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Monday Thoughts 10/25/2021

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.”  ~~C. Joybell C.

“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”  ~~Brené Brown

“You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.”  ~~Richelle E. Goodrich

 #5 I am what I think.

I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.

In our WFS Program booklet it states “The way we experience our life is a result of our thoughts. With our mind we shape each day.” Active addiction warps thinking. Before New Life, thoughts were chaotic, unbalanced and oftentimes tied to the extremes. There was no middle ground or gray area. It was either all in or nothing and life felt exhausting because it was. Sobriety and Statement #5 in action can change that and open a portal for balance.

With a mind clear of alcohol or drugs we can be aware of our thought processes. My favorite way to connect with my thinking is through journaling. Even if I am unaware of my thoughts on a particular day, I can review the words and get a good glimpse. It even helps to identify patterns of thought that I may not otherwise notice. This is especially helpful when emotions are intense or life feels exceptionally busy.

But I love what Jean says to do in her book Goodbye Hangovers Hello Life “Say it a hundred times a day: ‘I am what I think.’ Then make up several sentences to be repeated after that. Tell yourself with every breath, ‘I am a capable person.’  In addition to thinking it, begin to know it. This is not making up a false picture. This is coming to know the real you. You are a capable person. You probably always have been but have defeated yourself in everything you ever attempted before ever getting started.”  This week, reinforce who and what you would like to be. Repeat every day and pay attention to how you respond to your encouragement. You are a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman!



Hi 4C Women,

Last week, the Monday Thoughts talked about understanding the difference between assertiveness vs aggressiveness.  I’m hoping you were able to practice some of the ways to be assertive.  I love how Statement #5 is a follow up in creating positive images, empowerment and setting boundaries on who we think we are – “our” current personal definition, not one from old messages.  It is who we are today as we work through changing and challenging those old messages that leads to healing.

If you are reading this, please add courageous to your 4C woman identity.  You are courageous that you acknowledged your problem that once had you and followed the path of seeking positive support and guidance through WFS.  As Jean said, say it a hundred times a day and know it is your truth.  Just as initially introducing ourselves as competent women may feel or felt extremely uncomfortable, eventually it feels right, truthful and our actions reflect that.  We are competent, assertive, courageous women.  That is the truth we can live by each day.

What is standing in your way of knowing this?

Are you defining yourself with extreme negative comments with no regard to your strengths and achievements?   Are you willing to work diligently on changing this internal dialogue? Do you believe you deserve to recognize your worth on this recovery path?

Recently a dear friend sent me a beautiful quote and I used it at the closing of my zoom meeting last week. I would love to share it with all of you as it fits this Statement so beautifully.

“No punishment anyone might inflict on us could possibly be worse than the punishment we inflict on ourselves by conspiring in our own diminishment” – Parker Palmer in I will Not Die an Unlived Life by Dawna Markova.

To practice this thought:

Conspire in your own enhancement.  Name one quality or accomplishment you cherish in yourself.  The answers shared last week were touching and such a joy to have each woman consider a quality or accomplishment she cherished.  It was so personal and uplifting.  I am encouraging you to consider how you would answer this question.

Bonded in becoming and knowing we are in charge of defining who we are.  Old messages are thrown out, believing we deserve a New Life is our path today, Dee

2021 Ho9liday Sale

You are invited to a new event, sponsored by the Creative Crew!

A Holiday showcase of handmade items by our sisters will be for sale. There will be quilted items, glass pieces, notecard sets, jewelry, a bee themed journal and more! 100% of the funds will be directed to Giving Tuesday to support WFS.

What you need to do: 

  • Register or Sign In to the Holiday Sale Catalog at The Creative Crew Holiday Sale.  TIP:  If you registered for the Conference Auction in June 2021, your login is still active. If you do not remember your password, you can request an email to reset the password.
  • You may preview items online, as they are added to the catalog!
  • The Holiday Sale opens at 10am US/Eastern (your timezoneon November 5 and closes with the auction ending at 9pm US/Eastern (your timezoneon November 6.

The Creative Crew is a new group and we welcome all sisters in WFS. We share our projects using any media and inspire each other, forming priceless connections. And sometimes we collaborate on a project! If you would like to join us at our monthly meeting, please send an email to [email protected] or come checkout our connection group on WFS Online named The Creative Crew!

Mark you calendars for the sale and have a safe Halloween!

Hugs and Aloha,
The Creative Crew

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Monday Thoughts 10/18/2021

“I encourage people to remember that “no” is a complete sentence.”  ~~Gavin de Becker

“To be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself. And to trust that there is enough, that you are enough.”  ~~Edith Eva Eger

“Assertiveness is not what you do, it’s who you are!”  ~~Shakti Gawain

#4 Problems bother me only to the degree I permit.

I now better understand my problems.

I do not permit problems to overwhelm me.

Standing in strength is just one of the many incredible benefits of sobriety and recovery. In the past there was a time when I either cowered down in fear or aggressively lashed out. There was no in-between. Both were fear responses to problems and neither worked to solve anything. Usually, the situation worsened and left me searching for ways to then escape (alcohol). Yet sobriety and Statement #4 in action enabled a shift from fear, to understanding and a middle ground.

In our WFS Reflections for Growth it states “Children very rarely have many choices. Their lives are dictated by those who raise them. Because we all grow up in an atmosphere of being told what we should do, it is often difficult for us to assert ourselves later in life. Assertiveness needs practice. This is something I will learn and practice. I will assert myself and do this.”  Just as we learn how to live in sobriety, we learn how to stand in our strength.

Here are five ways to incorporate assertive communication into your life by Elizabeth Scott, PhD:

“1. Be Factual About What You Don’t Like

When approaching someone about a behavior you’d like to see changed, stick to factual descriptions of what they’ve done, rather than using negative labels or words that convey judgments. For example:

Situation: Your friend, who habitually runs late, has shown up 20 minutes late for a lunch date.
Inappropriate (aggressive) response: “You’re so rude! You’re always late.”
Assertive communication: “We were supposed to meet at 11:30, but now it’s 11:50.”

Don’t assume you know what the other person’s motives are, especially if you think they’re negative. In this situation, don’t assume that your friend deliberately arrived late because they didn’t want to come or because they value their own time more than yours.

2. Don’t Judge or Exaggerate

Being factual about what you don’t like in someone’s behavior, without overdramatizing or judging, is an important start. The same is true for describing the effects of their behavior. Don’t exaggerate, label, or judge; just describe:

Inappropriate response: “Now, lunch is ruined.”
Assertive communication: “Now, I have less time to spend at lunch because I still need to be back to work by 1:00.”

Body language and tone of voice matter in assertive communication. Let yours reflect your confidence: Stand up straight, maintain eye contact, and relax. Use a firm but pleasant tone.

3. Use “I” Messages

When you start a sentence with “You…”, it comes off as a judgment or an attack and puts people on the defensive. If you start with “I,” the focus is more on how you are feeling and how you are affected by their behavior.

Also, it shows more ownership of your reactions and less blame. This helps minimize defensiveness in the other person, model the act of taking responsibility, and move you both toward positive change.5 For example:

You Message: “You need to stop that!”
I Message: “I’d like it if you’d stop that.”

When in a discussion, don’t forget to listen and ask questions. It’s important to understand the other person’s point of view.

4. Put It All Together

Here’s a great formula that puts it all together:

“When you [their behavior], I feel [your feelings].”

When used with factual statements, rather than judgments or labels, this formula provides a direct, non-attacking, more responsible way of letting people know how their behavior affects you. For example: “When you yell, I feel attacked.”

5. List behavior, results, and feelings.

A more advanced variation of this formula includes the results of their behavior (again, put into factual terms), and looks like this:

“When you [their behavior], then [results of their behavior], and I feel [how you feel].”

For example: “When you arrive late, I have to wait, and I feel frustrated.”

Or, “When you tell the kids they can do something that I’ve already forbidden, some of my authority as a parent is taken away, and I feel undermined.”

Try to think win-win: See if you can find a compromise or a way for you both to get your needs met. In the case of the always-late friend, maybe a different meeting place would help them be on time. Or you can choose to make plans only at times when your schedule is more open and their lateness won’t cause you as much stress.”

This week, look for opportunities to practice assertive communication. It can feel uncomfortable at first yet over time these actions build on themselves and cement Statement #4 in our New Life.



Hi 4C Women,

I almost wanted to respond to this scenario about the habitually late friend that I assertively left the restaurant, gave an assertive and respectful note to the server to give my habitually late friend and hoped she learned that everyone’s time is valuable.  However, I can see that some lessons in approaching others and being assertive needs more detailed guidance and definitely practice.

My granddaughter is habitually late so the specific scenario in assertiveness about lateness touched home and I thought about how I have handled “Amber time” over the years.  I started giving her earlier times but unfortunately that didn’t work.  One Thanksgiving, after waiting for an extraordinary length of time, we just decided to go ahead and eat rather than let everything go cold, especially since she wasn’t bringing anything except her adorable presence to the table and my daughter and I were exhausted from cooking both the night before and the day of Thanksgiving.

Well, that didn’t work out well at all.  Hurt feelings and a not so thankful day.  This message will provide a better way, I am hoping, to future Thanksgivings and gatherings I have never been aggressive yet I have also not been assertive until lately.  Something about aging and setting boundaries has taken hold and I am grateful.  I have always been one to watch my words as I know they are powerful.  Words can hurt or heal and the delivery of them has power as well (point #2).

I believe assertiveness is about respect for each other.  While I consider myself a good listener, it is clear that I need to practice listening first in certain situations before I jump to judgment and then use the “I” message with facts and feelings as suggested.

Think about the last time you were assertive.  Were you pleased with the results?  Is there something you might have done differently after learning the 5 ways shared above.  We are fortunate to be able to continue learning ways to create positive communication in our New Life.

Bonded in empowering assertiveness, Dee

Sister Skills
Don’t forget to join the New Life Program Connection – Women For Sobriety Facebook group for support right on your newsfeed. You will also have access to free live presentations like this!
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New Meeting – Chicago, IL (Fridays)

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

Chicago, IL

Fridays 9:00 am

Please email [email protected] with questions and to obtain the exact location/details of the meeting.

Please join us in extending our gratitude to the volunteer Certified Facilitator 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 Facilitator and contact [email protected] for assistance.

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New Meeting – Chicago, IL (Thursdays)

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

Chicago, IL

Thursdays 6:30 pm

Start Date: 10/14/2021

Please email [email protected] with questions and to obtain the exact location/details of the meeting.

Please join us in extending our gratitude to the volunteer Certified Facilitator 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 Facilitator and contact [email protected] for assistance.

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Monday Thoughts 10/11/2021

“Live your life, sing your song.  Not full of expectations.  Not for the ovations.  But for the joy of it.”  ~~Rasheed Ogunlaru

“You are your own worst enemy.  If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you.’  ~~Lisa Kleypas

“Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.”  ~~Marilu Henner

#3 Happiness is a habit I am developing.

Happiness is created, not waited for.

It was not until sobriety and recovery that I became aware of how expectations altered life experiences.  As a child, they created a sense of routine and security. Yet growing into adulthood, many expectations felt overwhelming and created a deepening wedge of shame and guilt.  Alcohol had become an escape route but the WFS New Life Program provides healthy direction and empowering tools.

Statement #3 encourages development. Happiness is a habit I am developing.”  It allows us to be where we are and work towards increasing feelings of happiness or contentment.  When expectations are lowered, whether in ourselves or others it can increase feelings of balance and stability.  This can increase insight towards further development thereby creating a healthy cycle of growth.

In our WFS Reflections for Growth booklet, our founder Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD wrote “Happiness is a state of mind first.  Then it becomes a state of being.”  This week, examine your thoughts and identify where you are actively developing a foundation for happiness.  Release what no longer serves you or brings balance or joy.  Adjust your beliefs, assumptions and/or expectations to meet your goals and aspirations.  How can you increase your feelings of happiness?



Hi 4C Women,

Happiness contentment, joy, appreciation are all positive words leading us to developing awareness of what creates those feelings.  I have this great book, “Field Guide to Happiness” by Barbara Ann Kipfer.   Her book is full of ideas, questions, and activities that I have used in the past to uncover what is my happy path in creating moments to treasure.  I am a list maker so some of the activities spoke my language.  Her philosophy about lists is keeping track of wishes and things one is happy or grateful for and discussing the importance of the little things in life, the details.  Lists can be soothing, funny, a balm to the cluttered, ever-moving mind.  Lists make us think and sharpen our minds

The first question helped me to take a look at my environment which I had never considered.  I was asked to list things I am happy about in my home environment.  Examples: favorite books in the bookcase, comforting sounds of a wind chime, clear view of seasonally changing nature, caller id, even garbage pick-up day.  For me, it’s decorating my artificial tree for each season.  As I unwrap each treasure, I feel myself smiling and grateful for the memories these items evoke and awareness of the changing of the seasons.  I also love hearing the birds chirp in my backyard or sitting on the porch chatting with my neighbor.  It reminds me of growing up, living in a row house, and sitting on the porch conversing with neighbors next to me or waving hello to the neighbors across the street.

Then she asked for a list of things you were happy about yesterday!  Wow, this year has made that list challenging but doable.  Example: Making it through the green light, rerun of your favorite show, the luxury of a shower.

It’s a big book so I will share just a few more questions to guide you in creating your awareness.

Happiest Moments/Situations List.  This list is to acknowledge we survived tough times but also that we have experienced good times.  A reminder of appreciating those moments, remembering the positive, joyful feelings we experienced and how we are continuing to develop and create awareness of happiness that has special meaning to us.

Make a list of what you value most – your quality core values and elaborate on what you can do to strengthen them in your life.  Think about how you spend your time.  Is it in correlation with your core values?

Make a list of what makes you happy in your life roles.  I am a single woman, mother, friend, volunteer and making a list of how each role makes me happy was quite eye-opening.  Because WFS is not a program of judgment, it was refreshing to be totally honest with each role and see how I can increase the happiness factor or lessen the less positive factors.

Make a list of all your achievements – big and small.  We need to be our own cheerleader.  Looking at the list of achievements, can you feel the happiness that acknowledging these moments brings to your life?

Before you go to bed, make a list of 10 things that made you feel happy during the day.  That will be very helpful in answering the question about what made you happy yesterday!

Make a list of things you can do to add beauty to your life that cost little or no money.  Sitting on my porch costs nothing yet it brings back happy memories while I am creating new ones.

And finally, with all this awareness and creation of happy moments, think of ways to share joy with others.

Bonded in creating awareness, moments of joy, appreciation for what we have and sharing it with others, Dee

Shop on Amazon?

Shop through instead and a portion of your purchases will go to WFS – at no cost to you. Designate WFS as your charity today!

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Monday Thoughts 10/4/2021

“You are not your feelings. You just experience them. Anger, sadness, hate, depression, fear. This is the rain you walk in. But you don’t become the rain. You know the rain will pass. You walk on. And you remember the soft glow of the sun that will come again.” ~~Matt Haig

“I gave myself permission to feel and experience all of my emotions. In order to do that, I had to stop being afraid to feel. In order to do that, I taught myself to believe that no matter what I felt or what happened when I felt it, I would be okay.” ~~Iyanla Vanzant

“Feelings or emotions are the universal language and are to be honored. They are the authentic expression of who you are at your deepest place.” ~~Judith Wright

#2 Negative thoughts destroy only myself.

My first conscious sober act is to reduce negativity in my life.

A rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions has washed through me the last few weeks; we said goodbye to our cuddly, chocolate chihuahua, Tigger. Yet it is because of sobriety and recovery, and practicing the WFS Statements that I am able to accept, understand and process what I am feeling, no matter how uncomfortable or scary the emotion.

Before my New Life, grief frightened me. Somehow, I thought if grief got close to me it would swallow me up. I worked hard at keeping it at bay or not feeling it, whether it be shoving it down deep inside or trying to smother it with alcohol. Of course, grief worked its way to the surface no matter how much I drank or tried to hide it. The WFS New Life Program and especially Statement #2 create a portal for processing difficult thoughts and emotions.

My relationship with Tigger felt different because I respond differently. Living in sobriety when he arrived in our home felt special. This dog would know the real me. I felt grateful and cherished this four legger with new perspective, so when he was diagnosed with cancer late last year, we made the best of it. Saying goodbye is never easy but living the Statements has helped me walk into these difficult emotions and begin to move through them. Giving myself permission to experience the depth of my emotions by sharing feelings, journaling and listening to guided grief meditation is a form of self-care and an empowering way to reduce negativity. The emotional pain may still be present, but today I stand in sobriety and strength.



Hi 4C Women,

Trust = ourselves, our intuition, our feelings that signal when we need healing, support and self-care. I have learned a lot about myself through Statement #2. I realized that my thoughts were constantly negative which projected into my conversations and self-talk. I really wasn’t aware of it until I started practicing this Statement. It took a lot of pausing before spewing my negativity. I eventually created a balance because I didn’t want to deny my feelings of frustration, anger, disappointment, etc. That denial is how I justified my drinking rather than learning how to express myself in a calm, clear manner. If I experienced typical feelings of being unheard/ignored, rather than become completely negative or drinking the thoughts away, I worked on a plan for change. My words became my empowerment. I had a choice to express myself confidently, not in anger, but in my truth. It took a while to feel comfortable doing that and every now and then, it can still be quite challenging.

The important lesson is that I am willing to continue learning and practicing. Negative thoughts, especially about who I am as a person, can cause such pain and I knew I had to stop believing old messages that no longer served me. The moment my self-talk becomes self-demeaning, I stop and ask myself, is this who I am right now, this moment, or is it a false description from someone else in my long ago past? It’s a lot to overcome yet I rather work on that then be stuck with unproductive messages that stop my positive, self-affirming progress in its path. Nancy Cross once sent a message that said, “Don’t make your thoughts your prison.” Wow! I had the keys to unlock the prison I was holding onto with my negative thoughts. I still use that phrase when I catch myself in that once in a while moment.

In the end, it’s about setting boundaries with your thoughts and your relationships. Whether it’s yourself repeating negative definitions of who you are (false definitions) or relationships that keep you stuck in negative thinking by putting you down, keeping the past in the present, remember you have the keys to unlock those thoughts, the tools and courage to make the necessary boundary changes.

Something to think about. Changing your life starts with changing your mind. Who you think you are is who you will become. True transformation begins when you understand that you alone are in charge of your reactions-even in the most difficult circumstances (Author Judy Lief)

1. Your own thoughts can trap and undermine your potential for growth. What unhealthy thought patterns would you like to examine and unravel?

2. When you focus your thoughts, they have more power. What one thought would you like to hold in your mind this month?

Bonded in courage, truth, growth, boundary setting and the keys to unlock it all, Dee

Conference Planning Watch Party!

Grab your popcorn & join us for a night of fun as we gear up for the 2022 Conferences.  Do you remember how magical Conference 2021 was?  Wouldn’t you like to be part of the behind the scenes effort?  Join us to learn all about Conferences 2022 & get involved!!

Saturday, October 9, 7pm EDT

Meeting ID: 894 2443 7953

Passcode: 529849