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Monday Thoughts 6/24/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Recognizing and replacing the unhealthy thoughts, behaviors and feelings that may be sabotaging your best efforts is the key to building mental strength.” ~~Amy Morin

“Everyone is comparing lives on social media and wants the perfect body, perfect image, perfect outfit, perfect life—we’re striving for the perfection, and it’s so unhealthy because there is no such thing as perfection.” ~~Emily Atack

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” ~~Eleanor Roosevelt


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


What do you think responsibility looks like? I imagine it looks a lot like courage. Using the definition, “responding with our ability,” responsibility is highly personal and is obviously different for everyone. Therefore, Statement #13 in action is as individual as we are.

While this Statement can appear and feel different for everyone, one similarity is certain; releasing unhealthy dependencies encourages self-acceptance. In our WFS Program booklet it states, “The purpose of the New Life Program is self-acceptance and being responsible for ourselves and all that we do. By accepting responsibility, we can break away from unhealthy dependencies.”

Sobriety and Statement #13 in action fosters independence and healthy relationships. It can feel incredibly uplifting and rewarding to live in responsibility when compared to past dependencies. This opens the door to contentment and strengthens self-worth. You are in charge of your mind, your thoughts and your life!

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Whenever I think of responsibility, I think of freedom – the freedom to make my own choices, to stand on my own, to express my feelings, cry when I need to and to have hope in my heart. The best part of all of these is that I get to share my life with others who are walking the same path, who are working hard in making similar life-changing choices. I experienced this at the WFS Conference, the NJ WFS meeting I attended and, of course, the meetings I lead in AL. I am grateful to be surrounded all these years by women who accept the challenge of change and responsibility. To witness their personal growth in our meetings is a gift of pure joy. It keeps me uplifted and supports my sobriety.

A few years ago, I wrote about freedom and recovery and how I viewed it then. I’d like to share it with you and hope it will get you to think about your own definition of freedom in recovery:

Freedom to be available when needed
Freedom from lies
Freedom to use my time for learning and healing
Freedom to make choices and to own my mistakes
Freedom to know that any mistake I make will not break me but teach me
Freedom to grow spiritually as I choose
Freedom to make my own path with confidence

What freedoms are you experiencing in sobriety/recovery?

Bonded together in accepting responsibility for ourselves and our actions,
a 4C sister

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Monday Thoughts 6/17/2019

Monday Thoughts

“Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.” ~~Susan Gale

“There are better starters than me but I’m a strong finisher.” ~~Usain Bolt

“I like feeling strong. It keeps my mental floor higher.” ~~Pink


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


It was truly an honor to be surrounded by so many strong women last week. It was simply a joy to be witness to such incredible strength; each woman has their own story and mountains to climb yet the cumulative strength made each of the Statements come vibrantly alive.

Statement #12 can feel difficult to practice at certain times. Depending on our physical, emotional or spiritual energy, one day it is easy to climb that mountain and at other times each step forward can feel immense. Yet, it is the understanding and knowing of our competence that lays a sturdy foundation to navigate future uncertainties.

In our WFS Program booklet it states, “Each of us is unique and has something very special to give. Claiming and accepting our own competence is a vital aspect of our New Life.” We can ask ourselves the following questions: Are you aware of you uniqueness? Do you claim your own competence? How can you better accept your strengths and abilities?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Do you remember the first time you introduced yourself as a competent woman at a WFS meeting? Did you believe it? Did you resist saying it and silently tell yourself that not only is that not true but it will never be your truth? I felt that way in the beginning yet had to believe that Jean Kirkpatrick knew instinctively that if we spoke it aloud often enough, it would eventually become our truth. For me, I finally believed I was a competent woman and started to uncover and discover what I had to give – to myself, to loved ones and mostly where my passion for life existed. Being numb and angry most of the time put up very tall and solid walls, not allowing myself to feel or believe anything positive about myself.

I worked for a non-profit for 25 1/2 years. Even when I was promoted to be a department director, I couldn’t understand what they saw in me because I still didn’t believe in myself. However, that belief in me and the WFS Statements were the turning points in my thinking, my life.  It is those negative messages that might bring us back to the times we weren’t able or ready to face struggles. WFS provides the tools to guide us in building our self-esteem so that we authentically believe we are competent women. I encourage you to have a positive message created just by you and for you that can be used against that inner critic of old messages. Just knock that critic off your shoulder and speak your truth.

I understand how challenging it can be to work through years of pain, hurt and feeling unworthy yet I am a firm believer that it can be done!  As Karen shared, Statement #12 can feel difficult at times. We need to be willing to work on our self-esteem so when those low times happen in our lives, we are prepared to be our own best friend and support our well-being. Call it a self-esteem check up when you begin hearing those old negative messages. Refute them and even when you don’t believe, practice saying, “I am a competent woman and have much to give life.”

Bonded in believing we are competent women,
a 4C sister

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Why I Choose Hard

Everyone has her own reasons for choosing to be sober. Often the motivation is due to repercussions from a particularly devastating binge. Other times it is the culmination of a series of worsening issues affecting health, relationships, job, or all of the above.

Once you are here, doing the work and making the lifestyle changes, what is it that drives you to continue? Let’s be honest, sobriety is not all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. It’s downright difficult. It can be soul wrenching. It changes the trajectory of our lives and our relationships. Sometimes it means saying goodbye to people and habits that are no longer good for us. Becoming sober is as much a process of mourning as it is of rebirth.

So, what is it that keeps you on your sober path? For me, more than anything, it’s seeing and feeling the light coming back into my life. I often imagine I am sealed in a pitch-black room. Each tiny shuffle I take in my sobriety represents another pinpoint of light breaking through the darkness. As I inch further in my sobriety more light begins to stream through the walls and I not only see the brightness, but I begin to feel its warmth as well. As more holes of light accumulate, they start to overlap, changing individual spots into larger openings. I begin to see beyond my murky space.

I have a few windows now to gaze out on my world. What was once a dark and lonely place is becoming brighter every day. It’s warm and inviting. Someday, there will no longer be a wall at all; I will be out in the open with no need to hide. The shame and anxiety of those days marred by poison will be long behind me and a future filled with promise and hope will be stretched out before me. For now I am staying the course, even though it’s hard and it sometimes hurts, and it can feel scary. I choose my hard because there is light and life ahead of me.  


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

Bonded, Becky
(24 days sober with WFS)

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Monday Thoughts 6/10/2019

Monday Thoughts

“I love those connections that make this big old world feel like a little village.” ~~Gina Bellman

“I am a part of all that I have met.” ~~Lord Tennyson

“Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey. At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.” ~~Vera Nazarian


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


The last few days have been overflowing with love, connection and enthusiasm. Close to 150 women attended our 2019 WFS Conference, breaking our previous attendance record. The weekend was brimming with enthusiasm, from our fun and music filled Friday night Welcome Ceremony with Karlee Fain and Karen Drucker to when we gave and received hugs and said our last goodbye’s on Sunday.

Statement #11 in action is filled with connection and mindfulness, just like this past weekend. We came from a wide radius, converging together to bring enthusiasm, recovery and New Life to life. Saturday, a surprise allowed us to embrace our child-like enthusiasm and get down to really playing. The robust day was filled with workshops, auction and concluded with our new Joy of Transformation evening activity.

Countless women left on Sunday feeling recharged, re-energized and filled with enthusiasm. A heartfelt thank you to each of our passionate volunteers for making this weekend possible; WFS could not exist or be able to provide services without your dedication and effort. You bring life to this empowering organization.  If you were not able to attend this year, today is a great day to begin planning for next year! See you in 2020 in Minnesota!

What was your favorite part of the weekend? Please write to us and let us know! WFS would love to share your thoughts and experiences!

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Enthusiasm, joy, happiness and love was certainly felt this week-end at the WFS Conference. Many new faces and treasured women from the past. I enjoyed every moment and wish it could be more than a week-end. I would be hard pressed to say which moment created enthusiasm the most, which moment would be the most treasured as I felt my heart completely filled with love and especially hope for each and every woman who attended.  The openness, sharing and joy expressed in the workshops, welcoming and closing ceremonies, tears of gratefulness and caring while we chatted and ate meals together, were collectively the true expression of Statement #11.

As I think about my ordinary, everyday life back home, I realize there are many treasured moments as well. There are certainly up and downs, give and take and often I take those treasured moments for granted. I believe the conference reminded me how very blessed and fortunate I am for such an empowering program that changed my life and most of all for the women I have met, who have become my friends and walked this journey together, creating a support system most people could only dream of.

So, for those who attended the conference, I hope you take the spirit of enthusiasm home with you and share it with those women who were unable to be part of this “Hello Happiness” weekend. I encourage you to reflect on your New Life and recognize the treasured moments as you practice this amazing program.

Bonded together in treasuring the moments of your New Life,
A 4C Sister