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Trust the Universe

I often want to share about how wonderful sobriety is, but that can feel overwhelming because there are so many experiences I could discuss. I’ve decided to share about trusting the universe and what happens when you do.
I stopped drinking on July 2, 2016. My first half year of sobriety was simply focused on not drinking, studying the Women for Sobriety (WFS) Statements and beginning to feel stable without alcohol. By the following spring, I began to get antsy. I knew that my life could be so much better, but how would I even start to make changes? I pondered on that, attempting to discover my purpose. Then, early one morning during my daily routine, I wrote in my journal “I am ready for my change.”
That afternoon, I learned that my teaching contract would only be half-time for the following year due to low student enrollment. My first reaction ~ well it was some colorful language! Then I acknowledged, “This is exactly what you just asked for.”  My superintendent offered to help find me a full-time position in another school district, but I knew something else was out there for me.
By mid-summer I was offered a new job in a completely different field, one where I would be able to apply my teaching expertise. After just two short months, I felt overwhelmed and asked myself,  “What have I done? How can this be my purpose when I feel so unhappy?” Yet, I decided to stick with it for one year and give it my all. I learned as much as I could in the field and always tried to go the extra mile.  Life can be ordinary or it can be great and I was going to do a great job!
Within a year, I found myself applying for another job that someone had suggested. I had only worked in the field for a short time and had almost none of the required qualifications. But when I walked into the interview, I recognized people who had seen my efforts and knew that I had put my whole heart into my work. I felt like  crying tears of joy! I was offered the position and thought, “Yes! This is my dream job!”
Nothing is what I would have imagined ~ but my dream job is a perfect fit! I have a vision for what I am doing and I am becoming an expert. This is the coolest thing – I’m still in disbelief – but my new job is so fulfilling! I write a newspaper column related to my work and it’s published in eight papers. Why? Simply because I told them I wanted to!
Here is what I’ve discovered. I am not afraid of my passion anymore! I don’t try to dull my enthusiasm for fear of being ‘too much.’ I’m not afraid to use my voice to advocate for what I believe in my heart is right. Women for Sobriety has taught me so much about compassion and love, and that allows me to connect with people in ways that I wouldn’t have known before I stopped drinking.
I can feel my power inside. I harness that power, along with self-belief and courage, to tackle unimaginable challenges. I have confidence and I trust myself now. I am what I think, and I think positive thoughts throughout my day. I believe this is true because I have experienced it. The more amazing you believe you are, the more others will see it, too!
It’s all a work in progress. Every morning I wake up and tear off yesterday’s page on my Audubon calendar. I ponder my newest feathered friend before my journaling, meditation and setting of priorities begin. I know that the time I spend each morning is an investment in my future. There’s no question that I will do this routine each day for the rest of my life. I can’t imagine going back to my drinking days! Drinking was a closed circuit loop; sobriety is a wide open field. “The sky’s the limit!” This is what I was told when I accepted this job, and I now push myself to reach for it! For me, that’s fulfillment.   
Running9bear
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Monday Thoughts 5/13/2019

Monday Thoughts

“I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.” ~~Pablo Casals

“My mission in life is to be kind, compassionate, caring and loving in order to find and feel the deepest joy in life.” ~~Debasish Mridha

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” ~~Margaret Mead


Statement #7
Love can change the course of my world.
Caring is all-important.


Before sobriety and New Life, caring was reserved for other people. Outwards, it had the appearance of caring, yet it was disguised as self-centeredness. This outlook chips away at self-worth and self-esteem. It also cements the cycle of negative feelings and a desire to escape which creates a loop of self-destruction.

Action into Statement #7 can feel frightening at first but with continued practice, it opens a whole new way to experience life; it changes our world. Instead of escaping feelings, it is a time to embrace feelings. No matter how deep-down feelings of caring are, they are there. Start small and branch out. Caring generates more caring while discarding in-authenticity.

Here are a few ways which can increase caring:

  • Write down your interests and list the people you feel an attachment to. Release things that you maybe were conditioned to care about or are told you should care about.
  • What do you have emotional responses to? What engages you? Identify what pulls at your heart. What actions can you take to cement and extend your caring?
  • Make time for experiences instead of room for things. Spending an hour on the phone with a friend can arouse feelings of care for both instead of spending cash or energy on empty items.
  • Identify and implement a healthy self-care routine. This can include encouraging self-talk, exercise, meditation, journaling.
  • Connect with others who care. The WFS Community is filled with caring women, whether online or in f2f groups.

What else can you uncover to commit action towards Statement #7?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Powerful message from Karen on Statement #7. I especially appreciate her sharing the ways to increase caring from pretending to authentically feeling and expressing it. Drinking certainly can provide a stage for pretending you are feeling something you are not; yearning for acceptance when feeling unworthy, fueling that need for acceptance even further by pretending you aren’t in pain, feel lonely or unlovable. A dear friend recently sent me an article on happiness, joy and friendship. I loved this one quote by David Brooks, an opinion columnist: “Transparency is the fuel of friendship. We live in an age of social media. It’s very easy to create false personas and live life as a performance.  Joy is the present that life gives you as you give away your gifts.” What greater gift than learning to be authentic, find joy and share your gifts of caring with those who mean so much to you. This is the gift of sobriety/recovery as we practice Statement #7.

As I read the questions again, the one that stood out for me is what engages you, pulls at your heart? For me, it is being a moderator. To have the gift of watching women working hard at their recovery, to see the positive changes taking place week to week and their willingness to share their journey. It is nothing less than awe inspiring and truly pulls at my heart with overflowing joy. It is the gift that keeps on giving and is priceless!

Bonded together in knowing that caring is all important,
a 4C woman

 

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Organization Update – 5/10/19

Hello Competent Women!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Conference!

Supplies, auction donations, and teddy bears are pouring in! One of our office volunteer took me to BJ’s, a local warehouse store, so we could stock up on drinks, plates, and napkins for our Thursday night pizza party and of course plenty of coffee, tea, and cups for our hospitality station in Donahue Hall. We are poised to break a record this year with attendance. We have already had 126 women register – with more than a week left for all you last-minute types.

Now don’t be too last-minute! Even though we have our special Late Registration period again this year, there are certain disadvantages to using this option. The most obvious is that you will end up paying 10% more! Yikes! We may also not be able to accommodate special dietary or similar requests for late registrations, and supplies such as our great conference totes (plus goodies!) may run out. And since we are poised to overflow Donahue Hall this year, late registers will likely be sleeping in another building. This may not sound like a big deal, but I’ll warn you that the coffee pot is going to be at Donahue (native Seattlite speaking here, lol).

Joy of Transformation

Many women are curious about this year’s Joy of Transformation event on Saturday at the conference. The agenda is coming along quite nicely and we have a good mix of time for casual socializing over a family style meal, entertainment with the fabulous Karen Drucker, and a chance to get involved with a dance floor and Voice Your Joy karaoke hosted by our own PerditaX. We’ll also have an update from each of our strategic planning Management Teams, a moving video by the daughter of one of our participants (I cry every time I watch a new revision – it just keeps getting better), and our first ever Paddle Raise fundraiser.

Speaking of the Teddy Bear Challenge…

We are at almost $10,000!!! More than 70 women have donated $5, $10, $20… up to $1,500 from our biggest TBC donor! All donors (and anyone else who requests an entry) are being entered into the drawing to adopt one of our precious custom bears. WFS Online members can see the full lineup in the Everyday Living forum.

Don’t want a bear but still want to donate? We can accommodate that, too! Simply request to be excluded from the drawing when you make your donation. Alternately, winners will also have the option of donating their bear to a local domestic violence shelter for a child in need of comfort.

Boring Business Stuff

Don’t worry, because even in the midst of all this excitement, I am still making sure that the business of WFS is being conducted faithfully. We’re continuing to fill orders from our bookstore and requests for supplies from our local f2f groups in a timely manner. We are still in the process of migrating to our new contact management system, which will help us work with volunteers and donors more efficiently. We’ve also revised the registration process of the WFS Online Community to decrease the demand on our volunteer registration team and, hopefully, increase the accessibility of our life-saving program to women when they need it.

Did you know that non-profits get an extra month to file their taxes? Of course, that’s kind of a misnomer because we don’t actually file taxes, being a nonprofit. But we do have to file an annual report to the IRS summarizing our activities. It’s called a 990 and you can find our 2017 one on our Governance page. The extra month means that we get a special deal because accountants can put us off until after the main tax season ends. So of course I have been busy fetching information for our accountant so that he can get our 2018 990 done. Don’t worry, we will post the 2018 form as soon as it is ready!

 

Well that’s about it. As usual, I know there’s more, so check in next time to see what I’ll remember! I am so excited for the growth of the program that we are already seeing, and we couldn’t do it without supporters like you! Thank you for taking the time to read!

Enthusiastically Yours!
Adrienne
Women for Sobriety, Inc.

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Monday Thoughts 5/6/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Being alive is a special occasion.” ~~Author Unknown

“The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary of dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn’t, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there. ~~Monica Baldwin

“Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.” ~~Ruth Ann Schabacker


Statement #6
Life can be ordinary or it can be great.
Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.


Our WFS Program booklet states, “Although we only get a one-way ticket through life, we speed through our days as if planning to enjoy them at another time. We live as if we have an endless number of tomorrows.” Yet, none of us have endless tomorrows which is why it’s important to live today and Statement #6 helps us accomplish this.

Living today means something different for everyone. For some, a career brings feelings of life, while for another, it may be grandchildren or connecting with nature. Each can fill the moments of life with ordinary greatness.

Before sobriety and New Life, it was easy to overlook living. Today, with the WFS Statements, the journey of recovery can be incredibly fulfilling. Every moment has the opportunity to be authentic and real. We can enjoy the ordinary, the great and everything in between.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Do you ever find that life gets so hectic, you forget to appreciate or even acknowledge the positive changes that are taking place in your life? Whether it’s an ordinary day or one that is absolutely fantastic, sometimes we need to stop, take a breath and take it all in. I am a list maker and every time I read Statement 6, I am reminded that life is more than a list of tasks to be accomplished. While I feel good when I complete the tasks on my list, I realize I am not living in the moment of their completion. It’s a check mark and on to the next task!

Right now I am in the midst of planning my annual northern trip and there are 2 pages of tasks to be done before I leave and then a page of what to take when I leave. It has become all consuming. Last night I started feeling nauseous and spent most of the night tossing and turning. I think it was my body’s way of saying to slow down, take that deep breath.  So here is the lesson I am trying to learn – enjoy life, slow down, be aware!

Here’s a quote from Daily Affirmations for Forgiving and Moving by Dr. Tian Dayton that I absolutely love and relate to:

“When I can simplify and regulate my life so that I can really experience it as it is happening, I will have enough. I will experience my own spontaneity and creativity in the course of living my day. I am allowing myself to bloom gently. The flowers of peace and simplicity continue to grow as I find more time to nourish what is important and in need of attention in my heart.”

Bonded in appreciating the greatness and the ordinary,
A Capable, Competent, Caring, and Compassionate Woman