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“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.” ~~Dalai Lama
“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” ~~Marthe Troly-Curtin
#5 I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.
Statement #5, the core of the WFS New Life Program, lays the foundation for who we are and where we are going. For many women, this can be a new way of thinking and an enormously powerful assertion. In the past, it may have been more comfortable to have someone else dictate who we were or how to live our life.
In our WFS Program booklet, it states “It is important for all women to know and use, the power of their mind and thoughts. However, it is most important for women with drug and alcohol problems to use our minds to enhance our well-being. We can consciously build positive images of ourselves. We create a new self in our mind first.”
It is critical to oversee our minds, especially now with uncertainty in the news and on social media. Being able to create a pause, or distance between unhealthy or repetitive thoughts takes daily practice. One of the most helpful tools I learned to let go unproductive thoughts came from a guided meditation. While I cannot recall the author, the speaker described a small, cool stream outlined with trees. Imagine yourself sitting comfortably along the edge of the water. A large, bright yellow leaf gently falls from a tree and lands on top of the water near you. If there is a thought that you would like to let go of, picture that thought as that yellow leaf. Your eyes are staring at this leaf. It glides down the stream, slowly at first, twirling round and round. You do not chase after it but continue watching it. You can see distance now between you and leaf and soon, it is only a tiny speck of color, then it is gone. It held your gaze but you did not run after it, you did not try to catch it, you simply let it go. This one tool consistently aides in releasing what is no longer needed.
How do you manage your thoughts today?
Hi 4C Women,
With so much time for reflection, I have been finding many of my writings from over the years and I am grateful to have them. During this current time, I find myself starting to question who I think I am. Before sobriety, I constantly questioned my positive characteristics and honestly, when asked to list as many positive qualities as possible, I was fortunate if I got past 3 and that was a struggle. The lists I have made over the years are like a history lesson of my own personal emotional growth, my nurturing and beginning of the planting of positive seeds to answer the question, “Who do I think I am?” I feel that with the social isolation, I have lost some of my identity and my purpose not to mention my energy level is so up and down. Thank goodness for WFS and Karen’s message to remind all of us that while circumstances have changed, our core foundation of who we are remains strong and if it’s not where you wish it to be, we have the time, support and encouragement to begin or continue building it. And the best part, for me, is that I no longer see my inability to do certain tasks (computer technology, fixing broken items, learning a new skill, etc.) as weaknesses. I see them for what they are – just things I’m not gifted with as I have other gifts, talents, skills as we all do. I have learned to seek help with what I cannot do and share with others what I can.
One of my favorite exercises for this statement is to list as many positive qualities, talents, characteristics as possible on a 3×5 index card and on the front in bold letters, write STOP. Keep it in your purse and whenever you start any negative self-talk, the negative adjectives that you feel define yourself, take out the STOP card, turn it over and read the truthful definition of who you are in your own words. You could even ask others what positive word they would use to describe you and include that.
2nd exercise: Practice this exercise and use it whenever you need a quick reminder of how to feel good about yourself. Exercise from“The Self-Esteem Companion.”
1. Recall a time when you felt really cared for and loved.
It can be a big event or a small moment.
2. Think back to a time when you felt really successful.
Anytime will do as long as it provides a strong memory
of your feelings of success.
3. Remember a time that you did something important for
someone else. It can by any moment of selflessness
that’s important to you.
4. Look for a memory of loving someone else. Think back to
a moment when you felt love for another very strongly,
when that feeling filled your heart.
I’ve done this exercise a few times and it’s amazing how different the answers were depending on what I was feeling or experiencing that day. What I love about this exercise is that the answers don’t require a huge event, although that is certainly just fine if it is a big event in your life. Big or small, it’s about those moments of awareness that remind you how much you matter, how much positive feelings/moments you have experienced when you give quiet time to reflect. What this exercise has helped me do in moments of doubt, of feeling sad or missing out, is that no matter how big or small, I have been fortunate enough to have experienced these moments of being cared for, love/loved, successful and gave selflessly as so many are doing right now.
Bonded in being part of a phenomenal group of 4C woman, Dee