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Monday Thoughts 4.25.22

women for sobriety decorative image 4cs

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”
William Shakespeare

“We are no one else.  We are ourselves.  We must be that, with no regrets, if we wish to be happy.”
Donna Goddard

“Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.”
Mandy Hale


#5 I am what I think.

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


The WFS New Life program, and especially Statement #5 opened my eyes to how I was living life for everyone else.  Over time, the child I once was easily morphed into the thoughts, ideas, aspirations, and goals of those around me.  Desperately trying to fit in, I quieted my own thoughts and feelings which left me as a version who fit others.  Who I was disappeared and alcohol easily became an emotional escape mechanism.

Learning my own thoughts in sobriety felt overwhelming at first, but quickly became a journey of discovery.  Exploring what I thought of something was like building an updated version of myself.  Writing thoughts in a journal or even simply jotting down quotes that I related to was exciting and refreshing.  My outlook shifted and I began to find my voice.  I even learned how to say no without regret and the learning continues every day. It’s no wonder why our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. made Statement #5 the center of our program.

In our WFS Program booklet, it states, “Since we no longer choose to drink or use as an escape, repairing our sense of self becomes essential.  We can do this by learning new tools for changing our thinking, to help guide us into a rewarding sobriety.”  Each day this week, examine your thoughts.  Do your thoughts bring you deeper into sobriety and recovery or further away from it?  Is there a part of you ready to be uncovered?  What tools do you use to create and live your authentic life?

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

I say very often that I have found my voice and I know it was found through the WFS program and especially Statement #5.  Before recovery, what I thought of myself was not exactly self-esteem building or empowering.  It was challenging enough to introduce myself as a competent woman at a meeting yet to add more positive adjectives/nouns to describe and define myself seemed an impossibility.

These questions helped me to think about how I see myself:

What do I do consistently well?

What are my strongest traits/characteristics?

What do I respect about myself?

How do I feel about speaking my voice?

I feel empowered when…

One of my favorite songs about self-realization is “Here I Stand” by Karen Drucker on her “The Heart of Healing” album.  I listened to it many times and shared it with my WFS group as it truly expresses my journey to living Statement #5.  I emailed her letting her know how much this song represented me and WFS with its emotional and spiritual growth, empowerment, and belief in self.  She was happy that I shared it with other WFS 4C women and hoped I would continue to do so.

“Here I Stand.”

Here I Stand Words & Music: Karen Drucker & Sloan Wainwright This song was written with another one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Sloan Wainwright. We got together and talked about what was going on in our lives and realized that we were both finally feeling that we had let go of the old stories of not enough, and giving our power away. This song is a celebration for anyone who is willing to stand up and claim their power.

“I was a little girl who never spoke her mind.

I wouldn’t rock the boat, I couldn’t cross the line,

but every step that I’ve taken, every pain, every tear,

has led me to the woman who’s standing right here.

I got so tired of giving myself away,

always looking for someone to tell me I was okay.

I got to a place where I could trust my heart,

it was the perfect place for a brand- new start.

Chorus: Here I stand in my power.

Here I stand in my power.

Here I stand in my power.

Here I stand. (Here I stand) Here I stand.

I am a warrior. I am invincible.

I am as strong as steel and I am capable,

and I am soft as a feather light and free,

and the truth that I know, healing begins with me.

Chorus Bridge: Here I stand. Here I stand. Here I stand.

With all that I’ve been through, there ain’t nothin’ I can’t do…

Chorus

 

©TayToones Music BMI 2015 & Derby Disc Music SESAC From Karen’s CD: “Joy In Our Hearts” and “The Heart of Healing 2″

So empowering and so … me from not speaking my mind growing up to the woman standing in her power and knowing that healing began with me!

Bonded in loving ourselves, healing ourselves, and being empowered to define ourselves in a positive light, Dee


Every dollar is important.

Donate to the TBC online:

womenforsobriety.org/donatetbc

or download this form to mail in your donation.

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Monday Thoughts 4.18.22

women for sobriety decorative image problem

“There’s no such thing as running away from the problem.  They’re very patient and will wait a lifetime for you.”

Darnell Lamont Walker

“If you choose to not deal with an issue, then you give up your right of control over the issue and it will select the path of least resistance.”

Susan Del Gatto

“The important thing about a problem is not the solution, but the strength we gain in finding a solution.”

Seneca


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

I now better understand my problems. 

I do not permit problems to overwhelm me.


In our WFS Program booklet our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. writes “My running away helped me to deny my problem. Denial became my biggest problem.” I can relate very well to these words; denial was a well-worn ploy that created even bigger problems than what lay ahead. Then everything was compounded by my drinking, which was simply another form of denial.

Sobriety and Statement #4 in action offer a pathway to first recognize, accept and move through problems. No matter the size of an issue, being able to recognize a problem as a problem is essential to discovering solutions. Once it is in view, options are available. Obviously, there is no one size fits all solution but there are many ways to overcome instead of being overwhelmed. Avoidance of alcohol never fixed anything and only served to further complicate everything.

This week, take a few minutes each morning to reflect on any issues that may be in front of you. Instead of seeking out an immediate solution, sit with it for a few minutes and allow options to come to mind. If something feels incredibly large, reach out and express any unease. Simply sharing what the problem is with a close friend can create a sturdy foundation and you may have a cheerleader to encourage you along.

Hugzzz
Karen


Hi 4C Women,

Learning to problem-solve supports decision-making when there is a true concern. The key is to know the difference between an ordinary problem and a real issue that needs resolution. I agree with Karen that sometimes taking a few minutes to reflect rather than expecting an immediate solution is a wonderful route to take. Sharing it with a trusted friend can bring about a whole different perspective when a fresh set of ears listens.

I have had many concerns over the years and while I sometimes felt incompetent to make a sound decision, I also learned that I could make a mistake and survive, even learn from it, could reach out for input, be successful, and most importantly, build my confidence in problem-solving. I learned that focusing on ordinary, everyday problems, was just really distracting me from handling the real concerns in my life. In the beginning, I only saw the mistakes I made. Learning a lesson from mistakes – no way! I tended to punish myself which hurt my self-esteem even more and put into question any possibility of trusting my instincts or learning better problem-solving skills. Feeling overwhelmed led to numbing those thoughts. Numbing led to disappointment, discouragement, and again, self-punishment. What a profound difference in learning the lesson! Wow, I actually started trusting myself, seeking help from those who supported me, and building a toolbox of coping skills that provided me a path to becoming a 4C woman. I was certainly learning how to not let problems overwhelm me so I could focus on the real concerns. That gave me time and energy for tackling what needed my attention.

Who would or do you turn to for input?

What’s a lesson you have learned from a mistake and a success?

If your concern is about a relationship, what would you gain from resolving that conflict in a healthy, compassionate, and honest manner? Conflict is about having a problem to solve. That’s important to remember as we come to relationships with our own histories and values. I learned a lot about myself in working on conflict in relationships. I gained a sense of worthiness that before was not even a word in my vocabulary. I began to know what I needed, what I deserved, and what was a deal-breaker in dissolving or maintaining a relationship. That was powerful information. I actually put a value on myself! What is the value you put on yourself (deserve, need)?

Finally, the fear of presenting my ideas in problem-solving kept me stuck until I found my voice, spoke my voice, and felt the empowerment of doing so. And, again, I survived, thrived, and learned more lessons than if I had kept my fear in expressing my thoughts. Are you ready to learn? Give It a try as Karen suggested in reflecting, reaching out, and doing what feels right for you and your values.

Bonded in letting go of everyday problems, focusing on concerns, and learning invaluable lessons along the way, Dee


While we hope to see you in person in Portland … Early Registration savings of $50 is available until 4/22 …

Please note that on-demand registration is now open and only $25.

 

 

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New Meeting – Erie, CO (Tuesdays)

women for sobriety decorative image women holding hands

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

High Plains Library District

(event room, back left corner)

400 Powers St.

Erie, Colorado 80516

Tuesdays  at 11:00 am

Please email [email protected] with questions. 

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 at https://womenforsobriety.org and contact the Facilitator Management Team at [email protected] for assistance.

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Conference Lodging Portal Now Open!

women for sobriety conference early registration now open save $50 before 4/22

Portland State University has opened the lodging portal for the WFS Annual Weekend Conference 2022! Select your stay, meal, and parking options for the weekend.

Get registered ($50 early registration discount available until 4/22):  https://www.eventsquid.com/event.cfm?event_id=16125

Portland State University Portal:                                                                                                                                    https://housingportal.pdx.edu/StarRezPortalConference/Go/Conferences/465

women for sobriety conference early registration now open save $50 before 4/22

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Monday Thoughts 4.11.22

Image - Hello Happiness - smiley face

“Happiness is a choice.  You can choose to be happy.  There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not.”

Valerie Bertinelli

“If you learn to really sit with loneliness and embrace it for the gift that it is…an opportunity to get to know YOU, to learn how strong you really are, to depend on no one but YOU for your happiness…you will realize that a little loneliness goes a LONG way in creating a richer, deeper, more vibrant and colorful YOU.”

Mandy Hale

“Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire for yourself.  Give yourself peace of mind.  You deserve to be happy.”

Hannah Arendt


#3 Happiness is a habit I am developing.

Happiness is created, not waited for.


Choice?  I have… a…. choice? This was new. For years I was under the assumption that people were born lucky and enjoyed all that there is to life.  In my eyes they seemed to have it all yet the cynicism (and alcohol) within kept me from understanding or seeing development and progression of true happiness.  WFS and Statement #3 in action changed that.

In the WFS Program booklet our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, PhD writes “Happiness never came to me until I learned the secret of making it for myself, of finding an inner glow that somehow made all other things right.”  Paying close attention to how she was feeling, Jean identified where she could choose her reaction and Statement #3 was created.

Last week I put action into Statement #3 when some travel plans were heavily delayed.  The old me would have flashed into anger and blame and drank at this sudden and seemingly unlucky event.  That didn’t happen.  I am a 4C woman and have choices today.  Instead of fighting over what was, I accepted, then embraced the changes. Watching others who angrily reacted with yelling, this shift helped maintain balance and perspective.  The end result was the same, only delayed.  During that time, little gifts came into view, a blanket and first in line for standby and then home safely.  Life is what you make it, so why not make it happy!

Hugzzz

Karen


Dear 4C Women,

I always think of the WFS program as choice and change.  I can make a choice and I can make a change through that choice.  Happiness is one of those choices.  I use to be a very envious person and so I related to Karen’s thoughts about some people being born lucky and I wasn’t one of them.  Little did I connect my attitude towards creating my own happiness.  What I learned is that life is full of ups and downs, happy times and sad times.  I focused way too much on the down times in describing my life.  The good, happy times were a fluke and sure enough the other shoe would drop and validate my outlook on life.  Alcohol certainly didn’t provide me with insight to see that I had created this lopsided view of happiness, joy in my life.  I’ve had some beautiful moments of happiness.  Yet, my outlook, my attitude kept me from seeing the balance and learning that I could and needed to work on embracing those happy moments and create more of them by being proactive. 

I am a firm believer in acknowledging authentic feelings.  It helps me to identify what’s going on in the depth of my heart.  It validates those feelings which then becomes a guide for me to work through and understand the sad and angry feelings to create the balance I yearn for.  It’s been more challenging over the past two or so years to see the balance.  I can’t deny that.  I’m not alone either as we all have been experiencing the sad aspects of the pandemic, losing loved ones, being sick ourselves, being unable to visit loved ones, working in isolation from home, learning new ways of coping that for many of us, we were not prepared for such extremes.  And now the helpless feeling of the war in Ukraine.  When I experience those feelings, I have a coping tool that helps me.  I go back to the basics.  I make a list of what I am grateful for, the loving people in my life, my support system, appreciating what I do have, what I can still physically do and work on putting needed self-care back into my routine.  Doing that creates a sense of balance and hope.  My greatest gift in recovery is hope.  For me, hope is my foundation.  Hope fuels my proactive side.  Creating happiness is all part of that.  When I read Karen’s experience at the airport and her attitude about the situation, it was and is a powerful example of how our attitude, our thought process can completely change the entire experience. 

I do believe that others can provide and add happiness to our lives.  The imbalance is when we depend solely on others to do that.  Our expectations are too high along with the cost to our relationships.  We get disappointed, angry or confused about relationships if that is our only source of joy or happiness.  And what an unfair burden to place on someone.  So, this week, perhaps make a concerted effort, a plan, to create happiness in your life.  It can be as simple as calling someone you’ve been missing, reconnecting with enthusiasm, doing something you love by volunteering, sending a “thinking of you” card to brighten up someone’s day, be spontaneous and say yes to an unexpected invitation, turn on your favorite music and sing along (no judgment on your singing abilities!), dance with abandon around the room and discover or rediscover what brings a smile to your face and share the experience! 

Bonded in creating balance, practicing self-care, being authentic and proactive in experiencing joy and happiness, Dee


women for sobriety teddy bear challenge lilbear quote

Our community has reached a total of $5,132 … 10% of our goal.  You can make a difference if you donate!

Every dollar is important. 

Donate to the TBC online:

womenforsobriety.org/donatetbc

or download this form to mail in your donation.

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Why donate to WFS?

The annual Teddy Bear Challenge is a major fundraiser to generate funds to sustain the operations, programs and support offered by WFS. With TruPat, we donate in gratitude for the support we receive and to pay it forward for the next woman who joins.  

In honor of the tradition established by TeddyBear many years ago:

I challenge the WFS community to donate as much money this year as the WFS Angel donated in 2021: Challenge amount: $50,013 by June 14, 2022  

Can you be one of the major donors? Last year we had: 

Silver, $500-$999 – 1 donor

Gold, $1000 – $4,999 – 7 donors 

Platinum, $5,000+ – 2 donors 

Our community has reached a total of $5,132 … 10% of our goal.  You can make a difference if you donate! Every dollar is important. 

Donate to the TBC online: womenforsobriety.org/donatetbc or download this form to mail in your donation.

Women for Sobriety, Inc (WFS) is a NON-PROFIT 501(C)(3) company operated by a few employees and an army of volunteers.

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Creative Crew Blooming Sale Coming Soon!

women for sobriety blooming sale june 10-11

women for sobriety blooming sale june 10-11

The Creative Crew is hosting another sale of handmade items and blooming specials! Quilts galore, themed gift bags, knitted items and more. There will be auction and buy it now items included.

The Blooming Catalog will be available online 

Starting May 9, 2022

Please watch the WFS Blog for details 

If you participated in the 2021 Conference Auction or the Creative Crew Holiday Sale in November, your registration is still valid!  

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Monday Thoughts 4.4.22

women for sobriety woman thinking with journal decorative image

“Relationships with negative people are simply tedious encounters with porcupines. You don’t have the remote knowledge how to be close to them without quills being shot in your direction.”

Shannon L. Alder

“Your thoughts become your desires; your desires lead to your actions; your actions change your life.”
Bodhi Sanders

“Change your attitude and you change your life. You cannot control what happens to you in your life, but you can always control how you respond to it. The way you choose to respond is a reflection of your attitude. By changing your attitude, you also change your perspective and change your life.”

Roy Bennet


#2 Negative thoughts destroy only myself.

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


What does it feel like to be around someone who is constantly negative? Does it feel light and airy? Do you want to spend more time with them or do you feel drained, knowing those sharp porcupine quills are heading in your direction? Take a moment to reflect on the energy you bring into a room, into a relationship, into an experience. Is there anything that you need to let go of? Statement #2 in action helps to identify, manage, and release negativity.

In our WFS Program booklet, it states “Our overcoming is in exact proportion to our becoming. Negative thoughts can destroy us in many ways. An important aspect of negative thoughts is that such thoughts often precede using or drinking. A state of ‘what’s the use?’ or ‘who cares?’ can initiate an attempt to escape from reality.” Our founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. knew how important it was to reduce negativity and created this Statement to follow directly after taking charge of our lives. 

This week, pay attention to your thoughts. Jot some down in a journal or list a few with bullet points. Do you see any patterns arising? Are you able to embrace how far you have come already? What kind of energy do you bring when you walk in the door? Can you find the value or lesson within a negative situation? How does it feel looking within yourself? At the end of the week, save what you’ve learned and check back often to review. Maybe you have overcome something you thought would never leave. Receive your accomplishments and stay on the lookout for those pesky quills!

Hugzzz

Karen


Dear 4C Women,

Dr. Phil has asked many times on his show, “how much fun are you to be around?” Before recovery, I would say not much unless I was under the influence. I thought I was a lot of fun then. The first time I experienced fun sober, I was completely taken by surprise. It was one of those aha moments filled with hope and the possibility for authentic joy in the future – as a sober woman! It dawned upon me that I had such negative self-talk, negative feelings about who I was, and just feeling empty and sad especially when I was alone and letting the wall of pretense down. From my life experience, I understand negative thoughts and negative patterns. Sometimes when I reflect on my childhood, I wonder if some of my experiences led me to be fearful of fully expressing myself. I recall one time when I was around 12 and expressed anger. My mom and sister burst out laughing because I never expressed anger so this was comical to them. I was always the “good” girl who quietly behaved, not causing any trouble. That experience taught me that my authentic feelings wouldn’t be taken seriously and to hold those feelings close to my chest. So, pretending became my way of fitting in. Through WFS, I have learned to express myself, share my feelings without fear, I could feel joy sober, and even be funny at times! I feel true to myself.

I have also learned to take responsibility for my part in a negative reaction – not guilt or shame for my reaction. Unhealthy guilt and shame are blockers to learning.  Healthy guilt is acknowledging we may have harmed or hurt someone with our words or actions and we take responsibility. In fact, I have learned a lot about my capabilities in handling negativity, whether it is mine in thinking reactively or it is coming from another person or situation. In the past, I would not have been open to exploring any of this. It was either all of my fault or theirs. As I mentioned last week, I wore my blame crown proudly in order to not take responsibility for my part which left a void for learning. WFS is all about change and this is one of many changes I will be forever grateful for. I consider myself a seeker of information and within that seeking, I am also a discoverer of the lesson. 

Nancy Cross talked about button-pushers as teachers. That was a concept I had not thought of until she wrote about it. Button pushers as teachers? And that’s when another aha moment came to light. Those button-pushers taught me to let go or stand up to a principle if my heart says it is worth it. And to do so as calmly and respectfully as possible. I have learned that if the relationship is important enough, I will share my thoughts. If not, I hit the delete button on the button pusher. I choose not to waste my time and effort with those who are not open to listening or the possibility of understanding my point of view. This is a process as every once in a while, I feel the instant reaction start. I try to understand that person’s point of view as I want them to hear and understand mine. It’s a two-way street yet in the end, it is our choice to let negativity be the only response or reflection, growing, understanding, listening, and learning to be the response. 

How much fun are you to be around?

How do you currently respond to button-pushers?

What is the lesson you are learning about yourself as you pay attention to your thoughts, and your reactions to negativity?

Bonded in reducing negativity, being open to finding the lesson, releasing the porcupine, and loving yourself through it all, Dee


WFS Annual Weekend Conference Registration OPEN!
Save $50 with an “early girl” discount before 4/22!

women for sobriety annual conference early registration open