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Monday Thoughts 6/21/2021

“No one is coming to save you, to give you permission, to choose you, or validate you.  This has always been your job.  You must love yourself so fiercely and fully that you have no choice but to be strong for yourself, to be yourself, and to build yourself.”  ~~Cara Leyba

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all.  Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach.  The world you desire can be won.  It exists…it is real…it is possible….it’s yours.”  ~~Ayn Rand

“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence grappling with hard work.”  ~~Adrienne Rich


#13 I am responsible for myself and for my actions.

I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.


Imagine being told that the color blue is your color.  Parents, school, friends, or community reinforce this color and it is woven through every fabric of your life.  Yet something feels like it’s missing in your blue world.  You cannot put your finger on it, but you feel a sense of unfulfillment.  You drink or use to fill that void.  That doesn’t help and you shift into sobriety. You begin to practice living the Statements every day.  At first, everything feels flat but soon you are getting glimpses of beautiful purples, bright teals and vivid yellows.  Your spirit feels brighter and you choose to live in responsibility and unexpectedly, a whole rainbow unfolds.  This spectrum fills you and you shine from within.  You welcome every variation of color, including your original blue.  This is it, your life in full display as responsibility weaves a new fabric through you.

Statement #13 in action sets into motion the life we need and desire.  It is responding with our ever- growing ability and building ourselves into our own hero.  It is not easy to stand in our strength yet the freedom that arises from separating ourself from ill-fitting belief systems or institutions cements a powerful feeling of authenticity to our lives.  It bridges gaps, illuminates brilliance while forging balance.

As we begin the second week out from our WFS “I’m Possible” 2021 Annual Conference, the workshops continue to be available through the weekend.  Take a moment to watch, listen and add your thoughts to this empowering event.  Your input is welcome and most needed as our beloved organization continues to grow and evolve.

How will you color your world this week?

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I love the analogy of being told what specific color is you and then realizing something is missing and how the rainbow of colors unfolds on your recovery path.  I can visualize walking down a road of solid blue and around the corner there is a peak of brilliant yellow, then pink, bright green and so much more.  It is an awakening of what life can be as you take responsibility for yourself and your actions.  I remember the surprise and actual joy I felt as I gained more confidence in being in charge of my mind, my thoughts and my life.  Scary at first yet the more I wandered out of my comfort zone, the more I felt empowered and strong enough to handle this new feeling of responsibility.

Life is change, growth is possible, choose wisely.  I found this quote on a calendar and it was my mantra for quite a while as I finally understood that if I wanted personal growth, I needed to choose wisely, and Statement 13 is certainly one of those empowering growth Statements.

I have a worksheet on the “change” process and one that spoke to me was “New Beginnings” – reorientation marked by new attitudes.  Oh, yes, attitudes – the kind that says I can do this!  It goes on to say that during this phase of change, individuals feel a new sense of belonging and commitment.  This is the time to let go of past behaviors and attitudes, to clarify your roles and responsibilities and to explore possibilities for the future.

I had given up on exploring or envisioning a future where I was in charge as that brought up all my fears of making mistakes, wrong decisions, rejection and just a whole bunch of negative thoughts about myself.  Yet, I felt such a pull to be the 4C woman I at first pretended to be.  So, here were the questions presented that I knew I needed to consider if I was to be the authentic 4c woman my heart ached for.

What do I need to make my vision a reality?

What progress am I making?

What support do I need?

I realized I needed to believe I could make my vision a reality.  I needed to acknowledge that no matter how small a step forward I was making, it was progress!  After all, I did not get to where I was in my actions and thoughts overnight, so I had to appreciate my commitment to trying my best, not giving up.

I needed the support of women who understood my fears and yet encouraged me to keep moving forward.  No explanations understood and accepted.  While the goal is independence, we all need to know we are interdependent.  Why walk alone when there are those who are standing beside you, in front of you leading the way and behind you to catch your back?

In one of the breakout sessions, we were told we were negotiators and I now understand that I was negotiating within myself to find ways to practice Statement 13.   I learned to change a negative thought to a positive one.  I learned to be proactive rather than reactive which changed my actions and outcome.  And one of the most important changes was that I praised myself for each new way of thinking, behaving and being in charge of my life.

Consider these additional questions:

How do you practice Statement 13?

How would you describe your vision of your New Life?

Bonded in acceptance, belonging, and supporting each other, Dee

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Monday Thoughts 6/14/21

“The tests we face in life’s journey are not to reveal our weaknesses but to help us discover our inner strengths.  We can only know how strong we are when we strive and thrive beyond the challenges we face.”  ~~Kemi Sogunle

“It was so risky and so scary, and yet at the same time, so beautiful.  Maybe the truth was, it shouldn’t be easy to be amazing.  Then everything would be.  It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth.  When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder—if not impossible to lose.”  ~~Sarah Dessen

“Take a limitation and turn it into an opportunity.  Take an opportunity and turn it into an adventure by dreaming BIG!”  ~~Jo Franz


#12 I am a competent woman, and I have much to give life.

This is what I am, and I shall know it always.


Did you feel it?

It was there, overflowing through computer screens, iphones and tablets. It was there in brightly lit rooms and quiet corners, and it was there because YOU DID IT and together, WE DID IT! You and countless other 4C women pulled off something amazing: WFS Conference 2021!   It was like Statement #12 came alive over the weekend!

Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., began with a thought….and from that thought came a recovery program designed for women.  Jean knew there was a void and sought to fill it; and WFS was born.  Years later, women continue to gather in support of each other, online, face to face and by phone or text/email.  It is that bond, that connection that envelopes us, creating a bridge to a New Life filled with freedom, possibility, growth.

From our absolutely touching Opening Ceremony to the amazing keynote speakers and connecting breakout sessions, this weekend brought women together.  We laughed, we cried, and we learned.  We felt listened to and heard.  We felt safe and secure.  We felt the untold number of volunteer hours put together from behind the scenes.  We gave our time, talents and donations.  We learned more about ourselves and who we wish to be.  We saw old friends and created new ones.  We embraced our value and worth. We felt the beauty of living a sober and clean life and we opened ourselves up to possibility.  We are competent women and we will know it always!

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

So many competent women gathered in one place.  It was amazing.  As many of you know, I have been a part of WFS for over 30 years and it is wonderful that I continue to be blessed with learning life lessons from all these phenomenal 4C women.  I am filled with such peace in the understanding and acceptance that this recovery journey is just that – a journey, not a destination.  Knowing that helps me in those unsettling times when I begin to question why my work is not done.  I am grateful for the awareness that continued growth is what life is all about.

Seasons change and so do I in adapting and creating balance with those changes.  It’s comforting to have this awareness.  Years ago, I was unwilling to change and perhaps that worked in my favor as one of the keynote speakers, Rebecca Ray, shared that we have protectors that help up fight against pain and hurt.  Those protectors worked really hard to block my hurt and it wasn’t their fault that I was fearful of change. They were doing their job.  It was however, as she shared, my responsibility to change how I coped with those hurtful feelings.   I learned that it is important to bring those protectors along the journey, to embrace with them with compassion as we take responsibility in becoming that competent woman we are and always have been.  Ignoring the pain and hurt as we mature blocks our ability to grow emotionally and spiritually.

I have always said that in our life, we are teachers and students.  It’s knowing who we are at any given time.  I can now thank my protectors as I was growing up when I didn’t have much needed coping tools.  As I said, they did their job.  As an adult, I realized I had to work through the hurt and pain to be in charge of my life, to have an emotionally healthy recovery and to show the world that I was indeed a competent woman who had much to give life.

Another speaker, Mary Beth O’Connor, shared how introducing herself as a competent woman was challenging yet after a few weeks, she found herself sitting up straight, feeling empowered.  I love the way she expressed it as a powerful identifier.

While I have always described the italicized part of each Statement as the action part, I appreciated how the first part was described as our “belief.”  So, believing you are competent as the first part of Statement 12 says, the action part is to live it as your daily truth.  I have a 3×5 index card that I carry with me.  On the front is the word STOP!  On the back are words describing who I am today, things I have accomplished and the positive changes I have made in my recovery.  They are my truth.  When the feeling of being incompetent starts to creep in or any negative thoughts about myself, I pull out my card with the truth of who I am today.   I have found it to be useful for several of the Statements.  Here are some questions to get your started on your own STOP! card:

What are 3 or more empowering words to describe yourself?

What positive changes have you made?

What is your personal affirmation?

I am competent in the way I _________________

I have accomplished __________________

What gifts, talents do I possess?

Bonded in knowing “I am possible!” – Dee


Image of a phoenix rising with the words "I'm Possible!

Post-Conference Replay Period Continues Through June 27th!

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Monday Thoughts 6/7/2021

“When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.”  ~~Shannon L. Alder

“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind.  The real you is loving, joyful and free.  The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.”  ~~Don Miguel Ruiz

“If we can just let go and trust things will work out the way they’re supposed to, without trying to control the outcome, then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully.  The joy of freedom it brings becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself.”  ~~Goldie Hawn


#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure the moments of my New Life.


One of the greatest feelings of freedom today is experiencing life with all its intricacies, simply sober.  There is something that feels absolutely refreshing about being present. It runs through the body like a current of childlike wonder, bringing a sense of vibrancy and aliveness.  Statement #11 can take us there at any moment we choose.

Alcohol or drugs negated feelings of balance and joy.  It hung like a dark cloud and cast doubt and insecurity.  It kept the colorful door of life shut and painted everything in varying degrees of gray.  Over time, fear and feelings of lack developed and any childlike enthusiasm vanished.

Yet, enthusiasm is brimming wide and expanding… especially this week! Our annual WFS Conference is upon us (our second time virtually due to covid) and each day WFS will have icebreaker activities to jump start the upcoming weekend.  It’s time to get your toolkits ready, have schedules in hand and connect with other 4C women!  We have a variety of exceptional keynote speakers and breakout sessions.  Our theme this year is “I’m Possible” so get ready for connection, fun and loads of enthusiasm!

Click here to sign up and register for this empowering WFS 2021 Conference

Hugzzz

Karen


Hi 4C Women,

In addition to the phenomenal keynote speakers, there is a plethora of breakout sessions available at the virtual conference. I am overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the opportunities for personal growth!  After all these years, I continue to be open to change, learning new ways to cope, to embrace living an enthusiastic life and treasuring the moments.  All of this is possible because of the WFS Program.  Whenever life throws me a curve ball, of which there have been many, I go back to the Statements and am filled with needed direction and positive ways to help me work through it.  What I have learned as well is that when I make mistakes along the decision-making path, I am not a mistake.  I am student willing to learn and make different choices.  I am also surrounded by supportive women who encourage me, building me up to keep moving forward.  That support alone fills me with enthusiasm, reminding me that I am resilient and building a very useful tool box for upcoming issues/concerns.

Years ago, I had zero confidence in my choices, fearful of each mistake, feeling I was incapable of any positive outcome.  When I think back to that woman, I am in awe of how the WFS Program transformed me into a 4C woman – an extraordinary change.  Of course, that change depended on my willingness to practice the Statements.  I have always said that while the program is phenomenal, it’s only words on a piece of paper unless you are willing to put action behind the words.

The conference is an opportunity to learn, to share, to build a magnificent tool box to practice this life-changing program to be the 4C woman you’ve always been.   Be ready to blossom with enthusiasm!

Bonded in becoming enthusiastic and treasuring the moments of your New Life, Dee