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New WFS Meeting – Quakertown, PA

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

Quakertown, PA

Wednesdays – 6:00 pm

Please email 1085@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 1/28/2019

Monday Thoughts

“You have power over your mind—not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” ~~Marcus Aurelius

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” ~~Hans Hofman

“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, and 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 #5
I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.


Advertising is a big, big industry, and there’s a reason Superbowl commercials cost 5 million for thirty seconds; they get our attention. Reaching millions of people, ads for alcohol come with fancy horses or supposedly ‘interesting’ men. The ads urge us to find our beach, insinuating that glamour and fun can be ours if we only drink this or that. Today, women everywhere are tuning out ads and tuning into their own minds, making decisions based on need instead of snappy jingles or perceptions of lack.

Sobriety and Statement #5 in action encourage self-reflection. By focusing on where thoughts originate from; ‘is this a core belief’ or ‘am I being sold something” helps to differentiate empowering thoughts from slick advertising and slight of hand deceptions. Challenging our thoughts creates distance from impulse and can cement goals or intentions.

From our Program booklet, “Our day is programmed from the start by our thoughts. If we have a difficult morning and think that everything is going wrong, we can become unreceptive to positive thoughts.” This practice of awareness will enable the mind to not be hijacked by unhealthy thoughts, including disruptive advertising.

How do you mind your mind? Which tools are most effective?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I have had many positive experiences this week which have led me to reflect on how I think about myself deep down inside, not what I hope to project to the outside world. This has been quite challenging as I am in a place of uncertainty about my daughter. My heart is either breaking or wondering how I can help, using my life experience, which with families can be a challenge all on its own.

I encountered a woman at the grocery store who helped get a product off a high shelf for me. I am 5’1″ and she was just as tall . We had a lengthy conversation that was powerful, compassionate and openly sharing our situations. It was uplifting and I felt that we helped each other in meaningful ways.

The next experience was at a silver/gold buyer’s store. I was feeling quite sentimental about the sale and he shared a story that helped me accept my feelings rather than feeling silly. He said he learned a big lesson while at a buyer/seller convention. A young woman standing in line in front of him put a gold necklace with diamonds in it. The buyer picked it up, looked at it, slammed it down and said it was fake. Did she have anything else? She didn’t and as she turned around, he heard her say, “My mother gave that to me.” He learned at that very moment that there are memories behind most pieces of jewelry/heirlooms and it’s not easy to part with them so the need must be great to do so. He learned to be compassionate. He also said how blessed my daughter was to have me for her mom as his mom was a heroin addict and sadly never got help. Why he shared that I am not sure but it brought me back to Statement 5 and how WFS changed my life, the way I think about myself because I was fortunately willing to change. At church today, the pastor leaned back and said my name would be mentioned during service. I had no idea why. Each week a mission of program is lifted up for special recognition. As the staff member was making the announcements, she said that the program being lifted up this week is Women for Sobriety and there was our website logo big and bold on the screen. She then thanked me for my leadership and how grateful they were that this program was available for women in our community. As she later prayed for the congregation, she mentioned WFS again and to be sure to contact me if anyone needed help or knew someone who needed help. Got a sweet card from a WFS member back in NJ on how women in their 70’s approach happiness. The fact that she took the time to photocopy and send it to me with a handwritten note meant so much to me.

These experiences have helped me to believe that I am a 4C woman even at a low point in my life. I am grateful and hope that each of you will take the time to reflect on the changes you have made or are making to know your contribution to those you love, who love you and even strangers who sense you are a safe place/person to share. I hope that as you reflect on this Statement, that you will carry positive interactions/moments with you and remind yourself that no matter how difficult life may be at times, how we think about ourselves is crucial to our recovery. I also hope that each of us recognizes how blessed we are to have the foundation of the WFS Program to guide us, nurture us and keep us moving forward.

Bonded in being 4C women,
Dee

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Organization Update – 1/25/19

Happy Friday Competent Women!

More good things happening as always here at WFS.

The Internet Services Management Team met to further discuss the launch of the new chat room, which is due to go fully live on February 1st! They’re also talking about new ways to use this great new software, which includes many more features than just a chat room. Have you ever wanted to keep a recovery blog to share your journey but didn’t feel comfortable posting it on the public web for everyone to see? Well we may just be able to help you with that!

Speaking of blogs, we have a new volunteer who is going to help get this public-facing blog a-hoppin’! I’ll let her introduce herself when she is ready, but keep your eye out for increased content being posted. We are hopeful that posting more content here will help folks who are curious about WFS learn more about all the wonderful things this New Life Program has to offer.

On the conference front, I was able to speak with our headliner for the WFS Annual Weekend Conference 2019, Karen Drucker. She is just such a special person and we are so fortunate to have her joining us for the entire weekend! We’re also getting some really great submissions in response to our Call for Presentations and our request for conference logo ideas. It still amazes me how every day my gratitude can grow for the amazing women of this organization.

Speaking of which, I’ve also got an angel volunteer hard at work searching for a new venue for the 2020 conference. That’s right – WFS is on the move! Where will it be? Well, we don’t know yet but we will make the announcement at the end of this year’s event. Better show up so that you can be among the first to hear the news!

On the boring “we’re good stewards of your donated funds” front, our beautiful Treasurer Britt Rodriguez was here this week doing our annual selected transactions audit. We combed through a plethora of receipts and bookkeeping records, tracing transactions from start to finish. This is an important financial control so that you can be sure your contributions are being spent appropriately and tracked properly… even if it’s not the most exciting way to spend a couple of January days!

Until next week, we at WFS remain…

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

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Monday Thoughts 1/21/2019

Monday Thoughts

“The road to success is always under construction.” ~~Lily Tomlin

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” ~~Rikki Rogers

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” ~~Eleanor Roosevelt


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.


Women in recovery have incredible strength and are able to overcome problems of every size and shape. Sobriety and the WFS New Life Program, especially Statement #4 in action, offers connection, understanding and the creation of solutions.

Alcohol or drugs sever the ability to problem solve and distort what the problem may actually be. With Statement #4, strategies can be developed and each success builds on the next. By practicing this Statement, we can choose better understanding instead of doubt or disaster. We can learn to ask for help. We can discover some problems do not even belong to us.

Statement #4 can also encourage us to reach down to our core and learn about our beliefs. We also have the opportunity to challenge those beliefs if they do not benefit us.  Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” If we feel deep down, or fully believe we have the ability, success is within reach.

How are your problem-solving skills different today than before your New Life? Have you challenged any outdated belief systems?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Statement #4 always reminds me of setting priorities, especially when there are real concerns to be addressed. When everything feels like a problem, how can we discern between a need to problem-solve and let go of what we have little or no control over. I have a couple of ways I cope with feelings of frustration such as journaling, writing a letter I won’t send, crying to release the tension rather than give it more power, reaching out to those I feel safe with and trust. I am also a list maker. It is another one of the coping tools that has helped me when I feel overwhelmed and need to prioritize. At this moment, I am in that place. So, I make a list and ask myself the following questions which I have used often in prioritizing.

  • What are the consequences of NOT changing this situation or behavior?
  • What do I feel I have at stake in this situation?
  • What am I willing to let go of?
  • What benefit am I getting out of keeping things the same way?
  • Do I need to review the boundaries I have set and whether or not I am adhering to them?
  • Have I reached out to my support system for input, comfort and understanding?
  • Do I care more than the other person in this situation? If I do, why?

These questions help me tremendously in organizing my thoughts and begin looking for possible solutions and moving away emotionally from “problems” that are out of my control and most importantly, not valuable use of my time and energy. If you are facing a concern that needs your attention, I am hoping some of the coping tools I have used and the questions listed will help you prioritize and begin to problem-solve as needed.

Bonded in creating priorities and problem-solving skills,
4C WFS Member

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Organization Update – 1/18/19

Hello Competent Women!

It was another busy week of Sisters doin’ it for themselves! I had the honor of three more meetings with 4C volunteers this week. It creates some late nights but also lots of enthusiasm and motivation to keep this organization moving forward!

Tuesday night was Internet Services Management Team (IST), where we discussed the ongoing transition to the new chat software for our online meetings. Also really exciting is the extra chat room we will be able to have available – the New Life Café – which will be a drop-in chat space for women to casually socialize outside of official chat meetings in a real-time open environment.

Wednesday night was the Fundraising Management Team, a team that is still in early development. Our new Peer Coordinator had a detailed agenda and outlined some basic tasks that will help us lay the groundwork for a healthy donor program. Another sister stepped up and volunteered to lead two of our recurring campaigns this year – wow!

Thursday night was the Board of Directors meeting, where we passed the new Whistleblower Policy, which is also posted on our Governance page. We encourage anyone with serious concerns about misuse of WFS funds or program services to report them so that we can do our best to ensure that all WFS business is carried out in an honest and responsible manner.

I am also really excited to report that I was able to get in touch with WFS Annual Weekend Conference favorite Karlee Fain (pictured above), who will again be joining us for workshops and Opening Ceremony at the 2019 conference! With Karen Drucker, Annie Grace, and Veronica Valli also on the bill, this conference is really going to be great! Don’t miss it June 7th through 9th, with pre-conference activities starting on Thursday, June 6th. Registration will open late February or early March.

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

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Monday Thoughts 1/14/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Happiness is acceptance.” ~~unknown

“One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.” ~~Rita Mae Brown

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” ~~Oprah Winfrey


Statement #3
Happiness is a habit I am developing.
Happiness is created, not waited for.


In our Program booklet, our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. states, “Happiness never came to me until I learned the secret of making it for myself, of finding an inner glow that somehow made all other things right.”  Jean understood happiness was brought forth from within and created Statement #3 to shift thoughts of self-pity into self-contentment.

Here are 4 ways which can aid in creating happiness:

  1. Define what happiness means for you: In early sobriety, emotions can feel flat or difficult to name. Take a look back, what made your insides smile when you were younger? What made your heart sing?
  2. Let go of comparisons: Comparison kills the spirit, and squashes confidence. Comparing also puts your happiness in the hands of someone else. Instead of comparing, list your achievements and review them often.
  3. Recharge: Find ways to recharge yourself. Unplug the phone, TV, internet. Make yourself a priority, take a walk in the woods or connect with water. There is something uplifting about being in nature.
  4. Invest in yourself: Develop a meditative, journal or yoga routine, learn tai chi or karate, invest in your being. Dedication to inner and outer growth is an investment in the self.

What actions help you to create happiness in your life?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

My definition of happiness changes as my life changes, as I age, as I experience new adventures and even loss. Now that last one might seem at odds with happiness yet I guess I can compare it to new sobriety when I felt I would never laugh or feel excited about life without alcohol to foster that feeling. When my mother passed away, all I felt was sadness and grief. I still miss her terribly and yet I am beginning to feel a smile cross my face when I reflect on our shared moments in life. I can look at photos and be grateful for the lessons she taught me without her knowledge. I had been sober for a while when she passed and I felt her whispering in my ear how proud she was of me and to keep my emotional and spiritual changes in tact to honor her. I have and that makes me happy. It’s amazing what unexpected places happiness and joy can grow from.

When it comes to practicing Karen’s #4 suggestion, I would like to add to do what you love. Practically speaking, we may not have the job we love yet we can bring joy into our lives with a creative talent, volunteer work, hobbies, dance lessons, joining a book club or any number of things that bring a new adventure into our everyday life.

Lastly, be patient with yourself as you work on developing the habit of happiness. It took a while to trade in my habit of negativity to allow the glimmer of that happiness to make its way into my thinking and life. I’m glad I didn’t give up because when tough times hit, I know I have a foundation of joy to hold me up.

Bonded in creating our own happiness,
4C WFS Member

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Organization Update – 1/11/19

Hello Competent Women!

I want to extend a BIG thank you to all the 4C women who attended the Management Team meetings this week! I was in the office late 2 nights but it was definitely worth it to feel the enthusiasm and collaborative energy.

Over the weekend, the Conference Planning Workgroup has another fun online planning session. We decided on a theme! It is Hello Happiness!, which emphasizes the joy and enthusiasm that waits for us in sobriety. Each year we like to link our theme to the New Life Program, and it’s not hard to see how this relates to our 4th Level of Recovery: Using new attitudes to enforce new behavior patterns. This Level includes Acceptance Statements 3 (Happiness is a habit I developing), 6 (Life can be ordinary or it can be great), and 11 (Enthusiasm is my daily exercise). We also had a WFS Online member reach out to a prominent recovery blogger and invite her to join us and she has agreed! She and I had a great meeting on Wednesday and she will be joining us for the entire weekend, giving a keynote address, leading workshops, and being a part of our Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Keep an eye out for your next Call for Presentations email to find out who it is!

Next is getting an icon/image ready for marketing materials. We are soliciting submissions from competent women like you! Have an image in mind that says “Hello Happiness!” to you? We need two versions: one color (for marketing materials) and one black & white (for printing). Images should be at least 5” x 4” with a minimum of 300 dpi. If you use the works of others, please be sure to use royalty free/creative commons images only – nothing that is copyrighted or trademarked. Images may include the theme statement and/or the WFS logo, but should not include the words “recovery,” “sobriety,” or similar. I’ve created the above collage of previous logos to help inspire you! Simply email your submissions by January 31st to volunteer@womenforsobriety.org.

First off was my weekly meeting with our amazing Volunteer Management Team Peer Coordinator, who graciously sets aside an hour each week to meet with me and help me keep everyone straight! Wednesday was Outreach & Events and Materials & Literature open team meetings. These are two groups that have had a difficult time taking off, but are so important to getting WFS into the hands of more women in need! We started off with some brainstorming and a few people even signed up for tasks. I posted the list of ideas and projects on the Everyday Living forum on WFS Online and I’m hoping that we can inspire even more women to get involved. Members of WFS Online can find those lists and a link to the next scheduled meetings of these two groups online.

On Thursday night, our Face-to-Face Management Team met, which is our strongest team right now, operating a high strategic-planning level. We welcomed two new team members, updated each other on current projects, and also discussed the upcoming revision of the Moderator’s Manual. We have a couple of field professionals that I met on my trip to the Houston NAADAC conference last October, and I am very excited to be branching into this type of collaboration for WFS programming!

Next week is our Fundraising Management Team meeting, so make sure to join us if you are enthusiastic about making sure that WFS will have the funding to keep providing services for years to come. Log in information is on the forum or email me at admin@womenforsobriety.org. That’s it for this week! Have a great weekend everybody!

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

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Monday Thoughts 1/7/2019

Monday Thoughts

“There’s no prerequisites for worthiness. You are born worthy, and I think that’s a message that a lot of women need to hear.” ~~Viola Davis

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”  ~~Louise Hay

“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.” ~~Brene Brown


Statement #2
 Negative thoughts destroy only myself.
My first conscious sober act is to reduce negativity in my life.


Alcohol or drug use disorders can easily remove feelings of self-worth or value. Repetitive thoughts and/or feelings of failure, much like when awareness of a substance use disorder is realized, can increase lacerate core feelings of self-worth and value. Trying to overcome these negative thoughts can feel like a never-ending swim against a strong current. Yet with Statement #2 put into practice, a portal for building a strong core is opened.

Learning to identify and name our thoughts and feelings can begin the process. For women in recovery, shame and guilt are two of the most common emotions felt early on in the journey. Shame states there is something wrong with me at my center, while guilt says I’ve done something wrong. Shame holds us down by not allowing ourselves to feel what is underneath, such as loneliness, grief or despair. The commitment to move through our negative feelings reduces the destructive effects.

For some of us, negativity was learned when we were young and we carried it into adulthood. Today we have a conscious choice and have the ability to challenge our thoughts. Moving through negative feelings reduces their impact on our core which makes room for self-worth to increase. No longer hiding behind negativity, we can name what we feel, move through our emotions and embrace our New Lives. After all, we are capable, and competent, caring and compassionate women.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

This has certainly been a week of fighting negative thoughts! This is what I’ve learned so far. Before WFS and therapy, negative thoughts were all about shame and guilt. Now they are about the challenges that come along and how to “reduce” the negative thoughts in problem solving. This is the beauty of understanding that there will always be challenges – major and minor – and learning how to cope with them through seeking positive support, input and encouragement. If I did not have a strong support system, I could see negative thoughts taking over completely. There would be no reduction, just negativity clouding my thoughts and behavior. While negative thoughts do destroy my ability to cope in a healthy way, that air of negativity can hurt relationships as well. I always joked that I probably wasn’t much fun to be around before I started practicing the WFS Statements.

Nancy Cross once wrote not to make our thoughts our prison. For me, that spoke volumes. I am creating my own prison when I stay stuck in negativity. Again, it’s not having the negative thoughts in reaction to circumstances or people, it’s how we respond and especially stay stuck. I tend to start creating my personal gratitude list all the way to the basics and I found that really helps me.

Nancy also wrote about another coping tool and that is keeping an inventory of memories that can immediately make you smile. Occasions where you felt happy, appreciative, cheerful, at peace. Reminiscing those happy moments gives a balanced perspective to your situation. You realize that what appears negative today will change tomorrow. Nothing stays the same.

Each Statement is a guide for change and for me, this one is the one I needed. So grateful for both this Statement and the support of the women I am privileged to know through WFS.

Bonded in reducing negativity,
4C WFS Member

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Organization Update – 1/4/2019

Hello Competent Women!

It’s an exciting new year here at Women for Sobriety! We are busy here at the office with year-end tasks – taking inventory, double-checking the financial records in preparation for year-end reporting, and processing all those fantastic donations by our generous 4C women! Our CMs and CCMs really stepped up and sent in so many of their group donations so that we could get them into the books under the appropriate year – thanks so much to all of them for their diligence and of course their continuing dedication to bringing this life-saving program to their local communities!

Our volunteer Management Teams are gearing up for the new year, too. The Volunteer Team is busy as always recruiting and screening 4C women to help with tasks. The Face-to-Face Management Team has prepared a new special item to support our weekly meetings (more details soon) and distributed a survey for the upcoming CM Support Circle, and I launched a new CM Tools & Resources web page just for CMs, CCMs, and their helpers. The Internet Services Management Team has met several times and is busy with implementing a new chat room for the WFS Online support community. The Outreach & Events, Fundraising, and Materials & Literature Management Teams will all be holding open meetings for interested volunteers over the next 2 Wednesdays. Check in on the forum or email me at admin@womenforsobriety.org if you’d like to attend – anyone willing to help is welcome!

The Conference Planning Workgroup is hard at work – planning is going great and we are working on organizing some smaller sub-groups to work on specific tasks like coordinating the informal activities, fundraising auction, etc. One of our online participants reached out to a prominent online recovery coach/blogger and I’ll be meeting with her next week to further discuss arrangements. I just love the women in this program – such take-charge women! Now while the professionals are great, I will take a moment to say how much our conference attendees love workshops facilitated by bona fide 4C women, so please consider filling out a Call for Presentations form and sharing your competence with your Sisters by developing an engaging new breakout session. Workshop presenters will again be receiving a waiver of their base registration fee ($300 value) for the weekend!

Of course, the most exciting news for us in the office this week is the new window dressings, thanks to our online Bloomers group! You can see in the photo above that we went for a solar filter film on the top window panels, wide-slat blinds for the side windows, and a roller shade on the door. I know it doesn’t look like much, but if you check out the photo from 11/16, you can see what an improvement this is! I am still amazed that the Bloomers raised the money for this restricted fund in less than 24 hours. Thank you, Bloomers!!!

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