Life Program. Did you know that in 2015 (the most recent year such data was available), 59% of federal female prisoners were sentenced for drug offenses?* In fact, the WFS office receives 5-10 letters per week from incarcerated individuals seeking information about the New Life Program. Now, we are happy to be able to inform them that their prison librarians can write to us and we will send the institution a free copy of Goodbye Hangovers, Hello Life and the Program Booklet for their library. We’re also making it possible for women in controlled environments to run WFS meetings, provided that they meet the same requirements of our other Certified Moderators and Certified Co-Moderator.

I did fall ill with a nasty cold and was out of the office a bit for some much-needed self-care, but I am back and continuing to prepare for my upcoming trip to Houston to do outreach to drug and alcohol counselors from across the country. I received new WFS pens today and expect to have pictures of them and some other goodies for you on next week’s post, so check back next Friday!

Thanks for your interest in WFS – together, we can do this!
Adrienne

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Monday Thoughts 9/24/18

Monday Thoughts

“Practice does not make perfect, practice makes routine and practiced routine makes a master.” ~~unknown

“You are all things. Denying, rejecting, judging, or hiding from any aspect of your total being creates pain and results in a lack of wholeness.” ~~Joy Page

“The way anything is developed is through practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice and more practice. ~~Joyce Meyer


Statement #13
 I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts and my life.


Oftentimes in books, movies and culture it can be implied that somehow, women are incomplete or that we need others to make ourselves whole. Who can forget the now famous line from the movie Jerry Maguire of “You complete me.”? This line of thinking can instill feelings of worthlessness, thereby creating dependency on something outside of ourselves. Feeling broken, substance abuse can easily take hold.

Statement #13, one of the Statements in Level 6, offers lifelong growth and a continuation of the WFS New Life Program. From our Beginner’s Collection, “The entire object of this ‘New Life’ Program is to come to this point; to the maturity of accepting ourselves and being responsible for ourselves and all we do. By accepting responsibility for who we are and what we do, we have broken away from unhealthy dependencies upon others to see us through life. We have become whole. We make ourselves whole.”

With sobriety and exercise of Statement #13, we can understand that we are already whole and that we have everything that we need within us. Initially this can feel frightening, but utilizing the tools that WFS provides, we are increasingly able to respond with our abilities. Additionally, Statement #13 opens the mind to growth, easing worries of making a mistake. Fear of failure evolves into doing our best and trying different options. Confidence increases and responsibility becomes second nature through the practice of our WFS New Life Program.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I’ve been under the weather the last week after returning from the family wedding in PA. In fact, I’ve been in bed for the past 6 days. Two days ago, I fell straight forward onto my knees (darn laptop cord!) and have been in a bit of pain. More worried about my partial knee replacement than anything else. It’s been two years and I have never placed any pressure on that knee. I guess I tested that theory head on when I fell. As my mind isn’t working as well as I was hoping it would be by now, I went back over past messages and found this one from Dec. 2013 that starts off with Nancy Cross and then my response.

Nancy wrote regarding Statement #13:

A healthy recovery requires accomplishing a number of tasks, including:

*build and maintain motivation
*connect with others
*identify and develop alternative coping methods
*reduce resentment about changing
*identify, understand and cope with craving
*build a new, balanced life
*lead a life that is purposeful, meaningful and reasonably happy
*stay alert for problems and follow through all the way

Hi 4C Women,

Nancy’s list of tasks for a healthy recovery is terrific. I was thinking back to the beginning of my journey and I believe the most difficult part for me was reducing my resentment about changing. As I mentioned last week, I was not eager to change because that meant I had to be responsible for my choices and I was doing so well at the “blame” game. At least I thought I was! I didn’t realize how much energy the blame game took away from self-discovery and growth until I decided to accept responsibility for my life and for my actions. It’s difficult to recognize the time being wasted when you’re in the midst of blaming. For me, accepting change, being RESPONSIBLE for it, was the turning point in my life. I’m not sure I would have been able to tackle the rest of Nancy ‘s list if I had not been willing to change and most importantly, not feel resentful about it. At first, I thought it was silly that I had to change when everyone else’s behavior was causing me to drink. My family history, my young adult years, the choices I made as an adult were out of my control. If only the people I loved would see it my way. If only they understood that I was a product of my life so far that made me feel unlovable and worthless. I clung to that for a very long time. What I eventually learned is that what happened to me growing up was out of my control. As a child, I held no power. As an adult, I owed it to myself to get my power back – to let go of what I cannot change (the past is gone forever) and change what was within my power to do (I will no longer be victimized by the past). Letting go does not mean that what happened as a child or adult was okay, it means that you accept the challenge to take on all those tasks on Nancy ‘s list to have the life you desire, the life you deserve.  You have the power to create this “New Life.” Are you up for the challenge?  Do you know what might be your stumbling block(s) at this very moment? Are you willing to consider how you can make the necessary changes?

 Love,
4C WFS Member

As I read my response from 2013, it is amazing how much the WFS Statements gave me such guidance for change and how they are just as relevant today. I hope you are receiving, accepting and willing to be responsible for your actions and your life as you put Statement #13 into practice.

Bonded in positive change,
4C WFS Member

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Organization Update 9/21/18

Where has the week gone? It has been very busy doing the normal business of the organization: updating meeting information and the online Meeting Finder, following up with inquiries about our program and outreach opportunities, and with one of the staff members out sick, picking and packing bookstore orders! We also had a meeting of the Board of Directors on Thursday evening. The new board members are really such a great addition to the team, I have high hopes for this group of driven women. This in addition to continuing to support – and receive support in – the collective grief process as we work together at being present for each other in this time of change. Truly, being witness to the growth is awe-inspiring for me.

I’ve been busy supporting the face-to-face program this week, too. I sent out 4 Starter Kits to newly-certified Moderators and Co-Moderators! Also a Professional Starter Kit for a treatment center that is considering adding the New Life Program to its treatment offerings. Having worked as an addictions counselor myself, I know how rare it is (unfortunately) for facilities to offer choices for mutual aid groups, so I really applaud this center for exploring this great option for their female participants. I also heartily thank our new CMs and CCMs for their commitment to making sure that WFS is available in their local communities! Two new meetings in Florida have been announced recently, I have one more in California to post, and another one in Arizona is starting soon.

Our other volunteer numbers continue to grow, as well, although there’s nothing very specific to report this week (unless you count the 90-minute Skype meeting with the Board Ambassador for the new Conference Planning Workgroup – what a trooper she is!). If you have applied for our volunteer list and don’t have a job yet, don’t worry, I will find something for you to do! And I appreciate your patience as we continue to work on our new routines.

Some of you may remember last week when I mentioned negotiating with the landlord about our heaters in the office. Well, they are 50 years old and have been shut off due to gas leaks. Making matters worse, because of their age, no replacement parts are available! Well, the landlord has said a flat no to helping replace them and unfortunately we have no recourse under our lease, plus the air conditioner broke on Monday, too! This could mean that thousands of dollars that we have collected for New Life Program outreach and program services would have to be spent on a new HVAC system which we couldn’t even take with us if we move out of this building at the end of our lease in 2 years. Luckily, a sympathetic reporter got wind of the story and came to Quakertown to interview me! After I finished panicking, I actually had a lovely conversation with him and he put together a beautiful segment for the morning news – you can watch it here. We are hopeful that a local HVAC technician or manufacturer will see the story and be willing to donate their labor or a heater to us before it gets too cold! If you are on facebook, please help us boost the signal by liking, commenting on, and sharing our post about it.

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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New WFS Meeting – Holiday, FL

WFS is proud to announce the start of a new face-to-face meeting!

Holiday, FL

Thursdays at 7:30 pm

 

Please email 1079@womenforsobriety.org with questions and to obtain the exact location of the meeting.

Please join us in extending our gratitude to the volunteer Certified Moderator who has made the commitment to bring the New Life Program to her local community!

If you are feeling inspired to bring WFS to your local community, please review the requirements for becoming a Certified Moderator and contact the Face-to-Face Management Team for assistance.

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Monday Thoughts 9/17/2018

Monday Thoughts

“Have a vision.  It is the ability to see the invisible.  If you can see the invisible, you can achieve the impossible.”  ~~Shiv Khera

“It shouldn’t be easy to be amazing.  Then everything would be.  It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth.  When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder –or impossible to lose.”  ~~Sarah Dessen  Along for the Ride

“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.”  ~~Walter Scott

__________________________________________________________________________

Statement 12
I am a competent woman and have much to give life.
This is what I am and I shall know it always.

__________________________________________________________________________

Over the last few months, numerous women have asked for me to share how I was able to quit smoking using the WFS New Life Program.  Sobriety and Statement #12 helped tremendously to achieve this goal and while WFS focuses on alcohol and/or substance abuse, I am now eight plus years smoke free thanks in part to the WFS Statements.

Around three years into my New Life, I began to think about quitting smoking.  In Goodbye Hangovers Hello Life, Jean encourages the reader to quit and lists many of the long-term effects of smoking.  While devoting less than three pages to the subject, this made a lasting impression and I began to ruminate on how to quit.

The beautiful words in Statement #12 began the process to quit smoking and encouraged me to keep going.  This Statement was saying that I was competent, even though I felt I wasn’t when it came to quitting smoking.  Already feeling somewhat competent in recovery, I began to create a plan of success to quit.

Organizing this new goal, I needed to change the way I felt about smoking.  It was a love/hate relationship.  Intellectually I knew the dangers of smoking; sadly, my mom had passed away from emphysema/ COPD at the age of 72 yet cravings helped keep my habit alive.  Through WFS, I had begun to understand the connection between thinking and creating, (Statement #5) so I started to tell myself whenever I smoked that “this cigarette tastes terrible” or “this smells awful.”  Time and time again I repeated these phrases and before long, the smokes tasted and smelled exactly as I had thought.

After six months of these repeated affirmations, I wrote out 13 benefits to quitting.  I listed one for each Statement.  Fresh smelling clothing and hair, breathing easier, and saving money were just a few of the benefits on this list.  I carried this list in my pocket, so that even while I was smoking, I could read and affirm my decision.

Purposely, I had not given myself a quit date.  A quit date would shift my focus from healthy preparation to unhealthy avoidance.  If I knew the date, I would have focused my attention on what I felt I was losing instead of compiling tools for success.   My husband decided to join me in this effort and together we began to look at a time frame.  Still avoiding a set date, but setting intention, we chose springtime, once spring arrived, we then decided in April, and then to keep the uncertainty going, we decided to quit when our last carton of cigarettes was gone.  Right then and there I became a non-smoker.

By now, I had associated the benefits of quitting with the empowering WFS Statements and I turned to these as the hours ticked by.  Knowing the first three days would be the most difficult, I kept a plastic drinking straw cut in half near me and chewed on the end whenever a craving hit hard.  Driving proved to be the most difficult, that particular association was quite strong, but using Statement #12 I proved stronger. Additionally, having a partner to discuss how I was feeling, or when a craving appeared helped a great deal as well.   We were not an easy couple to be around those first days!

As it happens, the Gulf Oil spill occurred within the first 24 hours of quitting, so each time I heard the news, I became aware of how many days it was since the oil had started to leak. (I almost felt as if the news folks were keeping track along with me!)  Soon the days turned into a week, and the weeks into a month.  Cravings came and went but it began to become easier.  Feeling better physically, I embraced what I had just accomplished.  I quit smoking cold turkey and moved through cravings and impulses using the tools that I had learned in sobriety and recovery.  Around 5 years smoke free, I joined an online support system to learn more and discovered a tool which calculates how much life has been added back because of quitting and how much money saved.  To date, I have added a year and eight months back to my life and saved over $13, 440 dollars. (that’s $26,880 with my husband!)  To celebrate our success, we bought a travel trailer with our savings.  This led to the discovery of a lovely area downstate full of fishing and spectacular sunrises.  Now, eight years later, we have sold our travel trailer and moved our home next to this beautiful river.

Life is good breathing free!

Some tips to consider:
1.       Plan ahead but try to avoid a set date.
2.       Define your relationship with smoking and change it.
3.       Identify your benefits from quitting.
4.       Quit together.  Use this Forum or try the one I use  ww.quitnet.com

Hugzzz
Karen

_____________________________________________________________________

Hi 4C Women,

Never having smoked but knew so many women who did, I began to learn what a challenge it was to quit.  And just as Karen did, others started using the 13 Statements to help them quit alcohol/drugs and smoking.  Being healthy is a worthwhile goal and I have to say Karen’s questions do apply as well to recovery.  I thought of my relationship with alcohol and what would be the benefits of sobriety.  I loved thinking about what I would gain from sobriety rather than what I was giving up.  And the end result from all of the questions, struggles and changes was this – “I am a competent woman and much to give life.  This is what I am and shall know it always.”  As you begin to see your value, think about what you tell yourself each day.  Are the words encouraging, powerful and kind?  Do you believe in your heart that you are competent, that you have much to give life?  This Statement and its meaning will set you free to achieve self-love, self-worth and self-confidence.

Bonded in competency,

4C WFS Member

 

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Organization Update 9/14/18

Two stacks of flyers overlapping slightly

Hello Competent Women!

As many of you know, I have recently been appointed to the position of President/CEO here at Women for Sobriety. What an honor to serve the women (and future women) of the New Life Program in this way! Thank you for all the congratulations and well wishes that have been sent my way – I am privileged to know so many caring and compassionate women!

I have been involved with many of the changes to the organization in the last few years, first in my role as member of the Board of Directors, then in my role as Project Manager, and I am happy to say that we are just getting started! I’ve also heard that sometimes women feel a bit left out and confused by everything that’s happening, and would like a little more information about what’s changing, what’s being planned, and how they can be involved. I want you to know that I hear you, and this new blog series is my attempt to help everyone feel a part of this exciting change process.

My goal is to make a blog entry every Friday to summarize all the good work we have done together in the past week. Now this is my goal, mind you, and I will ask in advance for your future understanding if I miss a week, post late, or if my post is very brief periodically! I encourage you to share your questions or comments, and I will do my best to respond when my time and energy permit.

So what has the organization been up to this week? Many women have reached out to the office to process the news of our Tuesday announcement. What gratitude I have to be witness to women competently talking through their feelings around the recent changes, using this as an opportunity for reflection and growth. We’ve experienced even more change in the office as our temporary employee, Ann Marie, who many of you met at conference, transitioned out of her position here, and two new part-time employees have been hired. Mindi will be here 3 days a week helping ship off all your bookstore orders, and Carol will be here one day a week to keep the other type of books in tip-top shape. Please help me welcome them to the office team!

One of my highest priorities as President is increasing outreach activities and making sure that the New Life Program gets into the hands of the women who need it. I’ve been working with 2 volunteers on designing attractive new marketing items – I’ll post pics as they come in – and we just received some great new full-color flyers to hand out, which for the first time ever feature some real-life 4C women (I’ll let you guess which ones in the photos above). A big thank you to online member PerditaX for organizing the photo shoot at the 2018 Annual Weekend Conference! Much of this work is in preparation for a large event that WFS will be exhibiting at in early October, the NAADAC conference in Houston, TX. One of the local Certified Moderators and I will be manning an outreach booth, telling the over 1,000 expected addiction-focused professionals in attendance all about the WFS New Life Program!

I am also happy to announce the formation of a new volunteer team, the Conference Planning Workgroup, which has stepped up to help plan the 2019 Annual Weekend Conference! If you have great ideas about how to make our annual conference even better, or you’re just super organized and want to help with logistics, please consider emailing volunteer@womenforsobriety.org for more information about how to become involved. I was hoping to attend the NIAAA Advisory Council meeting and meet some of our Maryland participants on Thursday, but the meeting was unfortunately cancelled due to inclement weather. Other than that, the week was full of the unappealing work of filling out legal compliance paperwork and negotiating with the landlords to get the heaters in the office fixed (it’s going to get cold soon!), but nobody wants to hear about that kind of boring stuff!

Thank you for taking the time to read about the exciting things happening in the New Life Program! I wish all of you a safe and sober weekend, especially our friends in the south affected by Hurricane Florence.

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne Miller
President/CEO
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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A Time of Change

Just as the seasons evolve, Women for Sobriety is in the midst of change.  Change can be difficult to move through but it is a key aspect of sobriety and recovery. Some of these changes may bring up feelings of unease, or discomfort, yet each change happens for the growth, betterment and future of Women for Sobriety. WFS continues to be a life-saving and life-changing self-help organization for women.

Women for Sobriety was brought into existence through change. Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. developed the WFS New Life Program with our 13 Statements to satisfy a need in her, which she then shared with the world. It took incredible courage to stand out and advocate for something different, yet with her sight set on growth, Jean jumped on the talk circuit, eagerly discussing this new way to sobriety, answered letters from women across the world and shared her wealth of knowledge. Hailed as an expert in the field on alcoholism and women, Jean went on to address Senate committees while living her changed New Life. WFS began to flourish, especially in the 90’s with the recognition of how life altering the internet would become. Change brought WFS to life.

Today, areas of change taking place within WFS are occurring in the office as well as in administration.  Many women calling the office looking for support first heard the voice of Becky, a long time WFS employee. For many, Becky was the face of Women for Sobriety and we were happy to have her working in the office. As difficult as change can be, Becky is no longer an employee of Women for Sobriety and we wish her the best in her future endeavors. Your understanding of confidentiality is needed and most welcome.

So, who is the face of Women for Sobriety now? You are! If you are a woman in recovery, if you attend WFS face-to-face meetings, if you peruse the WFS Online Forum, you are the face of WFS. If you donate your time on one of the volunteer teams, if you donate financially or support a sister who may be struggling, you are the face of WFS. If you moderate or help moderate a meeting, lead or help lead a chat or share WFS on social media you are the face of WFS.  If you are capable and competent, caring and compassionate, you are the face of WFS. We are a beautiful tribe of women, bonded together in overcoming addiction. We are the change we wish to be.

The changes continue with the hearty embrace of Level 6, which includes Statements #8 and #13. The WFS Board took responsibility for the organization and began to grow with change. For example, our Statements and Program booklet received an update with today’s language. Our website has been refreshed and redesigned, including a much-needed Meeting Finder and our annual Conference was enhanced, evidenced by the different Opening/ Closing ceremonies, the fun swag bag and our wonderfully enthusiastic Keynote speaker, Karlee Fain. The WFS Forum will be receiving an update shortly, and behind the scenes the WFS Board of Directors has been hard at work upgrading and managing the inner workings of our organization with passion, dedication with an eye towards the future. Included are the many volunteers who continue to invest financially, locally or creatively with WFS. Your time and talents are appreciated!

Filling the role of President for the last year, it became apparent that WFS needed more than just a volunteer for this role. It has been an honor to serve the WFS organization. With steady growth in place, a fair market search was done outside of WFS, while first looking internally. A number of candidates applied for this new position and one has been recently chosen. It is a pleasure to introduce you to the new WFS President Adrienne Miller!

Adrienne brings a wealth of expertise to this position. She holds a BA in Psychology with additional training in addictions counseling and is a certified Chemical Dependency Professional in the state of Washington. She has worked in the recovery field for seven years in both paid and volunteer positions, including six years as a volunteer peer facilitator (including leading a WFS group in her hometown of Seattle.) She is well versed in the New Life Philosophy and has received rave reviews on her workshops at WFS Conferences over the years. Additionally, Adrienne has ten years’ experience in office administration and has been a passionate advocate for WFS when serving on our Board of Directors prior to becoming Project Manager.

Serving as WFS Project Manager, Adrienne lovingly compiled and updated some of Dr. Kirkpatrick’s most important works for women embarking on their New Life journey in the  Beginner’s Collection Workbook which is now included in our Beginner’s Bundle. She upgraded the 2017 Conference experience with online registration and a streamlined Conference Program booklet. Adrienne has been expanding our volunteer program, empowering 4C women to take a proactive role in the organization’s growth/management while increasing and coordinating WFS outreach activities.

The new website and online Meeting Finder, another one of her projects, has decreased barriers for women everywhere to find and access face-to-face meetings and Phone Support Volunteers. Adrienne’s interpersonal skills and adaptability will aid in this period of exceptional growth for WFS. Please join me in welcoming her to this new position!

Hugzzz
Karen

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Monday Thoughts 9/10/2018

Monday Thoughts

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”  ~~Frances Hodgson Burnett

“Perspective is the way we see things when we look at them from a certain distance and it allows us to appreciate their true value.”  ~~Rafael E. Pino

“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points.  Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.”  ~~Kristin Armstrong


Statement 11
Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.
I treasure the moments of my New Life.


In our face-to-face group, I like to share how I ‘get’ to do some of those “unremarkable” things in sobriety and recovery.  In the past it was easy to overlook those small moments, but with the practice of Statement #11, it becomes easier to treasure moments that we may once have taken for granted.

A beautiful example of Statement #11 in action happened at our annual WFS Conference a few years ago.  In one of the workshops, Nancy Cross (who lovingly established the WFS Online Forum) brought a small glass or possibly marble rabbit and sent it around the circle that we were sitting in so that each woman present could hold and touch this tiny treasure. As this little rabbit went from hand to hand, Nancy shared with the group that she wanted to re-energize this little bunny and take each of us home with her.  Each of us had quickly become treasures.

Instead of dreading an activity or task, it is possible to feel content or even grateful for the experience.  Fresh perspective encourages embracing the treasures all around us, and Statement #11 leads the way. Friendships, family, experiences can become filled with awe and wonder.  This Statement can also help cement sobriety and recovery, and like all exercises, invigorates and strengthens.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Karen’s perspective regarding Statement #11 came at just the right time for me.  In preparation for a family wedding, I was fluctuating between enthusiasm in seeing the whole family, including my son, and the thought of driving 15 hours.  Enthusiasm and a bit of dread all caught in one moment’s thoughts!  So how to stick with the enthusiastic part of gratefulness, as Karen suggested, is the question.  If there is any Statement that helps to bring focus to such a situation, it surely is Statement #11.  It guides us to consider how our thoughts have a huge impact on the outcome of a specific situation/event/interaction with people in our lives.   Do we automatically respond with dread or do we shift our focus to the possibilities of adventure, learning new skills, the joy of spontaneity or unexpected positive benefits from taking a risk, overcoming a fear by facing the unknown?

I’ve been reflecting on just that.  Thinking about my decision to quit drinking certainly did not initially bring about a feeling of enthusiasm or considering how much I would treasure the moments of my New Life.  Yet, I took that risk and wow, how much my life has changed, how I learned that fear can be faced with full force and surviving becomes thriving.  The woman who automatically said no was now saying yes and became filled with wonderful surprises, unexpected and treasured adventures and relationships.  What surprised me the most is my confidence began to take hold as I relished the feeling of enthusiasm.  There are still situations I struggle with yet I am not fearful that I will remain stuck.  It’s part of living and years ago, I finally learned and understood that life is change, growth is possible and it’s important to choose wisely.  I will make mistakes along the way yet I do know that I want more enthusiasm than dread when new situations arise and I have the tools given to me by WFS to reflect and choose wisely.

  • How do you experience enthusiasm?
  • What tools do you have to face your fears and be spontaneous, to thrive in your New Life?
  • What is the last spontaneous moment you experienced?
  • What ordinary moments do you treasure?
  • What does “being in the moment” feel like to you?

For some, creating a grateful journey keeps the focus of enthusiasm fresh and current.  Consider writing down at least 2 experiences each day for a week that highlight your gratefulness for your New Life in recovery.  Treasure these moments.

Bonded in treasuring the moments of your New Life,
4C WFS Member

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Monday Thoughts 9/3/2018

Monday Thoughts
“To be human is to be visible.”  ~~Amy Sherald
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’  Actually, who are you not to be?”  ~~Marianne Williamson
 “Love unlocks doors and opens windows that weren’t even there before.”  ~~Mignon McLaughlin

Statement 10
All love given returns.
I am learning to know that I am loved.

Statement #10, the second of the WFS “Love” Statements can be difficult to put into practice.  If we did not experience or feel love when we were young and vulnerable, we may not feel comfortable or may be wary of intimate and loving relationships.  This separation can serve as a false sense of protection while unknowingly instilling loneliness, but the desire to feel loved is what bonds us as human beings.  Instead of isolation, connection encourages love.
Here are four tips for creating connection in our lives by Lori Deschene:
1. Initiate meaningful conversations.
You can initiate this type of exchange with anyone at almost any time simply by asking about the other person, fully listening to what they have to say, and then finding common ground.  Naturally some people will stay shut down, but it’s worth the risk of feeling vulnerable to find the ones who won’t.
2. Give the gift of your presence.
Often when we converse with people, we’re not fully listening; we’re formulating our response in our heads and waiting for our turn to talk.  We’re not only doing the other person a disservice when we do this; we’re also shortchanging ourselves.  Think about the last time you really opened up to someone.  It likely required you to feel a level of comfort and trust, even if you didn’t yet know that person very well.  The act of opening up is itself an offering of love.  In recognizing this and welcoming it by fully hearing other people, we are, in fact, receiving love.
3. Open up your love valve.
Just like a heart valve prevents blood from flowing backwards, our love valve might block the flow of energy in our interactions.  This generally happens when we get too caught up in our head, thinking, analyzing and wanting more, instead of being present and allowing a natural give and take.  Come into the moment, take the pressure off the situation and avoid the urge to fill silences with chatter.  Instead, picture the interaction as something cyclical in nature, where there’s a balance of sharing and listening, giving and receiving.  When we clear the mental clutter and allow this type of flow, we are in essence, choosing to be love.
4. Change your beliefs about the world and love.
When we tell ourselves the same things over and over again, we end up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.  It you tell yourself that people don’t care, you’ll put that energy into the world and then easily find evidence to back it up.  If you tell yourself you’ll never experience love, you’ll create barriers and then subconsciously repel it.  Tell yourself a different story.  There is a lot of love in the world, there’s plenty to go around, you deserve it and it’s coming to you every day.
What additional actions will you take today to amplify feeling loved?
Hugzzz
Karen
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Hi 4C Women,
There are so many ways to experience love.  A friend just lost her beloved pet and I thought of the unconditional love that pet gave to her for many years.  There is no doubt that she knew she was loved.  We each need love in some manner whether it is from a partner, spouse, child, sibling, friend, pet or individuals that cross our path during our lifetime.  That sense of belonging, being cherished and accepted is all a part of knowing that as we give love, we are loved.
What has been the most challenging is when I have loved and it wasn’t returned.  I questioned my value and my worthiness.  This is when I realized that some relationships are for learning.  The life lesson is that I may not be loved by that particular person yet I am lovable, I am worthy, I am enough.  Rather than feel there is something inherently wrong with me, I learned to trust my instincts, leave the situation/person and give my love where it will be received and welcomed with open arms.  Gone are the days of trying to prove myself lovable, dishonoring my integrity to be a doormat people-pleaser to literally lose myself in the process.  As we practice giving love, embrace the gift of being loved.  Be open and willing to seek, give and accept love from your heart.  It will begin to fill any empty space you have and give purpose and joy to your life.  Know that you are loved!
Bonded in giving and receiving love,
4C WFS Member