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WFS Winter Update

February 2020

Special Event: Chat with Laura McKowen

On February 23, 2020 WFS Online hosted a chat with Laura McKowen, author of We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life

One of the latest recovery books to hit bookstore shelves is We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life, written by Laura McKowen, and the women of WFS are discussing it! The book immediately found its place among the top hardcover books sold and was hailed as one of the year’s most courageous and candid memoirs.

Laura’s story accurately captures the shame and confusion of addiction, before and during sobriety, but her words also carry hope. She honestly describes her own struggles, but goes beyond her desire to drink, into a powerful analysis of how we grow and relate to others, and ultimately to ourselves, once we choose recovery. So much of her story aligned with the WFS Acceptance Statements that it seemed worthy of a group read and online discussion.

The WFS response to Laura’s text has been overwhelming. Women from the program served as online facilitators for discussion on several chapters each week. By responding to, and reflecting on the questions posed, women explored different aspects of their own sobriety. This encouraged them to relate to the author’s journey, while also making connections to the WFS New Life Program. To demonstrate the magnitude of this book study, one recent prompt garnered 43 replies and 525 views, clearly showing that the discussion is timely and worthwhile. It was great having the opportunity to chat with Laura, with 55 women attending!

WFS Annual Conference

Registration Opens March 1st

Thanks to a diversity of housing options at Hamline University, we were able to lower our most economical registration rate by $25! Register before March 31st to save even more with our Early Bird Discount of $20.

                                              2 nights               3 nights
Resident Hall Lodging
Double room                            $275                     $325
Single room                              $350                     $420
Apartment Lodging
Double Room                           $350                     $420
Single Room                             $430                     $520
Day Pass (No Lodging)          $200                     $220

Work scholarships are available!
Application period begins March 1st.

Workshops Announced

We had so many great applications, we had to open up an additional breakout period on Saturday afternoon! In addition to 3 large group sessions, dive deeper into personal growth through your choice of 4 smaller group workshops.

Teddy Bear Challenge

A few years ago, a loved member and chat leader, TeddyBear Cuddle (TBC) started the Teddy Bear Challenge. Leading up to the WFS Annual Conference, through her generosity, she donated $1,000 and challenged the membership to dig deep and help WFS by donating as well. And those $5, $10, and $20 donations from the membership added up. In 2019, the Teddy Bear Challenge raised $15,739 from 140 donors, including 6 generous donations of $1,000!

Let’s hit $16,000 this year!

A Teddy Bear to hug and love… and in honor of our amazing volunteer BunnyH, who has taken over running the Challenge, we are adding bunnies to the Class of 2020!

Donors to the Teddy Bear Challenge are eligible for a drawing of the teddy bears and bunnies!* The first drawing will come from the donors who are recorded by Sunday, June 7, 2020. Donors who also attend the Conference on June 12 – 14, 2020, in St Paul, MN, will have a second chance in a drawing of the last 3 stuffed animals.

Donate to the Teddy Bear Challenge Now!

There are many ways to volunteer your time in the campaign… you can stuff an animal, help us with communications, spread the word by being part of our cheer squad, or help setup at conference. Contact BunnyH on the WFS Forum or bunny@womenforsobriety.org if you are enthusiastically ready to be a volunteer!  Detailed instructions will be provided!

*No donation necessary to win. For complete drawing rules, go to the TBC donation page.

Save the Date

SoberSoul Recovery Podcast
March 16th, 2020
Listen in as Adrienne Miller, WFS President/CEO, and Lynn Matti, SoberSoul Recovery Podcast host, chat about the New Life Program and the upcoming Annual Weekend Conference. Lynn is one of this year’s Featured Presenters at the conference and will be giving the keynote address on Saturday morning.

Cigna Substance Use Disorders Series
Self-Imaging in Recovery with Adrienne Miller, WFS President/CEO
March 18th, 2020 at 1:00 – 2:00 pm EST
Who am I now that I’m sober? Due to the impact of addiction on multiple areas of life, many people with a substance use disorder feel a strong loss of identity when they try to make changes to their substance use. We will explore why this is so, and share some simple methods to help the recovering person redefine their self-image to one of an empowered, capable, and sober individual.

Personal Stories

from the WFS Blog

Today Though
This is HUGE for me – putting myself out here!  One thing you need to know is that I’m a secret addict. My husband knows, my mom knows and my dealer knows.  That’s about the extent of it. I was in control until I wasn’t. It’s been all downhill from there…
Read More

This Could Have Been Me

…Liquor and lipstick – the middle class career woman’s essential purse items. Binge drinking by women is on the rise. However, if you were to query a woman’s family or friends about her habits, many would not even know she has a problem. That’s because women are more likely to drink alone and keep it hidden…
Read More
Interested in sharing your story? Email your submission to contact@womenforsobriety.org.

New Meetings

Jacksonville, FL: Tuesdays – 7 pm, 1114@womenforsobriety.org

Williamsport, PA: Wednesdays – 5:30 pm, 1110@womenforsobriety.org

London, ON: Saturdays – 10:00 am, 1095@womenforsobriety.org

 

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Monday Thoughts 2/24/20

“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care anymore.  It’s realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”  ~~Deborah Reber

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”  ~~Steve Maraboli

“One of the most courageous decisions you’ll ever make is to finally let go of what is hurting your heart and soul.”  ~~Brigitte Nicole
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#9 The past is gone forever.

No longer am I victimized by the past.  I am a new woman.
_______________________________________________________________

Practicing Statement #9 continues to assist and teach in numerous ways, especially making it easier to understand how tightly I am holding on to something.  Before sobriety and my New Life, I was unaware of attachments such as from long standing belief systems, or relationships to past events.  Learning how holding on to the past drove my present and future behavior enables learning and growth.

Understanding how attachments influenced my life allowed me to begin to change them and was an effective way to practice this empowering Statement.  For the first time in my life I was learning the tools to release shame, negativity and guilt.  It brought about an excitement to life that had been missing, like a veil had been lifted.

In our WFS Program booklet it states “The past is a fact.  The present and the future are open to possibility.  They are why it is important to take charge of our thoughts so we can take charge of our lives and our actions.”  This can be the start of practicing this life-changing Statement.  Begin with letting go.

Statement #9 Tools by Sara Lindberg.  If you have a tool you would like to share, email karen@teamwfs.org

1.       Create a positive mantra to counter painful thoughts. How you talk to yourself can either move you forward or keep you stuck.  Often, a mantra can help reframe thoughts.

2.       Allow negative emotions to flow. Instead of shutting down emotions, which can keep you stuck, learn to feel and release uncomfortable emotions.

3.       Accept the other person may not apologize.  Waiting for an apology from the person who hurt can slow the process down of letting go.  If you are experiencing pain,  take care of your own healing, which may mean accepting an apology may not come.

4.       Surround yourself with people who fill you up.  We do not go through life alone, so why expect yourself to go through difficulties alone?  Allow ourselves to lean on others is a wonderful way to keep isolation at bay.  (Think about going to a WFS Face to Face Meeting or WFS Online Chat Meeting.  If there is not a F2F in your local area, you can start one!)

Hugzzz
Karen

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Hi 4C Women,

This Statement has always been a favorite for me from the first time I read the 13 Statements.  It took a while to let go of the guilt and shame from my past.  What helped the most was understanding the victimization part I was keeping close to my heart.  While others may have forgotten and forgiven my past, I kept it alive to needlessly feed my guilt and shame.  After all, I didn’t deserve self-forgiveness or any kind of forgiveness.  Holding onto my mistakes, regrets and bad choices, I guaranteed a life of continuous pain long after others may have forgiven or even forgotten me.  This is why I also love the 4Cs.  The more I said it, the more it became my mantra rather than the negative self-talk I fed myself every day.  It never occurred to me to reflect on the positive parts of my life because that would give me permission to actually remember that there were loving moments.  It might even take away my feeling like a victim all of the time to being empowered and believing I was lovable.  How selfish – NOT!  WFS to me is the whole package of creating lasting, positive, inner life changes.  Each Statement brings about inner change and for me, it started with Statement 9 – to let go of how I viewed my past as one picture of guilt and shame and instead learn from it and create the positive self-talk and self-love to move me forward.  I can visit the past now, both positive and negative, but do not have to stay there.  Well, I tend nowadays to linger a little bit longer in the positive memories of the past.  They are more healing and I need and appreciate that.  There’s another thing I learned which helped me tremendously.  While there was a lot of rejection from pivotal people in my life, I realized that they were coming with their own relationship histories and sadly, especially as a child, I had no insight, power or life experience to understand that.  As a young adult/mature adult, I do take responsibility for any behavior/actions I took yet I will not give away my power to those who harmed or hurt me.  That’s what I am letting go of.  What are you ready and willing to let go of to be free?

Bonded in letting go of what does not heal or serve us in our New Life, Dee

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New WFS Meeting – Bedell, NB

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

Bedell, New Brunswick

Wednesdays – 6:30 pm

Start Date: 3/4/2020

Please email 1115@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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This Could Have Been Me

Recently, someone recommended that I watch a video on Netflix. Lipstick & Liquor is a documentary film that explores the growing number of suburban women who become alcohol dependent. It is a film about women and alcohol – one in particular who disappeared on a frigid December day. Thirty-nine year old Julie stumbled away from a minor car accident, leaving behind her eight year old daughter, an open container of alcohol and a host of questions that baffled her family, her friends, and the police.  Days later, Julie was found dead right around the corner from her home. 
We had a huge snow storm several weeks ago and similar events unfolded right in my own neighborhood. I didn’t know the woman well, but had met her once through my husband. He told me that she also suffered from a life-threatening problem. She disappeared during the storm and was discovered two days later, a victim of hypothermia and other injuries.
This very thing could have happened to me! She came from the same culture, socio-economic status, and community as I do. She was admired and esteemed by all who knew her. 
I remember, awhile ago, I started drinking in the morning and walked down to the local liquor store. On my return up the steep hill home, I slipped into the woods to have a few drinks, hiding so my adult children who were home wouldn’t know. The glass bottle was tucked safely under the waistband of my sweats inside my coat. I placed my arms around my tummy to keep my prize from escaping from my grip.  
I had sneaked out of the house earlier, no one the wiser save for the occasional passerby and the liquor store owner. He didn’t recognize me because I seldom frequented his store. I was ashamed to be known as a familiar buyer in my own neighborhood. Years ago, when it was owned by different people and I was in denial of my disease, I was a regular. Back then, I told my kids it was the licorice store because I would purchase licorice for them when I stopped to get my own treat. My own treat ~ really?
The news of the woman in my community has hit me hard!
I picture that day.  She saw the snow coming, went to church, cleaned the house, cooked her family’s meal, all while sipping her drinks. I imagine her husband getting frustrated with her – scared and angry, helplessly taking away her keys. Then, after he left for work the following morning, the cravings hit hard. Without a vehicle, she grabbed some cash and began the mile long trek to the store. Ahh… the bottle.  Walking home, she stopped and hid to take a swig. She slipped in the snow, already a foot deep and still coming down. She reached for her phone, but realized it was at home. She couldn’t get up.
I envision her husband returning home from work to a cold and silent house. He calls his wife’s cell and it rings in another room. He is alone, completely alone. Out in the driveway sits the new fifth wheel they purchased to vacation with this summer and in the coming years of retirement. After a long while of comforting his anxiety, reasoning that she is with a neighbor, or on one of her long walks, he faces his reality. He calls 9-1-1. A report is filed. The adult children are notified. Days pass. Another needless tragedy has struck. 
Liquor and lipstick – the middle class career woman’s essential purse items. According to the documentary, DUI arrests of women have increased by 30% over the last ten years. Binge drinking by women is also on the rise. However, if you were to query a woman’s family or friends about her habits, many would not even know she has a problem. That’s because women are more likely to drink alone and keep it hidden. 
This could have been me. It could have been you. We must stay vigilant so that our families do not endure this type of senseless loss. I have so many questions. How do I reach out to women in denial, women at risk, women who believe they are fine because they think they are responsible, women who call themselves highly functioning? How do we reach these women before they die? How do we reach all women? How do we help homeless women, women of color, and women in abusive relationships? How do we help them find peace? 
It is my sincere hope that these women will discover the benefits of Women For Sobriety (WFS) and its New Life Program. To learn more visit https://womenforsobriety.org/
~ MAC
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New WFS Meeting – London, ON

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

London, Ontario

Saturdays – 10:00 am

Start Date: 3/7/2020

Please email 1095@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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New WFS Meeting – Williamsport, PA

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

Williamsport, PA

Wednesdays – 5:30 pm

Please email 1110@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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New WFS Meeting – Jacksonville, FL

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

Jacksonville, FL

Tuesday at 7:00 PM

Please email 1114@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 2/17/2018

“I’m still learning.”  ~~Michelangelo

“We all have ‘issues’ because we all have a story.  And no matter how much work you have done on yourself, we all snap back sometimes.  So be easy on you.  Growth is a dance.  Not a light switch.”  ~~John Kim

“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”  ~~Abigail Adams.
_______________________________________________________________

#8 The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.

Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.
_______________________________________________________________

Many of us recognize the inspirational works of art by Michelangelo, whether it be his smooth sculptures or magnificent ceilings.  Yet, it was the depth of his willingness to continue to grow and learn that is most often overlooked. The result of this openness to growth made him an unintended master. Being able to adapt, to change, to grow and learn is what Statement #8 is built from.

Growth can be as simple as extracting something valuable from a situation, feeling or moment. For example, my friend Jackie recently shared that she adores the rain and it has been raining quite a bit lately. Growing up, in the back yards of her neighborhood sat an old, rusty bread truck with its doors wide open, dusty windows and tattered seats with grass growing beyond the worn-out tires.  During the summer it was simply too hot to play in, but……when it rained…it was the perfect spot to stay dry, safe and cozy.  Jackie spent hours listening to the rain plop onto the withered metal as the stillness surrounded and comforted her. It filled her senses in every way. Today, rain is a gentle reminder to see and feel the value in the moment and Jackie can be transported back to that secluded place whenever the sky unleashes the next shower.

Statement #8 encourages finding value and embracing growth in your New Life.  What is your ‘bread truck’ moment that you can bring forward and use to enhance your life?  What did that moment feel like? Describe it fully. What has it taught you?  How is this different today in sobriety and recovery?  Are you open and willing to continue learning like Michelangelo? If not, what is holding you back?

Hugzzz and dancing in the rain,

Karen
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Hi 4C Women,

This reminds me of a quote by Roger Miller:
Some people walk in the rain.  Others just get wet.

To me, this symbolizes listening to our spirit, living in the moment.  Nancy Cross once shared a post that spoke so much to me about doing just that.  I’d like to share it as I am feeling a great deal of physical pain and discomfort and am struggling with pulling back.  It feels unnatural and yet reading this message, I realize I need to listen to my body and my spirit in order to heal.

Taken from: Faith in The Valley – Iyanla Vanzant
“When you get the urge to stay home, be alone, pull back, or shut down, it is probably your spirit urging you to take a rest. Do not ignore it! Honor yourself by taking some time out. Take a day away. There may be something very important going on within you that you need to know about. You must get quiet in order to hear it. The job will be there, and people will simply have to understand; what can be done today can also be done tomorrow. All duties and responsibilities can wait. Your spirit cannot!
Rest, Stillness, Solitude, Introspection, Reflection, are spiritual vibrations. They keep us from breaking down, falling apart, and being forced into a living deficiency.”

Reward yourself with a spiritual health day once in a while!  How do you envision your personal spiritual health day?
Bonded in listening to our spirit to promote spiritual growth, Dee

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Monday Thoughts 2/10/2020

“There is no mistaking love.  You feel it in your heart.  It is the common fiber of life, the flame that heats our soul, energizes our spirit, and supplies passion to our lives.”   ~~Elisabeth Kubler Ross

“I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”  Brene Brown

“Something inside you emerges…an innate, indwelling peace, stillness, aliveness.  It is the unconditioned, who you are in your essence.  It is what you had been looking for in the love object.  It is yourself.”  ~~Eckhart Tolle

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#7 Love can change the course of my world.

Caring is all-important

_______________________________________________________________

In our WFS Program booklet it states, “Practice of Statement #7 leads to understanding love and the importance of self-care.  Our New Life depends on establishing healthy, loving, relationships, first with ourselves and then with others.”  While understanding love is an easy concept to comprehend, self-care may not be.  So, what is self-care?

In today’s busy world, self-care is sometimes considered selfish, and oftentimes misunderstood.  Yet, self-care IS NOT SELFISH and is exactly what is needed in order to feel a sense of balance, connection and to feel loved.  In our New Lives, not drinking or using is our first act of self-care we experience.  As our recovery unfolds, understanding and application of self-care expands.

How fitting is it that Valentine’s Day is this week.  It is an opportune time to examine how we love ourselves and to plan self-care.  Statement #7 states that “Caring is all-important.”  How do you love and care for yourself?  What are some actions that you can add to your self-care routine?

Statement #7 Tool:

Here are 12 ways to get started with your self-care by author Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.  If you would like to share your tools for self-care, email karen@teamwfs.org

1. Make sleep part of your self-care routine. Sleep can have a huge effect on how you feel both emotionally and physically. Not getting enough can even cause major health issues. But stress and other distractions can wreak havoc on our sleep. What do you do to make sleep part of a self-care routine? Start by thinking about your nightly routine. Are you eating or drinking immediately before bed? If so, it’s especially important to stay away from caffeine and sugar, which tend to keep you awake.

Reducing stress is also key. If you have work-related stress, think about the best ways to calm yourself after a hard day or relax more while on the job. You might talk to your employer about lessening your workload or settle a disagreement with a coworker.  Next, make sure your bedroom is the best possible place for you to get good REM sleep. It should be free of distractions (such as a television, laptop, cellphone, etc.). And make sure you have room-darkening curtains to keep the sun from waking you up too early in the mornings.

2. Take care of yourself by taking care of your gut. Your gut health can have a significant impact on your health, well-being, and feelings of vitality. The types of foods you eat crucially impact the bacteria that live in your stomach, resulting in a cascade of either positive or negative outcomes. An unhappy gut can lead to an unhappy person, and vice-versa.

3. Exercise daily as part of your self-care routine. We all know exercise is good for us, but do we really know how good it is? Daily exercise can help you both physically and mentally, boosting your mood and reducing stress and anxiety, not to mention helping you shed extra weight. Of course, it might be hard to go to the gym every day, so try to incorporate other exercises, such as walking, tennis, or yoga, which may be able to fit into your schedule more easily. The most important thing is to create a routine that works for you.

4. Eat right for self-care. The food we eat has the potential to either keep us healthy or contribute to weight gain or diseases such as diabetes, but it can also keep our minds working and alert. Eating the right foods can help prevent short-term memory loss and inflammation, both of which can have long-term effects on the brain and, in turn, the rest of the body. Some of the most amazing self-care foods include fatty fish, blueberries, nuts, green leafy veggies, and brassicas, like broccoli.

5. Say no to others, and say yes to your self-care. Learning to say no is really hard; many of us feel obligated to say yes when someone asks for our time or energy. However, if you’re already stressed or overworked, saying yes to loved ones or coworkers can lead to burnout, anxiety, and irritability. It may take a little practice, but once you learn how to politely say no, you’ll start to feel more empowered, and you’ll have more time for your self-care.

6. Take a self-care trip. Taking a self-care trip can make a huge difference in your life. Even if you’re not feeling particularly stressed, getting away for a weekend every now and then can help you disconnect, relax, and be rejuvenated. These self-care trips don’t have to be costly; simply drive to the next town over and see the sights, or go camping nearby. The goal is to veer away from your normal schedule and take the time to do something just for yourself.

7. Take a self-care break by getting outside. Spending time outside can help you reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, and be more mindful. Studies have even shown that getting outside can help reduce fatigue, making it a great way to overcome symptoms of depression or burnout. Getting outside can also help you sleep better at night, especially if you do some physical activity, like hiking or walking, while you are outside.

8. Let a pet help you with your self-care.  Pets can bring a boost to our lives. From giving unconditional love to providing companionship, pets can be hugely beneficial for our self-care. Dogs especially can help reduce stress and feelings of anxiety and can even lower blood pressure. In fact, many people who suffer from disorders like PTSD have benefited from working daily with animals, which is why service dogs have become so helpful for these individuals.

9. Take care of yourself by getting organized. Getting organized is often the first step to becoming a healthier you, because it allows you to figure out exactly what you need to do to take better care of yourself. A small change, like keeping a planner or a calendar on the fridge, can help you write down all your responsibilities and appointments, while at the same time keeping your life a bit more organized. You can also create an area to keep keys, purses, backpacks, briefcases, and coats, and make sure they’re ready to go for the next day.

10. Cook at home to care for yourself. Many people don’t take the time to make themselves meals, preferring instead to stop for fast food or popping a pre-made meal in the microwave. But these “fast” meals aren’t usually sufficient when it comes to feeding your body the right kinds of calories and nutrients. Even if it’s only once a week, consider making a healthy meal for yourself or your whole family. You could even look into a meal delivery service or meal kit that can help you get started.

11. Read a book on self-care for self-care. In today’s fast-paced world, we tend to turn to our phones for entertainment or comfort, scrolling through news feeds that can contribute to our stress and anxiety rather than helping it. Instead, consider bringing a book with you when you leave the house. Even better, bring books on self-care, so that you can learn more about how to take care of yourself while you are taking care of yourself. You might be amazed at the difference it can make when you slow down instead of always looking at your phone. Not only can it help improve your mood, but it can also help you to stay more present and mindful.

12. Schedule your self-care time, and guard that time with everything you have. It can be hard for us all to find extra time. But it’s extremely important to plan regular self-care time. Moments alone can help you to ponder the best ways to move forward in your life and keep you grounded. And moments with friends can help you feel more connected and relaxed.

Hugzzz

Karen
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi 4C Women,

Self-care is part of the journey to self-love.  In years past, I over compensated for my need to be loved and accepted by being a people pleaser, feeling guilty if I even thought of saying no and doing something just for me.  I lost the power to say no and my fear of rejection was so overwhelming.  It took a while to work through this fear of rejection and forgive myself for a past I could not change.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that one day I would look in the mirror at my reflection and feel that I was a lovable, worthwhile human being.  I had to care as much about myself as I did others.  Besides forgiveness, I also needed to learn self-respect.  It was quite challenging to overcome the feelings of guilt and begin to respect myself but I did learn and while there are moments of regret, I know that self-care and self-love are the keys to creating and keeping my New Life.  It’s freedom to me.  Freedom from the burden of saying yes when I meant no, freedom to shed the guilt and shame of all my yesterdays that can’t be changed and freedom to nurture my soul and spirit.  To be so bold as to say I deserve it!  I worked really hard to have this and the journey wasn’t an easy path at times.  Yet Learning to love myself has actually given me more freedom to love others genuinely.  I can breathe and when I am gasping for air, I have great support in the group and the 13 Statements to continue guiding me.

For those struggling with self-love, ask yourself what you love about yourself right now.  Be as detailed as possible.  This list is not about the things you need to change or improve upon to achieve self-love.  This is what you love about yourself today, right now.

What is in your self-care routine now?

How could you love yourself enough to forgive yourself, nourish yourself, feed your soul and live in the moment?

Bonded in Self-Care and Self-Love, knowing that caring for ourselves and others can change the course of our world and that caring is all important, Dee

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Monday Thoughts 2/3/2020

“I feel there is something unexplored about women that only a woman can explore.”  ~~Georgia O’Keefe

“Relax wild one.  It’s not your job to be everything everyone needs.  And you don’t have to be impressive to be loved.  Stop trying so hard.  Just show up and be real with the world.  That is enough.” ~~Brooke Hampton

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”  ~~Mother Teresa

_______________________________________________________________

#6 Life can be ordinary or it can be great.

Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.

_______________________________________________________________

Being present in life opens avenues that have been difficult to reach in the past and Statement #6 can be the ignition switch to embracing those ephemeral moments.  For example, each winter, pelicans arrive and spend time on the river near our home.  The ginormous wings are amazingly silent as they fly overhead, only making a small swish as they gracefully land in the water in search of tasty minnows.  It is a breathtaking sight to behold.

Before sobriety and New Life, it would have been easy to miss the greatness in these fleeting moments.  Overcome with negativity, birds of any feather would have been a reason to complain, be agitated or simply apathetic.  Yet, practicing Statement #6 can stimulate a healthy level of consciousness.

Taking notice of the world we live in begins with our reading of the Statements each morning.  Choosing one Statement for the week with intention directs our minds to grasp everything possible in each moment.  From a pod of pelicans to giving or receiving a smile from a stranger lays a foundation to be engaged in life.

Statement #6 Tool: The last line in Statement #6 states “Savor the greatness of ordinary moments.” Take time to be present.  Try a gratitude journal in the morning or evening, or both, and make full attempts at finding greatness in something ordinary.  A dear family member derives heart-FULL pleasure from an often hard to find rye bread.  If you would like to share any tools that you use with Statement #6, please email karen@teamwfs.org

Hugzzz

Karen

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Hi 4C Women,

I’ve been writing for many years and feel so grateful to be able to share what I have learned through my own life experience and from other phenomenal women who so willingly shared their life’s recovery journey.  In addition to Karen’s insightful, creative and courageous writings, was Nancy Cross.  She was a beautiful example of expressing and understanding the WFS program.

Here are some questions that Nancy posed to us:

1. What do you want to keep in your life? Let’s face it, some things are working and not everything has to be thrown out.  I consider this a powerful question when it comes to Statement #6.

2.  What do you want to change which could also be seen as “adding”? This goes back to how you answered the first question.  Knowing what you want to keep will provide knowledge for what you want to change/add to your life, creating your personal life vision.

My question would be to consider what barriers are keeping you from following through on your changes/additions?

The Seven-Ups of Life  (author unknown)

1.  Wake up – Decide to have a good day then seek out ways to make it so.

2.  Dress Up – the best way to dress up is to put on a smile.  A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

3.  Shut Up – Say nice things and learn to listen.  (I would change this to Listen Up because shut up isn’t nice.)

4. Stand Up – For what you believe in.  Stand for something or you will fall for anything.

5. Look Up – To the bigger picture.  Get outside of your limited perception and consider other possibilities.

6. Reach Up – For something higher.  Stretch your mind, stretch your abilities, stretch yourself.

7. Lift Up – Focus on the positive, on what’s working and on what you want in life.

Bonded in creating our personal vision of a life filled with great moments in our everyday life, Dee