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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.

Posted on

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.