“The treasures of the heart are most valuable of all.” ~~Nichiren
“Stop looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security or love—you have a treasure within that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” ~~Eckhart Tolle
“Treasure the things about you that make you different and unique.” ~~Karen Kain
#11 Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.
I treasure the moments of my New Life.
Treasure? That is a verb (and a noun) that felt completely opposite of sobriety and recovery. Initially fighting against a new way of life much like our founder Jean, I began to understand the devastating effects of addiction. Yet my emotions and feelings felt flat and nonexistent. How on earth would I possibly treasure anything after quitting drinking? The answer was simple. Another verb…Practice.
It is comforting to know that Statement #11 is a direction and not a destination. Each day there are a myriad of opportunities to treasure moments. In our WFS Program booklet it states “Pause at random times throughout the day and identify something to appreciate about that moment. Learn which things make you smile and feel excited. Reflect on your life and find things to be thankful for.” Jotting down a few things to be grateful for each day got my mind searching for even more things to practice gratitude on much in the same way shopping for a red car makes you see all the red cars around you. It’s always been there, now it’s just easier to see.
Jean treasured her New Life by sharing what she was learning and putting it into practice. Finding key ingredients for a splendid New Life, the WFS Statements were brought into existence. This week, take note each day and find something to treasure. Inside or out, no matter the size, it is there for you.
Hi 4C Women,
Indeed, treasuring the moments and feeling enthusiasm daily seemed a high order to accomplish. Yet, as Karen shared, it is a direction not a destination. Each day is a new day to practice this Statement. At first, I thought I had to live up to other people’s definition of a sober woman. I needed to immediately and with great enthusiasm, show how much better my life was. While it was definitely much better, I thankfully began to understand that I had to be authentic, to go through the stages of emotional and spiritual growth to learn what brought me joy and enthusiasm in order to genuinely feel it.
Initially, my reluctance to explore new avenues had a lot to do with my expectations. They were way too high and I would not try new things or explore other options for fear of disappointment. I began to reflect on how many times I had been disappointed in my life and most of it had little to do with seeking joy. It had to do with my unhealthy decisions, being rejected which with low self-esteem only enhanced my fear of being vulnerable, rejected once again and running away from feeling any positive emotion. So, what if I tackled this feeling of enthusiasm and I was disappointed? The bigger question was, what if I chose enthusiasm in something new, something I knew I enjoyed and it was a treasured moment? Why would I pass that up? I had to let go of fears surrounding the risk of not feeling that uplifting joy of enthusiasm. As I discovered what brought a smile to my face, laughter in my soul, I began to experience enthusiasm. What I also learned is that practicing the WFS Statements becomes a habit just as turning to alcohol had become a habit for coping.
I found a few articles on enthusiasm and a few suggestions really stood out for me.
Take 15 minutes a day to do something you love (perhaps start smaller with 5 minutes). To start, make a list of everything you love to do. What’s calling you right now? At the end of the day, jot down a few thoughts in a journal so when your enthusiasm is waning, you can read the joy you felt doing something you love.
Practice self-compassion. It is the practice of noticing what you’re feeling, remembering that you’re human (and therefore fallible, just like everyone else on the planet), and treating yourself with the same kindness you’d give to a beloved friend. More often our response is to beat ourselves up when we stumble, but research has shown (and your own experiences may echo) that self-flagellation is counterproductive.
Avoid energy drains. Negativity is also contagious. If you feel drained or badly about yourself with certain people or situations, it may be time to set personal boundaries and practice that self-compassion.
Learn to say no. Notice where your time is going. Is it nourishing you or are you acting out of a sense of false guilt?
Flex your “what’s going well” muscle. It’s sometimes easy to notice what’s not going well. This goes back to practicing self-compassion, discovering what you love and doing it, working through fears of disappointment, surrounding yourself with positive, encouraging and supportive people.
Bonded in practicing enthusiasm and treasuring the moments coming from this practice, Dee
Women for Sobriety, Inc., is excited to announce that our WFS Online community will be moving to a new, more user-friendly and feature-rich platform in the coming months. READ MORE